Gilles Marchand – L’autre monde AKA Black Heaven (2010)

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Synopsis:

A loyal man is tempted both in real life and in cyberspace in this thriller from director Gilles Marchand. Gaspard and his girlfriend Marion head out to Marseilles for a few weeks of sunshine and relaxation, but after spending a few hours by the pool one day, he finds a lost cell phone in the locker room. Gaspard isn’t sure what he should do with the phone, and he’s all the more puzzled when the phone rings and he finds himself having to help Audrey, an attractive but disturbed woman threatening to kill herself. Gaspard and Marion help Audrey before she can take her own life, but while Gaspard is deeply in love with Marion, he’s powerfully intrigued by Audrey. Gaspard discovers Audrey is a serious fan of an on-line role playing game called Black Hole, and he begins playing too, creating a character that bears little resemblance to his own personality. The fictive Gaspard becomes all the more attracted to Audrey in the virtual environment, until he realizes she’s not as benign as he first thought. ~ Allmovie Read More »

Yoav Shamir – 5 Days (2006)


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On the 15th of August 2005, Israel began the Disengagement of the Gaza Strip. In a unilateral move decided on by the Israeli government, the Jewish settlers were removed from their homes and villages.
After years of confrontation with the Palestinians, the Israeli army has earned a reputation for firmness. For the first time, it is being forced to turn its iron fist against a Jewish population. This film tracks the key events of the Disengagement over the course of five days.

This human mosaic will tell the story of the Disengagement from very different perspectives; they provide the narrative of an Israeli society in all its complexity, confronting a unique historical moment. Read More »

Chantal Akerman – D’Est aka From the East (1993)

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Chicago Reader wrote:
Chantal Akerman’s haunting 1993 masterpiece documents without commentary or dialogue her several-months-long trip from east Germany to Moscow–a tough and formally rigorous inventory of what the former Soviet bloc looks and feels like today. Akerman’s painterly penchant for finding Edward Hopper wherever she goes has never been more obvious; this travelogue seemingly offers vistas any alert tourist could find yet delivers a series of images and sounds that are impossible to shake later: the countless tracking shots, the sense of people forever waiting, the rare occurrence of a plaintive offscreen violin over an otherwise densely ambient sound track, static glimpses of roadside sites and domestic interiors, the periphery of an outdoor rock concert, a heavy Moscow snowfall, a crowded terminal where weary people and baggage are huddled together like so many dropped handkerchiefs. The only other film I know that imparts such a vivid sense of being somewhere is the Egyptian section of Straub-Huillet’s Too Early, Too Late. Everyone goes to movies in search of events, but the extraordinary events in Akerman’s sorrowful, intractable film are the shots themselves–the everyday recorded by a powerful artist with an acute eye and ear. Read More »

Agnieszka Holland – Aktorzy prowincjonalni aka Provincial Actors (1979)

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Talented Polish director Agnieszka Holland who would be better known in later years because of her films like Europa, Europa (1991) or some of her American works like Washington Square (1997), hits the mark early and again with this ostensible story about provincial actors in Poland. In reality, the comedy-drama can be read as a commentary on the contemporary Polish scene in politics and society. The story begins as a savvy director arrives in a small town to put on a stage play. His leading man is filled with insecurities and goes beyond the confines of his lead role to expand his part, restore his cut lines, and generally outdo himself while taking on some of everyone else’s job, including the director’s. No one wants to lose him because of his drawing power, and the director is caught in a bind. At the same time, the lead actor’s wife is slowly losing her chances at success, being relegated to a much lesser position in the troupe. This fine comedy won the Fipresci award at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

allmovie.com Read More »

René Vautier – Avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès AKA To Be Twenty in the Aures (1972)


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Summary
In 1961, a group of pacifist Bretons are sent to fight in France’s war against Algeria. Reluctant warriors, they are moulded into killing machines by the inspirational lieutenant Perrin and soon find their first taste of conflict. One of the group continues to rebel against the folly of the war and goes on the run with an Algerian prisoner. For all concerned, the experience will not be easily forgotten – for those that survive, that is… Read More »

Emil Loteanu – Lautarii (1973)

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Leader of a traveling gypsy band from the steppes of Bessarabia (now Moldova), Toma Alistar is a skilled violinist whose fame takes him on tours around European capitals and royal courts. He remains obsessed with his first love, beautiful Leanca who was married elsewhere while Toma was traveling, and spends his life and fortune trying to find her. Written by Markku Kuoppamäki Read More »

Nikos Papatakis – Gloria mundi aka Tortura (1976)

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The young actress Galai is hired by his friend and director Hamdias to interpret a film
denouncing the torture of suspected terrorists during the war of Algeria. The woman,
using audio recordings made during the torture, practices the worst violence on
herself to make her own interpretation as realistic as possible, to confuse reality with
fiction. Galai, as the character she plays, is a part, along with her lover, a subversive
movement. In an attempt to rejoin Hamdias is forced to flee an exhausting marked by
humiliation and betrayal that ends in an unpredictable finish. Read More »