1941-1950

Bodil Ipsen & Lau Lauritzen – Café Paradis (1950)

From: Wikipedia:
Café Paradis (English Title: Paradise Cafe) is an award-winning Danish film made in 1950, directed by Bodil Ipsen and Lau Lauritzen Jr., and written by Johannes Allen. The film received the Bodil Award for Film of the Year, and Ib Schønberg, for what is regarded his finest performance, received the Bodil Award for Best Supporting Actor.
The story illuminates the problems of alcoholism as it follows the lives of two people: one is a common workman (played by Poul Reichhardt) who drinks too much beer, and the other is a company director (played by Ib Schønberg), who believes he just needs “a little one every now and then.” They both come to face the consequences of their addictions. Read More »

Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid – Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

A solitary flower on a long driveway, a key falling, a door unlocked, a knife in a loaf of bread, a phone off the hook: discordant images a woman sees as she comes home. She naps and, perhaps, dreams. She sees a hooded figure going down the driveway. The knife is on the stair, then in her bed. The hooded figure puts the flower on her bed then disappears. The woman sees it all happen again. Downstairs, she naps, this time in a chair. She awakes to see a man going upstairs with the flower. He puts it on the bed. The knife is handy. Can these dream-like sequences end happily? A mirror breaks, the man enters the house again. Will he find her? Read More »

Riccardo Freda – Il cavaliere misterioso AKA The Mysterious Rider (1948)

Quote:
However trivial – or downright ridiculous – the plot may become, Freda shows a mastery of sheer cinematic style that puts most of the more highly-touted Italian directors to shame. Like Minnelli or Sirk, Mizoguchi or Ophuls, Visconti or Fellini, he is in love with the visual and sensuous possibilities of the camera itself. The breathtaking decor and costumes (by Vittorio Nino Novarese, who went on to dress the most elephantine of Hollywood epics) are as strong a dramatic presence as the actors themselves. That’s no slight against the cast: Gassman was as great an actor as Marcello Mastroianni; Sanson and Canale are as strong as they are sensual, as gutsy as they are glamorous – a world away from the insipid sex objects that decorate most action movies! Read More »

Edgar G. Ulmer – Detour (1945)

Review
“Detour” is a movie so filled with imperfections that it would not earn the director a passing grade in film school. This movie from Hollywood’s poverty row, shot in six days, filled with technical errors and ham-handed narrative, starring a man who can only pout and a woman who can only sneer, should have faded from sight soon after it was released in 1945. And yet it lives on, haunting and creepy, an embodiment of the guilty soul of film noir. No one who has seen it has easily forgotten it. Read More »

Hans Richter – Dreams That Money Can Buy (1947)

Quote:
Berlin-born Hans Richter – Dadaist, painter, film theorist and filmmaker – was for four decades one of the most influential members of the cinematic avant-garde. Richter assembled some of the century’s liveliest artists as co-creators of Dreams That Money Can Buy, his most ambitious attempt to bring the work of the European avant-garde to a wider cinema audience. Among its admirers is film director David Lynch. Read More »

Allan Dwan – Driftwood (1947)

Six-year-old Jenny rescues a collie dog, the only survivor of a plane wreck. A tag on the dog’s neck states that it is en route to a medical laboratory where its blood will be used for spotted fever vaccine. Dr. Steven Webster meets both Jenny and the dog and “adopts” them both. His fiancée Susan isn’t too fond of either the girl or the dog. Webster wants to get a hospital for the town but he is suppressed by the town mayor. In the arguments that follow, Webster’s lab is wrecked and ticks infected with spotted fever escape. The town is in a panic and all want to be vaccinated. Jenny is infected and is about to die. Written by Les Adams Read More »

Ingmar Bergman – Hamnstad AKA Port of Call (1948)

Quote:
Strongly influenced by the neorealist films of Roberto Rossellini, Port of Call is Ingmar Bergman’s most naturalistic work. Shot on location in the port of Göteborg by Gunnar Fischer (who would become one of the director’s key collaborators), the film focuses on the tentative relationship between Gösta (Bengt Eklund), a sincere, easygoing seaman, and Berit (NineChristine Jönsson), a suicidal young woman from a broken home. As Berit reveals more about her troubled past, and the couple confront many harsh realities in the present, a meaningful bond begins to form between them. With this confident and disciplined feature, his fifth, Bergman tackled moral and social issues head-on. Read More »