Friday, September 30, 2011


Plenty of DVD's come and go and we often miss them or don't even know they exist. These are a few rarely seen films that are not necessarily hard to find.

Circle of Deceit [Kino]
This German film deals with a journalist in a war zone who must come to grips with what is going on around him in war and in his life. Bruno Ganz stars as the journalist and Hanna Schygulla is the woman he has fallen in love with. Directed by Volker Schlöndorff with a terrific amount of verve the film was shot in Lebanon while a war was going on. They shot in and around actual abandoned bombed out buildings and it feels at times like a documentary.

Danzon [Facets]
Okay, this one is sort of rare because it is out-of-print. It's a well made, engaging Mexican film about a woman who goes in search of her missing dancing partner - an older gentleman she hardly knows. While looking for him she ends up in Veracruz where she befriends a cross-dresser who helps her find herself. [The films is not as salacious as it sounds; This is not Almodovar territory].

We All Loved Each Other So Much [BYU]
This one goes by the title C'eravamo Tanto Amati and is rather expensive and hard to come by but if you like fast paced delightful Italian comedy/dramas this is the ticket. Directed by Ettore Scola and starring Nino Manfredi, Vittorio Gassman, Stefania Sandrelli the film deals with a group of friends recalling their tumultuous lives growing up together - all of which deal with the men falling in love with the woman at various stages.

25 Firemans Street [Kino]
I would categorize this Hungarian film as Eastern European, communist, surrealism. Directed by István Szabó it has a unique style that is almost completely alien to us today. Each shot is precise and involves rather intricate roving camera tracking shots that often utilize the zoom lens. It takes place entirely in one run-down apartment building that, quite clearly, is a metaphor for Hungary circa the early 70's.

Mr Thank You [Eclipse / Criterion] [Also on Hulu Plus] [[Maybe not so rare]]
This film by Hiroshi Shimizu is an amazing snapshot of Japan in 1935. The main character is a bus driver who does a daily trip from Tokyo to the nearby mountain towns that exist in the area. Along thee way he encounters the many peope in the region. It is very simply directed yet has an endearing quality and some rather inventive editing to move the story along. This film is rather easy to get now - although it is part of a box set, which has many other terrific films by the same director

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