In this monumental Romanian film, a large family and its many generations vie for advantage, seeking to win the inheritance sure to be left behind by a wealthy older man of the clan. This movie is based on a very long and popular novel by George Calmescu, and is similar in some ways to England’s BBC television series, The Forsythe Saga, based on Galsworthy’s books. Along the way, stories of friendship, love and rivalry emerge. In one story, a poor young man is disappointed in love as his girl chooses lucre over love in selecting a mate.
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Deux fois is a 1968 experimental film by Jackie Raynal. Raynal stars in the film, her first as a director; she had previously worked for several years as a film editor, most notably for films in Éric Rohmer’s “Six Moral Tales” series (she was, reportedly, the youngest professional editor in France at the time). The film’s title, which literally translates as Twice and is sometimes translated into English as Twice Upon a Time, refers to the occasional repetition of scenes or actions.
The Sword and the Dragon / Ilya Muromets (1956) Aleksandr Ptushko, Boris Andreyev, Shukur Burkhanov, Andrei Abrikosov, Fantasy
Ilya is a cripple without the use of his legs. When he aids some weary travellers, they surprise him by giving him a potion that restores his legs. He immediately becomes powerful and sets off to prove himself to his King. Doing so, he fights the evil Tugars, a wind demon that looks like a cross between a goblin and The Noid, a zeppelin-like ambassador, and the evil Tugars. Ilya gets framed for a crime he didn’t commit, then is freed, then finally dispatches the Tugars and their dragon.
Rich slacker Sebastian has little respect for others, especially not women. Riding on his good looks and charm, he easily manipulates people, like his flatmate Alex. He enjoys playing with others; sometimes casually, sometimes cruelly, changing their lives.
Sebastian’s favorite sport is slumming in Vienna’s seedy bars and cafés in search of quirky characters to toy with. He also likes surfing for young women over the internet, seducing them with elaborate stories of truth, half-truth and lies. Grade school teacher Pia is his latest conquest. Or maybe this wallflower who talks too much when she’s nervous has actually conquered him?
Their romance is jeopardized when Pia becomes angry about Sebastian’s latest act of flippant cruelty: just for fun, he and Alex picked up an unconscious drunk off the street and drove him to the Czech Republic, where they dumped him without any ID.
Pia decides to rescue this man, Kallman, a down and out poet whose drinking binges usually result in ranting and raving and aggressive attempts to sell his poems on the street. Little does he know, he’s about to have a moment of sudden revelation, lost and alone in the wintry Czech wildnerness…
Un om în loden / The Man in the Overcoat (1979) Nicolae Margineanu, Mircea Albulescu, Tanase Cazimir, George Constantin, Thriller
Ludwig II: Glanz und Ende eines Königs / Mad Emperor: Ludwig II (1955) Helmut Käutner, O.W. Fischer, Marianne Koch, Paul Bildt, Biography, Drama, History
King Ludwig II of Bavaria is frustrated, having to accept parliament’s will to join Bismarck, rather he his cultured Habsburg friends, in wars. His love-life being as fruitless, he seeks comfort in art. But building fairytale castles and an even grander opera for his musical idol Wagner proves so expensive, his cabinet ends up resorting to formally challenging his mental health, plausible as his beloved brother Otto contracted schizophrenia earlier. Tragedy now lurks in Ludwig’s prison-castle.
Traitor’s Gate / Das Verrätertor (1964) Freddie Francis, Albert Lieven, Gary Raymond, Margot Trooger, Crime, Drama
Vincent Wants to Sea / Vincent will Meer (2010) Ralf Huettner, Florian David Fitz, Karoline Herfurth, Heino Ferch, Drama
Vincent suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome and, after his mother’s death, is institutionalized by his father. He ultimately escapes with two fellow patients – an anorexic named Marie and the obsessive-compulsive Alexander. His mission is simple. He wants to bury his mother’s ashes in the seas off Italy, as was her dying wish. But to get there he and his friends steal their doctor’s car. If caught, it could all be quite an embarrassment for Vincent’s politician father. But the real problem is that Vincent and his friends threaten to drive each other crazy.