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Thomas Schamoni – Ein großer graublauer Vogel AKA A Big Grey-Blue Bird (1970)

This critically well-received independent German film production was made and first seen in 1970, but did not receive general release until 1971. A group of five scientists have invented a machine which will unravel the whole fabric of time and space but have managed to blot the full memory of their achievement from their minds. They did this to prevent the complete destruction of space-time as we know it. However, they also programmed themselves to remember everything if someone uses the key words “a big grey-blue bird.” Gangsters bent on world domination and a young documentary film-team track down these scientists, each attempting to learn their secrets for completely different reasons. Read More »

John Boulting – Lucky Jim (1957)

Plot
Jim Dixon (Ian Carmichael) feels anything but lucky. At the university he has to do the bidding of absent-minded and boring Professor Welch (Hugh Griffith) to have any hope of keeping his job. Worse, he has managed to get entangled with boring and neurotic Margaret Peel, a fellow teacher. All-in-all, the pub is the only friendly place to be. His misery is completed at a dreadful weekend gathering of the Welch clan by the arrival of son Bertrand (Terry-Thomas). Betrand is loud-mouthed and boorish, but has as companion the delightful Christine Callaghan, the sort of marvellous and unattainable woman Jim can only dream about. Read More »

Gerry O’Hara – The Spy’s Wife (1972)

An enjoyably whimsical short with British sex farce overtones, directed by Gerry O’Hara and starring Tom Bell, who plays a British spy (named, perhaps a little unimaginatively, Tom) who nips off on a mission to Prague, leaving his wife Hilda (Dorothy Tutin) to carry on her secret affair with his Czech counterpart (the inimitable Vladek Sheybal). Their tryst is repeatedly disrupted, however, first by Tom’s parting suggestion that their flat is bugged, then by a pair of unexpected visitors, but unbeknown to her, Tom has his own mysterious rendezvous to keep. Insubstantial perhaps, but well made and rather fun, particularly in its refusal to reveal the full extent of just what’s going on until the final scene. Read More »

Grigoris Grigoriou – I limni ton stenagmon AKA The Lake of Sighs AKA The Groaning Lake (1959)

Ioannina, in the beginning of the 19th century. The whole Greece is under Turks. Ioannina is governed by the fierce and vulgar Ali Pasas. Ali’s eldest son, Muchtar, falls in love with a young Greek widow, Frosyni. The problem is, he’s married to the vindictive and cruel Chanife. And the muslim penalty for having an affair with a married man is death… Read More »

Guillaume Brac – Un monde sans femmes AKA A World Without Women (2011)

Quote:
A small seaside resort on the Picardy Coast, the last week of August. While handing them the keys to a rental apartment, Sylvain meets a young mother and her daughter, both equally attractive. The perfect opportunity to get away from a solitary life where women are desperately absent. Read More »

Witold Leszczynski – Konopielka (1982)

Quote:
An adaptation of a novel by Edward Redlinski and a grotesque on country life. A peasant called Kaziuk leaves one morning to collect brushwood. When he comes back everything seems to be radically different. His cow has calved prematurely – which brings bad luck. What is more, he sees a wondering beggar, a young teacher and a party activist at his home. The activist wants to build a school and an electricity line, because the peasants enjoy poor hygiene and live in superstition. Kaziuk understands little of it, but remains impressed. The next day it turns out that the teacher is to become Kaziuk’s lodger. She stirs erotic fantasies in him. Read More »

Kon Ichikawa – Kagi AKA Odd Obsession (1959)

Winner of Cannes’ Special Jury Prize, Odd Obsession is one of acclaimed director Kon Ichikawa’s (Tokyo Olympiad, The Burmese Harp) greatest works. This captivating blend of comic satire and drama follows an elderly man’s attempts to satisfy his younger wife (Machiko Kyo, Rashomon, Gate of Hell). When “potency” injections fail, Mr. Kenmochi incites his own jealousy by orchestrating an affair between his wife and his doctor, who happens to be his daughter’s fiance. The wife and doctor are eager to oblige Kenmochi, his daughter is furious, and the scheme proves both a success and a deadly disaster. With dazzling imagery, rich irony, and superb acting, Odd Obsession illuminates the ongoing battle between personal desire and societal convention. Read More »