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  • Sweet Games of Late Summer

    Sweet Games of Late Summer

    Immediately following his horror classic Spalovac mrtvol, Juraj Herz took a drastically different stylistic direction with this lighthearted summer romp produced for Slovak television. The hourlong film is based on a short story by Guy de Maupassant about a group of friends, Mouchette and her five orbiters, who spend the summer gleefully boating down the Danube and lounging around an artist's shack. The film takes visual inspiration from impressionist painters, with picnics and parasols that channel Monet and Renoir. The…

  • The Patriot Game

    The Patriot Game

    England has been involved with Ireland for many centuries, leading to frequent uprisings from the native Irish. Unlike many other countries that successfully expelled the English at some point, Ireland fought a losing battle again and again. A nationalist high point was limiting UK rule to just a handful of counties in Northern Ireland.

    With that in mind, here's a thought-provoking chronicle of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland during the 1970s. The commie bomby Irish Republican Army fights a guerrilla…

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  • Duelle

    Duelle

    Jacques Rivette draws many story elements from film noir -- the femme fatale in a veil (The Big Sleep) looking for a lost love, the meeting at an aquarium (Lady from Shanghai), the Object of Great Desire (Kiss Me Deadly among others), the subway storage locker (Union Station). The urgent phone call from a doomed person is very noirish too, but I can't remember exactly where that was used.

    Rivette usually does more than tell a straight story. Here, on…

  • The Dancing Hawk

    The Dancing Hawk

    Overlooked but worth finding! I'm a big fan of Zbigniew Rybczynski who did the cinematography. He transforms the basic story of a man's life into a barrage of experimentation.