Films In 2009

A birthday celebration in the woods becomes something horrific. Inspired by true events. ... Read more
A Bit of Scarlet is an imaginatively constructed, painstakingly assembled and highly amus­ing montage of gay-themed cliches and stereo­types from 60-odd years of British cinema. Director Andrea Weiss sets out to entertain first and enlighten second; individual scenes are not tied to historical context, but are instead juxta­posed to hilarious and ironic effect, and to illus­trate various 'rules' a... Read more
A young priest returns from Rome to attend his mother's funeral. His father has been bothered by the angels and finds his son's inability to explain things frustrating: "You left me and your mother to go chasing that meddling, long-haired, socialist, Jewish hippy and you don't even know what an angel is!" A wryly amusing tale with a tragic outcome. ... Read more
Likes bees in a hive, people live in apartment houses. The ingenious shooting plan of the film removes walls at will and allows us to observe the lives of the inhabitants. ... Read more
A key work of post-war Japanese cinema, A Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji broke with conventions of the samurai film through its strong critique of warrior 'ethics'. Witty and generally light-hearted (although with a surprisingly dark finale), A Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji could also be characterised as a road movie. Young samurai Kojuro makes the long journey to Edo, accompanied by his spear-carrier, G... Read more
The background of this drama about a ... father-and-son relationship is today's ... terrorism in Italy. It is a highly dramatic ... tale giving psychological insight into its ... characters and a polemical assessment ... of the deep pressures in Italian society. ... Fifteen-year-old Emilio (Fausto Rossi) wonders why his father, a university professor (Jean-Louis Trintignant) ... often invites one ... Read more
This is an engaging burlesque on the struggle for atomic power, and includes a number of penetrating and amusing side-swipes at the customs of the West. Set in an unidentified country, it tells of a group of gangsters who manage to steal a nuclear bomb from its heavily-guarded place of security, but, being pursued, pass it on to an innocent bystander who is not aware of its lethal nature. The rema... Read more
The odyssey of an incidental tourist on the way to becoming another accidental tourist. Concisely and freshly combines elements of the road movie, the home movie, the newsreel and the travelogue. ... Read more
... ... Too often, children only understand their par­ents when it's all too late. First time director Wu Nien-jen was long established as Taiwan's top screenwriter before being moved to make this tender tribute to his father, a miner who eventually succumbed to black lung disease. ... ... ... A Borrowed Life is an epic achievement. Begin­ning in the 1940s towards the end of Japan's colonisation o... Read more
Credited by George Miller as a key influence behind Mad Max 2’s post-apocalyptic vision, the Hugo Award-winning A Boy and His Dog, starring a very young Don Johnson, translates Harlan Ellison’s acclaimed novella to the big screen. ... Set in 2024, in the aftermath of World War IV, a young man named Vic travels the wasteland with his telepathic dog named Blood. Their scavenging for both food and wo... Read more
Yoichi Higashi is a new name from Japan and his first feature to reach the West is a strong drama that signals him as a director to watch. ... Third Base is made from a script by Shuji Terayama, the "enfant terrible" of Japanese art, film and theatre. It concerns Shinji Seno who is sent to a youth remand centre. We gradually learn of the events of his life that led to him being there, while his li... Read more
... ... From Errol Morris, the director of the daz­zling The Thin Blue Line, comes this won­drous and wonder-filled joumey into the life and work of Professor Stephen Hawking, the world-famous physicist and popular author. ... ... ... Like in the earlier film, Morris rejects the traditional orthodoxies of documentary film­making for an approach that is highly stylized, mediated and interpretative.... Read more
... ... Edward Yang's long-awaited fourth feature is an independent production on an epic scale, a picture of Taiwan in 1960/61 as reflect­ed in the story of a teenage boy who kills a schoolgirl. For many, this is a Taiwan caught between the pull of Mainland China and the lure of the US, the land of milk and honey where Elvis Presley sings (or does he?) of "a brighter summer day." It's also a Taiw... Read more
One Halloween night, Jank Rottweiller asks his old friend Fred to drive him to his father's house in the country. As miles pass, Jank leaves all reason behind him, dragging Fred along. By the time they reach his father's house, Jank has become an unweildly child, trapped in the body of an adult. ... From rather ordinary beginnings, this film develops into an idiosyncratic tale with arguably one of... Read more
A CANTERBURY TALE a 1944 black and white production by Powell and Pressburger. was the first of their productions to be restored by the British National Film Archive The American release version of this originally 124 minute film was cut by 30 minutes The full English release version was restored and presented in London in 1977 at the National Film Theatre, and this occasion was attended by Powell... Read more
Pinjara is a carder in a Bombay cotton factory producing and renovating mattresses. Carding is a skill centuries old, but it can now be done by machine. Pinjara's livelihood is threatened and, in consequence, his very existence. He has been homeless in the city for the forty years he has worked there. He wants to return to his village and his family home, but the need for a meagre living forces hi... Read more
An American soldier is found drowned in Tokyo Bay. A year later, while the authorities are still investigating, the U.S. Army suddenly declares the case closed. There have been several other deaths which seem to be connected with the case and these, in turn, appear to be connected with the counter­feiting of U.S. currency. The authorities continue their investigations, but the case becomes more an... Read more
Made without commentary or dialogue, this film is a simple ballet of a youth and a kitchen chair. The ensuing struggle, first for mastery and then for understanding forms the action of the film. The technique is a modified form of the "pixillation" animation formerly used in NcLaren's Neighbours. ... Read more
McLaren used pixillation techniques in this comedic duel between a young boy and a kitchen chair. ... Read more
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