Enrico Guazzoni – Quo Vadis? (1912)



Directed by Enrico Guazzoni
Scenario by Enrico Guazzoni, from a novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz
Amleto Novelli (Vinicius), Gustav Serena (Petronius), Amelia Cattaneo (Eunice), Carlo Cattaneo (Nero)

The birth of the motion picture epic is generally dated to the 1913-1914 Italian films Quo vadis, The Last Days of Pompeii, Cabiria and Cajus Julius Cesar, many of them based on a standard set of 19th century religious novels that would be made and remade over the next half of the 20th century. One of several specialists in the genre, Enrico Guazzoni filmed this second version Quo Vadis?, the prime exemplar of a subsidiary genre to “Life of Christ” films, one that might be called the “Christ vs. Caesar” genre. The title of this film means “Where are you going?” and the question is posed by the Ascended Christ to Peter in a vision as the latter departs Rome on the eve of an Imperial persecution. The main story, however, focuses on a Roman commander, Vinicius, who falls for a Christian girl, Lygia, and is so drawn into the underground Christian community, experiencing a personal transformation along the way. Continue reading

Nicolas Philibert – Le Pays des sourds AKA Land of the Deaf (1992)



“I saw this lovely documentary once, some ten years ago, and found it most rewarding. Its tone was dignified and understated, having a gently moving cumulative effect. The most salient impression I had of the film’s subjects was how expressive they were with their faces and bodies in revealing their emotions and thoughts. As a cinephile, I could not help but think of the vanished acting styles of silent cinema, of how so much had to be conveyed through purely visual means, and of how comparatively impoverished, from a visual viewpoint, so much modern cinema is. Rightly or wrongly, I perceived a more direct correspondence between feeling and expression in the people depicted in this film than is the norm among hearing people, and this suggested hidden treasures within these subjects’ lives that could be of benefit to us all. What has traditionally been seen as a handicap came to be seen as an inextricable, richly beautiful thread in the human tapestry, and this film must be conceded to be a masterpiece for showing us this truth.” Continue reading

Mehmet Kilic – Gunes ne zaman dogacak AKA When the Sun Rises (1978)


Yavuz Mehmedov Crimean Turks (cüneyt arkin) against the religious activities that are prohibited by the regime for years because of the village mosque minaret had been shot out of the door lock reads the morning prayer call to prayer.

Because of this movement were arrested and tortured by soldiers and a secret headquarters in order to brain wash yavuz imprisoned, for years, hoping to escape to Turkey one day self-identity by hiding in the elevated Alpgiray Nuriyev kgb (baki tamer) in the support cells are removed. asylum in Angola, the two friends are moving to Turkey on a ship. Continue reading

Svetozar Ristovski – Iluzija AKA Mirage (2004)



‘Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.’ Nietzsche, 24 July 2006
Author: Grady Harp from United States

‘You never get out of the sewer’ is the sad summary toward the end of this remarkable film from Macedonia. Director Svetozar Ristovski co-wrote this screenplay with Grace Lea Troje, a story of the struggle of youths in a country devastated with poverty and corruption – a place without hope. The message is grim, the story is brutal, but the impact is stunning. Continue reading

Ralph Levy – Bedtime Story (1964)



In this 1960s comedy, Freddy Benson (Marlon Brando) and Lawrence ‘The Prince’ Jameson (David Niven) are two charming scoundrel confidence trickster gigolos who prey on wealthy women taking holidays on the French Riviera. The pair join a playful competition to see who is best at the job, and the target is cute Janet Walker (Shirley Jones), better known as the “American Soap Queen.” Who can extract $25,000 first Continue reading

Haile Gerima – Sankofa (1993)


From the New York Times review:
“In “Sankofa,” a contemporary African-American woman travels back in time and experiences slavery. Haile Gerima’s poetic and precisely detailed film takes its audience into its heroine’s life and mind as her moral sense is challenged and changed. No viewer can avoid the discomforting questions the film so eloquently raises.

The opening sequences, set and filmed in Ghana, are alternately seductive and off-putting. Among drums and chants, a voice invokes ancestral ghosts. “Spirit of the dead, rise up,” the voice says, “and claim your story.” The film’s title is a West African term meaning to reclaim the past in order to go forward, and “Sankofa” stumbles only in its depiction of the present. Continue reading

Francesco Rosi – I Magliari (1959)


Mario is in Hannover to work as a miner but after loosing his job he decides to go back to Italy. When Totonno steals his passport to avoid the police and later on he offers him a new job as “magliaro” (cloth seller), Mario changes his mind and decides to follow Totonno to Hamburg. In Hamburg, Totonno and his friends have to sell Mayer’s cloth but they meet with the hostility of a Polish gang and Mario falls in love with Paula Mayer. Continue reading