Drama

La guerre est déclarée / Declaration of War (2011) Valérie Donzelli, Jérémie Elkaïm, César Desseix, Drama

La guerre est declaree (Valerie Donzelli, 2011)
Roméo and Juliette are two young actors. They fall in love at first sight, move in together and make a baby. A love story and the founding of a home like millions of others. Except that their little boy, Adam, behaves abnormally. The young parents try hard to persuade themselves that everything is okay but, with the passing of time, they cannot delude themselves anymore : their son has a problem. Their fears are unfortunately confirmed : Adam suffers from a malignant brain tumor. From now on, war is declared. A war against illness. A war against Death. A war against despair.

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The Luzhin Defence (2000) Marleen Gorris, John Turturro, Emily Watson, Geraldine James, Drama, Romance

The Luzhin Defence (2000)
Set in the late 1920s, The Luzhin Defence tells the story of a shambling, unworldly chess Grand Master who arrives in the Italian Lakes to play the match of his life and unexpectedly finds the love of his life. Discovering his prodigious talent in boyhood overshadowed by his parents’ failing marriage, Luzhin’s lyrical passion for chess has become his refuge and rendered the real world a phantom. Already matched up by her family to the very suitable Comte de Stassard, when Natalia meets Luzhin, she is drawn to the erratic genius and offers him a glimpse outside of his chess obsession. But it is a world he is not equipped to deal with and his two worlds collide to tragic effect.

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The Tattooed Stranger (1950) Edward Montagne, John Miles, Patricia Barry, Walter Kinsella, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The Tattooed Stranger (1950)
The body of an unknown woman turns up in a stolen car abandoned in a New York park, and the only clue the detectives on the case have to work from is the tattoo on her arm, and the fact that someone tried to deface the corpse to remove the evidence. From this slender trail, and that of a single stem of grass discovered in the car, they gradually trace back first the victim and then her killer, in a case that’s all science and legwork, and no magic inspiration.

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The River with No Bridge / Hashi no nai Kawa (1992) Yôichi Higashi, Naoko Ôtani, Tamao Nakamura, Tetta Sugimoto, Drama

The River with No Bridge (1992)
Though ethnically and culturally identical to the average Japanese, the burakumin have been an underclass in Japanese society since the 17th century when the shogunate government codified social hierarchies. The burakumin were the class on the bottom rung. They were herded into separate villages, and forced to work in such lowly vocations as slaughtering animals and tanning hides. In 1922, Zenkoku Suiheisha (National Levelers Association) organized and started fighting for burakumin civil rights. Though these rigid categories may have blurred since the 1600s, and despite the Zenkoku’s modern successors – the Buraku Liberation League – the stigma of being a burakumin still remains today. In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the struggle, director Yoichi Higashi spins this tale about two boys who endure a daily torrent of prejudice for their lowly lineage, but grow up to fight for their rights.

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Thunder Afloat (1939) George B. Seitz, Wallace Beery, Chester Morris, Virginia Grey, Romance, Drama, War

Thunder Afloat (1939)
Thunder Afloat is set during the first world war. Wallace Beery plays an veteran tugboat captain who harbors a grudge against younger ex-pal Chester Morris. When Morris joins the navy as an officer, he runs across Beery, who resparks the feud. Both men bury the hatchet and work shoulder to shoulder when German U-boats threaten innocent shippers. Though the action takes place in 1918, the film was intensely topical in 1939 given the renewal of maritime hostilities in Europe and the Far East. Thunder Afloat made money by the bushel basket, as did most of Wallace Beery’s formula vehicles.

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The Player (1992) Robert Altman, Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Comedy, Drama

The Player (Robert Altman, 1992)
A studio script screener gets on the bad side of a writer by not accepting his script. The writer is sending him threatening postcards. The screener tries to identify the writer in order to pay him off so he’ll be left alone, and then in a case of mistaken identity gone awry, he accidentally gives the writer solid ammunition for blackmail. This plot is written on a backdrop of sleazy Hollywood deals and several subplots involving the politics of the industry.

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The Five Pennies (1959) Melville Shavelson, Danny Kaye, Barbara Bel Geddes, Louis Armstrong, Biography, Drama, Music

The Five Pennies (Melville Shavelson, 1959)
Loring “Red” Nichols is a cornet-playing country boy who goes to New York in the 1920s full of musical ambition and principles. He gets a job playing in Wil Paradise’s band, but quits to pursue his dream of playing Dixieland jazz. He forms the “Five Pennies” which features his wife, Bobbie, as vocalist. At the peak of his fame, Red and Bobbie’s daughter, Dorothy, develops polio. Red quits the music business to move to Los Angeles where the climate is better for Dorothy. As Dorothy becomes a young teen, she learns of her father’s musical past, and he is persuaded to open a small nightclub which is failing until some noted names from his past come to help out.

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