Santiago Álvarez – Ciclón AKA Cyclone (1963)

CICLÓN is a coverage of hurricane Flora’s sweeping the Cuban provinces of Camagüey and Oriente in October 1963: the damage, the evacuation of the villages, and the aid to victims. Read More »

Santiago Álvarez – Now (1965)

Using morgue photos, newsreel footage, and a recording by Lena Horne, Cuban filmmaker Santiago Alvarez fired off ‘Now!’, one of the most powerful bursts of propaganda rendered in the 1960s. Read More »

Vladimir Bortko – Sobache serdtse AKA Heart of a Dog (1988)

Professor Preobrazhensky and his colleague place some human parts into a dog named Sharik. Soon the dog transforms into a human.

Quote:
This movie (and yes, it’s a movie – it was shot as a two-parter, but the two parts together come down to slightly more than 2 hours) is one of the unsung masterpieces of world cinema. A very well-mannered, and yet at the same time absolutely savage denunciation of the Soviet regime and the type of person who flourished under it, the film is a faithful adaptation of the long-banned eponymous book by Mikhail Bulgakov. Read More »

Gürcan Keltek – Gulyabani (2018)

Gulyabani is an entity, a ghoul, an outsider. She’s the restless spirit of a desolate and lonely place. Fethiye Sessiz, a notorious clairvoyant from Izmir in 1970s and 1980s, remembers fractions of her survival from abuse, kidnappings and violence. Recounting the events of her childhood through her diary and letters to her estranged son, Gulyabani recollects the emotional landscape in the most violent period of post-Republic Turkey, where the memory of the future and fragments of the past come together at once. (IMDb) Read More »

Barbara Loden – Wanda (1970) (HD)

Wanda is a 1970 American independent drama film written and directed by Barbara Loden, who also stars in the title role. Set in the anthracite coal region of eastern Pennsylvania, the film focuses on a lone female protagonist with limited options for a better life. Wanda was chosen for the 31st Venice International Film Festival where it won the Pasinetti Award for Best Foreign Film. A restored version of the film was screened out of competition at the 67th Venice International Film Festival in 2010.

In 2017, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Read More »

John Frankenheimer – Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

AMG:
Burt Lancaster sits comfortably in his manly yet sensitive mode as Robert Stroud, and director John Frankenheimer gives him an easy road to absolution. The film manages to stay interesting despite being locked for the most part inside a jail cell. In what has to be his best movie role (outside of perhaps The Dirty Dozen), Telly Savalas brings a lot to the proceedings as a jail mate of Stroud’s. Thelma Ritter, a consistently underrated character actress, is also notable as Stroud’s mother. As Hollywood went through a significant transition in the mid-Sixties, Frankenheimer helped to reshape the action-thriller genre with a string of exciting, intelligent, and successful movies with a distinct political awareness: The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May, The Train, Seconds, and The Fixer were all made in a six-year period after The Birdman from Alcatraz. Read More »

Stephen Frears – My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

Quote:
‘LAUNDRETTE,’ SOCIAL COMEDY SLEEPER
DON’T be put off by the title, which makes it sound like a failed French farce. ”My Beautiful Laundrette,” written by Hanif Kureishi and directed by Stephen Frears, is the first real sleeper of the year.

The film, which opens today at the Embassy 72d Street Theater, is a rude, wise, vivid social comedy about Pakistani immigrants in London, , particularly about the initially naive, university-age Omar (Gordon Warnecke) and Omar’s extended family of wheeler-dealers and unassimilated layabouts. Read More »