Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Attack

Lebanese writer and director Ziad Doueiri returns with his third feature which is an adaptation of the novel by Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra. A successful Arab surgeon living in Israel finds his life shattered when he finds his wife was involved in a suicide bombing which sends him on a journey of discovery. Doueiri made a profound and complex film with many layers that explores the Israeli and Palestinian conflict which provides the background for this thriller with a love story at its core. Ali Suliman stars with another terrific performance that anchors the films. The terrific ensemble includes Reymond Amsalem and Uri Gavriel in the supporting roles. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Wild Child

Legendary French writer and director François Truffaut returned to his roots with another film about a boy. At the end of 18th century, a doctor attempts to civilize a wild child who has been found in a forest and unable speak or walk normally. Truffaut brings his unflinching style to this fascinating true story of Victor de l'Aveyron based on the memoir and report of Dr Jean Itard. Truffaut even makes his acting debut as Itard to make sure the film is as naturalistic as possible. Non-professional actor Jean-Pierre Cargol delivered a riveting performance as Victor. The supporting cast includes Françoise Seigner and director Claude Miller. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Story of Adele H.

French writer and director François Truffaut continued his exploration of extreme love with this true story. The story of Adèle Hugo whose obsession for a young lieutenant drives her to follow him around the world and into madness. Truffaut shows a beautiful woman's quest for love leading her into madness which makes for a devastating experience showing again the dark side of love. Isabelle Adjani stars in her first leading role with an astonishing performance that makes the story of Adèle even more heartbreaking. The supporting cast includes Bruce Robinson as the young lieutenant who later became an accomplished writer and director. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Monk

French-German writer and director Dominik Moll's fourth feature is an uneven adaptation of the novel by Matthew Lewis. In the 17th century Spain, an orphan abandoned at a monastery becomes an influential and powerful monk whose growing stature leads him to his own downfall. Unfortunately Moll's return after a long absence fails the expectations he set up with "With a Friend Like Harry..." Vincent Cassel stars with a predictable performance which is another problem. The supporting cast includes Sergi López and Geraldine Chaplin. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fruitvale Station

Writer and director Ryan Coogler made his feature debut with this powerful drama based on a true story. The last 24 hours in the life of Oscar Grant who was tragically killed at the location of the title in Oakland on the first night of 2009. Coogler made a heartbreaking film about a troubled young man whose life was cut short. With the use of cell phones and actual locations, Coogler grounds his drama in a profound way that ties all elements and gives insight to Grant's thought process. Michael B. Jordan stars with a riveting performance along with Melonie Diaz and Octavia Spencer in the supporting roles as the girlfriend and mother of Oscar Grant. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Last Metro

Legendary French writer and director François Truffaut united with two other legends, Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu for this compelling period drama. During WWII when the Nazis occupied Paris, an actress married to a Jewish theater owner must keep him hidden while keep the business going which proves more challenging and dangerous for everybody. Truffaut shows the Nazi occupation through the narrow lens of the theater where all the characters represent the broader spectrum of the society. Deneuve reunited with Truffaut and delivers a knockout performance along with Depardieu, Heinz Bennent, Andréa Ferréol and Jean Poiret. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day for Night

Legendary French writer and director François Truffaut delivered one of the best films about making films with this masterpiece that captures the magic but also the tragic side of the process. A director struggles to complete a feature that's plagued with problems among the cast and crew. Truffaut uses his own experiences as well as well known facts about making a movie to deliver an astonishing film about the process that's a homage to the creative and madness aspect of a beloved medium. Truffaut delivers his second acting performance as the director which gives the film more authenticity while his frequent collaborator and alter-ego Jean-Pierre Léaud stars along with Jacqueline BissetJean-Pierre Aumont, Valentina Cortese and Nathalie Baye amongst other completing a stellar ensemble. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Woman Next Door

Legendary French writer and director François Truffaut reunited with Gérard Depardieu that featured Fanny Ardent in her first leading role for this tragic love story. The path of two lovers crosses again when years later she moves next door to her former lover which reignites their doomed relationship that leads to tragedy. Truffaut takes the "amour fou" concept and infuses it with a dose of Hitchcockian style that dooms the lovers. Depardieu and Ardent star with terrific performances as the doomed lovers which makes the film even more chilling. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rescue Dawn

German writer and director Werner Herzog took on the story of Dieter Dengler twice, first in a documentary in 1997 then again ten years later with this powerful drama. German born Dengler moves to the US to become a pilot and enlists in the Vietnam war only to become a prisoner of war and lives to tell his story of survival. Herzog blends documentary and drama to tell the story of Dengler which doesn't shy away from his gruelling ordeal and shows that "war is hell". Christian Bale stars with a solid and nuanced performance that captures the spirit of Dengler's epic journey. The supporting cast includes Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies with equally solid performances. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Gatekeepers

Israeli director Dror Moreh delivered a riveting film with this timely documentary that sheds light into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Six former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli Security Agency from 1980 to present recount their duties and take on the conflict that has plagued the region and divided the world. Moreh's achieved a coup to get this men to be candid and tell in detail what went on and condemn the politics for failing to reach a peaceful resolution to the conflict and they were forced to use state sanctioned violence which continues till this day. It's an important film that has to be watched by all who are interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Only God Forgives

Danish writer and director Nicolas Winding Refn returns with another genre film that reunites him with Ryan Gosling. A man is persuaded by his mother to seek revenge for the death of his brother in criminal underworld of Bangkok with deadly consequences. Refn's stylish nightmare turns violence into poetry which makes him a controversial but intriguing voice in cinema. Ryan Gosling stars with another iconic performance as the quiet anti-hero. Kristin Scott Thomas steals the film with her terrific performance as the mother from hell while Vithaya Pansringarm shines in the villain role. 1001 Films' coverage of current releases.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Two English Girls

French writer and director François Truffaut returned with another love triangle based on another novel by Henri-Pierre Roché. A young French man befriends and falls in love with two English sisters that shapes his capability to love. Truffaut always managed to tell his stories effortless which is his greatest asset as director from his first to last film, his characters always seem real which makes the stories credible which also true for this film. Jean-Pierre Léaud stars along with Kika Markham and Stacey Tendeter with terrific performances. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Man Who Loved Women

Prolific French writer and director François Truffaut continued his exploration of the male psyche with this drama. The story of a womanizer and the women that enriched his life. Truffaut delivered a character study that's more complex and thought provoking than the title suggests by playing with the audiences' expectations in which a womanizer is actually a decent guy. Charles Denner gives a nuanced performance as the lead along with a solid supporting cast that includes Brigitte Fossey, Leslie Caron and Nathalie Baye amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Jules and Jim

Legendary French writer and director François Truffaut delivered his definitive masterpiece with this dazzling romantic drama which remains one of the pinnacles of the French New Wave. Two friends fall in love with a strong minded and free spirited woman who defies everything they stand for. Truffaut created a love triangle unlike any other which has not lost one of bit of its allure. The film defies conventions of love, morality, marriage, friendship and cinema in so many ways. The glorious Jeanne Moreau stars with an iconic performance that was and remains ahead of its times which has been imitated for decades but never equaled or surpassed. The supporting cast includes Oskar Werner and Henri Serre as guys in the title who can't help themselves to fall for the same woman. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Soft Skin

French writer and director François Truffaut delivered an anti-romantic film with this drama. A successful and married man starts an affair with a beautiful flight attendant which has unexpected consequences. Truffaut throughout his career played with different genres and turned them upside down and to deconstructs them, took on the romance drama in this film where he a man's expectations of love doesn't turn out the way he had hoped. Truffaut mocks the bourgeois man and his dreams and valuesJean Desailly is perfectly cast in the lead with a solid performance but the film belongs to Françoise Dorléac who shines as the beautiful siren. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Gate of Hell

Japanese writer and director Teinosuke Kinugasa delivered a shattering film with this period drama. In twelve century Japan, a Samurai warrior's obsessive love for a married woman causes both great suffering which leads to tragic consequences. Kinugasa took the samurai genre to explore a tragic but unusual love story with complex themes and characters that are timeless as well as universal. Kazuo Hasegawa and Machiko Kyô star with terrific performances. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Premium Rush

Writer turned director David Koepp delivered his best film with this action thriller. A bike messenger becomes the target of a corrupt cop who wants to stop the delivery of an envelope he's after. Koepp has created an effective action film with breath taking pace with a solid cast and crew. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is perfectly cast in the lead and delivers a credible performance while Michael Shannon is menacing as the bad cop. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

10 Years

Writer turned director Jamie Linden made his feature debut with this solid comedy/drama. A group of friends reunite for their high school reunion where realize how much or little they changed as adults bringing back old memories and habits. Linden shows an assured hand by handling several characters and assembling a terrific cast. Producer Channing Tatum stars with a solid performance along with an stellar cast that includes Rosario Dawson, Oscar Isaac, Chris Pratt, Max Minghella, Brian Geraghty, Aubrey Plaza, Lynn Collins, Kate Mara and Anthony Mackie amongst many others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

This Man Must Die

French writer and director Claude Chabrol took the revenge formula and turns it into a complex drama. A father whose son is killed by a hit and run driver seeks out to kill the man responsible which proves to be more complicated. Chabrol masterfully weaves a tale of revenge with plenty of twists and turns which makes for a compelling film. Michel Duchaussoy stars along Caroline Cellier and Jean Yanne with solid performances. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Lonely Place to Die

British writer and director Julian Gilbey comes with a cool concept only to derail it by trying too hard. A group of mountaineers come across a kidnapped girl which puts their lives in danger with a race against time. Gilbey takes the kidnapping scheme and gives it a jolt of adrenaline which proves inspired but he derails it as the story progresses and becomes contrived and messy towards the end. Melissa George stars alongs with Ed Speleers, Alec Newman, Sean Harris and Eamonn Walker. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Confidentially Yours

French writer and director François Truffaut's final film is a homage to classic Hollywood films, specially Hitchcock. When her boss is suspected of murder, his smart and beautiful secretary starts her own investigation to solve the crime. Truffaut takes the wrong man theme from Hitchcock and throws some screwball comedy to make for an stylish and charming film. Fanny Ardant and Jean-Louis Trintignant star and excel with their performances that's the heart of the film. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mississippi Mermaid

French writer and director François Truffaut returned to another thriller by Cornell Woolrich, only to turned it into a romantic drama. A tobacco planter on a remote island marries a mail order bride who has a secret of her own which unexpected consequences. While the film starts as thriller, Trauffaut changes gears to make a romantic drama which only succeeds because of his attractive leads. Jean-Paul Belmondo and Catherine Deneuve star with fine performance that sells the story despite its many turns and twists. The supporting cast includes Michel Bouquet amongst others. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Paris, Texas

German director Wim Wenders delivered his first masterpiece with this enigmatic road movie. After a long absence a man is forced back to civilization where he reconnects with his brother and son to search for his estranged wife. Written by Sam Shepard and adapted by L.M. Kit Carson, Wenders created a perfect tale of alienation and broken dreams that makes this film an unforgettable experience. Harry Dean Stanton stars in his only leading role with another hypnotic performance along with Nastassja KinskiDean Stockwell, Aurore Clément and Hunter Carson in his feature debut. 1001 Films' coverage of films on DVD.