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Wojciech Marczewski – Zmory aka Nightmares (1979)

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Plot / Synopsis
Set before the first Wold War in part of Poland under Austrain occupation, the story of a young boy in primary school who later grows up to become a rebellious, poetic-minded teen in the same school when the national movement toward liberation is under way. The story of a country where church amd state work together to suppress the human spirit.

As an independent state, Poland did not exist before the First World War. Parts of it were claimed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, parts by the Russian Empire, and the remaining portion went to the German Empire. In this story, a Polish boy’s education under the pre-war Austrian occupation is the subject. He finds all the pro-Empire, pro-Church indoctrination hard to stomach but is powerless to really rebel against it except in quiet ways. The teachers consciously engage in many cruel acts, and the boy’s only recourse is in poetry. Later, as a grown man, he is finally able to do something to throw off his nation’s oppressors. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi Read More »

Michel Deville – Nuit d’été en ville aka Summer Night in Town (1990)

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Review Summary

As this film opens, Louis (Jean-Hughes Anglade) and Emilie (Marie Trintignant) have just finished making love. Emilie has brought him to her apartment for just that purpose. Theirs is a new relationship, and this is the first time they have made love together. Throughout the movie, naked and relaxed from this encounter, they chat about their lives, their previous lovers, their plans, they have small arguments and reconciliations, and they generally do what people do in those circumstances to get to know one another better. They also caress one another a great deal, preparatory to another bout of lovemaking (never shown). ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide Read More »

Péter Gárdos – Szamárköhögés AKA Whooping Cough (1987)

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Plot Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
A 10-year-old Hungarian boy and his grandmother cope with the bloody Budapest uprising of 1956 that led to the Soviet takeover of the country. When the October battles begin, the boy and his family are forced to remain in their homes. The grandmother spends her days reading, and the boy is thrilled to be out of school. While they await the end of the curfew, many things befall the lad and his family.” Allmovie Read More »

Fredi M. Murer – Höhenfeuer AKA Alpine Fire (1985)

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Storyline

A year on an Alpine farm: an older couple have two children, Belli, who wanted to be a teacher, and the younger Franzi, deaf, and although he works like a man, child-like. Belli teaches him. In his work, he can become frustrated, so when he throws an expensive mower over a cliff in a fit of pique, his father banishes him to the outskirts of the farm, where he uses pubescent energy to break rocks and build walls and cairns. (It’s the tradition of the father’s family, called “The Irascibles” by neighbors, to spend puberty doing this.) Belli visits him and they begin sleeping together. By winter, the boy is back in the house and Belli is pregnant. Soon her parents must know. Written by jhailey. Read More »

Burt Kennedy – The Rounders [+Extra] (1965)

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Plot Synopsis from allmovie.com
Two aging bronc-busters (Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda) make their meager money by breaking wild horses. They dream of better days–possibly retiring to some island paradise–but they never put any money in the bank because they spend it all on booze and girls. They think their no-dough days are done until they acquire a wild drunkard horse which they enter in a bucking contest–no one can ride the wild, hiccupping nag. This is a pretty funny ’60s western-style comedy. Read More »

Yuriy Norshteyn – Yozhik v tumane aka Hedgehog in the Fog (1975)

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Plot / Synopsis
Hedgehog is on his way to visit Bear cub, to sit and count the stars, their nightly ritual. On the way however, he is distracted by the sight of a beautiful white horse in the fog, and curious about the nature of this strange world, ventures into it, becoming hopelessly lost in the process.
Hedgehog in the Fog [ Ëжик в Tумане ] is a classic Russian animated short film from 1975. Based on a story by Sergei Kozlov. Charming in its simplicity.

In 2003 “Hedgehog in the Fog” won the “#1 Animated film of all the time” at “All time animation best 150 in Japan and Worldwide” contest in Tokyo, Japan.

Awards: “Outstanding Film of the Year”, London, UK, 1977 “Second Prize”, Sydney, Australia, 1978 “Third Prize”, Chicago, USA, 1977. Read More »

Antoinette Beumer – De gelukkige huisvrouw AKA The Happy Housewife (2010)

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ferdyonfilms.com wrote:
CIFF 2010: The Happy Housewife (De gelukkige huisvrouw, 2010)

Director: Antoinette Beumer

2010 Chicago International Film Festival

By Marilyn Ferdinand

“I hate actors,” the cinephile said to me after a screening of a personal essay film that had no actors in it at all. I vaguely understood what he was saying, that actors are tricksters whose presence can take away from the sincerity of a film. As someone who treasures the films of Robert Bresson, the Neorealists, the Nouvelle Vague directors, as well as a slew of more contemporary films that use nonprofessionals, I find the unstudied spontaneity of the performances helps me appreciate the film as a whole rather than focusing on the accomplishments of a single performer. Read More »