Dover Koshashvili – Hatuna Meuheret AKA Late Marriage (2001)

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Zaza is a 31-year old Israeli bachelor, handsome and intelligent, and his family wants to see him married. But tradition dictates that Zaza has to choose a young virgin. She must be beautiful and from a good family, preferably rich. Zaza’s parents, Yasha and Lily drag Zaza to meet potential brides and their families. Zaza has no choice. He plays along with his family, advocates of the suffocating traditions of their Georgian Jewish heritage. But Zaza always manages to somehow get out of being engaged. What his parents don’t know is that Zaza is already in love. Judith is sensuous, strong and intriguing. She’s also a divorcée with a 6-year-old daughter. So Zaza has kept Judith a secret from his family. He will have to choose between respect of the strict confines of family and tradition, or the love of his life. Read More »

Aksel Hennie – Uno (2004)

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Taken from IMDB:Uno is a story from inner-city Oslo about David, a twentyfive-year-old with few prospects for the future. His days are spent hanging around with petty criminals at an inner-city gym. Still, it’s better than home: His father is terminally ill, his brother is mentally handicapped, and he’s unable to connect with his mother.But then, as his father is on his deathbed, the gym is raided by the police. David chooses to betray his friends in the hope of reaching his father for a last farewell. But it’s too late. With his father dead and his mother grief-stricken, he’s also forced to take responsibility for his brother on top of fighting off his former underworld friends. The crisis makes David realize what’s truly important in his life: his family. He starts assuming responsibility for both his past and his future. By losing everything, David is given a chance to start over from scratch and rebuild his life. Read More »

Gustaf Molander – Parisiskor AKA Women of Paris (1928)

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Plot
A house in Paris happens to have two families living there with the same last name. In one apartment lives opera singer Gambetta Duval with his two daughters, Jeanne and Nita. In the second apartment lives old lady Duval with her grandchild Philippa and an her lodger, the physician Leon Monnier. Jeanne is secretly in love with Dr. Monnier who is secretly in love with Nita, who is secretly having an affair with the great playwright Armand de Marny. Read More »

Victor Sjöström – Trädgårdsmästaren AKA The Gardener (1912)

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The Gardener is a 1912 Swedish silent drama film directed by Victor Sjöström. It is mostly known for being the first film to ever be banned by the Swedish censor system. It was long thought to have been lost, but in 1979 a copy was found in an archive in the United States. The Swedish premiere followed on 14 October 1980 when it was shown at the cinematheque in Stockholm.

In Sweden, the film was banned in 1912. The director said, “To the best of my recollection, the wreched faith of my ‘maiden work’ was due to the final scene. The president of the studio was horrified by the grubby, brutal gardener (played by yours truly)-according to him, the public didn’t want to see me tromping around with a big moustache. But I insisted that it was indispensable from an artistic standpoint, and I finally got my way. This particular stubby, brutal gardener lusted after a young lady in his employ, and he seduced- well, he virtually raped- the innocent thing in a lovely greenhouse among beautiful roses and every other flower imaginable. In the final scene, the girl is found dead the next morning on the floor of the greenhouse, with red roses and exquisite blossoms delicately strewn all around her. The marriage of death and beauty, in other words. But the thick-headed censors didn’t understand a thing- they had no feeling for that kind of beauty- and the film was banned.” The official comments of the censors were, “A breach of respectability. The association of death and beauty poses a threat to public order.” Read More »

Henry Jaglom – Festival In Cannes (2001)

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Plot:
Cannes, 1999. Alice, an actress, wants to direct an indie picture. Kaz, a talkative (and maybe bogus) deal maker, promises $3 million if she’ll use Millie, an aging French star. But, Rick, a big producer, needs Millie for a small part in a fall movie or he loses his star, Tom Hanks. Is Kaz for real? Can Rick sweet-talk Alice and sabotage Kaz to keep Millie from taking that deal? Millie consults with Victor, her ex, about which picture to make, Rick needs money, an ingenue named Blue is discovered, Kaz hits on Victor’s new love, and Rick’s factotum connects with Blue. Knives go in various backs. Wheels spin. Which deals – and pairings – will be consummated? Written by {[email protected]} Read More »

Ernst Lubitsch – Als Ich Tot War (1916)

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“The most dangerous threat to the happiness of any young married couple, besides matrimony itself, are the mothers-in-law; this terrible feminine lobby, since the dawn of time , has always meddled and tried to disturb the tranquillity of newlyweds and sometimes their evil schemes succeeded in making a contented life impossible for the youngsters.

The great German director, Herr Ernst Lubitsch, captured pretty well these universal mother-in-law treacherous manoeuvres in “Als Ich Tot War” ( When I Was Dead ) (1916) a two-reel silent comedy shown recently at the Schloss theatre.

The film depicts the story of a young married couple ( Herr Ernst Lubitsch himself and Frau Louise Schenrich ) who live in the same apartment with their mother-in-law ( Frau Lanchen Voss ), a terrible mistake. At least if the mother-in-law lives far away, her dangerous intentions require more exertion to work. Herr Ernst likes very much to play chess with his pals at the club, a thrilling sport that will bring him a lot of problems ( that’s what happens when you play such weird games ). One night Herr Ernst arrives home late due to one of those exciting and lengthy chess matches and finds the door to his home locked, forcing him to sleep on the stairs. It is not necessary to say that the party responsible for such an evil act is his mother-in-law who continually uses the long chess matches to poison her daughter’s mind against her husband. She finally succeeds and Frau Luise divorces her mate. Read More »

Wes Anderson – Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

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Film review by Philip French
The Observer
Saturday 26, May 2012

Wes Anderson’s films – seven of them since his debut with Bottle Rocket in 1996 – constitute a consistent oeuvre. They’re comedies tinged with a certain tragic sense of life. Various actors recur, most notably Jason Schwartzman as a geeky young man, Luke Wilson as a quirky thirtysomething and Bill Murray as a middle-aged curmudgeon. The films pursue groups of eccentric figures who make up families of a kind generally characterised as “dysfunctional”, invariably attracting references to Tolstoy’s dubious claim that happy families are all alike and unhappy families are unhappy in their different ways. They’re also exquisitely composed and lit and accompanied by an interesting, often surprising choice of music.

Initially I had reservations over Anderson’s whimsicality and wilful cultivation of the irrational. I was eventually won over by his last feature but one, the beautiful The Darjeeling Limited, in which three American brothers are brought together on a train journey across India a year after their father’s death. Read More »