Jean Cocteau – Le sang d’un poete AKA The Blood of a Poet (1930)

1qTy6c Jean Cocteau   Le sang dun poete AKA The Blood of a Poet (1930)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jean Cocteau   Le sang dun poete AKA The Blood of a Poet (1930)

Synopsis

A poet creates a drawing of a living mouth, which transfers to his hand when he tries to wipe it from the canvas. Later, when he touches a statue with his afflicted hand, the statue comes to life. As a punishment, the poet is condemned to walk the corridor of the Hotel of Dramatic Follies, where he spies on various tableaux directed by the statue.
Continue reading

Luis Buñuel – El AKA This Strange Passion (1953)

5YOJdN Luis Buñuel   El AKA This Strange Passion (1953)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Luis Buñuel   El AKA This Strange Passion (1953)

Quote:
Francisco is rich, rather strict on principles, and still a bachelor. After meeting Gloria by accident, he is suddenly intent on her becoming his wife and courts her until she agrees to marry him. Francisco is a dedicated husband, but little by little his passion starts to exhibit disturbing traits. Nevertheless, Gloria meets with scepticism as she expresses her worries to their acquaintances. Continue reading

Robert Altman – McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

KZwZQs Robert Altman   McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Robert Altman   McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

Quote:
“In the opening shots of Robert Altman’s “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” the camera follows John McCabe (Warren Beatty) making his way on horseback through the green-brown hills of the Pacific Northwest. As the camera pans slowly to the right, it picks up the credits, hanging in the rain-soaked air. They don’t fade in, as most credits do. Like everything else in “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” they seem to have existed before we took our seats in the theater, before Altman started filming.

“McCabe & Mrs. Miller” is a western that, as shot by Vilmos Zsigmond, looks like old photographs lit from within, as though the subjects had created a sort of afterlife by finding a way to project their essence onto the film. The movie haunts you like a ballad whose tune you remember but whose words hang just beyond reach. And like listening to a ballad, we know the outcome of the events we’re watching was foretold long ago, but we’re helpless to do anything but surrender to the tale. Continue reading

Jean Cocteau – La Belle et la Bete aka beauty and the beast (1946)

4sDE77 Jean Cocteau   La Belle et la Bete aka beauty and the beast (1946)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jean Cocteau   La Belle et la Bete aka beauty and the beast (1946)

It has often been said that Jean Cocteau was the first major poet and writer to treat the cinema with total seriousness. But actually it was the cinema that made him into a major artist. “The movie screen,” he said, “is the true mirror refecting the flesh and blood of my dreams.” And one of his most poetic, dreamlike films was La Belle et La Bête.
Watching it now, you can’t feel its audacity as you might have done at the time. Faithfully, but not totally innocently, based on the fairy tale by Madame LePrince de Beaumont, it is almost purely visual, even if a Freudian analysis is possible. And it is certainly completely different in atmosphere and style from anything that had gone before, at least in the commercial cinema.
The team who made it in 1946 – and it was a team – broke a good many rules at the urging of Cocteau. Georges Auric’s memorable music didn’t so much underline the visuals as frequently cut across them, reaching a synthesis at vital moments. Henri Alekan’s equally extraordinary cinematography, which the studio described unsympathetically as “white cheese”, is the opposite of conventionally fantastic. Continue reading

Nicholas Ray – In a Lonely Place (1950)

Qln2Eb Nicholas Ray   In a Lonely Place (1950)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Nicholas Ray   In a Lonely Place (1950)

Quote:
Screenwriter Dixon Steele, faced with the odious task of scripting a trashy bestseller, has hat-check girl Mildred Atkinson tell him the story in her own words. Later that night, Mildred is murdered and Steele is a prime suspect; his record of belligerence when angry and his macabre sense of humor tell against him. Fortunately, lovely neighbor Laurel Gray gives him an alibi. Laurel proves to be just what Steele needed, and their friendship ripens into love. Will suspicion, doubt, and Steele’s inner demons come between them? Continue reading

Aki Kaurismäki – Laitakaupungin Valot AKA Lights in the Dusk (2006)

ProXjR Aki Kaurismäki   Laitakaupungin Valot AKA Lights in the Dusk (2006)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Aki Kaurismäki   Laitakaupungin Valot AKA Lights in the Dusk (2006)

synopsis – AMG:

A lonely night watchman finds love but comes to regret it in this offbeat comedy from Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki. Koiskinen (Janne Hyytiainen) works as a security guard at a shopping mall in Helsinki, where he keeps an eye on the place after hours. Koiskinen is a quiet nebbish who doesn’t have much luck with women, and the closest thing he has to a girlfriend is Aila (Maria Heiskanen), a woman who runs a sausage cart Koiskinen frequents after work, though he doesn’t realize she carries a torch for him. Koiskinen is killing time in a shabby café when he meets Mirja (Maria Jarvenhelmi), a beautiful blonde who appears to be interested in him. Koiskinen is immediately smitten and is willing to marry her even before they have their first date, but what he doesn’t know is Mirja’s interest in him is not sincere — she’s working with Lindholm (Ilkka Koivula), a career criminal who has hired her to get some security codes from Koiskinen so they can stage a heist at the mall where he works. However, even after Koiskinen is betrayed by Mirja and becomes the leading suspect in the robbery, he still loves her and can’t bring himself to tell the police what he’s learned about her. Laitakaupungin Valot (aka Lights In The Dusk) received its world premier at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Continue reading

Jean Cocteau – Orphée (1950)

jdaNSn Jean Cocteau   Orphée (1950)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jean Cocteau   Orphée (1950)

Orpheus (French: Orphée) is a 1949 French film directed by Jean Cocteau and starring Jean Marais. This film is the central part of Cocteau’s Orphic Trilogy, which consists of The Blood of a Poet (1930), Orpheus (1949) and Testament of Orpheus (1960). The trilogy has been released as a DVD boxed set by The Criterion Collection.

Set in contemporary Paris, the movie is a variation of the classic Greek myth of Orpheus. At the Café des Poètes a brawl is staged by acolytes of the Princess (Casares) and the young poet Cègeste (Edouard Dermithe), the rival of Orpheus the poet, is killed. Cègeste is taken to the car of the princess by her associates, and Orpheus is asked to accompany them as a witness. They drive to a chateau (the landscape through the car windows are presented in negative) acompanied by abstract poetry on the radio. This takes the form of seemingly meaningless messages which are like those broadcast to the French Resistance from London during the Occupation. Continue reading

pixel Jean Cocteau   Orphée (1950)