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A few reviews
La Main Passe - 2014 - 6/10
AKA - The Table Turns // The Main Pass

[Image: MainPasse%202014.jpg]

Offbeat French femme fatale revenge film.
Wife confronts husband's mistress, telling her to back off.
In the next beat, the women realize he has a new bang bunny and is cheating on both of them.
A low level attorney gets entwined with Mistress #1, who starts to exhibit psychological neuroses.
Oh, yeah, said attorney also happens to be a kleptomaniac!
Not that I'm giving much away, this occurs in the first ten minutes of this trashy thriller.
Clever females, men with the IQ of head cheese.
Good enough, I suppose, if you're in the mood.
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After Hitler - 2016 - 7/10
AKA - An Dèidh Hitler

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Two part documentary of Europe in the five years after the end of World War II.
The mass starvation, dislocation of millions, the survival of widows and orphans.
After the Soviet Union took control of eastern Europe, they took steps to take Greece, Germany, and any other country who would listen.
The West eventually countered, but almost too late.
Pretty much an unknown chapter for most.
Overall enlightening despite a lot of territory covered.
Note:  I am increasingly unsurprised by how casually clueless many are of history.
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Dekalog - 1989 - 8/10
AKA - The Decalogue

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Ten part morality series based on the Ten Commandments.
Each episode reworks a specific "thou shalt" commandment, though sometimes the reference is vague.
While stories are stand-alone, characters often reappear.  Most live in the same large apartment.
Extraordinarily well done and thoughtful.
Although not a downer series, it is "Serious" filmmaking.
And yes, this is a Polish TV series, but is firmly rooted in cinema.
While I admired this and appreciated it, I did not enjoy a single episode.
For obscure music buffs, a rare chance to hear Van den Budenmayer.
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Whose Streets? - 2017 - 6/10

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Documentary on the Ferguson riots in 2014.
The trigger was the killing of a black high school boy by a police officer.
The boy was unarmed, and the officer, who felt threatened, subdued him with 6 bullet holes.
When the community gathered to protest, the city responded with overwhelming force.
This is not an unbiased documentary.  Reference Michael Moore.
The point of view on this is strictly with the community.
Law enforcement, city officials either were not interviewed or declined.
Focus weakens during unnecessary coverage of a wedding.
The rest of the time, this carries some eye-opening information.

Note - FE member wayne.workman was actively filming in Ferguson during these events, capturing as much as he could.
I looked for his name in the credits, but those were miniscule and fleeting.
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Ça va Barder - 1955 - 6/10
AKA - Give 'em Hell

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Fun, albeit extremely confusing Eddie Constantine vehicle.
He hires on as investigator for shipping magnate / arms dealer.
Vessels are being hijacked and contents stolen in Mozambique.
Our man is soon dealing with smugglers, embezzlers, gangsters, scam artists, and lots of barely dressed, gorgeous women (or, to use the vernacular of the day, dames).
If you think Lemmy Caution territory, you would not be far off.
This strikes me as a spoof of that franchise.
Fistfights are sheer nonsense, and chases are undercranked (ie: Benny Hill).
Nonetheless, blacklisted Hollywood director John Berry does wonders with small budget, as far as the look goes.
Enjoyable time waster.
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Social Suicide - 2015 - 5/10

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Loose retelling of Romeo and Juliet for the age of tweets and selfies.
Star crossed youths post on web blogs, defy parents, chase romantic love.
Fate, in the form of a beguiler, ever so carefully clears a path.
At best, may hold the interest of the indulgent.
At worst, predictable and contains alarming cameos.
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Maudie - 2016 - 6/10

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Arthritic and otherwise disabled female moves out of her aunt's home to work as housekeeper.
The man who hires her, a fish seller, is slow on the uptick, as well.
She paints, however, and her work has an undeniable primitive charm.
Slow, very slow, yarn of the creative outsider, based on Nova Scotia artist, Maud Lewis.
Bleak cinematography captures the loneliness, and acting is excellent, if depressing.
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Argon - 2017 - 6/10
AKA - 아르곤

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K-drama about a television magazine news show.
Not the news/weather/sports show, but the special features.
Exposes, scoops, headlines, and human interest fluff.
Juvenile comedy mars first couple of episodes, though that vanishes if you hang with the series.
Decent drama, though few care about "news" any more.  People hunt for, and believe what they want.
Limited crying in this, thank God, and no real romance.
Nice premise of rookie employee looking up to mentor she admired when she was younger.
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Cool Air - 1999 - 5/10

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Struggling writer rents room in boarding house.
When he suffers a heart attack, he is treated by the doctor who resides above him.
They strike up a friendship.  The writer discusses his literary challenges, the doctor his past.
Lovecraft's oft adapted story is filmed here as a one set drama.
Low budget is compensated with two fine leads, helpful black n white photography, and a serviceable ambient sound design.
Pace is sluggish, though, the narrative predictable, and the secondary players overact.
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The Living And The Dead - 2016 - 6/10

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Circa 1890.  Educated couple relocate to his mother's rural farmstead after she dies.
Viewers - even inattentive viewers - will quickly realize the pair has moved to Spooky Lane England.
Possessions, ghostly hauntings, curses, the Ouija board!, and deaths, lots of graves.
Our couple, being educated and of scientific inclinations, disregard superstitious villagers.
Well photographed, nicely cast (save for the husband), the stories feel like "death of the week."
This viewer's sympathy ebbed more each week as the characters became myopic and dim brained, putting friends, neighbors, and family into clear risk.

What made this so disappointing is because the time, 1890, is the cusp of the Modern Age.  The couple are familiar with Freud, photography, and scientific journals.
The pair are outsiders, and juxtaposed against the villagers, whose activities and attitudes have changed little since the 1600s.
Many possibilities were available, the writers seemingly took the easier route.
Bummer.
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