Hidden Gems #2
Hidden Gem #20: The Pearl a.k.a. La perla (1947, Mexico)
Director: Emilio Fernandez
Before he became "Mapache" (See: Opening Up A Treasure The Wild Bunch) this rather neglected, under appreciated director created this beautiful cinematic gem, truly inspired from the John Steinbeck novella whereby the famous novelist himself assisted in writing the screenplay.
Hidden Gem #19: Devil's Doorway (1950, U.S.A.)
Director: Anthony Mann
Credit goes to producer Nicholas Nayfack for giving us this courageous, under appreciated masterpiece (its director's first and finest western which is saying a lot) telling a very personal tragedy that exposes the hard truth about America's past treatment of its native inhabitants. (See: Inspecting a Hidden Gem).
Hidden Gem #18: Titicut Follies (1967, U.S.A.)
Director: Frederick Wiseman
This gripping and shocking documentary that takes place inside a Massachusetts Correctional Institution for the criminally insane benefits most from its director's unique approach of quietly filming for endless hours so that his subjects practically forget he's there.
Hidden Gem #17: The Matrimony a.k.a. Xin zhong you gui (2007, China)
Director: Hua-Tao Teng
A tragedy of lost love is creatively interwoven throughout this suspenseful and chilling ghost story.
Hidden Gem #16: Orders to Kill (1958, U.K.)
Director: Anthony Asquith
"To kill or not to kill" is the question for this protagonist since he not only doubts the guilt of a so called traitor to the French Resistance during WW2, he becomes rather fond of the guy he's ordered to eliminate in this underrated British gem deserving of its praise from noted film historian Peter Cowie.
Hidden Gem #15: Mado (1976, France)
Director: Claude Sautet
This wonderful cinematic storyteller becomes so deeply absorbed in his characters he allows those with vision to do the same.
Hidden Gem #14: The Seedling a.k.a. Ankur (1974, India)
Director: Shyam Benegal
This director's award winning first feature based on a true story resonates with emotion as it provides deep insight into India's troubled caste system.
Hidden Gem #13: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion a.k.a. Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto (1970, Italy)
Director: Elio Petri
This fascinating, ultra magnetic portrait of a power crazy (and just plain crazy) murderer who also happens to be a police chief is made absorptive due to its distinctive visual style perfectly matched with a lively and infectious Ennio Morricone score. (See: Treasured Appearances).
Hidden Gem #12: Malcolm (1986, Australia)
Director: Nadia Tass
Leave it to the Aussies (in this case Nadia Tass working with writer David Parker) to turn a crime film into such a quirky, inventively hilarious and ultimately endearing little gem.
Hidden Gem #11: Forever Mary a.k.a Mery per sempre (1989, Italy)
Director: Marco Risi
A teacher gets deeply involved with his reform school students, and so do we.