WHITE MATERIAL
2009, IFC Films, 106 min, France/Cameroon, Dir: Claire Denis

Returning to the African continent on which she was raised, Claire Denis directs yet another ruminative examination of race relations in a colonial environment, this time set against the backdrop of an unspecified civil war. French farmer Maria Vial (Isabelle Huppert) is given a stern warning to abandon her coffee plantation and its impending harvest and seek refuge for her family before violence begins. But stubbornness and white privilege keep Maria trudging forward, as she attempts to keep her family together while seeking the help of local workers to finish the harvest. Featuring Christopher Lambert and Isaach De Bankolé. “A striking film filled with images that sometimes reveal their full meaning only when their beauty curdles in the chain of signification.” - Manohla Dargis, New York Times.


SANDRA
VAGHE STELLA DELL’ORSA…
1965, Sony Repertory, 105 min, Italy/France, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Inspired by the Greek myth of Electra, this multilayered drama stars Claudia Cardinale as Sandra Dawdson, who returns with her husband (Michael Craig) to her ancestral home in Volterra, Italy, ostensibly for a tribute to her father, who had been killed by the Nazis. When Sandra’s brother (Jean Sorel) arrives, there is a strange attraction between the siblings – is it related to their father’s murder, or something more? The Golden Lion winner at the 1965 Venice Film Festival.


THE DAMNED (1969)
LA CADUTA DEGLI DEI
1969, 156 min, Italy/West Germany, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Director Luchino Visconti's astounding, sumptuous chronicle of the fall of the German Von Essenbeck dynasty during the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party. Scheming Sophie (Ingrid Thulin), scion of the dying aristocratic family, goads husband Frederick (Dirk Bogarde) to commit all manner of heinous acts to usurp control of the clan's munitions factories. As the brutally repressive forces of Nazism bloom into full flower, a series of personal betrayals plagues their immediate relatives as well as all of their acquaintances, culminating in the first of Hitler's purges, the Night of the Long Knives. Sophie and Frederick's corrupt empire grows by nefarious means, but they don't count on Sophie's mentally deranged, pedophile son Martin (Helmut Berger), who surpasses them all in not only decadence and depravity but also in his bottomless capacity for vindictive evil. Maurice Jarre supplies one of his most memorable, operatic scores. With Charlotte Rampling, Florinda Bolkan, Helmut Griem and Umberto Orsini.


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