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The Young and the Damned (1950) More at IMDbPro »Los olvidados (original title)

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4 items from 2011

My favourite film: Koyaanisqatsi

15 December 2011 4:18 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

In the latest of our writers' favourite film series, Leo Hickman is bowled over by the elemental force of Godfrey Reggio and Philip Glass's 1982 environmental masterpiece

Want to set the world to rights? Have your say in the comments section below – or write your own review

It's a film without any characters, plot or narrative structure. And its title is notoriously hard to pronounce. What's not to love about Koyaanisqatsi?

I came to Godfrey Reggio's 1982 masterpiece very late. It was actually during a Google search a few years back when looking for timelapse footage of urban traffic (for work rather than pleasure!) that I came across a "cult film", as some online reviewers were calling it. This meant I first watched it as all its loyal fans say not to: on DVD, on a small screen. If ever a film was destined for watching in a cinema, this is it. »

- Leo Hickman

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The film directors' favourite

20 May 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Although the French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière has collaborated with Tati, Buñuel and Schlöndorff, he is the invisible man of film

To read the newly published This Is Not the End of the Book, a conversation between Umberto Eco and Jean-Claude Carrière, is to eavesdrop on two highly erudite minds. Digressive, anecdotal and humorous, they reflect on their love of the printed word and where the destiny of the book might lie, ranging from neglected French poetry of the 16th century to a forthcoming first edition of Waiting for Godot in the revived Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. But while Eco is internationally famous for his bestselling historical novels, Carrière has a relatively low profile even in his native France. Low, that is, for someone whose career as a dramatist has encompassed collaborations with an unparalleled array of directorial talent from film and theatre, and 50 books, in addition to the 80 screenplays, »

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Retro Review 1981: Pixote

5 May 2011 8:06 PM, PDT | Corona's Coming Attractions | See recent Corona's Coming Attractions news »

Pixote: a Lei do Mais Fraco (Original Release Date: 5 May 1981)

Hector Babenco's Pixote is a movie about kids trying to survive in a world that doesn't seem to want to let them.  Outside of a documentary short like Ciro Durán's Gamín, my guess is that era reviews didn't have much to compare Pixote to beyond Luis Buñuel's Los Olvidados or Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist. I'd also guess that not all of these comparisons were flattering. Babenco's direction here lacks the visual punch of Buñuel's, and his characters are nowhere near as well-formed as Dickens's. With any Buñuel comparison, one must contend a sophistication that, to this day, leads people to argue over how much of the work is earnest, and how much of it is ironic or parodic. (This excludes film students.  I'd say film students still love to debate whether Las Hurdes is a »

- Thurston McQ

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Susana; El Bruto – Philip French's classic DVD

19 March 2011 5:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

(Luis Buñuel, 1951; 1952, 12, Mr Bongo)

After his two avant- garde collaborations with fellow surrealist Salvador DaliUn Chien Andalou (1929) and L'Age d'Or (1930) – Luis Buñuel disappeared below the radar in Mexico until reappearing at Cannes with Los Olvidados in 1951. He continued working there until re-establishing himself in Europe in the 1960s as one of the great directors. His mostly little-known Mexican films – rough-hewn, low-budget melodramas for the most part – are always interesting, and these two early ones complement each other as they explore characteristic themes of lust, cruelty, class, hypocrisy and corruption. In Susana, a satanic femme fatale offers up successful prayers for escape from her hellhole of a reform school and proceeds to ingratiate herself into a wealthy bourgeois family where she proceeds to destroy everyone around her. In El Bruto, a violent, ox-like abattoir worker (the great Pedro Armendáriz) is hired to do a slum landlord's dirty work and is »

- Philip French

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4 items from 2011

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