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Ann Hui – Jin ye xing guang can lan AKA Starry is the Night (1988)

A social worker falls in love with a teenager, and remembers an affair she had with a professor while she was at university.

Quote:
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“I spent a year at the Vidal Sassoon headquarters,” brags Lydia (Brigitte Lin), a sprightly social worker trying to impress Tian-An (David Ng), a stock market whiz kid and aspiring hairstylist. It’s a fitting overture for a movie brimming with striking hair, from Tian-An’s very 1987 mullet to Cai-Wei’s very 1966 bob-with-bangs, from Dr. Zhang’s (George Lam) caterpillar mustache to Lydia’s butch-adjacent boy-cut. It works; Tian-An falls for Lydia, and despite their nearly 20-year age difference, their relationship flourishes in health and happiness—or does it? Read More »

Kenji Mizoguchi – Zangiku monogatari AKA The Story Of Last Chrysanthemum (1939)

Quote:
In Tokyo in 1888, Kikunosuke Onoue, the adoptive son of an important actor, discovers that he is praised for his acting only because he is his father’s heir, and that the troupe complains how bad he is behind his back. The only person to talk to him honestly about his acting is Otoku, the wet-nurse of his adoptive father’s child. She is fired by the family, and Kikunosuke is forbidden to see her, because of the gossip a relationship with a servant would cause. Kikunosuke falls in love with Otoku, and leaves home to try to make a living on his own merits outside Tokyo. He is eventually joined by Otoku, who encourages him to become a famous actor to regain the recognition of his family. Read More »

John Cromwell – Victory (1940)

Plot

Victory was the first of Joseph Conrad’s novels to be adapted to film, way back in 1919. The earliest talkie version, pointlessly retitled Dangerous Paradise, was lensed in 1930. Finally, Victory was given its best screen treatment in 1940 under the sensitive direction of John Cromwell. Fredric March plays an intellectual British recluse living in the Dutch East Indies. Having vowed to close himself off from the world, March is forced to break this promise to himself when lovely travelling showgirl Betty Field is imperiled by three murderous scavengers. The villains–led by Cedric Hardwicke at his most sardonically scurrilous–switch their attentions from Field to March when they’re led to believe that the recluse is wealthy. The experience shakes the morose March back into the real world, but his regeneration is tinged by tragedy. Not precisely perfect (it’s possible the book was unfilmable), the 1940 Victory is superior to the earlier film versions if for no other reason than its retention of Joseph Conrad’s overall sense of doom and foreboding. Read More »

Leslie S. Hiscott – The Seventh Survivor (1942)

A group of survivors in a lifeboat from a torpedoed neutral ship on its way to Portugal pick up a seventh survivor . He is the captain of the U-boat that is responsible for the sinking of the ship. Read More »

Joseph L. Mankiewicz – Sleuth (1972)

Synopsis :
A man who loves games and theater invites his wife’s lover to meet him, setting up a battle of wits with potentially deadly results. Read More »

Kodi Ramakrishna – Ammoru (1995)

AMMORU

A groundbreaking special effects extravaganza from South India–or Tollywood (Telugu film industry)–and an all-around mind-roaster. Completed in 1995, the film was widely lauded for its “up to the minute technical expertise.” Obviously that’s no longer the case, but AMMORU still excels as lightning paced, thrill-a-minute insanity. Read More »

John McTiernan – Nomads (1986)

A French anthropologist gets murdered in Los Angeles after he discovers the existence of some unknown demonical creatures. Before he dies, he reveals his secret to a young doctor…

One of those rare fantasy movies that has the courage to be conceptually uncompromising with its audience, this plays with several layers of reality so that often one is uncertain if the particular scene currently on-screen can be taken at face value or not … yet by the movie’s end all makes perfectly coherent sense according to the movie’s own internal logic. (imdb) Read More »