The Green Ray (Summer) (Le Rayon Vert)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Marie Rivière needs a vacation from Paris in the summer but, since it’s Eric Rohmer and life is always charmingly bittersweet, all she finds is loneliness.  Summering in Cherbourg with friends turns out to make her feel the solitude more, so she goes home, regroups and then heads for the Alps, where the…

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‘Round Midnight

BBBB (out of 5) Fictional biography of a jazz musician that could easily be compared to the true stories of Bud Powell and Lester Young, which is made clear in the film’s dedication.  Dexter Gordon is excellent in a rare screen appearance as Dale Turner, a once famous, now aging and ragged saxophone player who has…

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River’s Edge

BB.5 (out of 5) After a disturbed teenager murders his girlfriend and leaves her body by a river, he tells his friends about it. They all decide to keep it a secret after seeing the body for themselves, completely undisturbed by the sight of murder right in front of them, but two members of the…

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Children Of A Lesser God

BBBB (out of 5) William Hurt goes to work at a school for deaf children and befriends a young janitor (Marlee Matlin) who was once a pupil there. Getting to know her, he realizes she has been avoiding the outside world from fear, and through their friendship and eventual love affair, they give each other…

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A Zed And Two Noughts

BBBB (out of 5) A swan crashes into a car and kills two of its three passengers, while the third survives but loses a leg. The dead womens’ husbands become obsessed with investigating death, freeing animals from the zoo and killing some of them, then photographing their dead carcasses. They also take up with the…

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El Amor Brujo

BB (out of 5) Carlos Saura closes his flamenco-themed trilogy of films with this dull story of thwarted love. Taking place, like Blood Wedding and Carmen, on forcefully artificially sets, this one foregoes the scenes of rehearsal and preparation and plays it straight, starting with two Andalusian fathers pledging their son and daughter to each…

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The Sacrifice (Offret-Sacrificatio) (1986)

ANDREI TARKOVSKY Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  Sweden/United Kingdom/France, 1986.  Svenska Filminstitutet, Argos Films, Film Four International, Josephson & Nykvist HB, Sveriges Television, Sandrews.  Screenplay by Andrei Tarkovsky.  Cinematography by Sven Nykvist.  Produced by Anna-Lena Wibom.   Production Design by Anna Asp.  Costume Design by Inger Pehrsson.  Film Editing by Michal Leszczylowski, Andrei Tarkovsky.  Cannes Film Festival 1986. Andrei Tarkovsky’s maddeningly slow style of…

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Down By Law

BBBB.5 (out of 5) John Lurie plays a New Orleans pimp who is set up by a rival and thrown in jail for something he didn’t do. Tom Waits is an unemployed disc jockey who is pulled aside for drunk driving and his car is found to possess a dead body that he didn’t put there….

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Blue Velvet

BBBBB (out of 5) Despite already being an Academy Award nominee (for The Elephant Man) and popular among the art-house crowd (for Eraserhead), David Lynch’s career as master of the attractively strange began with this fantastic, modern punk-ish film noir.  Kyle MacLachlan is the picture of youthful American perfection as a young man who works…

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Caravaggio

BBB.5 (out of 5) One of Derek Jarman’s most enjoyable films is this deeply emotional, artistically rich exploration of the great Renaissance painter. Nigel Terry plays the wildly violent, passionate and emotional artist who is thrashing around on his deathbed and looking back on his experiences in developing as an artist.  His young years (portrayed by Dexter Fletcher)…

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Sid And Nancy

BBB.5 (out of 5) One of the most famous romances in rock history, the relationship between The Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious and the New York punk scene’s luminary Nancy Spungen has gone down in history as one of the scariest combinations of carbon-based chemicals ever witnessed. Vicious (played with terrifying accuracy by Gary Oldman) is…

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Cactus

BBB.5 (out of 5) Isabelle Huppert shines in this understated drama by Australia’s greatest filmmaker next to Peter Weir, Paul Cox. She plays a French tourist staying with friends in the land Down Under who is severely injured after a car accident. She loses sight in one eye, and is told that the sight in…

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