Claude Lelouch – …pour un maillot jaune AKA For a Yellow Jersey (1965)

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The 1965 Tour de France was won by a young Italian called Felice Gimondi, riding only as a late inclusion. The French had hoped that the winner would be Raymond Poulidor relieved for once of riding against Jacques Anquetil who had always beaten him. By the Chartreuse, however, Gimondi was unbeatable and even attacked Poulidor and left him behind “just to show Raymond that I could go faster and that I was the better man.” Read More »

Claude Lelouch – L’Amour avec des si AKA In the Affirmative (1962)

L’Amour avec des si (1962)

Synopsis
L’Amour avec des si is a road movie that follows a middle aged man who gives a young woman a lift. On the car radio, news bulletins warn the population against a recently escaped sadist who is known to prey on yong women. Lelouch often cuts away from the main story, if only briefly, to parallel events that are not necessarily crucial to the story but illustrate what is suggested by the radio. Read More »

Don Askarian – Avetik (1992)

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“Avetik” is very much in tradition of the cinema of dreams. A gorgeous and mesmerizing film, “Avetik” both thrills the eye and boggles the mind. It takes you on a journey of the mind that leads to heaven or hell – a succulent garden full of bare-breasted goddesses or a frozen step of devastation and death”. “Askarian is capable of producing images that are unlike anything ever seen before, yet hit you with a primal immediacy”.Hovering between the realms of poetry and history, this stunningly photographed, elegiac work-hot mostly in long takes-mixes cryptic metaphor and fantastic symbolism to tell the story of Avetik, an Armenian filmmaker exiled in Berlin. Director Askarian employs dreamlike images-a crumbling, ancient stone chapel gradually reduced to nothing by the rumbling vibrations of passing military vehicles; a ghostly cemetery of carved tombstones in which a woman takes a starving sheep in her arm and breast-feeds it back to life-to reflect the history of his homeland and shades of his own exile in Germany. In sensuous, lyric tableaux, Askarian explores German racism, the 1915 Armenian genocide, the disastrous earthquake of 1989, tranquil childhood memories, and images inspired by erotic medieval poetry. Read More »

John Dixon – Sunbury Rock Festival (1972)


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The 70’s was a period in Australian Rock Music when the industry’s top acts could also be seen at the annual Sunbury Music Festival. On each Australia Day Weekend from 1972-1975, crowds of 35,000 or more would camp at the picturesque site 30 minutes from Melbourne, anticipating a full rocking of their socks from Australia’s own rock’n’roll icons. But the very first Sunbury – an all Australian affair showcasing the talents of the day – is the most fondly remembered by those that made the pilgrimage. Where else could you see Chain, Lobby Loyde and Max Merrit on the same bill? And where else but Sunbury would Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs debut ‘Most People I Know Think That I’m Crazy’? In 1972 – post Woodstock but years before The Big Day Out, Sunbury was an event not to be missed. This film serves as a reminder of that first festival in 1972, and captures the spirit of Sunbury’s ethos – “”to have a good time””. So join your host Molly Meldrum – dressed in the style of the times – and sit back, relax, crank up the volume, and stroll down memory lane to Sunbury.
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Marco Ferreri – La Grande Bouffe [+Extra] (1973)

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Synopsis
Subversive Italian satirist Marco Ferreri directed and co-wrote (with Rafael Azcona) this grotesquely amusing French black comedy about four men who grow sick of life, and so meet at a remote villa with the goal of literally eating themselves to death. The quartet comes from various walks of life — a pilot (Marcello Mastroianni), a chef (Ugo Tognazzi), a television host (Michel Piccoli), and a judge (Philippe Noiret) — but all are successful men with excessive appetites for life’s pleasures (food is used as mere metaphor here, as graphic as that metaphor becomes).
~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide
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Marco Ferreri – Ciao maschio aka Bye Bye Monkey (1978)

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Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, in 1978. It would be interesting to bail up the panel now and ask them why they gave Ferreri’s film the award (in a tied decision with in tie with Jerzy Skolimowski’s The Shout). I suspect that they would not remember, let alone be able to explain why. In the 70s the absurdist, non-conventional, sexually-candid aspects of the film were all qualities that were regarded as inherently significant but times change and like so many films of its era, the meaning is now far less apparent. Broadly speaking, Ferreri’s first English-language film is a Fellini-esque portrait of the male species under attack from castrating women. Gérard Depardieu stars as a lighting technician who is raped multiple times by the members of the feminist theatrical group he works for. He subsequently finds a baby chimpanzee inside the remains of a huge stuffed gorilla and starts a relationship with one of his rapists. Marcello Mastroianni as a lonely old man and James Coco as a decadent wax museum owner also move in and out of the story. Whilst the images of the characters with the beached giant gorilla (which presumably Ferreri salvaged from Dino De Laurentis’ 1976 remake of King Kong) shot against the New York skyline are haunting and there are individual moments of surreal humour throughout the film, the absence of much in the way of narrative, characterological or dramatic development will make Ferreri’s film a trial for those other than students of the era or of the director’s work in particular.
BH @ cinephilia.net.au
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Marco Ferreri – Dillinger e morto aka Dillinger Is Dead [+Extras] (1969)

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Description :
In this magnificently inscrutable late-sixties masterpiece, Marco Ferreri, one of European cinema’s most idiosyncratic auteurs, takes us through the looking glass to one seemingly routine night in the life of an Italian gas mask designer, played, in a tour de force performance, by New Wave icon Michel Piccoli. In his claustrophobic mod home, he pampers his pill-popping wife, seduces his maid, and uncovers a gun that may have once been owned by John Dillinger—and then things get even stranger. A surreal political missive about social malaise, Dillinger Is Dead (Dillinger è morto) finds absurdity in the mundane. It is a singular experience, both illogical and grandly existential. Read More »