EIGHT HOURS DON'T MAKE A DAY
ACHT STUNDEN SIND KEIN TAG
1972, Janus Films, 478 min, West Germany, Dir: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Commissioned to make a working-class family drama, up-and-coming director Rainer Werner Fassbinder took the assignment and ran, upending expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany from a critical - yet far from cynical - perspective. Over the course of several hours, the sprawling story tracks the everyday triumphs and travails of the young toolmaker Jochen (Gottfried John) and many of the people populating his world, including the woman he loves (Hanna Schygulla), his eccentric nuclear family, and his fellow workers, with whom he bands together to improve conditions on the factory floor. Rarely screened since its popular but controversial initial broadcast, EIGHT HOURS DON'T MAKE A DAY rates as a true discovery, one of Fassbinder’s earliest and most tender experiments with the possibilities of melodrama.


CUBE
1997, Lionsgate, 90 min, Canada, Dir: Vincenzo Natali

A Best Canadian First Feature Film winner at the Toronto International Film Festival, this cult sci-fi horror film drops a group of strangers of varying backgrounds and skills into a giant cube filled with shifting, booby-trapped rooms from which they must escape. Stark production design and taut direction elevate this allegory about trust and futility, which spawned a pair of sequels. “Surprisingly gripping, in the best 'Twilight Zone' tradition. The ensemble cast does an outstanding job on the cinematic equivalent of a bare stage.” - Anita Gates, The New York Times.


MASKED AVENGERS
CHA SHOU
1981, AGFA, 92 min, Hong Kong, Dir: Chang Cheh

When a trident-wielding gang known as the Masked Avengers terrorizes the countryside, Chiang Sheng and his martial arts students vow to hunt them down. Reformed Avenger Phillip Kwok offers assistance - but there is a double agent in their midst. Featuring many familiar faces from the Venom Mob and an amazingly choreographed final battle in a booby-trapped temple, this unusually dark and bloody actioner is one of the best Shaw Brothers films of the 1980s.


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