October 01, 2013

L'iceberg

Fiona is the manager of a fast-food restaurant. She lives comfortably and happily with her family in the suburbs. That is until the day she accidentally gets locked into a walk-in freezer. She escapes the next morning, half frozen and barely alive, only to realize that her husband and two children didn't even notice she was missing. But when Fiona develops an obsession for everything cold and icy--snow, polar bears, refrigerators, icebergs--she drops everything, climbs into a frozen goods delivery truck and leaves home. She heads for a real iceberg.

Belgium visual comedy team Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel do it again in this funny and quirky film about love, family and icebergs.
Two other films by Fiona and Dominique are Rumba and Fairy. We have all three. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 61634-D Released in 2005 84 minutes

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August 21, 2013

In Praise of Love (Égloge de l'amour)

Lyrical meditation on love, and the role history and memory play in shaping human consciousness, past and present. Structured in two parts, the first part of the film, shot on 35 mm black-and-white film, a filmmaker named Edgar (Bruno Putzulu) is in the midst of a casting session with his producers, looking for the leading lady for his next film. More interested in discussing philosophy than in the nuts and bolts of the character, Edgar speaks with a number of actresses before he encounters Elle (Cecile Camp); he's fascinated by her, and is certain he's met her somewhere before, but can't tell where or when. Eventually, Edgar decides Elle is the right person for the role, but he then discovers she has died. In the second part of the film, produced using color digital video equipment, Edgar flashes back to the moment when he first met Elle he's meeting with an elderly couple who survived the Holocaust and have sold their life story to a Hollywood movie producer. While meeting the couple as a guest of an old friend and historian (Jean Lacouture) interested in their story, he's introduced to the couple's granddaughter, a law student who has offered to take a look at their contract.

What else can I say except, Outstanding! ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 60602-D Released in 2001 98 minutes

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July 16, 2013

The Intouchables

An irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust, and human possibility. Based on a true story of friendship between a handicapped millionaire and his street-smart ex-con caretaker, The Intouchables depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humor between two individuals who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common.

Askwith Media Library 59673-D Release Date 2011

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July 17, 2012

C'est pas Moi je le Jure! (It's not Me I Swear)

Leon is ten years old, has lots of problems and an overly fertile imagination. Of course, there is Mom and Dad who are always fighting, and those annoying neighbors who get to spend the summer at the beach. And then, there's Lea, the exasperating girl who's always right about everything. In the summer of 1968, when Mom decides to leave everything behind to start a new life in Greece, Leon is prepared to do anything to kill the pain. Destroy the neighbors' house, become a professional liar and even, why not, fall in love with Lea. Together, they will overcome the pain of growing up when you feel abandoned.
Special features (French only): Documentaire de tournage, capsules-bonus avec Antoine L'Écuyer, les auditions d' Antoine L'Écuyer, bandes-annonces.

Antoine L'Écuyer, Suzanne Clément, Daniel Brière, Catherine Faucher, Gabri|a Direction de la photographie, André Turpin ; musique originale, Patrick Watson.el Maillé.

A very insightful story of how children deal with abusive or distant parents. This is before "pop-culture" came to deal with childhood trauma. Children were left on their own to deal with adults who were too wrapped up in their lives to face and help their children. The film looks closely into Leon's life and we get a glimpse of Lea's life. Both children are outcasts since they respond badly to their parent’s bad behavior. The film is heartwarming, sad and based in reality to the reactions of children in complex situations.

Askwith Media Library 56733-D 110 minutes 2008

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April 02, 2012

Incendies

After the death of their mother, a set of twins make a life-altering discovery. The pair travels to the Middle East on a mission to uncover the truth about the father they thought was dead who is still very much alive, and the brother they never knew existed. Along the way they will piece together the story of the woman who brought them into the world, discovering a tragic fate as well as the courage of an exceptional woman.

In the horror and confusion of war who suffers the most? The innocent does. This is a heartbreaking tale that could take place in any war at any time. Survival is important, Love is important but to what end? The film leaves the decisions to the viewing audience. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 54794-D (both Blu-ray and DVD) 130 minutes 2011

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March 21, 2012

Hotel Terminus -The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie

An examination of Klaus Barbie, the infamous Nazi 'Butcher of Lyon' and Gestapo chief implicated in 4000 deaths and the deportation of 7000 Jews, during the Nazi occupation of France. Tracing the 40-year hunt for the war criminal, it exposes a complex web of political intrigue, collaboration and deceit. Weaves together historical footage and interviews with former Nazis, American intelligence officers, South American government officials, victims of Nazi atrocities and witnesses.

Klaus Barbie survived for 40 years after the war. He used his contacts within the American occupation force to provide an exit from Europe. As a stringent anti-communist, immediately after World War II and well into the cold war, he received protection from anti-communists everywhere.
He did not concern himself with his past and he set up a new criminal lifestyle, as a thief, a gun runner, and who knows what else well into the 1980s. One cannot leave the film without a sense of disgust. His atrocities destroyed lives and families. While the suffering continued for the victims and the families long after the war, Klaus Barbie was apparently lived unburdened by the reality of his actions. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 54265-D 267 minutes 1989
(1989 Academy Award for best documentary)

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November 23, 2011

Le concert

Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he hears the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris has invited the Bolshoi orchestra to play there. He gathers together his former musicians and a young solo violin virtuoso to perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi orchestra. If they all overcome the hardships ahead, this very special concert will be a triumph.

A wonderful film about the success of survival. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55880-D 107 minutes 2011

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August 04, 2011

Lucky Luke

James Huth helms this live-action adaptation of the long-running Belgian comic books series, first published in the 1940s, that is equal parts homage to and a parody of the American Wild West. Lucky Luke is delegated by the President to restore order to his birthplace, Daisy Town. Once a law-abiding community, Daisy Town is now ruled by bandits and sharpshooters.

Released in 2009

Very fast and fun. Luke is the ultimate quick-draw. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55341-D

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August 03, 2011

Borsalino and Co.

Set in 1930s Marseilles, a gangster seeking revenge for the death of his partner, disposes of his enemies in a variety of novel (and gruesome) methods.

This is a fantastic, stylized gangster drama with beautiful cinematography and lighting. Starring and produced by the great Alain Delon. ~Mike

France 1974

Askwith Media Library 42886-D

Posted by mcmike at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2010

Betty Fisher et autres histoires (Alias Betty)

Betty is a best selling novelist who has invented her name to escape a troubled past made worse by her emotionally unstable and violent mother. When her young son is killed in an accident, her mother brings her a "replacement", a boy she kidnapped off the street.
Based on Un enfant par un autre (French translation of Tree of hands) by Ruth Rendell.

Excellent composition and intriguing storyline: Typical French film fashion the end has many twists. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 35467-D

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April 30, 2010

Roman de gare

Best-selling author Judith Ralitzer is researching unlikely places to find characters for her next novel. A serial killer with a penchant for magic tricks has just escaped from a high-security prison, providing the perfect source material for an intricately plotted, moody mystery.

Wonderful story with some great twists. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 51772-D

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Fanfan la Tulipe

In eighteenth-century France, Fanfan joins King Louis XV's army to avoid a forced marriage to a local woman and finds himself trying to get out of sticky situations with a fortune teller imposter.

~In the spirit of Douglas Fairbanks, swash buckling fun.

Special Features: Documentary on the life of Gérard Philipe who passed away in 1959. Mr Philipe was a positive force in post-WWII French cinema before the new wave movement. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 47601-D

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