Blu Release – 3/5
Director – Claude d’Anna (Macbeth, Foursome)
Starring – Max von Sydow (Flash Gordon, Game of Thrones), Micheline Presle (Call Me Victor, The Blood of Others), and Francois Arnal (Pentimento)
Release Date – 1975
Rating – 3/5
Every year for as long as I remember I’ve spent the entire month of October binging as many horror titles as possible. Most of the time I’m able to at least watch one movie a day but there have been some Octobers in the past that I was able to watch almost 90 films.
Sadly, this year I may not hit my normal 31 films for the month due to the fact that I’ve watched a few non-genre titles expecting them to be horror releases. This time around it was another Mondo Macabro release that I still really enjoyed. A few weeks back Mondo Macabro sent over the Broken Mirror and Unquiet Death double feature for review. I was unfamiliar with both of these films and couldn’t wait to check them out. I started with Broken Mirror and while it wasn’t horror, I still enjoyed it. I wan’t to thank Mondo Macabro for sending these over!
**Spoiler alert** The film follows Anne who restores classic paintings. When she becomes pregnant and has a visit from her mother, she starts to remember a strange painting she had in her possession some time ago but doesn’t remember what happened to it. As she starts to uncover the truth about the painting and the mystery around it she finds herself being followed by a stranger. **Spoiler Alert**
Broken Mirror is one of those films that you really appreciate as your watching it but once the dust has settled and you look back to reflect on it you find yourself impressed with the film but don’t see yourself revisiting it. I really enjoyed the film and will recommend it to anyone who likes international films or mysteries. It’s a beautifully shot and acted film but it doesn’t have the replay value I often look for in a film.
The acting in this one is great. The entire cast does a phenomenal job but Maire-France Bonin is the star of the show as the pregnant artist who restores old paintings. She carries the entire film on her back. She delivers an emotionally draining performance that really hits hard with the viewer. You put that in a mystery, and you have yourself a film that really pulls the viewer in.
The story for this one is not as predictable as most other mysteries. While I did enjoy the premise and the overall film I do have an issue with the film’s pacing. The scenes are extremely uneven, and a lot spend too much time on cinematography and random shots of the sets over the actual story. Don’t get me wrong, the film is beautifully shot but this does take away from the story.
Finally, this is not a bloody film. The main focus of this one is the protagonist and the mystery surrounding the strange painting. Overall, Broken Mirror is a beautiful film that has a great cast and a solid story. It could be trimmed down sum but isn’t that bad of an experience as is. I highly recommend it
Director(s) – Ferid Boughedir (Sweet Smell of Spring, Villa Jasmine) and Claude d’Anna (Salome, Foursome)
Starring – Aly Ben Ayed (Tunis Top Secret, Play Dirty), Ursule Pauly (The Nude Vampire, The Rape of the Vampire), and Sophie Vaillant (Number 96, Nanou)
Release Date – 1970
Rating – 3/5
We just passed the halfway mark to Halloween a few days ago and I’m still trying to watch as many horror titles as possible before the month ends. However, that has been a bit of a challenge this year with the handful of dark dramas and mysteries that have been sent over for review. I don’t mind these types of films but I primarily watch and review horror for the month of October.
A few weeks ago Mondo Macabro sent over the Broken Mirror and Unquiet Death double feature for review. I was under the impression that these were genre titles but after I finished Broken Mirror I quickly learned that it was not. Regardless, I still enjoyed these films and I want to thank Mondo Macabro for hooking me up with these two fantastic dramas for review!
**Spoiler ALert** The film follows three sisters who visit their late uncle’s estate. While there they are forced to deal with his former servant, which brings about uncomfortable interactions between him and the three. He eventually snaps and starts ordering the women around as if he is the owner of the lavish estate and they are his slaves. It doesn’t take long before the three of them have enough and stand up to him. **Spoiler Alert**
Unquiet Death is another beautifully shot international drama that did not disappoint. While I thoroughly enjoyed it, it’s another film like Broken Mirror that I will never revisit. It’s a fantastic first time watch but once you know exactly what is going to happen it loses it’s thrill.
The acting in this one is great. The three female leads are fantastic together. They have amazing chemistry and go above and beyond to make the scene work. While the cast is fairly small, they are all firing on the same cylinder. Everyone carries their weight so to speak but these three lovely ladies make the film for me. The story for this one is a solid drama that bills itself as a mystery. While I don’t see the mystery aspect of the film I still thoroughly enjoyed it as a drama. It was unexpected and something you never saw coming. It has smooth pacing, wonderful dialogue, and well written characters.
Finally, this is another one that is not a bloody flick. This is character focused but it works. Overall, Unquiet Death is not what I was expecting but I still enjoyed it. It’s a drama that does get dark at times. I highly recommend it.
Interview with co-writer/director Claude d’Anna.
Interview with co-writer/director Férid Boughedir.
Interview with actress/co-writer Laure Dechasnel.
Profile of editor and producer Gust Verren.
Rappels (Curtain Call), short film by Claude d’Anna.
French/English audio choice (BROKEN MIRROR).
Newly translated English subtitles.
Both features digitally restored.