Life Is Sweet (1990) - Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh - Life Is Sweet (1990)
97 min | DivX 576x352 | 808 kb/s | 192 kb/s mp3 | 25 fps | 700 MB + 3% recovery record
English | Subtitles: Spanish and English .srt | Genre: Comedy/Drama

Just north of London live Wendy, Andy, and their twenty-something twins, Natalie and Nicola. Wendy clerks in a shop, leads aerobics at a primary school, jokes like a vaudevillian, agrees to waitress at a friend's new restaurant and dotes on Andy, a cook who forever puts off home remodeling projects, and with a drunken friend, buys a broken down lunch wagon. Natalie, with short neat hair and a snappy, droll manner, is a plumber; she has a holiday planned in America, but little else. Last is Nicola, odd man out: a snarl, big glasses, cigarette, mussed hair, jittery fingers, bulimic, jobless, and unhappy. How they interact and play out family conflict and love is the film's subject.





Filmed entirely in the north-London suburb of Enfield, "Life Is Sweet" is a contemplative comedy about people who aren't. Chiefly it's about the members of one lower-middle-class family: Wendy (Alison Steadman), a pretty woman of early middle age who laughs too much; her husband, Andy (Jim Broadbent), a good-natured fellow and professional cook, and their red-headed twin daughters, Natalie (Claire Skinner), who has found her calling as a plumber, and Nicola (Jane Horrocks), who says she wants to "write" (but doesn't) and stays home all day.



The family lives in comparative peace in a row house that Andy has never finished off properly. The front stoop still lacks the trellis he promised to build. Yet for al fresco dining, the backyard is furnished with an umbrella table and the sort of molded plastic chairs that can be stacked easily. Wendy is determinedly cheerful as she goes about her various self-assigned tasks. She works in a shop that sells children's clothes (many of them pretty ghastly) and is an enthusiastic aerobics instructor to a class of tubby little girls. She is a good wife and mother, but also an edgy one.



Nothing much goes right for the family, though nothing goes terribly wrong, except for their friend Aubrey (Timothy Spall). He is a cook who opens his own French restaurant, the Regret Rien. Its decor features a stuffed cat's head on the wall, a birdcage hanging from the ceiling to recall the spirit of Edith Piaf (nicknamed "the sparrow"), and candles stuck into empty wine bottles "for that bistro effect." Several choice items on Aubrey's menu: prune quiche, boiled bacon consomme and tongue in a rhubarb hollandaise sauce.



"Life Is Sweet," a title that should not be taken as irony, demands that the audience accept its meandering manner without expectations of the big dramatic event or the boffo laugh. It is very funny, but without splitting the sides.

The film moves easily from the broad jokes about Aubrey's restaurant to Nicola's scenes of very real desperation. At the center of it all is the substantial but not simply characterized relationship between Wendy and Andy. The movie regards them fairly, at their own level, without trying to be nice to them.

"Life Is Sweet" is also an actor's field day. Miss Steadman, Mr. Broadbent, Miss Horrocks, Mr. Thewlis and the others are a joy to watch, both for the vigor of their performances and for the immense satisfaction they seem to have had in getting those characters together. "Life Is Sweet" is a movie that breathes. Life Is Sweet
Vincent Canby, NY Times, October 25, 1991



La Vida es dulce
En el norte de Londres viven Wendy, Andy y sus hijos gemelos Natalie y Nicola. Wendy trabaja de camarera en el nuevo restaurante de una amiga, y Andy, cocinero, sueña con poner un negocio de hostelería. Esta comedia del director de ‘Secretos y mentiras’ cuenta los conflictos de familia que suceden entre estos personajes.

IMDB

English subs by ib50 (KG). Subs en castellano de yonoseturco (Cine Clásico)


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Il Ladro di bambini (1992) - Gianni Amelio

Gianni Amelio - Il Ladro di bambini (1992)
110 min | DivX 6 688 x 416 | 1303 kb/s | 128 kb/s mp3 | 25 fps | 1.1 GB + 3% recovery record
Italian | Subtitles: English, Italian and Spanish .srt | Genre: Drama

Luciano (Giuseppe Ieracitano), a nine year old boy, and his eleven year old sister, Rosetta (Valentina Scalici), live with their mother. To supplement her meager income, the woman sells Rosetta into prostitution. When the police learn of this, they take the mother off to jail, leaving Luciano and Rosetta without a home or a family. Antonio (Enrico Lo Verso), a young carabiniere officer, is charged with escorting the two to a children's home. However, upon arrival, he discovers that they will not be admitted because of Rosetta's dubious past.




The Stolen Children
In the simplest terms, it's possible to boil Il Ladro di Bambini to an unusual "buddy film". The children and Antonio are initially apathetic to each other, but, as the movie progresses, they develop a bond. Such a distillation, however, does this movie a great injustice. Writer/director Gianni Amelio has successfully taken the skeleton of a common story and infused it with a fresh emotional honesty rarely encountered in movies of this sort. While the plot is not filled with novel twists, it is remarkable because of its genuine insight into the human condition. Also, there is no pat ending. Il Ladro di Bambini concludes when the story is over, not when all the loose ends have been neatly wrapped up.

The film in general, and the second half in particular, exhibits skillful (not heavy-handed) manipulation. Il Ladro di Bambini is without parallel when it comes to the "show, don't tell" rule. Certain scenes are near-masterpieces of conveying emotion without resorting to explanatory dialogue. The profound effect that the children and Antonio have on each other is realized gradually. There is no sudden shift in perspectives. Instead, the relationships are allowed to evolve and change naturally. As a result, simple actions have greater impact, and small tokens of friendship and affection are heartwarming. For all parties, trust comes grudgingly, but, once earned, it cannot be ripped away.




El ladrón de niños
Antonio, un joven oficial de carabineros, tiene que llevar a dos niños, Roseta y Luciano, de once y diez años, hasta una residencia infantil. Sin embargo, cuando llegan allí, la niña es rechazada alegando un error burocrático y Antonio se enfrenta a su viaje más largo. Los tres toman un tren hasta Sicilia, donde deberá dejar a los pequeños en un hogar para niños difíciles.




Durante i titoli di testa viene descritto l'epilogo di una famiglia di siciliani emigrati a Milano. La madre, senza marito, vive di lavori saltuari e non riesce a mantenere i due figli (Luciano, nove anni e Rosetta undici anni). Per sbarcare il lunario la madre ha indirizzato Rosetta alla prostituzione. Questa situazione perdura fino al giorno in cui intervengono le autorità. Dopo l'arresto della madre dei bambini Antonio, carabiniere incaricato di accompagnare i due bambini in un istituto a Roma, incontra una marea di difficoltà in questo straziante compito.

All'inizio del film viene lasciato da solo da un suo collega più esperto che avrebbe dovuto tradurre i bambini insieme a lui, ma che invece preferisce imboscarsi in un'avventura privata lasciando l'intera incombenza ad Antonio, il cui amoroso aiuto e la cui autorità non vengono accettati dai bambini.

Dato che Luciano soffre d'asma, il tragitto verso l'istituto è reso ancora più complicato. Inoltre, al loro arrivo, i tre si rendono conto che l'istituto si rifiuta di ammettere i due bambini, dato che sembra mancare un certificato medico di Rosetta. Si tratta presumibilmente di una scusa per liberarsi di un caso ritenuto scomodo. I tre si dirigono quindi verso la Sicilia, dove un secondo istituto dovrebbe ospitare i bambini.



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La Dentellière (The Lacemaker) (1977) - Claude Goretta

Claude Goretta - La Dentellière aka The Lacemaker (1977)
102 min | XviD 640 x 384 | 1408 kb/s | 83 kb/s mp3 | 25 fps | 1.07 GB + 3% recovery record
French | Subtitles: English and Spanish .srt | Genre: Drama

Beatrice is a very reserved and quiet young woman. Her friend Marylene is left by her lover and brings her to Cabourg (Normandy) for a few days' vacation. There, Beatrice, an apprentice hairdresser, meets Francois, a middle-class intellectual. Francois becomes her first lover, but their social and cultural differences get in the way of happiness.




As much as anything, it's probably the intriguing ambivalence of a narrative in which connections are never overtly made that turned this into an unexpected box-office hit. Where "A Girl from Lorraine" treads a clearcut feminist path, "The Lacemaker" lurks in more shady byways. Its heroine (beautifully played by Huppert as a passive object) seems less a candidate for women's lib than a helpless prisoner of the incommunicability Goretta had in mind when he defined the film as being about the problem between two people 'who are unable to love each other because they do not express themselves in the same way'. The refreshing quality of the film, as one listens to the expressive eloquence of its silences, is that it cannot be reduced to ideological terms. The heroine may be a victim of both social convention and a suave though sympathetic seducer, but with a mysterious inner radiance glowing behind her patient suffering, she is also much, much more.




Beatrice, una muchacha discreta y silenciosa, trabaja de aprendiz de peluquera con su amiga Maryléne, una rubia coleccionista de hombres y desilusiones. Beatrice conoce a François, un estudiante de buena familia. Se enamoran y deciden irse a vivir juntos a París. Ella plancha y él estudia. Las diferencias de clase y cultura percibidas por el chico, provocan la ruptura de la pareja y ella se convierte en la parte afectada.




Pomme, dix-neuf ans, fait son apprentissage dans un salon de coiffure. C'est encore une enfant. Discrète, gracieuse, silencieuse Pomme ne dérange personne. Marylène, la blonde provocante du salon, décide de la 'prendre en main'. Abandonnée par son amant aux tempes grises, elle entraîne Pomme avec elle en convalescence de coeur à Cabourg, où, du reste, Marylène ne tarde pas à trouver un monsieur aux tempes grises. Alors qu'elle trompe sa solitude dans une pâtisserie, Pomme rencontre François, étudiant fougueusement cultivé et terriblement timide. Pomme intrigue François qui se met en devoir de l'épater. La naïveté, l'inexpérience et la timidité les rapprochent alors que tout les oppose par ailleurs.




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La Ronde (1950) - Max Ophüls

Max Ophüls - La Ronde (1950)
89 min | DivX 5 712 x 520 | 960 kb/s | 137 kb/s mp3 | 25 fps 700 MB + 3% recovery record
French | Subtitles: English and Spanish .srt | Genre: Drama

Ophuls' most successful film was his first back in France after an uneasy exile in Hollywood. La Ronde consists of 10 scenes between men and women, and each ends with one partner encountering a new one; a carousel representing the turning circle of desire. To the tune of Oskar Straus' infectious waltz, Ophuls' fluid camera threads through an opulent world of cafes, boudoirs, and misty streets in the Vienna of 1900, as each character repeats the same words and gestures with a different partner, deceiving and deceived.




An all-knowing interlocutor guides us through a series of affairs in Vienna, 1900. A soldier meets an eager young lady of the evening. Later he has an affair with a young lady, who becomes a maid and does similarly with the young man of the house. The young man seduces a married woman. On and on, spinning on the carousel of life.

The exquisite circularity of the roundelay has always been an attractive cinematic device, but never has it been used with more delicacy and canny insight than in La Ronde, Max Ophüls's adaptation of the Arthur Schnitzler play Reigen.
The camera glides, swirls, and delicately dances around fleeting moments between lovers, from chance meetings and secret trysts, to the sincere but hopeless courtship by a besotted admirer, to the relaxed banter of cuckolding married couples.
Ophüls's wry glimpses behind closed doors and pulled curtains are both cynical and sweet, generous of character but suspect of motive. As one scene ends, we waltz along as the characters change partners and dance again and again; we follow streetwalkers and soldiers, courtesans and counts, until we come full circle. Returning to the superb metaphor of the carousel, where dapper Anton Walbrook wanders about as host and commentator (a sort of literary ringmaster, like Peter Ustinov in Lola Montes), Ophüls plays at the game of love with a cocked grim and a sly jab, though he never belittles or judges.



La ronda
Basada en la obra de uno de sus escritores favoritos, Schnitzler, Ophüls cuenta, en la Viena de 1900, diez pequeñas historias de amor a través de un personaje central (Walbrook), que subido a un carrusel infantil nos hace girar en la geométrica estructura narrativa del film. Ese personaje central es como la prolongación de todo autor, aquí el cineasta, que hace lo que quiere con sus personajes, jugando con ellos y su destino. Es una trama leve y casi frívola, nada trascendente, aliviada aún más por un bien presente sentido del humor, que tiene fragmentos de deliciosos diálogos, así como los maravillosos travellings de su director.

Subtítulos en castellano de tahita (24fps)




Vienne 1900. Frac et haut de forme, un homme actionne la manivelle d’un manège. C’est le meneur du jeu, un peu comme Ustinov avec Lola Montès. Gare au ménage. C’est la valse des pantins. La ronde de l’amour. Belle. Cruelle. Un soldat dans les bras d’une prostituée qui l’aime s’en va rejoindre une femme de chambre qui se laisse séduire par dépit par le fils de ses patrons qui rêve de devenir l’amant d’une femme du monde. Le mari de celle-ci s’amuse avec une midinette qui inspire un si séduisant auteur de théâtre qui trouve par ailleurs que les actrices ont tellement de cœur. L’actrice aime bien les auteurs, mais elle préfère les jeunes officiers. Le comte est irrésistible. Il finit par s’abandonner sur le divan d’une prostituée amoureuse d’un de ses soldats. La boucle est bouclée. En trompe l’œil. La spirale amorcée. L’étourdissement laisse place au vertige.



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Okaasan (Mother) (1952) - Mikio Naruse

Okaasan aka Mother (1952)
98 min | DivX 656x528 | 723 kb/s | 128 kb/s mp3 | 25 fps | 700 MB + 3% recovery record
Japanese/Spanish (dual audio) | Subtitles: English, Spanish and French .srt |Genre: Drama

A masterpiece of postwar Japanese cinema, Okasan is the story of a poor, working class mother with a sick husband who sacrifices herself to support her family in suburban Tokyo. The film defines "Shomin Geki," a Japanese film genre that features realistic depiction of the economic underclass, told with elements of light comedy and melodrama. Okasan is the best-known work of director Mikio Naruse, hailed by Japanese film historians as an equal of Kurosawa, Ozu and Mizoguchi, but underappreciated in the West.



Mikio Naruse presents a compassionate, resigned, and poignant examination of human struggle, perseverance, and sacrifice in Okasan. Juxtaposing the innocence and optimism of youth with the austerity of life in postwar Japan, Naruse reflects the gradual erosion of hope in the face of change and uncertainty: the town festivals that coincide with episodes of illness and death in the family; the Fukuharas' fond reminiscence of their hectic life as young parents with a newly opened business, as Ryosuke looks forward to the laundry shop reopening despite his debilitating illness; Chako's picnic at an amusement park that exacerbates Masako's motion sickness. From the opening shot of Toshiko's affectionate voice-over against the image of the resourceful Masako, arched forward, cleaning the house, Naruse conveys the understated and bittersweet image of his archetypal, resilient heroine - an unsentimental, yet graceful and reverent portrait of a tenacious, aging woman struggling - and literally yielding - against the interminable burden of poverty, heartache, disillusionment, and unrealized dreams.

Akira Kurosawa described it most accurately as "a flow of shots that looks calm and ordinary at first glance, reveals itself to be like a deep river with a quiet surface disguising a fast-raging current underneath".





La madre
Ryosuke trabaja duramente día y noche para reconstruir su negocio de tintorería, destruido durante un bombardeo. Su esposa Masako y sus dos hijas, Toshiko e Hishako, hacen todo lo que pueden paar ayudarle, sacrificándose constantemente por el bien de la familia. Toshika está enamorada de un panadero de ideas progresistas. El padre cae enfermo y su hermana Kimura acude a visitarles. Se decide que Kimura habrá de ayudarles si algo le ocurriera al padre, quien muere poco después.

Este relato lleno de lirismo de la vida de la gente corriente es una de las obras maestras de Mikio Naruse, junto a 'Nubes flotantes'. Está basado en el guión de una mujer, Yoko Mizuki, que colaboró varias veces con el director.



La mère
La famille Fukuhara a perdu sa blanchisserie lors d'un incendie pendant la guerre. Le père espère la réouvrir bientôt et travaille d'arrache-pied dans ce but.
Mais une suite de drames va obliger la mère à gérer seule le foyer, au sein d'un quartier peuplé de petites gens modestes ou les souvenirs de la guerre sont encore proches.



Okasan s’agit de la chronique du quotidien d’une famille japonaise peu après la deuxième guerre mondiale : le film datant de 1952 c’est alors un sujet parfaitement contemporain. Raconté par la fille aînée TOSHIKO, le récit nous plonge dans la vie de ce foyer profondément marqué par les deuils successifs : la mort du fils aîné et du père. Mais aussi les petits évènements tristes ou gais qui rythment le temps qui passe : les jeux des enfants, le flirt de TOSHIKO avec un boulanger sympathique et un peu naïf, les clients de la blanchisserie, le voisinage, l’ami du père défunt et ancien prisonnier de guerre, les fêtes du quartier avec un concours de chant

Autant de points de repères que NARUSE traite avec une pudeur absolue, sans aucun effet de style, avec une façon d’observer sans trop s’immiscer dans l’intimité de ses personnages, mais avec une humanité profonde. Son regard sur l’enfance déborde ainsi de tendresse indulgente, sans aucune niaiserie mais avec une justesse de ton confondante.
La simplicité du style touche au sublime, rendant passionnante une histoire somme toute banale. La poésie n’est pas absente, comme cette courte séquence ou le petit gamin TETSU apporte un cadeau à son oncle malade, des poissons dans un bocal que le père observe mélancoliquement, image d’une vie débordante et apaisante pour celui qui va bientôt la quitter





Subtítulos en castellano de vishnu/firpo. English subs are my own.

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Sakura no mori no mankai no shita (1975) - Masahiro Shinoda

Sakura no mori no mankai no shita (1975)
95 min | XviD 544x352 | 928 kb/s | 91 kb/s MP3 | 23.97 fps | 700 MB + 3% recovery record
Japanese | Subtitles: English and Spanish .srt | Genre: Fantasy/Horror

The hero of the story is a crude bandit who one day abducts a beautiful woman from Kyoto, marries her and makes her his own. But possession works both ways, and soon the bandit finds himself at the mercy of her outrageous desires. She makes him bring her people's severed heads for her amusement!





Under the Blossoming Cherry Trees

A pretty girl is captured by a rough robber who works alone. He takes her home for his wife. She turns into the wife from hell, trading what we see as great sex for increasingly more difficult favors. Then those favors escalate to demands to bring more and more severed heads for her to act out plays with. The heart of the film is her plays, her discovering that she is missing some character and sending her loutish but charmed husband out to get the head of a specific character: "the last monk wasn't mean enough looking."

Meanwhile, we know that the cherry trees, when they blossom, magical curses affect those who wander through. This happens, and the falling petals are every bit as wonderful as you'll see in a Zhang film.

The story is slow by western standards, but the structure is a western folded narrative spliced onto a traditional Japanese ghost story. The blossoming trees, the curse and the fantastic end with the air filled with petals — and the smiling beauty dead, being caressed by the cherry blossoms — is traditional. The business about explicitly constructed narrative (the head puppets) within the narrative is from the new wave influence sweeping Japan in that era. In both cases, the camera is extremely well managed. Space is essential, and one gets the idea that the story is only an excuse for the structure, and the structure is only an excuse for the visions. These are formally framed, and some of them are amazing. Visually, this is certifiably worth it. IMDB comment



Bajo los cerezos en flor
Un bandido que vive en las montañas, justo por encima de los cerezos, rapta a una extraña doncella, matando a su marido en el proceso, y la lleva a su casa para hacerla su mujer. Una vez allí, descubrirá las peculiaridades de su nueva esposa.



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Los Muertos (2004) - Lisandro Alonso


Los Muertos (2004)
78 min | XviD 576x320 | 1121 kb/s | 121 kb/s mp3 | 29.97 fps | 700 MB + 3% recovery record
Spanish | Subtitles: English, French and Portuguese .srt | Genre: Drama

Vargas, a 54 year old man, gets out of jail in the prvince of Corrientes, Argentina. Once released, he wants to find his now adult daughter, who lives in a swampy and remote area. To get there, he must cross great distances in a small boat on the rivers, scoring deep into the jungle. Vargas is a quiet and self-contained man. He possesses the restraint of those living close to nature. A deep mystery surrounds him, the people he encounters and the places he goes through, all that taking in the unalterable world he finds almost unchanged after his long years of incarceration.







The Dead
With its languid shots, deliberate pacing and near-total absence of dialogue, this mesmerizing Argentine film makes a virtue of slowness. Like director Lisandro Alonso's superb 2001 debut La Libertad, The Dead is a patiently rendered portrait of one man within a pastoral setting. Argentino Vargas plays a killer who is released from jail and makes his way downriver to an unknown destination. Despite its startling beauty, the natural world is also presented as a place full of lurking menace. Then again, you don't have to tell that to the goat that gets slaughtered onscreen. EyeWeekly





Antonio Vargas mató a sus hermanos. Pagó con veinticinco años en la cárcel de Corrientes. Cuando sale por fin a la calle, es un muerto viviente: sin vínculos afectivos, sin pasado, sin futuro, sin conciencia. El único eslabón con la realidad es una hija a quien no ve desde que mató a los suyos. Con el objetivo incierto de recuperarla, vaga por un río en medio de la selva, en medio de la soledad más absoluta, poseído por la sensación de que quizás los que parecen vivos están tan muertos como él. (FILMAFFINITY)



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Under the Skin (1997) - Carine Adler


Under the Skin (1997)
79 min | XviD 592x384 | 1034 kb/s | 192 kb/s mp3 | 25 fps | 700 MB + 3% recovery record
English | Subtitles: Spanish and French .srt | Genre: Drama

When their mother suddenly dies from a brain tumour, two sisters, Iris and Rose, are grief-stricken but it is Iris whose behavior begins to go off the rails. She immerses herself in a sex binge and stretches her relationship with her sister to its limits.





While Under the Skin centers on a young woman's relation to her mother and sister and their mourning and loss, the film casts a broader net. The narrative journey is intensely shaped by the central character's quest for self-integration and love. The film does not end, like many feminist films, with the discovery of a rage that mobilises the female protagonist. Instead it begins with Iris's antagonism, and moves through the various expressions of rage that lead her from abjection to a discovery of her voice and to a mode of behavior that connects her to others.

The 'skin' of the film's title suggests that Iris's (Samantha Morton) struggle is with her body. Her sense of loss is literally written on her skin at the beginning of the film, as prefigured in the image of her writing on her abdomen with a black marker pen. Her route to self-discovery is expressed through masturbation, heterosexual excess, masochism and physical assaults on her sister and strangers. These actions are intimately related to her struggle to break the shackles of social convention learned through the body. Iris's exploration of sexuality allows her (and more broadly the film narrative) to entertain a world other than conventional expectations of conformity to marriage, and family. Iris's journey ends in her reconciliation with her pregnant sister, Rose (Claire Rushbrook), her planting the mother's ashes, then chucking her mother's empty urn into the water. Thus the film ends with images of birth - literally - and of rebirth and openness.

Under the Skin tackles a key feminist concern: the connections between language, voice, and femininity. Iris's insistence on talking to the men with whom she has sex, her belligerent conversations with Rose, and the many frustrating phone calls suggest her difficulty in finding a language to express her feelings about difference.

The success of the film is also due to Samantha Morton's acting and the intimate ways in which she was filmed. Moreover, the presence of Rita Tushingham, brief though it is, evokes memories of the films of the 1960s - e.g. A Taste of Honey and The Girl with Green Eyes and of Tushingham's portraits of off-beat femininity. Under the Skin is not merely an exercise in feminist theory: it is a journey into memory and an experiment in cinematic style.





A flor de piel
Iris y Rose son dos hermanas que son como el día y la noche. Rose está embarazada y depende excesivamente de su madre, mientras que Iris cree que su hermana mayor acapara todas las atenciones, quedando ella a un lado, aunque no sea del todo cierto. Pero un día reciben la noticia de que la madre tiene un tumor, y que le queda muy poco tiempo de vida. Las dos luchan para que reciba sesiones de quimioterapia, pero se niega, y al cabo de poco tiempo fallece. Iris deja a su novio, abandona el trabajo y se muda a un apartamento. A partir de ese momento se agrava la combativa relación que mantienen las dos hermanas. Iris no encuentra su lugar en el mundo y se lanza a una espiral autodestructiva.

Subtítulos en castellano de un servidor para 24fps



Iris, 19 ans, et Rose, 24 ans, se disputent l'amour de leur mère. Quand cette dernière décède soudainement d'un cancer, Rose ne parvient pas à surmonter la douleur. Délaissée par sa soeur, Iris perd toute maîtrise d'elle-même et plaque tout pour errer dans les rues, vêtue du manteau de fourrure et de la perruque de sa mère ....



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