JANE B. FOR AGNÈS V.
1988, Cinelicious Pics, 97 min, France, Dir: Agnès Varda

Jane Birkin started as an actress during London’s Swinging ’60s, sang duets with Serge Gainsbourg (whom she married), earned plaudits for humanitarian work … and is the subject of this delightful imaginary biopic. Birkin and director Varda are longtime friends, and this film emerges as a portrait of two talented artists who have challenged limitations placed on women in culture and society. In French with English subtitles.


VIVA ZAPATA!
1952, 20th Century Fox, 113 min, USA, Dir: Elia Kazan

Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata (Marlon Brando) leads the poor of his country in an uprising against the corrupt, dictatorial president, with a little help from brother Eufemio (Anthony Quinn). Kazan’s spectacularly entertaining historical epic is part Western, part biopic and part social commentary - and a smashing success on every level. Quinn won the Oscar for his supporting role in this John Steinbeck-scripted masterpiece.


THE GENERAL (1998)
1998, Screen Media, 124 min, UK/Ireland, Dir: John Boorman

John Boorman was named Best Director at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival for this gritty B&W portrait of charismatic Dublin criminal Martin Cahill (a man who, before graduating to more serious offenses, had once burgled Boorman’s home). Brendan Gleeson is superb as the audacious hood, whose increasing infamy draws the attention of both the IRA and Irish police officer Ned Kenny (Jon Voight).


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