Alila (2003) Amos Gitai, Yaël Abecassis, Hana Laszlo, Uri Klauzner, Comedy, Drama

Alila (2003)
In Tel Aviv, the gloomy Ezra hires foreign workers without permits to build an addition to a homely block of flats where his ex-wife Mali lives with her current lover Ilan. Ezra and Mali’s young son Eyal hates the army and is AWOL, living among prostitutes and drug dealers. Gabi, a beautiful young woman who’s a friend of Mali’s, is carrying on an affair with Hezi, an older man insisting on secrecy. Hezi rents an apartment at the building for their trysts. Neighbors complain about the noise of their lovemaking and of the construction. Lives revolve slowly one around another. “Everyone’s out for himself,” says Ezra of Israeli society. Suicide bombings and elections provide a backdrop.

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Robô no ishi / The Wayside Pebble (1964) Miyoji Ieki, Chikage Awashima, Shûichi Ikeda, Katsuo Nakamura, Drama

Robo no Ishi AKA The Wayside Pebble (1964)
The Wayside Pebble is an effective drama about the hardships of a childhood spent with a brusque, cold-hearted father and a submissive mother. The year is 1910 and the place is a small Japanese village. Goichi is suffering because he wants to go to school, but his family is too poor to afford that luxury. Even when a kind friend agrees to help out, Goichi’s father refuses to give in to his son’s request for an education. Instead, he sends Goichi off to work as an indentured servant for a cold-hearted merchant and his family. As tragedy strikes and the suffering of the young boy increases, he begins to look for some way out of his bleak situation.

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A tanú / The Witness (1969) Péter Bacsó, Ferenc Kállai, Lajos Öze, Béla Both, Drama, Comedy

A tanu (Peter Bacso, 1969)
Banned for over a decade for its outspoken criticism of the post-WWII communist regime in Hungary, Péter Bacsó’s ‘The Witness’ has since then achieved unparalleled cult status in its native land. Known as the best satire about communism, ‘The Witness’ has become a cult classic, which was also well received by critics and general audiences alike when it was finally released outside of Hungary. Its candid and realistic portrayal of the incompetent communist regime has earned great acclaim for both the director and the film itself when it was shown at Cannes Film Festival in 1981. ‘The Witness’ takes place during the height of the Rákosi Era, which was closely modeled after the ruthless and brutal Stalin regime. The film follows the life of an ordinary dike keeper, József Pelikán, who has been caught for illegally slaughtering his pig, Dezsõ. Instead of doing hard time for his “heinous” crime, Pelikán is elevated into an important position, generally reserved for the communist elite.

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I’m Still Here (2010) Casey Affleck, Joaquin Phoenix, Antony Langdon, Carey Perloff, Comedy, Drama, Music

I'm Still Here (Casey Affleck, 2010)
In 2008 while rehearsing for a charity event, actor Joaquin Phoenix, with Casey Affleck’s camera watching, tells people he’s quitting to pursue a career in rap music. Over the next year, we watch the actor write, rehearse, and perform to an audience. He importunes Sean Combs in hopes he’ll produce the record. We see the actor in his home: he parties, smokes, bawls out his two-man entourage, talks philosophy with Affleck, and comments on celebrity.

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Anton Chekhov’s The Duel (2010) Dover Koshashvili, Andrew Scott, Fiona Glascott, Tobias Menzies, Drama

Anton Chekhov's The Duel (Dover Koshashvili, 2010)
In ANTON CHEKHOV’S THE DUEL, escalating animosity between two men with opposing philosophies of life is played out against the backdrop of a decaying seaside resort along the Black Sea coast. Laevsky is a dissipated romantic given to gambling and flirtation. He has run off to the sea with beautiful, emotionally empty, Nadya, another man’s wife. Laevsky has now grown tired of her, but two obstacles block his route to escape: he is broke, and he faces the absolute enmity of Von Koren, an arrogant zoologist and former friend who can no longer tolerate Laevsky’s irresponsibility. Soon Laevsky confronts Von Koren, accusing him of meddling in his affairs, but Von Koren maneuvers a criticism Laevsky makes of their mutual friend, Dr. Samoylenko, into a challenge to a duel. Utterly discombobulated and honor bound, Laevsky agrees to this absurdity – a duel it shall be! A duel as comically inadvertent as it is inevitable.

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Money Movers (1978) Bruce Beresford, Terence Donovan, Tony Bonner, Ed Devereaux, Crime, Action, Thriller

Money Movers (Bruce Beresford, 1978)
Filmed in Adelaide, South Australia, Bruce Beresford’s adaptation of Devon Minchin’s novel is a raw fast-paced independent feature with an all star Australian cast including Bryan Brown, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, ‘Terry Donovan’ and Tony Bonner. Story has a group of crooks plan a heist to steal twenty million dollars from a Security Firm counting house only to have the scam overtaken by a crime boss due to a corrupt police detective and the plot foiled by a wily ex-cop.

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