Films We Love

IL FUTURO

 

Starring: Manuela Martelli and Rutger Hauer

Directed by: Alicia Scherson

Release Date: September 6, 2013

When their parents die, Bianca starts to smoke and Tomas is still a virgin. The orphans explore the dangerous streets of adulthood until Bianca finds Maciste, a retired Mr. Universe, and enters his dark mansion in search of a future.

This movie is about Bianca (Manuela Martell) who is orphaned in Italy after her ex-pat parents are killed in a traffic accident. She tries to care for her slightly younger brother, but is frustrated trying to find legitimate employment (she works in a hair salon, but is not allowed to cut anyone's hair). She gets sexually involved with some older friends of her brother who are both "personal trainers" and small-time thugs, and they enlist her as the sexual "bait" in a plot to rob a supposedly wealthy, blind American (Rutger Hauer) but she begins to form sympathy for her intended target.

Manuela Martelli won Best Actress in a Motion Picture at the 2014 Chileans Altazor Awards

THE DREAMERS

 

Starring: Michael Pitt, Louis Garrel, and Eva Green

Directed by: Bernardo Bertolucci

Release Date: October 10, 2003

The tumultuous political landscape of Paris in 1968 serves as the backdrop for a tale about three young cineastes who are drawn together through their passion for film.  Matthew, an American exchange student, pursuing his education abroad in Paris, becomes friends with a French brother and sister duo, named Theo and Isabelle, who share a common love of the cinema.  While the May 1968 Paris student riots--which eventually shut down most of the French government--are happening around them, the three friends develop a relationship unlike anything Matthew has ever experienced, or will ever encounter again. "The Dreamers" immerses itself in the esoterics of the place and time to the exclusion of anyone who wasn't there then. Beautifully filmed and masterfully crafted with some young actors doing superb work under difficult circumstances with plenty of graphic nudity and sex, "The Dreamers" will play best with aficionados of French cinema, Bertolucci fans, etc. Those who are squeamish about sex/nudity should pass. All others, be prepared for a marginally interesting watch.

MALAMORE

 

Starring: Nathalie Nell and Antonio Marsina

Directed by: Eriprando Visconti

Release Date: September 23, 1982

Set in Northern Italy during the 1st World War. The villa of the lawyer Giammarco is used as a military hospital. For the owner's son, Marcello a poor deformed dwarf, it is an opportunity to meet people and discover life, because he is kept hidden by his family.

 

He falls in love with a prostitute, who only wants his money. The prostitute's lover plots to kill the dwarf, but she helps him to escape and is run over and paralyzed as a result. She becomes paralyzed after the accident; as a fellow-creature, she will stay at his side.

JEREMIAH JOHNSON

 

Starring: Robert Redford, Will Greer, and Delle Bolton

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

Release Date: December 2, 1972

During the mid-nineteenth century, Jeremiah Johnson, after a stint in the US Army, decides that he would prefer a life of solitude and more importantly peace by living with nature in the mountains of the frontier of the American west. This plan entails finding a piece of land upon which to build a house. This quest ends up being not quite what he envisioned as he does require the assistance of others to find his footing, and in turn, he amasses friends and acquaintances along the way, some who become more a part of his life than he would have imagined. 

Perhaps most importantly, some of those people provide him with the knowledge of how to co-exist with some of the many Indian tribes, most importantly the Crow, on whose land in Colorado Jeremiah ultimately decides to build his home. But an act by Jeremiah upon a request by the US Cavalry leads to a chain of events that may forever change the peaceful relationship he worked so hard to achieve with his neighbors and their land.

A TALE OF TWO SISTERS

 

Starring: Soo-jung Lim, Moon Geun-Young, and Kap-su Kim

Directed by: Kim Jee-woon

Release Date: August 23, 2003

'A Tale of Two Sisters', or 'Janghwa, Hongryeon', is a true masterpiece. Brilliant psychological thriller, heart-wrenching drama, and gripping horror all wrapped up in one beautifully orchestrated package. From the intricate plot, to the beautiful cinematography, to the absolutely perfect casting, every aspect of this film is extraordinary. 

While it may appear to be a little difficult to understand at first, it does a good job of explaining things in the end. And whether you prefer psychological thriller, drama, or horror, you will not be disappointed.

From a technical standpoint, its nearly flawless. The set, the cinematography, lighting, and especially the soundtrack, all are captivating.

If you have yet to see 'A Tale Of Two Sisters', we strongly recommend locating a copy. It is a real gem, worthy of anyone's collection.

MELANCHOLIA

 

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Alexander Skarsgård

Directed by: Lars von Trier

Release Date: May 18, 2011

On the night of her wedding to Michael (Alexander Skarsgård), Justine (Kirsten Dunst) struggles with premonitions of a blue planet called Melancholia, on a collision course with the Earth. Ironically, while the ensuing oblivion brings on a condition of depressive, Melancholia, Justine's sister, Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), struggles to maintain composure and calm around her as impending disaster unsettles everyone. The extravagant wedding, paid for by Justine's brother-in-law, is shattered as the husband and guests depart and the sisters are left to deal with the impending cataclysm alone.

 

The image of Justine (Kirsten Dunst) floating down the stream with her bouquet was inspired by John Everett Millais' 1852 painting "Ophelia".

 

Kirsten Dunst won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

PLANET OF THE APES

 

Starring: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, and Kim Hunter

Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner

Release Date: April 21, 1968

In the year 3978 A.D. Taylor and two other astronauts come out of deep hibernation to find that their ship has crash-landed on a distant planet. Escaping with little more than clothes they find that they have landed on a planet where men are pre-lingual and uncivilized while apes have learned speech and technology.

One of the men is shot and killed and the others are taken to the apes' city. There, one undergoes brain surgery and is put into a state of living death. The other befriends some of the apes but is feared by most. After being put through ape trial he escapes with a female human native. After helping his ape friends escape a religious heresy trial he escapes out into the wilderness with the female. There he learns the planet might not be so distant after all...

Somewhere in the Universe, there must be something better than man!

RENOIR

 

Starring: Christa Théret and Michel Bouquet

Directed by: Gilles Bourdos

Release Date: October 13, 1970

The Côte d'Azur. 1915. In his twilight years, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is tormented by the loss of his wife, the pains of arthritic old age and the terrible news that his son Jean has been wounded in action.

 

But when a young girl miraculously enters his world, the old painter is filled with a new, wholly unexpected energy. Blazing with life, radiantly beautiful, Andrée will become his last model, and the wellspring of a remarkable rejuvenation. Back at the family home to convalesce, Jean too falls under the spell of the new, redheaded star in the Renoir firmament. In their Mediterranean Eden - and in the face of his father's fierce opposition - he falls in love with this wild, untameable spirit... and as he does so, within weak-willed, battle-shaken Jean, a filmmaker begins to grow.

Renoir won the Best Costume Design award at the 2014 César Awards

THE LICKERISH QUARTET

 

Starring: Silvana Venturelli and Erika Remberg

Directed by: Radley Metzger

Release Date: October 13, 1970

A jaded, wealthy couple watch a blue movie in their castle home along with her adult son. The son is testy, so they go into town and watch a circus-like thrill ride. The daredevil woman in the show looks exactly like one of the women in the movie, so the man invites her to join them for a nightcap. Tensions among the family seem to rise. She stays overnight, and during her 24 hours in the castle, each of its three residents involves her in a fantasy. She, in turn, keeps asking, “Who has the gun?” Will there be violence before it’s over?

 

The Lickerish Quartet received critical praise upon its release by many critics, especially Andy Warhol and Vincent Canby, as being one of the first films with graphic sex to have Hollywood-like production values.  Vincent Canby of The New York Times noted: “I must say I find most of Mr. Metzger’s movies entertaining to watch. They are so, well, ripe with incredible color and décor and movement.”  A Goodies Favorite!

THE GUEST

 

Starring: Dan Stevens, Sheila Kelley and Maika Monroe

Directed by: Adam Wingard

Release Date: January 17, 2014

The Guest is a 2014 American thriller film directed and edited by Adam Wingard that follows a soldier named David unexpectedly visiting the Peterson family, introducing himself as a friend of their son who had died during the Afghanistan war. After the man is welcomed into their home for a couple of days, a series of deaths begin to occur around his presence, and their daughter Anna begins to have suspicions of David being connected to the deaths.

The Guest won Best Film and Best Actor at the 2014 BloodGuts UK Horror Awards. The film was nominated for a total of 13 international film awards.

LA BELLE SAISON

 

Starring: Cécile de France and Izïa Higelin

Directed by: Catherine Corsini

Release Date: July 15, 2016

There was little chance, in the year 1971, that Carole, a Paris Spanish teacher and feminist militant, would ever meet Delphine, the daughter of a couple of Limousin farmers. But they did meet and not only did they come across each other but they fell passionately in love as well.

 

Unfortunately, Delphine's father fell victim to a stroke, and the young woman had no other choice but to go back home to help her mother run the family farm. Carole, who was so smitten by Delphine, couldn't stand the estrangement and decided to join her lover at the farm. But could feminism and lesbianism easily be transferred to the countryside and its standards of the time...?

Catherine Corsini won Best Director at the

2015 Locarno International Film Festival

TIME ZERO: THE LAST YEAR OF POLAROID FILM

 

Starring:  Documentary Film

Directed by: Grant Hamilton

Release Date: April 28, 2012

In February 2008, Polaroid announced that it was ceasing production of instant film. 'Time Zero' is a documentary that tells the story of the last year of Polaroid film in three acts. Act I introduces the 'magic' of Polaroid through the perspective of Polaroid artists and former employees of the corporation. Act II begins with the discontinuation of instant film and covers the grass-roots movement to keep it alive. Act III centers on 'The Impossible Project' and follows their against-the-odds effort to reinvent instant film.

 

Various photographers and employees of Polaroid recount their experiences with the company's instant film in its final year of production. Didactic, nostalgic and inspiring, this movie, that captures the essence of Polaroid Corporation, is populated by historical references, emotional testimonials and various insights on the wonder of Polaroid's products. 

SWUNG

 

Starring:  Elena Anaya, Owen McDonnell and Elaine M. Ellis

Directed by: Colin Kennedy

Release Date: June 19, 2015

David's life is on the slide: he's in the middle of a divorce, broke and 'can't get it up'. His girlfriend, Alice, is his rock, but the magazine she writes for is going down and the pressure is on to find a story. While job hunting online, David stumbles across the perfect antidote to his boredom: a 'Swingers' site. The resulting inbox of lewd invitations on the home-laptop justifiably upsets Alice, until she realises this could be just the 'story' she needs. The idea of uncovering the swinging scene causes quite a stir in Alice's office and, much to David's chagrin, she is urged to pursue the story.

As events accelerate beyond their control the once adoring couple become lost and fundamental questions are asked of their relationship and them as individuals. In darkness, touched by many others, they will have to find themselves...

Elena Anaya was nominated for Best Actress at the BAFTA Awards 2015

MADRID, 1987

 

Starring: María Valverde and José Sacristán

Directed by: David Trueba

Release Date: September 22, 2011

Madrid, 1987 ...is a two-character story with a verbose discourse on writing, journalism, careerism, aging and politics. Shot mostly within a very constricted space, the story follows an older, celebrated journalist Miguel (José Sacristán) who meets the beautiful and coy journalism-student Angela (María Valverde) to give an interview - but becomes intent upon seducing her.

 

They end up spending time in the most unusual manner ...discussing literature, prose and career trajectories ...gradually divulging little insights into their own selves as we start to understand the old journalist's cynicism and the young protégé's intentions.

 

José Sacristán won Best Actor at the 2013 José María Forqué Awards

THE HITCHHIKERS

 

Starring: Misty Rowe and Norman Klar

Directed by: Ferd and Beverly Sebastian

Release Date: July 13, 1972

Maggie learns she's pregnant so she runs away from home. Before long she gets involved with some other girls on their own who have found a way of supporting themselves. She joins them in hitchhiking around wearing sexy outfits and robbing the men who pick them up on the road.

Husband-and-wife filmmakers Ferd and Beverly Sebastian previously had made several X-rated pictures. According to the film's pressbook, they also appeared in small roles in the film, as did Ferd Sebastian's father, the couple's two children and the family dog, "Rebel." Reviews emphasized that, although the film resembled an X-rated picture, the story's sexual escapades were implied rather than explicitly shown, thus earning an R rating. The Hitchhikers marked the film debut of most of the cast members, many of whom never made another film. The picture also marked the film debut of lead actress Misty Rowe, a Southern California beauty queen who had been "Miss Wahini Bikini" and "Miss Radiant Radish."

HOUSE OF TOLERANCE

 

Starring: Céline Sallette and Hafsia Herzi

Directed by: Bertrand Bonello

Release Date: November 25, 2011

At the dawn of the 20th century, at Madame Marie-France's elegant Parisian bordello, the Apollonide, exists a cloistered world of pleasure, pain, hope, rivalries, and most of all, slavery. Forever in debt and confined within the brothel's walls, the seemingly pampered courtesans can only dream of a better life and a client who will set them free by accepting to pay off their heavy debts. The girls of the Apollonide have signed up in their own free will; however, as desperation and danger go hand in hand in this house of tolerance, none can say there's pleasure in this profession. Not even Marie-France.

This claustrophobic picture (aka L'Apollonide Souvenirs de la maison close) is a frank, unexploitative account of life in a smart Parisian brothel in 1899 and 1900. It demonstrates that la belle époque was less belle for the women than for their wealthy clients, though better than walking the streets or working in a sweatshop.

SECRET THINGS

 

Starring: Sabrina Seyvecou and Coralie Revel

Directed by: Jean-Claude Brisseau

Release Date: October 16, 2002

Two young women find themselves struggling to survive in Paris, street-wise Nathalie, a stripper, and naïve Sandrine, a barmaid. Together, they discover that sex can be used to their advantage, and pleasure. Both find positions in the office of a large bank, where bored, under-stimulated, prey are easy pickings. After making their way though several layers of executives at the bank, with destructive, and lucrative, results, they approach Christophe, scion to the bank director. What they don't know is that Christophe is a manipulative voyeur, whose last two lovers set themselves on fire when he rejected them. A connoisseur of high-class orgies, Christophe is only interested in new talent to satisfy the appetites of all whom he controls.

 

In Christophe, the girls have found an opponent who knows all their wiles, and will challenge their simple under-class friendship with levels of jealousy and ecstasy that they have never experienced before. Will they survive?

JE T'AIME MOI NON PLUS

 

Starring: Jane Birkin and Joe Dallesandro

Directed by: Serge Gainsbourg

Release Date: March 10, 1976

The movie is a classic love triangle drama. Frail and love-starved girl Johnny (Jane Birkin) works in a truckstop café in the middle of nowhere. One day enter two gay truckers, manly and worldwise Krassky (Joe Dallesandro) and his lover Padovan (Hugues Quester). Krassky, tired of taking care of Padovan, discovers in himself an attraction for this boyish girl, and she falls head over heels for him. They start a relationship; and even if at first Krassky's body hesitates before the meager feminine graces of curveless Johnny, he ends up being charmed by her naïve and unconditional love. She is ready to accept anything out of love for him, including anal sex, though quite inexperienced at this, so that her screams of pain cause them to be thrown out of several motels... In the end, the back of Krassky's dirty garbage truck will be the theatre of their union. Furiously jealous, Padovan tries to kill Johnny by suffocating her. Krassky intervenes and saves Johnny, but does it so idly that Johnny gets enraged and furiously insults him. Krassky then returns to his first love and leaves with him, abandoning little skinny Johnny in her café, brokenhearted and lonely again.

JOHN WICK

 

Starring: Keanu Reeves

Directed by: Chad Stahelski

Release Date: February 3, 2015

With the untimely death of his beloved wife still bitter in his mouth, John Wick, the expert former assassin, receives one final gift from her - a precious keepsake to help John find a new meaning in life now that she is gone. But when the arrogant Russian mob prince, Iosef Tarasov, and his men pay Wick a rather unwelcome visit to rob him of his prized 1969 Mustang and his wife's present, the legendary hitman will be forced to unearth his meticulously concealed identity.

 

Blind with revenge, John will immediately unleash a carefully orchestrated maelstrom of destruction against the sophisticated kingpin, Viggo Tarasov, and his family, who are fully aware of his lethal capacity. Now, only blood can quench the boogeyman's thirst for retribution.

We like that John Wick won the Best Thriller Poster award at the

2015 Golden Trailer Awards

AUGUSTINE

 

Starring: Vincent Lindon and Soko

Directed by: Alice Winocour

Release Date: November 7, 2012

While serving at a dinner party kitchen maid Augustine (Soko) feels her hands going numb and then has a violent fit that leaves her paralyzed in one eye. Augustine is brought to a hospital where she attracts the attention of Jean-Martin Charcot (Vincent Lindon) after she seizures in front of him.

 

Charcot examines her while she is naked and realizes that she has

lost feeling in one side of her body. Charcot decides to use Augustine as a test case in front of other fellow doctors in order to see whether he will able to obtain funding to do his work. He has Augustine hypnotized in front of the doctors and induces one of her fits which results in her having an orgasm before collapsing. The doctors applaud Charcot and he begins to work with Augustine in earnest, giving her her own room within the hospital and examining her thoroughly. The more time they spend together, the more Charcot begins to feel attracted to Augustine...

SHANGRI-LA SUITE

 

Starring: Luke Grimes and Emily Browning

Directed by: Eddie O'Keefe

Release Date: November 14, 2016

Two hot young lovers on the run take up arms against an uncomprehending grown-up world in Shangri-La Suite, and if that sounds familiar, well, that's probably the idea: Eddie O'Keefe's debut feature overflows with so many references large and small to other sex-and-guns romances that even the element that might set it apart — these killers are crossing the country to slay Elvis Presley — looks like a twisted ripoff of Elvis obsessions in Wild at Heart and True Romance - the pic gets a surprisingly strong cast to play along.

Luke Grimes and Emily Browning play Jack and Karen, who meet in a rehab center. Using a voiceover by Burt Reynolds and a series of quick-cut flashbacks to their troubled childhoods, O'Keefe seems to be nodding to Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers while using characters drawn equally from Badlands. The movie's tone soon settles into a straighter evocation of 1970s grindhouse cinema.  Cool!

THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY

 

Starring: Sidse Babett Knudsen and Chiara D'Anna

Directed by: Peter Strickland

Release Date: September 6, 2014

When we first meet butterfly professor Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen)

she seems like a meanie, a patrician jerk cruel to her maid. In time we learn

that their relationship is sexual, and their slow moves toward the bedroom

play out in a manner familiar with Emmanuelle-esque erotic fare. As

stagey scenarios repeat themselves we discover that while Evelyn (Chiara D'Anna) may seem like the slave, she is, in a certain respect, the master. She

is submissive by choice and, in fact, is the architect of the increasingly

peculiar and deviant sex acts Cynthia unleashes. Punishment is a big deal

for Evelyn. 

 

The Duke of Burgundy is not a filthy movie. It's a considerable work of art,

and one that touches on a rarely discussed side of human sexuality

completely free of judgement. You may be surprised to find shades of

your own life in Evelyn and Cynthia's fragile relationship.

FRANCES HA

 

Starring: Greta Gerwig and Mickey Sumner

Directed by: Noah Baumbach

Release Date: September 1, 2012

Frances lives in New York, but she doesn't really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but she's not really a dancer. Frances has a best friend named Sophie, but they aren't really speaking anymore. Frances throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles. Frances wants so much more than she has but lives her life with unaccountable joy and lightness.

Frances Ha was shot as low-key & covertly as possible on

New York City streets under the title "Untitled Digital Workshop."

The bathroom scene with Frances and Sophie last 28 seconds, yet it required 42 takes to get it right. Greta Gerwig detailed the experience in a NY Times Magazine article in May 2013 titled "I Know I'm Doing the Scene Badly, But I Can't Figure Out How to Do It Well."

GIRL ON A BICYCLE

 

Starring: Louise Monot, Vincenzo Amato and Nora Tschirner

Directed by: Jeremy Leven

Release Date: March 7, 2013

What happens when Italian passion is in love with German temperament, encounters French beauty and British humor adds the finishing touch? Turbulent chaos that crosses all borders.

 

Paolo (Vincenzo Amato), an Italian who drives a Paris tour bus, has just proposed to his true love, German stewardess, Greta (Nora Tschirner), when a young French beauty, Cécile (Louise Monot) pulls up beside his bus on her bicycle.

In short order, Paolo, following some very bad advice from his friend, Derek (Paddy Considine), finds himself with a German fiancée, a French “wife”, two Australian children who call him “Papa”, and his life upside-down.

Girl on a Bicycle was filmed in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, and Paris, France.

24 EXPOSURES

 

Starring: Adam Wingard and Helen Rogers

Directed by: Joe Swanberg

Release Date: August 4, 2013

Billy, a fetish photographer who specializes in staged depictions of dead women, becomes involved in a murder mystery when one of his models turns up dead for real.

Michael Bamfeaux, a depressed police detective, investigates the crime and probes Billy as to why he chooses to involve himself in the world of exploitation and fetish. Billy can not explain why he does what he does, except that he accepts that he is attracted to certain ideas and women. As the two men become friendlier, Michael becomes more involved in Billy's photoshoots. When Alex, Billy's girlfriend, is attacked by a jealous model with whom Billy and Alex had a threesome,

Michael shoots and kills Alex's attacker. Michael later attempts to sell his memoirs, but a literary agent suggests that the story's loose ends and weak protagonist are not a good sell.

CASHBACK

 

Starring: Sean Biggerstaff and Michelle Ryan

Directed by: Sean Ellis

Release Date: September 10, 2006

When art student Ben Willis breaks up with his girlfriend Suzy, he develops chronic insomnia after finding out how quickly she moved on. To pass the long hours of the night, he starts working the late night shift at the local supermarket.

 

There he meets a colorful cast of characters, all of whom have their own 'art' in dealing with the boredom of an eight-hour-shift. Ben's art is that he imagines himself stopping time.

 

This way, he can appreciate the artistic beauty of the frozen world and the people inside it - especially Sharon, the pretty and quiet checkout girl, who perhaps holds the answer to solving the problem of Ben's insomnia.

 

Winner - Best Narrative Feature Bermuda International Film Festival 2007

THE DARK VALLEY

 

Starring: Same Riley and Paula Beer

Directed by: Andreas Prochaska

Release Date: February 10, 2014

 

Through a hidden path a lone rider reaches a little town high up in the Alps. Nobody knows where the stranger comes from, nor what he wants there.

But everyone knows that they don't want him to stay.

 

This visually ravishing Euro-western relocates classic cowboy

myth-making to the snowy mountain slopes of 19th century Austria. The hills are alive with the sound of gunfire in this alpine revenge drama, a superior genre piece which applies classic western tropes to a remote Austrian

mountain village in the late 19th century.

Based on a 2010 best-seller by Thomas Willmann, The Dark Valley is

a visually sumptuous spectacle with solid action and horror elements.

 

The Dark Valley won 8 awards at the 2015 Austrian Film Awards

NANA - THE TRUE KEY OF PLEASURE

 

Starring: Katya Berger and Jean-Pierre Aumont

Directed by: Dan Wolman

Release Date: May 23, 1983

 

In Zola's Paris, an ingenue arrives at a tony bordello: she's Nana, guileless, but quickly learning to use her erotic innocence to get what she wants. She's an actress for a soft-core filmmaker and soon is the most popular courtesan in Paris, parlaying this into a house, bought for her by a wealthy banker.

 

She tosses him and takes up with her neighbor, a count of impeccable rectitude, and with the count's impressionable son. The count is soon fetching sticks like a dog and mortgaging his lands to satisfy her whims.

She bankrupts him, arranges the debauching of his wife, and seduces

his son on his wedding day.

 

What else can she accomplish before she leaves Paris airborne?

BOUND

 

Starring: Gina Gershon and Jennifer Tilly

Directed by: The Wachowski Brothers

Release Date: October 4, 1996

Sparks fly when Violet (Jennifer Tilly) sets eyes on Corky (Gina Gershon) in an elevator. Violet is the girlfriend of a violent gangster, Caesar, while Corky is fresh out of prison and doing renovations on the apartment next door.

 

As the two women launch into a passionate love affair, they assemble an intricate plan for Violet to escape from Caesar, with two million dollars of the mob's money - but the important part is to make it out alive.

 

Bound was a Winner for Excellence in Filmmaking

from the National Board of Review in 1997

IMMORAL TALES

 

Starring: Paloma Picasso and Lise Danvers

Directed by: Walerian Borowczyk

Release Date: November 1973

Separated into four independent short stories, this erotic anthology comprised of tantalising tales about sexual desire and its diverse manifestations, intertwines the omnipotent human urge with the fervour of desire, curiosity and self-exploring, the forbidden with the obscene.

 

The original version screened in 1974 was made up of five, not four episodes. Borowczyk removed one episode, 'The True Story of the Beast of Gevaudan', and expanded it to feature length. 

 

Originally, the role of cousin Julie in "The Tide" (first part of the movie) was offered to Isabelle Adjani but she has found the role too difficult for her to play. Finally, she declined and the role went to Lise Danvers.

THE ARTIST AND THE MODEL

 

Starring: Aida Folch and Jean Rochefort

Directed by: Fernando Trueba

Release Date: September 13, 2013

Marc Cros, an elderly sculptor, lives with his wife Lea in the south of France,

safe from the War that rages in the distance.

 

He seems to have reached the end of his life and of his art. One day, Léa gives shelter to a beautiful young Spanish political refugee named Mercè. Marc soon understands that the girl, who agrees to pose for him, inspires him and that he has no choice but to embark on this last artistic (and sensual) adventure...

When Fernando Trueba discussed the idea of the movie with Aida Folch, without even a screenplay, Folch left everything in Spain and moved to Paris for a few months to learn French properly and be ready for the project.

Winner Best DIrector - San Sebastián International Film Festival 2013

BULLITT

 

Starring: Steve McQueen

Directed by: Peter Yates

Release Date: October 17, 1968

All guts, no glory San Francisco cop Frank Bullitt becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection. 

 

Lt. Frank Bullitt is selected by Walter Chalmers, a politician with ambition, to guard a Mafia informant. Bullitt's friend and underling is shot and the witness is left at death's door by two hit men who seemed to know exactly where the the witness was hiding. Bullitt begins a search for both the killer and the leak, but he must keep the witness alive long enough to make sure the killers return. Chalmers has no interest in the injured policeman or the killers, only in the hearings that will catapult him into the public eye and wants to shut down Bullitt's investigation.

Distributed by: Warner Bros. - Seven Arts

LA VENUS A LA FOURRURE

(Venus in Fur)

 

Starring: Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Seigner

Directed by: Roman Polanski

Release Date: May 25, 2013

An actress attempts to convince a director how she's perfect for a role in his upcoming production.

 

Thomas Novacheck is a writer-director of a new play, an adaptation of the 1870 novel Venus in Furs by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. Alone in a Parisian theatre after a day of auditioning actresses for the lead character, Wanda von Dunayev, Thomas laments on the phone the poor performances to come through. As he is preparing to leave the theatre, an actress named Vanda arrives disheveled. In a whirlwind of energy and unrestrained aggression, Vanda persuades the director to let her read for the part. To Thomas's amazement, Vanda shows great understanding of the character and knows every line by heart. As the audition progresses, the intensity is redoubled and the attraction of Thomas turns into obsession.

Winner Best Director at the César Awards 2014

SLEEPING BEAUTY

 

Starring: Emily Browning

Directed by: Julia Leigh

Release Date: May 12, 2011

A haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires.

 

Lucy is a university student who is working a number of odd-jobs. She responds to an ad and is invited to meet Clara, who describes the job: freelance silver service in lingerie. Lucy agrees and Clara says she will call Lucy by the name Sarah. After one other session as a serving girl, Lucy gets promoted. She receives a call from Clara's assistant for a different request. Lucy is driven to a country mansion, where Clara offers Lucy a new role wherein she will be sedated and sleep naked while male clients lie beside her. They are permitted to caress and cuddle her, but no penetration is allowed. After Lucy falls asleep, she lies unconscious on the bed and Clara leads in her client.

After Clara reminds the man of the no-penetration rule, he strips and curls up beside Lucy...

THE LOVELESS

 

Starring: Willem Dafoe and Robert Gordon

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

Release Date: May 25, 1984

Trouble ensues when a motorcycle gang stops in a small southern town while heading to the races at Daytona.  

 

The gang of bikers congregates in and around a roadside diner and gas station en route to Daytona. The owners of the diner are nervous and one of the customers seems to be violently resentful towards the gang. The bikers hang around the garage, tinkering with their bikes, playing chicken with switch-blades, drinking, dancing and so on. A young girl named Telena arrives in a red open-topped sports car. The gang leader talks to her and they go for a drive, buying beers and whiskey for the rest of the gang...

Production on The Loveless began on September 22, 1980 and the entire shoot took just 22 days. The resources of MoMa's Film Study Center were utilized by Bigelow to create the aesthetic of the film. 

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A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

Starring: Malcolm McDowell

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Release Date: December 19, 1971

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

 

Alex DeLarge, the central character, is a charismatic, antisocial delinquent whose interests include classical music (including Beethoven), committing rape, and what is termed "ultra-violence". He leads a small gang of thugs whom he calls his droogs (from the Russian word друг - meaning "friend" or "buddy"). The film chronicles the horrific crime spree of his gang, his capture, and attempted rehabilitation via an experimental psychological conditioning technique (the "Ludovico Technique") promoted by the Minister of the Interior. Alex narrates most of the film in Nadsat, a fractured adolescent slang composed of Slavic, English and Cockney rhyming slang.

Shooting began on 7 September 1970 with call sheet no. 1 at the Duke Of New York pub: an unused scene and the first of many unused locations. 

BILLY JACK

Starring: Tom Laughlin

Directed by: Tom Laughlin

Release Date: May 1, 1971

 

Billy Jack is a half-white, half-Indian ex-Green Beret Vietnam vet-turned-pacifist... and Hapkido expert.

 

Billy Jack hates violence, but can't get away from it in the white man's world. Pitting the good guys - the students of the peace loving, free-arts Freedom School in the desert vs. the conservative bad guys in the nearby town, the movie plays on definitive late-60's themes and messages: anti-establishment, make love not war, the senseless slaughter of God's creatures, the rape of society (figuratively and literally), two-sided justice, racial segregation and prejudices.

Marketed as an action film, the story focuses on the plight of Native Americans during the civil rights era. The centerpiece of the film features Billy Jack, enraged over the mistreatment of his Indian friends, fighting racist thugs using hapkido techniques.

VIC + FLO SAW A BEAR

Starring: Pierrette Robitaille and Romane Bohringer

Directed by: Denis Côté

Release Date: February 10, 2013

Two lesbian ex-cons, Victoria and Florence, are trying to make a new life in the backwoods of Quebec.

 

Sixty-one year old Victoria has just been released from prison on parole. Vic plans to live in the sugar shack on the non-operating farm property owned by her Uncle Émile in the woods east of Montréal, and to invite her younger girlfriend, fellow ex-con Florence to live with her. Vic sees this arrangement as being perfect for what she needs in wanting some solitude and being emotionally dependent on Flo whom she loves. This situation is not ideal for Flo as she prefers some excitement in her life (a bisexual, Flo craves the company of men). 

The couple slowly begin to feel under siege as Vic's probation office keeps unexpectedly popping up and a strange woman soon turns out to be an increasingly menacing shadow from Flo's past.

Winner at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival

CROPSEY

Directed by: Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio

Release Date: June 4, 2009

The film initially begins as an examination of "Cropsey", a boogeyman-like figure from New York City urban legend, before segueing into the story of Andre Rand, a convicted child kidnapper from Staten Island.

Growing up on Staten Island, filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio had often heard the urban legend of "Cropsey." It was a cautionary tale invented to keep them out of the abandoned buildings that remained of the Willowbrook Mental Institution. Cropsey was supposedly an escaped patient who would come out late at night and snatch children off the streets - sometimes with a hook for a hand, other times with a bloody ax. But in 1987, Jennifer Schweiger, a 13-year-old with Down syndrome, disappeared from their community. For Zeman, Brancaccio, and the other kids of Staten Island, their urban legend became real. 

Winner of the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival Grand Jury Prize

EDEN AND AFTER

Starring: Catherine Jourdan

Directed by: Alain Robbe-Grillet

Release Date: April 20, 1970

A group of French students are drawn into the psychological and sexual games of a mysterious Dutchman. Once they sample his "fear powder" the students experience a series of hallucinations.

With Eden and After, Alain Robbe-Grillet seems determined to make a film as far removed from normality as possible, and he succeeds. It would be a challenge to even describe what goes on in this film, let alone extract some meaning out of it, other than to say there is no meaning, which wouldn't be that surprising. It plays like an audiovisual fever that asks to be experienced rather than understood, an experience that walks a dangerously thin line between being perceived as distressful, emotionally affecting and drowsy. 

 

Eden and After is one of the strangest things you will ever see. Does nothing happen? Does everything happen? Using cinema as a medium to explore the audience rather than it's characters, a guitar strumming begins to sound like the most alien thing in the world...

DEATH PROOF

Starring: Kurt Russell

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Release Date: May 31, 2007

Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans.

 

In Austin, Texas, the girlfriends Julia, Arlene and Shanna meet in a bar to drink, smoke and make out with their boyfriends before traveling alone to Lake LBJ to spend the weekend together. They meet former Hollywood stuntman Mike, who takes Pam out in his "death-proof" stunt car. Fourteen months later, Mike turns up in Lebanon, Tennessee and chases Abernathy, Zoë and Kim, but these girls are tough and decide to pay-back the attack. 

 

The story for Death Proof developed from Quentin Tarantino's fascination for the way stuntmen would “death-proof” stunt cars so a driver could survive horrific, high-speed crashes and collisions. Throughout the feature, the film was intentionally damaged to make it look like many of the exploitation films of the 1970's

BREEZY

Starring: William Holden and Kay Lenz

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Release Date: November 18, 1973

A young girl tries to find her way in life, suffering from her own naivety and sincerity.

 

Breezy is a teen-aged hippy with a big heart. After taking a ride with a man who only wants her for sex, Breezy manages to escape. She runs to hide and finds the home of a middle-aged man, Frank Harmon. Frank is recently divorced and bitter about the state of his life and the world in general. The next morning Frank finds Breezy asleep on his front porch. He asks her to leave and she politely agrees. She forgets her guitar, however, and returns the next day to retrieve it. Breezy asks Frank if he would be so kind as to let her take a bath; he agrees, and even lets her sleep at his house that night. After spending some time together, Frank and Breezy begin opening up to each other, discussing their feelings on a variety of issues. A friendship grows between them that, in time, becomes a love affair... 

This was the first film Clint Eastwood directed in which he did not star, something he would not do again until Bird in 1988.

FORGETTING THE GIRL

Starring: Christopher Denham and Lindsay Beamish

Directed by: Nate Taylor

Release Date: October 11, 2013

Haunted by a traumatic history, photographer Kevin Wolfe struggles to systematically forget all his bad memories, but erasing his past threatens to consume his future.

 

Kevin is obsessed with finding a girl who can help him forget his unpleasant past. However, all his encounters with the opposite sex inevitably go afoul, creating more awkward experiences than he can cope with. As the rejections mount, Kevin's futile search for happiness and love becomes overwhelmingly turbulent, forcing him to take desperate measures. 

 

The film is a gritty vision of the city and its denizens. The tightly-woven drama blends recollections with reality to craft an intense character study of the psychologically-scarred protagonist. The tense narrative slowly boils under the surface until it unleashes an unsettling climax that will not be easily forgotten.

Winner at the 2012 SOHO International Film Festival

EX MACHINA

Starring: Alicia Vikander and Domhnall Gleeson

Directed by: Alex Garland

Release Date: December 16, 2014

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a highly advanced humanoid A.I.

 

The reclusive CEO of a hi-tech company recruits a brilliant young computer programmer to evaluate his latest invention - a highly advanced android named Ava, which is supplied with the most advanced Artificial Intelligence ever conceived. Meanwhile, despite their intelligence and formidable reputations, the two men fail to realize just how easily they can be manipulated by a machine that's as beautiful as it is brilliant...

The foundation for Ex Machina was laid when Garland was 11 or 12 years old, after he had done some basic coding and experimentation on a computer his parents had bought him and which he sometimes felt had a mind of its own.

Winner 2016 Academy Award - Best Achievement in Visual Effects

GET CARTER

Starring: Michael Caine

Directed by: Mike Hodges

Release Date: March 10, 1971

When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to his hometown to investigate.

 

A ruthless and vicious London gangster, Jack Carter, travels to Newcastle for his brother's funeral. He begins to suspect that his brother's death was not an accident and sets out to follow a complex trail of lies, deceit, cover-ups and backhanders through Newcastle's underworld, leading, he hopes, to the man who ordered his brother killed. When Carter is ordered to leave town by the minions of a shadowy mob boss, his suspicious become confirmed, and he begins his brutal vengeance.

 

In the film, Carl Howard's character of the assassin, "J", is only identified by the initial on his ring, in his only film role, and an appropriate mystery surrounds his real identity. His name does not appear on the credits of some prints. 

Get Carter went from concept to finished film in just 10 months.

MARQUIS DE SADE: JUSTINE

Starring: Romina Power

Directed by: Jesus Franco

Release Date: April 3, 1969

The film is narrated by a man as he is in a prison and hallucinating images of naked, tortured women.

 

Left without a family and a few crowns each, cloistered sisters Juliette and her innocent chaste sibling Justine are forced to leave the nunnery's protection, and for the first time in their life, dwell by themselves in the harsh outside world.

But fate can be relentless as it can be cruel and undeserved, and while Juliette finds shelter in Madame de Buisson's welcoming brothel, at the same time, beautiful auburn-haired Justine will have to cope with an almost endless parade of villains, perverts and degenerates who will claim not only her puny fortune but also her treasured virtue and her life. As a result, Justine humiliated, wrongfully accused and brought to her knees, she will inevitably question her life of uprightness, chastity and suffering, reaching to a reluctant and unpleasant conclusion. Is it blasphemy or is it the voice of reason? 

 

The film had Franco's largest budget to date, of just under a million dollars.

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