Mystery

Raphaël Jacoulot – Avant l’aube (2011)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Director Raphaël Jacoulot’s dark and atmospheric mystery, set in an isolated high-Pyrenees hotel, has all the desired elements – precise and intelligent direction, excellent casting and a great plotline in the Chabrol-Simenon tradition.

The events, as they first unfold from an innocuous opening, quickly spiral downward for la famille Couvreur. One snowy evening, despotic hotel-owner Jacques Couvreur (Jean-Pierre Bacri) sends his incompetent son down into the valley to re-stock several cases of wine. The son collides with a pedestrian and for some reason the father decides to hide the truth and say nothing about the hit-and-run accident. A young trainee, Frédéric (Vincent Rottiers), just released from prison and re-starting his life, becomes implicated in this strange affair. Inspector Poncet (Sylvie Testud), in her endearing and off-putting Columbo-esque investigative style, strives to uncover the truth behind the discovery of the corpse. Read More »

Sylvia Schedelbauer – Wishing Well (2018)


29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

A forest glade. A flickering. A cutting sound accompanies and dissects the simplicity of the image immediately, while the camera simultaneously moves backwards – we are distancing ourselves, entering into something new. The journey begins. A child on a path. It remains in the blackness, its hand, its face. The forest. Two universes encountering one another.
With a steady touch and a great sensitivity for movement and rhythm, for form and the fluidity of colours, Sylvia Schedelbauer tells of a search and a discovery. In the reverse motion of objects, time and memory are laid bare and speak of the beauty of the search and the uncovered treasure. Read More »

F.J. Ossang – Dharma Guns (La succession Starkov) (2010)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis
Emerging from a coma after a water ski accident in which his girlfriend Délie was killed, Stan van der Decken is informed that he is the heir of the mysterious Professor Starkov. He then embarks on a trip to the village of Las Estrellas… Read More »

Lucio Fulci – Murderock – uccide a passo di danza AKA Murder Rock (1984)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

SYNOPSIS
The brutal worlds of murder and dance school competitions are thrown together in yet another lurid Lucio Fulci giallo. When an insane hatpin murderer terrorizes a prestigious New York dance school, mercilessly poking nubile young women deep into their competitive little hearts. Is it one of the students, jealous of competitive placement? Is it the voyeuristic headmaster, who watches the students through his many lurid security cameras? Perhaps it’s even a jealous boyfriend? (DVDActive) Read More »

Bruno Dumont – Coincoin et les z’inhumains AKA CoinCoin and the Extra-Human (2018)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Coincoin and the Extra Humans review: Bruno Dumont raises a stink in a small town

| Sight & Sound

Ben Nicholson 15 August 2018

There was something rotten in the soil of northern France in Bruno Dumont’s blackly comic mini-series, P’tit Quinquin (2014). A four-episode television mystery that was also released as a single feature film, it was a confounding and macabre parody of a procedural police drama filled with unexpected (for the famously serious filmmaker), and often uncomfortable, laughs. It followed a bumbling duo of gendarmes as they investigated a sequence of grisly deaths in the environs of a small town as a group of mischievous kids, led by the eponymous Quinquin, watched on. Read More »

Roy Del Ruth – The Maltese Falcon (1931)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
Sam Spade is quite the womanizer. When his secretary tells him the new customer waiting outside his office is a knockout, he wastes no time before seeing her. It turns out she’s a knockout with money. And she wants to spend it on his services as a private detective. She has some story about wanting to protect her sister. Neither he nor his partner, Miles Archer, believes it. But with the money she’s paying, who cares? The job proves to be more dangerous than either of them expected. It involves not just the lovely dame with the dangerous lies, but also the sweaty Casper Gutman, the fey Joel Cairo, and the thuggish young Wilmer Cook. Three crooks, and all of them are looking for the statuette of a black bird they call the Maltese Falcon. Read More »

Roman Polanski – The Ninth Gate (1999)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Plot :
Dean Corso (Johnny Depp) is a New York City rare-book dealer motivated solely by financial gain. Wealthy book collector Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) hires Corso to authenticate his recently acquired copy of the seventeenth-century author Aristide Torchia’s book The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows, reputedly a version of a book whose author was the devil himself. The book contains nine engravings that, when correctly interpreted and the legends properly spoken, will raise the Devil. Since two other copies exist, Balkan suspects that the book might be a forgery, and asks Corso to travel to Europe determine whether his or any of the other two are genuine and, if so, to acquire them for Balkan, at any cost or by any means. Read More »