Ephraim Kishon – Ha-Shoter Azulai AKA The Policeman [+extra] (1971)

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Born in Budapest, Hungary, as Ferenc Hoffmann, Ephraim Kishon studied sculpture and painting, and then began publishing humourous essays and writing for the stage. After 1945 he changed his surname from Hoffmann to Kishont. He emigrated to Israel in 1949, where an immigration officer gave him the name Ephraim Kishon.

Acquiring a mastery of Hebrew with remarkable speed, he started a regular satirical column in the easy-Hebrew daily, Omer, after only two years in the country. From 1952, he wrote the column “Had Gadya” in the daily Ma’ariv. Devoted largely to political and social satire but including essays of pure humour, it became one of the most popular columns in the country. His extraordinary inventiveness, both in the use of language and the creation of character, was applied also to the writing of innumerable sketches for theatrical revues.

Azulai is a soft-hearted and incompetent policeman in Jaffa. His superiors want to send him to early retirement, but he would like to stay on the force. The criminals of Jaffa who also don’t want to see him leave try to find a way to help him keep his job.
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Camillo Mastrocinque – La banda degli onesti AKA The Band of Honest Men (1956)

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Description: Janitor Antonio Buonocore joins his friend Lo Turco e Cardone, to print some counterfeit bills. When they decide to circulate one counterfeit bill, they are only able to spend the right one, used as a mould for the others. Crime is not for them and so they decide to renounce their plans. Read More »

Helmut Weiss – Die Feuerzangenbowle (1944)

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Die Feuerzangenbowle (The Fire-Tongs Bowl or The Punch Bowl) is a 1944 movie, directed by Helmut Weiss and is based on the book of the same name. It follows the book closely as author Spoerl also wrote the script for the movie. Both tell the story of a famous writer going undercover as a pupil at a small town secondary school after his friends tell him that he missed out on the best part of growing up by being educated at home. The story in the book takes place during the Weimar Republic in Germany. The movie was produced and released in Germany during the last years of World War II and has been called a “masterpiece of timeless, cheerful escapism.”[1] The movie stars Heinz Rühmann in the role of the student Hans Pfeiffer, which is remarkable as Rühmann was already 42 years old at that time.

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Sébastien Pilote – Le Vendeur (2011)

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Quote:
This stunning Quebecois kitchen sink drama is so raw and real, the pain evoked so acute, you’ll be devastated by its quiet power while at the same time dazzled by its cinematic genius. The film had its World Premiere in Competition at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011 and was cited as one of Canada’s Ten Best Films of the year in the Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) CTT. That it has not garnered one single nomination for a Genie Award is an utter disgrace.

(Greg Klymkiw, canadianfilmcorner.blogspot.com)

Quote:
A tale of quiet resilience and human frailty that plays out against a harsh and apparently endless Quebec winter, befouled by the global economic downturn and a cruel twist of fate, Quebec filmmaker Sébastien Pilote’s debut, Le Vendeur (The Salesman) is a masterful observation of ordinary people squeezing what they need to get by out of unforgiving circumstances. Read More »

Alfred Hitchcock – Suspicion: Four o Clock (1957)

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NBC’s “Suspicion” was a 40 episode series (which ran from 1957 to 1958) in a similar mold to “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”. Alfred Hitchcock directed the series permiere episode, “Four O’Clock”. It was originally broadcast on 30/Sep/1957.

Synopsis :
Paul Steppe, a successful watchmaker, begins to suspect that his wife Fran is seeing another man. Consumed with jealousy, Steppe decides to murder her. His plan, he feels is ingenious. Painstakingly Steppe applies all of his watchmaking skills to the construction of a time bomb. He plans to slip into his house in the afternoon without his wife’s knowledge, leave the bomb and then return to his jewelry store unnoticed and unsuspected. Read More »

Alfred Hitchcock – Juno and the Paycock (1930)

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From Channel 4 Film:

Early British Hitchcock which has the future master of suspense trying to make a living with this faithful adaptation of O’Casey’s classic play, chronicling the ups and downs of an Irish family in the Dublin of the 1920s. Most of it is a straight filming of the play – and was acknowledged as such by Hitchcock – even though handsomely photographed and acted. When the action opens up towards the end, Hitch gets a chance to flex his cinematic muscle with a predictably dramatic ending.

Chris Hughes says this:

By 1929 Alfred Hitchcock had established himself as a significant rising star in British cinema. Hitchcock was in the formative stage of his career and though he was gaining new respect with every project, he didn’t yet wield the clout necessary to choose his own scripts, actors and crew. Still, the ‘Hitchcock touch’ was apparent in many of his early films and they bear viewing today as important milestones in a soon to be legendary career. Read More »

Alfred Hitchcock – Notorious [+Extras] (1946)

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One of Hitchcock’s finest films of the ’40s, using its espionage plot about Nazis hiding out in South America as a mere MacGuffin, in order to focus on a perverse, cruel love affair between US agent Grant and alcoholic Bergman, whom he blackmails into providing sexual favours for the German Rains as a means of getting information. Suspense there is, but what really distinguishes the film is the way its smooth, polished surface illuminates a sickening tangle of self-sacrifice, exploitation, suspicion, and emotional dependence. Grant, in fact, is the least sympathetic character in the dark, ever-shifting relationships on view, while Rains, oppressed by a cigar-chewing, possessive mother and deceived by all around him, is treated with great generosity. Less war thriller than black romance, it in fact looks forward to the misanthropic portrait of manipulation in Vertigo. — GA, Time Out Film Guide 13 Read More »