Domenico and Antonietta are two suburban Italian youths who meet while seeking “a job for life” from a big city corporation. After a bizarre screening process made up of written exams, physical agility exercises, and interview questions such as “Do you drink to forget your troubles?” (Domenico and Antonietta are no older than 17 or 18), they land jobs in the “Technical Division” and “Typing Services” respectively. From there, Domenico works as an underutilized errand boy until a clerk position is vacated by the death of an older employee. Domenico finally takes his place in a room of 12 other clerks with a manager overseeing them from a desk at the head of the room. The film ends as Domenico ponders his fate, from behind his tiny desk at the back of the small windowless room, listening to the sound of the mimeograph machine as it runs off carbon copies next to the manager’s desk.
White Line Fever (1975) Jonathan Kaplan, Jan-Michael Vincent, Kay Lenz, Slim Pickens, Action, Crime, Drama
Returning from a stint in the Air Force, Carrol Jo Hummer borrows money to buy a truck, hoping to make enough money hauling produce to marry Jerri Kane and set up housekeeping. He discovers that the long-haul business is run by racketeers and decides to fight the corrupt forces that control the trucking business.
Est – Ouest / East – West (1999) Régis Wargnier, Oleg Menshikov, Sandrine Bonnaire, Catherine Deneuve, Drama, History, Romance
June 1946: Stalin invites Russian emigres to return to the motherland. It’s a trap: when a ship-load from France arrives in Odessa, only a physician and his family are spared execution or prison. He and his French wife (her passport ripped up) are sent to Kiev. She wants to return to France immediately; he knows that they are captives and must watch every step. By chance, she meets a touring French actress and pleads for help. She also takes a young swimmer under her wing, and several years later, he makes a bold attempt to escape. Meanwhile, the KGB is suspicious, and hope for freedom is dim. Patience, her husband’s self control, and her good looks may be their only assets.
Hélas pour moi / Oh, Woe Is Me (1993) Jean-Luc Godard, Gérard Depardieu, Laurence Masliah, Bernard Verley, Comedy, Drama
Country girl Yu Hong leaves her village, her family and her lover to study in Beijing. At university, she discovers an intense world of sexual freedom and forbidden pleasure. Enraptured, compulsive, she falls madly in love with fellow student Zhou Wei. Driven by obsessive passions they can neither understand nor control, their relationship becomes one of dangerous games – betrayals, recriminations, provocations – as all around them, their fellow students begin to demonstrate, demanding democracy and freedom. Protests collapse, and Yu and Zhou lose each other amidst the social chaos and panicked crowds. Zhou Wei is sent to a summer military camp, and on his release moves to Berlin, fleeing both his country and memories of Yu. She finds a job, a lover, but can not forget Zhou. In Germany, social unrest is mounting: calls for freedom, demonstrations for democracy. A familiar story for Zhou.
A Maine lobster fisherman, trained as an architect, prefers to be a fisherman over the objections of his fiancée. The latter, a welfare worker for the state, finds a home for a 12-year-old orphan who loves the sea. He and the fisherman become friends but the fiancée, fearful of the dangers of sea life, forces the fisherman to restrict the boy from his boat. Denied the life he loves, the boy, in retribution, steals a camera and is sent to reform school. The couple marries and succeeds in getting a judge to grant a petition allowing them to adopt the boy.
El hombre robado / The Stolen Man (2007) Matías Piñeiro, Ana Cambre, Francisco García Faure, Daniel Gilman Calderón, Drama
Piñeiro’s sparkling debut film breathlessly follows a clever, capricious young woman as she carefully interweaves friends and lovers into an intricate web of secretive yet often unexpectedly compassionate games. Together with her best friend and fellow tour guide at a rival Buenos Aires historical museum, Piñeiro’s headstrong heroine attempts to tame the unpredictable course of her heart, eccentrically drawing inspiration from Sarmiento’s magnum opus, Facundo. With its grainy 16mm black-and-white cinematography, its political sub- and super-texts and its compelling portrait of impetuous youth, The Stolen Man recalls the alternately sober and sprightly nouvelle vague of Jean Eustache and Jacques Rivette.
Between Two Worlds (1944) Edward A. Blatt, John Garfield, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet, Mystery, Drama, Fantasy
Several people are killed in a London air raid. They each awake aboard a strange ship which will deliver each of them either to heaven or hell. Their lives and stories are revealed as they individually begin to realize where they are.
Il bell’Antonio / Bell’ Antonio (1960) Mauro Bolognini, Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Pierre Brasseur, Drama
Women love handsome Antonio because they think of him as the perfect lover. But he has problems to fullfill this ideal and Barbara only notices his failures when they are married. When the town learns about his trouble they start laughing at him…
Christabel fools everyone with her sweet exterior including her cousin Donna and Donna’s wealthy fiancée Curtis. The only one who sees through her facade is Nick, a rugged writer who loves her anyway. Christabel also loves Nick, but she loves Curtis’ money more. After convincing Curtis that Donna is only interested in him for his money, she tricks Curtis into marrying her. Of course, she still dallies with Nick on the side.