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After taking a welding job in Sicily, a young man realizes he misses his fiancee who remains in Milan. In his loneliness, the young man stumbles across ways to rejuvinate their passion. Known for his humanism and his political content, director Ermanno Olmi (TREE OF THE WOODEN CLOGS) reached the heights of his over thirty years in the cinema during the early sixties. This 1962 film conveys the simplicity and emotional power that has made many of his works timeless.
Domenico (Sandro Panseri) has migrated from his tiny Italian village to Milan. Here in the city, he has become little more than a number as he lands an entry level position with a company whose anonymity is matched only by that of Domenico's own status within Milan. The job seems to offer no opportunity and the bureaucratic system the young laborer has to deal with is nothing less than Kafka-esque. The quiet country transplant finds solace in a coworker, the beautifully sweet Antonietta (Loredana Detto), as the power of human connections triumphs over the cold atmosphere of the faceless modern business world. Italian director Ermanno Olmi's (TREE OF THE WOODEN CLOGS) 1961 film is a masterpiece of tender human emotion. The performance of Sandro Panseri is perfectly understated with a stone-faced innocence reminiscent of Buster Keaton. The coming of age comedy won major prizes at the Venice and London Festivals and has become a classic film of great socio-political importance.
Set in beautiful 14th century Sweden, the film tells a sombre, powerful fable of peasant parents whose daughter, a young virgin, is brutally raped and murdered by swineherds after her half sister has invoked a pagan curse.
By a bizarre twist of fate, the murderers ask for food and shelter from the dead girl's parents, who, upon discovering the truth about their erstwhile lodgers, exact a chilling revenge.
This cruel and sensational medieval allegory, made all the more powerful for the luminous, hauling black and white photography and Bergman's meticulous direction, was later to be re-made by horror director Wes Craven as Last House on the Left.
In black & white.
Whilst on holiday with her family, seventeen year old Isabelle experiences her first intimate relationship with an attractive young man named Felix. A few days later, and for no apparent reason, Isabelle casts him aside and cuts off all contact with him, behaving as if their encounter never happened.
When she returns home to Paris, Isabelle begins a dangerous new career; she sets up a profile on an escort website and lies about her age in order to make appointments with older, wealthy clients in chic, expensive hotel rooms. On the one hand she is a cool professional, catering to the whims of the various men she encounters; on the other she is maintaining the illusion of being a regular school student for her parents and friends.
Her double life spirals out of control, however, when the unthinkable happens with one of her regular clients and she is forced to deal with the consequences of what she has been doing.
The stand out film of the 2011 Berlin Film Festival and winner of the Golden Bear, as well as the Academy Award, A Separation is a suspenseful and intelligent drama detailing the fractures and tensions at the heart of Iranian society.
Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi, the film boasts a range of superb performances from the ensemble cast who collectively received the Silver Bears for both Best Actor and Best Actress at the Berlinale. The compelling narrative is driven by a taut and finely written script rooted in the particular of Iranian society but which transcends its setting to create a stunning morality play with universal resonance.
When his wife leaves him, Nader hires a young woman to take care of his suffering father. But he doesn’t know his new maid is not only pregnant, but also working without her unstable husband's permission. Soon, Nader finds himself entangled in a web of lies manipulation and public confrontations.
In Iranian language with English subtitles.
(Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film)
The second part of Pasolini's Trilogy of Life plunges with gusto into dark and bawdy tales which celebrate almost every conceivable form of sexual act with a rich, earthy humour. Pasolini himself has a cameo appearance in this playful film, presented here in a new High-Definition restoration.
Set among the upper classes in turn-of-the-millennium Milan, I Am Love opens with a formal lunch party in which ailing patriarch Edoardo Sr celebrates his birthday by passing the family business over to his son Tancredi and grandson Edoardo Jr.
Tensions soon begin to show beneath the smooth, controlled veneer of the Recchi family as Tancredi's wife, Russian-born Emma, succumbs to the inelegant forces of passion and unconditional love.
(Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design)
From visionary director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy and Stoker) comes The Handmaiden, a sumptuous and exhilarating period thriller inspired by Sarah Waters’ best-selling novel Fingersmith.
Set during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1930s, a young handmaiden named Sookee is hired by Lady Hideko, a reclusive heiress who lives in a sprawling mansion under the watchful eye of her domineering Uncle Kouzuki. But Sookee harbours a secret: she has been recruited by Fujiwara, a scheming con artist posing as a Japanese Count, to trick Hideko into entrusting him with her fortune. However, when Sookee and Hideko begin to develop unexpected emotions for each other, they start putting together a plan of their own.
With breathtaking visuals, grandiose set design and frenzied humour, The Handmaiden is one of the year’s most anticipated films - an opulent and labyrinthine tale of deception, romance and triple-crossing that marks a career high for one of modern cinema’s most thrilling auteurs.
(Incudes both the theatrical and extended cuts of the film)
A village in Protestant northern Germany. 1913-1914. On the eve of World War I.
The story of the children and teenagers of a choir run by the village schoolteacher, and their families: the baron, the steward, the pastor, the doctor, the midwife, the tenant farmers.
Strange accidents occur and gradually take on the character of a punishment ritual.
Who is behind it all?
The schoolteacher observes, investigates and little by little discovers the incredible truth. Are we being asked to consider whether these events heralded something that would explode years later with the rise of Nazi Germany? Did these events contain the germs of the tragedies that followed?
Acclaimed auteur Michael Haneke returns to his classic themes of guilt, denial and violence in this haunting and provocative feature which was awarded the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
In black & white, and in German with English subtitles.
Triple bill of movies from the cult French directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro. In 'Delicatessen' (1990), in a burnt-out city on the verge of collapse, a canny butcher (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) employs various young handymen, kills them, and then sells them as meat. When ex-circus performer Louison (Dominique Pinon) arrives looking for work, it seems that his head will be the next on the block. But Louison falls in love with Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac), the butcher's daughter, and together they join forces with an underground vegetarian group who plan to bring an end to the butcher's cruel regime. 'The City of Lost Children' (1995) is set on a futuristic oil rig, where a man, Krank (Daniel Emilfork), has aged prematurely because he has lost the ability to dream. To reverse the ageing process he kidnaps children from the local harbour town so that he can steal their dreams. Finally, 'The Bunker of the Last Gunshots' (1981) is a short film about a group of soldiers living in a bleak futuristic world.
The story of the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis's life, from the bands rise to fame to his tragic suicide.
Control documents the relationships with both his wife and his girlfriend, his battle with epilepsy and the road to success with his band, Joy Division.
In black & white.
Paris, Je T'aime tells stories of love from the City of Love. Eighteen renowned filmmakers have created their own vignette based in different areas of Paris to form a collection of short films which will embrace you to fall in love with the world's most romantic city.
Eighteen short films made by an assortment of international directors including Alfonso Cuaron, The Coen Brothers, Wes Craven, Alexander Payne and Gus Van Sant bring their individual vision to a collective love letter to the French capital.
Starring in the films includes a collection of some of the finest actors and actresses with Natalie Portman, Juliette Binoche, Steve Buscemi, Bob Hoskins, Elijah Wood and Maggie Gyllenhaal all appearing.
A hilarious comedy from the director of Life is a Miracle, Emir Kusturica’s Black Cat White Cat is a riotous mix of farce, romance and crime.
Set within a community of gypsies, it tells a story of dodgy deals, family ties, young love and magical occurences.
Zare is a young man in love with the beautiful Ida, but his crooked father, having botched up a black market deal, intends to marry him off to the sister of a powerful gangster - a woman so tiny that her nickname is Ladybird.
Set on the banks of the Danube, this colourful comedy is crammed with spectacle, incident and the music of Emir Kusturica’s famous travelling gypsy band.
In Serbo-Croat with English subtitles.
Asghar Farhadi writes and directs this Persian drama starring Shahab Hosseini and Taraneh Alidoosti.
Iranian couple Emad (Hosseini) and Rana (Alidoosti) are performing together in a production of Arthur Miller's play 'Death of a Salesman' when they are forced to leave their crumbling, unsafe home in Tehran. They think they've gotten lucky when they find a new apartment nearby, unaware that the previous occupant worked as a prostitute. When Emad returns home one night to find Rana has been attacked in their new home by one of the previous occupant's clients, the violent incident causes cracks to appear in the couple's previously stable and happy marriage. Rana, shaken and afraid, pleads with Emad to go to the police but he would rather find the attacker himself and have his revenge.
The film won the Academy Award in 2017 for Best Foreign Language Film.
Isabelle Huppert gives a performance of astounding emotional intensity as Erika Kohut, a repressed woman in her late thirties who teaches piano at the Vienna Conservatory and lives with her tyrannical mother, with whom she has a volatile love-hate relationship.
But when one of Erika's students, the handsome and assured Walter Klemmer, attempts to seduce her, the barriers that she has carefully erected around her claustrophobic world are shattered, unleashing a previously inhibited extreme and uncontrollable desire.
In French with English subtitles.
Collection of four critically acclaimed films by Danish director Lars von Trier.
Breaking The Waves (1996)
Nymphomaniac - Volumes 1 and 2 (2013)
Jep Gambardella, a 65-year-old journalist and once promising novelist, spends his easy life among Rome's high society in a swirl of rooftop parties and late-night soirees.
But when he learns of the death of his friend's wife, a woman he loved as an 18-year-old, his life is thrown into perspective and he begins to see the world through new eyes.
A dazzling, dizzying, mesmerising and hypnotic cinematic tour-de-force that has drawn comparisons with Italian greats such as La Dolce Vita and La Notte.
(2014 Oscar winner for: Best Foreign Language Motion Picture)
The funny, smart and vibrant portrait of a modern American family.
Nic and Jules are your average suburban couple raising their two teens, Joni and Laser, in Southern California. But when the kids secretly track down their “donor dad,” Paul, an unexpected new chapter begins for everyone as family ties are defined, re-defined and then re-re-defined.
Fall in love with the big-hearted comedy that critics are raving about.
(Nominated for 4 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay)
Kaneto Shindo, one of Japan s most prolific directors, received his biggest international success with the release of Onibaba [The Demoness] in 1964. Its depiction of violence and graphic sexuality was unprecedented at the time of release. Shindo managed - through his own production company Kindai Eiga Kyokai - to bypass the strict, self - regulated Japanese film industry and pave the way for such films as Yasuzo Masumura's Mojuu (1969) and Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses (1976).
Onibaba [or Onibabaa, in its alternate spelling] is set during a brutal period in history, a Japan ravaged by civil war between rivaling shogunates. Weary from combat, samurai are drawn towards the seven - foot high susuki grass fields to hide and rest themselves, whereupon they are ambushed and murdered by a ruthless mother (Nobuko Otowa) and daughter - in - law (Jitsuko Yoshimura) team. The women throw the samurai bodies into a pit, and barter their armour and weapons for food. When Hachi (Kei Sato), a neighbour returning from the wars, brings bad news, he threatens the women's partnership.
Erotically charged and steeped in the symbolism and superstition of its Buddhist and Shinto roots, Kaneto Shindo's Onibaba is in part a modern parable on consumerism, a study of the destructiveness of sexual desire and - filmed within a claustrophobic sea of grass - one of the most striking and unique films of Japan's last half - century, winning Kiyomi Kuroda the Blue Ribbon Award for Cinematography in 1965. The memorably frenetic drumming soundtrack was scored by long - time Shindo collaborator Hikaru Hayashi.
A married couple move back to the husband's childhood village to start a family, but a surprise visit from his brother ignites sibling rivalry and exposes the lies embedded in the couple's relationship.
Wreckers is an evocative, beautifully shot debut from director D R Hood that examines the fragile relationship between truth, intimacy and betrayal.
The year is 1926. In the Landes region, free-spirited Thérèse Larroque, the daughter of a wealthy pinery owner and radical-socialist politician, marries Bernard Desqueyroux, another pinery owner. Although she does it half-heartedly, she thinks that marriage may help her to 'sort out all the ideas in her mind'.
But her disappointment is great. Her wedding night is all but fascinating and when she becomes pregnant she realizes the baby matters more to Bernard than herself.
Thérèse stifles in her husband's beautiful residence among stiff in-laws who do not think high of her, her avant-garde ideas clash with local conventions and her domineering husband, and in order to break free from the fate imposed upon her she will resort to tragically extreme measures.
Aleksandr Sokurov directs this 2012 German-language adaptation of the classic tale about a man who sells his soul to the Devil.
The story, woven into the fabric of Western culture thanks to the influential theatrical adaptations by playwrights Christopher Marlowe and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, follows a scientist, Faust, in search of knowledge. However, while in Goethe's version Faust is in search of the secrets of the universe, Sokurov's scientist has far more base motives.
Obsessed with the beautiful Margarete, Faust makes a deal with the Devil's representative on Earth, the Moneylender, to gain the secrets that will win Margarete's heart, but what price will the Moneylender extract in return?
In his centenary year, the genius of playwright Terence Rattigan is at last being recognised and The Terence Rattigan Collection is an invaluable compendium of his finest stage dramas, performed by some outstanding casts.
Rattigan had a profound understanding of the human heart in all its complexity. He is the master of an emotional restraint which gives his work its unforgettable power and attracts, in this collection, star actors of the calibre of Sean Connery and Colin Firth, Penelope Wilton and Judi Dench, Ian Holm and Michael Gambon, Eric Porter and Geraldine McEwan. Among the stage plays included on this DVD are The Deep Blue Sea in which Hester Collyer sacrifices everything for a younger man who cannot return her love and The Browning Version in which a schoolmaster's emotional shell is cracked by an unexpected act of kindness.
In The Terence Rattigan Collection, great stage acting and great storytelling combine to make compulsive viewing.
All On Her Own (A Touch of Venus)
French Without Tears (BBC Play of the Month)
The Browning Version
The Deep Blue Sea (Performance)
Mama and Papa have created a surreal self-styled utopia for their three children within their secluded compound walls. Completely shut off from the outside world, the now adult children have grown up with their own language, and believe that cats are man-eating predators, aeroplanes flying overhead are toys and small yellow flowers are zombies.
The family's domestic harmony is irrevocably disturbed when their father invites his colleague Christina to service the sexual urges of the son.
Before long, the son and the two daughters are conducting a series of bizarre experiments with sex and violence, and their superficially constructed world of childhood innocence and fantasy threatens to come crashing down around them.
(Nominated for an Academy Award nomination, for Best Foreign Language Film)
Eric Rohmer's reputation was established with his ambitious Moral Tales series of films, each based around a common theme - in his words: 'a man meeting a woman at the very moment when he is about to commit himself to someone else'.
The Girl At The Monceau Bakery (1962)
In French with English subtitles.
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