In medieval France, young lawyer Richard Courtois leaves Paris for the simpler life in the country. However, he is soon drawn into amorous and political intrigues. At the same time, he is ... See full summary »
Somewhere in France during the Middle Ages. Béatrice is impatient to see her father return from English captivity. She doesn't expect however that the father whom she loves from distance ... See full summary »
Clive Langham (Sir John Gielgud) spends one tormenting night in his bed suffering from health problems and thinking up a story based on his relatives. He is a bitter man and he shows, ... See full summary »
"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types ... See full summary »
Hoping to cure his violent seizures, a man agrees to a series of experimental microcomputers inserted into his brain but inadvertently discovers that violence now triggers a pleasurable response his brain.
The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is ... See full summary »
Young nobleman Orlando is commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to stay forever young. Miraculously, he does just that. The film follows him as he moves through several centuries of British ... See full summary »
The true history of Japanese Unit 731, from its beginnings in the 1930s to its demise in 1945, and the subsequent trials in Khabarovsk, USSR, of many of the Japanese doctors from Unit 731. ... See full summary »
Agnes, a lonely teenage girl, and her father befriend an escaped convict, named Joseph, who arrives at their farm in Brittany, France. When Joseph develops an attraction to Agnes, her father threatens to break up the union.
Here's the synopsis bit: in the political and social ferment following the English Civil War a pamphlet called The New Law of Righteousness, was published by Gerrard Winstanley advocating a form of Christian Communism. He set up a self-sufficient commune of "Diggers" to claim back common land for the poor and dispossessed. Which didn't please the loutish locals, or the rich landlords, and especially not pious parson Platt. Cue yobbish raids on the peace-abiding commune; the humble diggers frequently beaten up, their simple settlement smashed, their small straw-bale houses burnt down.
The film was made over a period of 6/7 years on a shoe-string with mostly amateur actors picked more on authentic look (i.e bad teeth) than credible acting ability. I've noticed that the best way to direct a non- professional cast seems to be to not give them much dialogue to say or complicated feelings to emote; just get them accentuating how they normally look and ordinarily are which in this case meant lots of dirty plaintive faces suffering misery-inducing hardship, while wearing dopey hobbit hats.
Winstanley is played by Mike Halliwell a teacher who, when sermonising to his illiterate peasant flock, sounded like he was tutoring posh kids at a public school; he's earnest enough (brow is set firmly to furrowed) but not entirely convincing; too nice and polite, too 20th century well-mannered to cut it as a rough hewn 17th century charismatic visionary.
Another 20th century incursion altho this one seemed deliberate was the involvement of real life "diggers": Sid Rawle's bunch of anarchic 70′s squatters recast as 17th century hippy Ranters; they monkey mad- eyed and butt-naked around the camp. Winstanley's sober (True) Levellers seemed by comparison, tame not free-spirited, but merely meekly subservient passively yoking themselves to yet another compliant form of pious Bible puritanism.
Considering this film was more or less made for nothing it looks great; the black and white cinematography seems to crisply authenticate all the mud and misery; rain dripped off bare branches, dripping onto blank faces, squalling over sodden pixie hovels (why did they build their dwellings so small i wonder); the sooty smoke and crackle of the campfire so tangible i was warming my hands on the laptop screen.
This film along with Bill Douglas's Comrades would agitate any aspiring lefty activists. I felt leftily activated enough to check out Winstanley, Sid Rawle, The Ranters, The Levellers, etc on Google. I didn't go as far as Christian Communism though. That looked a bit too back breakingly dull for me.
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