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Cedric Messina & Noel Coward – Hay Fever (1984)

BBC Two England, 26 December 1984 19.25
Synopsis
by NOEL COWARD

It is a warm Saturday afternoon in Cookham. The Bliss family is settling down to a quiet weekend. It is a weekend which turns out to be anything but quiet. Read More »

Jacques Tati – L’école des facteurs AKA The School for Postmen (1947)

Synopsis:
School for Postmen (French: L’École des facteurs) is a short film directed by Jacques Tati in 1947. Tati plays a French postman adamant to prove he can be just as fast as American postmen at delivering mail. The film includes several sight gags that involve his bicycle. He replicated most of the action here in his first major feature film, Jour de fête, released two years later. Read More »

Eyal Sivan – Jaffa, the Orange’s Clockwork (2009)

Synopsis:
A journey from the harbor town of Jaffa to the Jaffa orange, a fruit through which the Israeli filmmaker examines the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Review:
Despite certain limitations, Jaffa, the Orange’s Clockwork, a feature-length documentary by Israeli-born filmmaker Eyal Sivan, has a good deal to recommend it, particularly in light of events now unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa. Read More »

Athina Rachel Tsangari – The Slow Business of Going (2000)

A mysterious woman travels the world with a rocking chair, interacting with the people she meets.

Petra Going is a migrant cyborg, an agent of the Global Nomad Project: an international “Experience Data Agency” which sends hundreds of “receivers” like her to wander the globe and record a succession of random encounters. Periodically, they return to agency headquarters where they deposit their accumulated memories into an archive. This archive is available to users who then vicariously and virtually inhabit the ready-made landscapes of touristic consciousness. The motto of the GNP: “Nostalgia For Rent.” Read More »

Aleksandr Gordon – Sergey Lazo (1968)

“A movie about the life and activities of the civil war hero Sergey Lazo (1894-1920), a poet, a publicist, a war strategist, a party activist, a diplomat fluent in several languages, a direct descendant of a noble Moldavian family, the son of a land-owner, a former student of the Moscow University and an officer of the tsarist army who determinately crossed over to the revolutionaries and headed the partisan movement during the struggle against the Japanese intervention in the Far East. At the age of 26 Lazo literally burnt in the revolutionary fire. The enemies threw him into the boiler of a steam locomotive and burnt him alive. Read More »

Kiyoshi Kurosawa – Jigoku no keibîn AKA The Guard from Underground [+commentary] (1992)

Synopsis:
A woman begins working at the same company as a security guard that she believes might be a former sumo wrestling serial killer. Read More »

Hiroshi Inagaki – Sengoku burai AKA Sword For Hire (1952)

Synopsis:
Set in the civil wars of the 1570s, the film follows three samurai, Hayate, Jurata, and Yakeiji after the fall of their castle. Jurata escapes by pretending to be Hayate and escorting Hayate’s love Kano to safety, while the other two survive the fighting despite their wounds. Yakeiji becomes the leader of a bandit group while Hayate is saved by Oryo, the daughter of the leader of a different set of bandits. Jurata falls in love with Kano, but she leaves him to search for Hayate, just missing him several times, and Oryo also falls in love with Hayate and tries to track him down after she believes he killed her father. Numerous changes of sides, adventures, and confrontations follow for all. Read More »