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Richard Lowenstein – Dogs In Space (1987)

Description: Set against the backdrop of Melbourne’s late ‘70s punk rock scene, Dogs in Space chronicles life in a chaotic, squalid share-house. Hippies, addicts, students and radicals fill their days and nights with sex, drugs, parties and television. Writer/director Richard Lowenstein balances a series of chaotic vignettes with the central story of the romance between housemates Sam (Michael Hutchence), the lead singer of the band, Dogs in Space and his lover Anna (Saskia Post) as it spirals out of control. Hutchence is a brilliant symbol of reckless youth in this, his first dramatic screen role, giving Dogs in Space instant cult status upon its release. Read More »

Edward H. Griffith – Another Language (1933)

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Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Given the usual pedestal upon which mothers were placed by MGM head Louis Mayer, it’s all the more amazing that Mayer gave the go-ahead for Another Language. Louise Closser Hale plays a domineering matriarch who controls the lives of her grown, married sons, using a fabricated heart condition to keep them in line. Helen Hayes marries youngest son Robert Montgomery, only to sit by in mute horror as Mother exerts her authority over her timorous offspring at a weekly family get-together. At the end, only Hayes and Montgomery’s nephew John Beal have the courage to break the apron strings, but not without the formidable opposition of Monster Mom. Based on the Broadway play by Rose Franken, Another Language represented the screen debut of Margaret Hamilton, recreating the supporting role she’d played on stage. Read More »

Abdul Latif Salazar – Al-Ghazali: The Alchemist of Happiness (2004)

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Exploring the life and impact of the greatest spiritual and legal philosopher in Islamic history, this film examines Ghazali’s existential crisis of faith that arose from his rejection of religious dogmatism, and reveals profound parallels with our own times. Ghazali became known as the Proof of Islam and his path of love and spiritual excellence overcame the pitfalls of the organised religion of his day. His path was largely abandoned by early 20th century Muslim reformers for the more strident and less tolerant school of Ibn Taymiyya. Combining drama with documentary, this film argues that Ghazali’s Islam is the antidote for today’s terror. Written by Abdul Latif Salazar Read More »

Yuri Zhelyabuzhsky – Papirosnitsa ot Mosselproma aka The cigarette girl of Mosselprom [+Extras] (1924)

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Review
Though many casual film fans are of the opinion that the Russian silent cinema began and ended with Montage and Propaganda, several charming romantic comedies and dramas emanated from the Soviet film industry of the 1920s. The Cigarette Girl of Mosselprom tells the tale of a young man who falls in love with the title character (Yulia Solnsteva). She becomes a famous film star, and herself falls in love–not with the hero, but with her cameraman. No one ever gets what he or she truly wants in the story, though they continue to pursue their lost dreams to the bitter end. Revelling in The Unexpected throughout, Cigarette Girl of Mosselprom is capped by an adroit surprise ending. (Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide)
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Joris Ivens & Marceline Loridan Ivens – Le 17e parallèle: La guerre du peuple AKA 17th Parallel: Vietnam in War (1968)

On the border of North and South Vietnam, civilians live underground and cultivate their land in the dead of night, farmers take up arms, and bombs fall like clockwork. Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan’s record of daily life in one of the most volatile regions of a war-torn, divided country is both a hazardous piece of first-hand journalism and a shattering work in its own right, simmering with barely repressed anger.

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Shinya Tsukamoto – Vital (2004)

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Quote:
A beautiful meditation on love, memory and mortality. After surviving a car accident which kills his girlfriend, an amnesia-struck student (Tadanobu Asano) returns to medical school and confronts his slowly emerging past on the autopsy table. An enthralling movie with probably the tenderest autopsy scene in movie history and engrossing interplay between Asano, his masochistic girlfriend (Kiki), the affected families, and his own past feelings of love. Read More »

Ofir Raul Graizer – The Cakemaker (2017)

Quote:
Thomas, a young and talented German baker, is having an affair with Oren, an Israeli married man who dies in a car crash. Thomas travels to Jerusalem seeking answers. Keeping his secret for himself, he starts working for Anat, his lover’s widow, who owns a small café. Although not fully kosher and despised by the religious, his delicious cakes turn the place into a city attraction. Finding himself involved in Anat’s life in a way far beyond his anticipation, Thomas will stretch his lie to a point of no return. Read More »