Errol Morris – Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997)

What do an elderly topiary gardener, a retired lion tamer, a man fascinated by mole rats, and a cutting-edge robotics designer have in common… Read More »

Charles Brabin & Charles Vidor – The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

Englishmen race to find the tomb of Genghis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and his diabolical daughter will enslave the world! Read More »

Herschell Gordon Lewis – Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964)

Synopsis:
The citizens of the southern town Pleasant Valley lure six Yankee tourists into town where they are to be the reluctant guests for the centennial celebration of the day a band of renegade Union troops decimated the town. The town then participates in events, a different event for each of the tourists, in which the tourist is dispatched. One couple begins to suspect something and seeks a way to escape. Read More »

Denis Côté – Curling (2010)

The fascinating fifth feature by Québécois auteur Denis Côté, Curling is a portrait of Jean-François (Emmanuel Bilodeau), a single father who works nights at a deserted bowling alley and days in a rundown motel, and his daughter, Julyvonne (Philomène Bilodeau, Emmanuel’s real-life daughter), who he isolates from the community in fear that contact with the outside world will scar her. Sensitive, expressive images are crafted to perfection by cinematographer Josée Deshaies while Côté masterfully distorts our perception of time, letting it linger in beguiling stillness as winter slowly seeps away. Côté unfolds his minimalist narrative from the inside out, resulting in an impressively austere film that establishes an immediate emotional connection. Read More »

Yasuzô Masumura – Rikugun Nakano gakko AKA Nakano Spy School (1966)

How a young second lieutenant becomes your basic Bond is the subject of this spy-vs.-spy noir set in 1938 at the start of the Sino-Japanese War. Jiro (Raizo Ichikawa) leaves his fiancée for a mysterious military assignment — he and a few good men are to be trained as special agents at the newly established Nakano Spy School, based on the British model. (The girlfriend, meanwhile, becomes involved in the machinations of the British themselves.) A True Fiction-style narrative offers both lessons in spying (bring your notepad, and a sense of humor) and the lessons of spying: for all its worldly ideals, and even without uniforms, the Spy School is a microcosm of a closed society. Read More »

Umberto Lenzi – Il Giustiziere Sfida la Città AKA Syndicate Sadists (1975)

Synopsis:A biker’s brother is killed while investigating the kidnapping of a young boy, the byproduct of a war between two crime families. The biker vows to get revenge by finding the kidnapped boy and destroying the two families. Read More »

Aleksandr Sokurov – Kamen aka Stone (1992)

Quote:
“If ever a film replicated the state of dreaming, Stone does. Which is not to say it is, in the classical sense, surreal; but it has the flow and fugitive feeling of a half-remembered reverie, full of mysteries, portents, inexplicable happenings, and chimerical objects. Set in (and filmed in the actual) Chekhov museum, Stone centers on the relationship between a young museum guard and an older visitor who seems at different times to be a lover, a doctor, or a surrogate father. Shot in evanescent black and white with a sound track of silences, breathing, natural sounds, and fragments of classical music, Stone is haunting and enigmatic” (James Quandt) Read More »