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Ousmane Sembene – Camp de Thiaroye AKA The Camp at Thiaroye (1987)

“It’s possible that a good half of the greatest African movies ever made are the work of novelist-turned-filmmaker Ousmane Sembene (Black Girl, Xala, Ceddo). Camp Thiaroye (1988), cowritten and codirected by Thierno Faty Sow, recounts an incident that occurred in 1944. Returning from four years of European combat in the French army, Senegalese troops are sent to a transit camp, where they have to contend with substandard food and other indignities. An intellectual sergeant major (Ibrahima Sane) gets thrown out of a local bordello when he goes there for a drink; mistaken for an American soldier, he’s arrested and beaten by American MPs, which provokes his men into kidnapping an American GI. Then when the Senegalese troops discover that they’re about to be cheated out of half their back pay, they launch a revolt. Read More »

Frederick Wiseman – Boxing Gym (2010)

SYNOPSIS
Austin, Texas. Lord’s Gym was founded sixteen years ago by Richard Lord, a former professional boxer. A wide variety of people of all ages, races, ethnicities and social classes train at the gym: men, women, children, doctors, lawyers, judges, business men and women, immigrants, professional boxers and people who want to become professional boxers alongside amateurs who love the sport and teenagers who are trying to develop strength and assertiveness. The gym is an example of the American “melting pot” where people meet, talk, and train. Read More »

Paul Bartel – Private Parts (1972)

Start with Psycho, then throw in some raunchy footage Hitchcock could have never gotten away with in 1960. Private Parts is an excellent black comedy/horror film by cult director Paul Bartel (The Naughty Nurse, Death Race 2000). The main actress is pretty cute… an added bonus (and she gets naked!). Read More »

Christoph Hochhäusler – Dreileben – Eine Minute Dunkel AKA One Minute of Darkness (2011) (HD)

The Dreileben trilogy comes to a nail-biting close with director Christoph Hochhäusler’s expert thriller, which also brings escaped felon Molosch—a peripheral character in the first two parts—into sharp focus. Hot on the killer’s trail, grizzled police inspector Marcus (Eberhard Kirchberg) tries to put himself inside the mind of the criminal, even as he begins to wonder if the condemned man really is guilty as charged. Meanwhile, as Molosch (brilliantly played by Stefan Kurt) flees deeper into Dreileben’s possibly enchanted forest, he has an unexpectedly tender encounter with a young runaway girl—scenes that echo the Frankenstein story and transform One Minute of Darkness into a dark, memorably strange fairy tale. Read More »

Claude Lelouch – La Vie, l’amour, la mort aka Life, Love, Death (1969)

Review Summary
The title Life Love Death (originally La Vie, L’amour, la Mort) pretty much runs the gamut of the subject matter which normally appeals to French filmmaker Claude Lelouch. Awaiting execution for murder, Souad Amidou reflects on the events leading up to this sorry contingency. It seems that Amidou can only cohabit with prostitutes, thus he seeks out satisfaction in all the side streets of Europe. Disturbed by a whore’s insults when he was unable to perform, Amidou goes completely off the deep end and begins cutting a swath of death from one end of Spain to another. Lelouch’s principal stylistic decision in Life Love and Death is to draw as many parallels as possible between sex and bullfighting. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Read More »

Kô Nakahira – Hensôkyoku AKA Variation (1976)

The man who lives in the past and The woman who abandoned a past. They were lovers 10 years ago, and had met again in Paris. Read More »

M. Blash – Lying (2006)

Quote:
A long weekend brings four women together in the countryside. Virtual strangers, the women are forced to navigate the depths of social interaction. On the surface all seems placid. But the atmosphere of calm is a facade. Read More »