Tomu Uchida – Kiga kaikyo aka The Straight of Hunger (1965)

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A very complete article about Tomu Uchida :
Here some words coming from it and about this particular film :
“Straits of Hunger is a definite attempt on his part to essay the modernist style and subject matter then being mined by such as Imamura (whose work in my opinion it surpasses). By this time Uchida worked invariably in colour; for this film only, the grainy look of ’60s black and white ‘Scope was aped and intensified by the decision to shoot on 16mm before blowing up to 35. The film is the story of a criminal, Inukai, who escapes justice after a theft which caused the destruction of a Hokkaido town. A brief encounter with a prostitute leads her to become romantically obsessed with him; years later, seeing his photograph in the newspaper, she goes to look for him, only to be killed by him when she threatens to betray his now hidden past. The narrative construction is masterly. The film is divided into three segments, each of different timbre: the first, an action-packed account of Inukai’s flight; the second, a bleak and realistic study of the life in Tokyo of the lovelorn prostitute; the third, an account of the psychological duel between cop and criminal. The drama moves, with geographical symmetry, from the strait dividing Hokkaido from Japan’s main island of Honshu, through northern Honshu to Tokyo, then northward again to conclude at the strait. The symmetry gives the film a sense of inevitability, as the past exerts a controlling influence on the present. Continue reading

Ana Lily Amirpour – A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

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“The first Iranian Vampire Western ever made, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype, and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave.”

Synopsis: In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire. Continue reading

Frank V. Ross – Tiger Tail in Blue (2012)

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Christopher and Melody are a couple in the midst of their first year of marriage. Christopher is a writer by day, but by night serves wine and food to people without discerning tastes. Melody is a teacher who finds herself exhausted with instruction, grading, and parent-teacher meetings. Less by choice than by chance (or maybe necessity), they keep opposing schedules that leave little time for one another. As a result, their interactions are abbreviated, sometimes impersonal, and over time their relationship suffers. But perhaps for the better? Continue reading

Claude Chabrol – Les Bonnes Femmes aka The Good Time Girls (1960)

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inette, Rita, Jacqueline and Jane try to find fulfillment and love in their lives. Rita has a fiancé whose family is obsessed with social distinction; Jane has a boy-friend in the army, but does not hesitate to enjoy herself with chance encounters; Ginette has a mysterious passion that keeps her away from her colleagues at nights. Jacqueline is lonely; but who is that mysterious bike-rider who is constantly following her? Continue reading

Alain Resnais – Providence (1977)

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The first English-language film from Alain Resnais, this drama about a spiteful, alcoholic novelist contains the French director’s typically playful surrealist touches and recurring use of characters shackled by memory. John Gielgud stars as Clive Langham, a drunken author in failing health who spends an increasingly intoxicated evening at his estate working on his new novel. Clive bases the characters in the melodramatic story on his own family, including his two sons, Claude (Dirk Bogarde) and the illegitimate Kevin (David Warner), as well as Claude’s wife Sonia (Ellen Burstyn). Imagining a bitter love triangle full of spite between the three protagonists of his tale, Clive uses generous doses of imagination and symbolism, including a discordant soccer player (Denis Lawson) related to Kevin and werewolves. Continue reading

Alain Tanner – Les hommes du port (1995)

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After 40 years Alain Tanner again travels to the port of Genoa, where he worked for a shipping company as a 22-year-old. On the back of his own memories he depicts the rough world of the dockworkers, another of those trades that has undergone fundamental changes as a result of recessions, modernisation and liberalisation. “The visual impression of the harbour and the city has changed very little, but what goes on there nowadays is completely different. The city is still as beautiful and alien and somewhat sad as before. But the port is dying, like so many other major ports. In Genoa, as elsewhere in Italy, the economic, social and political climate is highly explosive. But you also feel that things are in flow and the country is on the verge of some far-reaching changes. (…) In this film I wanted to explore my own memories of Genoa, uncover its present and guess at its future. Genoa, this beautiful, this sad, this alien town has become for me a metaphor for society in change.” Continue reading