1941-1950

Jean-Pierre Melville – 24 heures de la vie d’un clown AKA A Day in the Life of a Clown (1946)

A day in the life of Beby the clown. Filmed between shows at Circus Medrano, at home and in the streets of Paris, with his faithful partner and friend the clown Maïss. Read More »

Ahmed Badrakhan – Ahebbak inta AKA I Love You (1949)

Samia and Farid bump into each other by chance. Farid ends up renting a room in the house where Samia with her troop of dancers live. Their opposite characters clash while there’s also chemistry between them. Some misunderstandings drive the two away from each other. But events turn in their favour. Read More »

Goffredo Alessandrini – Noi vivi aka We the Living (1942)

The time is the Russian Revolution. The place is a country burdened with fear – the midnight knock at the door, the bread hidden against famine, the haunted eyes of the fleeing, the grublike fat of the appeasers and oppressors. In a bitter struggle of the individual against the collective, three people stand forth with the mark of the unconquered in their bearing: Kira, who wants to be a builder, and the two men who love her – Leo, an aristocrat, and Andrei, a Communist. In their tensely dramatic story, Ayn Rand shows what the theories of Communism mean in practice. We the Living is not a story of politics but of the men and women who have to struggle for existence behind the Red banners and slogans. Read More »

Martin Fric – Capkovy povidky AKA Capek’s Tales (1947)

Martin Fric composed several Karel Capek’s Tales in the form of story telling of train passengers. They include three tales from the book “Tales from One Pocket”: “Propuštěný” (Released), “Poslední soud” (The Last Judgment) and “Ukradený spis” (The Stolen Document); and two tales from the book “Tales from the Other Pocket”: “Balada o Juraji Čupovi” (Ballad about Juraj Cup) a “Případ s dítětem” (The Case of Baby). Read More »

Sacha Guitry – De Jeanne d’Arc à Philippe Pétain AKA From Joan of Arc to Philippe Petain AKA 1429-1942 (1944)

This film was shown in the movie theaters two months before the landing and afterward completely disappeared only to reappear in 1993. This is of course a propaganda movie .But not more than Stelli’s “Le Voile BLeu” .

Beginning his movie with an evocation of Joan of Arc was not completely incongruous ; Guitry probably thought it was a sign from God ;1429: Joan’s odyssey begins ;birth of the Homeland ,1942: under the yoke of the Nazis ,but still proud of its past ,the country remembers .1429,1942 sinister anagram.Joan found since taken over by the far right wing . Read More »

D. Ross Lederman – The Last Ride (1944)

Synopsis:
A police lieutenant sets out to break up a ring of tire bootleggers–criminals who sell defective tires to customers who can’t get new ones because of the rubber shortage brought about by the war. His task is complicated by the fact that his brother is mixed up in the racket and that they are both in love with the same girl. Read More »

Billy Wilder – Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Quote:
One of Wilder’s finest, and certainly the blackest of all Hollywood’s scab-scratching accounts of itself, this establishes its relentless acidity in the opening scene by having the story related by a corpse floating face-down in a Hollywood swimming-pool. What follows in flashback is a tale of humiliation, exploitation, and dashed dreams, as a feckless, bankrupt screenwriter (Holden) pulls into a crumbling mansion in search of refuge from his creditors, and becomes inextricably entangled in the possessive web woven by a faded star of the silents (Swanson), who is high on hopes of a comeback and heading for outright insanity. Read More »