USA

Ramin Bahrani – Goodbye Solo (2008)

From IMDB: “On the lonely roads of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, two men forge an improbable friendship that will change both of their lives forever. Solo is a Senegalese cab driver working to provide a better life for his young family. William is a tough Southern good ol’ boy with a lifetime of regrets. One man’s American dream is just beginning, while the other’s is quickly winding down. But despite their differences, both men soon realize they need each other more than either is willing to admit. Through this unlikely but unforgettable friendship, GOODBYE SOLO deftly explores the passing of a generation as well as the rapidly changing face of America.”

Winner of the FIPRESCI International Film Critics Award – Best Film at the 2008 Venice Film Festival. Read More »

Thomas Gomez Durham – 95ers: Echoes (2012)

Special Agent Sally Biggs has a secret. She can rewind time–a few seconds–whenever she wants. It’s enough to make her a celebrity at the FBI and control almost everything in her life. But deep down, she’s afraid of the pain that comes from the things no one can control. Her worst fears are realized when her scientist husband disappears mysteriously. Paranormal apparitions begin to surround her. Strangers with terrifying technologies know her secret, and want her dead. Her only clue is her husband’s ghost–who she follows onto a battlefield she never knew existed. She must discover the awesome truth that ties all the mysteries together, before the fabric of her being–and the ones she loves most–fade out of reality. Written by Space Ace Read More »

Elia Kazan – Panic in the Streets [+Extras] (1950)

Synopsis from AMG:
Filmed entirely on location in New Orleans, Panic in the Streets stars Richard Widmark as a city medical officer, racing against time to stop a plague epidemic. The carrier was an illegal alien, who has been murdered by criminals Jack Palance and Zero Mostel. At first facing opposition from rule-bound police captain Paul Douglas, Widmark is finally able to work hand-in-glove with Douglas in tracking down Palance and Mostel, who have themselves become plague carriers. Many of the actors in Panic in the Streets are local nonprofessionals, selected by director Elia Kazan because of their “rightness” within the framework of the story; the rest of the cast is peopled by such film veterans as Barbara Bel Geddes, Tommy Cook, Emile Meyer and H.T. Tsiang. Widmark’s son is played by an uncredited Tommy Rettig, four years before he starred on the Lassie TV series. Though Elia Kazan liked to claim that much of Panic in the Streets was improvised, there was a script, adapted by Richard Murphy and Daniel Fuchs from a story by Edward Anhalt and Edna Anhalt. — Hal Erickson Read More »

Frank Capra – Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)

Review from FilmSite.org
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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) is producer/director Frank Capra’s classic comedy-drama, and considered by many to be his greatest achievement in film (and reminiscent of his earlier film, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town (1936)). [In fact, the film project by Columbia was first announced as Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington starring Gary Cooper, in a role similar to his previous Longfellow Deeds character.] 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 »

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 »