In feudal Korea, the evil King becomes aware that there is a peasant rebellion being planned in the country. He steals all the iron farming tools and cooking pots from the people so that he may make weapons to fend off the peasant army. After he returns the property to the people, an old blacksmith is imprisoned and starved to death. His last creation is a tiny figurine of a monster- Pulgasari, a Godzilla-like creature that eats iron. The blood of his daughter brings the creature to life, and fights with the poor, starving peasants to overthrow the corrupt monarchy.
Middle of Nowhere (2012) Ava DuVernay, Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo, Lorraine Toussaint, Drama
When her husband is sentenced to eight years in prison, Ruby drops out of medical school in order to focus on her husband’s well-being while he’s incarcerated – leading her on a journey of self-discovery in the process.
Les jeux de la Comtesse Dolingen de Gratz / The Games of Countess Dolingen (1981) Catherine Binet, Michael Lonsdale, Carol Kane, Katia Wastchenko, Drama, Arthouse
In Paris, a young woman, Louise Haines Pearson, visits her disturbed friend Nena who tells her that she has just written a book on the history of a little girl troubled by her senses, perhaps because of the tyranny of his mother and the absence of her father. Louise recognizes the difficulties of this little girl, being herself deeply affected by the indifference of her husband.
Shin heitai yakuza: Kasen / Hoodlum Soldier: Rebel in the Army (1972) Yasuzô Masumura, Shintarô Katsu, Takahiro Tamura, Michiyo Ohkusu, Action, Drama, War
Highway Pick-Up / Chair de poule (1963) Julien Duvivier, Robert Hossein, Jean Sorel, Catherine Rouvel, Crime, Drama
In this French crime drama, two safe-crackers are breaking into a safe when they are caught in the act by a guard. One of the crooks kills the guard and flees leaving his partner behind. The abandoned accomplice is captured and convicted. One year passes before the convict is able to escape from prison and set out to exact his revenge.
Hong kil dong / The Avenger with a Flute (1986) Kil-in Kim, Chang Son Hui, Gwon Ri, Riyonun Ri, Action, Fantasy, Adventure
Due to the strict Korean Confucian laws, Hong, born an illegitimate child, is not accepted by his father and family. The legitimate wife (in the original novel, it seems to be his father himself for religious reasons) pays bandits to kill him but fails. He and his mother are saved by a Kung-Fu master who then starts teaching him…
Captain Blood (1935) Michael Curtiz, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill, Action, Adventure
Arrested during the Monmouth Rebellion and falsely convicted of treason, Dr. Peter Blood is banished to the West Indies and sold into slavery. In Port Royal, Jamaica the Governor’s daughter Arabella Bishop buys him for £10 to spite her uncle, Col. Bishop who owns a major plantation. Life is hard for the men and for Blood as well. By chance he treats the Governor’s gout and is soon part of the medical service. He dreams of freedom and when the opportunity strikes, he and his friends rebel taking over a Spanish ship that has attacked the city. Soon, they are the most feared pirates on the seas, men without a country attacking all ships. When Arabella is prisoner, Blood decides to return her to Port Royal only to find that it is under the control of England’s new enemy, France. All of them must decide if they are to fight for their new King.
Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki / When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960) Mikio Naruse, Hideko Takamine, Tatsuya Nakadai, Masayuki Mori, Drama
This is the story of Mama, a.k.a. Keiko, a middle-aged bar hostess who must choose to either get married or buy a bar of her own. Her family hounds her for money, her customers for her attention, and she is continually in debt. The life of a bar hostess is examined as well as the way in which the system traps and sometimes kills those in it.
Gubijinsô / The Poppy (1935) Kenji Mizoguchi, Ichirô Tsukida, Daijirô Natsukawa, Kazuyoshi Takeda, Drama
Based on Soseki Natsume’s 1908 novel of the same title, Poppy is an ornately complicated story of desire and ambition. Fujio is beautiful, talented, well-heeled, and engaged to Munechika, a rising young diplomat. She has promised him a gold watch, a family heirloom, as an emblem of their engagement. But she falls in love with Ono, a student employed to tutor her in English, who is attracted by her beauty and wealth. Ono is himself bound by an engagement to Sayoko, the daughter of his mentor, Professor Inoue. The self-centered Fujio is ready to forsake everything for Ono, but he is prevailed upon to go ahead with his marriage to Sayoko. Fujio then offers the watch to Munechika who, perceiving Fujio’s true feelings, hurls the watch into the sea.