FISH TANK

06/21/2012

 
Writer Director Social Realist Andrea Arnold (Red Road) brings us Michael Fassbender (with an Irish accent) in a disaffected young woman's coming of age in East London tale. Long, but good.  www.criterion.com/films/27541-fish-tank 
 
 
Louis Malle's tale of a young man, casually rejected by the French Resisitence to German Occupation, who quickly becomes a member of the fascist lackeys; Milice, a paramilitary force, who used torture and murder to round-up Jews and Resistence members. The young lout, Lucien, imposes himself on the family of a Jewish woman whom we falls in love with. Interesting look at a unlikeable main character, and the era. Was controversial at the time 'cause it took the POV of the Fascist. Won the Oscar for best foreign film:1975.
http://www.criterion.com/films/776-lacombe-lucien
 
 
Louis Malle’s bloated coming of age tale about a young mama's boy and his jerk brothers. Okay 'cause it's French, set in the '50s and Lea Massari is in it.  
http://www.criterion.com/films/775-murmur-of-the-heart
 
 
D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus follow the team that got Clinton elected in '92, before everything went horribly wrong. Great documentary that deserves the Criterion Collection treatment.
http://www.criterion.com/films/28029-the-war-room
http://phfilms.com/index.php/phf/film/thewarroom1/
 
 
Absurd slapstick French New Wave comedy with loads of visual and lingual trickery. Louis Malle adapts Raymond Queneau's popular novel. Malle: "a critique of the language of cinema...  with lots of parody and pastiche." Cool because it's Paris: 1960.
Official Site: http://www.criterion.com/films/27626-zazie-dans-le-metro
 

SECRET SUNSHINE

08/28/2011

 
Low-key Korean drama featuring a wonderful performance by Jeon Do-yeon. Slow and subtle, yet powerful. Themes of loss, faith, and insanity beautifully explored. Long, but worth it.

Official Site: http://www.criterion.com/films/27750-secret-sunshine
 
 
Jules Dassin directed some great films; Brute Force, The Naked City, Night And The City, Rififi. Novel and screenplay by A.I. (Buzz) Bezzerides. Lee J. Cobb & Richard Conte tussle in the market district of San Francisco. Realistic noir style with romance featuring the struggles of long haul truckers.

Official Site: http://www.criterion.com/films/939-thieves-highway
 
 
Dark, funny, weird; great cast, art direction & cinematography. Writer director Todd Solondz takes chances with taboo topics. His writing is tight. See it!

Official Site: http://www.criterion.com/films/27659-life-during-wartime
 

HARAKIRI (1962)

06/21/2011

 
Probably the greatest Japanese screenwriter, Shinobu Hashimoto, contributes to a brilliant anti-authoritarian, anti-samurai masterpiece. If there's room for only one subversive samurai movie in your library, make it Harakiri.

Official Site: http://www.criterion.com/films/743-harakiri
Netflix: http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/Harakiri/70036293?trkid=496624
 
 
Jean Renoir's french poetic realism "film noir" about love, madness and locomotives adapted from Émile Zola's novel. Tragic. Suspenseful. Magnificent trains. Don't be put-off by the opening title roll-up: this is a master work!

Official Site: http://www.criterion.com/films/773-la-bete-humaine
Netflix: http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/La_Bete_Humaine/70012503?trkid=496624#height1933