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Peter Lilienthal – Dear Mr. Wonderful AKA Ruby’s Dream (1982)

Plot: Joe Pesci is a small man looking for a big break. Owner of a bowling alley and nightclub in Jersey, Ruby Dennis (Pesci) sets his sites on making it big in Vegas. But Ruby finds more than he gambled for and in the end is a much bigger man for it.

Many of the crew members from this film went on from this production to work on John Sayles’ Baby It’s You the following year, including cinematographer ‘Michael Ballhaus’. Sayles’ film was released first in the U.S. while “Dear Mr. Wonderful” premiered in Germany in 1982. Read More »

Nichola Bruce – I Could Read the Sky (1999)

Synopsis:
Adapted by Nichola Bruce from the acclaimed photographic novel by Timothy O’Grady and Steve Pyke. I Could Read the Sky is a haunting and lyrical film about identity, love, loss, and the isolation and loneliness of the immigrant. Dermot Healy movingly portrays a man reflecting upon his life, from his rural upbringing on the West Coast of Ireland to his journey to London and experiences in the vividly modern metropolis. Driven by a dynamic music soundtrack that draws from both environments, the film is a labyrinthine, visually extraordinary journey into the textures, fragments, details and layers of one man’s life and memories. Read More »

Nathaniel Dorsky – Variations (1998)

“VARIATIONS blossomed forth while shooting additional material for TRISTE. What tender chaos, what current of luminous rhymes might cinema reveal unbridled from the daytime word? During the Bronze Age a variety of sanctuaries were built for curative purposes. One of the principal activities was transformative sleep. This montage speaks to that tradition.” – Canyon Cinema Read More »

Stanislaw Rózewicz – Westerplatte (1967)

Synopsis:
Westerplatte is a small peninsula at the entry to the Gdansk Harbour. Before World War II, it functioned as a Polish ammunition depot in the Free City of Danzig/Gdansk. Its crew consisted of one infantry company and a group of civilians, 182 people in total. It was the only Polish guard-post at the mouth of the Vistula River, with as little as five sentries, one field cannon, two anti-armour guns and four mortars. It was the first obstacle to Hitler’s predatory march across Europe. The first shots of World War II were fired here. This film tells the story of Westerplatte’s courageous defenders. Read More »

Nils Malmros – Drenge AKA Boys (1977)

Boys (Drenge) is Nils Malmros’ first movie made in collaboration with a professional film crew. Even so, the movie has a very mature feel to it and the feeling of authenticity from Malmros’ earlier film “Lars Ole, 5C” remains. Boys is, together with “Lars Ole, 5C” and “Tree of Knowledge” part of Malmros’ “Ole”-triology. Read More »

Georg Wilhelm Pabst – Die Büchse der Pandora AKA Pandora’s Box (1929)

Pandora’s Box (German: Die Büchse der Pandora) is a 1929 German silent film based on Frank Wedekind’s plays Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (1904). Directed by Austrian filmmaker Georg Wilhelm Pabst, the film stars Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner and Francis Lederer. Brooks’ portrayal of a seductive, thoughtless young woman whose raw sexuality and uninhibited nature bring ruin to herself and those who love her, although initially unappreciated, eventually made the actress a star. Read More »

Christian-Jaque & Jean Delannoy & Marcello Pagliero – Destinées (1954)

Destinées (US: Daughters of destiny) is a triptych about women in war: One part, “Elizabeth”, is about American war-widow (Claudette Colbert) who goes to Italy where her husband was in WW II; “Jeanne” tells the life of Jeanne d’Arc (Michèle Morgan); “Lysistrata” (Martine Carol) is about Athenian wives, adaptation of the Greek play. Read More »