#176: Black God, White Devil

axjygu98qhdwhgwmoc2gkkdnbpb#176 – Black God, White Devil, (Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol), 1964, Glauber Rocha

Set in the drought-plagued Brazilian badlands of the 1940s, Black God, White Devil explores the climate of superstition, physical and spiritual terrorism, and fear that gripped the country. The central characters, Manuel and Rosa, are on the run, and move credulously from allegiance to allegiance until they finally learn that the land belongs neither to god nor devil, but to the people themselves. The film’s storyline, somewhere between folk ballad and contemporary myth, contains a multitude of references to Brazilian history and culture.

#278: A Hard Day’s Night

zgaxwonrsf1puiptzezxk1nxhav#278 – A Hard Day’s Night, 1964, Richard Lester

Capturing John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in their electrifying element, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ is a wildly irreverent journey through this pastiche of a day in the life of The Beatles during 1964. The band have to use all their guile and wit to avoid the pursuing fans and press to reach their scheduled television performance, in spite of Paul’s troublemaking grandfather and Ringo’s arrest.

#341: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

ju5w8qvwfjxxgar7wd9wsyuyxhs#341 – The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, (Les parapluies de Cherbourg), 1964, Jacques Demy

This simple romantic tragedy begins in 1957. Guy Foucher, a 20-year-old French auto mechanic, has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery, an employee in her widowed mother’s chic but financially embattled umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, he and Geneviève make love. She becomes pregnant and must choose between waiting for Guy’s return or accepting an offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant.

#394: Pale Flower

zzp9d919hatmnnrrjgw8kf3wkuk#394 – Pale Flower, (乾いた花), 1964, Masahiro Shinoda

Muraki, a hardboiled Yakuza gangster, has just been released from prison after serving a sentence for murder. Revisiting his old gambling haunts, he meets Saeko, a striking young upper-class woman who is out seeking thrills, and whose presence adds spice to the staid masculine underworld rituals. Muraki becomes her mentor while simultaneously coping with the shifts of power that have affected the gangs while he was interred. When he notices a rogue, drug-addicted young punk hanging around the gambling dens, he realizes that Saeko’s insatiable lust for intense pleasures may be leading her to self-destruction.

#420: I Am Cuba

s8xqgdpudbkfigfhfdu0edw9bkq#420 – I Am Cuba, (Soy Cuba), 1964, Mikhail Kalatozov

An unabashed exercise in cinema stylistics, I Am Cuba is pro-Castro/anti-Batista rhetoric dressed up in the finest clothes. The film’s four dramatic stories take place in the final days of the Batista regime; the first two illustrate the ills that led to the revolution, the third and fourth the call to arms which cut across social and economic lines.

#458: A Fistful of Dollars

akh1xxpz4glspjiei9z65ue3cn0#458 – A Fistful of Dollars, (Per un pugno di dollari), 1964, Sergio Leone

The Man With No Name enters the Mexican village of San Miguel in the midst of a power struggle among the three Rojo brothers and sheriff John Baxter. When a regiment of Mexican soldiers bearing gold intended to pay for new weapons is waylaid by the Rojo brothers, the stranger inserts himself into the middle of the long-simmering battle, selling false information to both sides for his own benefit.