Dariush Mehrjui – Santouri (2007)

The film Santoori by the accomplished Iranian director Dariush Mehrjui tells the tale of a drug addict fighting with his inner and outer demons. With a raw and honest look, the film captures the devastation of drug addiction and how a society can push someone in that direction. Santoori an artist vs. society musical drama, goes deep within Tehran’s society, its problems with drugs and the ill treatments of drug addicts. Read More »

Valeri Rubinchik – Dikaya okhota korolya Stakha AKA The Savage Hunt of King Stakh (1980)

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It was a dark and stormy night…. at the turn of the century and Bielarecki (Boris Plotnikov), a young ethnographer seeks shelter at Marsh Firs, a gloomy baronial manor set amidst Byelorussian marshes, while he conducts research into the myths and legends of the region. He discovers from the castle’s young and tragic owner, Nadzieja Jankowska (Yelena Dimotrova), that the place is haunted by two ghosts-the Little Man of Marsh Firs and the Lady in Blue-and that her family line was accursed centuries ago when ancestor Roman Jankowska denied the hand of his daughter to King Stach, whose ghost now rides with those of thirteen horsemen to drag Jankowska offspring and their servants to death in the surrounding marshes… Read More »

Mike Figgis – The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1999)

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Confused, non-linear film tells the sexual story of a film director from his life at age 5, age 12, age 16, a man embarking on his first film in 1950’s Tunisia, and finally to his current life. Along the way he has sexual exploits with an older woman as a teen, gets involved with an Italian couple Tunisia that culminates in the killing of a local boy and the brutal revenge murder of the woman, and ultimately is married to a cold woman. Read More »

Hal Hartley – Simple Men (1992)

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A pair of brothers dodge the law while trying to locate their long-lost father in this third feature from independent New York filmmaker Hal Hartley. Robert John Burke stars as Bill McCabe, a failed computer thief who’s just been doublecrossed by his girlfriend and partner. Vowing revenge on the next beautiful blonde he encounters, Bill meets up with his younger brother Dennis (William Sage), a philosophy student concerned about their father William (John A. MacKay). It seems the McCabe paterfamilias was a former major league shortstop who became an anarchist bomber in the 1960s, nearly blowing up the Pentagon. Read More »

Anthony Spinelli – Expectations (1977)

Wealthy socialite Margo yearns for a change in her life in the wake of a divorce. Bored and unhappy, Margo decides to swap lives with free-spirited swinger Montana. However, things ultimately don’t go as planned after Montana becomes involved with Margo’s creepy brother Vincent. Read More »

Marie-Jaoul de Poncheville – Molom, conte de Mongolie AKA Molom: A Legend of Mongolia (1995)

Molom, the shaman, takes Yonden, a child lost among wolves, under his protection, and walks with him through the Mongolian steppe. Read More »

Lev Kuleshov – Neobychainye priklyucheniya mistera Vesta v strane bolshevikov AKA The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (1924)

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Mr. West was the first feature film that Kuleshov made with a team of actors who had attended his Experimental Cine-Laboratory. For four years, this group had been doing preparatory work as they planned to reform the art of cinema with an eye on montage. Yet, for a long time, their ideas remained dry theory, because the workshop lacked resources to make films. The focus of the Cine-Lab’s practice was on acting études. Details of scenes were story-boarded, photographed, or “framed” by special viewfinders in order to visualize how they might look in an edited film sequence. Thanks to these exercises, the notion of montage that Kuleshov developed was inextricably linked to his ideas on acting and shot composition. Read More »