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Year-by-Year Polls Preparation Challenge

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Post by lineuphere »

The deep dive into 1960 has continued...

102. Bell' Antonio 8/10
103. Kyonetsu no kisetsu | The Warped Ones 8/10
104. Spring Dreams 8/10
105. Cage of Evil 6/10
106. Vyssí princip | Higher Principle 9/10
107. Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki | When a Woman Ascends the Stairs 10/10
108. Morgan, the Pirate 5/10
109. Yoto monogatari: Hana no Yoshiwara hyaku-nin giri | Hero of the Red Light District 8/10
110. The Flower Thief 7/10
111. Déjà s'envole la fleur maigre | From the Branches Drops the Withered Blossom 8/10
112. Koi no katamichi kippu | One-Way Ticket for Love 7/10
113. Seryozha | Splendid Days 7/10
114. Nikt nie wola | Nobody's Calling 7/10
115. Sons and Lovers 8/10
116. Seishun zankoku monogatari | Cruel Story of Youth 8/10
117. Hell Is a City 8/10
118. La Vérité 8/10
119. Musume tsuma haha | Daughters, Wives and a Mother 9/10
120. Macario 7/10
121. Aru kyouhaku | Intimidation 8/10
122. Holubice | The White Dove 9/10
123. Boulevard 8/10
124. Jungfrukällan | The Virgin Spring 8/10
125. Flaming Star 6/10
1942: 4
1. There Was a Father 8/10
2. One of Our Aircraft Is Missing 7/10
3. Les Visiteurs du Soir 9/10
4. Went the Day Well? 7/10

1987: 4
5. Where Is the Friend's House? 10/10
6. Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle 7/10
7. Law of Desire 7/10
8. Maurice 8/10

1964: 2
9. Yearning 8/10
10. Diamonds of the Night 9/10

1994: 4
11. Cold Water 7/10
12. U.S. Go Home 8/10
13. River of Grass 7/10
14. Vanya on 42nd Street 8/10

1935: 7
15. The Student of Prague 7/10
16. The Wedding Night 7/10
17. Wife! Be Like a Rose! 9/10
18. Toni 8/10
19. If You Could Only Cook 7/10
20. Sazen Tange and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo 7/10
21. An Inn in Tokyo 8/10

1974: 36 (June, 2020 - many hours indoors)
22. Ankur 8/10
23. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser 8/10
24. 125 Rooms of Comfort 6/10
25. The Gambler 7/10
26. Lenny 7/10
27. Swept Away 7/10
28. Phase IV 7/10
29. Martha 9/10
30. Score 7/10
31. Zardoz 4/10
32. Arabian Nights 6/10
33. Thieves Like Us 7/10
34. We All Loved Each Other So Much 8/10
35. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three 7/10
36. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot 7/10
37. Still Life | Tabiate bijan 10/10
38. Diwan 6/10
39. Lacombe, Lucien 6/10
40. Lancelot du lac 7/10
41. Duhul aurului | Lust for Gold 9/10
42. Mes petites amoureuses 8/10
43. The Night Porter 6/10
44. Phantom of the Paradise 6/10
45. California Split 7/10
46. Vincent, Francois, Paul and the Others 8/10
47. Je, Tu, Il, Elle 7/10
48. A Simple Event 9/10
49. Sweet Movie 6/10
50. Cocorico monsieur Poulet 7/10
51. Reason, Debate and a Story 8/10
52. A Very Natural Thing 8/10
53. Behindert 8/10
54. Effi Briest 7/10
55. Conversation Piece 8/10
56. Femmes Femmes 8/10
57. Un homme qui dort 8/10

58. Otôto 7/10
59. Adua and Her Friends 7/10
60. Tutti a casa | Everybody Go Home 9/10
61. The Young One 6/10
62. Jokyo | A Woman's Testament 8/10
63. Zazie dans le Métro 7/10
64. The River Fuefuki 7/10
65. The Long Night of '43 9/10
66. Stowaway in the Sky 5/10
67. Voskreseniye | Resurrection 10/10
68. Strangers When We Meet 9/10
69. Moderato cantabile 8/10
70. The Sun's Burial 6/10
71. Lady with the Dog 9/10
72. The Devil's Eye 8/10
73. Romeo, Juliet and Darkness 9/10
74. Return of the Vagabond 5/10
75. The Wretches 7/10
76. Conspiracy of Hearts 9/10
77. If the Wind Frightens You 7/10
78. The Lost Alibi 9/10
79. Lipstick | Il rossetto 7/10
80. Night and Fog in Japan 7/10
81. Baishey Shravana 8/10
82. The Big Risk 8/10
83. Letter Never Sent 8/10
84. The Wheelchair 8/10
85. The Twilight Story 8/10
86. Escape By Night 8/10
87. Goodbye, Till Tomorrow 6/10
88. Youth in Fury 6/10
89. Take Aim at the Police Van 6/10
90. The League of Gentlemen 7/10
91. The Madness of Youth 7/10
92. Cada quién su vida 6/10
93. Jigoku 7/10
94. Nise daigakusei | A False Student 9/10
95. I dolci inganni | Sweet Deceptions 7/10
96. Aki tachinu | Autumn Has Already Started 8/10
97. Kapò 8/10
98. Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru | The Bad Sleep Well 9/10
99. Les bonnes femmes | The Good Time Girls 8/10
100. Devi | The Goddess 9/10
101. Plein soleil | Purple Noon 9/10
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Post by Melvelet »

Updated the years. Currently it's 1951, 2008 and 1966.

Current focus: 80s & 90s, Horror, Japan
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Post by Melvelet »

Oh, I had something that I didn't post yet.

39. Strangers When We Meet 1960 8/10
40. Devi 1960 — a.k.a. The Goddess 8/10
41. Kapò 1960 8/10
41 overall
1935: 4
27. Schaste 1935 — a.k.a. Happiness 7/10
28. A Night at the Opera 1935 4/10
29. The Informer 1935 7+/10
30. Tsuma yo bara no yô ni 1935 — a.k.a. Wife! Be Like a Rose! 7/10

1942: 1
13. The Palm Beach Story 1942 7/10

1951: 1
37. The River 1951 6/10

1957: 7
15. An Affair to Remember 1957 6/10
16. A Face in the Crowd 1957 8/10
17. Forty Guns 1957 8/10
18. The Tarnished Angels 1957 8/10
19. Men in War 1957 6/10
20. Decision at Sundown 1957 6/10
21. Il grido 1957 — a.k.a. The Cry 8/10

1958: 3
11. Mon oncle 1958 — a.k.a. My Uncle 7/10
12. The Defiant Ones 1958 8/10
14. Some Came Running 1958 8+/10

1960: 4
38. Zazie dans le métro 1960 — a.k.a. Zazie dans le Métro 8/10
39. Strangers When We Meet 1960 8/10
40. Devi 1960 — a.k.a. The Goddess 8/10
41. Kapò 1960 8/10

1974: 6
31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia 1974 8/10
32. Blazing Saddles 1974 5/10
33. Phantom of the Paradise 1974 9/10
34. Céline et Julie vont en bateau: Phantom Ladies... 1974 — a.k.a. Celine and Julie Go Boating 8/10
35. La gueule ouverte 1974 — a.k.a. The Mouth Agape 6/10
36. Mossafer 1974 — a.k.a. The Traveler 7/10

1979: 3
6. All That Jazz 7/10
7. Série noire 1979 7/10
8. Buffet froid 1979 — a.k.a. Cold Cuts 7/10

1994: 3
22. Ed Wood 1994 7/10
23. Crumb 1994 7/10
24. Hoop Dreams 1994 8/10

1997: 2
9. The Ice Storm 1997 6/10
10. The Sweet Hereafter 1997 7/10

2005: 5
1. Grizzly Man 2005 8/10
2. Unser täglich Brot 2005 — a.k.a. Our Daily Bread 7/10
3. Batalla en el cielo 2005 — a.k.a. Battle in Heaven 8/10
4. Workingman's Death 2005 8/10
5. Ashes and Snow 2005 6/10

2006: 2
25. Ssa-i-bo-geu-ji-man-gwen-chan-a 2006 — a.k.a. I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK 7/10
26. Brand Upon the Brain! A Remembrance in 12 Chapters 2006 8/10

Also, the leaderboard is working and updated again

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Post by morrison-dylan-fan »

Hi all,I've seen a trio for the 2008 poll.


FTV:9:Le petit fût (2008)8

The last of two Guy de Maupassant short film adaptations he made for the TV series Chez Maupassant, directing auteur Claude Chabrol (CC) closely works with cinematographer Bruno Privat in taking the wry Comedy of La Parure (2007-also reviewed) in a jet-black macabre direction,with the jaunty score acting as a neat counter balance to the cackling bourgeois Chicot. Drinking up Chicot's (played with grinding rage by Francois Berleand) agreement, CC continues to strike at the rotten heart of the rural bourgeois countryside, in elegant panning shots towards Chicot waiting in hope for Magloire (played with a sharp cunningness by Tsilla Chelton) to die. Reuniting with Chabrol after La Parure,the screenplay by Gerard Jourd'hui & Jacques Santamaria keep the limited number of characters sprightly with wickedly cynical between Magloire finding ways to agitate a increase in the cash,and Chicot pouring out plans to end the payments to Magloire.


FTV:10: God's Puzzle (2008)7

Previously having taken a dip into a philosophical exploration of the galaxy with the outstanding Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (2006-also reviewed) the screenplay by Masa Nakamura spends the majority of the first half in adapting Shinji Kimoto's novel by weighing heavily on in-depth discussions on theories of how the universe was created. Whilst some bright sparks appear, (such as a analogy involving Beethoven's 5th Symphony ) the emphasis on rather dry quantum physics discussions, limits the character from being allowed to develop beyond the jargon.

Setting off a big bang with a drastic switch in genre mid-movie that has become a distinctive move of the film maker, Nakamura gets in a fast-pace groove by rolling the hard Sci-Fi with Disaster Movie thrills, as Motokazu finds his guitar licks and sushi-making skills to be all that stands in Saraka's doomsday creation that will prove God does not exist in the battle between science and tradition. Aligning in a more straight direction then his Neo-Noir and Horror works, directing auteur Takashi Miike & The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003-also reviewed) cinematographer Katsumi Yanagijima slams the planets together with a fantastic continuation in building the major motifs across his work, via Miike breaking the 4th wall with on-screen pop-up questions and stylish whip-pans swinging to discoveries made during the quantum physics discussions.

Standing on the edge of the apocalypse, Miike lets rip with excellent off-beat twists that turns Ode To Joy into a Japanese Rock song, a contrasting mix of grainy digital video touching on Motokazu touching the earth in India, and a merrily off-key, soft-light Rom-Com ending for the final piece in the puzzle.


FTV:11:Burn After Reading. 8

On the first title since Miller's Crossing (1990) where they have not worked with cinematographer Roger Deakins, co-writers/co-editors/co-directing auteurs Joel and Ethan Coen are joined by Alfonso Cuaron's regular cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki in pairing up the film with a long descending shot from space to the CIA headquarters for the opening,and one going back from the headquarters to outer space for the closing, which subtly captures the theme of a absence of perspective that lays at the heart of the film, where everyone is so obsessed by their own insecurities,that none of them look outwards for a less deadly perception on how they could be fixed.

Blocking off chances for different perspectives to appear with wonderful downwards shots framing Litzke's mental/ physical insecurities, from the disembodied close-ups of the areas Litzke wants plastic surgery on, to the towering mid-shot framing of spies, placing Litzke's further into a closed-off corner. Written on alternate days with No Country for Old Men (2007), the screenplay by The Coens continues to hilariously expand the major themes across their credits from the moment the idiotic, ambitious Litzke and Feldheimer have a disc containing CIA info roll into their hands.

The Coens spin the disc to botched attempts first at blackmail,then at selling it on the black market, which are tied with the Coen's distinctive take on Screwball Comedy dialogue, that hits fast-talking former spy Osborne Cox, and ricochets off Harry Pfarrer's paranoia of being caught with Osborne's wife.Completing what the Coens call the "Trilogy of Idiots." George Clooney gives a excellent turn as Pfarrer,whose paranoia is heightened by Clooney with constant fidgeting, whilst Brad Pitt steals every scene he hops into a dimwitted gym bunny Feldheimer, and John Malkovich hits each one-liner with rapid-fire relish as Osborne. Reuniting with her husband for the seventh time,Frances McDormand gives a delightfully witty, dry performance as the slow on the uptake Litzke,whose plans to get rich,are burnt after reading.
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Post by morrison-dylan-fan »

Hi all,sorry for being a bit late with this post (been a bit busy with offline things.)

For the 1944 poll, I saw every French film from the year currently with Eng Subs.

From best to worst:


FTV:12:La vie de plaisir 10

Partly set during Christmas Eve, co-writer/ (with Charles Spaak) director Albert Valentin presents a tantalising "What could have been" mood,on a title which ended his run of films for four years,after this movie got banned at the end of the Occupation. Closely working with Carnival of Sinners (1943-also reviewed) editor Christian Gaudin, Valentin courts the pessimism of Film Noir for a brittle atmosphere shimmering across dazzling, ultra-stylised dissolves between the high (court) of society, and the (as seen by the rich) low night club- a place Maulette had envisioned where all levels of society could freely mingle.Setting out the rules of the game with gliding tracking shots across the court room towards graceful close-ups on Helene, (played by a alluring Claude Genia.)

Valentin contrasts the chic, wide-panning shots across the glamour of the nightclub, by loading up on the wicked discreet charms of the bourgeoisie, (a society Maulette wants to climb the ladder up to, but one he never fits into) tilting towards them as they scuff over Maulette (played with a terrific unsettled edge by Albert Prejean) on the hunting ground,which Valentin hits with a startling shot of surreal satire by overlapping a cackling bishop blessing howling hounds.

Over a decade before the French New Wave would reach cinemas and years before alternative views were offered in Rashomon (1950),the screenplay by Valentin & Spaak take a thrilling, experimental stance to the court hearing, seamlessly criss-crossing the different perspectives unveiled in flashbacks, that is being up by lawyers on opposing sides,as evidence to a life of pleasure.


FTV:13:Cecile Is Dead.8.

Handling the case after making the magnificent Horror Carnival of Sinners (1943-also reviewed) auteur director Maurice Tourneur brings his grip on the macabre to the striking murder victim set-pieces, where Tourneur & Fantastic Night (1942-also reviewed) cinematographer Pierre Montazel slither towards the corpses in long slow panning shots scanning each room for the dead. Pulling open the warnings given by Cecile, Tourneur casts a refine Film Noir atmosphere from stylish,icy close-ups on Maigret cutting through the fog of wry smirks hiding the truth behind Cecile's death.

Solving Maigret's mystery during the Occupation, the screenplay by Jean-Paul Le Chanois and Michel Duran clearly slice into the paranoia of era in the characterisation of Cecile, who goes to discuss with Maigret about what she suspects are disturbing events taking place in her household, with a sinking fear of her future murderer listening with an ear to the wall for anything she says. Although the unmasking over-eggs the resolution, the writers keep Maigret's head-turning deductions moving at a jaunty pace,with a surprisingly grisly sting to the way the victims are killed, pressing Maigret to take a look at the concerns the now-murdered Cecile raised!

Getting dismissed by everyone,Santa Relli gives a terrific turn as Cecile,whose infectious curiosity Relli uses to have Cecile poke shadows the police turn a blind-eye towards. Investigating the role for a second time,Albert Prejean gives a wonderful turn as Maigret, whose initial casualness to concerns raised are made by Prejean to become increasingly brittle,as Maigret discovers that Cecile is dead.


FTV:14:Le ciel est à vous 8

Accused after the Occupation of the film being too cosy with Petain/ the Vichy Govt, the screenplay by Albert Valentin & Charles Spaak soars through the accusations for a rousing tale that pays tribute to the perseverance of people living under Occupation, as Therese stands firm in resistance against those who want to clip her wings.Landing in the Gauthier household, the writers bring a excellent Poetic Realism quality out in the dialogue between the chauvinist, grease monkey Pierre, and the head in the clouds daydreams of his wife Therese.

Partly based on the real couple Gustave and Andree Dupeyron ( In May 1938 , Andree broke the women's record for non-stop straight line distance,by flying 4,360 km between Oran in Algeria and Tel El Aham in Iraq) directing auteur Jean Gremillon flies the Dupeyron's onto the screen with a continued building of his distinctive tracking shots. Entering into the heart of the family, Gremillom rolls out a elegant atmosphere in long tracking shots round the household,sailing to future Beauties of the Night (1952-also reviewed) editor Louisette Hautecoeur stylish wipes. Given the appearance of a odd couple,Charles Vanel and Madeleine Renaud thoughtfully fold this aspect into their great performances, as Vanel gets under the grease and oil to reveal Pierre's love for his wife,whilst Renaud grips Therese with a quiet determination to reach for the sky.


FTV:15:Premier de cordée. 7.

Over a decade before the first tremor of the French New Wave was felt, co-writer/(with Alexandre Arnoux/Jacqueline Jacoupy & Paul Leclercq) director Louis Daquin is joined by future Rififi (1955-also reviewed) cinematographer Philippe Agostini in leaving the studio behind, and heading to the great outdoors in beautiful wide-shots capturing the mountain landscape.

Backed by a chirping score from Henri Sauguet and stating in the opening credits that "No stuntmen or special effects were used", Daquin impressively moves the heavy camera equipment of the era for spectacular long panning shots following Pierre climbing the rugged terrain under roasting natural light. When taking a breather from all the mountain climbing, the writers counter the breakout nature of the filming style,with a more traditional, silky Melodrama tale.

Reflecting the rough-edge appearance of the mountains with a fight on the tough masculinity between Pierre (played by a very good, fresh face Andre Le Gall, who replaced Roger Pigaut,after he suffered a serious injury after falling down a crevasse) and his dad, the writers weave the family drama clash with a sly subtext showing support for The French Resistance,in Pierre overcoming all of the towering odds confronting him,and reaching the peak.


FTV:16From Joan of Arc to Philippe Pétain .1.

Stating in the film that streets in Britain are named after failed battles, auteur film maker Sacha Guitry brings "The Guitry Touch" along to pay his respects to Philippe Petain/the Vichy Govt (unlike the British and their failures in battle, you only back winners,right Sacha?) Only showing his hands on camera, Guitry continues to show his love for the stage,and distaste for the cinema of this period with dull static camera shots over the historical books Guitry reads from/points to camera, only interrupted by dissolves to close-ups of the pages.

Beginning his "history" of France at Joan of Arc (used by the Vichy Govt Head of State's Bureau of Documentation as a symbol of "Eternal France",and also as a anti-British propaganda image) Guitry's "history lesson" is one that avoids mentioning huge moments in French history, from no kings after the 17th century appearing,and Petain being the lone French politician to be featured,to Guitry completely skipping over The French Revolution (!) Unknown to Guitry as he placed his bet on Petain,a new chapter in French history was going to be written two months after his lecture came out in cinemas: The liberation of France.
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Post by morrison-dylan-fan »

Hi all,I've just finished notes on the final movie I viewed for the 1944 challenge.

FTV: 17:Der Engel mit dem Saitenspiel (1944)10.


Firing Cupids arrow between Hans and Susanne, director Heinz Ruhmann & cinematographer Ewald Daub unveil an immaculate atmosphere sipped from the Wiener Film genre, lining the background of each shot with regal luxuries that shine like diamonds, which sparkle in the snow lodge where the couple first meet being given the snow-covered appearance of coming straight from a fairy tale,and the statue of The Angel With a Harp being so dazzling,that all who glimpse it get cast under its spell and refuse all offers to sell it. Separated from each other as the fireworks from the New Year fade, director Ruhmann works closely with editor Helmuth Schonnenbeck in tracking the lives of Susanne and Hans with remarkable precession match-cuts unfolding to graceful panning shots across their decadent and sparkling wipes sliding towards their reunion.

Hitting the target of giving Alois Johannes Lippl's play a more modern sensibility in Susanne being a single mother who decides to continue in education on her own, the screenplay by Helmut Weiss & Curt J. Braun thankfully hold the film away from getting spoiled with propaganda, instead keeping the romance sunny side up with sparkling, witty comedic dialogue igniting the old flames of the couple, who burn away from their current romantic entanglements. Coming to accept he will never again meet the woman he spent New Year's Eve/Day in the snow lodge with,Hans Sohnker gives a dapper turn as Hans,whose stiff upper lip gentlemen manner Sohnker curls with rich snappy exchanges with his former lover.Beautifully framed in each shot, Hertha Feiler (Ruhmann's wife!) gives a mesmerising turn as Susanne,thanks to Feiler weaving Susanne's playful one-liners and bubbling Melodrama romance with a enticing, thoughtful self-confidence,as Susanne plays the harp.
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Post by maxwelldeux »

Want to join in this one this year to help with YbY polls, so here's my meager prep for the 1980 poll:

1. Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
2. The Elephant Man (1980)
3. The Fog (1980)
4. Ordinary People (1980)
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Post by morrison-dylan-fan »

Hi Mel,sorry about being a bit late (was bit busy with some offline things.) My viewings for the 1980 poll.

All FTV:

Part 1: Auteurs in 1980.

FTV:18: Battles Without Honor and Humanity: The Complete Saga .8.

Closing their magnificent box set with guns still blazing, Arrow present a terrific transfer,with the audio staying crisp and the print having a fitting level of grit, wrapped up with a short,but informative interview from the editor. Asked by the studio in 1980 to create up a "Complete Saga" of the series that was to get a limited run in cinemas,and screened on TV,and getting the blessing of director Kinji Fukasaku (who was filming in the North Pole at the time of editing!) editor Toru Dobashi's decision to ignore the final flick in the run, (Final Episode (1974-also reviewed)) highlights the incredible high standards of Kazuo Kasahara scripts (who did not write the final film.)

Even when understandably having to be condensed with new montages and mildly distracting new narration, (due to it clearly not being the same narrator as the one who narrated the five Battles) Kasahara writing shines as a epic tale spanning the underworld history of Japan. From the opening roar,Dobashi editing confirms Toshiaki Tsushima's gripping score as being a major character of the films, with Kinji Fukasaku's stylish, raw directing across four films being all blended together in layers of Tsushima thunderous score playing the final notes to thee battles without honour and humanity.

FTV:19: Cute Girl 6

Later disowning the film (a bit harsh!) writer/directing auteur Hsiao-Hsien Hou teams up with his regular cinematographer of the era Kun-Hou Chen and sketches out future recurring motif's of Taiwan New Wave (TNW) stylisation, underneath the brashly coloured Rom-Com. Driving the romance between the city and country life in extensive TNW outdoor location filming, Hou finds stylish space in the zoom-ins, growing long takes in wide-shots with prominent empty spaces Hou pans over towards the bubbling romance, landing a wonderful sight-gag spoofing the lovers running into each others arms imagery.

Reuniting after he starred in Good Morning, Taipei (1979) (written by Hou) Kenny Bee (whose voice is dubbed by a Taiwanese actor) gives a jaunty, gurning performance as the heart-throb Da-gang,whilst fellow Pop star "The Queen of Hats" Fong Fei-fei pairs her cherry Rom-Com smile as Wen, with a rebellious glance of kicking away the force marriage her parents are trying to set-up.Carving their love in a tree, the screenplay by Hou is one made up of many branches, which never settles on which direction to grow in, at one moment indulging in grating broad Comedy, and then flipping over to sweet nothing teen Rom-Com Drama over who will get with the cute girl.

FTV:20: Ópalo de fuego: Mercaderes del sexo . 7.

Detailed in Stephen Thrower's superb book Flowers Of Perversion: The Delirious Cinema Of Jesus Franco as being one of the first titles the film maker made on his return to Spain,and at a time when his relationship to muse Lina Romay was starting to become serious, co-writer/(with Evelyne Scott,an actress from some of his past films,in her lone writing credit) co-editor/(with Roland Grillon)co-composer/(with regular corroborator Daniel White) directing auteur Uncle Jess follows the spies with his gloriously disincentive trombone zoom-in button-bashing.

Meeting Cecile and Brigitte, (played by a cute Lina Romay and Nadine Pascal) at the airport, Jess gets into a wonderful Jazz groove in a seedy underworld nightclub, (a major recurring setting in his works) sliding between a continuation of his interest in De Sade imagery with a striking set-piece involving a severed head (!),that glides to a a nifty Euro Spy-style chase from a helicopter across rugged terrain for the captive Estrella Shelwin (played by the alluring Doris Regina, (real name Teodora Segura)making her debut.) Matching the beat of the stylised directing, the screenplay by Scott and Uncle Jess plays a wonderfully lively tune, that swings Brigitte and Cecile from flirty, Pop-Art strippers,to mad-cap underhanded spies, who in the murky underworld Jazz nightclub,go in search of painted panties.

FTV:21: Chin Shun-shin's 'The Claws of the Divine Beast'.9.

Made the same year he returned to the cinema with Zigeunerweisen, (1980-also reviewed) directing auteur Seijun Suzuki gives this 45 minute TV Movie the same amount of care and attention as he gave his two and a half hour epic made for the big screen. Crossing the paths of his major recurring motifs, Suzuki continues to expand on the dash of Giallo he had spread in The Fang in the Hole, staging the murder set-piece with a trench-coat wearing killer whose face is out of shot from the viewer, and the strangely named Divine Beast stature, (animals or weird objects that the film is named after being a staple of Gialli titles) being surrounded in locations dripping with shimmering decadent chic reds,pinks and blues. Putting the pieces of the statue back together as the murder gets investigated, Suzuki expands upon taking his unique distorted framing, Japanese New Wave ultra-stylisation into the increasingly avant-garde surrealist experimentation, brilliantly revealing the motive for the murder by having a flashback taking place which merges into the present setting.

Whilst the excellent cast is sadly not credited with which role they played,Yasuhiro Sakurai thankfully is for the thrilling screenplay. Sculpted from a story by Taiwanese-Japanese author Chin Shun-shin, Sakurai's adaptation makes this the most openly political of Suzuki's works,as the slotting in of clues to the mysterious murder, reveals the ghosts (ghosts being something that would feature in Suzuki's Taisho trilogy) that still haunt those horrified by the horrors performed by Japanese forces during Second Sino-Japanese War,as the divine beast reveals the claws.

FTV:22: City of the Living Dead.10.

Co-writer/(with regular collaborator of the period Dardano Sacchetti) directing auteur Lucio Fulci reunites with The Four of the Apocalypse... (1975-also reviewed) cinematographer Sergio Salvati and opens the gates to hell for the first time.

Covering the screen with a chilling smog synch score by his regular composer of this era Fabio Frizzi that sinks the city into a swamp, Fulci brushes his startling, distinctive cross-fades and superimpositions, with a rich, pessimistic Gothic Horror atmosphere,plucked from striking razor-sharp whip-pans on bleeding eyes, (eye gauging being a major recurring motif in Fulci's works) and long panning shots towards a infected decay,which infects the screen in the closing freeze frame final shot,as a scream fades into the beyond.One of the few leading ladies who Fulci actually liked working with and was respectful towards on set, Catriona MacColl gives a terrific turn as Mary Woodhouse, (named after Mary Whitehouse?) thanks to MacColl bringing out a macabre curiosity in Woodhouse to go deep into the underbelly of the city,a position MacColl keeps intact,even when confronted by people throwing their guts up and maggots being thrown at her.

Made in a rushed production state, the hazy dream logic, (a logic which would play a major part in Fulci's future credits) screenplay by Sacchetti & Fulci successfully holds the suffice level chills from Woodhouse attempting to stop the arrival of All Saints Day unleashing the living dead, whilst continuing to brilliantly building on the Horrors of Fulci's major recurring themes.Later saying that he "found him (God) in others' misery,and my torment is greater,for I have realised that God is a God of suffering." Fulci (a lapsed Catholic) lays the decayed torment over the land from Father Thomas killing himself in the opening,whose haunting spirit casts eyes over the film, awaiting to open the gates to the city of the living dead.

FTV:23: Devil Hunter.6.

Never in his life running away from a budget no matter how low it could go, co- writer/( Julian Esteban)composer/ directing auteur Jess Franco is joined by his regular cinematographer of the period Juan Soler to roar in the jungle, with Uncle Jess scanning the tribal jungle from his trademark button-bashing zoom-in trombone playing landing on the soft-focus glory of damsel in distress Crawford (played with eye-catching sleazy glamour by Playboy October 1979 Playmate of the Month Ursula Buchfellner) screaming at the chumping at the bit cannibals.

Whilst the main cannibal has a wonderfully unsettling bulging enlarged blood red eyes appearance, the screenplay by Esteban & Uncle Jess blocks the jungle Adventure from swinging into action,by taking a collage approach,via the head-on fight between rescuer Weston and Crawford's kidnappers being scattered across the disconnected, rough edges of the cannibal antics of the islanders. Getting into the cannibal mind-set with blurred first-person tracking shots, Uncle Jess brings the jungle to life with a delightfully strange score,thanks to Jess overcoming the low budget of the film,with a layered,multi-track soundtrack of chirps from exotic birds, bellowing Jazz and ghostly screams calling out to the devil hunter.

FTV:24: Strangulation Blues 7.

Years before he would hit the big screen with his indie Rock-scored Boy Meets Girl (1984-also reviewed) debut writer/directing auteur Leos Carax plays closer to the French New Wave rather then Cinema du Look, with Carax & cinematographer Bertrand Chatry following Paul on the streets with fluid FNW-style hand-held camera moves captured in grainy black and white.Displaying a interest in disillusioned youth which would become a major theme in his later works, the screenplay by Carax tightly blends a poetic stream of consciousness with a nervousness over brutal crime,as Paul gets strangulation blues.

FTV:25: The Last Metro. 10.

The second in a planned "Performance" trilogy of Day For Night (1973-also reviewed) and L'Agence Magic (which never got made due to his passing) co-writer/(with regular collaborator Suzanne Schiffman, who is joined by Jean-Claude Grumberg) directing auteur Francois Truffaut reunites with his regular cinematographer of this period Nestor Almendros, and takes a seat at the theatre with a continued expansion of his distinctive tracking shots.Going behind the curtain,Truffaut stages mesmerising, ultra-stylised long tracking shots, which along with laying out the cosy surroundings by exploring each tight corner, also draws the cramped conditions that Marion is working under to keep her husband safely hidden.

Under the constant threat of being arrested for the stage being shut down, Truffaut gets to the front of the stage with fluid close-ups under the hot lights, burning to the disagreements shared by Granger and Marion off stage,being made visible on the curtain call.The first of two times they worked together,Gerard Depardieu (who on the audio commendatory,revealed that the first thing he said to Truffaut:" Your film (Love on the Run (1979-also reviewed) was too bourgeoisie!" gives a excellent performance as Granger, whose arrogant swagger and wannabe ladies man attitude is turned by Depardieu into a passion to join the French Resistance.

Reuniting with Truffaut for the first time since Mississippi Mermaid (1969-also reviewed) Catherine Deneuve gives a splendid turn as Marion,thanks to Deneuve holding the mask of relaxed glamour Marion wears when on stage, with the growing anxiety behind it,from news of the continued erosion of the "Free Zone" (where she hopes her husband would be able to secretly enter in order to flee to Spain from) in France.Paying tribute to the Fantasy genre of French cinema in the early 40's, the writers present the stage as embodying the spirit of free France,where the cast/ crew stand against the hatred growing in the country,with a passionate, loyal tolerance for each other and their differences, as they offer the crowd escapism.

Bringing his former scriptwriter onto the stage, Jean-Louis Richard gives a marvelous turn as Daxiat, (based on real anti-semitic arts reviewer of the 40's Alain Laubreaux, whose pseudonym was Michel Daxiat) who has the thin façade of a jolly bourgeoisie who is a lover of the arts, which snaps on his extremist support for the Occupation.Seating the majority of the film in the theatre, the screenplay by Truffaut, Schiffman and Grumberg present on the stage a microcosm of the history of the Occupation, with the horrifying anti-semitism screaming across the front pages of newspapers, the radio,and boot-licker mobs wanting Daxiat's ear, stating their support for the Occupation,with a utterly chilling normality.

FTV:26: Dressed to Kill.10.

Inspired by the time his mum urged him to follow his dad and use recording equipment to try and catch him with another woman, the screenplay by writer/directing auteur Brian De Palma slices into the murderous paranoid obsessions which run across his credits, framed in a opening 30 minute set-piece painting frustrated Kate Miller (played with alluring glamour by Angie Dickinson) away from a art gallery to release her desires, that slash Miller into the reflection of deadly obsession.Superbly unleashing a killer twist in the first 30 minutes, De Palma dices a tense Giallo mystery,that builds on themes from Obsession (1976-also reviewed) in wearing a increased blurring between reality and nightmares (a major recurring De Palma motif) in the fragmented state of the clues Liz Blake sights towards finding the killer,whilst Dr Robert Elliott's rolls out psycho-analysis on the possible motive of the psycho, allowing De Palma to wickedly play on perception that shines to the nightmare final.

Later writing in his autobiography that he found De Palma a brilliant film maker, but showed very few emotions with the cast and crew, Sir Michael gives a very good performance as Dr Elliott, with Sir Michael having Elliott briskly argue back at cops suspecting that a patient of his might be involved.The first of two times she would play a sex worker in her then-husbands films (the other being Blow Out (1981) ) Nancy Allen gives a excellent turn as Nancy Allen, whose heart of gold stenotype image Allen changes the perception of, with a subtle facial expressiveness undressing Blake's calculations on catching the psycho.

Heating up the screen with a opening that marks a return to the shower scene of Carrie (1976) director De Palma & cinematographer Ralf D. Bode dry Miller off with a astonishing, dialogue-free nine minute sequence, where De Palma's distinctive eye for voyeurism eyes Miller with ultra-stylised long first person tracking shots,whip-pans and soft-focus dissolves over the painting of Miller's desires.Backed by a beautiful score from his regular composer Pino Donaggio, De Palma steps out of a elevator murder set-piece, to a sizzling Giallo atmosphere of arc shots, knife-edge tilt shots, slow-motion glimpses of clues, close-ups towards burning dashes of red across the screen, dreamy crane shots, and De Palma's signature split diopter which glide towards the murderer getting dressed to kill.

FTV:27: Cruising.10.

Originally a title Brian De Palma wanted to make until issues of the studio getting the rights led to him making Dressed To Kill (1980-also reviewed) instead, writer/directing auteur William Friedkin (who was also hands-on in choosing tracks for the great Punk soundtrack) makes his mark by cruising in with debut cinematographer James A. Contner for a incredibly raw, gritty atmosphere from documentary-style long tracking shots down the scotching hot New York streets.Sailing into The Hellfire Club for filming with real life regulars from fellow gay club Mineshaft, (who would not allow filming) Friedkin presents a time capsule in long panning shots down the dance floor of the club shining in leather and police uniforms to Burns at the end of the bar,trying to catch the eye of the suspected psycho.

Stating in the commentary with Mark Kermode his desire for ambiguity to be a major element of the film, Friedkin puts the leather whips down for the murder set-pieces, in exchange for the stylisation of the Giallo, with Friedkin closely working with his regular editor of this period Bud S. Smith to nail a incredible unsteady bleak atmosphere of razor sharp spliced frames and unflinching close-ups on the brutal stabbings,which bleeds out to a chillingly ambiguous in the distorted framed shots of the killer who leaves Burns having to confront in the mirror who he has become.Revealed later by Friedkin that he originally wanted Richard Gere due to believing Gere could capture the atmosphere of ambiguity he was aiming for, Al Pacino gives a wonderful turn as Burns, with Pacino's real uncomfortable feelings on being in the risqué club, being something that gets fisted by Pacino into Burns rookie nerves of going deep undercover in order to stop the killer cruising.

FTV:28: Confidence.8.

Going down the cobbled streets to the hideouts of the Resistance fighters, co-writer/(with Erika Szanto) directing auteur Istvan Szabo reunites with his regular cinematographer Lajos Koltai and grinds washed out, naturalistic colours painting the crumbling safety Janos and Kata are surrounded by.Following the couple walking down the war-torn streets attempting to blend in, Szabo releases long, New Wave stylised tracking shots that wonderfully capture the high anxiety of Kata and Janos, which Szabo seals with a elegant panning shot to their entwined hands.

Revealed in documents later that from 1957 to 1961 he had worked for the secret police of the Communist party in Hungary,the screenplay by the Szabo's make moral compromises be a major issue that the put together couple have to wrestle with, (moral compromise being a major theme in Istvan Szabo's works.)The writers have the loyalty Kata and Janos hold to their partners they hope are alive, become mixed in their initial push-pull love/hate relationship getting increasingly charged by the passions running wild fear gripping them both.Having his back up against the horrors of war, Peter Andorai gives a excellent turn as the rugged Janos,with Andorai capturing the warring emotions of mistrust and love fighting within, whilst Ildiko Bansagi gives a exquisite, subtle performance as Kata, who starts to develop a bond with Janos which brings to the surface a confidence.

FTV:29: Afternoon Delights.9.

Thrusting the five friends forward to secretly reveal the problems which led to the end of their marriages, the screenplay by writer/directing auteur Shaun Costello unwraps an anthology creation,which balances a continuation of Costello building on his recurring themes, with a wraparound, bitter-sweet, poignant tale on the middle age poker playing five friends realizing that they had been dealing themselves hands of neglect,to their now broken marriages.

Given the safety of anonymity, (although their handwriting of the notes should give Ferrell a good chance to match the note to the mate) Costello superbly follows in each of the marriage stories the unfulfilled married woman finding a escapist location to explore desires/fantasies which their hubby has complete disinterest in.Drilling a new take on "Men At Worker" as construction workers make Mrs. Smith (played by a cute Merle Michaels) dream come true backed by Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo (1958-also reviewed) score.Co-editor/ (with Peter Caulfield) director Costello & his regular cinematographer of this era Bill Markle thread each steamy, glossy filmed set-piece with a S & M kink (a major recurring theme in Costello's credits) from the the dentist,to seductive Vanessa del Rio leathering up a visit to the cinema for a afternoon delight.

FTV:30: Cannibal Holocaust.10.

Returning to the jungle originally planning to make a Mondo film, directing auteur Ruggero Deodato works for the first of two times with Don't Torture a Duckling (1972-also reviewed) cinematographer Sergio D'Offizi, and takes the rawness he had been grinding in Jungle Holocaust (1977-also reviewed) to a abrasive progression.Separating the reels of the film in two, Deodato continues to display his unflinching eye for violence, with sickening animal killing footage, placing the viewer up-close to the brutality inflicted by "civilised" Westerners such as Alan Yates and the rest of his film crew, whose occupation allows Deodato to end their jungle escapade with a direct comment on how the camera/screen detaches the viewer from violence taking place right in front of them.

Wisely going up the river with Riz Ortolani's shimmering score marking the first of two times they would work together, Deodato and D'Offizi record Found Footage over a decade before the genre would fully appear,with brittle,hand-held camera moves stylishly immersing the viewer into the cannibal genre,which Deodato threads to the real life horrifying sight of execution footage from Nigeria and South East Asia,reeled in the "documentary" The Last Road To Hell the crew had made before entering the jungle.Although the last line is very on the nose, the screenplay by Deodato's regular writer Gianfranco Clerici (here joined with Giorgio Stegani ) records the bleak atmosphere Deodato is recording with a unrelenting nihilistic horror where the lives of the cannibal tribe are burnt down by the increasingly brutal violence unleashed by the documentary film makers.

Part 2: Random 1980 movies!

FTV:31: Heroes Shed No Tears.9.

Reflecting the single tear stain shimmering on the sword, co-writer/(with Long Gu) director Yuen Chor & cinematographer Chieh Huang draw a spectacular spellbinding atmosphere in long ultra-stylised panning shots across the beautifully painted sets bursting with vibrant primary colours that get tainted by slivers of blood. Staging a sparkling Musical/dance number, Chor closely works with fight choreographer Tang Chia to present the thrilling action set-pieces in a dance composition manner, unrolling the martial arts master twirling in the sky, (star Sheng Fu shattered his right leg when his harness broke) Chor lands them on a canvas with a extremely theatrical foreground of trees, rocks and flowers which bring out a fantastical mythical mood to Chor's Wuxia twist.

Undergo several procedures after the bone in his right leg didn't set properly,and not recovering until a year later when he made his return with The Treasure Hunters (1981), Sheng Fu (who was only 28 when he died in 1983, after his brother took one of the winding curves on Clearwater Bay Road too fast when driving, and hit a cement barrier) gives a wonderful turn as Kao,who wears a traditional warrior respect for the sword, with a edge of the blade urgency from finding himself entwined in backstabbing battles,as the heroes shed tears.

FTV:32: Ladies Night.7.

Seating all the ladies in one club, director Harry Lewis (who after 1980 would retire from the movie world,and run a camera rental business instead) makes clear that the fantasy sights appearing on the stage,are not in the same location, with Lewis never going for a wide-shot showing the stage and the audience, instead holding to narrow wide-shots looking out to the crowd.

Scoring a goal with Betty's sports-obsessed husband, Lewis thrusts hilariously absurdest Comedy set-pieces in the middle of the steamy action, with Lewis having Betty's partner be so single-minded on sports,he is oblivious to the saucy thrills taking place right next to him, whilst Paul Thomas has a visible grin on his face as the host on stage who sings "As Time Goes By" and "Tonight" from West Side Story (Thomas reveals himself to be a very good "Crooner" ) as the lasses put all their attention to the eye candy on the stage.Helping Betty get free from her marital frustrations with a scotching hot trio sequence set against a sun streaming across the screen, Annette Haven, Lisa De Leeuw and Nicole Black give wonderful performances, with Black and Leeuw groping their warm friendly support for each other with a alluring raunchy enthusiasm, and Haven brings out a delightful touch of Comedy in Betty's frustrations melting away,as her fantasies come true on ladies night.

FTV:33: Humanoids from the Deep.7.

Diving into a tug of war between producer Roger Corman (who got second unit director James Sbardellati in to film explicit scenes) and directors Barbara Peeters & Jimmy T. Murakami, the resulting mish mash of directing styles serves up a flame grilled sleazy atmosphere.Peeters and Murakami dip into early Slasher shocks with highly stylised, blood-drenched slaying set-pieces from the Humanoids chewing up anything which tickles their fancy,that are slotted in on Sbardellati's roaming camera rushing towards the Humanoids assaulting ladies,whose exposed skin Sbardellati sets the camera on ogling close-ups mode.

Hooking together footage shot by three different people, James Horner playfully rips off the famous Jaws score as the Humanoids (in green slime covered costumes designed by Rob Bottin) make waves in the sea towards their next victims on the beach, with future The Punisher (1989-also reviewed) director Mark Goldblatt editing the flick with a nail-gun jolt on the gore and sleaze as the Humanoids from the deep arise.

FTV:34: The Blues Brothers .8.

Originally starting as a 324 page script that Dan Aykroyd planned to be a two-part film, (overstuffing his initial scripts being a recurring issue with Aykroyd's ideas) which the director ended up spending three weeks trimming down, the resulting final version by Aykroyd and John Landis is a hilarious Blues-drenched Road Movie, where Elwood and Jake have everyone from the cops,to a Country and Western band chasing them down.Whilst having to be picky over how truthful they are in their attempt to get the band back together, the writers give the dead-pan duo a playful heart for redemption, via linking the pit-stops the recently released from jail duo make, to a overarching plot line of their actions being based around attempts by the brothers to save their former Catholic orphanage from closing.

Igniting the closing 30 minutes with a thrilling epic final chase set-piece, ( 103 cars were wrecked during filming) director Landis continues to build on a ease of taking Comedy into a detour of other genres, which would lead to his next film An American Werewolf in London (1981). Closely working with Switchblade Sisters (1975-also reviewed) cinematographer Stephen M. Katz, Landis has Jake and Elwood (played with a very funny upright swagger by John Belushi & Dan Aykroyd) Landis drives the brothers from in hot water buddy Comedy antics and flamboyant toe-tapping song and dance numbers, to white-knuckle action,as the brothers get the blues.

FTV:35: Je vous aime.8.

Inviting four of her former partners round during the Christmas/New Year season for dinner, the screenplay by co-writer/(with Michel Grisolia) director Claude Berri rings in Alice's New Year with excellent flashbacks into each relationship, which explores the masculine dominant side of the men coming up against Alice's relaxed confidence for relationships to be on her own terms.Serving up the failed relationships, the writers impressively avoid this from creating a gloomy mood, thanks to Alice's mature, thoughtful outlook to continue the each relationship as friends, whilst she continues to try and find a partner who shares the same refined outlook,and is at ease over what shape Alice desires the shape of the relationship to be.

Teaming up with Deneuve for the second time in 1980, Gerard Depardieu gives a merry turn as Patrick, whose lively bravado manner swaggers at odds with Alice's calm,contemplating gaze,which also catches the sigh of Serge Gainsbourg's wonderfully over-emotion turn as arty lover Simon,and Jean-Louis Trintignant bringing out a sweet, stumbling shyness in his turn as Julien.Digging into the history of Alice, Catherine Deneuve gives a sparkling performance,thanks to Deneuve balancing Alice's maturity over staying strong on her beliefs over how the romantic relationships should be,with a infectious optimism for new love in a new relationship.

FTV:36: The Chain Reaction.9.

Standing on the cliff edge to the apocalypse,Andrew Thomas Wilson makes a incredibly textured synch score in what is sadly his lone composition for a feature film, with Wilson charging up the synch to spread a ominous mood as the camera pans along contaminated water towards the completely unaware locals in the town.Originally planned for George Miller to direct, (who ended up filming the second unit the and white-knuckle car stunts, after production got a week behind schedule) writer/director Ian Barry makes his feature film debut, by closely working with cinematographer Russell Boyd and editor Tim Wellburn, to boil up an incredibly eerie that gets poured across the wasteland.

Encountering Carmel and Larry whilst suffering from amnesia after going on the run,Barry brings the memories Heinrich with ultra-stylised match cuts melting steam from fresh coffee to dripping nuclear waste.Bringing a touch of Ozploitation thrills to dystopia Sci-Fi thanks to Larry being a trigger happy chappy in the rural home of the couple, Wellburn swings them both into the middle of the fallout with gritty long whip-pans fired across Heinrich outrunning government officials attempting to stop him spreading the nuclear news.

Waking up in bed with Larry and Carmel looking at him, completely unaware of how he got here, Ross Thompson gives a terrific turn as Heinrich, whose amnesia is used by Thompson to heighten a growing sense within Heinrich of a unknown dread on the horizon.Despite ending on a optimistic note (boo!) the screenplay by Barry drives in bleak Sci-Fi paranoia fuelled from the splinters of memories/ flashbacks Heinrich holds, which mutates into fear as the government unleash increasingly heavy-handed tactics, in a attempt to stop a chain reaction.

FTV:37: Erotic Nights of the Living Dead. 5 out of 10.

Risking breaking his back by carrying the whole film on his shoulders,Marcello Giombini brings the dead to life with a terrific score, whose dark synch Prog Rock groove brings a creepy atmosphere to the lumbering zombie walks,and even makes the old fashion "cat meow" jump-scare charm.Working on a super low budget, cinematographer/ director D'Amato surprisingly treats the lads and lasses in the audience equally, by offering a eyeful of sleazy skin from Laura Gemser & George Eastman (with Eastman also writing the script.)Although the gore has a sloppy appearance of red paint being dabbed onto the necks of the cast, D'Amato goes back to the early days of zombie flicks, by chewing the slow-moving hungry types with the Voodoo West Indies origins over a erotic night of the living dead.
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