In an atmosphere of political tension when the French still control Algiers, an Algerian is killed on the beach and a French man who has lived in Algiers all his life is arrested for the murder. A trial takes place. One of the witnesses was at the funeral of Arthur Meursault’s mother. It bothers other mourners and Mersault himself that he showed no emotion when his mother died. His eventful day at the beach takes place a short time after the funeral when he is examining what his life has been and what path should he take in the future.
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Poland, during the World War. Lotna is a magnificent specimen of Arabian horse, the pride of her owner, too old to actually ride her but to whom she remains faithful nevertheless. The Polish cavalry army is also proud of their land, and loyal to rules, and custom. The German army is leading an overwhelming speed attack with tanks, an almost unheard of weapon, and bringing a way of life to an end. It’s the last battle between Lotna (speed horse) and Blitzkriega (speed war).
The Witches / Le streghe (1967) Mauro Bolognini, Vittorio De Sica, Silvana Mangano, Annie Girardot, Francisco Rabal, Comedy, Drama, Romance
Five short stories loosely dealing with the roles of women in society. A superstar actress travels to a mountain resort, only to evoke jealousy from women and lust from men. A woman offers to take an injured man to the hospital. A widowed father and his son seek for a new wife/mother. A man seeks revenge for a woman’s honor. A bored housewife tries to explain to her husband that he’s not as romantic as he used to be.
Nikita is the sole survivor of a bloody shoot out between police and a band of drug-crazed social dropouts. Violently aggressive and mentally unstable, the young woman is taken into police custody, but soon find herself a prisoner in a secret government department. She is offered a choice: to die for the crime she has committed, or to train to become a government assassin. Not that she really has a choice…
Subway (1985) Luc Besson, Christopher Lambert, Isabelle Adjani, Richard Bohringer, Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Helena, the beautiful young wife of a wealthy businessman, invites a stranger Fred to her party. Fred repays her by stealing compromising documents from her husband’s safe, with the aim of blackmailing the couple. Pursued by police and the henchmen of Helena’s ruthless husband, Fred goes on the run, taking refuge in the Paris metro. Here, he meets other social misfits, including a roller-blader the police have been hunting for several months. Whilst Helena realises that she has fallen in love with Fred and makes every attempt to contact him, Fred occupies himself with forming a band by recruiting buskers. Meanwhile, the police and Helena’s husband are getting closer to their target…
Landscape after Battle / Krajobraz po bitwie (1970) Andrzej Wajda, Daniel Olbrychski, Stanislawa Celinska, Aleksander Bardini, Drama, Romance
Film opens with the mad rush of haphazard freedom as the concentration camps are liberated. Men are trying to grab food, change clothes, bury their tormentors they find alive. Then they are herded into other camps as the Allies try to devise policy to control the situation. A young poet who cannot quite find himself in this new situation, meets a headstrong Jewish young girl who wants him to run off with her, to the West. He cannot cope with her growing demands for affection, while still harboring the hatred for the Germans and disdain for his fellow men who quickly revert to petty enmities.
“Who are you?” the dwarf Mordecai (Billy Curtis) asks Clint Eastwood’s Stranger at the end of Eastwood’s 1973 western High Plains Drifter. “You know,” he replies, before vanishing into the desert heat waves near California’s Mono Lake. Adapting the amorally enigmatic and violent Man With No Name persona from his films with Sergio Leone, Eastwood’s second film as director begins as his drifter emerges from that heat haze and rides into the odd lakefront settlement of Lago. Lago’s residents are not particularly friendly, but once the Stranger shows his skills as a gunfighter, they beg him to defend them against a group of outlaws (led by Eastwood regular Geoffrey Lewis) who have a score to settle with the town. He agrees to train them in self-defense, but Mordecai and innkeeper’s wife Sarah Belding (Verna Bloom) soon suspect that the Stranger has another, more personal agenda. By the time the Stranger makes the corrupt community paint their town red and re-name it “Hell,” it is clear that he is not just another gunslinger. With its fragmented flashbacks and bizarre, austere locations, High Plains Drifter’s stylistic eccentricity lends an air of unsettling eeriness to its revenge story, adding an uncanny slant to Eastwood’s antiheroic westerner. Seminal western hero John Wayne was so offended by Eastwood’s harshly revisionist view of a frontier town that he wrote to Eastwood, objecting that this was not what the spirit of the West was all about. Eastwood’s audience, however, was not so put off, and an exhibitors’ poll named Eastwood a top box-office draw for 1973.
Dressed To Kill (1980) Criterion Collection, Brian De Palma, Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
One of Brian De Palma’s most divisive films, Dressed to Kill is a spine-chilling Alfred Hitchcock update for the late 1970s. Sexually frustrated wife and mother Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) visits her New York psychiatrist, Dr. Elliott (Michael Caine), to complain about her unfulfilling erotic life. When she then goes to meet her husband at a museum, she meets an anonymous man whom she follows out to a cab. After an afternoon of satisfying sex, Kate discovers that the man has a venereal disease, but that information becomes a moot point when a razor-wielding blonde woman slashes Kate to ribbons in the elevator of the man’s building. Blonde prostitute Liz (Nancy Allen), who caught a glimpse of the murderer, becomes both the prime suspect and the killer’s next target. With the police less than willing to believe her story, Liz joins forces with Kate’s son Peter (Keith Gordon) to get the psychopath themselves.
Sidney Lumet directed this film version of Peter Shaffer’s dramatic play, transforming theatrical symbolism into cinematic realism. Richard Burton received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance as Martin Dysert, a psychiatrist determined to unravel the disturbed mind of Alan Strang (Peter Firth), a young stableboy. In a fit of rage, Strang has blinded a stable of six horses. The court then assigns Dysert to probe the young man’s mind in order to understand why he committed such a violent act. But the doctor, who is battling demons of his own, wonders if he can save the boy–and whether saving him at all is the right thing to do. Joan Plowright stands out as Dora Strang, the young boy’s mother.
The Fugitive (1993) Andrew Davis, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Action, Adventure, Crime
Ford is prison escapee Dr. Richard Kimble, a Chicago surgeon falsely convicted of killing his wife and determined to prove his innocence by leading his pursuers to the one-armed man who actually committed the crime. Jones is Sam Gerard, an unrelenting bloodhound of a U.S. Marshal. They are hunted and hunter. And as directed by Andrew Davis, their nonstop chase has one exhilarating speed: all-out. So catch him if you can. And catch an 11-on-a-scale-of-10 train wreck (yes, the train is real), a plunge down a waterfall, a cat-and-mouse jaunt through a Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade and much more. Better hurry. Kimble doesn’t stay in one place very long!