Some time ago I stopped writing about the films I'd seen an concentrated on listing the films in my DVD/Blu-ray collection. Several regulars who kindly follow this blog and a few friends have asked me to reconsider doing reviews - I hesitate to use the word "reviews" and prefer to describe them as "reactions" - so in the new year I will go back to commenting on the movies I've seen. As before I will try to concentrate on the obscure, the rare, the old and the unloved rather than modern mainstream productions, although I expect there will be a few exceptions. The DVD listings will continue as well. See you in January.
Monday, 7 November 2016
|F. W. Murnau|
Before making a career in cinema, Wilhem Fredrich Murnau had been a pilot during the Great War. He is regarded today as one of the greatest exponents of German expressionism and later films fall into a category that is best described as poetic realism. Thankfully his best films are still available. He is one of my favourite directors of the silent era. He was played (not very accurately) by John Malkovich in the film SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE. Films in my collection are: DIE GANG IN DIE NACHT (1921) SCHLOSS VOGELOD (1921) NOSFERATU (1922) PHANTOM (1922) FINANCES OF THE GRAND DUKE (1924) THE LAST LAUGH (1924) TARTUFFE (1925) FAUST (1926) SUNRISE (1927) CITY GIRL (1930) TABU (1931)
Saturday, 1 October 2016
Michael Williams and Wendell Pierce in THE WIRE
Friday, 26 August 2016
Fritz Lang 1890-1976
Films in my collection: DIE SPINNEN (1919/1920 two parts) DESTINY (1921) DR.MABUSE DER SPIELER (1922 two parts) DIE NIBELUNGEN (1924 two parts) METROPOLIS (1927) SPIONE (1928) FRAU IM MOND (1929) M (1931) DAS TESTAMENT DES DR.MABUSE(1933) YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE 1937) MANHUNT (1941) HANGMEN ALSO DIE (1943) MINISTRY OF FEAR (1944) WOMAN IN THE WINDOW (1944) SCARLET STREET(1945) HOUSE BY THE RIVER (1950) CLASH BY NIGHT (1952) THE BLUE GARDENIA (1953) THE BIG HEAT (1953) HUMAN DESIRE (1954) DAS TIGER VON ESCHNAPAUR (1959) DAS INDISCHE GRABMAL(1959) DIE 1000 AUGEN DES DR.MABUSE (1960)
Thursday, 25 August 2016
The origins of the German "Krimi" crime dramas go back to Fritz Lang's DR.MABUSE DER SPIELER (1922) which itself owes a debt to the earlier French serials of Louis Feuillade such as FANTOMAS (1914). Lang followed the success of the first Mabuse film ten years later then revived the character in 1960 after his return to Germany - it was this film, DIE TAUSEND AUGEN DES DR.MABUSE and DER FROSCH MIT DER MASKE made a year earlier that really kicked off the "Krimi" as a distinct sub-genre.
I don't think anybody would claim that the krimis of the 1960's produced any masterpieces but they can be entertaining - a bit dull at times, maybe. There were a few c0-productions such as CIRCUS OF FEAR and TRAITOR'S GATE but the krimi remains a very Teutonic sub-genre. The inspirational Dr. Mabuse went of to inspire Claude Chabrol's DR. M (1990) and there has been a recent American remake, so far unseen in the UK. Evidence of the popularity of the character is witnessed by the fact that Gordon Hessler's unrelated SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN was released in Germany as DIE LEBENDEN LEICHEN DES DR.MABUSE. The 1937 film listed below managed to invoke both Edgar Wallace and Dr.Mabuse, not to mention Conan Doyle while, seemingly being unrelated to any. Films in my collection are:
DR.MABUSE DER SPIELER (1922) DAS TESTAMENT DES DR.MABUSE (1933) DER MAN DER SHERLOCK HOLMES WAS (1937) DER FROSCH MIT DER MASKE (1959) DIE TAUSEND AUGEN DES DR.MABUSE (1960) DER FALSCHER VON LONDON (1961) DIE IM STAHLNETZ DES DR.MABUSE (1961) DAS TESTAMENT DES DR.MABUSE (1962) UNSICHTBAREN KRALLEN DES DR. MABUSE (1962) SHERLOCK HOLMES UND DAS HALSBAND DES TODES (1962) DER HENKER VON LONDON (1963) DER GEHEIMNIS DER SCHWARZEN WITWE (1963) DIE WEISSE SPINNE (1963) DIE TODESSTRAHLEN DES DR.MABUSE (1964) DER UNHEIMLICHE MONCH (1965)
Monday, 20 June 2016
|Bud Abbott (1897-1974) Lou Costello (1906-1959)|
Although not fashionable today I remain a big fan of Bud and Lou. Charles Laughton was another fan who said he enjoyed their "low comedy" and was happy to appear with them in ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET CAPTAIN KIDD. They certainly still make me laugh however many times I see their routines (often barely changed from film to film). Films in my collection are : ONE NIGHT IN THE TROPICS (1940) BUCK PRIVATES (1941) IN THE NAVY (1941) HOLD THAT GHOST (1941) KEEP 'EM FLYING (1941) RIDE 'EM COWBOY (1942) PARDON MY SARONG (1942) WHO DONE IT? (1942) HIT THE ICE (1943) IN SOCIETY (1944) HERE COME THE CO-EDS (1945) THE NAUGHTY NINETIES (1945) THE LITTLE GIANT (1946) THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES (1946) BUCK PRIVATES COME HOME (1947) THE WISTFUL WIDOW OF WAGON GAP (1947) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948) MEXICAN HAYRIDE (1948) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, BORIS KARLOFF (1949) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN THE FOREIGN LEGION (1950) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN (1951) JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (1951) COMIN' ROUND THE MOUNTAIN (1951) LOST IN ALASKA (1952) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET CAPTAIN KIDD (1952) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO GO TO MARS (1953) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR.JEKYLL AND MR.HYDE (1953) ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY (1955).
Friday, 3 June 2016
|Stanley Kubrick 1928 - 1999|
Steven Spielberg's A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE was intended as a Kubrick film and taken over by Spielberg at the time of Kubrick's death.