Seyfi Teoman – Bizim Büyük Çaresizligimiz AKA Our Grand Despair (2011)

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Our Grand Despair: Berlin Review:

BERLIN — Don’t be fooled by the somber title of Our Grand Despair, which after a grief-laden opening turns out to be one of the frothier entries in a Berlinale competition slate predictably chock-full of weightier fare. A bromantic Jules et Jim-lite love-triangle set in a snowy Ankara, it’s an accessibly droll, bittersweet comedy (rather more sweet than bitter) which has considerable English-language remake potential.

Though hardly an especially significant example of contemporary Turkish cinema, it’ll prove catnip for festivals worldwide and could well click at domestic box offices in its native land. Read More »

Shaun Costello – Sunny (1979)

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back of the box wrote:
Mark’s 25th birthday has him inheriting a large trust and loads
of babes. But the money changes him for the worst, so his mother
has our heroine Sunny try to set him straight. Instead, she fixes
his wagon, hones his cone, honks his horn and puts a smile on his
face they’re still trying to wipe off! Read More »

Pupi Avati – La casa dalle finestre che ridono AKA The House with Laughing Windows (1976)

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SYNOPSIS
Though fans of typical Italian horror films may find House With the Windows That Laugh lacking in the stylistic excesses of many of its contemporary companion pieces, it exceeds its contemporaries in almost every other area. Imbued with an overwhelming sense of dread that grows to an almost unbearable pitch, director Pupi Avati sets the deliberate pace of the film in contrast with the sense of solemn oppression that never ceases from the first to the last frame of the film. As the painter hired to restore a fresco in the church of a small Italian town learns more of the sordid legacy of its original artist, the calm pacing of the film reveals each twisted secret at impeccably timed intervals, never revealing details too soon, and often leaving the viewer hanging just long enough to build the appropriate anticipation needed for each revelation to have an acute and horrifying impact. Characters seem to be literally swallowed in the sea of darkness surrounding the mythology of the deranged painter of the original fresco and his mysterious sisters. With the soul of the main character at stake as he begins to feel possessed by the same disturbing compulsions that propelled the original artist into madness, the question as to if he will solve the mystery in time, or become another sacrifice in the black legacy, is a testament to Avati’s masterful ability to manipulate the expectations and emotions of his audience, only to shatter whatever preconceptions they may have in the film’s shocking climax. (Jason Buchanan on All Movie Guide) Read More »

Jordan Scott – Cracks (2009) (HD)

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CRACKS
Directed by Jordan Scott
Produced by Kwesi Dickson, Julie Payne, Andrew Lowe, Christine Vachon & Rosalie Swedlin
Written by Caroline Court & Ben Ip, based on the novel by Sheila Kohler
Released by IFC Films
UK/Ireland/Spain/France/Switzerland. 107 min. Not Rated
With Eva Green, Juno Temple, María Valverde, Imogen Poots, Sinead Cusack, Ellie Nunn, Clementine Dugdale, Zoe Carroll & Adele McCann

Cracks is standard English period fare. Forbidding setting: check. Emotional repression: check. Beautiful costumes work: check. With all the items on the laundry list crossed off, there’s nothing much to do than to see if the story unfolds with either style or intrigue. Based on Shelia Kohler’s 1999 novel of the same name, Cracks examines the relationship between the charismatic young teacher Miss G (Eva Green) and her impressionable students in an all-girls English boarding school in the 1930s. A psychological thriller mixed with a coming-of-age story, director Jordan Scott’s first feature is The Children’s Hour meets Dead Poets Society, except creepier and with less quality. Read More »

Miguel Gomes – Tabu (2012)

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Synopsis:
A temperamental old woman, her Cape Verdean maid and a neighbour devoted to social causes live on the same floor of a Lisbon apartment building. When the old lady dies, the other two learn of an episode from her past: a tale of love and crime set in an Africa straight from the world of adventure films. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Pieta (2012)

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Synopsis (from koreanfilm.or.kr)

Hired by moneylenders, a man lives as a loan shark brutally threatening people for pay back their debts. This man, without any family and therefore with nothing to lose, continues his merciless way of life regardless of all the pain he has caused to a countless number of people. One day, a woman appears in front of him claiming to be his mother. He coldly rejects her at first, but gradually accepts her in his life. He decides to quit his cruel job and to live a decent life. Then suddenly the mother is kidnapped. Assuming that it would be by someone he has hurt in the past, he starts to track down all the people he has harassed. The man finally finds the one, only to discover horrifying and dark secrets that were better left unrevealed. Read More »

Carlos Saura – Los Ojos Vendados AKA Blindfolded Eyes (1978)

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Plot
While attending an international conference which seeks to reduce the incidence of the use of torture by nations around the globe, a movie director (Jose Luis Gomez) encounters a woman (Geraldine Chaplin) whom he decides to cast in a play about state torture. As events proceed, he and the woman, the wife of a dentist, become lovers. All along, however, right-wing types have been persecuting, and the whole endeavor goes sour. Read More »