Two closely related episodes. Youths make problems for two local orchestras about to compete nationally, and in a talent competition a young girl gets stage fright, while another lies to her boss to compete. Continue reading
Set in the bleak aftermath and devastation of the World War I, a recently demobbed soldier, Timosh, returns to his hometown Kiev, after having survived a train wreck. His arrival coincides with a national celebration of Ukrainian freedom, but the festivities are not to last as a disenchanted.
In Arsenal, Alexander Dovzhenko, perhaps the most radical of the Soviet directors of the silent period, altered the already extended conventions of cinematic structure to a degree greater than had even the innovative Sergei Eisenstein in his bold October. The effect of this tinkering with the more or less accepted proprieties of motion picture construction produced a work that is actually less a film than it is a highly symbolic visual poem. For example, in a more linearly structured piece like October, the metaphors, allusions, and analogies that arise through the construction of the various montages replace rather than comment on essential actions within the film. In Arsenal, however, the symbolism is so purposely esoteric, with seemingly deliberate barriers established to block the viewer’s perception, that the relationship of individual symbols or sequences to the various actions of the film is not immediately clear. Continue reading
Is there a more extraordinary auteur career than that of Bruno Dumont? Having started as one of Europe’s foremost purveyors of extreme cinema and extreme seriousness, he made a startling move to wacky broad comedy, and is handling it as if to the manner born. Now he gives us Ma Loute, or Slack Bay, a macabre pastoral entertainment by the seaside from the belle époque: it’s an old-fashioned provincial comedy with something of Clochemerle, a world in which everyone seems to have drunk their bodyweight in absinthe. There’s also the surreal meta-strangeness of Ken Russell’s version of The Boyfriend. Continue reading
The film explores the global power and impact of the music of John Coltrane and reveals the passions, experiences and forces that shaped his life and revolutionary sounds.
As inspiring as the music of Coltrane itself, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary unfolds the life of the galactic saxophonist whose soulful approach to music incessantly spread light, peace, and love into the world.
Coltrane put his life in music, resorting to a unique timbre, accurate technique, and an unshakeable spirituality, delivering quintessential records that still sound modern and bold today. I believe that every true jazz fan was touched in a way or another by the art of this jazz giant whose musical phases encompass bebop, cool jazz, post-bop, and spiritual avant-garde jazz and modal music. Continue reading
The Damned has often been regarded as the first of Visconti’s films described as “The German Trilogy”, followed by Death in Venice (1971) and Ludwig (1973). Henry Bacon (1998) specifically categorizes these films together under a chapter “Visconti & Germany”. Visconti’s earlier films had analyzed Italian society during the Risorgimento and postwar periods. Peter Bondanella’s Italian Cinema (2002) depicts the trilogy as a move to take a broader view of European politics and culture. Stylistically, “They emphasize lavish sets and costumes, sensuous lighting, painstakingly slow camerawork, and a penchant for imagery reflecting subjective states or symbolic values,” comments Bondanella. Continue reading
Article: from ~ by James Steffen
Immanuel Rath is a stuffy, disciplinarian professor who is shocked to discover his students passing around a postcard of Lola-Lola, a singer at The Blue Angel cabaret. Hoping to catch his students there, Professor Rath visits the nightclub and witnesses Lola-Lola’s performance. Entranced by her dissolute charms, he gets drunk on champagne and spends the night with her. The ensuing scandal causes him to lose control of his students and he is terminated from his position. Returning to Lola, he agrees to marry her and joins the troupe. His humiliation at having to play a clown onstage is compounded by Lola’s attraction to the strongman Mazeppa. To make matters worse, the troupe returns to the professor’s hometown, forcing him to acknowledge how far he has fallen. Continue reading
Nearly fifty years ago, a gunman rode the elevator to the twenty-seventh floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire. TOWER, an animated and action-packed documentary, shares the untold story of that day – when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others. Continue reading