Crime

Wes Craven – The Last House on the Left [+Extras] (1972)

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Wes Craven’s first film was a crude but shocking horror opus that, like George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968), became a grind house hit largely because it went much further than terror films before it had been willing to go. Often compared to Ingmar Bergman’s stark medieval rape drama The Virgin Spring (1960) (though one wonders whether this was influence or just coincidence), Last House on the Left follows a group of teenage girls heading into the city when they hook up with a gang of drug-addled ne’er-do-wells and are brutally murdered. The killers find their way to the home of one of their victim’s parents, where both father and mother exact a horrible revenge. Like Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre two years later, Last House on the Left was an unrelievedly dark vision of contemporary horror that inspired many future films which copied its effects without achieving its visceral impact. — Mark Deming (AMG) Read More »

Michel Audiard – Elle Boit Pas, Elle Fume Pas, Elle Drague Pas, Mais… Elle Cause! aka She Does Not Drink, Smoke or Flirt But… She Talks (1970)

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the AMG wrote :

“This offbeat satirical comedy finds a beautiful and talkative housekeeper (Annie Girardot) working for several colorful employers. One is a former prostitute living with a prominent politician. Also included is a ribald bank teller and a strange man who helps out at a church for wayward boys and sings at a homosexual nightclub. The housekeeper’s verbose nature leads to blackmail for her clients…” Read More »

Robert Bresson – L’argent AKA Money (1983)

Quote:
In his ruthlessly clear-eyed final film, French master Robert Bresson pushed his unique blend of spiritual rumination and formal rigor to a new level of astringency. Transposing a Tolstoy novella to contemporary Paris, L’argent follows a counterfeit bill as it originates as a prop in a schoolboy prank, then circulates like a virus among the corrupt and the virtuous alike before landing with a young truck driver and leading him to incarceration and violence. With brutal economy, Bresson constructs his unforgiving vision of original sin out of starkly perceived details, rooting his characters in a dehumanizing material world that withholds any hope of transcendence. Read More »

Gilles Grangier – Maigret voit rouge AKA Maigret Sees Red [+Extras] (1963)

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Synopsis:

“A man is shot dead in the centre of Paris and the witness to the murder finds himself the next target in a vendetta between American gangsters. Inspector Maigret is charged with protecting the witness and resolving the mystery of the killing….”
– Films de France Read More »

Andrew L. Stone – The Night Holds Terror (1955)

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Plot:
A group of escaped convicts take over a suburban home to evade the ongoing police manhunt, making the lives of the family living there a nightmare. The longer the men stay there, the more the tensions build and the more likely it becomes a tragedy will occur. Based on a real-life hostage-taking. Read More »

Wes Anderson – Bottle Rocket (1997)

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Comedy/Crime
“Upon his release from a mental hospital following a breakdown, the directionless Anthony joins his friend Dignan (who seems far less sane than Anthony.) Dignan has hatched a hair brained scheme for an as-yet unspecified crime spree that somehow involves his former boss, the (supposedly) legendary Mr. Henry. With the help of their pathetic neighbor and pal Bob, Anthony and Dignan pull a job and hit the road, where Anthony finds love with motel maid Inez. When our boys finally hook up with Mr. Henry, the ensuing escapade turns out to be far from what anyone expected.” Read More »

William Friedkin – The French Connection (1971)

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Quote:

“The French Connection” is routinely included, along with “Bullitt,” “Diva” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” on the short list of movies with the greatest chase scenes of all time. What is not always remembered is what a good movie it is apart from the chase scene. It featured a great early Gene Hackman performance that won an Academy Award, and it also won Oscars for best picture, direction, screenplay and editing.

The movie is all surface, movement, violence and suspense.
Roger Ebert Read More »