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François Truffaut – Le Dernier metro AKA Last Metro (1980)

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Paris, 1942. Lucas Steiner is a Jew and was compelled to leave the country. His wife Marion, an actress, directs the theater for him. She tries to keep the theater alive with a new play, and hires Bernard Granger for the leading role. But Lucas is actually hiding in the basement… A film about art and life. Read More »

Serge Leroy / Claude de Givrey / Bernard Revon / Guy Seligman – Les salades de l’amour – François Truffaut (1961 – 1986)

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• Portrait of François Truffaut
This excerpt from Serge Leroy’s 1961 documentary François Truffaut shows the newly celebrated filmmaker discussing his influences and beginnings along with Les Mistons and The 400 Blows.

from the Criterion DVD

Portrait of François Truffaut is a a twenty-five minute excerpt from a 1961 documentary by Serge Leroy, covering the director’s early years. Truffaut does plenty of talking about the creative choices and influences that went into his first films, while fidgeting restlessly in a chair before the camera, with overlong clips from his first few films mixed in.

from DVDBreakdown.com Read More »

François Truffaut – L’Histoire d’Adele H. AKA The Story of Adele H. (1975)

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Quote:

Francois Truffaut’s dramatization of the true story of Adele Hugo, the daughter of French author-in-exile Victor Hugo, and her romantic obsession with a young French officer is a cinematically beautiful and emotionally wrenching portrait of a headstrong but unstable young woman. Adele (Isabelle Adjani, whose pale face gives her the quality of a cameo portrait) travels under a false name and spins a half-dozen false stories about herself and her relationship to Lieutenant Pinson (Bruce Robinson), the Hussar she follows to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Pinson no longer loves her, but she refuses to accept his rejection. Sinking farther and farther into her own internal world, she passes herself off as his wife and pours out her stormy emotions into a personal journal filled with delusional descriptions of her fantasy life. Beautifully shot by Nestor Almendros in vivid color, Truffaut’s re-creation of the 1860s is accomplished not merely in impressive sets and locations but in the very style of the film: narration and voiceovers, written journal entries and letters, journeys and locations established with map reproductions, and a judicious use of stills mix old-fashioned cinematic technique with poetic flourishes. The result is one of Truffaut’s most haunting portraits, all the more powerful because it’s true. Read More »

Various – Boris Karloff’s Thriller [Season 2] (1962)

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Director: Various
Thriller (aka. Boris Karloff’s Thriller) was an hour-long TV Horror anthology series that originally aired on NBC from 1960 to 1962. Horror fans who grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s were nearly enraptured with the content and structure of this show. Indeed, in his non-fiction book on horror, Danse Macabre, Stephen King calls Thriller “the best horror series ever put on TV” (224; 1983 ed). At the beginning of each hour, Hollywood’s master of the macabre himself, Boris Karloff, would set the tone and prime the viewers for frightful and chilling dramatizations based on the works of some of the era’s greatest writers in the genre – writers like Robert E Howard, Cornell Woolrich, Richard Matheson, and Robert Bloch. Each episode was shot in eerie black and white and offered at least one story, with a few episodes dividing the hour between two or three shorter plays. Read More »

Alan Parker – Bugsy Malone (1976)

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At first the notion seems alarming: a gangster movie cast entirely with kids. Especially when we learn that “Bugsy Malone” isn’t intended as a kid’s movie so much as a cheerful comment on the childlike values and behavior in classic Hollywood crime films. What are kids doing in something like this?

But then we see the movie and we relax. “Bugsy Malone” is like nothing else. It’s an original, a charming one, and it has yet another special performance by Jodie Foster, who at thirteen was already getting the roles that grown-up actresses complained weren’t being written for women anymore. She plays a hard-bitten nightclub singer and vamps her way through a torch song by Paul Williams with approximately as much style as Rita Hayworth brought to “Gilda.” She starts on stage, drifts down into the audience, arches her eyebrows at the fat cats (all about junior high school age), and, in general, is astonishingly assured. And her performance seems just right in the film; “Bugsy Malone” depends almost totally on tone, and if you put kids in these situations and directed them just a little wrongly the movie would be offensive. But it’s not, and it’s especially right with Foster. Read More »

Craig Zobel – Compliance (2012)

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Well, what would you do? You’d never go along with this, right? You’re too smart. Me, too. “Compliance” encourages us to feel superior to the employees of a fast-food chicken chain in Ohio, and so we do: Audiences are said to be outraged at what the characters do, and San Francisco-based critic Omar Moore went back to more screenings to confirm that there were walk-outs.

In the case of “Compliance,” the walk-outs aren’t because it’s a bad movie, but because it’s all too effective at exposing the human tendency to cave in to authority. As the film opens, Sandra (Ann Dowd), the restaurant’s manager, is already feeling guilty. An employee left a freezer open and $15,000 in food was spoiled. Almost as bad, somebody didn’t order more pickles and bacon, and the district supervisor is scheduled to make an inspection visit. For Sandra, this is a perfect storm. Read More »

John Woods – Sex, Chips & Rock n’ Roll (1999)

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Synopsis –
It’s 1965. Times are changing! But the swinging sixties haven’t quite hit the Brookes household. Non-identical twin sisters Ellie and Arden Brookes seem destined to play out their lives behind a chip shop counter in a dreary Manchester backwater. Torn between the old narrow life of their childhood and the thrilling “anything goes” atmosphere of sixties rock and roll, the sisters find themselves faced with a heady mixture of new opportunities, optimism and romance. Their journey towards liberation is set against an exhilarating soundtrack of sixties music to echo the spirit of the era. Read More »