Terence Young – Bloodline (1979)

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Synopsis:
Sam Roffe, president of a multi-national pharmaceutical corporation, is killed while mountain-climbing. It is first determined to be an accident, but Inspector Max Hormung later deduces that Roffe was murdered. Sam’s daughter Elizabeth assumes control of the company, and while traveling through Europe she immediately becomes a target as well. Continue reading

Pascal Bonitzer – Tout de suite maintenant (2016)

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Nora Sator, a dynamic young thirty-year-old, began her career in high finance.
When she learns that her boss and wife have frequented her father in their youth, she discovers that a mysterious rivalry still opposes them.
Ambitious, Nora quickly gains the confidence of her superiors but maintains complicated relations with her colleague Xavier, unlike her sister Maya who quickly succumbs to her charms …
Between stories of family, heart and professional intrigues, destinies intermingle and the masks fall. Continue reading

Jean Cocteau – Orphée AKA Orpheus [+commentary] (1950)

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Quote:
Jean Cocteau died on October 11, 1963, the same exact day that his longtime friend, the French chanteuse Edith Piaf, succumbed to liver cancer not all that far away. Some have even speculated that the news of Piaf’s death was what spurred the heart attack that claimed Cocteau, a beautiful, if melancholic coincidence, if we are to put our full faith into what’s ostensibly rumor, seeing as the famed poet, theater director, and filmmaker often remarked that he was more scared of the deaths of his loved ones than he was of his own inevitable demise. Continue reading

Pere Portabella – Nocturno 29 (1968)

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Synopsis:
A woman walks by her home and finally takes a shower – She buy colored fabrics in a trade. A man visiting a post office – Succession of scenic pictures and semi-autonomous fading almost always unexpected. A series of situations or suite, though apparently unrelated, revolve around a thematic development that gives body and drive the story without resorting to the use of an anecdote as plot continuity. Continue reading

Henry Koster – Das häßliche Mädchen AKA The Ugly Girl (1933)

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Quote:
“Das hässliche Mädchen” (The ugly girl) of the title is young Lotte (Dolly Haas), who is hired as a secretary by an insurance company precisely for her supposed ugliness, as the director (Otto Wallburg) hopes to avoid amorous affairs in his company this way. But as these things go, not only does one of his employees, Fritz (Max Hansen), fall for her, but unsurprisngly the ugly duckling soon transforms into a lovely lady. Fritz realises a little too late that he’s in love with Lotte, however, and meanwhile establishes an affair with the company director’s girlfriend. And obviously, this leads to all sorts of problems and funny situations… Continue reading

Roberto Rossellini – Viaggio in Italia AKA Journey to Italy [+ Extras] (1954)

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Quote:
Among the most influential films of the postwar era, Roberto Rossellini’s Journey to Italy (Viaggio in Italia) charts the declining marriage of a couple from England (Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders) on a trip in the countryside near Naples. More than just the anatomy of a relationship, Rossellini’s masterpiece is a heartrending work of emotion and spirituality. Considered a predecessor to the existentialist works of Michelangelo Antonioni and hailed as a groundbreaking modernist work by the legendary film journal Cahiers du cinéma, Journey to Italy is a breathtaking cinematic benchmark. Continue reading