Tag Archives: 1980s

Darezhan Omirbayev – Shilde AKA July (1988)

Review: Darezhan Omirbaev’s penchant for spare, elliptical narrative, muted figures, and disembodied framing (most notably, of hands and feet) have often been (favorably) compared to the rigorous aesthetic of Robert Bresson. However, in imposing such a somber – and inescapably cerebral – analogy, there is also a propensity to overlook the wry, self-effacing humor and irony of situation that pervade his films: a lyricism that equally captures the human comedy in all its contradictions and nobility from the margins of Soviet society. This sense of the quotidian as a continuum of human experience, elegantly rendered in Omirbaev’s recent film, The Road through Amir’s recurring daydream of a mother milking a cow and her intrusive child (who, in turn, looks remarkably like Amir’s own son) in rural Kazakhstan (an image that subsequently proves to be a catalytic historical memory from his childhood when man landed on the moon), can also be seen from the outset of Omirbaev’s cinema through his incorporation of a decidedly Buñuelian sequence in the short film, July of a young boy who, while on the lookout for guards near the foothills of a kolkhoz commissary, curiously finds himself wandering into a recital hall where the performance of a young pianist is punctuated by the appearance of a horseman on the stage. Read More »

    Brian G. Hutton – The First Deadly Sin (1980)

    Synopsis:
    A serial killer is stalking New York. Inspector Edward X. Delaney is an NYPD detective, nearing retirement, who is trying to put together the pieces of the case. Are the victims somehow linked? What does the brutal method of death signify? Read More »

      Lucio Fulci – Gatto nero AKA Black Cat (1981)

      Synopsis:
      Patrick Magee is a psychic that can communicate with the dead. He also has the ability to control the mind of his cat (who incidently is black). He uses the cat to take vengeance upon his enemies. A photographer (Mimsy Farmer) who happen to be working for the local constables (David Warbeck, Al Cliver) begins to notice cat scratches on some of the accident victims that are turning up. She pays a visit to Magee (kitty just happens to be present) and conveys her suspicions of the cat’s involvement in some of the local deaths. Kitty doesn’t like this at all, and it’s his turn to control the mind of owner Magee to take it’s vengeance out. Read More »

        João Pedro Rodrigues – O Pastor (1988)

        João Pedro Rodrigues’ ESTC graduation short film.
        Formally assured, and consisting mostly of long shots, it tells the story of a shepherd who, at the age of 65, is forced to retire. It is unsurprising to learn that António Reis was one of Rodrigues’ teachers at ESTC, considering how much it reminded me of Reis’ own semi-ethnographic portrayals of quotidian rural life in Trás-os-Montes and Ana. Still, it is a mere curiosity. Read More »

          Bruno Mattei & Claudio Fragasso – Rats – Notte di terrore AKA Rats: Night of Terror (1984)

          One hundred years after a nuclear war has devastated the planet, society has been reborn into two factions; the underground society and the scavangers above in the wastelands. A group of scavangers on bikes come across a town infested with flesh eating rats, and soon the gore is spilling everywhere. Read More »

            Mika Kaurismäki – Rosso [+Extra] (1985)

            Plot Synopsis from AllMovie
            This well-paced farce sends up intellectual thrillers as hitman Rosso (the handsomeKari Vaananen, also co-scripter) is assigned the job of eliminating a certain Finnish woman who coincidentally was once his summer love. The reluctant gangster heads north from Sicily and ultimately lands in the remote Finnish countryside looking for his target, Maria (Leena Harjupatana). Rosso and Maria’s brother take off in an old car to find her, and along the way they also manage any number of robberies and quick getaways. Their pursuers are bumped off to the sounds of rousing music and a quote here and there from Dante, who else? While Dante’s comedy was divine, this is good earth-bound fun. Read More »

              Beeban Kidron – Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1990)

              Quote:
              Jessica’s extraordinarily strong will and heart enables her to rebel against her fanatical, cult-like upbringing. From seven to seventeen Jess is brainwashed to be one of the ‘saved’, to devote her life to Jesus, to follow the discriminatory teachings of Pastor Finch and his understanding of Revelations. As her warm personality dictates she succeeds in fitting into this regime and spreads the word of Jesus in a fairly content manner. But when her friendship with Melanie develops into something a little more ‘unnatural’ she easily realizes the error of the Pastors teachings. The girls are subjected to terrible treatment to convince them to repent. Read More »