Emilio Fernández – Salón México (1949)

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Plot Synopsys:
A famous cabaret in Mexico City, Salón Mexico was staffed by ficheras, women who charged clients for dancing and, more often than not, for sex. Fernández’s celebrated melodrama tells the story of one such dancer, Mercedes (Marga López) who must fight off the attentions of an abusive pimp while working to finance the schooling of her younger sister. A danzón contest offers salvation, but will Mercedes see her chance of redemption cruelly snatched away? Deliciously dark with noir overtones, its fine performances are matched by Gabriel Figueroa’s superlative cinematography. Read More »

Eric Rohmer – Une étudiante d’aujourd’hui aka A Modern Coed (1966)

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Synopsis

The portrait of a female student in the mid-60s Paris.

Review

Eric Rohmer directs this short documentary that narrates the presence of women in French universities as of the time of its release — 1966. During the film’s short run, the narrator continues to point out that during the advent of World War II, only 21,000 women attended college and made only a 30 % of the student body, a number that by the 1964-1965 school year had passed the 120,000 mark. Instead of opting to live according to what was expected of them, now they were joining the work force, trading in aprons for lab jackets and becoming professionals even after getting married.

I recall this being something of a staple in French class back in the Eighties — as a matter of fact, several books on learning French published in the Sixties point at conversations that mention Une étudiante d’aujourd’hui
Source : IMDb Read More »

Richard Linklater – Waking Life (2001)

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synopsis

Richard Linklater returned to the semi-improvised approach and philosophical themes of his debut feature Slacker while embracing a new and groundbreaking visual technology in his sixth feature film, Waking Life. Linklater and cameraman Tommy Pallotta shot the film on location in Austin, TX, using digital video equipment. Linklater and digital animator Bob Sabiston then used newly developed computer software to transform the images through a process called “interpolated rotoscoping”; the result merges the naturalism of live action with a stylized look that resembles a cartoon or a painting in motion. Waking Life’s flexible, non-narrative approach follows a young man (Wiley Wiggins) who arrives in Austin and hitches a ride with a stranger, who engages him in a conversation about rarely considered facets of existentialism. As the visitor drifts through the city, he encounters a variety of people and finds himself absorbing their views on art, philosophy, society, and numerous other issues of contemporary life. Linklater’s cast is dotted with well-known actors (Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Adam Goldberg, Nicky Katt) and pop-culture notables (filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, Martin Scorsese associate Steven Prince, comic Louis Black), alongside a large number of relatively little-known players. Waking Life received its world premiere at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival; Linklater’s next film, Tape, was also screened at the same festival.by Mark Deming Read More »

Bernard Queysanne – Un homme qui dort aka The Man Asleep (1974)

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english description :
In this French tour-de-force a young student (Jacques Speisser) decides to have no more interaction with the world than is needed to minimally sustain life. His increasingly automaton-like behavior is coupled with a strange clarity of insight about the world around him. His inner musings as he wanders the luminous streets of Paris are narrated in the form of an unwritten diary by Ludmila Mikael. Read More »

Richard Kern – Fingered (1986)

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Film Reviews

“FINGERED is the ultimate date move for psychos. It’s the best hillbilly-punk-art-porno movie in the world and I always show it to people very late at night to make them happy” John Waters

Lydia Lunch returns as a phone sex operator who hooks up with one of her clients. They go on a crime spree, memorably kidnapping and terrorizing a young teen girl (Lung Leg). If you take away all the hardcore sex and violence, this has all been done before. Lunch is always watchable, however. Charles Tatum|eFilmCritic.com Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – Notre musique [+ extra] (2004)

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Quote:
Jean-Luc Godard, pioneer of the New Wave, has always delighted in breaking rules. Even with almost 90 features to his name, the long an established master still shows the same glee thumping his nose at convention as he did over thirty years ago, when he burst on the scene with “Breathless.”
His latest film, “Notre Musique,” is a unqiue blend of almost abstract cinema, fiction, and documentary. It opens with a montage entitled “Hell,” which shows real and fictional footage of carnage: soldiers, atrocities, war. As brief as it is, the relentless and strangely beautiful barrage of violence is enough to make anybody despair of the human race. Read More »

Eric Rohmer – Les Amours d’Astrée et de Céladon AKA Romance of Astree and Celadon (2007)

Reviews:
Although Eric Rohmer’s fresh, unadorned style rarely sits heavily on his films, The Romance of Astrée et de Céladon, his adaptation of 17th century writer Honoré d’Urfé’s 5th century fable of affronted love, not only features an usual absence of intellectual banter, but is more importantly the lightest and silliest the director has been in ages. These are not pejorative descriptions—the film’s wholesome delight in d’Urfé’s modest whimsy amongst the 5th century Gauls of druids, nymphs and many amorous declarations of assured sincerity and flighty infidelity, the director’s own sweet, unexpected eroticism, and the film’s gentle spirit simply make a work that is light, lovely, and strange.
– D. Kasman (D-kaz.com) Read More »