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Religion, Cults & Sorcery Challenge (Official, May 2022)

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sortile9io
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#41

Post by sortile9io »

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Bab'Aziz
6. Nacer Khemir, 2005, Tunisia, 99 min
The wanders (“he who has faith will never get lost”) of an old blind derviche together with her little granddaughter in search of a major Sufi gathering in the desert becomes the right motif for a glance at Sufi mysticism through the use of allegories, short stories, parables, poetry, images, sayings, dance, etc., all in all very inviting and soothing, it makes me want to know more about Sufism, and my favourite of the Desert Trilogy. 7/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
blocho
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#42

Post by blocho »

1. Silence (1971, Japan)
I can’t help but compare this to Scorsese’s adaptation, which is definitely superior. Still, this remains a compelling story and benefits from some gorgeous photography and a score that disquietingly mixes a sort of Baroque guitar melody with sudden discordant notes. Unfortunately, the performance of the lead actor is sorely lacking.

2. Wise Blood (1979 US)
Southern Gothic comes in several varieties, and the variety in this movie is that which tips into the territory of the bizarre and farcical. In its focus on small-city life in 1970s America and as an adaptation of a cult novel, it can be seen as a companion piece to director John Huston’s Fat City, though it’s not so dour. Hazel Motes is a young man who returns to his nearly deserted hometown from service in the military. He may have been in Vietnam and he may have been wounded in the genitals. We never know for sure. He strikes out for the big city (Macon, Georgia, in this case, though it’s given the suggestive name “Taulkinham”) and becomes a street preacher with an unusual theology: atheism. Aside from the odd intensity of Brad Dourif in the lead, there’s little to recommend this movie. It’s too disjointed, not funny, and yet impossible to take seriously.
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#44

Post by Melvelet »

1. The Love Witch 2016 8/10
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3908142/

2. Witchfinder General 1968 — a.k.a. The Conqueror Worm 7/10
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063285/

OP updated, zzzorf's minutes adjusted, average runtime info added :)
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Current focus: DtC nominees, Central Europe, 2000s
Last.fm | RYM
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sortile9io
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#45

Post by sortile9io »

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Meari to majo no hana
7. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2017, Japan, 103 min
Stunning first-class artwork to illustrate the adventures of a young bored red-haired girl inadvertently involved in a witchcraft scheme thanks to the power of a very rare flower, the characters lack some depth though and it seems to have been designed using bits and pieces of several other well-known fantasy/animation films (in particular, I could do perfectly well without the school of magic that brings to mind the Harry Potter series). 8/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
6. BAB'AZIZ (Khemir, 2005)
jdidaco
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#46

Post by jdidaco »

(Screenshots from 'Siddhartha' & 'Katho Upanishad'),

Image

7. Dieu a besoin des hommes (God Needs Men, Jean Delannoy, 1950) 8.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042401/reference/
8. Angel Baby (Paul Wendkos & Hubert Cornfield, 1961) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054628/reference/
9. The Reluctant Saint (Edward Dmytryk, 1962) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056403/reference/
10. Siddhartha (Conrad Rooks, 1972) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070689/reference/
11. Katho Upanishad (Ashish Avikunthak, 2011) 9/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1945123/reference/
12. Histoire de Judas (Story of Judas, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, 2015) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4223932/reference/

Image
Spoiler
1. Les sorcières de Salem (The Witches of Salem, Raymond Rouleau, 1957) 8.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050997/reference/
2. Erode il grande (Herod the Great, Viktor Tourjansky, 1959) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051587/reference/
3. Un'ombra nell'ombra (Ring of Darkness, Pier Carpi, 1979) 5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131510/reference/
4. Ave Maria (Jacques Richard, 1984) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086924/reference/
5. Mamma Ebe (Carlo Lizzani, 1985) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089542/reference/
6. Le moine et la sorcière (Sorceress, Suzanne Schiffman & Pamela Berger, 1987) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093556/reference/
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45MinuteZoom
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#47

Post by 45MinuteZoom »

After 9 nights of rewatching Blade Runner, I've finally seen a few that fit this theme :P

1. The Juniper Tree (Nietzchka Keene, 1990, 78 min) 7/10
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0138545/

I really enjoyed this. It's been a while since I've seen a slowburn sort of movie and the pacing here really did it for me. The naturalistic lowkey sort of witchcraft is not something I've seen a lot of, but it really works here. The style used with Margit's visions really fit as well. Really enjoyed the soundtrack as well.

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Sam Raimi, 2022, 126 min) 5/10
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9419884/

I'm alright discounting this one if people feel strongly about it, but both Doctor Strange as a sorcerer and Wanda as a witch are central to the movie. I'm pretty tired of overlong marvel movies, but this one really could have used some more time to flesh out the motivations of the main villain. Since it's so new, spoilers are hidden, but I really wasn't a fan. The style of the movie is alright, but the writing really lets it down.
Spoiler
They really mishandled the reveal of Wanda as the Scarlett Witch being the big bad. A slow reveal after getting her to join them in Kamar-Taj would have worked better in my opinion. At the very least more description about the Darkhold and it's effects before we see Wanda the first time, I don't remember too many details about it from WandaVision.
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hurluberlu
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#48

Post by hurluberlu »

3. The Gospel According to St. Matthew / Il vangelo secondo Matteo (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964)
Amen
1. Outsiders / Ceddo (Ousmane Sembene, 1977) 7
2. Louis Theroux: Surviving America's Most Hated Family (Geoffrey O'Connor, 2019) 6+
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sortile9io
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#51

Post by sortile9io »

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Le regine
8. Tonino Cervi, 1970, Italy, 89 min
High society witchcraft, the end will probably appeal to followers of conspiracy theories (Illuminati and the like), personally, I would have omit most of the final (too explicit) rant, until then everything unfolds as a sort of relaxed mysterious game in the woods between three alluring women and a young idealist (late sixties counterculture), with some reminiscences of folk horror tales and a glamorous dreamy pop look. 8/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
6. BAB'AZIZ (Khemir, 2005)
7. MEARI TO MAJO NO HANA (Yonebayashi, 2017)
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sortile9io
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#52

Post by sortile9io »

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Lilies of the Field
9. Ralph Nelson, 1963, USA, 95 min
A providential cross of paths that brings together a Baptist Afro-American itinerant handyman and a group of penniless emigrant (Eastern Europe to USA) Catholic nuns determined to build a chapel, beyond the fun and the catchy spiritual singing, it was interesting and heartening to watch the cooperative religious enterprise (perhaps a simplified metaphor for the building of the Church itself) being carried out without charge by a multi-ethnic community with different motivations (divine imperative, afterlife “insurance”, professional self-fulfilment, tax deductions, etc.). 7/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
6. BAB'AZIZ (Khemir, 2005)
7. MEARI TO MAJO NO HANA (Yonebayashi, 2017)
8. LE REGINE (Cervi, 1970)
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45MinuteZoom
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#53

Post by 45MinuteZoom »

3. Friendly Persuasion (William Wyler, 1956, 137 min) 8/10
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049233/

Quakers in Indiana during the American Civil War. I'm grateful for this challenge because I'm not sure I would have found this movie otherwise. Quakers are mostly know for their pacifist beliefs, and have been used in other war films and in a good number of other Westerns. The movie follows a Quaker family around as different aspects of their faith come into question, at first through small every day things and then later their pacifism is called into question when the war approaches their doorstep.

The father buys an organ even though the movie claims Quakers were against instruments of any kind. It is revealed that the mother might have danced in her youth, and the daughter is caught dancing with her crush, dancing being another thing the movie is claiming Quakers are against. The daughter's crush is also a soldier. The youngest son continually asks about the war, and when the soldier visit he asks excitedly if they had killed any "rebs." The eldest son has the largest question of faith about whether or not his will stick with pacifism or fight in the war.

Pauline Kael criticized the depiction of the Quaker family here saying that they "are there only to violate their convictions." Quakers also seem split on the depiction here, some criticizing pacifist decisions made in the final act, but there is also a fantastic review here https://web.archive.org/web/20130520133 ... fl122.html that I'm going to pull a lot from. These aren't the caricatures you'll see in other Westerns, the family and their questions of faith are very realistic. The family clearly holds their beliefs sincerely, but as any human of faith, they fall short of these. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The question of pacifism when your family and life are in danger is not as easy one. It would take incredible conviction to truly turn the other cheek when soldiers come to steal your food and livestock, an when those being stolen is the best case scenario, they could burn your farm down or simply kill you. The movie does a very good job of having different family members choose different levels of pacifism. For one case, I wish a little more time had been saved to look at the aftermath of that decision, but the movie was already very long. The review also points out that in real life, there were Quakers in Indiana who did join the fighting.

Beyond this pacifism question though, I absolutely loved the relationships in this movie. Both the father and mother seemed like fantastic level headed parents. The mother is such a well written character, the most steadfast in her beliefs. The relationship between the mother and father also seemed very loving. I really like the father's friendly competitions with the Methodist neighbor. The whole tone of the movie right up until the war parts is very fun, though I think some would find it grating. Overall, I'm just very happy to have watched this movie.

Amen
1. The Juniper Tree (Nietzchka Keene, 1990, 78 min) 7/10
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0138545/

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Sam Raimi, 2022, 126 min) 5/10
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9419884/
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sortile9io
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#54

Post by sortile9io »

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Kang rinpoche
10. Yang Zhang, 2015, China, 118 min
A docudrama that follows the 10-month pilgrimage of a group of Tibetan villagers to Lhasa (plus holy Mt Kailash), namely 1,200 km kowtowing (prostrating) every few steps (human tenacity will never cease to amaze me), across an impressive mountain scenery (on a par with their feat), the (usually dim) indoors group portraits are nice but I missed more focus on the individual (close-ups, thoughts, feelings, etc.) and a more inspired camerawork. 6/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
6. BAB'AZIZ (Khemir, 2005)
7. MEARI TO MAJO NO HANA (Yonebayashi, 2017)
8. LE REGINE (Cervi, 1970)
9. LILIES OF THE FIELD (Nelson, 1963)
Last edited by sortile9io on May 15th, 2022, 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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flavo5000
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#55

Post by flavo5000 »

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3. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Sam Raimi, 2022)
This certainly isn't a perfect movie with the first half especially feeling very rushed at times, but I honestly just had a lot of fun with it. This is definitely a Sam Raimi movie through and through. I thought it was refreshing to see a Marvel movie that breaks from the usual house style and resembles Army of Darkness more than any other Marvel movie.

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4. All The Haunts Be Ours shorts [ Backwoods (2019), Portret (1915), Satan Exultant (1917), A White Spot in the Back of the Head (1979), Consume (2017), The Pledge (1981)]
This was a collection of shorts from the great All The Haunts Be Ours folk horror box from Severin. Backwoods was a nice little Lovecraft adaptation. Portet and Satan Exultant were interesting but unfortunately just surviving footage from feature length films. A White Spot in the Back of the Head was an exceedingly weird Icelandic short and Consume was a very bleak take on the Native American Wendigo legend (I actually watched a couple of other shorts from the Clearcut disc but they were more illustrative of the Native American experience and didn't really fit this challenge). The Pledge was a nice, eerie one to end on.
From the Depths
1. Dupa dealuri a.k.a. Beyond the Hills (Cristian Mungiu, 2012)
2. Leptirica (Djordje Kadijevic, 1973)
3. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Sam Raimi, 2022)
4. All The Haunts Be Ours shorts [ Backwoods (2019), Portret (1915), Satan Exultant (1917), A White Spot in the Back of the Head (1979), Consume (2017), The Pledge (1981)]
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sol
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#56

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1.The Wicker Man (1973) REVISION https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070917/
2. Father Stu (2022) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14439896/

Image

As a biopic about a foul-mouthed boxer with a criminal record who eventually became a priest, this certainly sounds interesting on paper. Mark Wahlberg makes his character work and there is a lot to like about how he is able to provide down-to-earth services, particularly to jaded prisoners, due to his chequered past (more scenes like his prison sermon would have been great). As an inspirational drama, it might not exactly cut it, but it is a decent watch.
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
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jdidaco
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#57

Post by jdidaco »

(Gif/screenshot from 'Faust' & 'Galileo'),

Image

13. Barabbas (Alf Sjöberg, 1953) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045541/reference/
14. The Peacemaker (Ted Post, 1956) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049604/reference/
15. Faust (Gustaf Gründgens & Peter Gorski, 1960) 9/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0163624/reference/
16. Doctor Faustus (Richard Burton & Nevill Coghill, 1967) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062898/reference/
17. Heaven with a Gun (Lee H. Katzin, 1969) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064409/reference/
18. Galileo (Joseph Losey, 1975) 9/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073029/reference/
19. Glory! Glory! (Lindsay Anderson, 1989) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097442/reference/
20. Myrkrahöfðinginn (Witchcraft, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson, 1999) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0236524/reference/

Image
Spoiler
1. Les sorcières de Salem (The Witches of Salem, Raymond Rouleau, 1957) 8.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050997/reference/
2. Erode il grande (Herod the Great, Viktor Tourjansky, 1959) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051587/reference/
3. Un'ombra nell'ombra (Ring of Darkness, Pier Carpi, 1979) 5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131510/reference/
4. Ave Maria (Jacques Richard, 1984) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086924/reference/
5. Mamma Ebe (Carlo Lizzani, 1985) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089542/reference/
6. Le moine et la sorcière (Sorceress, Suzanne Schiffman & Pamela Berger, 1987) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093556/reference/
7. Dieu a besoin des hommes (God Needs Men, Jean Delannoy, 1950) 8.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042401/reference/
8. Angel Baby (Paul Wendkos & Hubert Cornfield, 1961) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054628/reference/
9. The Reluctant Saint (Edward Dmytryk, 1962) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056403/reference/
10. Siddhartha (Conrad Rooks, 1972) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070689/reference/
11. Katho Upanishad (Ashish Avikunthak, 2011) 9/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1945123/reference/
12. Histoire de Judas (Story of Judas, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, 2015) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4223932/reference/
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Opio
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#58

Post by Opio »

1. Martin Luther (1953, Pichel): 6/10
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sortile9io
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#59

Post by sortile9io »

Image

Major Barbara
11. Gabriel Pascal, 1941, UK, 121 min
A (too) wordy satire based on a play and filled with witty remarks about war, politicians, alcohol, money, family, etc., that questions the use of austere Christian charity (exemplified by the Salvation Army), that saves the souls of the poor for the “bribe of bread” and “heaven”, in contrast to the prosperous capitalistic industry, that provides well-being to all the country, even at the expense of some death and destruction (arms and whisky, in this case). 6/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
6. BAB'AZIZ (Khemir, 2005)
7. MEARI TO MAJO NO HANA (Yonebayashi, 2017)
8. LE REGINE (Cervi, 1970)
9. LILIES OF THE FIELD (Nelson, 1963)
10. KANG RINPOCHE (Zhang, 2015)
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sol
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#60

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1.The Wicker Man (1973) REVISION https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070917/
2. Father Stu (2022) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14439896/
3. Bowfinger (1999) REVISION https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131325/

Image

Certainly one of the more interesting Church of Scientology send-ups out there, this comedy has Terence Stamp as the leader of a similar organisation called Mind Head, with Eddie Murphy a celebrity and loyal member who constantly turns there for spiritual advice. The big joke of the film is rather that Steve Martin is making a film starring Murphy without him knowing it, but given some of Stamp's scenes and talk of celebrity donations, this is pretty interesting if viewed as being about giving the middle finger to cult-like organisations that fleece their members in the name of spiritual guidance.
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
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#61

Post by twodeadmagpies »

4. the iconographic journey: the martyrdom of san sebastian (eric pauwels, 1989) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0821545/

to shoot a film. bulls-eye. to shoot the body of a saint with arrows...

film is a surface. the skin is a surface. the first and last site/sight of the sacred...

(jarman of course knew all this)


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sortile9io
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#62

Post by sortile9io »

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The Juniper Tree
12. Nietzchka Keene, 1990, Iceland, 79 min
A singular naturalistic view of medieval witchery in the lonely Icelandic landscape from a female/child perspective, inspired by a tale of the Grimm brothers, mostly contemplative, it avoids the usual effects in the genre using instead only bare (but enthralling) images and the sounds of nature in combination with simple spells for modest purposes (marriage, fertility, oblivion), children songs, plain amulets or quiet visions of dead mothers. 7/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
6. BAB'AZIZ (Khemir, 2005)
7. MEARI TO MAJO NO HANA (Yonebayashi, 2017)
8. LE REGINE (Cervi, 1970)
9. LILIES OF THE FIELD (Nelson, 1963)
10. KANG RINPOCHE (Zhang, 2015)
11. MAJOR BARBARA (Pascal, 1941)
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Opio
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#63

Post by Opio »

2. I Confess (1953, Hitchcock): 6/10
Others
1. Martin Luther (1953, Pichel): 6/10
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Minkin
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#64

Post by Minkin »

Apollo has spoken to me, to bless all creatures
01. The Dead Talk Back (1994, USA, IMDB) – Rating: 4/10
02. Collection of relevant shorts (IMDB links are in the spoilers)
02A. Magical Disappearing Money (1972, USA, 11 mins) - Rating: 5/10)
IMDB

A glamorous witch makes a sudden appearance at a grocery store, to chastise shoppers’ potential purchases by offering “cost saving” alternatives. None of the suggestions are exactly that great of financial advice, as sure, you could frost your own flakes or make your own vanilla pudding, but who has time to bread their own zucchini, just to save 30 cents (side note: who buys frozen breaded zucchini, other than The Pioneer Woman)? Or she says to buy dry milk powder instead of purchasing over-priced regular milk. I’ve never tried powdered milk, but my partner said its a rather terrible substitute. I get it, companies sell over-priced “instant” or “single serving” versions of products, which are usually plastic-intensive and make no real sense to buy (such as single serving cereal bowls), but at some point you’re going to have to make that trade-off between accessibility and speed vs cost. What surprised me most is that she never suggests other basic financial tips, like buying in bulk, cutting coupons, or purchasing off-brand products. This is great if you’re living on a small budget, and have plenty of free time to cook meals rather than just microwave something – or if you’re abled and capable of cooking at all. But for some of us, who can’t prepare even basic meals, we’re grateful for the instant variety existing at all.
02B. Le puits fantastique (1903, France, 4 mins) - Rating: 7/10
IMDB

A villager violently turns away a beggar “witch”, who in turn places a curse on a well – causing all sorts of demons and reptiles to appear and attack the man. The whole event feels akin to psychosis to me – what with the nightmarish quality of scary things appearing from nowhere and suddenly attacking you as you are just absolutely terrified for your life and dealing with a reality that doesn’t have logic to it. So of course things turn wild for the villager – as he has to quickly adjust to whatever is being thrown at him, whilst defending himself however he can from an enemy that makes no sense. Perhaps this works as the “witch” instills her madness into the villager in a folie a deux scenario, or after spiking the water with ergot, to which the man has to fend off whatever nonsense is appearing in front of him that only he can see. For nobody else comes to this dude’s rescue or seems to notice until after he’s been shoved around awhile. I feel like there might be some mythology to this short that I’m not familiar with – as the imagery of frogs and snakes must be relevant to some folklore. Perhaps focused on the sanctity of wells – their role as a lifeline to the community, yet being common carriers of diseases they all suffer together. I do like the idea of the magickal beggar – that they have a way to protect themself from abuse by bringing ruin on those who mistreat them. I suppose this sort of path leads to witch hunts though… but I still think the meek should have the most power to defend themselves. The village ends up losing their well as a result of all of this chaos, thus the beggar managed to bring effective ruin on this town for their crime of not supporting the weakest members. For maybe they deserve to collectively suffer if they aren’t capable of protecting all their inhabitants. Anyway, the highlight for me was definitely the person in the donkey costume – they weren’t in the film long, but they brought me much joy.
02C. The Witch's Fiddle (1924, England, 7 mins) - Rating: 6/10
IMDB

A man helps a witch with her dropped bundle of sticks, the friendly chap, and he’s rewarded with a magic fiddle – which makes people dance… uncontrollably, in this possibly oldest surviving student film. This is all reminiscent of the dance plague of 1518, where a large number of people in Strasbourg, under either “mass hysteria” or ergot “poisoning” (essentially tripping on LSD) danced for days, perhaps some even to their death. I do wonder whether musicians were supplying continuous music during that time period, or whether everyone was two footing it to the sounds of the universe in their head. But sometimes you’re so starved for rhythmic flailing that any music just over takes your senses. I do know there’s a cosmic vibration and its order is dance and movement – and it beckons us to flow with it, to which several art forms attempt as much (see Qigong). But I’ve always been fascinated by this particular case – and it’s fun to see it loosely in this short. Just the idea of music being so infectious that everyone can’t help themselves but to dance along to it – gives me hope that folks might one day experience madness as well. For it’s rare for normies to experience this for themselves – where their body or mind is doing something that you are powerless to stop, and that is really the heart of psychosis. As you suddenly find yourself in this pit of insanity and have no control over your thoughts whatsoever. They become real in front of you and anything that could happen does happen, and you believe with complete conviction. It is a total loss of control over your mind and to an extent your body and you are absolutely powerless to stop it – you just have to ride wherever it takes you. So the madness of dancing against one’s will, uncontrollably, without end, in this hell cycle is terribly reminiscent of psychosis. You think yourself adverse, but one day it might strike you. Anyway, this is a fun little short, giving perhaps a glimpse at what happened in 1518. I would’ve appreciated more variation as it’s a bit simplistic, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t find their awkward truffle shuffling a bit charming.
02D. Winter of the Witch (1969, USA, 24 mins) - Rating: 7/10
IMDB

A single mother and her son decide to move into a house in the countryside (which she buys for $400) that happens to already be owned by a depressed witch – who turns her life around by making happiness-inducing blueberry pancakes. I rather like the witch here – that she was depressed due to the world being so full of evil, that people didn’t need witches anymore. This is an interesting situation to unpack, as witches represent a collective fear of the minority – be they of different race, religion, or neurotype. But if we look back further, witchcraft has strong bonds to schizophrenia – being a person deluded into believing they have magical powers, who can communicate with the dead (audio hallucinations). The vast majority of the public fears schizophrenia (70% think us violent), and we’re largely ostracized and abandoned by civilization – left to die in the streets. So I like to see our schizo selves as a continuance of witchdom, just with our own peculiar quirks. Witches as they exist today are frequently just little more than an aesthetic – they’re hardly disliked (other than by my mom, thanks), and they aren’t exactly in the business of scaring anyone. The current form of witchcraft feels too serene and positive compared to the images we’ve seen of the past – they’re missing that questionably sanity element. But the witch here is depressed due to not having any real purpose anymore – and that’s all too true when you’re not producing capital or contributing in any way. I find myself struggling with this constantly – feeling ashamed to let anyone know what happened to the person who was supposed to go on to be a diplomat, and now here I am – clawing for life just to hold onto reality of some sort. But we make peace with what we have, however awful, just like in this film – a witch can’t stop being a witch anymore than a mouse can stop being a mouse so too must I accept what I am. Anyway, this is a cute little short – about a happy found family and about finding your place in the world, even if it takes an unconventional way to get there.
02E. King of the Hill - Hilloween (1997, USA, 23 mins) - Rating: 7/10
IMDB

Its Halloween in Arlen, but a religious fundamentalist is trying to shut down the holiday, as it becomes a battle of Hank trying to save Halloween vs this lady and her hell house.
02F. King of the Hill - Fun with Jane and Jane (2002, USA, 23 mins) - Rating: 7/10
IMDB

Luanne manages to join a cult, which is disguised as a sorority house. She manages to bring Peggy along as well, and its up to Hank to rescue them.

03. Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964, Italy, 90 mins, IMDB) - Rating: 4/10
A queen rules a city where every three months, monsters demand human sacrifices, but enter into the picture Hercules, who can save them all, but the queen has other plans though, as she’s in cahoots with the monsters! I like that the “moon men” only really promise the queen eternal beauty, at the cost of everyone else being dead from an uninhabitable planet… so who would be left to admire her beauty then? +they’re kinda iffy on the whole “would she be able to survive?” part. The general mentions that they tried to rebel against the moon men once before and that it didn’t end well, but then the queen also says the monsters don’t have power without her input… so I guess all the rulers have been evil then. This is one of those stories where nobody can do anything for themselves, and must rely on the god in human form, Hercules, to constantly save them from every minor inconvenience, as their caretaker. For as much as the film likes to build up this “resistance” to the queen – and say all of the other characters are important – showing them working and plotting together, at the end of the day, it’s still just Hercules out there doing 100% of the work. They seem like the sort of people who’d just accept sacrificing a dozen people every few months rather than move somewhere else or give fighting another shot. As they seem content with this system, as long as it preserves their own safety, which perhaps says something about the way are willing to sacrifice people in our lives when we’ve reached our limit with them – that same call for self-preservation despite the harm to someone else. Anyway, this is a very plain and forgettable swords and sandals movie – one that is lacking in much standing in Hercules’ way; I mean, his greatest adversary here is a net.

There's actually two different cults going on here. There's the moon men - who are a cult built around reviving their queen; they worship the moon and plan to destroy the Earth with enough sacrifices. Then there's the queen of Samar - who has mind controlling potions to bend people to her will, as she has a cult of loyal followers as well.



Also, here's a list that seems relevant and should be added to the collection
Cinema Safari (Currently working on Inyo County, CA + Zimbabwe upgrade) Help recommend me movies to watch) Letterboxd
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sortile9io
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#66

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Viimne reliikvia
13. Grigori Kromanov, 1969, Estonia, 87 min
The machinations of the cunning heads of a monastery aimed at getting the relics of St Brigitte are the trigger for this lovely medieval historical adventure that unites the gorgeous daughter of a nobleman with an iconoclast band of pro-independence rebels, not exactly a masterpiece but amusing, very nice to the eye and, why not, memorable in some way. 6/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
6. BAB'AZIZ (Khemir, 2005)
7. MEARI TO MAJO NO HANA (Yonebayashi, 2017)
8. LE REGINE (Cervi, 1970)
9. LILIES OF THE FIELD (Nelson, 1963)
10. KANG RINPOCHE (Zhang, 2015)
11. MAJOR BARBARA (Pascal, 1941)
12. THE JUNIPER TREE (Keene, 1990)
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#67

Post by jdidaco »

(Screenshots from 'J'ai tué Raspoutine', 'Angeli bianchi... angeli neri' & 'Le monache di Sant'Arcangelo'),

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21. Les nuits de Raspoutine (The Night They Killed Rasputin, Pierre Chenal, 1960) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0122195/reference/
22. Rasputin: The Mad Monk (Don Sharp, 1966) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059635/reference/
23. J'ai tué Raspoutine (I Killed Rasputin, Robert Hossein, 1967) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061829/reference/
24. Angeli bianchi... angeli neri (Witchcraft '70, Luigi Scattini, 1969) 6.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066577/reference/

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25. Le monache di Sant'Arcangelo (The Nun and the Devil, Domenico Paolella, 1973) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070404/reference/
26. Luther (Guy Green, 1974) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070346/reference/
27. Cartas de amor de una monja (Love Letters of a Nun, Jorge Grau, 1978) 8.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077301/reference/
28. Extramuros (Beyond the Walls, Miguel Picazo, 1985) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089115/reference/

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Spoiler
1. Les sorcières de Salem (The Witches of Salem, Raymond Rouleau, 1957) 8.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050997/reference/
2. Erode il grande (Herod the Great, Viktor Tourjansky, 1959) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051587/reference/
3. Un'ombra nell'ombra (Ring of Darkness, Pier Carpi, 1979) 5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131510/reference/
4. Ave Maria (Jacques Richard, 1984) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086924/reference/
5. Mamma Ebe (Carlo Lizzani, 1985) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089542/reference/
6. Le moine et la sorcière (Sorceress, Suzanne Schiffman & Pamela Berger, 1987) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093556/reference/
7. Dieu a besoin des hommes (God Needs Men, Jean Delannoy, 1950) 8.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042401/reference/
8. Angel Baby (Paul Wendkos & Hubert Cornfield, 1961) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054628/reference/
9. The Reluctant Saint (Edward Dmytryk, 1962) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056403/reference/
10. Siddhartha (Conrad Rooks, 1972) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070689/reference/
11. Katho Upanishad (Ashish Avikunthak, 2011) 9/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1945123/reference/
12. Histoire de Judas (Story of Judas, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, 2015) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4223932/reference/
13. Barabbas (Alf Sjöberg, 1953) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045541/reference/
14. The Peacemaker (Ted Post, 1956) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049604/reference/
15. Faust (Gustaf Gründgens & Peter Gorski, 1960) 9/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0163624/reference/
16. Doctor Faustus (Richard Burton & Nevill Coghill, 1967) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062898/reference/
17. Heaven with a Gun (Lee H. Katzin, 1969) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064409/reference/
18. Galileo (Joseph Losey, 1975) 9/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073029/reference/
19. Glory! Glory! (Lindsay Anderson, 1989) 8/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097442/reference/
20. Myrkrahöfðinginn (Witchcraft, Hrafn Gunnlaugsson, 1999) 7.5/10 - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0236524/reference/
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#68

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După dealuri
14. Cristian Mungiu, 2012, Romania, 152 min
Excellently filmed, the insistence (sometimes gratuitous or unfounded) in the calvary of the young emigrant girl (and her obstinacy) stuck between the humble Orthodox monastery and the Romanian public services becomes tiresome, all of which is, of course, good if the goal is to cause controversy, but, if a fierce social commentary is the real interest, there are no doubt subtler and richer ways to do it. 4/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
6. BAB'AZIZ (Khemir, 2005)
7. MEARI TO MAJO NO HANA (Yonebayashi, 2017)
8. LE REGINE (Cervi, 1970)
9. LILIES OF THE FIELD (Nelson, 1963)
10. KANG RINPOCHE (Zhang, 2015)
11. MAJOR BARBARA (Pascal, 1941)
12. THE JUNIPER TREE (Keene, 1990)
13. VIIMNE RELIIKVIA (Kromanov, 1969)
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Opio
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#69

Post by Opio »

3. The Robe (1953, Koster): 7/10
Others
1. Martin Luther (1953, Pichel): 6/10
2. I Confess (1953, Hitchcock): 6/10
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Melvelet
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#71

Post by Melvelet »

OP updated (incl. adding this list suggested by Minkin: https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/luci ... ing/rveno/)
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Current focus: DtC nominees, Central Europe, 2000s
Last.fm | RYM
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sortile9io
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#72

Post by sortile9io »

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Agostino d'Ippona
15. Roberto Rossellini, 1972, Italy, 115 min
Some interesting (though not very stimulating) biographical notes about St Augustine, one of the theological founders of Christianity, filmed in the ruins of Pompeii, that illustrate just a few of his views (biblical symbolism, justice and law, violence, virtue, wealth, etc.), the conflict with the Donatists and discussions with/of parallel characters about the influence of Christian morals in the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. 6/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
6. BAB'AZIZ (Khemir, 2005)
7. MEARI TO MAJO NO HANA (Yonebayashi, 2017)
8. LE REGINE (Cervi, 1970)
9. LILIES OF THE FIELD (Nelson, 1963)
10. KANG RINPOCHE (Zhang, 2015)
11. MAJOR BARBARA (Pascal, 1941)
12. THE JUNIPER TREE (Keene, 1990)
13. VIIMNE RELIIKVIA (Kromanov, 1969)
14. DUPĂ DEALURI (Mungiu, 2012)
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Opio
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#73

Post by Opio »

4. I Beheld His Glory (1953, US): 7/10
Others
1. Martin Luther (1953, West Germany): 6/10
2. I Confess (1953, US): 6/10
3. The Robe (1953, US): 7/10
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sortile9io
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#74

Post by sortile9io »

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The Last Valley
16. James Clavell, 1971, UK, 126 min
A reminder of the horrors and stupidity of the Thirty Years’ War and a sort of imaginary sociological game that puts together members of the opposing sides (Catholics and Protestants) in an idyllic remote valley (filmed in Tyrol), led by a set of archetypal characters (warrior, scholar, priest, politician, virgin, witch), it works pretty well both as an adventure and history film with some thoughts about war, faith, fanaticism, superstition, love, etc. 7/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
6. BAB'AZIZ (Khemir, 2005)
7. MEARI TO MAJO NO HANA (Yonebayashi, 2017)
8. LE REGINE (Cervi, 1970)
9. LILIES OF THE FIELD (Nelson, 1963)
10. KANG RINPOCHE (Zhang, 2015)
11. MAJOR BARBARA (Pascal, 1941)
12. THE JUNIPER TREE (Keene, 1990)
13. VIIMNE RELIIKVIA (Kromanov, 1969)
14. DUPĂ DEALURI (Mungiu, 2012)
15. AGOSTINO D'IPPONA (Rossellini, 1972)
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#75

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1.The Wicker Man (1973) REVISION https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070917/
2. Father Stu (2022) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14439896/
3. Bowfinger (1999) REVISION https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131325/
4. Black Narcissus (1947) REVISION https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039192/

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Rewatched for the first time after almost fifteen years, this unfortunately registers a slight disappointment. The final twenty minutes are amazing as Kathleen Byron's Sister Ruth becomes the centre focus with the other nuns thinking that she has "gone mad" while Jack Cardiff exquisitely lights up her face to make her look devilish and foreboding. For the most part though, Sister Ruth is a mere secondary supporting character. Nice colours though of course.
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
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Long live the new flesh!
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#76

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Morgane et ses nymphes
17. Bruno Gantillon, 1971, France, 86 min
An invitation to the castle of sorceress Morgana Le Fay where she grants young beauties eternal youth in exchange for absolute loyalty, surprisingly (?), no one (not even her) seems especially enthusiastic about a lifestyle that consists in enjoying day and night (forever) the pleasures of lesbian love and the arts in her company, a somewhat unexciting filming that lacks emotion doesn’t help either, but the proposal is in any case quite appealing and all the kisses, thin dresses and erotic posing make up for the rest. 6/10
iCM | IMDb
Also...
1. EL CANTO DEL GALLO (Gil, 1955)
2. LE DIALOGUE DES CARMÉLITES (Agostini, Bruckberger, 1960)
3. UN ANGELO PER SATANA (Mastrocinque, 1966)
4. SOLOMON AND SHEBA (Vidor, 1959)
5. EL ESPEJO DE LA BRUJA (Urueta, 1962)
6. BAB'AZIZ (Khemir, 2005)
7. MEARI TO MAJO NO HANA (Yonebayashi, 2017)
8. LE REGINE (Cervi, 1970)
9. LILIES OF THE FIELD (Nelson, 1963)
10. KANG RINPOCHE (Zhang, 2015)
11. MAJOR BARBARA (Pascal, 1941)
12. THE JUNIPER TREE (Keene, 1990)
13. VIIMNE RELIIKVIA (Kromanov, 1969)
14. DUPĂ DEALURI (Mungiu, 2012)
15. AGOSTINO D'IPPONA (Rossellini, 1972)
16. THE LAST VALLEY (Clavell, 1971)
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#77

Post by sol »

Spoiler
1.The Wicker Man (1973) REVISION https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070917/
2. Father Stu (2022) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14439896/
3. Bowfinger (1999) REVISION https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131325/
4. Black Narcissus (1947) REVISION https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039192/
5. Eyes Wide Shut (1999) REVISION https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120663/

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Still as fresh as ever after six viewings, this works well as both a paranoia thriller and a darker version of After Hours as it focus on a well-to-do doctor seeking something 'different' in the dead of night and stumbling across a cult wilder than any of his most potent dreams and nightmares. I especially love the film's dreamlike vibe, accentuated by the vibrant colours (glowing blues that seep through every window) and deliberate piano keys in the music.
|iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | Gold Derby
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Long live the new flesh!
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