Jesus Franco – Les Avaleuses AKA Erotikill (1973)

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Female Vampire

Countess Irina Karlstein (Lina Romay) is the last in a line of vampires. Compelled to suck the life force from her victims during sex, her activities attract the attentions of Dr Roberts, who comes to realise that the spate of bizarre deaths currently plaguing Madeira have a supernatural source. Meanwhile a poet, Baron Von Rathony (Jack Taylor) has become infatuated with Irina. She wants to reciprocate his love, but knows that to do so will surely mean the man’s death.

This 1973 Jesus Franco entry is of great significance in the director’s 150+ film output for being the film that gave Lina Romay, soon to becomes his long-term partner, collaborator and muse, her first starring role. Read More »

Masahiro Shinoda – Setouchi munraito serenade AKA Moonlight Serenade (1997)

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Continuing the Setouchi trilogy — which began with 1984’s MacArthur’s Children — this film looks at Japan just after World War II. The film opens with documentary footage of the 1995 Hanshin earthquake that flattened Kobe. The devastation reminds an elderly Keita Onda of the ruined landscape of Kobe just after the Allied bombing raids, which he witnessed from his home on nearby Awajishima Island. Cut to 1945, when Keita’s father, Kokichi (Kyozo Nagatsuka), receives the ashes of his eldest son who died on the battlefield. A rigid traditionalist, Kokichi decides to follow custom and return the ashes to his son’s birthplace in Kyushu. He hires out a car — a lavish expense that has the neighbors’ tongues wagging about a possible mass suicide. Instead, the family — consisting of the father, the mother Fuji (played by Shinoda’s wife, Shima Iwashita), Keita (Hideyuki Kasahara), daughter Hideko (Sayuri Kawachi), and teenaged son Koji (Jun Toba) — end up on a ferry bound for the south of Japan. Koji and his father are locked in a battle of wills. While dad preaches the value of tradition, Koji is much more interested in all things American. As the film progresses, Koji falls for a beautiful war-orphan named Yukiko (Hinano Yoshikawa). Also featured in this film are side stories about other passengers on the boat, including a sweet-talking black marketer who enlightens Kokichi on the joys of foreign liquor, a drug-addled soldier who falls in love with an impoverished woman about to turn tricks just to eat, and a dapper middle-aged man who jumps from the boat. Read More »

Luis Buñuel – Le Fantôme de la liberté aka The Phantom of Liberty (1974)

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SYNOPSIS

Bourgeois convention is demolished in Luis Bunuel’s surrealist gem. Featuring an elegant soiree with guests seated at toilet bowls, poker-playing monks using religious medals as chips, and police officers looking for a missing girl who is right under their noses, this perverse, playfully absurd comedy of non sequiturs deftly compiles many of the themes that preoccupied Bunuel throughout his career – from the hypocrisy of conventional morality to the arbitrariness of social arrangements. Read More »

Alain Corneau – Le nouveau monde AKA New World (1995)

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Synopsis
A young boy who worships all things American comes of age in this amiable French melodrama set in Orleans where over 14,000 American GIs were stationed. The film opens with the solemn vow between young Patrick and Marie-Jose that they will both head to the US when they grow up. The children are totally obsessed with American culture and even surreptitiously go through the gringo garbage to find things such as old magazines, clothing, and empty packages. Years pass and the two friends are seen as lusty 16-year olds. Patrick finds himself feeling smothered by Marie-Jose and ends up falling for the vivacious blonde Yankee coquette, Trudy. He lives to go to the military base where he can hear the live jazz he is so crazy about. Soon his studies begin to suffer. On base, Patrick is befriended by a clumsy but kindly sergeant who buys him a drum kit so he can play with the jazz quintet when it entertains the troops. But when Patrick gets a chance to play drums at an out-of-town concert, his father forbids it, causing his son to rebel. Tragedy ensues. Read More »

Blake Edwards – Mister Cory (1957)

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Quote:
Cory, an ambitious Chicago slum kid with a knack for gambling, gets a busboy job at a posh Wisconsin resort…where his real purpose is to gamble with the staff and guests and romance rich young ladies. Setbacks follow, but Cory eventually rises to a high position in the world of professional gambling. But he just can’t forget the glamorous Vollard sisters. And now he has even farther to fall… Read More »

Paul Goldman – Australian Rules (2002)

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IMDB:
In Prospect Bay, a remote outpost on the South Australian coast, two communities, the Goonyas (whites) and the Nungas (blacks), come together on the one field they have in common, the football field. But the underlying racism and class warfare threatens to make the team’s greatest victories irrelevant. This holds particularly true for Blacky, a white teen who is more interested in books than sport, and his best friend, Dumby, the Aboriginal star of the team. Written by Anonymous
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Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dalí – Un chien andalou aka An Andalusian Dog [+Extras] (1929)

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Plot Outline :

In a dream-like sequence, a woman’s eye is slit open–juxtaposed with a similarly shaped cloud obsucuring the moon moving in the same direction as the knife through the eye–to grab the audience’s attention. The French phrase “ants in the palms,” (which means that someone is “itching” to kill) is shown literally. A man pulls a piano along with the tablets of the Ten Commandments and a dead donkey towards the woman he’s itching to kill. A shot of differently striped objects is repeatedly used to connect scenes. Read More »