Fritz Lang's 1954 American version of the Zola novel (and Renoir film) La bete humaine. Gloria Grahame, at her brassiest, pleads with Glenn Ford to do away with her slob of a husband, Broderick Crawford. Lang mines the railroad setting for a remarkably rich series of visual correlatives to his oppressively Catholic conception of guilt and retribution. A gripping melodrama, marred only by Ford's inability to register an appropriate sense of doom.
Excerpt of Dave Kehr's review at the Chicago Reader
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Acclaimed short-film director Andrea Arnold's second feature - which won a Bafta for outstanding British film and the Jury Prize at Cannes - is a quietly searing drama about the directionless life of an underprivileged teenage girl on an Essex council estate. Mia (Katie Jarvis) finds escape from a claustrophobic home life with her single mother and younger sister through drink and dancing. The arrival of her mother's new boyfriend, the sexy and attentive Connor (Michael Fassbender), puts new pressures on the already unravelling family unit as Mia is drawn to the sympathetic outsider. Arnold's direction is sure-footed, creating an honest, intelligent and memorable documentary-style drama that, although grim and overlong, doesn't flinch from hard truths. Outstanding performances from every member of the cast - in particular, newcomer Jarvis who was "discovered" on a station platform while arguing with her boyfriend - and Robbie Ryan's beautiful cinematography make this subtle, shocking and redemptive tale a rewarding slice of cinematic reality.
Reviewed By Karen Krizanovich in Radio Times Film Guide
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Occasionally, we select a film from Eden Court Cinema's main programme which is appropriate to our seasonal theme, to give members an opportunity to see the film together and discuss it afterwards. This first film from a Saudi woman director is central to our Women Directors season theme, so do try to see it. (Normal infifa members' discount will be available for this screening)
Ten year old Wadjda’s wish is to buy her own bicycle but her mother forbids it as she is afraid of the consequences they would face in a society where girls don’t ride bikes and adult women are not permitted to drive. The first film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first to be directed by a woman, Wadjda is both a hearfelt coming-of-age story and a critique of Saudi culture.
Claire Denis returns to Africa for the first time since ‘Beau Travail’ for a mesmerising portrait of civil war, racial tension and one woman’s resistance to change in an unnamed, French-speaking African country. Isabelle Huppert lends her poetic resolve and earthy beauty to Maria, a woman trying to squeeze one last week out of her dilapidated coffee plantation even as her workers drift away and the possibility of violence or death becomes increasingly likely.
"Daughters of the Dust" is an African American family heirloom, a gorgeously impressionistic history of the Gullah people set on the South Carolina Sea Islands at the turn of the century. In the hands of director Julie Dash and photographer Arthur Jafa, this non-linear film becomes visual poetry, a wedding of imagery and rhythm that connects oral tradition with the music video. It is an astonishing, vivid portrait not only of a time and place, but of an era's spirit.
Rita Kempley, Washington Post, 1992
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