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Time of the Gypsies (1988)
Drama

In this luminous tale set in the former Yugoslavia, Perhan, an engaging young Romany with telekinetic powers, is seduced by the quick-cash world of petty crime that threatens to destroy him and those he loves. Long version screened by the Sarajevo television in 5 one-hour episodes.

Telekinetic Turkeys Often, you see a film, write a comment and impressions get frozen. I revisit my comments from time to time and am often sad to see them. I remember films as a dynamic experience. The best ones are not a simple thing but an...


Published February 23, 2024
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The Beast of War (1988)
War brings out the beast in every man.
Director: Kevin Reynolds
War
Drama

During the war in Afghanistan a Soviet tank crew commanded by a tyrannical officer find themselves lost and in a struggle against a band of Mujahadeen guerrillas in the mountains.

Mechanised Urges It is fine with me for a film to be just an anti war film, without all the embellishments of the more famous ones. Because of that I will advise you to find this and let it soak in. I write this at the...


Published February 24, 2023
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A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
A tale of murder, lust, greed, revenge, and seafood.
Director: Charles Crichton
Comedy
Crime

While a diamond advocate attempts to steal a collection of diamonds, troubles arise when he realises he’s not the only one after the collection.

Remote Brits I watched this recently, and also saw it when it was new. At the time, I suppose it was funny. Now I do not, and I think perhaps it is because the center of gravity for humour has changed. Each of the Pythonista’s had a...


Published December 24, 2022
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36 Fillette (1988)
Director: Catherine Breillat
Drama
Romance

Lili, a pouty and voluptuous 14-year-old, is caravan camping with her family in Biarritz. She's self-aware and holds her own in a café conversation with a concert pianist she meets, but she has a wild streak and she's testing her powers over men, finding that she doesn't always control her moods or actions, and she's impatient with being a virgin. She sets off with her brother to a disco, latching onto an aging playboy who is himself hot and cold to her. She is ambivalent about losing her virginity that night, willing the next, and determined by the third.

Evenings of Cabiria In the late seventies, actress/writer Breillat made a film (“Young Girl”) about the nearly suicidal angst of female sexual discovery/fantasy. It is worth watching for the raw honesty, but it misses being a whole film. Five years later, she wrote a Fellini film,...


Published December 6, 2022
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Bloodsport (1988)
The true story of an American ninja.
Director: Newt Arnold
Action
Thriller

U.S. soldier Frank Dux has come to Hong Kong to be accepted into the Kumite, a highly secret and extremely violent martial arts competition. While trying to gain access into the underground world of clandestine fighters, he also has to avoid military officers who consider him to be AWOL. After enduring a difficult training and beginning a romance with journalist Janice Kent, Frank is given the opportunity to fight. But can he survive?

No Bruce Lee Bruce Lee invented a genre; Jackie Chan invented a genre; Sly Stallone invented a minigenre, all with various approaches to personal combat. But these guys deeply understood how film works so they could tap the relevant pressure points. Van Damme did not invent...


Published December 1, 2022
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As Tears Go By (1988)
Director: Wong Kar-wai
Drama
Crime
Romance

Mid-level gangster Wah falls in love with his beautiful cousin, but must also continue to protect his volatile partner-in-crime and friend, Fly.

Streets of Mean No better one day film school can be found in watching “Mean Streets” and then this. Superficially they seem the same and Kar-Wai has told us that he patterned this, his first feature after Scorsese’s first. Here’s the lesson: Scorsese belongs to a school of...


Published November 29, 2022
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Poirot: Death in the Clouds (1988)

Intersecting Planes Agatha Christie was probably our most careful student of the genre. She was all over the map, so to speak, trying all sorts of variations. Her twists on the genre were intended to complement the twists within the story. The most interesting and adventuresome were...


Published November 25, 2022
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The Hound of the Baskervilles (1988)
Director: Brian Mills
Drama
Comedy
Thriller
Mystery
TV Movie

Sir Charles Baskerville dies on the moor under mysterious circumstances and rumors abound about a demonic hound. When the American heir arrives to take charge, a family friend calls in Holmes and Watson to get to the heart of the mystery.

The Elusive Core of the Genre If you want to understand film, you need to understand the three main narrative types: noir, that genre derived from the musical, and the detective story. While the detective story in film essentially means Agatha Christie, you can’t understand that unless...


Published November 25, 2022
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Appointment with Death (1988)
An invitation to murder !
Director: Michael Winner
Thriller
Crime
Mystery
Drama

Emily Boynton, the stepmother to three children, blackmails the family lawyer into destroying a second will of her late husband that would have freed the children from her dominating influence. She takes herself, the children, and her daughter-in-law on holiday to Europe and the Holy Land. At a dig, Emily is found dead and Hercule Poirot investigates.

Multiple Appointments You can come to films for the bubble of the film, as it presents itself. Or you can enjoy the film as a character in your life, your personal film and the narratives that change you. In this case, I chose the larger film. That’s...


Published November 23, 2022
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Rain Man (1988)
A journey through understanding and fellowship.
Director: Barry Levinson
Drama

When car dealer Charlie Babbitt learns that his estranged father has died, he returns home to Cincinnati, where he discovers that he has a savant older brother named Raymond and that his father's $3 million fortune is being left to the mental institution in which Raymond lives. Motivated by his father's money, Charlie checks Raymond out of the facility in order to return with him to Los Angeles. The brothers' cross-country trip ends up changing both their lives.

Drizzle When this was new, few of us knew of neurodiverse folks. So the setup as a road movie where our bad soul gets redeemed worked. If you allow the genre. We were all amazed as Hoffman’s portrayal. Neither is unusual now, which I suppose is...


Published September 11, 2022
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