Films We Love
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.
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
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...
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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
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
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...
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.
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.
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
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...
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
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
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
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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