Jim Jarmusch – Stranger Than Paradise [+Extras] (1984)

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An amazon reviewer writes:

Stranger Than Paradise not only announced the arrival of an original filmmaker with Jim Jarmusch, but also signaled the arrival of a new wave of American independent cinema along with the Coen brothers’ Blood Simple and Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It. Jarmusch’s film came as a response to the impersonal commercial filmmaking of the Hollywood studios. His film was originally nothing more than a 30-minute short film shot from 40 minutes of extraneous film stock donated by German filmmaker Wim Wenders. Eventually, Jarmusch came into a small sum of money — $120,000 worth — and was able to complete the film. Read More »

Dariush Mehrjui – Postchi AKA The Postman (1972)

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This film firnly establishes as a major talent the Iranian
Mehrjui, whose successful fusing of pathos, humor, and pre-
occupation with the poor resembles nothing less than Chaplin
or early De Sica in its ferocity. In his earlier The Cow, the
only owner of such a precious animal in a poverty-stricken
village goes insane over its loss and assumes its place;
berserk, he is put into a harness, is dragged off to a
nearby hospital, beaten like an animal, and finally
dies the death of a beast in a mudhole. The Mailman
is an unforgettable Wozzeck-like figure, the eternal
simple-minded victim who finally rises to mistaken
grandeur in a murderous gesture that leaves him
braying with despair over the body of his victim.
Since such films can never be popular, they are living
proof of the fact that box-office returns must not
be allowed to determine the life of a work of art. Read More »

John S. Robertson – Annie Laurie (1927)


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Plot: The story of the famous battle between the Scots clans of Macdonald and Campbell, and the young woman who comes between them, Annie Laurie. Read More »

Vincente Minnelli – A Matter of Time (1976)

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The final film of Vincente Minnelli

Quote:
Vincente Minnelli’s final film, A Matter of Time (1976), is both a love letter to the prodigious talents of his daughter Liza, and a fond farewell to the Golden Age of Hollywood–the era during which he did his best work, long gone by 1976. The film is based on the Maurice Druon novel, La volupté d’être (Film of Memory, 1954), which in turn was loosely based on the life of early 20th century art patroness and muse Marchesa Luisa Casati. The Contessa Sanziani (Ingrid Bergman) is a Belle Epoque courtesan who, like the real-life Casati, has fallen on hard times and is living in a shabby Roman hotel. Half-mad and enveloped in memories, the Contessa recounts her past triumphs to an impressionable hotel maid, Nina (Liza Minnelli), who imagines herself playing out the Contessa’s fabled life. As the Contessa fades, Nina blossoms…. Read More »

Sam Wood – Ambush (1950)

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Plot:
The U.S. Cavalry knows that traveling the unmapped Arizona Territory canyons and trails in search of a woman kidnapped by Apaches could mean riding into a trap. So they ask the help of Ward Kinman, a prospector and scout who knows both the terrain and the ways of the warring tribesmen. Nearly a decade after Billy the Kid, Robert Taylor saddled up a second time and portrayed Kinman in Ambush, the film that began his steady string of work in a genre that suited him like a Colt .45 tucked easy into hip leather. Marguerite Roberts (True Grit) offers a script filled with blazing action and romantic subplots. Among the co-stars: Chief Thundercloud (Tonto in The Lone Ranger serials of 1938 and 1939). From Warner Brothers! Read More »

John Farrow – A Bullet Is Waiting (1954)

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Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
A young woman (Jean Simmons) manages a remote California sheep ranch with her father (Brian Aherne). A plane carrying a sheriff (Stephen McNally) and a convicted murderer (Rory Calhoun) crashes nearby. Both men are cared for by the girl, who doesn’t know at first which is the cop and which is the criminal. She falls in love with the convicted man and believes protestations of innocence, but the vindictive sheriff tries to dissuade her of these feelings. Given several chances to finish each other off, both sheriff and convict relent. Under the influence of the girl, they agree to return to Utah together, where (it is implied) the criminal will be given a bias-free trial. Read More »

Piero Schivazappa – Femina ridens AKA The Frightened Woman (1969)

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With a style that is reminiscent of erotica guru, Radley Metzger, it is hard to believe that he did not direct The Frightened Woman. However, one can see why Metzger chose to release the film under his company Audubon Films. Imagine sets that are similar to Camille 2000, a sensual score by Stelvio Cipriani, and the perversity (though not nearly as extreme) of the Marquis de Sade combined in one film. Read More »