Sunday, 29 November 2015

Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953)

New acquisition: Gangster Squad (2013)

A gift from my pal Ralf.

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Kotoko (2011)

The story of a single mother who suffers from double vision; caring for her baby is a nerve-wrecking task that eventually leads her to a nervous breakdownnad so she is suspected of being a child abuser when things get out of control and her baby is taken away.

Idiosyncratic and challenging study of a disintegrating mind is at times gut-wrenching and quite violent; Cocco's performace is suprisingly strong and rousing and central to the whole story.

Veronica Lake

New acquisition: Cinema Perverso - Die wunderbare und kaputte Welt des Bahnhofskinos (2015)

A gift from my pal Ralf.

Isabella Rossellini

Riley's First Date? (2015)

Riley, now 12, who is hanging out with her parents at home when potential trouble comes knocking, and Mom's and Dad's Emotions find themselves forced to deal with Riley going on her first date.

Entertaining animated short film that picks up with the cliffhanger with which the feature Inside Out ended; very likable and amusing, but nothing more than a staged joke.

Anna Karina

Lava (2014)

A story that takes place over millions of years and is inspired by the beauty of tropical islands and the allure of ocean volcanoes.

Wonderful animated short film that illustrating a sentimental love song (between two volcanos); heart-warming and touching.

Michelle Trachtenberg

New acquisition: Alfred Hitchcock

A gift from my pal Ralf - contains Jamaica Inn, the first The Man Who Knew Too Much and Spellbound.

Helmut Dantine

Inside Out (2015)

After a young girl is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness - conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.

An ingenious (and audacious) idea for a children's animated film gets the usual lively and cordial Pixar treatment; a joy to watch.

Margarita Fischer

New acquisition: Oblivion (2013)

A gift from my pal Ralf.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Sandra Edwards

Shiki-Jitsu (2000)**

A disillusioned filmmaker has an encounter with a young girl who has a ritual of repeating "Tomorrow is my birthday" everyday, and he tries to communicate with her through his video camera

Friday, 27 November 2015

Kaya Scodelario

Happy Ever Afters (2009)

Two weddings collide when both receptions are held at one hotel.

Likable Irish comedy made as an attempt to create an old-fashioned screball comedy; the result is only occasionally hilarious.

Karl Dane

Freelancers (2012)

The son of a slain NYPD officer joins the force, where he falls in with his father's former partner and a team of rogue cops.

Messy cop thriller with more ambition than it can handle; the top-notch cast deliver rather wobbly performances.

Maltin BOMB: "Stylistically rocky New Orleans-shot throwaway is another of too many movies where De Niro seems to be phoning in his performance."

Muriel Finley

New acquisition: Inside Out (2015)

A new Pixar production I definitely want to watch.

The Black Cat (1934)

Okuribito (2008)

A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.

Subtle and touching tale of man pursuing an unusual and frowned upon work; made in good taste and not without some fine humour.

Maltin***: "Offbeat, leisurely paced, and disarmingly funny at times, this likable film becomes highly emotional as loose ends in Motoki's life are tied up and he comes to embrace nis unusual profession. Some will find this manioulative; others will succumb and tears will flow."

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

His Girl Friday (1940)

On the set: Cary Grant, Howard Hawks and Rosalind Russell

Dancer in the Dark (2000)

A young woman has emigrated with her son from Central Europe to America where she works day and night to save her son from the same disease she suffers from, a disease that inevitably will make her blind.

Grim and highly artificial melodrama, staged like a study of genre cinema (including the musical); Björk's surprisingly strong gripping performance (and her songs) makes this it worth the watch.

Halliwell**: "A film to divide audiences into those who will respond to the intense emotions on display, many of them heightened by anguished sequences of song and dance; and those who will find the jerky handheld photography a needless distraction, and will reject the melodramatic sob-story as shameless manipulation. Björk throws herself into the role of the most self-sacrificing mother since Stella Dallas with complete conviction."

Maltin**1/2: "Ambitious, brazenlyoff-putting musical (!)...Writer-director von Trier's attempt to expand cinematic musical conventions is certainly thought provoking, but ultimately cold and very literal minded, and not helped by jagged song-and-dance numbers. Björk is impressive..."

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Ziegfeld Girl (1941)

(ph: Clarence Sinclair Bull)

It Came from Outer Space (1953)


A spaceship from another world crashes in the Arizona desert, and only an amateur stargazer and a schoolteacher suspect alien influence when the local townsfolk begin to act strange.

Good old-fashioned sci-fi 'invasion' movie that - for a change - doesn't portrait the aliens as belligerent conquerors; special effects still convincing, though dated in comparison.

Halliwell**: "Quite bright science fiction, the first to use this theme of borrowing bodies and the first to utilize the Western desert locations. 3-D adds a shock moment or two."

Maltin***: "Intriguing science fiction...Remarkably sober for its era, with crisp performances and real restraint, even in its use of 3-D."

[NB: We played this movie complete in 3-D and providing the audience with the necessary green/red glasses with enormous success in our Lyssa humana night movies series (in the late 80s).]

Elsa Martinelli

Vixen! (1968)

Vixen lives in a Canadian mountain resort with her naive pilot husband, and while he's away flying in tourists, she gets it on with practically everybody including a husband and his wife, and even her biker brother.

Strange and wildy confusing sexploitation with quite an ambivalent character as it's star: an incestuous, racist nymphomaniac; all done in its director's over-the-top and satirical style, but quite dated.

Halliwell (no star): "Comic exploitation film in which the cast, at least, appear to be enjoying themselves."

Friday, 20 November 2015

La nuit des étoiles filantes (1973)

Luis Trenker. Der Schmale Grat der Wahrheit (2015)

While forging and trying to sell Eva Braun's diaries after WWII the South Tyrol filmmaker Luis Trenker looks back to his career within the Third Reich period.

Mildly entertaining TV satire about a controversial celebrity (who remained very popular in post-war Germany) that is suprisingly accurate concerning facts, but the result portraits a more sinister Leni Riefenstahl than the title figure; neverthless, Tobias is great as the rogue Luis Trenker.

Forbidden Planet (1956)

On the set: Anne Francis