Over the last 25 years Michael Haneke has established himself as one of the most important directors in cinema history. From his early work to Amour he has created a unique universe revealing like no other the darkest corners of society our existential fears and emotional outbursts. Through interviews with his actors Isabelle Huppert Juliette Binoche and Emmanuelle Riva and much more as well as previously unseen footage Michael H. depicts the work of a rare artist.
Les Amants du Pont Neuf is a film that once more shows us Paris as a city of romance, but from a very different viewpoint than we might expect. The young lovers this time around are Alex and Michelle, two of the many homeless people sleeping rough on the streets of the capital. Their particular abode is the bridge of the title, the oldest such structure in the city, which they share with the older, wiser Hans. Gradually drawn together, they look for and find love in what is a particularly loveless and harsh environment. Director Leos Carax created a film that combined great beauty with an almost nightmarish reality, particularly in a gruesome opening image of a homeless hostel which seems to have a documentary feel to it. Juliette Binoche and Dennis Lavant are superb as the lovers, drawing us in to their world of joy, despair and anger. Ultimately, Les Amants du Pont Neuf manages to pull off that rare feat of being both visually stunning and emotionally engaging. On the DVD: Paris may have been filmed countless times before and since, but rarely has its beauty been so captured as here. With the action taking place mainly at night or twilight, the colours are rich and vivid or ghostly pale; both extremes are beautifully captured on this format. Resplendent with many stunning set pieces (noteably the fireworks that light up the city), this is one of the most visually sumptuous films of recent years. Carax, too, makes great use of silence, allowing the sounds of the city to reflect the mood of his characters. Extras are sadly virtually non-existent beyond the usual scene selection and biographies, but the film's style demands that it be seen on the only format to do it justice. --Phil Udell
Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Dir. John Madden) (2001): In keeping with Hollywood's time-honored tradition of turning celebrated novels into cinematic spectacles director John Madden brings Louis de Berniere's acclaimed 1994 work 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' to life. Set on the Greek island of Cephalonia in 1940 the film tells the story of the beautiful Pelagia (Penelope Cruz) who lives with her father Dr. Iannis (John Hurt) and is engaged to local fisherman Mandras (Christian Bale). When Mandras leaves the island to fight for his country against the approaching German army Pelagia is left behind to worry and wait for a letter which never arrives. In the meantime the Italian army occupies Cephalonia and Pelagia and Dr. Iannis receive a new visitor into their home. Captain Antonio Corelli (Nicolas Cage) a romantic opera lover with a passion for playing the mandolin annoys Pelagia with his free-spirited personality but it is this charm that eventually wins her heart. Soon the two are head-over-heels in love only for Mandras to return... Chocolat (Dir. Lasse Hallstrom) (2001): Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture Best Actress (Juliet Binoche) and Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench) 'Chocolat' is the beautiful and captivating comedy from the acclaimed director of 'The Cider House Rules'. Nobody could have imagined the impact that the striking Vianne (Binoche) would make when she arrived in a tranquil old-fashioned French town. In her very unusual chocolate shop Vianne begins to create mouth-watering confections that almost magically inspire the straight-laced villagers to abandon themselves to temptation and happiness. But it is not until another stranger the handsome Roux (Johnny Depp) arrives in town that Vianne is finally able to recognise her own desires.
In the vast rooms of a beautiful Sicilian villa, Anna (Academy-Award winner Juliette Binoche, The English Patient) receives an unexpected guest. Twenty-something Jeanne (Lou de Laage, The Innocents) has arrived from France, declaring herself to be the girlfriend of Anna's son, Giuseppe, who has invited her to the house to spend Easter together. But this is news to Anna, and Giuseppe is not yet there. Despite the disruption to her routine, Anna invites her young guest to stay, and as the two women await Giuseppe's arrival, they slowly begin to form a connection. Jeanne, dislocated and a little mystified at first, gradually gives in to the charms of the volcanic island. She swims in the nearby lake and makes new friends, while Anna watched over by a long-time family friend comes out of her shell. Yet still, her son's absence remains unexplained Spectacularly shot, measured and contemplative, THE WAIT navigates a complex range of emotions in the telling of this stirring encounter between two women from different generations.
Box set containing three classics from acclaimed director Leos Carax - The Night is Young Boy Meets Girl and Holy Motors.
A story about theft, both criminal and emotional, "Breaking and Entering" follows a disparate group of Londoners and new arrivals.
A Thousand Times Good Night tells the moving story of leading wartime photojournalist Rebecca (Binoche) who is torn between a passion for her dangerous job and her loving but worried family. This affecting film which won the Special Grand Prix of the Jury at the Montreal Film Festival 2013 resonates with Poppe whose own experiences from his years as a wartime photographer for Reuters and other media are reflected in the film. Rebecca is one of the world's top war photographers. On assignment while photographing a female suicide bomber in Kabul she gets to near and gets badly hurt. Back home another bomb drops. Her husband and daughters can no longer bear the thought of her dying while at work. She is given an ultimatum: Her work or her family life. The choice seems obvious. Rebecca swears to Marcus that she will never go to a war zone again. Yet the conviction that her photos can make a difference keeps pulling at her resolve making it difficult for her to live a normal life as a mother and wife. Then comes an offer to photograph a refugee camp in Kenya a place allegedly so safe that daughter Steph is allowed to join her mother...
Richard Gere and Kate Bosworth star in this family drama from directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel.
A little boy and his baby-sitter inhabit the same imaginary world: through their adventures they are followed by a strange red balloon.
Staring a radiant Juliette Binoche and first-time actor Alexis Loret, Alice et Martin portrays a love affair that blossoms between the two protagonists and the effects on the relationship of a notable age gap and Martin's tortured past. André Téchiné has delivered some of the most delicate character pieces in recent French cinema, most notably the coming-of-age drama Wild Reeds. However, Alice et Martin, authored with help from Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep), never quite comes together as smoothly as his best work; it ricochets from lovely romantic flirtations to tortured psychodrama to family melodrama while Téchiné's oblique, reserved direction observes without penetrating the heart of the drama. Loret's Martin is more enigma than character, but Mathieu Amalric portral of Martin's long lost brother shows the same shaggy, understated charm he displayed in Late August, Early September and Binoche brings a sensitivity and toughness to the emotionally scuffed Alice. Her radiant presence gives the film its moments of emotional frisson a discreet, subtle power. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com
A South African Story of Truth Love and Reconcilliation. In 1996 the South African Government established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate abuses of human rights under apartheid. These hearings would serve as a forum for those accused of murder and torture to be confronted by their victims and by admitting their guilt be granted amnesty under Ubuntu the native custom of forgiveness. Covering the sessions are Langston Whitfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and
The first instalment of the late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's trilogy on Liberty Equality and Fraternity the three colours of the French flag. Blue is the most sombre of the three a movie dominated by feelings of grief. As the film begins a car accident claims the life of a well-known composer. His wife played by Juliette Binoche (Oscar winner for The English Patient) does not so much put the pieces of her life back together as start an entirely new existence. She moves to Paris where she dissolves into a wordless life virtually without other people. Kieslowski attaches an almost subconscious significance to the colour blue but primarily he focuses on Binoche's luminous face and the way her subtle shifts in emotion flicker and disappear. The picture may be more enigmatic than the follow-ups White and Red but Binoche's quiet heartbreaking presence becomes spellbinding; her performance won the best actress prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1993.
Revisit iconic world cinema titles with a special collection of films celebrating Artificial Eye's 40th anniversary. Read more at http://www.curzonartificialeye.com/artificial-eye-40th-anniversary-collection-volume-4-classics/#QIlcd7gBHroQBOc8.99
Set Comprises: Three Colours Blue (Trois Coleurs Bleu): Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colours trilogy which explores the French Revolutionary ideals of Freedom Equality and Brotherhood are landmarks of world cinema. 'Three Colours Blue' was an immediate success winning the top prizes at the 1993 Venice film festival and unanimous praise from critics and audiences the world over. Julie (Juliette Binoche) loses her composer husband and their child in a car crash and though devastated she tries to make a new start away from her country house and a would-be lover. But music still surrounds her and she uncovers some unpleasant facts about her husband's life. Slowly Julie learns to live again as music and the gift of creativity prove to be a healing force. Code Unknown (Code Inconnu): Paris. A very busy boulevard. Someone throws a crumpled piece of paper into the outstretched hands of a beggar-woman. This is the bond which for an instant links the trajectories of several very different characters : Anne a young actress is on the threshold of making it in the cinema. Her boyfriend Georges is a war photographer he is rarely in France. His father is a farmer. Georges' younger brother Jean has no interest in taking over the farm. Amadou is a music teacher in an institute for deaf-mute children. His father a taxi driver originates from Africa. His little sister is deaf and it's because of her that Amadou has chosen his profession. Maria comes from Romania and sends home the money she gets from begging. Having been deported she goes back home to spend some time with her family before embarking on another humiliating journey to France. What do they have in common these characters and those whose path they cross? Written and directed by Michael Haneke one of modern cinema's most distinctive and ambitious directors Code Unknown is a complex film of powerful emotional force and a fascinating study of the subtle connections and barriers between people social class race and the difficulty of communicating in the modern world. The Night Is Young (Mauvais Sang): Leos Carax's second film confirmed his status as one of the most talented young French filmmakers of his generation. Set a few years before the 21st century Mauvais Sang (Bad Blood) tells the story of Alex (Dennis Lavant) the teen-age son of a murdered criminal who is enlisted by two former associates of his father to steal a valuable serum for an AIDS-like disease. Alex's mission becomes complicated when he begins to fall in love with one of the associates' young mistress (Juliette Binoche) and he becomes involved in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a rival gang woman known only as ""The American.""
An amazing double-bill for lovers of all-things Depp! Finding Neverland (Dir. Marc Foster 2004): Unlock your imagination... Finding Neverland is a tale of magic and fantasy inspired by the life of Peter Pan author James Barrie. Set in London 1904 the film is a fictional account of Barrie's creative struggle to bring Peter Pan to life from his first inspiration up until the play's premiere - a night that will change not only Barrie's own life but the
The "widow" referred to in the title of La Veuve de Saint-Pierre isn't a woman, but a mechanism--to be exact, the guillotine, (though the title does take on a second meaning in the tragic final moments of the film). We're on the island of Saint-Pierre, a tiny forgotten French colony off the coast of Newfoundland, midway through the 19th century. A senseless drunken murder is committed and the killer is condemned to death, but zut alors!, there's no guillotine on the island. So one must be requested from the slow, bureaucratic authorities in Paris and, once approved, laboriously shipped over. Meanwhile the killer, a simple-minded giant of a man, is placed in the custody of the Captain, whose beautiful wife starts taking an interest in the prisoner. Director Patrice Leconte has always had an acute feel for place and period--he directed the mordantly witty costume drama Ridicule--and La Veuve vividly captures the sense of remoteness and resentful isolation of this blizzard-swept community. The brooding landscape, all slate-blues and greys, is beautifully framed by Eduardo Serra's camera, and Leconte draws affecting performances from his central trio of actors: Daniel Auteuil, with his intriguingly lopsided face, as the Captain; Juliette Binoche, radiantly vulnerable as his wife; and, in an unexpected but remarkably successful bit of casting, Serbian film director Emir Kusturica as the condemned man. La Veuve de Saint-Pierre may be a touch over-solemn at times, and its message is hardly unexpected; but it's an intelligent, engrossing and richly atmospheric piece of filmmaking. --Philip Kemp
The Art Of Seduction' is a feature length trilogy of dramas based on the short works of well-known American authors. It brings together some of Hollywood's top talent. Businessman Martin Meadows (Ray Liotta) returns to his suburban home and confronts his wife Emily (Andie MacDowell) whose drinking is beginning to threaten their children's safety. A Domestic Dilemma based on the story by Carson McCullers is a hard-edged portrayal of one couple's struggle with alcoholism. Directed by Kisti Zea. In the second tale up and coming boxer Eddie Megeffin (Matt Dillon) is pressured by his beautiful young wife Arlene (Kyra Sedgwick) to accept a big payday bout with a championship contender. Although he's not ready Eddie is eager to please Arlene - who has been all but forgotten due to his rigorous training schedule. Will Eddie's sacrifices pay off? Or will Arlene simply return to Kansas City. Directed by Walter Bernstein. The third story sees the writer Henry (Scott Glenn) befriend Mara (Juliette Binoche) a prostitute. Struck by her mysterious charm and beauty he invites her to dinner and the two are passionately drawn together. Henry offers the kindness Mara has never known but is it too threatening to her pained existence? Mara written by Henry Miller is the touching tale of two lovers whose entire relationship is limited to a single night. Directed by Mike Figgis.
THREE COLOURS BLUE - The first instalment of the late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's trilogy on Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, the three colours of the French flag. Blue is the most sombre of the three, a movie dominated by feelings of grief. As the film begins, a car accident claims the life of a well-known composer. His wife, played by Juliette Binoche, does not so much put the pieces of her life back together as start an entirely new existence. BABETTES FEAST - Babette's Feast is a film which depicts so little, yet says so much. Set in a rural Danish community, it centres around the twin sisters of the village pastor and the French women who serves them after fleeing the 1871 revolution. On winning the lottery she plans a feast to mark the centenary of the sisters' father, bringing a dimension of fine living into the lives of the God-fearing Lutherans and healing festering personal animosities in the process. THE 400 BLOWS - Francois Truffaut's semi-autobiographical first feature stars Jean-Pierre LÃ©aud as Antoine Doinel, an unruly young Parisian whose unhappiness leads him into trouble. Frequently running away from school and home, Antoine spends much of his time playing with his friends on the steets of the city; but events take a more serious turn when an accusation of plagiarism leads him to quit school and the theft of a typewriter lands him in trouble with the police. SAWDUST AND TINSEL - While traveling in caravan through the country of Sweden, one member of the decadent Alberti Circus tells the owner and ringmaster Albert Johansson a sad story about the clown Frost: seven years ago, his wife Alma was surprised by him bathing naked in a lake with a regiment.
Noted filmmaker John Boorman (DELIVERANCE, THE GENERAL, THE TAILOR OF PANAMA) addresses the complex emotional scars leftover from Apartheid in South Africa in IN MY COUNTRY. The events of the film take place during hearings conducted in 1996 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The purpose of the hearings was to shed light on the atrocities committed during the time of persecution. Anna Malan is a native Afrikaner poet whose is covering the hearings for state radio. During the proceedings, she meets Langston Whitfield an American covering the matter for the Washington Post. Initially, the two don't get along. He thinks she shares collective guilt for cruelty that was carried out; she thinks he's a stubborn and ignorant American. Getting past those unfounded first impressions, the two fall in love. Adapted from author Antjie Krog's memoirs COUNTRY OF MY SKULL, the film features strong performances from both leads and by Brendan Gleeson in a supporting role as Colonel De Jager. IN MY COUNTRY asks an intriguing question about who should take the blame for what happened; the leaders, the soldiers, or the people who watched it happen and never protested.
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