Madame Rosa lives in a sixth-floor walkup in the Pigalle; she’s a retired prostitute, Jewish and an Auschwitz survivor, a foster mom to children of other prostitutes. Momo is the oldest and her favorite, an Algerian lad whom she raises as a Muslim. He asks about his parents; she answers evasively. As she ages and takes fewer children, Momo must do more for her; as money is tight, he tries to earn pennies on the street with a puppet. He’s a beautiful man-child, and Madame Rosa makes him promise never to sell himself or become a pimp.
A man with eight daughters, and no hope of an heir, takes a mistress to console himself. He finally consults a magician who gives him a list of instructions on how to make a son. Soon his wife is pregnant again.
Somewhere between Woody Allen and Freud, between documentary and fiction, Histoires d’Amerique conjures up the destinies of several generations of Jewish immigrants in New York.
1865: Swiss captain Bluntschli fights as mercenary in the war between Bulgaria and Serbia. When his group’s attacked by a few Bulgarian troopers, he learns that he’s got the wrong ammunition for his cannon and has to flee. His flight leads him right into the bedroom of his enemy’s fiancée.
The childhood and early adulthood of Li Tien-lu, an 84-year-old Taiwanese puppet master, comes to life using a combination of documentary technique and elegant dramatization, while the real Li functions as on-and-off-screen narrator, as the film travels from 1908 to 1945.
The European Upper Crust meets the Taiwan Underworld in this convoluted comic action thriller. Winston Cheng is a prominent businessman who has somehow managed to fall deep into debt to organized crime leaders in Taipai, to the tune of $100 million. When it becomes clear that the gangsters are tired of waiting for their money, Cheng goes underground, just as two mob enforcers are sent out to find him. Cheng’s son — who calls himself Red Fish — is the leader of a street gang; the gunmen start following Red Fish and his partners in crime — Hong Kong, Lun Lun, and Little Buddha — in hopes that the son will lead them to the father.
Italy’s response to the Disney classical music/animation hybrid “Fantasia,” this film features a series of cartoon shorts set to the likes of Claude Debussy, Joseph-Maurice Ravel and Antonio Vivaldi. The animated segments feature both the humorous and fantastical: an aged satyr attempts to regain its lost youth, a bee is interrupted mid-meal by two lovers, the myth of Adam and Eve is retold and more. In between cartoons, a filmmaker struggles to complete the film.
Tom Bogard travels from Boston to the small western mining town of Carson, where on arrival he mentions he is the brother of Jack Bogard, who was assassinated a few weeks ago, he then is completely shut out. By no means anxious to leave, Tom begins to look for people who will be able to tell him about the death of his brother.