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Friday, April 24, 2020

Super Love Stories of World Cinema

Gloomy Sunday ( Hungary)
Rolf Schuebel makes his directorial debut with this subtly-told true story about one the 1930s' most memorable melodies. Set just prior to WWII, the film focuses on Hungarian beauty Ilona (Erika Marozsan) and her significant other Laszlo Szabo (Joachim Krol), a dapper owner of Budapest's finest restaurant. Though Ilona is known for her prowess on the piano, the two decide to hire a professional as the finishing touch on their classy establishment. They hire Andras (Stefano Dionisi), a taciturn man with a certain mysterious charm. Meanwhile, a regular customer and German businessman Hans (Ben Becker) finds himself utterly and completely smitten with the vivacious Ilona. When she spurns his advances, he drunkenly jumps into the Danube. Laszlo manages to rescue him and the three grow to become close friends. At the same time, Andras and Ilona grow to be something more than friends, and -- with the knowledge and approval of Laszlo -- they become lovers. Later, Andras composes a tune dedicated to his new consort and Laszlo quietly arranges for a couple of Austrian record execs to come to the restaurant to listen. Oozing with jaded ennui, the song, sans lyrics, quickly becomes an international success, yet it also seems to cast a dark spell over listeners -- people cannot help but commit suicide. In Hungary alone, 157 people killed themselves in the span of eight weeks. At the same time, the Third Reich marches into Austria. As the film progresses, Hans returns to Budapest, this time as an SS officer. There he offers Laszlo, who is Jewish, and who offers him free passage in exchange for money. This film was screened at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival.

Jules at jim ( France)
Paris, 1912. Jules (Oskar Werner), a German-Austrian, and Jim (Henri Serre), a Frenchman, are two aspiring writers who strike up a close friendship. They enjoy a carefree life in the city, sharing a passion for the arts, sport, literature and women. After a trip to Greece, during which they become fascinated by a sculpture of a woman with an enchanting smile, they return to France, where they meet Catherine (Jeanne Moreau), who bears an uncanny resemblance to the statue. She is delightful, desirable and dangerous. Both men are attracted to Catherine, but it is Jules she decides to marry. Then, abruptly, all three are separated, as war breaks out across Europe, and Jules and Jim are forced to fight on opposing sides.

After the war Jim goes to visit Jules and Catherine, who live in a remote mountain chalet in Austria with their little daughter Sabine, and discovers their marriage is under strain. Jules confesses to him that he fears Catherine will leave him and that she has had other lovers during their relationship. Catherine herself confides to Jim that she misses her freedom. She flirts and attempts to seduce Jim who still has feelings for her himself. Jules, desperate not to lose Catherine, gives his blessing to Jim to marry Catherine, as long as he may continue to visit them and see her. For a while, the three live happily together in the chalet, but tensions between Jim and Catherine arise because of their inability to have a child. Jim leaves and returns to Paris, and after several exchanges of letters, they break off the relationship. But Catherine is determined to win Jim back no matter what the cost…
Decades of a love triangle concerning two friends and an impulsive woman.
François Truffaut
Henri-Pierre Roché (novel), François Truffaut (adaptation) | 
Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre

Run lola run ( German)

Lola receives a frantic phone call from her boyfriend Manni, a bagman responsible for delivering 100,000 Deutschmarks. Over the phone, Manni relates the story that he was riding a subway to the drop-off location of the money and panicked at the sight of ticket inspectors. He exited the train and realized that he left the money bag behind; he saw a homeless man examining the money bag as the train pulled away. Manni explains that he is meeting his boss in 20 minutes and that he will be killed unless he has the money. Manni is about to rob a nearby supermarket to secure the funds. Lola implores Manni to wait for her and decides to ask her father, a bank manager, for help.
Lola hangs up and runs down the staircase of her apartment building past a man with a dog. At the bank, her father is shown having a conversation with his mistress, who informs him that she is pregnant. When Lola arrives, she has a conversation with her father, which turns into an argument and him telling her of his affair and that she is not his biological daughter. Lola runs to meet Manni but arrives too late and sees him enter the supermarket with a gun. She helps him rob 100,000 marks from the supermarket but on leaving, they find it surrounded by police. Surrendering, Manni throws the money bag into the air, which startles a police officer who shoots Lola dead.
The events of the film restart from the moment Lola leaves the house, only this time, she trips over the man with the dog. Lola now runs with a limp; her arrival at the bank is delayed, allowing her father's mistress to add that Lola's father is not the father of her unborn child. A furious Lola overhears the conversation, takes a security guard's gun, holds her father hostage and robs the bank of 100,000 marks. When police mistake her for a bystander, she is able to leave and meet with Manni in time, but he is run over and killed by a speeding ambulance that Lola had distracted moments earlier.
The film's events restart once more. This time, Lola leaps over the man and his dog, arriving at the bank earlier but not triggering an auto accident that delayed her father's colleague in the previous runs. As a result, she misses the opportunity to ask her father for help. She wanders aimlessly before entering a casino, where she exchanges all of the cash she has (about 100 marks) for a chip, with which she plays roulette. She bets all of her earnings on the number 20, which wins. Roulette pays 35 to 1, so she wins 3,500 more marks, which she immediately adds to her original chip on 20. She now makes a deafening scream, causing 20 to come up again. She leaves with a bag containing 129,600 marks, and runs to where Manni will be meeting his boss. Manni spots the homeless man from the subway passing by on a bicycle with the money bag. Manni chases him down and steals back the money bag at gunpoint, giving the man his gun in exchange. Lola arrives to witness Manni handing off the money to his boss. Manni joins Lola, who is dishevelled and perspiring. As they walk along, Manni casually asks her what is in her bag.
After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks.
Tom Tykwer
Tom Tykwer (screenplay)
Stars:Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup  
Road to home ( China)
The Road Home is the story of a country girl and a young teacher falling in love, and the teacher's death many years later that brings their son back from the big city for the funeral.

The film begins in black and white in present-day China when the son (Sun Honglei) returns to his village from the city upon hearing of his father's death. His mother, Zhao Di (Zhao Yulian), insists upon following the tradition of carrying the coffin back to their remote village by foot so that her husband's spirit will remember its way home. As the narrator, the son recounts the story of his parents' courtship, so famous that it has gained the status of a legend in the village. It is here the bleak black and white turn into vivid colours as the story shifts to the past.

His father, Luo Changyu (Zheng Hao), came to the village as the teacher. Immediately, Zhao Di (Zhang Ziyi) became infatuated with him and he with her. Thus began a courtship which consisted mostly of the exchange of looks and glances between the two. Unfortunately, the courtship was interrupted when Luo was summoned by the government to return to the city. (Several reviewers have speculated that the flashback portion of the film is set during the Anti-Rightist Campaign and that Luo's recall was for investigation and questioning.)[2][3][4] Zhao Di's heart was broken; she insisted on waiting for him in the snow and fell so ill that the villagers thought she would die. However, upon hearing news of her illness, the teacher was able to sneak back to the village and Zhao Di, in tears, welcomed the sight of her beloved. Still, their love would not be consummated for a few years more because the teacher was kept away from the village as punishment for having left his assignment in the city without permission.

Returning to the present day, and black and white, the son realizes how important this ritual of carrying the coffin back to the village is to his mother, Zhao Di, and he agrees to make all necessary arrangements to fulfil her wish. He is told by the mayor of the village that it might be difficult to find enough porters to carry the father home, as there are few young able men left in the village. The mayor and the son reach an agreement on the price to be paid to the porters. But when the procession sets out, more than 100 people show up to help carry home the casket of the man who was their teacher through various generations in the village. The mayor returns the money to the son, as no one will accept payment for doing what they consider to be an honour rather than a task.

On the morning of the day the son leaves to return to his job in the city, he fulfils his father's dream and teaches a class in the old the schoolhouse that was central to his parents have fallen in love, using the textbook his father had written himself.
Prompted by the death of his father and the grief of his mother, a man recalls the story of how they met in flashback.

Yimou Zhang

Shi Bao (novel), Shi Bao (screenplay)


Ziyi Zhang, Honglei Sun, Hao Zheng 

 . Four for Venice (German)
The film involves two married couples: Nick and Charlotte and Luis and Eva.

Nick and Charlotte are more than busy earning money, there is no time for love or sex - only Tuesdays. Soon, Charlotte finds a lover, Luis, an unsuccessful artist. Luis and Eva also have no time for sex: he must find his inspiration for art and Eva has agreed to give up her own occupation as an artist to support themselves and their 3 and 6 year old kids by working in a restaurant.

The secret affair between Luis and Charlotte lasts quite a while, they decide to spend a romantic week in Venice, Italy, but accidentally Eva finds out about the affair and their destination.

Eva kidnaps Nick on her trip to Venice in order to restore her marriage as well as his. During their stay in Venice, Luis becomes ill and spends the entire week in the bathroom. On their way from Munich, Germany (where the first half of the story takes place) to Venice, Eva's car breaks down somewhere in the Alps, so she, Nick, and her two children are forced to walk and hitchhike the rest of the way.

Nick is allergic to children and continually sneezes but the children grow warm on him, since Eva's no-nonsense attitude forces him to spend a lot of time with them. They arrive in Venice without money, passports, credit cards, their clothes torn and burnt, on a Friday evening, which means that they have to spend the weekend without any support from the German consulate. When they finally meet their respective spouses, things are not quite the same for neither of them.

Dr,Zhivaco ( USA)
The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during World War I and then the October Revolution.
David Lean
Boris Pasternak (novel) (as Boris Leonidovich Pasternak), Robert Bolt (screenplay)
  Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin
 Love me if you dare( French)
The film begins where a little girl, Sophie, is being bullied by other children. Only a bus driver and a boy, Julien, help her collect her books that the others have thrown into a puddle.
To cheer Sophie up, Julien gives her a small tin box, a gift from his fatally ill mother. Because it is important to him, he asks her to lend it back to him from time to time. As Julien wants the box back at the moment he gave it to her, Sophie demands proof of how important it is to him. Julien disengages the handbrake of the bus without hesitation, and the bus full of children rolls down a hill. Their game has begun: the box changes its owner after each completed dare.
Between the son of wealthy Belgian parents and the daughter of poor Polish immigrants a lasting friendship develops. As children, they misbehave in school, wreak havoc on a wedding, and request silly tasks of each other. As teenagers, their romantic relationships with others suffer as a result of their dares. Meanwhile, the two friends ignore any consequences or punishment during their game.
While they are always looking for the next kick, love is slowly evolving between the protagonists. Not wanting to admit it, they divert their attention from it by even more extreme dares.
As young adults, Julien tells Sophie that he wants to get married, only later revealing that he means to someone else. The climax is reached when Sophie interrupts Julien's wedding, after which he is cast out by his father and Sophie is nearly killed during another game. Julien returns to marry his wife, and Sophie declares that they will not see each other for ten years.
Ten years pass, and Julien is married with two children. Sophie has also married her husband, a famous soccer star. A successful Julien admits that he has not forgotten Sophie, though he assumes that she has forgotten him. On the night of Julien's tenth wedding anniversary, Sophie sends a message to him, indicating that the game is back on. Julien and Sophie meet for a brief moment in the midst of another dare, yet it is enough to remind Julien that their game is "better than life itself." After a dramatic accident, Julien and Sophie finally reunite, despite the protestations of their spouses.
The film has two alternate endings, which are shown consecutively. In the first, Julien and Sophie decide as an ultimate dare to finally share their dream together, their "dream of eternal love" – the pair embrace while they stand in a construction pit that is about to be filled with concrete. The couple kiss as they are pulled beneath the cement and both drown in the sludge. The other ending has the now aged Julien and Sophie spending time together in a garden and carrying on playing their game with milder dares. However, the opening scene of the film (an overhead view of a building site and a pit filled with concrete in which the upper side Julien's tin box rests partially sunk) replays, suggesting that the two friends actually did bury themselves and drown beneath the concrete.
As adults, best friends Julien and Sophie continue the odd game they started as children -- a fearless competition to outdo one another with daring and outrageous stunts. While they often act out to relieve one another's pain, their game might be a way to avoid the fact that they are truly meant for one another.


  Yann Samuell


  Yann Samuell


  Guillaume Canet, Marion Cotillard, Thibault Verhaeghe 

Cynaro de bergarac (French)
Cyrano de Bergerac is a Parisian poet and swashbuckler with a large nose of which he is self-conscious but pretends to be proud. He is madly in love with his cousin, the beautiful Roxane; however, he does not believe she will requite his love because he considers himself physically unattractive, because of his overly large nose. Soon, he finds that Roxane has become infatuated with Christian de Neuvillette, a dashing new recruit to the Cadets de Gascogne, the military unit in which Cyrano is serving. Christian however, despite his good looks, is tongue-tied when speaking with women. Seeing an opportunity to vicariously declare his love for Roxane, he decides to aid Christian, who does not know how to court a woman and gain her love.

Cyrano aids Christian, writing love letters and poems describing the very emotions that Cyrano himself feels for Roxane. Roxane begins to appreciate Christian, not only for his good looks but also his apparent eloquence. She eventually falls in love with him and they contract a secret marriage in order to thwart the plans of the Comte de Guiche, an arrogant nobleman who is himself a frustrated wooer of Roxane. In revenge, De Guiche summons Christian to fight in the Siege of Arras against the Spanish. The siege is harsh and brutal: the Cadets de Gascogne are starving. Cyrano escapes over enemy lines each morning to deliver a love letter written by Cyrano himself but signed with Christian's name, sent to Roxane.

Christian, at this time, is completely unaware of Cyrano's doings on his behalf. The love letters Cyrano writes eventually draw Roxane out from the city of Paris to the war front. She had come to visit Christian, the supposed romantic poet. Apparently, she admitted that she would rather love an ugly, but great poet, than a handsome, dimwitted fellow. Christian, realising his mistake, tries to find out whether Roxane loves him or Cyrano, and asks Cyrano to find out. However, during the battle that follows Roxane's visit, Christian is wounded and dies in battle. As he lies dying, Cyrano tells him that he asked Roxane and it was Christian she loved, but he actually has done no such thing. Cyrano fights off the attackers and the French win.

Cyrano keeps his love for Roxane a secret for fourteen years, during which time he becomes unpopular because of his writings satirising the nobility. Roxane, grief-stricken, enters a convent. For fourteen years, Cyrano faithfully visits Roxane at her convent every week, never late until a fateful attempt on his life leaves him mortally injured. (He is not wounded by a sword, but instead suffers a serious head injury when struck by a heavy wooden beam.)

One evening, against doctor's orders, Cyrano visits Roxane at the convent. Although he faints while telling her the court news, he dismisses it as the effect of his wound at Arras. When she mentions Christian's last letter, he asks to read it, but after she gives it to him, he instead is forced to recite it from memory, as it is now too dark for him to be able to read it. Only then does Roxane realise that it was Cyrano who wooed her under the balcony and wrote the love letters. After fainting again, he is forced to reveal his mortal wound to her. As Cyrano dies, Roxane realises that it was he, and not Christian, whom she had really loved all along.
Embarrassed by his large nose, a romantic poet/soldier romances his cousin by proxy.


Jean-Paul Rappeneau


  Edmond Rostand (play), Jean-Paul Rappeneau (adaptation) 


  Gérard Depardieu, Anne Brochet, Vincent Perez  
In the mood for love( HONG KONG) 
The story opens in an exiled Shanghainese community in British Hong Kong in 1962. Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung), a journalist, rents a room in an apartment of a building on the same day as Su Li-Zhen (Maggie Cheung), a secretary of a shipping company. They become next-door neighbours. Each has a spouse who works and often leaves them alone on overtime shifts. Due to the friendly but overbearing presence of a Shanghainese landlady, Mrs Suen, and their bustling, mahjong-playing neighbours, Chow and Su often find themselves alone in their rooms. Their lives continue to intersect in everyday situations: a recurring motif is a loneliness of eating alone. The film documents the leads' chance encounters, each making his and her individual trek to the street noodle stall, sometimes intersecting without connecting.

Chow and Su each nurse suspicions about their own spouse's fidelity; each comes to the conclusion that their spouses have been seeing each other. Su wonders aloud how their spouses' affair might have begun. Su and Chow re-enact what they imagine might have happened.

Chow soon invites Su to help him write a martial arts serial for the papers. Their neighbours begin to take notice of Su's prolonged absences. In the context of a socially conservative 1960s Hong Kong, friendships between men and women bear scrutiny. Chow rents a hotel room away from the apartment where he and Su can work together without attracting attention. The relationship between Chow and Su is platonic, as there is the suggestion that they would be degraded if they stooped to the level of their spouses. As time passes, however, they acknowledge that they have developed feelings for each other. Chow leaves Hong Kong for a job in Singapore. He asks Su to go with him; Chow waits for her at the hotel room and then leaves. She can be seen rushing down the stairs of her apartment, only to arrive at the empty hotel room, too late to join Chow.

The next year, Su goes to Singapore and visits Chow's apartment. She calls Chow, who is working for a Singaporean newspaper, but she remains silent when Chow picks up. Later, Chow realises she has visited his apartment after seeing a lipstick-stained cigarette butt in his ashtray. While dining with a friend, Chow relays a story about how in older times, when a person had a secret that could not be shared, he would instead go atop a mountain, make a hollow in a tree, whisper the secret into that hollow and cover it with mud.

Three years later, Su visits her former landlady, Mrs. Suen. Mrs. Suen is about to emigrate to the United States, and Su inquires about whether the apartment is available for rent. Sometime later, Chow returns to visit his landlords, the Koos. He finds they have emigrated to the Philippines. He asks about the Suen family next door, and the new owner tells him a woman and her son are now living there. He leaves without realising Su is the lady living there.

The film ends at Siem Reap, Cambodia, where Chow is seen visiting Angkor Wat. At the site of a ruined monastery, he whispers for some time into a hollow in a ruined wall and then plugs the hollow with mud.
Two neighbours, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.


 Kar-Wai Wong (as Kar Wai Wong)


 Kar-Wai Wong (as Kar Wai Wong)


 Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu 

My sassy girl ( Korea)
A young man sees a drunk, cute woman standing too close to the tracks at a metro station in Seoul and pulls her back. She ends up getting him into trouble repeatedly after that, starting on the train.


 Jae-young Kwak


 Ho-Sik Kim (novel), Jae-young Kwak (screenplay)


 Tae-Hyun Cha, Ji-Hyun Jun, In-mun Kim

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