Sam Peckinpah – The Getaway (1972)

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Allmovie synopsis:

In Sam Peckinpah’s version of Walter Hill’s script, from Jim Thompson’s novel, an ex-con and his wife go on the lam after a Texas bank heist. Denied parole after four well-behaved years, Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen) sends his wife Carol (Ali MacGraw) to dirty politician Jack Benyon (Ben Johnson) to get him out of prison. Carol secures Doc’s freedom, on the condition that he does one more bank job for Benyon. Doc and his accomplices Rudy (Al Lettieri) and Jackson (Bo Hopkins) get the cash, but Doc soon discovers how Rudy intends to keep it all for himself and how Carol convinced Benyon to get him sprung. While Rudy hijacks a veterinarian and his wife (Sally Struthers) to take him to get Doc in El Paso, Doc and Carol make their own embattled way south with the money, threatening to desert each other before reaching a trash dump rapprochement after a harrowing garbage truck episode. All sides converge in El Paso for a shootout, but trust a happily married old-timer (Slim Pickens) to help Doc and Carol have a future. With violence shot in his trademark balletic style, Peckinpah does not hide the damage that Doc can do, whether to a cop car or an enemy. Still, as in such other morally relative outlaw movies as Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Peckinpah’s western The Wild Bunch (1969), Doc may be a criminal and killer when necessary, but his and Carol’s loyalty to each other elevates them above their crooked milieu. With its non-traditional traditional couple played by the then hot (and notoriously adulterous) stars McQueen and MacGraw, The Getaway was a substantial hit. It was lackadaisically remade with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger in 1994.. Read More »

Dario Argento – Dracula (2012)

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A young librarian, Jonathan Harker, is welcomed at Castle Dracula by the Count and a young woman named Tania, who seems intent on seducing Harker. The Count prevents Tania from biting the young man, but Dracula attacks Harker himself, leaving him weak. Harker attempts to escape the castle, but is killed by a wolf. Harker’s wife, Mina, arrives in the village and stays at the home of her friend, Lucy Kisslinger. Worried about her husband, she visits the castle, and falls under the spell of the Count. It transpires that Dracula has engineered their meeting, because Mina is the reincarnation of his long-lost love, Dolinger. Lucy also becomes undead before the mysterious happenings in the village attract the attention of vampire expert Van Helsing, who prepares for final combat with his deadliest foe. Read More »

Jill Sprecher – Clockwatchers (1997)

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Synopsis:

‘Iris can best be described as a wallflower. She begins her first day as a temp for the nondescript Global Credit Association by waiting in a chair for two hours. This sets the scene for her (mis)adventures with the other “corporate orphans”, Margaret, Paula and Jane. Led by Margaret, they find subtle ways to lessen the ennui of corporate oppression. The tension escalates when the new permanent hire, Cleo, enters the picture.’
– Vanessa Exum (IMDb)
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Paolo Virzì – Il capitale umano AKA Human Capital (2013)

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Synopsis
The destinies of two families are irrevocably tied together after a cyclist is hit off the road by a jeep in the night before Christmas Eve.
IMDb.com Read More »

Alain Escalle – Le Conte Du Monde Flottant AKA The Tale of the Floating World (2001)


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IMDB user Review:

Artifacts Don’t Move

The idea of this, and the ideas of how we might watch it, are more engaging than the thing itself.

Japan is a collection of notions about what it was, perhaps more-so than any other culture with visibility. Both Japanese and the west look on that collection of cultural relics, sometimes to mine for expressive power.

(Arabia and Persia have a similar dynamic which differs in being based on knowledge rather than refinements in society. It also differs in that it destroyed what they had themselves — and deliberately, so only the anger at loss remains and none of the reference to introspection.) Read More »

Vittorio De Sica – I girasoli AKA Sunflower (1970)

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Sunflower, or as it is known in Italian I Girasoli, is a movie about how time continues to march on after war whether or not a person’s life does. Casualties on the battlefield is one way in which we discuss how brutal and total a war’s destruction was, but Sunflower offers another way to look at things: the collateral damage, which pertains not just to those civilians who are accidentally killed but to those whose lives are shattered by being in the general area. It makes the horrors of World War II in Italy accessible to us by focusing on how time marches on and leaves behind the broken emotional pieces of a man and a woman.

Vittorio de Sica, the maestro behind such classics as Marriage Italian Style and Yesterday Today and Tomorrow, directs this Italian film with his two favorite stars, Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, in a story that blends harsh neo-realist imagery with sentiment, touches of comedy and melodrama. Admittedly, the film could easily come across as overtly melodramatic, even sophomoric. And I could see where others might view the film as such. But de Sica was a wonderful director, and combing these kinds of tones and dealing with these storylines was his bread and butter. For me, the melodrama and sentiment is part of the specific Italian flavor in his films. It is also of historical note to point out that Sunflower was the first Western film to be shot in the Soviet Union. Read More »

Yinan Diao – Ye che aka Night Train (2007)

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From DVD distributor trigon-film:

Wu Hongyan, woman executioner in her thirties, works at the court in the province of Shaanxi in China, where she executes women condemned to death only. In spite of her macabre job, Wu Hongyan travels every weekend to a town nearby to join parties organized by a marriage bureau. The result of her dating is mediocre, until she meets the mysterious Li Jun. But she is thousands of miles away of imagining that Li Jun’s wife is the last of the women she executed. Electrifying! Read More »