Hitchcock Truffaut is a wonderful look at the art and craft of Hitchcock in his own words. The impact of Hitchcock’s influence on cinema is wide reaching and Kent Jones’ doc sheds new light on the 1966 encounter that birthed the quintessential book on directing “Hitchcock by Truffaut.” The doc opens in limited release this weekend and will roll out to additional cities in the coming months.
What list of forgotten ‘70s films would be complete without an appearance by great director Monte Hellman? His existential masterpiece Two-Lane Blacktop would be a likely choice, but it is not as forgotten as it once was. Instead, Cockfighter seems to encompass all the bases. Forgotten, overlooked and overshadowed, Cockfighter is a true diamond in the film rough. It was shot by Nestor Almendros, who was a great cinematographer, Academy Award winner, and a friend of Hellman
Warren Oates portrays a man who wants to become Cockfighter of the year in the sub-cultural world of game cockfighting. Oates, thought of as only a character actor, he carries the entire film. Like a monk, he has taken a vow of silence as penance for past sins. Oates is a good actor and shows it by spending most of the film with no dialogue, only hand gestures, and expressive face and body movements.
Winner of the Prize Un Certain Regard Award at this year’s Cannes Festival, Kornel Mundruczo’s newest film is a story of the indignities visited upon animals by their supposed “human superiors,” but it’s also an brutal, beautiful metaphor for the political and cultural tensions sweeping contemporary Europe. When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen, because it’s mixed-breed heritage is deemed ‘unfit’ by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. At the same time, all the unwanted, unloved and so-called ‘unfit’ dogs rise up under a new leader, Hagen, the one-time housepet who has learned all too well from his ‘Masters’ in his journey through the streets and animal control centers how to bite the hands that beats him.