2018 MOVIES CHOICES
Welcome to a new year of world cinema for 2018.
Our March movie is The Salesman by director Asghar Farhadi screening on Wednesday 21 March 2018.
EUMUNDI WORLD CINEMA MOVIE CHOICES NOW AVAILABLE TO WATCH AT HOME
The movie choices that didn't make the cut (and the one that did) in the Member's Vote each month are now available to watch at home on movie night. Loans are generally for a month, but if you want to extend just let us know.
The movies available can be either in DVD or Blu-ray format. To find out more about the differences between DVD and Blu-ray check out this article written by our president, Arnold Kopff which explains the difference between the two formats.
If you have difficulty viewing a DVD on your player here is some information about how to 'unlock' the region code to enable viewing.
2018 February Director's Pick: KAAKA MUTTAI written, directed and filmed by M. Manikandan
Kaaka Muttai is an Indian film about two boys who live with their mother and grandmother in a slum. Their father is in jail and they collect coal by the railway tracks to support their family. Their big dream is to eat a pizza and it takes them on a wild ride. This is a fun comedy/drama that you won't want to miss.
'The light-hearted and witty script ... incorporates everything from political corruption to media manipulation, painting a rich and vibrant portrait of the contemporary Indian experience.' James Marsh, South China Morning Post
2017 MOVIE CHOICES DECember - MUSICALS
MAMMA MIA Director: Phylida Lloyd 2008
On the Greek island of Kalokairi, bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan reveals to her bridesmaids that she has secretly invited three men to her wedding without telling her mother, Donna. They are the men that her mother's diary reveals could have been her father: Irish-American architect Sam Carmichael, Swedish adventurer and writer Bill Anderson, and British banker Harry Bright. She dreams of being given away by her father at her wedding, and believes that after she spends time with them she will know which is her father.
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Director: Joel Schumacher 2004
In 1919, the Opéra Populaire holds a public auction to clear the theatre's vaults. Raoul, Viscount de Chagny purchases a papier-mâché music box in the shape of a monkey and eyes it sadly as Madame Giry, an aged woman dressed in black, watches him. The auctioneer then presents a shattered chandelier as the next item up for bid, explaining that it once played a key role in "the strange affair of the Phantom of the Opera". As it flickers to life and slowly ascends to its original place in the rafters, the audience is transported back in time to the year 1870.
BLUES BROTHERS Director: John Landis 1980
The story is a tale of redemption for paroled convict Jake and his brother Elwood, who set out on "a mission from God" to save from foreclosure the Catholic orphanage in which they were raised. To do so, they must reunite their R&B band and organize a performance to earn $5,000 needed to pay the orphanage's property tax bill. Along the way, they are targeted by a destructive "mystery woman", Neo-Nazis, and a country and western band—all while being relentlessly pursued by the police.
The Light Between Oceans 2016 Director Derek Cianfrance
The Light Between Oceans is a 2016 romantic period drama film written and directed by Derek Cianfrance and based on the 2012 novel of the same name by M. L. Stedman. An international co-production between the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, the film stars Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz, Bryan Brown, and Jack Thompson. The film tells the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who rescue and adopt an infant girl adrift at sea. Years later, the couple discovers the child's true parentage and are faced with the moral dilemma of their actions.
The Da Vinci Code 2006 Director: Ron Howard
The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery thriller film directed by Ron Howard, written by Akiva Goldsman, and based on Dan Brown's 2003 best-selling novel of the same name. The first in the Robert Langdon film series, the film stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Sir Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Jean Reno, and Paul Bettany. In the film, Robert Langdon, a professor of religious iconography and symbology from Harvard University, is the prime suspect in the grisly and unusual murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. In the body, the police find a disconcerting cipher and start an investigation. A noted British Grail historian named Sir Leigh Teabing tells them that the actual Holy Grail is explicitly encoded in Leonardo da Vinci's wall painting, The Last Supper. Also searching for the Grail is a secret cabal within Opus Dei, an actual prelature of the Holy See, who wishes to keep the true Grail a secret; the revelation of this secret would certainly destroy Christianity.
Memoirs of a Geisha 2005 Director Rob Marshall (available after 15 November)
Memoirs of a Geisha is a 2005 American epic drama film based on the novel of the same name, directed by Rob Marshall, and starring Zhang Ziyi, Ken Watanabe, Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Youki Kudoh, Suzuka Ohgo, and Samantha Futerman. Memoirs of a Geisha tells the story of a young Japanese girl, Chiyo Sakamoto, who is sold by her impoverished family to a geisha house called an okiya. Chiyo is eventually transformed into a geisha and renamed "Sayuri", and becomes one of the most celebrated geisha of her time. But with this success, Sayuri also learns the secrets and sacrifices of the geisha lifestyle.
October's theme: 'Classic Capers'
THE SCORE directed by Frank Oz (2001)
The Score is a 2001 Canadian-American crime thriller film directed by Frank Oz and starring Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Angela Bassett, and Marlon Brando in his final film role. After nearly being caught on a routine burglary, master safe-cracker Nick Wells decides the time has finally come to retire from his criminal activities. He is enticed into taking one final score by his fence Max. Max introduces Nick to Jack Teller, an ambitious thief who has infiltrated the Customs House and gained information regarding security by pretending to be an intellectually disabled janitor.
SNEAKERS directed by PHIL ALDEN ROBINSON (1992)
Sneakers is a 1992 American comedy caper film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, written by Robinson, Walter Parkes, and Lawrence Lasker and starring Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier, and David Strathairn.
In 1969, students Martin Brice and Cosmo are sneakers who hack into computer networks using university equipment, to redistribute conservative funds to various liberal causes. The police burst in and arrest Cosmo while Martin is out getting pizza, and Martin becomes a fugitive.
In the present day, Martin, now called Martin Bishop, is running a team of security specialists in San Francisco, including Donald Crease, a former CIA officer and family man; Darren "Mother" Roskow, a conspiracy theorist and electronics technician; Carl Arbogast, a young hacking genius; and Irwin "Whistler" Emery, a blind phone phreak.
OCEAN'S 11 directed by LEWIS MILESTONE (1960)
Ocean's 11 is a 1960 heist film directed by Lewis Milestone and starring five Rat Packers: Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Joey Bishop.
Centered on a series of Las Vegas casino robberies, the film's other stars included Angie Dickinson, Cesar Romero, Richard Conte, Akim Tamiroff, Henry Silva, Ilka Chase, Norman Fell, Patrice Wymore and Buddy Lester, as well as cameo appearances by Shirley MacLaine, Red Skelton, and George Raft.
September Theme: Extraordinary Women
THE IRON LADY directed by PHYLLIDA LLOYD 2011 (UK)
The Iron Lady is a 2011 British-French biographical drama film based on the life and career of Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013), a British stateswoman and politician who was the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century. The film was directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Thatcher is portrayed primarily by Meryl Streep, and, in her formative and early political years, by Alexandra Roach. Thatcher's husband, Denis Thatcher, is portrayed by Jim Broadbent, and by Harry Lloyd as the younger Denis. Meryl Streep won an Academy Award for her performance.
THE DRESSMAKER directed by JOCELYN MOOREHOUSE 2015 (AUS)
The Dressmaker is a 2015 Australian revenge comedy-drama film written and directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, based on the novel of the same name by Rosalie Ham. It stars Kate Winslet as a femme fatale in the titular role of the dressmaker, Myrtle "Tilly" Dunnage, who returns to a small Australian town to take care of her ailing, mentally unstable mother. The film explores the themes of revenge and creativity and was described by Moorhouse as "Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven with a sewing machine."
THE BLIND SIDE by JOHN LEE HANCOCK 2009 (US)
The Blind Side is a 2009 American biographical sports drama film. It was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. The storyline features Michael Oher, an offensive lineman who played for the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans, and the Carolina Panthers in the NFL. The film follows Oher from his impoverished upbringing, through his years at Wingate Christian School, his adoption by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, to his position as one of the most highly coveted prospects in college football, then finally becoming a first-round pick of the Ravens. The film focuses on Leigh Anne Tuohy and her dogged determination to change his life.
AUGUST THEME: Time Travel
Midnight in Paris: Director Woody Allen 2011
Midnight in Paris is a 2011 English-language fantasy comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen. Set in Paris, the film follows Gil Pender, a screenwriter, who is forced to confront the shortcomings of his relationship with his materialistic fiancée and their divergent goals, which become increasingly exaggerated as he travels back in time each night at midnight. The movie explores themes of nostalgia and modernism.
The film stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni, Marion Cotillard and Michael Sheen. The film opened to critical acclaim and has commonly been cited as one of Allen's best films in recent years. In 2012, the film won both the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe Awards for Best Screenplay; and was nominated for three other Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Art Direction.
Deja Vu: Director Tony Scott 2006
An ATF agent travels back in time in attempts to prevent a domestic terrorist attack that takes place in New Orleans and to save a woman with whom he falls in love. Déjà Vu is directed by Tony Scott, written by Bill Marsilii and Terry Rossio, and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The film stars Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel, Val Kilmer, Adam Goldberg and Bruce Greenwood. Filming took place in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It was the 23rd most successful film worldwide for 2006. The film was nominated for five awards, and also won the International Gold Reel Award.
Predestination: Writers and directors Michael and Peter Spierig 2014
Predestination is a 2014 Australian science fiction thriller film written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig. The film stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor, and is based on the short story "—All You Zombies—" by Robert A. Heinlein.
Up by director Pete Docter (2009)
Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Pete Docter, the film centers on an elderly widower named Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner) and an earnest young "Wilderness Explorer" (a fictional youth group similar to the Boy Scouts) named Russell (Jordan Nagai). By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl sets out to fulfill his dream to see the wilds of South America and complete a promise made to his late wife, Ellie. Up was released on May 29, 2009, and opened the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first animated and 3D film to do so. Up received universal acclaim, with most reviewers commending the humor and heart of the film. The film received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, making it the second animated film in history to receive such a nomination, following Beauty and the Beast (1991).
Up in the Air by director Jason Reitman (2009)
Up in the Air is a 2009 American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman and written by Reitman and Sheldon Turner, based on the 2001 novel of the same name, written by Walter Kirn. The story is centered on corporate "downsizer" Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) and his travels. Ryan works for a Human Resources consultancy firm which specializes in termination assistance, and makes his living traveling to workplaces across the United States, conducting company layoffs and firings on behalf of employers. He also gives motivational speeches, using the analogy "What's in Your Backpack?" to extol the virtues of a life free of burdensome relationships with people as well as things. A frequent flyer, Ryan has no fixed abode, relishes his travels, and desires to become the seventh and youngest person to earn ten million frequent flyer miles with American Airlines. During his travels, he meets another frequent flyer named Alex, and they begin a casual relationship. The film received eight Broadcast Film Critics Association nominations and garnered a win for Adapted Screenplay, six Golden Globe nominations, earning a win for Best Screenplay, and three Screen Actors Guild nominations. It received six Academy Award nominations, but did not win in any category, and also received recognition from numerous critics' associations.
Bride Flight directed by Ben Sombogaart (2009) (available after 19 July)
BRIDE FLIGHT is a lavish romantic drama that charts the lives of three women who escape the gloom of post-WWII Holland for what they hope will be a better life in New Zealand. Ada, the shy but sensual farm girl, Marjorie, who dreams of a big family, and Esther, a Holocaust survivor who aspires to be a fashion designer, become fast friends during the long flight taking them to their waiting husbands, who have already settled in Christchurch. On the flight the women also meet Frank, a dashing young man who will play a large role in each of their lives. Upon arrival, they part ways to start their new lives, but their paths continue to cross with chance meetings resulting in adultery, betrayal and near tragedy leading up to a reunion fifty years later. It was directed by Ben Sombogaart and stars Rutger Hauer, Elise Schaap, Anna Drijver, Karina Smulders and Waldemar Torenstra. The Dutch singer Ilse DeLange wrote and sang the title song for the movie: "Miracle".
June 2017 - MYSTERY
Memento by director Christopher Nolan (2010)
Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed and written by Christopher Nolan, and produced by Suzanne and Jennifer Todd. The film's script was based on a pitch by Jonathan Nolan, who later wrote the story "Memento Mori" from the concept. It stars Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano.
Pearce stars as a man who, as a result of a past trauma, suffers from anterograde amnesia, the inability to form new memories and suffers short-term memory loss approximately every five minutes. He is searching for the persons who attacked him and killed his wife, using an intricate system of Polaroid photographs and tattoos to track information he cannot remember.
Incendies by director Denis Villeneuve 2010
Incendies (French: [ɛ̃.sɑ̃.di], "Fires") is a 2010 Canadian mystery-drama film written and directed by Denis Villeneuve. Adapted from Wajdi Mouawad's play of the same name, Incendies stars Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette and Rémy Girard. Following the death of Nawal Marwan, a Canadian immigrant, her two children, fraternal twins Jeanne and Simon, meet with French Canadian notary Jean Lebel, a friend of their mother. Nawal's will makes reference to not keeping a promise, denying her a proper gravestone and casket, unless Jeanne and Simon track down their mysterious brother, whose existence they were previously unaware of, and their father, whom they believed was dead.
The Black Dahlia by director Brian De Palma (2006)
Two cops in 1940s Los Angeles investigate the murder of a Hollywood starlet (Mia Kirshner), and one (Aaron Eckhart) puts his marriage in jeopardy by obsessing over the crime, while the other (Josh Hartnett) becomes involved with a woman (Hilary Swank) from a prominent family, who happens to have an unsavory tie to the victim.
2017 MAY CHOICES: ITALY
God Willing (Se Dio vuole) 2015 Comedy directed by Edoardo Falcone
Tommaso is a successful, respected cardiac surgeon who also happens to be an atheist. However, Tommaso's son Andrea who is a medical student announces in a family get-together that he wants to become a priest. Tommaso is petrified with he hears the news as he expected his son was going to come out as gay. Tommaso who is irritated with Catholicism plan's with his son-in-law, Gianni to prevent Andrea's change.
My Mother (Mia Madre) directed by Nanni Moretti 2015
Mia Madre (English: My Mother) is a 2015 Franco-Italian drama film directed by Nanni Moretti. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It was screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Margherita (Margherita Buy) is a director working on a social-realist film about a factory strike called Noi Siamo Qui (We Are Here), starring Italian-American actor Barry Huggins (John Turturro) as the factory owner. Huggins consistently fails to deliver his lines properly and the fraught nature of the shoot is exasperated by unhelpful advice from Margherita to her actors. She breaks up with her boyfriend, an actor in the film, and is divorced from the father of her daughter, Livia (Beatrice Mancini). Her brother Giovanni (Nanni Moretti) has taken time off work to help care for their ailing mother, Ada (Giulia Lazzarini), a retired classics teacher who has been hospitalised. Margherita comes to feel guilty for not taking on more responsibility for her mother and reflects on her often cold relations with her family, friends and colleagues.
Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella)
Life Is Beautiful (Italian: La vita è bella [la ˈviːta ɛ bˈbɛlla]) is a 1997 Italian comedy-drama film directed by and starring Roberto Benigni, who co-wrote the film with Vincenzo Cerami. Benigni plays Guido Orefice, a Jewish Italian book shop owner, who employs his fertile imagination to shield his son from the horrors of internment in a Nazi concentration camp. The film was partially inspired by the book In the End, I Beat Hitler by Rubino Romeo Salmonì and by Benigni's father, who spent two years in a German labour camp during World War II.
The film was a critical and financial success, despite criticisms of using the subject matter for comedic purposes. It won the Grand Prix at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, nine David di Donatello Awards, including Best Film, in Italy, and three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Benigni.
APRIL 2017 DIRECTOR: Wes Anderson
Wesley Wales "Wes" Anderson (born May 1, 1969) is an American film director, film producer, screenwriter, and actor. His films are known for their distinctive visual and narrative style. We have chosen to present Wes Anderson to our members in April, because he is a contemporary filmmaker with a diverse catalogue of quirky, creative and charming films which are not found in mainstream cinemas.
Anderson is regarded by many as a modern-day example of the auteur. He has received consistent praise from critics for his work, and three of his films – The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel – appeared in BBC's 2016 poll of the greatest films since 2000.
Anderson was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Royal Tenenbaums in 2001, Moonrise Kingdom in 2012 and The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014, as well as the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009. He received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Director and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014. He also received the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2015. (Wikipedia, 2017)
THe Grand budapest hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel is an 2014 comedy film written and directed by Wes Anderson, from a story by Anderson and Hugo Guinness, inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig. Featuring an ensemble cast, it stars Ralph Fiennes as a concierge who teams up with one of his employees (Tony Revolori) to prove his innocence after he is framed for murder.
Fantastic mr fox
Fantastic Mr. Fox is a 2009 American stop-motion animated comedy film based on Roald Dahl's children's novel of the same name. The film is about a fox who steals food each night from three mean and wealthy farmers. They are fed up with Mr. Fox's theft and try to kill him, so they dig their way into the foxes' home, but the animals are able to outwit the farmers and live underground.
Moonrise Kingdom is a 2012 American coming-of-age film directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola, and described as an "eccentric, pubescent love story." It features newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward in the main roles and an ensemble cast. Filming took place in Rhode Island from April to June 2011.
MARCH MOVIES - NEW ZEALAND
Boy: Director/writer Taika Waititi NZ (2010)
Boy is a 2010 New Zealand coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Taika Waititi. The film stars James Rolleston, Waititi, Te Aho Aho Eketone-Whitu, Moerangi Tihore, and Cherilee Martin. It is produced by Cliff Curtis, Ainsley Gardiner and Emanuel Michael and financed by the New Zealand Film Commission.
In New Zealand, the film eclipsed previous records for a first week's box office takings for a local production. Boy went on to become the highest grossing New Zealand film at the local box office The soundtrack to Boy features New Zealand artists such as The Phoenix Foundation, who previously provided music for Waititi's film Eagle vs Shark.
THE PIANO: Director Jane Campion (1993)
The Piano is a 1993 New Zealand drama film about a mute piano player and her daughter. Set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater town on the west coast of New Zealand, it revolves around the piano player's passion for playing the piano and her efforts to regain her piano after it is sold. The Piano was written and directed by Jane Campion, and stars Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, and Anna Paquin in her first acting role. The film's score for the piano by Michael Nyman became a best-selling soundtrack album, and Hunter played her own piano pieces for the film.
HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (2016)
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a 2016 New Zealand adventure comedy-drama film written and directed by Taika Waititi, whose screenplay was based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump. Carthew Neal, Leanne Saunders, Matt Noonan, and Waititi produced the film. Sam Neill and Julian Dennison play "Uncle" Hector and Ricky Baker, a father figure and son who become the targets of a manhunt after fleeing into the New Zealand bush.
The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on 22 January 2016. The film opened across New Zealand on 31 March 2016. The film received a limited North American release on 24 June 2016.
Blind Date (Un Peu, Beaucoup, Aveuglement) 2015 Director/Actor: Clovis Cornillac
Blind Date (French title: Un peu, beaucoup, aveuglément) is a 2015 French romantic comedy film directed by and starring Clovis Cornillac. The film also stars Mélanie Bernier, Lilou Fogli and Philippe Duquesne.
It won the audience award at the 19th annual COLCOA French Film Festival in Los Angeles and the Best First Film award at the 2015 Cabourg Film Festival.
Samba (2015) Directors: Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano
Samba is a 2014 French comedy-drama film co-written and directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano after 2012's The Intouchables.
The film premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2014. Samba Cissé (Omar Sy), a migrant from Senegal to France, works as a dish washer in a hotel. After a bureaucratic slip-up lands him in a detention, he is ordered to leave France. With the help of an immigration officer (Charlotte Gainsbourg), he fights to stay in France.
The Belier Family (La Famille Bélier) Director: Éric Lartigau (after 21 December)
La Famille Bélier (English: The Bélier Family) is a 2014 French comedy-drama film directed by Éric Lartigau. The film received six nominations at the 40th César Awards, winning Most Promising Actress for Louane Emera. In the Bélier family, sixteen-year-old Paula is an indispensable interpreter for her deaf parents and brother on a daily basis, especially in the running of the family farm. One day, a music teacher discovers her gift for singing and encourages Paula to participate in a prestigious singing contest in Paris, which will secure her a good career and a college degree.
Living is Easy with Eyes Closed Writer/Director: David Trueba 2014
It is 1966 in Albacete, Spain. English teacher and die-hard Beatles fan Antonio decides to go on a road trip to Almería in the hope of meeting John Lennon, who is shooting a film there.
On the way he picks up two hitch-hikers, Juanjo and Belén. This unlikely trio form a bond and decide to follow their dreams in hopes of finding their freedom.
Medianeras (Sidewalls) Writer/Director: Gustavo Naretto 2011
Martín and Mariana are slightly damaged people who live in buildings just opposite one another.
While they often don't notice each other, separation might be the very thing that brings them together.
VOLVER Director: Pedro Almodovar (2006)
Takes place in Madrid and its lively working-class neighbourhoods, where the immigrants from the various Spanish provinces share dreams, lives and fortune with a multitude of ethnic groups and other races. At the heart of this social framework, three generations of women survive wind, fire and even death, thanks to goodness, audacity and a limitless vitality.
The Nightingale (2015)
The Nightingale (Chinese: 夜莺; pinyin: yèyīng, French: Le Promeneur d'oiseau) is a 2013 Chinese-French drama film directed by Philippe Muyl. A young girl leaves her city home to travel with her grandfather back to their country to release a bird as he had promised his wife.
It becomes a journey of discovery and connection with home and family for both of them.
Dangerous Liaisons (2012)
Dangerous Liaisons (Chinese: 危險關係) is a 2012 Chinese film by Hur Jin-ho based on the novel with the same title by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. The novel has been adapted numerous times, including Les Liaisons Dangereuses, an adaptation by Roger Vadim (1959), the eponymous Hollywood film (1988), Valmont (1989), Cruel Intentions (1999), and Untold Scandal from South Korea (2003).
Set in 1930s Shanghai it stars South Korean actor Jang Dong-gun and Chinese actresses Zhang Ziyi and Cecilia Cheung.
The Battle of Red Cliff (2009) Director: John Woo
John Woo gives us another taste of sweet historical action with his movie Red Cliff.
Based on historical battles in the early days of China's Three Kingdoms war, as a warlord seeks to conquer all of China with the double-knockout combination of the Emperor's blessing and an army measuring one million troops strong. But it won't be a walkover, even with that kind of manpower as other factions stand against the seemingly implacable will of the Emperor.
THE CARS THAT ATE PARIS Director: Peter Weir
The Cars That Ate Paris is a 1974 Australian horror comedy film, produced by twin brothers Hal and Jim McElroy and directed by Peter Weir. It was his first feature film, and was also based on an original story he had written. Shot mostly in the rural town of Sofala, New South Wales, the film is set in the fictional town of Paris in which most of the inhabitants appear to be directly, or indirectly, involved in profiting from the results of car accidents.
THE RAILWAY MAN Director: Jonathan Teplitzky (2013)
During the Second World War, Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) is a British officer who is captured by the Japanese in Singapore and sent to a Japanese POW camp, where he is forced to work on the Thai-Burma Railway north of the Malay Peninsula. During his time in the camp as one of the Far East prisoners of war, Lomax is tortured by the Kempeitai for building a radio receiver from spare parts. The torture depicted includes beatings, rape and waterboarding. Apparently, he had fallen under suspicion of being a spy, for supposedly using the British news broadcast receiver as a transmitter of military intelligence. In fact, however, his only intention had been to use the device as a morale booster for himself and his fellow prisoner-slaves.
Years later, and still suffering the psychological trauma of his wartime experiences, with the help of his wife Patti (Nicole Kidman) and best friend Finlay, Lomax decides to find and confront one of his captors who had escaped prosecution as a war criminal. Lomax returns to the scene of his torture after he has tracked down Japanese secret police officer Takashi Nagase, "in an attempt to let go of a lifetime of bitterness and hate".
TRACKS Director: John Curran 2014 (available after 21/9/2016)
Starring Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre, Stoker) and Adam Driver (HBO's Girls, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis), directed by John Curran (The Painted Veil, We Don't Live Here Anymore) and from the Oscar® winning producers of The King's Speech, Tracks is based on the inspirational and iconic true story of Robyn Davidson. Robyn's phenomenal solo trek from Alice Springs to Uluru and on to the Indian Ocean saw her traverse 2700km of spectacular yet unforgiving Australian desert accompanied only by her loyal dog and four unpredictable camels.
Charismatic young New Yorker and National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan travelled from the other end of the earth to capture, at intervals, this epic and remarkable journey into one of the world's last great wildernesses. Robyn reluctantly agreed to a visiting photographer in return for much needed trip funding and could only see Rick's visits as intruding on her solitude and compromising everything the journey meant to her. However, this uneasy relationship between two very different people would slowly develop into an unlikely and enduring friendship.
Set against one of the wildest, most dangerous and most breathtaking backdrops on the planet, this unprecedented journey pushed Robyn to her physical and emotional limits and taught her that sometimes we have to detach from the world to feel connected to it. In witnessing this extraordinary journey we realise that the impossible is within reach of us all.
THE LUNCHBOX Director: Ritesh Batra 2013
One of Mumbai's miracles is the lunchbox delivery phenomenon. Mumbai's Dabbawallahs are a community of 5000 dabba (lunchbox) deliverymen. It is a hereditary profession. Every morning the Dabbawallahs deliver hot meals from the kitchens of housewives to the offices of their husbands, and then return the empty lunchboxes back to the homes in the afternoon. For 120 years they have provided Mumbaikars with a taste of home in the office. They navigate through the overcrowded local trains, and chaotic streets - that often have a namesake or more than one name. The Dabbawallahs are illiterate; they use a complex coding system of colors and symbols to deliver dabbas in the labyrinth that is Mumbai. Harvard University analyzed their delivery system, and concluded that just one in 4 million lunchboxes is ever delivered to the wrong address. 'Dabba' is the story of that one lunchbox.
A wrongly delivered lunchbox connects a housewife - Ila Vaid, to Saajan Fernandes, a lonely man in the dusk of his life. Ila lives in Kandivili, the conservative middle class Hindu enclave. And Saajan lives in Ranwar village, Bandra, an old Christian neighborhood that is threatened by the new high rises of Mumbai. Very soon Saajan will retire and bid goodbye to a Mumbai that crushed his dreams, took away his loved ones one by one, and turned his hair white. Just then Ila comes into his life. In the big city, that crushes dreams and recycles them everyday, both find a dream to hold on to. They exchange notes in the lunchbox and create a fantasy life. As the lunchbox goes back and forth, this fantasy becomes so elaborate that it threatens to overwhelm their reality.
The characters of THE LUNCHBOX exist on the line between the Mumbai of reality and the Mumbai of fantasy. In the end, they come to a crossroads where they must choose between the two Worlds. THE LUNCHBOX is the story of nostalgia and of hope for the future, and above all, of the small joys of life that need our attention.
The Lunchbox is a 2013 Indian epistolary romantic film written and directed by Ritesh Batra, and produced by Guneet Monga, Anurag Kashyap, and Arun Rangachari. The film was jointly produced by various studios including DAR motion pictures, UTV Motion Pictures, Dharma Productions, Sikhya Entertainment, NFDC (India), ROH Films (Germany), ASAP Films (France), and the Cine Mosaic (United States). It stars Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles. The film was screened at International Critics' Week at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and later won the Critics Week Viewers Choice Award also known as Grand Rail d'Or. It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was released in India on 20 September 2013. The film was a box-office success.
The Lunchbox was nominated for the Film Not in the English Language category of the British Academy Film Awards 2015.
THE CONFORMIST by director Bernardo Bertolucci
The Conformist (Italian: Il conformista) is a 1970 political drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. The screenplay was written by Bertolucci based on the 1951 novel The Conformist by Alberto Moravia. The film stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Stefania Sandrelli, and features Gastone Moschin, Enzo Tarascio, Fosco Giachetti, José Quaglio, Dominique Sanda and Pierre Clémenti. The film was a co-production of Italian, French, and West German film companies.
Bertolucci makes use of the 1930s art and decor associated with the Fascist era: the middle-class drawing rooms and the huge halls of the ruling elite.
I AM LOVE directed by Luca Guadagnino
I Am Love (Italian: Io sono l'amore) is a 2009 Italian film directed by Luca Guadagnino set around 2000 in Milan. The film follows an haute bourgeoisie family through changing times and fortunes, and its disruption by the forces of passion. The cast is led by Tilda Swinton as Emma Recchi. Producers Swinton and Guadagnino developed the film together over an 11-year period.
The title is taken from a line from the aria La mamma morta, which is explored in the film Philadelphia (starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington), a scene of which Emma is watching while in bed with her husband, during the film. The film's soundtrack uses pre-existing compositions by John Adams
HUMAN CAPITAL directed by Paolo Virzì
Human Capital (Italian: Il capitale umano) is a 2013 Italian film directed by Paolo Virzì. The film is based on the American novel Human Capital by Stephen Amidon. For her performance in the film Valeria Bruni Tedeschi was awarded Best Actress at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. It was selected as the Italian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, but was not nominated.
Set in a town in Brianza and in Milan, a waiter cycling home from working at a prestigious private school's gala is hit by a car on Christmas Eve. The driver flees, leaving the waiter lying in the street badly injured. The waiter is hospitalized and close to death. The next day, two well-known families' lives are connected by the incident.
JUNE 2016 CHOICES
Last Orders directed by Fred schepisi (2001)
The title refers to both a pub landlord's last call and the final wishes of a dying man, in this instance Jack Dodds (Michael Caine), an east London butcher who greatly influenced four men over the course of his flawed but decent lifetime. The quartet gathers to scatter Jack's ashes in Margate, where he had hoped to retire to a small seaside cottage with his wife Amy (Helen Mirren), a dream that never was fulfilled.
Locke directed by stephen Knight (2014)
The day before he must supervise a large concrete pour in Birmingham, construction foreman Ivan Locke learns that Bethan, a colleague with whom he had a one-night stand seven months previously, has gone into premature labour. Despite his job responsibilities and although his wife and sons are eagerly awaiting his arrival home to watch an important football match, Locke decides to drive to London to be with Bethan during childbirth. Locke never forgave his father for abandoning him as a child, and he is determined not to make the same mistake.
Locke is a 2013 British drama film written and directed by Steven Knight. The film stars Tom Hardy in the title role, with Tom Holland, Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott, Ruth Wilson, Ben Daniels, and Alice Lowe providing voices.
The film premiered at Broad Street in Westside, Birmingham the 70th Venice Film Festival on 2 September 2013. The film had a limited release in the United Kingdom beginning on 18 April 2014, and grossed $5 million worldwide. Locke received critical acclaim, particularly for Hardy's performance. Hardy won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor for his performance.
A Most Wanted Man directed by anton Corbijn (2014)
A Most Wanted Man is a 2014 British espionage thriller film based on the novel of the same name by John le Carré, directed by Anton Corbijn and written by Andrew Bovell. The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Daniel Brühl and Nina Hoss. It premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and competed in the main competition section of the 36th Moscow International Film Festival and the 40th Deauville American Film Festival. It was the last of Hoffman's films to be released before his death.
My Sweet Pepperland by director Huner Saleem 2013 (Middle East)
My Sweet Pepper Land is a 2013 French-German co-production drama film directed by Huner Saleem.
It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and nominated in the 7th annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards for Achievement in Directing for Huner Saleem and Best Performance by an Actress for Golshifteh Farahani.
The story revolves around a remote village in Iraqi Kurdistan and a Kurdish patriot Baran who since recently serves as a policeman. He cannot help but provoke the local villain Aziz Aga and finds himself supported by an attractive lady named Govend who works as a teacher. Source: Wikipedia
About Elly (Darbareye Eli) by director Asghar Farhadi 2009
About Elly (Persian: درباره الی, translit. Darbâreye Eli) is a 2009 Iranian psychological drama directed by Asghar Farhadi about the relationships between some middle class families in Iran.
Farhadi won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival for the film. The film was also nominated for 10 awards at the 27th Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran where Farhadi won the Crystal Simorgh for best directing. About Elly was Iran's official submission for the competition in the Foreign Film section at the 82nd Academy Awards. It competed against films such as Bist, Tardid, and Bipooli for Iran's submission in the Academy Awards. Source: Wikipedia
Far from Men (Loin Des Hommes) by director David Oelhoffen 2014
Far from Men (French: Loin des hommes) is a 2014 French drama film directed by David Oelhoffen. It was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. It was screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Algeria, 1954. While the rebellion rumbles in the valley, two very different men thrown together by a world in turmoil are forced to flee together across the Atlas Mountains. In the midst of an icy winter, Daru, the reclusive teacher, has to escort Mohamed, a villager accused of murder. Pursued by horsemen seeking summary justice and vengeful settlers, the two men decide to confront the unknown. Together they fight to gain their freedom. Source: Wikipedia and Rotten Tomatoes
April 2016: SOUTH AMERICA
The Secret in their Eyes: director Juan José Campanella - Argentina (Blu-ray)
The Secret in Their Eyes (Spanish: El secreto de sus ojos) is a 2009 Argentine crime thriller film directed, produced and edited by Juan José Campanella and written by Eduardo Sacheri and Campanella, based on Sacheri's novel La pregunta de sus ojos (The Question in Their Eyes). The story unearths the buried romance between a retired judiciary employee and a judge who worked together a quarter century ago. They recount their efforts on an unsolved 1974 rape and murder that is an obsession not only for them, but for the victim's husband and the killer.
The movie won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards, and, with 1985's The Official Story, made Argentina the first country in Latin America to win it twice. Three weeks before, it had received the Spanish equivalent with the Goya Award for Best Spanish Language Foreign Film. Source: Wikipedia
Wild Tales (Relatos salvajes) Director: Damián Szifron 2014 (Blu-ray) - available after 20 April movie night
Wild Tales (Spanish: Relatos salvajes) is a 2014 Argentine-Spanish black comedy anthology film composed of six standalone shorts, all written and directed by Damián Szifron, united by a common theme of violence and vengeance. It stars an ensemble cast consisting of Ricardo Darín, Oscar Martínez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Érica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, and Darío Grandinetti, and was co-produced by Agustín Almodóvar and Pedro Almodóvar. The film's musical score was composed by Gustavo Santaolalla. It was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, and won the Best Film Not in the English Language at the 69th British Academy Film Awards. Source: Wikipedia
7 Boxes (7 Cajas) Directors: Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori (DVD) Paraguay
7 Boxes is a Paraguayan thriller directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori. The film received praise from critics and the public as well as breaking box office records in Paraguayan cinemas. 7 Boxes won the 'Films in Progress' in what was the first unanimous decision in the festival's history.
On a hot Friday in April 2005 in Asunción, a 17-year-old pushcart porter named Victor (Celso Franco) is distracted while daydreaming about being famous and admired at a DVD booth in the middle of a market, causing him the loss of a customer. Acknowledging the competitiveness of the market, and fearing for the security of his job, Victor realizes that he needs to work harder to make money that day. He then receives an unusual proposal. He is asked to transport seven boxes of unknown contents, in exchange for half a torn $100 bill and the promise of the other half when the job is done. Victor becomes involved in a crime of which he knows nothing; not the cause, nor the victim or perpetrator. Source: Wikipedia
MARCH 2016: JAPAN
RAN 1985 - directed by Akira Kurosawa
Ran (乱?, Chinese and Japanese for "chaos", "rebellion", or "revolt", or to mean "disturbed" or "confused") is a 1985 Japanese-French jidaigeki epic film directed and co-written by Akira Kurosawa. The film stars Tatsuya Nakadai as Hidetora Ichimonji, an aging Sengoku-era warlord who decides to abdicate as ruler in favor of his three sons. The story is based on legends of the daimyo Mōri Motonari, as well as on the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear.
Ran was Kurosawa's last epic. With a budget of $12 million, it was the most expensive Japanese film ever produced up to that time. Ran was released on May 31, 1985 at the Tokyo International Film Festival and on June 1, 1985 in Japan. The film was hailed for its powerful images and use of color—costume designer Emi Wada won an Academy Award for Costume Design for her work on Ran. The distinctive Gustav Mahler–inspired film score, written by Toru Takemitsu, plays in isolation with ambient sound muted. Source: Wikipedia
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON 2013 - directed by Hirokazu Koreeda
Like Father, Like Son (そして父になる Soshite Chichi ni Naru) is a 2013 Japanese drama film directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. It was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Jury Prize and a commendation from the Ecumenical Jury. It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and won both the Rogers People's Choice Award at the 2013 Vancouver International Film Festival and the Wuaki.TV Audience Award at the 2013 San Sebastián International Film Festival. Source: Wikipedia
GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES 1988 - written and directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli
Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓 Hotaru no haka?) is a 1988 Japanese animated war drama film written and directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli. It is based on the 1967 semi-autobiographical short story Grave of the Fireflies by Akiyuki Nosaka. The film stars Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Yoshiko Shinohara and Akemi Yamaguchi. Set in the city of Kobe, Japan, the film tells the story of two siblings, Seita and Setsuko, and their desperate struggle to survive during the final months of the Second World War.
Grave of the Fireflies received acclaim from film critics. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times considered it to be one of the best and most powerful war films and, in 2000, included it on his "Great Movies" list. Two live-action remakes of Grave of the Fireflies were made, one in 2005 and one in 2008. It is commonly described as an anti-war film, but this interpretation has been denied by the director. Source: Wikipedia
CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON 2000: directed by Ang Lee (Bluray)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 martial arts film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of Han Chinese actors, including Chow Yun-fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi and Chang Chen. The film was based on the fourth novel in a pentalogy, known in China as the Crane Iron Pentalogy, by wuxia novelist Wang Dulu. The martial arts and action sequences were choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping. A sequel is scheduled for release in 2016.
Made on a US$17 million budget, with dialogue in Mandarin, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon became a surprise international success, grossing $213.5 million. It grossed US$128 million in the United States, becoming the highest-grossing foreign-language film in American history. It has won over 40 awards. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (Taiwan) and three other Academy Awards, and was nominated for six other Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film also won four BAFTAs and two Golden Globe Awards, one for Best Foreign Film. Along with its awards success, Crouching Tiger continues to be hailed as one of the greatest and most influential foreign language films in the United States, especially coming out of China. It has been praised for its martial arts sequences, story, direction, musical score and cinematography.
KON-TIKI (2012) directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (Bluray)
Kon-Tiki is a 2012 historical drama film directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg about the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition. The film was mainly shot on the island of Malta. The role of Thor Heyerdahl is played by Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen. The film is aninternational co-production between Norway, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
It was the highest-grossing film of 2012 in Norway and the country's most expensive production to date. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards. It is Norway's fifth Academy Award nomination. The film was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 70th Golden Globe Awards. It is the first time a Norwegian film has been nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe. Source: Wikipedia
INCEPTION (2010): directed by Christopher Nolan (Bluray)
Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy,Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine. DiCaprio plays a professional thief who commits corporate espionage by infiltrating the subconscious of his targets. He is offered a chance to have his criminal history erased as payment for a task considered to be impossible: "inception", the implantation of another person's idea into a target's subconscious. Source: Wikipedia
MUNICH 2005 director Steven Spielberg (DVD)
Munich is a 2005 historical drama and political thriller film based on Operation Wrath of God, the Israeli government's secret retaliation against the Palestine Liberation Organization after the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The film was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth.
Based on the book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team about Yuval Aviv, who states he was a Mossad agent, Munich follows a squad of assassins as they track down and kill alleged members of the group Black September, which had kidnapped and murdered eleven Israeli athletes.
Shot in Malta, Budapest, Paris and New York, Munich was a critical success but is also one of Spielberg's lowest-grossing films. It garnered positive reviews and five Academy Awards nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Spielberg), Best Adapted Screenplay (Kushner and Roth), Best Film Editing (Michael Kahn) and Best Original Score (John Williams). Its worldwide box office gross was $130,358,911. Source: Wikipedia
THE LIVES OF OTHERS (DVD) director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (NOW AVAILABLE)
The Lives of Others (German: Das Leben der Anderen) is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, about the monitoring of East Berlin residents by agents of the Stasi, the GDR's secret police. It stars Ulrich Mühe (who died within a year of the film's release) as Stasi Captain Gerd Wiesler, Ulrich Tukur as his superior Anton Grubitz, Sebastian Koch as the playwright Georg Dreyman, and Martina Gedeck as Dreyman's lover, a prominent actress named Christa-Maria Sieland.
The film was released in Germany on 23 March 2006. At the same time, the screenplay was published by Suhrkamp Verlag. The Lives of Others won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film had earlier won seven Deutscher Filmpreis awards—including those for best film, best director, best screenplay, best actor, and best supporting actor—after setting a new record with 11 nominations. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 64th Golden Globe Awards. The Lives of Others cost US$2 million and grossed more than US$77 million worldwide as of November 2007.
Released 17 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall marking the end of the East German socialist state, it was the first noticeable drama film about the subject after a series of comedies such as Goodbye, Lenin! and Sonnenallee. This approach was widely applauded in Germany even as some criticized the humanization of Wiesler's character. Many former East Germans were stunned by the factual accuracy of the film's set and atmosphere, accurately portraying a state which merged with West Germany and ceased to exist 16 years prior to the release. The film's authenticity was considered notable, given that the director grew up outside of East Germany and was only sixteen when the Berlin Wall fell. Source: Wikipedia
SARAH'S KEY (BLURAY) directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner
Sarah's Key follows a journalist's present-day investigation into the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup of Jews in German-occupied Paris in 1942. It tells the story of a young girl's experiences during and after these events, illustrating the participation of the French bureaucracy as well as French citizens hiding and protecting Sarah from the French authorities. The film alternates between Sarah's life in 1942 and the journalist researching the story in 2009. Source: Wikipedia
COCO AVANT CHANEL- Director: Anne FONTAINE
Coco Before Chanel is the story of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, who began her life as headstrong orphan, and through an extraordinary journey became the legendary couturier who embodied the modern woman and became a timeless symbol of success, freedom and style. The film portrays the formative years of Chanel's life, the years of Chanel spent discovering and inventing herself.
Coco Before Chanel is directed by Anne Fontaine (La Fille de Monaco/The Girl From Monaco) from a screenplay by Anne Fontaine and Camille Fontaine, with collaboration of Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons), loosely based on L'irrégulière (Chanel and Her World: Friends, Fashion, and Fame) by Edmonde Charles-Roux. The film is produced by Philippe Carcassonne (La Fille De Monaco/The Girl Class) and Carole Scotta (Entre les murs/The Class).
The director of photography is Christophe Beaucarne (Paris, Paint or Make Love); the production designer is Olivier Radot (The Lover, Queen Margot, Gabrielle). The film is edited by Luc Barnier, with original costumes by Catherine Letterier (Cesar Award winner for Bon Voyage and the Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc). Alexandre Desplat (Academy Award nominee for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Queen) composed the score.
The production was given the support of the Maison CHANEL, who opened their archives and collections.
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN - Director: Steven Spielberg
Frank didn't go to flight school...Frank didn't go to medical school...Frank didn't go to law school...because Frank's still in high school!
Inspired by the true story of a brilliant young master of deception and the FBI agent hot on his trail.
Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Frank W. Abagnale, Jr. successfully passes himself off as a pilot, a lawyer and a doctor -- all before his 21st birthday!
HYDE PARK ON HUDSON - Director: Roger Michell
In June 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Academy Award nominee Bill Murray) and his wife Eleanor (Olivia Williams) host the King and Queen of England (Samuel West and Olivia Colman) for a weekend at the Roosevelt home at Hyde Park on Hudson, in upstate New York -- the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America.
With Britain facing imminent war with Germany, the Royals are desperately looking to FDR for support. But international affairs must be juggled with the complexities of FDR's domestic establishment, as wife, mother, and mistresses all conspire to make the royal weekend an unforgettable one.
Seen through the eyes of Daisy (Academy Award nominee Laura Linney), Franklin's neighbor and intimate, the weekend will produce not only a special relationship between two great nations, but, for Daisy -- and through her, for us all -- a deeper understanding of the mysteries of love and friendship.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS by director Bryan Singer
The Usual Suspects is a 1995 American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite and Kevin Spacey.
The film follows the interrogation of Roger "Verbal" Kint, a small-time con man who is one of only two survivors of a massacre and fire on a ship docked at the Port of Los Angeles. He tells an interrogator a convoluted story about events that led him and his partners in crime to the boat, and about a mysterious mob boss known as Keyser Söze who commissioned their work. Using flashback and narration, Kint's story becomes increasingly complex.
The film, shot on a $6 million budget, began as a title taken from a column in Spy magazine called "The Usual Suspects", after one of Claude Rains' most memorable lines in the classic film Casablanca. Singer thought it would make a good title for a film, the poster for which he and McQuarrie had developed as the first visual idea.
The film was shown out of competition at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, and then initially released in a few theaters. It received favorable reviews, and was eventually given a wider release. McQuarrie won an Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) and Spacey won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. It is now remembered for having one of the most definitive and popular plot twists in cinematic history.
TAIS TOI by director Francis Veber
Ruby & Quentin (French: Tais-toi ! (French pronunciation: [tɛ twa], Shut up!) is a 2003 French comedy-crime caper film, directed by Francis Veber. Two diametrically opposed convicts escape from prison and seek revenge in order to retrieve a huge sum of hidden money.
After hiding his loot and getting thrown in jail, Ruby, a brooding outlaw, encounters Quentin, dim-witted and garrulous giant who befriends him and botches his solo escape, forcing them to make a break for it together.
Unable to shake the cumbersome and clumsily helpful Quentin, Ruby pursues his former partners in crime to avenge the murder of the woman he loved, with the firm intention of getting to his hidden money before they do.
DOUBLE INDEMNITY by director Billy Wilder
Double Indemnity is a 1944 American film noir, directed by Billy Wilder, co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, and produced by Buddy DeSylva and Joseph Sistrom. The screenplay was based on James M. Cain's 1943 novella of the same name, which originally appeared as an eight-part serial in Liberty magazine.
The film stars Fred MacMurray as an insurance salesman, Barbara Stanwyck as a provocative housewife who wishes her husband were dead, and Edward G. Robinson as a claims adjuster whose job is to find phony claims. The term "double indemnity" refers to a clause in certain life insurance policies that doubles the payout in cases when death is caused while riding a railway or other public transport means.
Praised by many critics when first released, Double Indemnity was nominated for seven Academy Awards but did not win any. Widely regarded as a classic, it is often cited as a paradigmatic film noir and as having set the standard for the films that followed in that genre.
Deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the U.S. Library of Congress in 1992, Double Indemnity was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 1998, it was ranked #38 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 best American films of the 20th century, and in 2007 it was 29th on their 10th Anniversary list.
THE WIND RISES - director Hayao Miyazaki 2013
The Wind Rises is a fictionalized biopic of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, used by the Empire of Japan during World War II. The film is adapted from Miyazaki's manga of the same name, which was in turn loosely based on the 1937 short story The Wind Has Risen by Tatsuo Hori.
The Wind Rises was the highest-grossing Japanese film in Japan in 2013 and received critical acclaim. It won and was nominated for several awards, including nominations for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.
WALTZ WITH BASHIR by writer and director Ari Folman 2008
Waltz with Bashir (Hebrew: ואלס עם באשיר, translit. Vals Im Bashir) is a 2008 Israeli animated war documentary film written and directed by Ari Folman. It depicts Folman in search of his lost memories of his experience as a soldier in the 1982 Lebanon War.
Waltz with Bashir premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival where it entered the competition for the Palme d'Or, and since then has won and been nominated for many additional important awards while receiving wide acclaim from critics.
It won a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, an NSFC Award for Best Film, a César Award for Best Foreign Film and an IDA Award for Feature Documentary, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, a BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language and an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature. The film is officially banned in Lebanon. Source: Wikipedia
THE ILLUSIONIST by director Sylvain Chomet
The Illusionist (French: L'Illusionniste) is a 2010 French-Scottish animated comedy-drama film directed by Sylvain Chomet. The film is based on an unproduced script written by French mime, director and actor Jacques Tati in 1956.
Controversy surrounds Tati's motivation for the script, which was written as a personal letter to his estranged eldest daughter, Helga Marie-Jeanne Schiel in collaboration with his long-term writing partner Henri Marquet, between writing for the films Mon Oncle and Play Time.
The main character is a version of Tati animated by several people under the lead of Laurent Kircher. The plot revolves around a struggling illusionist who visits an isolated community and meets a young lady who is convinced that he is a real magician.
Originally intended by Tati to be set in Czechoslovakia, Chomet relocated the film to Scotland in the late 1950s. According to the director, "It's not a romance, it's more the relationship between a dad and a daughter."
ALL THAT JAZZ Director: Bob Fosse 1979
All That Jazz is a 1979 American musical film directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay by Robert Alan Arthur and Fosse is a semi-autobiographical fantasy based on aspects of Fosse's life and career as dancer, choreographer and director.
The film was inspired by Bob Fosse's manic effort to edit his film Lenny while simultaneously staging the 1975 Broadway musical Chicago. It borrows its title from the Kander and Ebb tune All That Jazz in that production.
The film won the Palme d'Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Written, directed and produced: Joel and Ethan Coen 2009
Inside Llewyn Davis is a 2013 American comedy-drama film written, directed & edited by Joel and Ethan Coen. It was produced by Scott Rudin, Ethan and Joel Coen. Set in 1961, the film stars Oscar Isaac in the title role as a New York City folk singer, alongside Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham and Justin Timberlake. The film follows one week in the life of Llewyn Davis, a folk singer struggling to achieve musical success while keeping his life in order.
Although Davis is a fictional character, the story was partly inspired by the autobiography of folk singer Dave Van Ronk. Most of the folk songs performed in the film are sung in full and recorded live. T Bone Burnett was the executive music producer.
The film won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it screened on May 19, 2013. It received a limited release in the United States on December 6, 2013, and was given a wide release on January 10, 2014. It received critical acclaim and was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing, and for three Golden Globe Awards, Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Oscar Isaac) and Best Original Song.
Unforgiven: directed by Clint Eastwood
Unforgiven is a 1992 American Western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood with a screenplay written by David Webb Peoples. The film portrays William Munny, an aging outlaw and killer who takes on one more job years after he had turned to farming.
A dark Western that deals frankly with the uglier aspects of violence and how complicated truths are distorted into simplistic myths about the Old West, it stars Eastwood in the lead role, with Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman and Richard Harris. Eastwood stated that the film would be his last Western for fear of repeating himself or imitating someone else's work.
Django Unchained: directed by Quentin Tarantino
Django Unchained is a 2012 American western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Set in the Old Westand Antebellum South, it is a highly stylized variation of the spaghetti Western. The film stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz,Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson.
The story is set in early winter and the following spring, during the antebellum era of the Deep South, with preliminary scenes taking place in Old West Texas. The film follows Django (Foxx), an African-American slave, and Dr. King Schultz (Waltz), an English-speaking German bounty hunter posing as a traveling dentist. Schultz buys and then promises to free Django in exchange for his help in collecting a large bounty on three outlaws. Schultz subsequently promises to teach Django bounty hunting, and split the bounties with him, if Django assists him in hunting down other outlaws throughout the winter. Django agrees – on the condition that they also locate and free his long-lost wife (Washington) from her cruel plantation owner (DiCaprio).
True Grit: Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
True Grit is a 2010 American western directed, written, produced and edited by the Coen brothers and is the second adaptation ofCharles Portis' 1968 novel of the same name, which was previously filmed in 1969 starring John Wayne. This version stars Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross and Jeff Bridges as U. S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, along with Matt Damon, Josh Brolin.