History

Abbas Kiarostami: A Report (2013) Bahman Maghsoudlou, Kurosh Afsharpanah, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Godfrey Cheshire, Documentary, History

Abbas Kiarostami A Report (2013)
An analysis of the style and vision of Abbas Kiarostami, the world’s most iconic Iranian filmmaker, through the lens of his earliest work, including his first short film (Bread & Alley, 1970) and, particularly, his first feature, The Report. This early example of Kiarostami’s work gives insight into his poetic, humanistic tendencies, combining allegorical storytelling with a documentary, neo-realist sensibility, and often exploring the very nature of film as fiction, that have pervaded his work ever since, including such recent international sensations as A Taste of Cherry and Certified Copy. Exclusive interviews with film critics, historians and scholars (including the late great Andrew Sarris) and those directly involved in the making of The Report provide a look at how the career of this master independent auteur began and was shaped.

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Joe Hill (1971) Bo Widerberg, Thommy Berggren, Anja Schmidt, Kelvin Malave, Biography, Drama, History

Joe Hill (1971)
In the early 1900’s, the legendary Joe Hill emigrates with his brother to the United States. But after a short time, he loses touch with his brother. Joe gets a few jobs but is struck by all the injustice and tragedy going on. He becomes active in the forbidden union IWW, a union for workers without trades. It is forbidden to demonstrate and to speak in public but Joe gets around that by singing his manifests with the Salvation Army. He manages to get more and more people to get on strike with him but he also makes powerful enemies doing that. Finally he gets connected with a murder and during the trial he fires his lawyer and takes upon himself to become his own defender.

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Reds (1981) Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Edward Herrmann, Biography, Drama, History

Reds (1981)
American journalist John Reed (Warren Beatty) journeys to Russia to document the Boleshevik Revolution and returns a revolutionary. His fervor for left-wing politics leads him to Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton), then married, who will become a feminist icon and activist. Politics at home become more complicated as the rift grows between reality and Reed’s ideals. Bryant takes up with a cynical playwright (Jack Nicholson), and Reed returns to Russia, where his health declines.

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Zhantai / Platform (2000) Zhangke Jia, Hongwei Wang, Tao Zhao, Jing Dong Liang, Drama, History

Zhantai AKA Platform (2000)
Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic changes sweep across the mainland. The film commences in 1979 with the troupe performing numbers idolizing Mao Zedong, ending in the ’80s when the shows reflect the strong Western influences pervading China, covering a decade in which China saw tremendous changes.

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The Robin Hood of El Dorado (1936) William A. Wellman, Warner Baxter, Ann Loring, Bruce Cabot, Biography, Drama, History

The Robin Hood of El Dorado (1936)
In the 1840’s Mexico has ceded California to the United States, making life nearly impossible for the Mexican population due to the influx of land and gold-crazy Americans. Farmer Joaquin Murrieta revenges the death of his wife against the four Americans who killed her and is branded an outlaw. The reward for his capture is increased as he subsequently kills the men who brutally murder his brother. Joining with bandit Three Fingered Jack, Murrieta raises an army of disaffected Mexicans and goes on a rampage against the Americans, finally forcing his erstwhile friend, Bill Warren, to lead a posse against him.

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The Dictator (1935) Victor Saville, Clive Brook, Madeleine Carroll, Emlyn Williams, History, Romance

The Dictator (1935)
The story opens in Copenhagen in the year 1776 on the wedding night of the King and Princess Caroline Mathilde. But the marriage was a political alliance, and the Princess felt only repugnance for her dissolute husband. On the night of their marriage the King leaves Copenhagen on a pleasure trip abroad, but his fast life proves too much for his weak constitution. Summoned to attend him, an ambitious young doctor realises that here is a great opportunity. He revives the King and, tremendously impressed, the King takes him back to Copenhagen. A love affair develops between the doctor and the Princess – but it is to have terrible consequences.

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