Opens Friday, Feb 28, 2014 Synopsis: Repentance (Pokayaniye) features Avtandil Makharadze in a dual role. As Georgian mayor Varlam Aravidze, Makharadze is a strutting, arbitrarily cruel dictator, something of a composite Stalin and Hitler. Visually he very closely resembles Lavrentiy Beriya, Stalin's right hander and one-time KGB chief. As Abel, the mayor's son, Makharadze finds himself in the middle of an ideological squabble when his father dies. Zeinab Botsvadze, a local woman who had suffered mightily under the mayor's regime, refuses to allow the old man's corpse to be interred. Despite the son's Herculean efforts, Botsvadze continues digging up the late mayor's body, a symbolic gesture to prevent the dead man's villainy from being forgotten. Repentance was the first Soviet film that openly denounced the horrors of Stalinism, though the Georgian director Tengiz Abuladze (known for his poetic and surrealist films) chose to make it allegorical, deliberately using anachronisms and making the leading character look like a combination of Stalin's henchman Lavrenti Beriya, Hitler, and Mussolini. An interesting point -- the last name chosen for the leading character is totally fictional, there is no such name as Aravidze in Georgia. In fact, "aravi" means "nobody" in Georgian. The filmmakers opted for such a name in order not to offend any real person in the Republic of Georgia. Filmed in 1984, Repentance fell victim to Soviet censorship from the moment it left the editing room. When it was finally released in 1987, the film was deservedly garlanded with several awards, including the Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Cast: Avtandil Makharadze, Zeinab Botsvadze, Ketevan Abuladze, Sofiko Chiaureli, Edisher Giorgobiani Movie Details Movie Review
Much like the Cannes Film Festival in France is used to demonstrate that European cinema is art, not just entertainment, so, too, will the local festival with...
Synopsis: German director Werner Herzog's internationally acclaimed "breakthrough" film is based on the famous story of mysterious 19th-century child genius Kasper Hauser. As played by Bruno S., Hauser shows up unannounced in the middle of a village square, frightening the populace with his bizarre behavior. He cannot talk, nor is there any indication of his parentage, thus Kaspar is immediately the object of close scrutiny from the authorities. When he finally does develop the power of speech, he reveals a highly advanced state of intelligence, as well as a seeming gift of prophecy. The winner of the 1975 Grand Jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Every Man for Himself and God Against All was originally released in Germany under the title Jeder für Sich und Gott Gegen Alle. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Cast: Bruno S., Brigitte Mira, Walter Ladengast Movie Details Movie Review
Now Playing Synopsis: Japanese auteur Takashi Miike takes an uncharacteristically serious and somber approach to this moody period tale of honor and revenge. In the 17th century, Japan is enjoying an era of calm and tranquility, which is good news for most people but bad news for the samurai, the class of professional soldiers who now find themselves without jobs or a sense of purpose. Hanshiro (Ebizo Ichikawa) is a samurai who, with no money and no prospects, has arrived at the House of Ii, hoping to use its courtyard as a setting for the suicide ritual known as hara-kiri. However, the ruler of the House if Ii, Kageyu (Koji Yakusho), has been hearing similar requests often as of late, and he knows most of them are emotional blackmail, attempts to persuade the members of the house to give the samurai money. To show what he thinks of such shameless appeals, Kageyu tells Hanshiro the story of one such warrior, Motome (Eita), who had his bluff called and was forced to take his own life with a dull weapon made of bamboo. But Kageyu is unaware of the connection between Hanshiro and Motome, and he underestimates the impact this story will have on Hanshiro. Adapted from Masaki Kobayashi's celebrated 1962 feature Harakiri, Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (aka Ichimei) was also one of the first 3-D features to debut at the Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi Cast: Ebizo Ichikawa, Eita, Hikari Mitsushima, Naoto Takenaka, Munetaka Aoki, Takashi Sasano, Baijaku Nakamura, Koji Yakusho Movie Details Play Trailer Movie Review
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