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1961-1970

Joris Ivens & Marceline Loridan Ivens – Le 17e parallèle: La guerre du peuple AKA 17th Parallel: Vietnam in War (1968)

On the border of North and South Vietnam, civilians live underground and cultivate their land in the dead of night, farmers take up arms, and bombs fall like clockwork. Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan’s record of daily life in one of the most volatile regions of a war-torn, divided country is both a hazardous piece of first-hand journalism and a shattering work in its own right, simmering with barely repressed anger.

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Jirí Menzel – Zlocin v santanu aka Crime in a Music Hall [+Extras] (1968)

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Description: Black detective comedy Crime in the Cabaret is set in a cabaret Tartaros, where one evening lost a pearl necklace singer Regina Clara gave her devoted admirer of the minister of justice, and where it is later killed by one of the circus … The film shot in 1968, Jiri Menzel as his third feature film with a script, which collaborated with Joseph Škvoreckým and Jiri Suchy. An important part of the movie are the songs of George and Šlitr George Suchy, which in addition to the two protagonists sing Eva Pilarová. Read More »

Mike Nichols – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

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George and Martha are a middle aged married couple, whose charged relationship is defined by vitriolic verbal battles, which underlies what seems like an emotional dependence upon each other. This verbal abuse is fueled by an excessive consumption of alcohol. George being an associate History professor in a New Carthage university where Martha’s father is the President adds an extra dimension to their relationship. Late one Saturday evening after a faculty mixer, Martha invites Nick and Honey, an ambitious young Biology professor new to the university and his mousy wife, over for a nightcap. As the evening progresses, Nick and Honey, plied with more alcohol, get caught up in George and Martha’s games of needing to hurt each other and everyone around them. The ultimate abuse comes in the form of talk of George and Martha’s unseen sixteen year old son, whose birthday is the following day. Read More »

Sergei Parajanov – Ukrainskaya rapsodiya aka Ukrainian Rhapsody (1961)


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Quote:
“Ukrainskaya Rapsodiya” (the USSR, 1961) of Sergueï Paradjanov is a film saga of oceanic proportion with many rivers flowing into it. The characters are the affluents which mix in and distinguish themselves within the furrows of the storyline. An ocean of images but of musics too. Cause the film evolves more by its musical quality, then by its narration.

Orksana, talented student at the Ukrainian Academy likes Antonin whom she met in her youth. Here the love is less tumultuous in retrospect to “Pervyy Paren” (USSR, 1958) of the same Paradjanov, even if a certain formal expression of it remain. In this third feature of the Armenian filmmaker; the Second World war, one of the rare History adaptations of Paradjanov, come to disturb the peaceful flow. “Ukrainskaya Rapsodiya” thus enter in a powerful melody, the railroads, industrial symbols of the river, cross in several plans, as if to illustrate the opulence of the livings. Read More »

Sergei Parajanov – Tsvetok na kamne AKA A Little Flower on a Stone (1962)

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Quote:
The overtly propagandistic, anti-religious plot of The Flower on the Stone (Tsvetok na kamne, Dovzhenko Film Studio 1960–1962) does not look like promising Parajanov material: when a new Komsomol mine and mining community is established in the Donbas region, a member of a Pentecostal cult sends his daughter Christina to recruit new believers. Arsen Zagorny, an upstanding Komsomol member and a talented violinist, falls in love with Christina and crosses paths with Zabroda, the leader of the local cell of the cult. Additional problems crop up in the form of Grigori Griva a local boy prone to hooliganism and drink and his buddy Chmykh, a dissolute accordion player. Grigori learns to mend his ways thanks to the guidance of Pavel Fedorovich Varchenko, the wise and patient director of the mine, and Liuda, the Komsomol organizer with whom he falls in love. The film’s title refers to fossilized plants visible on pieces of coal. Read More »

Desmond Davis – Smashing Time (1967)

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Quote:

SMASHING TIME is a 1967 comedy film starring Rita Tushingham and Lynn Redgrave. It is a satire on the 1960s media-influenced phenomenon of Swinging London.
It was written by George Melly and directed by Desmond Davis. The supporting cast included Ian Carmichael, Michael York, Jeremy Lloyd, Anna Quayle, Irene Handl and Arthur Mullard.

Brenda (Tushingham) and Yvonne (Redgrave), two girls from the North of England, arrive in London to seek fame and fortune. However, their image of the city is quickly tarnished when they are robbed of their savings. Determined not to let her chance slip, Yvonne visits Carnaby Street in the hope of catching the eye of a trendy photographer, whilst Brenda gets a job in a ‘greasy spoon’ cafe.

Yvonne does get spotted by a trendy photographer, Tom Wabe (Michael York), but for all the wrong reasons; she is singled out for being poorly dressed. Read More »

Werner Herzog – Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen AKA Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970)

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Synopsis:
The inhabitants of an institution in a remote country rebel against their keepers. Their acts of rebellion are by turns humorous, boring and alarming. An allegory on the problematic nature of fully liberating the human spirit, as both commendable and disturbing elements of our nature come forward. The film shows how justifiable revolt may be empowering, but may also turn to chaos and depravity. The allegory is developed in part by the fact that the film is cast entirely with dwarfs. Read More »