Lino Brocka – Insiang (1976)

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Quote:
Jealousy and violence take center stage in this claustrophobic melo­drama, a tautly constructed character study set in the slums of Manila. Lino Brocka crafts an eviscerating portrait of an innocent daughter and her bitter mother as women scorned. Insiang leads a quiet life dominated by household duties, but after she is raped by her mother’s lover and abandoned by the young man who claims to care for her, she exacts vicious revenge. A savage commentary on the degradations of urban poverty, especially for women, Insiang was the first Philippine film ever to play at Cannes. Continue reading

Edward Yang – Qing mei zhu ma AKA Taipei Story (1985)

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Quote:
Lung, a former member of the national Little League team and now operator of an old-style fabric business, is never able to shake a longing for his past glory. One day, he runs into a forme teammate who is now a struggling cab driver. The two talk about old times and they are struck by a sense of loss. Lung is living with his old childhood sweetheart Ah-chin, a westernized professional woman who grew up in a traditional family. Although they live together, Ah-chin is always weary of Lung’s past liason with another girl. After an argument, Ah-chin tris to find solace by hanging out with her sister’s friends, a group of westernized, hedonistic youths. Continue reading

Jack Cardiff – Sons and Lovers (1960)

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Sons and Lovers
At the Brattle through Saturday
By William A. Nitze, March 26, 1962
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Sons and Lovers does not lend itself easily to a movie script, but Jack Cardiff has transformed Lawrence’s novel into a superb film. The reader must follow a slow and agonizing series of conflicting passions presented in a style which is often deceptively complex. Through a skillful rearrangement of plot elements and dialogue Cardiff has condensed the novel into an hour and 45 minutes without sacrificing its subtlety and force.

The film opens halfway through the story: Paul Morel is in his early twenties. Within the first ten minutes one grasps all of the important relationships of the drama: the abandonment of Walter Morel by his wife and sons, who detest him because of his weakness and cruelty; Paul’s desperate attachment to his mother, and his frustrated love for Miriam. The film then concentrates on the final failure of Miriam to break through Mrs. Morel’s hold on her son, Paul’s unsuccessful affair with Clara Dawes and his final liberation through his mother’s death. Continue reading

André Farwagi – Le temps de mourir AKA The Time to Die (1970)

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Synopsis:

‘Max Topfer is a successful businessman who lives alone, surrounded by bodyguards. One day, he receives a film which shows him his brutal death at the hands of an unknown assassin.’
– MUBI

‘Anna Karina starts the movie by riding her horse into a tree, She’s rescued by millionaire Bruno Cremer, who is startled to discover in her possession a video recorder showing him being shot by a man he doesn’t know […]. Both Karina, who has total amnesia of the kind only available in sensational fiction, and the tape appear to have come from the future. With the aid of bodyguard Billy Kearns […], Cremer tries to find out why a total stranger is apparently going to kill him on camera.’
– David Cairns Continue reading

Darezhan Omirbayev – Darezhan Omirbayev: Educational Films (2015)

Educational film by Darezhan Omirbayev for film schools students.

AUTOGRAPHS
A series of educational films, “Autographs” is a textbook for students of cinema department, which is dedicated to the works of great authors of word cinema. These films show and explore the most colorful and unique pieces that are typical and repetitive directorial techniques from the film (scenes), which are important in the work of one or another author. In the processof viewing and analysis of educational films, students studying filmmaking, film studies, as well as the cinematography, will be able to become better acquainted with the work of the filmmakers of world cinema – identify importa,t artistic techniques and visual solutions, which subsequently formed different directions in the cinema, and made the foundation of the evolution of “cinema language”. “Autographs” promote deeper study of the existing methods of film direction, and help to identify and compare in a condensed form the features of the style, filmmajer’s “handwriting”. “Autographs” include a series of educational films, manuals on a brief study of the works of such distinguished filmmakers as Jean Vigo, Michelangelo Antonioni, Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Bresson and others. Continue reading

Jean Epstein – Les berceaux (1931)

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Here is the text for the poem by Sully Prudhomme that the song is based on:

Le long du Quai, les grands vaisseaux,
Que la houle incline en silence,
Ne prennent pas garde aux berceaux,
Que la main des femmes balance.

Mais viendra le jour des adieux,
Car il faut que les femmes pleurent,
Et que les hommes curieux
Tentent les horizons qui leurrent!
Continue reading