In 2011 Portugal began the so-called “year of the Troika” (EU, IMF and ECB budget cuts and economic restructuring), with the level of debt among the Portuguese people reaching staggering amounts and a growing number of families and companies unable to repay their installment loans. Jorge is an unemployed boxer on the verge of losing his son and his wife, who has decided to return to Brazil. As a means of paying off his debt and persuading his wife to remain in Portugal, Jorge accepts a job with a debt-collection agency, which will drag him into a world of violence and crime. Continue reading Marco Martins – São Jorge AKA Saint George (2016)
For a film so widely and indelibly remembered, Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan has confounded a surprising number of critics over the years. Ever since its release in 1965, there have been those who have found it too long, too artificial, too self-consciously exotic, not socially minded enough for the director of The Human Condition (1959–61) and Harakiri (1962), not scary or gory enough to qualify as a horror film. To be sure, this four-part adaptation of four renowned ghost stories by Lafcadio Hearn—not quite comparable to any other film, regardless of genre or country of origin, and unique in Kobayashi’s oeuvre—defies easy categorization. That is perhaps why it has remained for countless viewers such a singular experience, clinging to memory like an unshakable dream, a glimpse into some alternate zone where light falls differently on faces, time moves by a different measure, and terror blends disturbingly with beauty. Continue reading Masaki Kobayashi – Kaidan AKA Kwaidan [uncut] [+commentary] (1964)
Plot summary on imdb
Naderi’s second film is set in the slums of Tehran. Hanging out in a pool hall, Ali Khoshdast becomes involved in a brawl with three brothers, and accidently kills one of them. He runs for his life, eventually taking refuge in the home of a young woman. The victim’s brothers continue the chase, and finally close in on him. Following the murder, streets, alleys and houses that were all part of Ali’s everyday world suddenly become dangerous and hostile. Although in many ways a classic tale of revenge, Naderi uses this story to imply that an underlying violence pervades society, ready to burst forth with or without justification. Written by Anonymous Continue reading Amir Naderi – Tangna AKA Strait (1973)
Welcome to the world of the Fuccon Family, aka Oh Mikey!, a bizarre and amazing mannequin drama that has taken Japan by storm. Based on a popular independent film, OH! Mikey is the bizarre and hilarious story of the Fuccon family, who have come from America to live in Japan, despite the fact that they are mannequins.
Some episodes of the series were a little too spicy to air, and determined unfit for airing and were cut from the broadcast version. However, these cut scenes have been restored in HARDCORE where you get to see cut scenes from 8 different episodes. Continue reading Yoshimasa Ishibashi – Oh! Mikey Hard Core (2005)
In expressive, melodic tones, the fraternal pair debate God’s true message and intent for His creations, a conflict that leads their followers – in extravagantly choreographed song and dance – towards chaos and sin.
Moses and Aaron finds Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, through their exemplary craft, transforming a familiar Biblical tale into a borderline-surreal cinematic opera of seemingly endless possibility. In expressive, melodic tones, the fraternal pair debate God’s true message and intent for His creations, a conflict that leads their followers — in extravagantly choreographed song and dance — towards chaos and sin. Set almost entirely within a Roman amphitheater whose history lends every precise line-reading and gesture, every startling camera move and cut, a totalizing force, Straub-Huillet’s adaptation of Schoenberg’s unfinished opera opens us to the stimulating worldview of a filmmaking duo whose masterful efforts are finally coming to light. Continue reading Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Moses und Aron (1975)
Two teenage friends, Eugenia (Ornella Muti) and Nicola (Eleonora Giorgi) conspire to find out how much their youthful sensuality can disrupt one of their households, headed by a dentist, Dr. Emilio Rutelli (Gabriele Ferzetti) and his mentally-ill wife Elisa (Valentina Cortese).
Chronicling the competition of two nubile girls who attempt to seduce the patriarch of a household, Gianluigi Calderone’s movie didn’t shy away from depicting such forbidden subjects as incest or the early sexual awakening of teenagers. This disturbing story was made more all the sensual by the lush underscore of Piero Piccioni. “Valzer di Valentina” (Valentina’ waltz) is one of hist most famous themes. Continue reading Gianluigi Calderone – Appassionata (1974)
Based upon a true incident in 1930s Japan, Nagisa Oshima’s controversial film effectively skirts the borderline between pornography and art — making Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris of four years earlier look like children’s programming in comparison. The story concerns servant and former prostitute Sada Abe (Eiko Matsuda) who becomes sexually obsessed with her employer Kizicho (Tatsuya Fuji), a businessman, after seeing him making love to his wife. After making love to Sada, Kizicho becomes obsessed with her as well. As their love-making becomes more and more intense, they find themselves unable to separate themselves from each other, until every waking hour is spent in more and more dangerous sexual acts with Sada becoming more and more of the aggressor. Finally, for the ultimate in eroticism, Kizicho agrees to be strangled during sexual ecstasy for the ultimate in orgasmic fulfillment. Continue reading Nagisa Ôshima – Ai no korîda AKA In the Realm of the Senses (1976)