Vladimir Polkovnikov & Leonid Amalrik – Pavlinij Hvost AKA A Peacock’s Tail (1946)

Synopsis: On the motives of K. Chukovskogo’s same fairy tale. It tells us about an envious bear who demanded from doctor Ajbolit to sew to him a peacock tail and went for a walk to the wood. The peacock tail gives out to hunters where the bear is. Continue reading

Colin K. Gray – Freedom’s Fury (2006)

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Freedom’s Fury is a documentary about the Hungarian water polo team of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the the effects of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution on the lives of the team members, with their infamous match with the Soviet team in the main focus.
The film is made up of a series of archive and recreated footage and short snippets of interviews with people directly or indirectly involved with the revolution or water polo. The material discussed is perhaps a little too extensive to fit into a ninety-minute-long documentary, but the interviews with the surviving members of both Hungarian and Soviet teams make Freedom’s Fury a memorable viewing experience. Continue reading

Isabelle Stever – Glückliche Fügung (2010)

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37-year-old Simone decides to go out alone on New Year’s Eve. The next morning, she wakes up next to a stranger in his car, and a few weeks later she discovers that she’s pregnant. By coincidence, she runs into the stranger again – the handsome Hannes – and is surprised to find that contrary to her expectations, he’s actually happy about the pregnancy and wants to live with her. Could this be the face of happiness? While Hannes works in a hospital as a nurse in palliative care, tending to the dying with extraordinary tenderness, Simone renovates their shared, little home. An attractive neighbor fuels Simone’s jealousy. The larger Simone’s belly grows, the more extensively Hannes’ integrity warms the nest, the more oppressive their little, homemade prison appears. Continue reading

Vincent Sherman – The Damned Don’t Cry [+Extras] (1950)

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The Damned Don’t Cry – It’s a man’s world. And Ethel Whitehead learns there’s only one way for a woman to survive in it: be as tempting as a cupcake and as tough as a 75-cent steak. In the first of three collaborations with director Vincent Sherman, Joan Crawford brings hard-boiled glamour and simmering passion to the role of Ethel, who moves from the wrong side of the tracks to a mobster’s mansion to high society one man at a time. Some of those men love her. Some use her. And one a high-rolling racketeer abuses her. When the racketeer murders his rival in Ethel’s swanky living room, she flees a sure murder rap right back to the poverty she thought she had escaped. And this time there may not be a man to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Continue reading

Shinya Tsukamoto – Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (2009)

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– from Variety-

“POWERED BY
A Tetsuo Group presentation of a Kaijyu Theater, Asmik Ace Entertainment production. (International sales: the Coproduction Office, Paris.) Produced by Shinichi Kawahara, Masayuki Tanishima.
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. Screenplay, Tsukamoto, Hisakatsu Kuroki.

With: Erik Bossick, Akiko Monou, Shinya Tsukamoto, Stephen Sarrazin, Yuko Nakamura, Tiger Charlie Gerhardt.
(English dialogue)

Twenty years after making his breakout cult hit, “Tetsuo,” and 17 years after its sequel, “Tetsuo II: Body Hammer,” multihyphenate filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto busts out the big guns again with “Tetsuo the Bullet Man.” Contempo-set pic doesn’t bring much new to the half-man-half-machine concept, but with its delirious editing and eardrum-crunching soundtrack, it punches above its weight and musters a certain retro charm with its old-school effects, all done on about one-hundredth of the budget of a “Transformers” movie. Fans of the franchise will have this in their sights and show support, but crossover potential looks iffy. Continue reading

Shinya Tsukamoto – Akumu Tantei 2 aka Nightmare Detective 2 (2008)

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Yukie and two of her girlfriends are being haunted by the ghost of a classmate, they once heavily bullied. When the other two die under mysterious circumstances, Yukie sees only one chance for herself. With the help of the Nightmare Detective (Ryuhei Matsuda) she hopes to escape her hopeless situation.

From IMDB:
NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE 2 surpasses it’s predecessor on almost all levels. For one thing, though the film has a slightly more poetic feel to it (as opposed to the dark and chaotic nature of the original), it’s laden with depression and grief, adding a foreboding atmosphere that grows stronger as the film progresses. While the first film had a more straightforward plot (albeit still following Tsukamoto’s puzzling logic at times), now the story features a well-balanced duality. When Kyoichi starts to learn more about the origin of Yukie’s nightmares, he discovers parallels with his own past which will eventually lead to more discoveries concerning the mystery of his own, cursed persona. Continue reading