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Gorky Park (1983)

Gorky Park (1983)
Three dead bodies are found at night beneath the snow in Moscow’s Gorky Park. Two men and a woman, but identification is impossible as their faces as well as their fingertips have been sliced off. Moscow’s best detective, Police Inspector Arkady Renko (William Hurt) has been assigned to lead the investigation into the murders. From the start Renko suspects KGB involvement and wishes to be released from the case, fearing he’ll be the KGB fall guy. Renko’s concerns are not unfounded; he already had a skirmish with the KGB the previous year when he uncovered evidence implicating one of their top...
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Don’t Look Now (1973)

Don’t Look Now (1973)
Without question, one of the weirdest films I have ever seen is Nicholas Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now” starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie as married couple John and Laura Baxter. Based on a Daphne DuMaurier story the movie has often been labeled as a horror or ghost story. To an extent one could agree, as it does have elements of horror, but I think “Don’t Look Now” is much more than that and frankly not quite so easy to label and place in a convenient, familiar category. The film begins with a child (the Baxters’ pretty blonde daughter) wearing a shiny red macintosh as she plays near a pond in...
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The Red Balloon (1956)

The Red Balloon (1956)
I recently watched this enchanting short film for the first time and found myself swept up (no pun intended) by its delightful depiction of the simple joys of childhood (granted this was a childhood decades before video games, Toys R Us, etc), This 34 minute French short film has almost no dialogue but every scene is a beautifully rendered moving painting. This simple yet charming tale begins when towheaded Pascal (the director’s 9 year old son) is on his way to school and comes across a large, lusciously, lollipop red balloon tied to a post. Pascal unties it, assumes ownership of the red globe and...
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The Vampire Lovers (1970)

The Vampire Lovers (1970)
Movie Review October just isn’t October without some good old fashion Hammer Horror Classic film. So today, I’m going to discuss The Vampire Lovers starring perennial Hammer diva Ingrid Pitt, Peter Cushing, Kate O’Mara, Madeline Smith and Jon Finch. Loosely adapted from Sheridan Le Fanu’s short story “Carmilla”, the movie marks an interesting point in the Hammer series. For one thing, it is the first Hammer film that treats the subject of lesbianism (granted of a supernatural and predatory type) so openly, including some nude scenes. This film also marks the point in which later Hammer films would,...
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Cul-de-Sac (1966)

Cul-de-Sac (1966)
Movie Review Roman Polanski’s black comedy thriller, Cul-de-Sac is at last available on DVD to American audiences thanks to Criterion. I had wanted to see this movie for many years and finally got the chance recently. This visually riveting black and white exploration of comedic cruelty and the absurd within tense suspense takes place on Lindisfarne Island, Northumberland (it’s actually Holy Island) and revolves around a mismatched trio. George (Donald Pleasance) is a retired businessman who has sold his factory and escaped to a secluded castle with his younger French wife Teresa...
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The MacKintosh Man (1973)

The MacKintosh Man (1973)
Movie Review I discovered this little known espionage film one insomniac night many moons ago while channel surfing. Directed by John Huston and adapted from Desmond Bagley’s The Freedom Trap the film stars Paul Newman, James Mason, Dominique Sanda, and Ian Bannen. The MacKintosh Man did not perform well at the box office at the time of its release and received mixed reviews. I however found it quite entertaining. The movie opens with rightwing MP from the House of Commons George Wheeler (James Mason) quoting Samuel Johnson before Parliament. “ ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.’ If this...
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