The World of Jacques Demy (L’univers de Jacques Demy) (1995)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.  France/Belgium/Spain, 1995.  Canal+ Espana, Canal+, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Ciné Tamaris, DocStar, Institut National de L’Audiovisuel, La Sept-Arte, Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres et du Developpement International, Sofica Valor 2.  Screenplay by Agnes Varda.  Cinematography by Stephane Krausz, Peter Pilafian Georges Strouve.  Music by Michel Colombier, Michel Legrand. Film Editing by Marie-Josee Audiard.  Agnes…

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State Of Siege

BBBB (out of 5) An American official (Yves Montand) is kidnapped by political insurgents in Uruguay, interrogated for what they suspect is his involvement in aiding the government’s suppression of the people through violence and torture. Montand insists that he is simply an employee of the US Agency for International Development and that his appearances…

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The Young Girls Turns 25 (Les Demoiselles Ont Eu 25 ans) (1993)

AGNES VARDA Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5.  France, 1993.  Ciné Tamaris.  Screenplay by Agnes Varda.  Cinematography by Alexandre Auffort, Stephane Krausz, Patrick Mounoud, Georges Strouve, Agnes Varda.  Music by Michel Legrand, Jacques Loussier.  Cannes Film Festival 1993. It’s astounding how much love and affection Agnes Varda packs into 64 very short minutes. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary…

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Himalaya (Himalaya–L’Enfance D’Un Chef) (Caravan)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Gorgeously photographed triptych of the beautiful mountainsides of Tibet, centering on the story of nomadic saltmen who brave harsh weather, a devastating climate and feuds between families to carry their salt to where they must sell it and bring back provisions for their homes. Eric Valli has definitely done a superb…

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Cinema Paradiso

BBBB (out of 5) A successful, aging filmmaker looks back on his youth and remembers his life and the influence that movies have had on him throughout. He recalls his younger days as a child when we would pull the craziest pranks to see movies whenever he could, befriending the local projectionist (Philippe Noiret) while…

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Winged Migration (Le Peuple Migrateur)

BBBB (out of 5) Filmmaker, actor and producer Jacques Perrin (Microcosmos, Z) spent four years with his film crew tracking the migratory patterns of all manner of species of birds around the world. The result is this breathtaking documentary, one which captures the full beauty of these majestic creatures as they follow their instincts back…

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Brotherhood Of The Wolf (Le Pacte Des Loups)

BBBB (out of 5) Samuel Le Bihan plays a libertine and philosopher of sorts who arrives at a tiny village in the countryside of 17th century France and hears stories of a giant wolf that is terrorizing the women and children of the area but going nowhere near the men. Le Bihan and his bloodbrother…

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Donkey Skin (Peau D’Ane) (Once Upon A Time)

BBBB (out of 5) Hilarious fairy tale with a bent sense of humour, definitely targeted to grownups but perfectly suitable for children. Catherine Deneuve plays the luminous princess of a castle whose father promised her mother on her deathbed that he would never remarry unless he found another woman as beautiful as her. When his subjects…

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The Young Girls Of Rochefort (Les Demoiselles De Rochefort)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Jacques Demy follows the success of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg with another musical. This time the entire dialogue track is not sung, and the format is more like a traditional American musical. Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac (Deneuve’s real-life sister) play music teachers in the beautiful town of Rochefort who are looking for…

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Z

BBBBB (out of 5) Jean-Louis Trintignant stars in this marvelous political thriller as a prosecutor who turns amateur detective after a liberal Greek politician (Yves Montand) dies in a mysterious “accident” during a peace demonstration in Athens. The army have overthrown the democratic government and are now trying to cover up not only their part in…

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Flight Of The Innocent (La Corsa Dell’Innocente)

BBB.5 (out of 5) A young Sicilian boy witnesses his mob family get massacred by a rival clan and barely escapes with the assassins hot on his trail. He makes his way to the big city of Rome in the hopes of finding relatives, but you’re never sure if he is able to trust the…

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Paris 36 (Faubourg 36)

BBBB (out of 5) New Years Eve 1935 is not a good day for vaudeville in Paris. A theatre owner’s debts to a local mob boss have finally caught up with him and he turns ownership of his popular music hall over, leaving its employees and performers without work at the outset of 1936. The…

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