Eliane Caffé – Era o Hotel Cambridge AKA The Cambridge Squatter (2016)

Shows the unusual situation of homeless Brazilians movement and refugees that squat together an abandoned building in downtown São Paulo. The daily tension caused by the treat of eviction reveals the dramas and joys. Read More »

Eldar Ryazanov – Sluzhebnyy roman AKA Office Romance (1977)

Anatoli Yefremovich Novoseltsev works in a statistics institution, whose director is an unattractive and bossy woman. An old friend of his, Yuri Grigorievich Samokhvalov, who gets appointed assistant director of the institution, wants to make Novoseltsev the head of the department but encounters objections from Ludmila Prokopievna Kalugina, the director. Samokhvalov then advises Novoseltsev to lightly hit on the boss. Ironically, Novoseltsev and Kalugina fall in love with each other… Read More »

Yuriy Bykov – Nachalnik AKA The Boss (2009)

Two burglars enter a summer house. Read More »

John Woo – Hao xia aka Last Hurrah for Chivalry [+commentary] (1979)

The estate of the Kao family was attacked by Pai an enemy of the Kao family. The last member of the Kao family barely escapes with his life and seeks to avenge himself. His old teacher refuses to help him because he is too caught up in anger and hate. Kao hears of a famous hero in the local town, he tries to befriend him so that he might have his aid in taking revenge against Pai. Read More »

Frank Lloyd – Berkeley Square (1933)

Leslie Howards time-travels between 1784 and 1933 London in this fantasy romance. Read More »

James Whale – By Candlelight (1933)

After directing three of Universal’s finest horror films, James Whale shifted gears with the elegant romantic comedy By Candlelight. Though quite miscast, Paul Lukas successfully conveys the role of Josef, ultra-dutiful valet to the libidinous Count Von Bommer (Nils Asther). Falling in love with Marie (Elissa Landi), whom he assumes to be a countess, Josef poses – quite convincingly – as his rakish master. The catch: Marie is herself a poseur, a mere maidservant to Count and Countess Von Rischenheim (Lawrence Grant, Dorothy Revier). Based on a play by Siegfried Geyer, By Candlelight is chock full of delightfully double-entendre pre-Code dialogue and dextrous directorial touches. Read More »

Xinyuan Zheng Lu – Ta fang jian li de yun AKA The Cloud in Her Room (2020)

It’s winter and 22-year-old Muzi has returned to her home town of Hangzhou for a visit, a new year is around the corner. Her parents are long since separated, her father has a wife and young daughter and her mother is dating, though the old family apartment is still furnished as was. Muzi befriends an older bar owner and her university boyfriend comes looking for her, although no relationships here are straightforward. It takes time to work out how everyone connects to Muzi anyway, there are no explanations or introductions and one scene can shift into another without warning, creating ellipses along the way; it’s less about telling a story than capturing a mood, the same sense of melancholy stasis that settles even over the sudden outbursts of feeling. Read More »