Agasi Babayan – Dersu Uzala (1961)

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This is little known the first version of “Dersu Uzala” from 1961.
The famous Kurosawa’s “Dersu Uzala” is a remake made 15 years later, in 1975.

SYNOPSIS:
Dersu Uzala is a 1961 Soviet film, adapted from the books of Vladimir Arsenyev, about his travels in Russian Far East with a native trapper, Dersu Uzala.

The film was produced by Mosnauchfilm, directed by Agasi Babayan with screenwriter Igor Bolgarin and featuring Adolf Shestakov and Kasym Zhakibayev.

The film won the Golden Wolf at the 1961 Bucharest Film Festival. Read More »

Robert Downey Sr. – Pound (1970)

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Quote:
There’s something liberating about director Robert Downey’s films, even when by rights they should be put on a leash by their small budgets and settings. Never was the case truer than in POUND, the kind of project that major studios would run a mile from. Long out of circulation, Downey’s film populates a dog pound with different human characters who pace about their cage, uncertain about their future. Some wait in hope for their owners to redeem them, others plot to escape, but most wait to see if they will make it to the end of the day without getting ‘The Needle’. It seems like a cute gimmick to have human characters playing dogs, but Downey has never been one to play by the rules, even if they would provide an interior logic to his story. The dog-human switcheroo isn’t as straightforward as it should be: the first camera angle inside the pound shows us the characters as dogs, the second shows them again as people. But are we still to treat them as ‘dogs’? They have a TV set in their cage; can understand human speech; and are revealed in flashbacks as having human lives outside of the pound. Read More »

Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani – Chambre jaune (2002)

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The Giallo film reinvented as an experimental S&M-tinged fever dream, told through a combination of color-gelled cinematography and jump-cut photographs, infused with dark sensuality and perverse cruelty. The short films of the directors of Amer are technically rawer than that film, but they show what was to come in terms of themes based on giallo films and an abstract style, from the use of still frames like in Chris Marker’s La Jetee to harsh coloured lighting. They are worth seeing by themselves as a refining of their ideas into a fantastic debut feature film. Read More »

Gino Mangini – La jena di Londra (1964)

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IMDB:
A serial killer called “The Hyena” is finally caught and eventually hanged. However, his body disappears before it can be buried, and soon thereafter dead bodies start turning up in a small village. Read More »

Catalin Mitulescu – Loverboy (2011)

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It’s summer on the Danube river. The music is loud, the cars are fancy, the girls are tanned. Beautiful and exuberant Veli runs away from home. Handsome Luca falls in love with her. This is no fairytale romance. Luca, a 20-year-old boy from a Romanian village, makes girls fall in love with him in order to lure them into prostitution networks in a town nearby. In the language of the police he is a loverboy. Read More »

Alberto Lattuada – Così come sei AKA Stay as you are (1978)

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PLOT:
A May-December romance.
Roué Giulio Marengo, a Roman landscape architect unhappy in his marriage, meets Francesca, a young and beautiful Florentine, and then learns she might be his daughter. He resolves to keep his hands off but can’t seem to stay away, and she’s eager for a lover who’s a father figure. He’s happy to be a kid, so he tries to find out who her father is; his wife knows that something is up; his daughter, who’s Francesca’s age and is pregnant, encourages the affair.
Should he tell Francesca his fears that it might be incest? If he tells her and she doesn’t care, what next? And what of his wife, who still wants to be married? Francesca takes control. Read More »

Chantal Akerman, Bernard Dubois, Philippe Garrel, Frederic Mitterand, Vincent Nordon, Philippe Venault – Paris vu par… vingt ans après (1984)

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Directors:
Chantal Akerman, Bernard Dubois, Philippe Garrel, Frederic Mitterand, Vincent Nordon, Philippe Venault

“Two young French filmmakers, Bernard Dubois and Philippe Venault, had the provocative idea of making a follow-up to the 1964 anthology film, Paris vu par, that became a manifesto for the emerging directors of the New Wave. Unfortunately, the unity of that movement is long gone, and this new project is wildly uneven, ranging from the brilliant (Chantal Akerman’s opening sketch, J’ai faim, j’ai froid, is an entire coming-of-age film compressed into 12 frenetic, hilarious, and ultimately touching minutes) to the intriguing (Philippe Garrel’s Rue Fontaine offers a rare Stateside opportunity to see the work of this acclaimed avant-gardist, whose work suggests a crossing of John Cassavetes with early German expressionism) to the mediocre (the segments by Dubois, Venault, and Frederic Mitterrand) to the unwatchable (Vincent Nordon’s Paris-Plage, certainly the longest 13 minutes in film history). A sad lesson emerges–that the French have no more new ideas than we do–but the Akerman itself is worth it all.” -Jonathan Rosenbaum Read More »