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Funny Games


Funny Games is a 1997 Austrian crime drama directed by Michael Haneke. Notorious for breaking the fourth wall of film, the audience here, is invited to join in on the games and are challenged through how much we want to involve ourselves. An American version was made by the same director in2007 however never hit the heights of the original.


The Film opens with the journey of a young family making their way to their lakeside holiday home. The family consist of Georg and his wife Anna (Ulrich Muhe and Susanne Lothar), their son Georg jr and dog Rolfi. Upon arrival at the holiday home, the family are introduced to two unfamiliar young men (named Peter and Paul) by the neighbour Fred. When the two seemingly pleasant visitors turn up unannounced at the property, Anna is more than willing to provide them with what they need. However, when both the guests start to become a nuisance, clearly intent on causing aggravation, Anna demands they leave.


And so the games begin…..


The movie that made Michael Haneke universally known, Funny Games is a disturbing and cruel tale of two psychotic young men holding an innocent family hostage. An important and controversial piece of cinema, muchhas been made over the meaning of Funny Games and of violence in the media in general.

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In Cold Blood

Based on what is arguably the quintessential crime novel,which was written by Truman Capote, In Cold Blood is a chilling account of the murder of an innocent family. Despite approaching 50 years old, this film still sets the bar for any up and coming crime drama.

Two ex-cons, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, decide to act on a robbery tip off from Dick’s old cellmate Floyd. A seemingly straight forward job, the aim is to gain access to the farmhouse home of the clutter family, locate the safe containing $10,000 and escape safely with the loot. In Dick’s own words, it was a ‘sure-fire cinch’. However, instead of this routine heist, the two men wound up slaughtering the entire family, consisting of mother and father, brother and sister, after no safe or money was found. We then watch the two immature and unstable criminals, as they go on the run, dodging police and border jumping back and forth from USA to Mexico. With a stunningly powerful conclusion, we witness the downfall of the felons as both guilt and justice close in on the killers.


Hauntingly filmed in black and white, with sensational cinematography, (particularly the scene with Perry discussing his childhood, whilst the rain on the window reflects his tears) In Cold Blood is a compelling and emotional portrayal of a shocking story.




Adding In Cold Blood to my que for the 60's list. Sounds fantastic.
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Great review bud; this is definitely one I'll be watching within the next couple months. I think I'm going to love it.
Cheers mate, make sure you let me know what you think. I reckon its right up your street.



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Les Diaboliques

Directed by Henri-George Clouzot, this 1955 black and white French masterpiece, features on many top horror film lists.

The film revolves around a boarding school, owned by the vulnerable Christina, (Vera Clouzot) but controlled by her repressive husband Michel (Paul Meurisse) with his mistress, teacher Nicole (Simone Signoret) in tow.



With both women possessing a closeness and confidentiality in each other, due to the abusive Michel, they formulate a plan to take care of this tyrant. However, between an intrusive private investigator, incorruptible schoolboys and a missing corpse, things take a mysterious turn for the worse.



Legend has it that Alfred Hitchcock was first approached to direct Les Diaboliques, however, when the deal came to nothing, Henri-Georges Clouzot was the inheritor.

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Straw Dogs

Directed by the brilliant Sam Peckinpah, 1971’s Straw Dogs, is a notoriously controversial film, renowned for its scenes of violence and rape. The film stars Dustin Hoffman and Susan George as a young married couple who make plans to renovate their newly acquired property. With a fascinating and thrilling climax, we witness the transformation of a man, seemingly trampled upon his entire life, turned into a maddened guardian, involuntarily pressurised into defending not only his property but his pride.


David (Hoffman) and Amy (George) hire several local men to renovate their new residence, an isolated cottage-like building, surrounded by the lonely countryside. Despite this being Amy’s hometown, David is met with hostility and being the introvert that he is, does not retaliate to the natives’ adolescent jibes. Things however, begin to get serious, when social boundaries are broken; confrontation inevitably leads to catastrophic circumstances. Very much the case of the wounded beast being at its most dangerous, the inner David is unleashed, with explosive and savage results.

Regarded as one of Peckinpah’s best, this film confirms that anyone is capable of violence when their constraints are breached. Straw Dogs is a violent and gritty cult favourite that is both thought provoking and emotional.




I've only seen it twice, but I've felt let down by Straw Dogs both times. I just don't think it delivers on the controversy and, without that level, it hasn't had anything else for me.



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I've only seen it twice, but I've felt let down by Straw Dogs both times. I just don't think it delivers on the controversy and, without that level, it hasn't had anything else for me.
I get what you're saying HK, I really liked it for its entertainment value more than anything plus I thought Hoffman was outstanding in it. It wasn't particularly close to making my 70's list but its definately got that gritty feel than i love, especially from that decade.



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A Woman Under the Influence



Known, for his ability to capture the honesty and nakedness of human emotion, director John Cassavetes was a visionary of independent film who changed the face of cinema forever. His 1974 tour de force, A Woman Under the Influence, is testament to the brilliance of his work. Gena Rowlands gives an astonishing performance as an eccentric, insecure and emotionally vulnerable woman, living with her three young children and loyal yet volatile husband.


From the beginning of the movie, all eyes are on Mabel (Rowlands)as she is seen erratically getting her kids ready for a weekend with their grandmother. As she looks forward to a night alone with her hardworking husband Nick (Peter Falk), we witness her neurotic behaviour, which is also conceivably witnessed and understood by Nick. With her husband’s patience dwindling due to her unbalanced demeanour, Mabel’s own mental welfare declines and the situation erupts to a harrowing and disturbing breaking point for all the family.


As Rowlands so effectively portrays a woman on the road to madness, Peter Falk gets somewhat overlooked for another tremendous performance as the temperamental and irritable husband. A gripping and shockingly-real character drama within a marriage, A Woman Under the Influence is an emotional and personal masterpiece, detailing the heart-breaking results in the loss of self-control. An absolute must-see.




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That's an excellent film. I watched a couple movies with Falk for the countdown and didn't realize how great an actor he is. Rowlands goes without saying. It was easily my favorite 70's movie that was directed by Cassavetes, but I liked one that he starred in better(Mikey and Nicky).