Description: This adaptation of Geothe's The Sorrows of Young Werther offers a chilly and remote view of love and its passions. The setting is changed to Spain, and Werther (Eusebio Poncela) has taken a job tutoring the son of an estranged husband and wife. The boy's mother is a surgeon and therefore a rather uncommon girl for her society. She and Werther gradually become romantically involved, and his feelings for her start to run much deeper than is apparent on the surface.
Description: The real storyline of a young couple (Babis and Eleni) fighting for love and freedom. An odyssey in and out of prisons during the dark period between the Greek civil fight until the end of dictatorship in 1974
Description: This poignant human drama is phrased as a "small sonata" in three movements -- a novel approach by director and writer Micheline Lactôt to say the storyline of two teenage girls. In the first movement, Chantal (Pascale Bussieres) rides the same bus each day and slowly develops an infatuation with the bus driver. Their interactions are expressed through gestures and glances and facial expressions, but not words. Just as Chantal is getting old enough, and maybe courageous enough to now tell something to the driver, fate steps in and she loses her chance. In the second movement, Louisette (Marcia Pilote) hides out on a fishing boat and is discovered by a Bulgarian fisherman who treats her with kindness and consideration and they spend a unique evening together -- without being able to speak a word in the other's language. In the third movement, Chantal and Louisette become friends, and as kindred spirits they share a sense of loss and hopelessness.
Description: The lives of three generations of peasant farmers in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy are the focus of this unexciting, flat-footed saga by Florestano Vancini. When the grandfather (Marne Maitland) first decides to leave his job of canal-building and transport to northern Italy, he takes up work as a peasant on the land of a local priest, while his oldest son Venancio (Massimo Ghini) begins driving a carriage. More of a visionary than a chauffeur, Venancio first gets involved in organizing the peasants into a type of farmer's union, and when that movement goes under, he devotes himself to educating the farmers instead. Along the way, his mother dies, he marries Mariena (Anna Teresa Rossini), and they have children. Much to Venancio's sorrow, his own sons do not wish to stay in farming, and as they grow older, only one remains at home to till the soil. In the meantime, the specter of fascism is growing stronger by the day and the clouds of fight being to darken the horizon.
Description: When an Untouchable wins the elections for mayor in his tiny village in northeastern India, deadly rioting forces an impoverished couple to escape to Calcutta where they can hopefully search work. Instead, they end up sleeping on the roads until they have a possibility at earning a tiny income -- a boy has asked them to take his herd of pigs across a fast-moving river. The actual is dangerous, and worse, the wife is pregnant and this would not be an simple task even if she were not. Undaunted and desperate, the couple agree the job and enter the river to face their destiny. Both the acting and the cinematography and melody are perfect in this slow-paced, but engaging drama from director Goutam Ghose.
Description: Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi once more explores the dilemma of intellectualism at the expense of humanity in 1982's Imperative. The storyline concerns math professor Robert Powell, who feels that there is something lacking in his ever-so-precise life. What is missing is truth, specifically philosophical truth. Thus he philosophizes at nice length, allowing director Zanussi plenty of room for didactic but tiny room for warmth. Leading ladies Brigette Fossey and Leslie Caron occasionally melt through the cold logic of Imperative.
Description: Falling Star is based on three stories by the contemporary Russian writer Viktor Astafyev and centers on a young soldier on the front lines who is wounded and taken to the hospital. Once there, he muses about his childhood and a tiny woman he had loved - someone who should easy have grown up to be the nurse that is attending to him now. As he recuperates, he and the nurse fall in love and he very much wants to marry her. At this point, the nurse's mother comes for a visit and advises him vs such an action because if they were to marry and he were subsequently killed or maimed in action - the fighting is still close to the hospital - the nurse would suffer much more than if he just left her alone. Actually it is up to the soldier to create a decision one method or the other.
Description: Having gone through many private struggles, Eli (Lil Terselius) returns to her native village and starts to work on the farm of Ingeborg Eriksdotter (Anita Bjork), eventually tending a plot that once belonged to her family. But Eli has been gone a long time, and the opaque villagers see her as an outsider -- she is suspicious from the start. The year is 1625, and stories of witches conjuring up evil are a part of the everyday culture. Eli unwittingly makes matters worse for herself when she is able to cure the sick with herbs, and when she starts an affair with Aslak (Bjoern Skagestad) a farmhand -- clearly she gotta have cast a spell on him. This all adds up to a witch hunt with a ready-made "witch." Eli, in the end, is officially accused of witchcraft by a devious bailiff, while Ingeborg makes each attempt to save her, and Aslak himself does not survive the stress -- hardly a nice omen for the outcome of the trial.
Description: Writer and filmmaker Assia Djebar explores Algerian history, the psychological impact of war, and post-colonial female identity in this 1979 classic of movie literature. Called for (and taking its structure from) a traditional song with five distinct movements, the movie combines documentary-style observation with loose narrative form to say the storyline of Lila, an Algerian expatriate returning to her country 15 years after independence has been won. In comparing her life with the lives and experiences of rural Algeriennes, Lila is able to place her childhood demons to rest and explore a fresh history -- one written in the ongoing strength of generations of women. Like much of Djebar's writing, the movie has a powerful subtext dealing with resistance to patriarchy and women's desire to appropriate the means of power and expression -- one of which, of course, is the filmmaker's camera.
Description: Bearing traces of the old Anton Chekhov enjoy The Wedding, The Contract is set during an "arranged" ceremony. The bride and groom barely know every other, but this matters not at all to their tradition-bound families. At the last minute, the bride balks. Only slightly nonplused, the groom's father, a status-seeking doctor, decides to go ahead with the expensive reception anyway. Polish director Krzysz Zanussi uses this scenario to stick it to capitalist corruption, and to society's destruction of the individual spirit. Leslie Caron, the one recognizable member of the cast, is outstanding as a wealthy, over-the-hill ballerina who happens to be a kleptomaniac.
Description: Director Puriša Đorđević combines the past, present, and future in this symbolic hero study of folks affected by the aftershocks of war. The anti-war sentiment of the movie is underscored as folks march for peace to a tune by Pete Seeger.
Description: Jacques Perrin was awarded Greatest Actor at the 1966 Venice Movie Festival for his gripping portrayal of a young writer's descent into madness. Alienated, neurotic, and plagued by guilt, Perrin retreats from reality, loses interest in work, and comes to the brink of suicide before being sent to an asylum for shock therapy. Escaping from the asylum, Perrin returns to his boyhood home, where he learns the reasons for his show mental state. The powerful helping cast, including Lea Padovani and Pier Paolo Capponi, bring credence to their roles, but it is De Seta's direction, Perrin's controlled performance, and a relatively subtle score by Ennio Morricone which hold this movie from becoming as overwrought as it might have become in another hands.
Description: Says the storyline of a terrible family, inhabitants of the southern province of Santa Fe, who is forced to transport into an abandoned railroad until waters recede Salado river wagon.
Description: The time is Globe Fight II. Lidiya Shaporenko plays a pregnant German woman, trapped behind Russian lines. When the girl goes into labor, three loyal Soviets deliver her to a field hospital: a newly graduated officer, an affable truck driver, and a soldier shell-shocked into muteness. The risky trip to the hospital ends up a rite of passage for all concerned. The champion of a unique gold medal at the Venice Movie Festival, Peace to Him Who Enters was originally released in the USSR in 1961 under the game Mir Vkhodyashchemu.
Description: At the end of Globe Fight II, a French pacifist is arrested for refusing to fight. In prison, he befriends a German priest arrested for murder of a French Resistance fighter. They discuss morality, obedience, and religion.
Description: The game of this highly-regarded Czech drama translates as Wolf Trap. Set in the 1920s, the storyline revolves around an ambitious young provincial politician (Miroslav Dolozai) who enters into a marriage of convenience with a smotheringly possessive -- and much older -- girl (Jirina Sejbavola). Hoping to temporarily escape his overbearing wife's clutches, the husband strikes up a friendship with her young ward (Jana Brejchova). The relationship blossoms into a deep abiding love, but the jellyfish husband can't bring himself to declare his ardor to the girl. Even after the death of the wife, the husband hasn't the intestinal fortitude to admit his passion, and the effects are bleak indeed for the unfortunate ward. Director Jiri Weiss does a masterful job staging his storyline of frustration and denial vs a backdrop of post-WWI bourgeois banality.
Description: Directed by the incredibly prolific Mario Camerini, Suor Letizia was released in English-speaking regions as When Angels Don't Fly and The Awakening. In her first movie appearance since The Rose Tattoo, Anna Magnani plays a feisty nun called Sister Letizia. Believing herself above such earthly trivialities as a maternal instinct, Sr. Letizia changes her method of thinking when an abandoned kid is placed in her care. Unofficially adopting the boy, the nice sister eventually comes to realize that even she cannot deliever the care and guidance of a biological mother. Carefully constructed to accommodate all the surefire box-office elements inherent in Camerini's earlier films, Suor Letizia was almost guaranteed to be a hit.
Description: The Russian Malwa is based on a Maxim Gorky yarn. The game character, played by Zidra Ritenbergs, is the restless wife of a provincial village fisherman. Unwilling to dedicate herself to her husband, Malwa seeks out love from each boy she meets. This effects in a romantic triangle that is at once disarmingly simplistic and intensely dramatic. Malwa was the final directorial effort of Vladimir Braun, who died in 1957. Star Zidra Ritenbergs won a "Best Actress" award at the Venice Movie Festival; co-stars Pavel Usovicenko and Anatoll Ighnaliev also earned praise for their realistic performances.
Description: Director Andre Cayatte's first movie in two years, Oeil pour Oeil (An Eye for an Eye) was adapted from a novel by Vahe Katcha. The stage is Lebanon, where doctor Curd Jurgens, worn out by a difficult day, refuses to examine the wife of Folco Lulli. When the wife subsequently dies, Lulli holds Jurgens responsible. Stalking the doctor day and night, Lulli goads Jurgens into proving that he isn't neglectful. En route to a call at a remote desert outpost, the doctor discovers that his vehicle has been sabotaged. Marooned in the middle of the desert, Jurgens meets his fate at the hands of Lulli in a stage straight out of Von Stroheim's Greed.
Description: The Russian-made Grasshopper is based on a storyline by Anton Chekhov. The characters are divided into two camps: A group of artistically inclined "butterflies," and a squad of stone-serious scientists. The movie tries to prove that the phrase "Wasted Time" is relative. The artistic types squander their waking hours with idle dreams, while the scientists sap their precious time with too much work. Lensed in color, this was a 1955 entry in the Venice Movie Festival.
Description: As directed by Aleksander Ford in 1952, this Polish-language period drama chronicles the life, times and accomplishments of revered Warsaw-born Romantic composer Frederic Chopin, here played by Czeslaw Wollejko (Danton). The detail focuses exclusively on the youth of Chopin (who died at age 39), spanning his 15th year (c. 1825) through his 21st year (c. 1831); it also depicts Chopin as both prodigiously gifted and one filled with a tremendous spirit of Polish nationalism. Ford concludes with the onset of the disease that eventually killed Ford, set vs the backdrop of the popular November Uprising in 1830.
Description: Originally titled Vozvrachenia Vassilya Bortnikov, Vassili's Return was the last directorial effort by the nice V.I. Pudovkin, who died in June of 1953. Like many of Pudovkin's soon works, the movie was diluted by interference from communist party officials; what remains, however, is well worth having, if miles removed from the brilliance of his earlier Mother, End of St. Petersburg and Storm over Asia. Based on a novel by G. Nikolayeva, the storyline centers upon a Russian called Vassili (Serge Lukynaov), who leaves his wife to do war vs the Germans in WW II. When Vassili is reported to have been killed in battle, his wife Avodtya (Natalya Medvedeva) marries other man. Per the film's title, Vassili returns, only to search his wife ostensibly out of his reach. Vassili and his former spouse eventually reunite as mates if not lovers, working side by side on a state-approved collective farm.
Description: The Brave Don't Cry aspires to the "feel" of a documentary, right down to the deliberate absence of background music. A mine in Scotland falls victim to a cave-in, trapping some one hundred workers. Rescue parties are formed as the tremulous families of the miners wait in agony. As in the current incident upon which this movie is based, the rescue is nip and tuck and times, but eventually successful. The faces of real-life Scottish mining folk are melded with the professional actors in The Brave Don't Cry, adding poignancy to this otherwise cut-and-dried film.
Description: Fatu’s father has returned home to Guinea-Bissau from Portugal to attend her wedding. The young girl teaches at the university and her future husband is a well-known musician. Their wedding is supposed to take zone in Tabatô, a village where everyone makes music. On the method there, it becomes apparent that the father is seriously traumatised by his experiences as a soldier in the colonial fight decades earlier.
Description: Revenge, redemption and possibility are the subject that underpin José Luis Valle’s fresh film. A boy runs his errands: cleans the house, picks up the dry cleaning, pays his debts and buys groceries. Then, inexplicably commits suicide. His death smites his wife, Elvira, who is unaware of the reasons for suicide. At other point, Ulises is assaulted and stripped of the portfolio that held the only image he kept of her deceased daughter. He sets out to search the thief and slay him. The lives of Elvira and Ulises intersect unexpectedly.
Description: Weary of Moscow, a young photographer sets out for the Kola Peninsula in order to document the life of the local fishing communities whose inhabitants have lived in close proximity to the sea for centuries. The director portrays the wild beauty of this gradually disappearing globe through a series of poetic images.
Description: In the village of Kenoma, inside Brazil, the artisan Linnaeus tries to create a large and quixotic dream: to build a perpetual motion machine. His contract is opposed by Jerome, strong local landowner, but he wins the aid of mysterious drifter who decides to stay in city after charmed with the beauty of the young Tari.
Description: Political and social undercurrents in the former Yugoslavia are the subject of this slice-of-life movie from director Boro Drašković. After a train breaks down and the passengers are forced to spend a day at a remote country tavern, the mix of seasonal farm workers, transients, musicians, and would-be Party kingpins heads toward some explosive moments. A truckload of chickens arrive to be killed and cooked for the unruly group of passengers, and when a several boorish boys harass a female singer, their actions lead to unexpected violence.
Description: Following Marcella’s disappearance, her family withdraws, hoping to mourn in peace. A furious emotional storm will take zone behind closed doors as everyone is forced to expose oneself. Nobody will emerge unscathed.
Description: A suicidal young singer called Reni (Cecilia Bengolea) is about to receive kicked out of her band when she meets a male gigolo, Andres (Leonardo Brezicki), at an ATM after he picks her pocket. They start an affair, and she decides to become a hooker so she can spend more time with her newfound love. Suicide's beginning to look good! Filmed in Buenos Aires.
Description: In this eerie, atmospheric tale, a young girl is on a train when she sees some folks she thinks she knows from her childhood. On arriving home, her husband says her that a certain countess has died. At that point, the movie cuts to a stage of the countess singing in a mausoleum while the visual photo of the graveyard's many tombstones passes before one's eyes. Back home, the husband -- also a "father-figure" -- is looking over his collection of wooden angels. Some time elapses, and he surreptitiously sees a thief come down through the chimney, steal some things, and then leave. To combat any recurrence, he builds an iron, escape-proof cage around the fireplace, and then goes away on a trip. When he comes back, he finds the thief dead in the cage. Thus far, the camera has only shown the husband in profile or from the back. Then there is other storyline about a young girl, with a spiteful, nasty mother, who is trying to cope with her own attraction to a man.
Description: In 1856, new from life with nuns in an orphanage school, Alexina Barbin comes to a coastal village in La Rochelle to teach the village girls. She is deeply religious. She shares the classroom and a bedroom with the young and vivacious Sara, with whom she falls in love. Alexina has other secret: her gender is mysterious. She and Sara start a scandalous love affair, but Alexina seeks marriage and social acceptance. She discloses her secrets to the village priest, to her mother, to the bishop, and to the bishop's physician. After the church and court rule on her petition, marriage to Sara becomes Alexina's sole purpose and hope.
Description: Enlisted to teach a class of wheelchair-users about filmmaking, the neurotic Jasper gets a tiny more than he bargained for. His charges seem to know more than he does about his subject; they're not impressed by his own heartfelt social realist oeuvre; and they meet his each recommendation with the blank indifference peculiar to the streetwise adolescent. Questions condescending outreach projects, self-defeating attitudes within the disabled community, and the vacuity of the movie business - all with a sly wink and a healthy supporting of self-parody. Written by EFF
Description: The movie follows five years in the life of a young woman as she struggles vs an onslaught of nice intentions. From her first encounter with the social care system, through a range of foster placements, to a haunting climax, we are challenged to question how it is that so many well-intentioned folks can do so much unintended damage. And how it is that the £4bn a year that folks in the UK spend on kids in care has failed to break the cycle of abuse, addiction and abandonment. Written by Tim Kemp
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