BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE
L’UCCELLO DALLE PIUME DI CRISTALLO
1970, AGFA, 96 min, Italy/West Germany, Dir: Dario Argento

Director Dario Argento’s debut feature film was a huge success all over the world and served to codify the classic giallo thriller formula like no picture before or since. Visiting American writer Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante) witnesses an attempted murder when he becomes trapped in the foyer of a small art gallery. Although our hero has failed to glimpse the assailant’s face, the black-clad killer nevertheless starts dogging his trail when not busy dispatching beautiful young women. Suzy Kendall, as Musante’s girl, is stupendous as always, and a great catalogue of character actors joins in the fun, including disturbed gallery owner Eva Renzi, hitman Reggie Nalder and itinerant, cat-loving painter Mario Adorf. A pure giallo lover’s delight from beginning to end, with perhaps Ennio Morricone’s all-time greatest giallo score.


HUNDRA
1983, 90 min, Spain/USA, Dir: Matt Cimber

Watch out Conan, Hundra is here! From director Matt Cimber (GLOW - Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) comes this feminist flip on the sword-and-sandal genre, starring Laurene Landon (MANIAC COP) as a fierce and skilled warrior who despises the influence of man. When her family is slain, she seeks revenge in this action-packed fantasy epic.


THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS
LA BATTAGLIA DI ALGERI
1966, Rialto Pictures, 121 min, Algeria/Italy, Dir: Gillo Pontecorvo

The Algerian struggle for independence is presented in a compelling, ultra-realistic style by director Gillo Pontecorvo in this landmark docudrama. Refusing to make villains of either the colonialist French or the bomb-throwing rebels, Pontecorvo weaves a morally complex, dramatically riveting tapestry that presents a balanced yet passionate view of revolution.


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