Kote Mardjanishvili – Komunaris chibukhi aka Trubka komunara aka Pipe of Communard (1929)

After the defaet in the Prussian war, famine and riots exploded in Paris. The wife of Lui Ru, a carpenter, could no longer stand proverty, left her son with his father and eloped to Versailles with a butcher. Lui died on the barricades. His comrades got executed. Lui’s son was among those executed. For the sake of his own entertainment the officer aimed at the pipe that Lui’s son was holding in his mouth and shot him to death. Read More »

Leonid Gaidai – Ivan Vasilevich menyaet professiyu AKA Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Occupation (1973)

Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Occupation
An unconventional comedy based on M. Bulgakov’s play, “Ivan Vassilevich,” when inventor, Timofeev builds a time machine, things go awry. Tsar Ivan the Terrible comes into the year 1973, while Ivan Bunsha, an apartment complex manager, and George Miloslavsky, a petty burglar, are transferred to 16th century Moscow accidentally. Read More »

Oleg Frelikh – Prostitutka aka Prostitute (1927)

From Imdb:
Prostitution, Statistics And Harangues, 13 November 2009
5/10
Author: FerdinandVonGalitzien
“Prostitutka” (1927) is a Bolshevist silent rarity, unusual because of its subject matter, that being prostitution in the U.S.S.R. The world’s oldest profession requires a treatment both delicate and balanced, not an easy topic for a first time director like Herr Oleg Frelikh. Actually, this little known work was Frelikh’s only film as a director (prior to this, he had been an actor) and it’s a flawed but interesting effort. Read More »

Sonja Prosenc – Drevo AKA The Tree (2014)

A family finds itself in a dead-end situation. They are only safe behind the walls of their own house and yard. As time vanishes from their home, the shelter slowly turns into a prison. However, nothing can keep the children from dreaming and yearning to be free and the urge to make a decision seems inevitable.

A chamber piece drama that vivisects family values, almost like in ancient tragedies determined by doom. Read More »

Peter Schreiner – Lampedusa (2016)

Synopsis
As the most southern island off the coast of Italy, Lampedusa is relatively close to Africa. This is where Zakaria got stranded – a Somali journalist who fled his country because of the war. He escaped that, but on Lampedusa he wrestles with fears and existential questions. Here he meets Giulia, an ageing woman facing a personal crisis on the same island. Together and separately, they try to get a grip on life. Read More »

Delmer Daves – Dark Passage (1947)

Quote:
Of the four movies Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made together, Dark Passage is the forgotten stepchild. Sandwiched between The Big Sleep and Key Largo, Delmer Daves’ innovative and suspenseful mystery-thriller caused barely a ripple at the box office upon its initial release. Maybe the gritty, post-war themes of isolation and paranoia hit too close to home, or the use of a subjective camera alienated audiences. Whatever the reason, Dark Passage got a bum rap from critics and public alike. And while it may not rank up there with the best of Hollywood noir, the film flaunts enough style and substance to merit appreciation. Read More »

Raoul Walsh – High Sierra (1941)

Review (Time Out Film Guide)
A momentous gangster movie which took the genre out of its urban surroundings into the bleak sierras, and in so doing marked its transition into film noir. It isn’t just that Bogart’s Mad Dog Earle is a man ‘rushing towards death’, infallibly doomed and knowing it, from the moment he is paroled and through the half-hearted hold-up to his last stand on the mountainside. He also in a sense wills his own destruction, his dark despair fuelled by the betrayal of an innocent, clubfooted country girl whose operation he pays for, and who casually abandons him as soon as she can ‘have fun’. Terrific performances, terrific camerawork (Tony Gaudio), terrific dialogue (John Huston and WR Burnett from the latter’s novel), with Walsh – who in fact reworked the material as Colorado Territory eight years later – giving it something of the memorable melancholy of a Peckinpah Western. Read More »