Yasujirô Ozu – Shukujo to hige aka The Lady And The Beard [+Extras] (1931)

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The Lady and the Beard, directed by Yasujiro Ozu and starring Tokihiko Okada, is a charming light comedy about a young man who graduates from college, falls in love, shaves his beard at his lady’s suggestion, and finds a job. It’s very charming, and very light. Even my brief summary suggests more plot than actually exists. The film is largely a series of comic vignettes about a vibrant young man and three young women of differing temperaments who take an interest in him. [commentarytrack.com] Read More »

Marianne Kaplan – The Boy Inside (2006)

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Award-winning filmmaker Marianne Kaplan shares her son’s struggle to graduate elementary school in this intensely personal documentary about growing up with Asperger Syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism characterized by socially inappropriate behavior. The Boy Inside follows 12-year-old Adam as he tries desperately to control his outbursts and make sense of bullies, girls and life in the real world. A rare insight into an increasingly common neurological disorder, this film is the story of a family on the edge as they work to overcome a form of autism the world is only now beginning to recognize. Read More »

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Appunti per un film sull’india AKA Notes for a Film on India (1968)

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here’s very little about this film on the internet. Pasolini travels to India to make notes about a future film he planned on making. He examines differences between the modern India and the historical one found in its mythologies and vedic texts by posing a particular question based on a didactic anecdote that no longer seems to apply in a twentieth century world. This ‘prehistory’ forms most of the first part of the film. The second part covers a modern India marred by social divisions, overpopulation and poverty. Pasolini keeps his focus on the human tragedy involved at all times. Read More »

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma AKA Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

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Set in the Nazi-controlled, northern Italian state of Salo in 1944, four dignitaries round up sixteen perfect specimens of youth and take them together with guards, servants and studs to a palace near Marzabotto. In addition, there are four middle-aged women: three of whom recount arousing stories whilst the fourth accompanies on the piano. The story is largely taken up with their recounting the stories of Dante and De Sade: the Circle of Manias, the Circle of Shit and the Circle of Blood. Read More »

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Il Fiore delle mille e una notte AKA Arabian Nights (1974)

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The concluding part of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Trilogy Of Life”, following The Decameron and The Canterbury Tales, Arabian Nights corrects many of the mistakes found in the latter, noticeably its ramshackle, uneven approach, and returns to the charming territory of the former. Indeed, the film is as good as The Decameron, if not better, and is generally considered to be the trilogies crowning moment and one of Pasolini’s finest films (critic Tony Rayns recently included it amongst his choices for Sight and Sound’s 2002 Top Ten Critics’ Poll). Read More »

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Porcile aka Pigsty [+Extras] (1969)

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One of Pasolini’s most enigmatic films, it extends his cinematic obsessions into the realms of cannibalism and bestiality with two interweaving stories of two young men who become sacrificial victims of their different societies. One of them is a soldier and cannibal (Clementi) in a medieval wasteland and the other a son (Léaud) of an ex-Nazi industrialist (Tognazzi) in modern-day Germany. The young German is more attracted to pigs than to his fiancée (Wiazemsky). This rather silly parable, very much a product of the late 1960s, in which the bourgeoisie is caricatured, is filmed with such calm beauty and underlying disgust that it seems to gain in significance. Theorem (1968) and Pigsty were the only films in which the Marxist Pasolini dealt directly with the hated middle classes; thereafter he left the 20th-century behind until his final film, Salo (1975), which looks at even more extreme human actions. Read More »

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma AKA Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) (HD)

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The notorious final film from Pier Paolo Pasolini, Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom has been called nauseating, shocking, depraved, pornographic . . . It’s also a masterpiece. The controversial poet, novelist, and filmmaker’s transposition of the Marquis de Sade’s eighteenth-century opus of torture and degradation to Fascist Italy in 1944 remains one of the most passionately debated films of all time, a thought-provoking inquiry into the political, social, and sexual dynamics that define the world we live in. (-Criterion) Read More »