Juan Bustillo Oro & Fernando de Fuentes – El compadre Mendoza AKA Godfather Mendoza (1934)

Synopsis:
During Mexican Revolution, Rosalio Mendoza (Del Diestro) survives by making and winning favors from both factions, the governmental forces and Zapata’s Army. His hacienda welcomes everybody, and Mendoza is considered a good friend of his guests. Eventually, the situation becomes unsustainable and he has to take sides. Betrayal and deception overcome and Mendoza’s dark side surfaces. Read More »

Salvador del Solar – Magallanes (2015)

Quote:
“Del Solar turns the screws on the audience expertly, but the thriller elements never distract from the moral crisis of a man — and a country — whose decades-old mistakes cling to him like a tattoo”
—Variety

Taxi driver Magallanes (Damián Alcázar) struggles to get by, and spends his spare time with his former military superior, a once-feared colonel during the civil conflict, who is now senile. Read More »

Takehiro Nakajima – Kyôshû AKA Remembrance [+Extra] (1988)

This ATG film is a family drama set in 1953 in a small rural town in Tosa, Kochi. This was the first directorial effort by Takehiro Nakajima, a novelist whose work was adapted into Preparation for the Festival by Kazuo Kuroki. Read More »

Raymond Red – Sakay (1993)

Quote:
“Filipinas, farewell! Long live the Republic and may our independence be born in the future!”

Those were Macario Sakay’s last words before he was executed by hanging on September 13, 1907 for treason. His real crime was patriotism, breaking rank with the leaders who sold out the Philippine Revolution to the United States and waging a guerrilla resistance against the American colonial government. They called he and his soldiers “banditos,” a label which has stuck in the minds of many Filipinos generations later (that is, if they even remember his name). His existence in Philippine history negates the official narrative that the Philippine-American war ended in 1902. True patriots continued to invoke his name as a symbol of the unfinished revolution. It would take nearly 90 years after his death before director Raymond Red’s “Sakay” (1993), one of the most accessible and well-crafted bio-pics ever made in the Philippines. Read More »

Víctor Erice – El espíritu de la colmena AKA The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) (HD)

Quote:
Like many of the other commentators here, I had heard about this movie long before I had ever had a chance to see it, although it typically is mentioned as one of Spain’s greatest films. It definitely is. It is masterfully directed and I have not been able to stop thinking about it for days. Read More »

F.W. Murnau – Die Finanzen des Großherzogs AKA The Finances of the Grand Duke (1924)

The likeable and carefree Grand Duke of Abacco is in dire straits. There is no money left to service the State’s debt; the main creditor is looking forward to expropriating the entire Duchy. The marriage with Olga, Grand Duchess of Russia, would solve everything, but a crucial letter of hers about the engagement has been stolen. Besides, a bunch of revolutionaries and a dubious businessman have other plans regarding the Grand Duke. With the intrusion of adventurer Philipp Collins into the Grand Duke’s affairs, a series of frantic chases, plots and counter-plots begins… Read More »

Edward Buzzell – Easy to Wed [+Extras] (1946)

Quote:
This is one of the few times at MGM Lucy was given a chance to exploit her full comedic range, and she goes at it with gusto. From the moment she makes her whirlwind entrance looking absolutely gorgeous in a white wedding gown, she commands the screen whenever the camera is on her. In fact, though the movie ostensibly “stars” Van Johnson and Esther Williams, the bland leads take a back seat to the lively pairing of Lucy and Keenan Wynn, as her somewhat morally corrupt boyfriend. Forget comparisons to “Libeled Lady”; “Easy to Wed” is of a different era, and much more slapsticky, and, as noted, Lucy is a gem whether getting drunk and playing the piano or evincing true pathos as a wronged woman. She has rarely been photographed more appealingly, either. Read More »