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YERMA
$19.95
Based on a book by Spanish poet and dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca, Yerma tells the story of woman who longs for a child, but is unable to conceive. Harboring a deep hatred for her husband, she is tempted to seduce a shepherd from the village, but feels conflicted by her moral values. Her desperation and obsession eventually drive her to the brink of insanity. Stars Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Irene Papas and Juan Diego. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Pilar Tavora---Spain---1999---118 mins.
Based on the award-winning novel by Colombian author Alvaro Mutis, this rousing adventure follows three wanderers in search of fortune in 1950's Panama City. A smuggler stranded in Panama stumbles upon his former love and cohort, Ilona. When they learn that an old compatriot is imprisoned in a Panamanian jail, they spring him and the three embark on a new money-making scheme. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Sergio Cabrera---Colombia/Spain/Italy---1996---111 mins.
Michael Anderson directs this thrilling adaptation of Elleston Trevor's spy novel, brought to the screen with a remarkable script by playwright Harold Pinter. George Segal plays Quiller, a secret agent sent to investigate the murder of two British spies at the hands of a neo-Nazi organization in West Berlin. "Alec Guinness never misses a trick in his few scenes as the cold, witty fish in charge of Berlin sector investigations. Max von Sydow plays the Nazi chief quietly but with high camp menace" (Variety). Nominated for BAFTA Awards for Best Art Direction, Film Editing, and Screenplay.

Michael Anderson---Great Britain---1966---105 mins.
KRZYZACY
$24.95
Certainly one of the highest achievements of 1960s Polish cinema, and a stirring nationalist epic. Based on the classic novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz, Order of Teutonic Knights is a vivid portrayal of customs and life in medieval Poland, brilliantly directed with a epic sweep by Aleksander Ford. Features a cast of thousands, including Andrzej Szalawski and Grazyna Staniszewska. "The scale would put DeMille to shame" (Time Out).

Aleksander Ford---Poland---1960---166 mins.
Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Henryk Sienkeiewicz, this tale, set during the construction of the Suez Canal at the end of the 19th century, follows two children of engineers who are kidnapped and taken to the heart of Africa. When the kids escape, they embark on an action-packed journey across the continent to return to their parents. Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) directs this second film version of Sienkeiewicz's story, the first being made in 1973 by director Wladyslaw Slesicki. Winner of the Best of Fest Award at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival. In Polish with English subtitles or dubbed in English.

Gavin Hood---Poland---2001---111 mins.
This documentary presents an inside look into the world of romance writers--their heroes, their heroines, and their 20 million American fans. A cross-country trip in search of the perfect romance novel with the people who create them, this film features bestselling authors Janet Dailey and Barbara Cartland, among others. "Where the Heart Roams is as much about barren lives as it is about living happily ever after, but Mr. Csicsery, using terrific restraint, never overstates the obvious" (New York Times).

George Csicsery---USA---1987---81 mins.
HAMLET
$29.95
Considered by many the finest screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s greatest work, Grigori Kozintsev’s Hamlet is a spare, haunting interpretation based on a translation by novelist Boris Pasternak. The malevolence afoot in the state of Denmark is magnificently captured by the foreboding black and white cinematography and the dark, dramatic score by composer Dmitri Shostakovich. In addition, acclaimed Russian actors Innokenti Smoktunovsky and Anastasia Vertinskaya offer stellar, award-winning performances. Kozintsev, a peer of Eisenstein’s who worked well into the 1960s, was a master of cinematic technique who finally achieved recognition at the end of his career for his stunning interpretations of Shakespeare. Leading film historian Richard Dyer wrote in the Boston Globe: “Paradoxically, the two most powerful films of Shakespeare plays [Hamlet and King Lear] were made not in Great Britain but in the Soviet Union.” A Golden Globe Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. In Russian with English Subtitles.

Grigori Kozintsev---USSR---1964---140 mins.
Hailed as one of the best adaptations of this Shakespearean tragedy, Grigori Kozintsev’s King Lear is a striking, epic interpretation based on a translation by novelist Boris Pasternak and driven by a stirring score by composer Dmitri Shostakovich. Kozintsev transposed the setting to a sparse landscape of moors and marshes, which provides an eerie backdrop to the bare castles and roaming bands of ragged, destitute wanderers. Thin, frail Yuri Yarvet’s unique interpretation of the title role, in which he focuses on the king’s suffering and pain, was internationally acclaimed. Kozintsev, a peer of Eisenstein’s who worked well into the 1960s, was a master of cinematic technique who finally achieved recognition at the end of his career for his stunning interpretations of Shakespeare. "It will stand as one of the unshakable edifices of Shakespearean imagination" (New Yorker). In Russian with English subtitles.

Grigori Kozintsev---USSR---1971---140 mins.
One of the landmarks of modern Polish cinema, this gripping adaptation of Aldous Huxley's The Devils of Loudun (like Ken Russell's The Devils), transposes the action to a 17th-century Polish convent, where a priest investigates demonic possession among nuns. But the exorcist finds himself involved in an unavoidable mutual attraction with the Mother Superior. Full of brilliant symbolism, Kawalerowicz weaves a powerful allegory of good vs. evil, chastity vs. eroticism. In Polish with English subtitles.

Jerzy Kawalerowicz---Poland---1960---108 mins.
HALFMOON
$29.95
The exotic world of expatriate American writer Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky) is brought to the screen in this beautifully photographed anthology based on three of his short stories. Bowles introduces each story and narrates the first. "Merkala Beach", "Call at Corazon", and "Allal" are all haunting, enigmatic tales that capture the essence of Bowles' vision of humanity and his love of strange, colorful locales. In English, Arabic, and Berber with English subtitles.

Frieder Schlaich/Irene von Alberti---Germany---1995---91 mins.
"I am to the crime novel in specific what Tolstoy is to the Russian novel and what Beethoven is to music," boasts James Ellroy, an American crime fiction writer who was both cursed and blessed by his mother's brutal murder in 1958. Haunted by the slaying, it became the focal point of his work. In this stylish documentary, narrated by Ellroy himself, the writer visits his "dark places," literally and figuratively, as he returns to his mother's murder scene and ruminates on the meaning of her death. As the author of L.A. Confidential and Black Dahlia, Ellroy expanded the boundaries of hard-boiled fiction while also tapping into the moody atmosphere of film noire.

Clara Kuperberg/Robert Kuperberg---France---2006---52 mins.
A week in the life of Allen Ginsberg spent with Hungarian writer, poet, and translator Istvan Eorsi, and a small camera crew in the streets of New York. Sharing thoughtful discussions with the famed American Beat poet, Eorsi himself was known for his sarcastic, often abrasive style and passionately held political views on revisionist Marxism and the 1956 Hungarian revolution, for which he was subsequently jailed. Eorsi died of leukemia in 2005, but his transnational engagement with the poetry is kept alive in this documentary. "Vivid, funny, and filled with all manner of spontaneous poetry" (J. Hoberman).

Gyula Gazdag---Hungary---1997---96 mins.
Franz Kafka, renowned author of The Metamorphosis and The Trial, is considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Plagued by sleepwalking, Kafka wrote almost exclusively at night. Small wonder that his classic novels resemble dreams or, more precisely, nightmares. Who Was Kafka?, or Wer War Kafka?, explores this aspect of his life and much about the secretive and legendary literary figure who, according to director Richard Dindo, "wrote perhaps the most beautiful letters in the history of literature." Using actors to play the people who knew Kafka best, the film features "interviews" with historical figures who respond using the actual words they wrote about their unique relationships with the writer. "A marvel of thorough research" The Book Republic. In French, English, or German with optional English and French subtitles.

Richard Dindo---France---2005---96 mins.
Based on the Chekhov short story of the same name, The Lady with the Dog (Dama s sobachkoy) is a forgotten masterpiece from a tense period during the Khrushchev thaw. Told with little dialogue and minimal action, this romantic drama is a bittersweet portrait of a doomed love affair between Dmitri, a bank official, and Anna, a well-to-do young woman. The two fall in love while on vacation in Yalta around the turn of the century, but because each is already married, they can only see one another once a year. Director Iosif Heifitz not only adapts the events of the Chekhov story but captures the legendary writer's restrained tone and atmosphere of desperation. Nominated for the Golden Palm at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival. In Russian with English subtitles.

Josef Heifitz---USSR---1960---89 mins.
The mystery and wonder of modern-day Haiti come alive in this two-film set based on the work of writer-director Dany Laferriere. In How to Conquer America in One Night (96 mins.), handsome Gege, a Haitian in his thirties, arrives in Montreal at the doorstep of his Uncle Fanfan, determined to be successful by charming blonde-haired women. During the course of one night out on the town, Gege and Fanfan discover fun, friendship, and fantasies--with the help of twins Andree and Denise. On the Verge of a Fever (88 mins.) is set in 1971, against the backdrop of Haiti's brutal dictatorship and features younger incarnations of Fanfan and Gege, the characters from the previous film. Fanfan finds himself in deep trouble after an incident with the Tonton-Macoute, Haiti's bloodthirsty military police force. He holes up with a beautiful neighbor in her house, where his life will drastically change. In French with English subtitles.

Dany Laferriere---Canada---2004---184 mins.
CELINE
$39.95
KARL MAY
$59.95
French novelist Marguerite Duras (Hiroshima Mon Amour) directs this elliptical, minimalist film about the domestic space of women, in which dull rituals mask an undercurrent of lurking violence. Jeanne Moreau (Jules and Jim) and Lucia Bose (Story of a Love Affair) costar as two friends who worry about the violent behavior of Bose's daughter, discuss the immigration status of their housekeeper, and contemplate news about escaped convicts as they do the morning dishes. A young Gerard Depardieu appears as a door-to-door salesman, mistaking their nonchalance as an invitation to linger. A precursor to the work of Chantal Ackerman and Claire Denis, Nathalie Granger is a landmark of women's cinema. "...the ghost of Pinter's wit walks over the grave of the film" (Vincent Canby, The New York Times).

Marguerite Duras---France---1973---79 mins.
Genevieve, the village nurse, finds Celine, a confused girl with suicidal tendencies, wandering the ward of the hospital one morning. Genevieve takes the young girl home but is afraid to leave her alone. When Celine's stepmother offers the nurse money to take care of her stepdaughter, Genevieve agrees. A bond forms between the young girl and older woman until one day Genevieve realizes Celine has uncanny healing powers. With its dream-like cinematography and haunting music, Jean-Claude Brisseau's psychological drama is a lyrical tale of miracles, apparitions, and sainthood. Brisseau, a maverick director unafraid to tackle social and cultural issues, combines naturalism and surrealism in his own distinctive style. Nominated for the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. In French with optional English subtitles.

Jean-Claude Brisseau---France---1992---83 mins.
The second film in Hans Jürgen Syberberg's highly impressionistic German Trilogy, Karl May follows the last years in the life of Germany’s most popular author. May, a prolific and beloved writer, wrote rousing adventure tales set in America's Wild West, which mythologized a rustic lifestyle that appealed to German sensibilities and may have inspired the Nazi Party. In German with English subtitles.

Hans Jürgen Syberberg---West Germany---1974---187 mins.
French novelist Marguerite Duras (Hiroshima Mon Amour) directs this elliptical, minimalist film about the domestic space of women, in which dull rituals mask an undercurrent of lurking violence. Jeanne Moreau (Jules and Jim) and Lucia Bose (Story of a Love Affair) costar as two friends who worry about the violent behavior of Bose's daughter, discuss the immigration status of their housekeeper, and contemplate news about escaped convicts as they do the morning dishes. A young Gerard Depardieu appears as a door-to-door salesman, mistaking their nonchalance as an invitation to linger. A precursor to the work of Chantal Ackerman and Claire Denis, Nathalie Granger is a landmark of women's cinema. "...the ghost of Pinter's wit walks over the grave of the film" (Vincent Canby, The New York Times ).

Marguerite Duras---France---1973---79 mins.