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Don Siegel – Private Hell 36 (1954)

In New York, a bank robbery of $300,000 goes unsolved for a year, until some of the marked bills are found in a Los Angeles drugstore theft. Police detectives Cal Bruner (Steve Cochran) and Jack Farnham (Howard Duff) investigate and are led from the drugstore to a nightclub, where singer Lili (Ida Lupino) is another recipient of a stolen bill. With Lili’s help, the partners track down the remaining money, but both Lili and Frank are dismayed when Cal decides he wants to keep part of it. Read More »

Stuart Heisler – I Died a Thousand Times (1955)

After aging criminal Roy Earle is released from prison he decides to pull one last heist before retiring – by robbing a resort hotel. Read More »

Janusz Majewski – Opus jazz (1963)

A rehearsal of the Andrzej Kurylewicz quintet is underway in the radio recording studio. The lineup includes: Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Andrzej Dąbrowski, Wojciech Karolak, Roman Dylag. A well-arranged whole begins to emerge from the polyphony of voices and sounds. Read More »

Bertrand Tavernier – Des enfants gâtés AKA Spoiled Children (1977)

Account of a film director’s brief affair with a young neighbour, and his involvement in the social and political ramifications of a tenancy dispute in an apartment block. Filmmaker Bernard (Michel Piccoli), who is suffering a creative block, enters into an affair with the much-younger Anne (Christine Pascal). Read More »

Jin Xie – Wutai jiemei AKA Two Stage Sisters (1964)

Chronicles the fortunes of two actresses in pre-revolutionary China, who are separated by money and politics. Read More »

Amos Gitai – Plus tard AKA One Day You’ll Understand (2008)

As the 1987 trial of Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie unfolds on television, Victor Bastien (Hippolyte Girardot — Lady Chatterley) reviews old family documents and finds a distressing “Aryan declaration” authored by his late father, a discovery that throws Victor’s conception of his family’s history into darkness. His mother, Rivka (legendary actress Jeanne Moreau — Jules and Jim, Eva), keeps a stubborn silence about the past, while Tania (Dominique Blanc), his sister, defends their father’s declaration. At the same time, Victor’s wife (Emmanuelle Devos — Kings and Queen) and children grow concerned about his increasing distraction. Burning with the need to unearth the truth, Victor takes his family to the tiny village where Rivka’s parents were forced to hide during the war. Read More »

Giuseppe De Santis, Luchino Visconti, Marcello Pagliero, Mario Serandrei – Giorni di Gloria AKA Days of Glory (1945)

Giorni di Gloria has been called “the first documentary on the Resistance” (Antonio Vitti) and “the most revolutionary film in existence” (Paolo Gobetti). I prefer the film’s own dedication:

«A tutti coloro che in Italia hanno sofferto e combattuto l´oppressione nazifascista è dedicato questo film di lotta partigiana e di rinascita nazionale»

“For all those in Italy who have suffered and fought Nazi oppression, this film is dedicated to the partisan struggle and national rebirth.”

The film is raw, brutal, humane, outraged and unflagging in its celebration of resistance in the service of political justice. The photography – credited to a dozen cinematographers, including Gianni Di Venanzo’s first film credit – is starkly beautiful. Read More »