Krzysztof Kieslowski – Blizna AKA The Scar (1976)

Quote:
Films made under the state socialist regimes of Eastern Europe in the mid-twentieth century tend to fall roughly into two categories: the rigidly institutional and the scathingly anti-establishment. These films either serve to trumpet the cause of Communism or else find ways to avoid or subvert its conventions. The early films of Krzysztof Kieslowski present a slightly different alternative. On the one hand, these films duck the scrutiny of government censors with minute, incisive portraits of the system’s failings; but on the other, they tend to humanize and complicate the causes of these failings. Rather than make the system seem a corrupt, faceless entity, Kieslowski’s early films present a collection of individuals whose personal problems and shortcomings compose this system and thereby bring about its failure. Read More »

Paul Turner – Hedd Wyn (1992)

Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Language film in 1994, this Welsh language film tells the true story of a young poet’s fight to protect his family, his loves and his burning ambition under the shadow of the First World War.

Directed by Paul Turner, the director of photography is Ray Orton, who was also responsible for the cinematography in Gadael Lenin and Branwen. Read More »

Peter Davis – Hearts and Minds [+ Commentary] (1974)

Academy Award for Best Documentary (1975).

“We weren’t on the wrong side. We were the wrong side.”

A courageous and startling film, Peter Davis’s landmark documentary Hearts and Minds unflinchingly confronts the United States’ involvement in Vietnam. Using a wealth of sources—from interviews to newsreels to documentary footage of the conflict at home and abroad—Davis constructs a powerfully affecting portrait of the disastrous effects of war. Explosive, persuasive, and shocking, Hearts and Minds is an overwhelming emotional experience and the controversial winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Read More »

Walter Hill – Hard Times (1975)

Synopsis:
During the Great Depression, the mysterious drifter Chaney befriends the promoter of illegal street fights Speed and they go to New Orleans to make money fighting on the streets. Speed is welcomed by his mistress Gayleen Schoonoverand invites his former partner Poe to team-up with them. Meanwhile Chaney has a love affair with the local Lucy Simpson. Speed has a huge debt with the dangerous loan shark Doty and borrows money to promote the fight of Chaney and the local champion Jim Henry, who is managed by the also promoter. Casey wins the fight, they make a lot of money but Speed is an addicted gambler and loses his share in the dice table. But Doty wants his money back and Speed’s only chance is Chaney accepts to bet his own money that he is saving and fight a winner that Gandil brought from Chicago. Will he accept the challenge? Read More »

Malgorzata Szumowska – Elles AKA Sponsoring (2011)

Quote:
On her latest assignment, a journalist for Elle immerses herself in a prostitution ring run by university students. Read More »

Rowland V. Lee – Tower of London (1939)

In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King Edward IV of England. As each murder is accomplished he takes particular delight in removing small figurines, each resembling one of the successors, from a throne-room dollhouse, until he alone remains. After the death of Edward he becomes Richard III, King of England, and need only defeat the exiled Henry Tudor to retain power. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Amator AKA Camera Buff (1979)

Quote:
It all starts when Filip Mosz (Jerzy Stuhr) buys a little 8mm movie camera to film his new-born baby. Like a true enthusiast, Filip enters into the spirit of his new hobby, filming everything that moves and working on the material on a small editing suite. When he is commissioned by his boss to film a reception being held to commemorate the company’s 25th anniversary, he becomes aware of the pressures of outside expectations and even censorship. The film however gets entered into an amateur film festival and wins third prize (second prize really since none were judged good enough to win first prize!) and he soon finds himself caught up in the world of TV and film-making, helped by an attractive film producer. Read More »