FNC 2017: Les Predatrices (France, 2016)

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for Cinetalk.net

What happens when Nosferatu and Dracula meet David Lynch (circa Blue Velvet, 1986) and Brian De Palma (circa Sisters, 1972)? One might guess, creepy but aesthetically pleasing decor and characters exhibiting bizarre fetishes. In former porn actress Ovidie’s Les Predatrices, sisters of a particular sort turn to murder in exchange for some life-prolonging elixirs. Creepy Dracula-dude is only a bit part, but he is an essential component to the sisters’ lifestyle and livelihood.

Meanwhile, the only thing the siblings seem to do in their shared existence is look for gullible men for at-home indulgences. They are modern-day vampires, temptresses, murderesses, but the viewer is never told why exactly. An air of mystery lingers about their past and about why murder is the price for their elixirs. Curiously, Ovidie has created a female-empowerment film where women are still at the beck and call of this Dracula-like figure. The codependence is a Continue reading

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FNC 2017 : Il Grande Silenzio (4K Restoration)

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for Cinetalk.net

Quentin Tarantino (and Cinematographer Robert Richardson) studied it before shooting The Hateful Eight. At the end of the 1960’s, 20th Century Fox Chief executive, Darryl Zanuck, was so offended by it, he refused to release it in America. It contains a superb score by Maestro Ennio Morricone and it stars screen legends Jean-Louis Trintignant and Klaus Kinski.

It took 50 years, but Sergio Corbucci’s seminal Spaghetti Western, Il Grande Silenzio (1968), has been finally restored (in 4K) by the Cineteca Nazionale of Rome using the film’s original negatives and sound elements. Corbucci’s film about outlaws, in late 19 century Utah, getting unexpected help from a silent gunslinger (Trintignant) against a group of bounty hunters, turns upside down numerous conventions of the Western genre.

A revisionist Western, Il Grande Silenzio was made by Continue reading

FNC 2017 : MARLINA the murderer in Four Acts (Indonesia – 2017)

 

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for Cinetalk.net

James Brown wrote : This is a man’s world…
But it wouldn’t be nothing, without a woman …

In MARLINA the murderer in Four Acts, a vicious gang of men (with criminal intentions) come at Marlina’s door, but she manages to (literally) get rid of them for good. With still some faith left toward the local justice system, she sets course on finding the nearest police station carrying with her,  as evidence,  the severed head of the gang leader…

MARLINA the murderer in Four Acts was dubbed a feminist ‘Satay Western’, a clear reference to the Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960’s. And director Mouly Surya’s film is a ravishingly shot absurdist tale that effectively plays like a Western. Cinematographer Yunus Pasolang makes great use of the breathtaking landscapes of the Continue reading

FNC 2017: Faccia a Faccia (Special screening)

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for Cinetalk.net

The FNC 2017  is screening Sergio Sollima’s 1967 Spaghetti Western, Faccia a Faccia (Face to Face) in its English version.

It was an era of groundbreaking and unexpectedly high box office returns for Italian Cinema. Prior to the year 1967, Sergio Leone had put the final touch to a handful of successful Italian made Westerns (shot in the Andalusia desert) starring, now cult icon, Clint Eastwood, and dubbed the ‘Dollar trilogy’. By then, dozens of these so called Spaghetti Westerns where being made usually in a production triumvirate between Italy, Spain and Germany.

The social turmoil of the late 1960’s added a leftist dimension to the more politically inclined director Sergio Sollima’s ambitions to bring the old American West to the screen in Faccia a Faccia.

A School teacher traveling to the American West meets a group of Continue reading

FNC 2017 : KFC (Vietnamese horror film)

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for Cinetalk.net

A plain black screen warns in white typeface that the following characters and occurrences are fictional. This is followed by two subsequent warnings that nothing within this feature bears resemblance to real events. The disclaimer is in place for a reason, and Cinetalk would like to express its own. Discretion is definitely advised. This will not sit well with most audiences, but for those who can handle gratuitous gore and raunchy violence, there is some form of payoff.

To generalize, Le Binh Giang’s KFC is a splatter film about cannibalism, which is neither excused nor elaborated in terms of the participants’ motivation. If we put that aside for a moment, what we have is a tale about a very dysfunctional family, possibly due to generations of violence. The timeline jumps around. In consequence, it manages to confuse the viewer about Continue reading