Enzo Milioni, La sorella di Ursula, 1978
Well, there are good gialli, good bad gialli, and bad bad gialli. This one's most definitely in the last category, so it's my sworn duty to spoil as much of it as you can so you don't have go through the misery of watching it. "While searching for their estranged mother, two beautiful sisters, Dagmar and Ursula, arrive at a luxurious seaside hotel. At the same time, a mysterious killer starts murdering promiscuous women in the area." No prizes for guessing who the mysterious killer is, and what the murder weapon is (anyone who goes on holiday with a giant carved dildo in their overnight bag is not to be trusted). The side plots are just as stupid and the acting is terrible, but you get the impression the director doesn't give a flying fuck: it's all an excuse for a sex scene, of which there are quite a few, and reasonably explicit (though not in the least arousing) at that. Give this one a miss.
Hubert Cornfield, The Night of the Following Day, 1969
Not having ever heard of this film, or its director, I snatched this over at KG, mainly due to an extraordinarily élogieux IMDb punter review. The person who wrote it needs some serious medical help, imho, but I'm grateful to him/her for attracting my attention.. as my dad once said after a disastrous round of golf at a course he was playing for the first time, "Well, I'm glad I've been - because I'm never coming back!" Based on a novel by Lionel White called The Snatchers (which I haven't read, won't read, but which Stanley Kubrick was thinking of adapting, apparently), it's the story of the kidnapping and sequestration of a wealthy heiress at a beach house that goes tits up, filmed in and around Le Touquet, which as film buffs know is Bruno Dumont country, and there's a weird and wonderful Ma Loute-ish quality to Brando and Boone's final battle on the beach, excellently filmed by Willi Kurant. Brando, looking quite fit and muscular but a bit daft in his ratty blond wig, does Brando, nothing special (if great acting means the odd sideways glance and screaming once or twice for no apparent reason, then there are hundreds of greater actors than Marlon). As for Richard Boone - "the most chilling villain in movie-screen history" -wtf?! Jess Hahn and Rita Moreno are fair to middling, not having to do much other than look, respectively, worried or dozy, and Pamela Frankin as the kidnap victim is fabulously nondescript. There's no sense of pace, the plot is amazingly convoluted, and the music's deliciously inappropriate. But - given the "surprise" (?) twist ending, maybe it's all deliberate, as in some kind of postmodern deconstruction of the genre or some such pretentious whatnot. See what you think - I have my doubts.
Ulu Grosbard, Georgia, 1995
Wiki: "In the film, [Jennifer Jason] Leigh played Sadie Flood, a barroom singer who has a complicated relationship with her older sister, Georgia, played by [Mare] Winningham. Georgia is a successful, talented and well-adjusted singer and a happily married mother of two. Sadie is passionate but self-destructive and untalented. While she seeks fame, she destroys herself through drug abuse." In a situation bizarrely resembling the film itself, it was Winningham who scooped up an Oscar nomination instead of Leigh - once more the older sister wins out - but the film is a veritable tour de force for JJL, especially her painfully raw nine-minute reprise of Van Morrison's "Take Me Back." The filmed "performed poorly at the box office", Wiki notes perfunctorily. Well, it's not the first time. I thought it was absolutely magnificent, myself. So did Roger https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/georgia-1996
Jean-Pierre Mocky, Solo, 1970
IMDb :"During an orgy with minor [I think "underage' would be more appropriate] girls, some old and wealthy notables are being murdered by a small group of leftist young revolutionaries. Very soon the police are tracking down Virgile Cabral, the leader of the group. Meanwhile, Virgile's brother and only relative, Vincent, a violinist (and a thief), comes back to Paris. They have not seen each other for three years." Too often brushed aside with that "it's only a B movie" line, Mocky's films are - though often low-budget - extremely well-crafted, full of sharp dialogue and excellently filmed. Mocky himself plays the hardboiled cynic to perfection, trying to find baby brother before he commits another post-1968 terrorist atrocity. As usual, the director takes great pleasure in skewering every aspect of French society - and (if you're a KG member) this one comes with English subtitles, which are a distinct advantage. Recommended!
Ang Lee, The Ice Storm, 1997
Underwhelmed, seriously. Apart from Christina Ricci (above), I could find little to connect with in what I saw described in several places, in an amazing blaze of fake news, "one of the best films of the Nineties", and very few reviews that agreed with me. This one does, and it's more worth quoting than I am http://criterionhouse.blogspot.com/2007 ... storm.html