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Roland Kibbee – The Midnight Man (1974)

The Midnight Man is one of the eerier and more startling mystery films of its period, sustaining for nearly two hours a mood that veers very carefully between seductive, quiet lyricism and lurking violence and despair. It was something of a tour de force for Burt Lancaster, who not only starred in it, but also co-directed the movie (with Roland Kibbee, who did most of the directing) and co-authored the screenplay, also with Kibbee. The plot is one of the more violent and complex in a mystery of this era, hinged around a series of seemingly unrelated events, starting with a robbery that turns more vicious than it needs to for no good reason, and leading to a series of shootings, bludgeonings, and other mayhem that leaves a bloody stain across its small border-state college-town setting. Read More »

Anucha Boonyawatana – Malila: The Farewell Flower (2017)

Quote:
The the visually stunning new Thai relationship drama Malila: The Farewell Flower, former gay lovers Shane and Pitch reunite after years apart and try to heal the wounds of their past. Shane is haunted by the tragic death of his daughter, while Pitch suffers a grave illness, rejecting medical treatment as painful and ineffective.

A talented artist, Pitch creates beautiful structures made out of flowers and banana leaves as a way to cope with his deteriorating health. Meanwhile, Shane trains to become a Buddhist monk, in an effort to build karma for Pitch… to either keep him alive or to help him along in his afterlife. Read More »

Marcel Carné – Juliette ou La clef des songes AKA Juliette, or Key of Dreams (1951)

Synopsis:
Having been caught stealing money from his employer to pay for a holiday with his girlfriend Juliette, Michel finds himself in a prison cell. He falls into a deep sleep and awakes to find the door of his cell open. Stepping through the doorway, he finds himself in the most beautiful sun-drenched countryside. A peaceful country road leads him to a remote village whose inhabitants have lost their memory. Husbands and wives no longer recognise one another but everyone seems to know Juliette when Michel enquires about her… Read More »

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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