Ritwik Ghatak – Ajantrik aka Pathetic Fallacy (1958)

dvdajantriksmall Ritwik Ghatak   Ajantrik aka Pathetic Fallacy (1958)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Ritwik Ghatak   Ajantrik aka Pathetic Fallacy (1958)

Synopsis

The plot of Ajantrik (Pathetic Fallacy) revolves around Bimal and his battered taxi, an old Chevrolet, he calls Jagaddal. Because he treats his car as a living being, many consider Bimal to be mad.

Said Ritwik about the film: “You can call my protagonist, Bimal, a lunatic, a child, or a tribal. At one level they are all the same. They react to lifeless things almost passionately. This is an ancient, archetypal reaction….The tribal songs and dances in Ajantrik describe the whole cycle of life – birth, hunting, marriage, death, ancestor worship, and rebirth. This is the main theme of Ajantrik, this law of life.”

Music by Ali Akbar Khan.
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Vincente Minnelli – Designing Woman (1957)

Designing woman Vincente Minnelli   Designing Woman (1957)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Vincente Minnelli   Designing Woman (1957)

Synopsis
Peck is a New York sportswriter who’s on the West Coast on assignment, doing a story about a horse race. He wakes up from a drinking binge during which he had met New York fashion designer Bacall, though he doesn’t recall it. While he struggles to recover from his hangover, she relates the events of the previous evening which included filling his latest story. He notices how beautiful she is, and they begin a brief torrid affair which leads to a hasty marriage. Of course, each is a “fish out of water” in the other’s world, which they begin to discover when they return to New York. Continue reading

Jean Negulesco – The Gift of Love (1958)

IEBmFS Jean Negulesco   The Gift of Love (1958)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jean Negulesco   The Gift of Love (1958)

The Gift of Love is a remake of 1946′s Sentimental Journey, with Lauren Bacall in the role originated by Maureen O’Hara. Upon learning that she hasn’t long to live, Bacall, the devoted wife of Robert Stack, adopts young Evelyn Rudie so that her husband will never be lonely. After his wife’s death, however, the pragmatic Stack grows weary of little Evelyn, who prefers a “fantasy world” to real life. Stack returns the girl to the orphanage, whereupon Bacall’s spirit intervenes to set things right. The material was maudlin back in 1946, and even more so in 1958; still, it’s nice to see that Lauren Bacall could play a sweet, benign role when given the opportunity.
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Nicholas Ray – Johnny Guitar (1954)

8jQ6tr Nicholas Ray   Johnny Guitar (1954)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Nicholas Ray   Johnny Guitar (1954)

Synopsis: from Olive Films

This one-of-a-kind western stars Joan Crawford as a saloon owner battling the local townspeople headed by Emma (Mercedes McCambridge), the local sexually repressed, lynch-happy female rancher out to frame her for a string of robberies. The title character played by Sterling Hayden is a guitar-strumming drifter with a dark past who was once in love with Crawford and has been offered a job in her saloon. Nicholas Ray’s epic western is considered on the most original westerns of all time – the women are far tougher than the men and some saw in the film a bizarre allegory for the McCarthy era Red Scare. In addition to the stars, Johnny Guitar is well stocked with great supporting players, including Ernest Borgnine, Scott Brady, Ward Bond, Paul Fix, Royal Dano and John Carradine. Classic score title song written by Peggy Lee and the film’s composer Victor Young and sung by Peggy Lee. Continue reading

Andrzej Wajda – Niewinni czarodzieje AKA Innocent Sorcerers (1960)

637171 Andrzej Wajda   Niewinni czarodzieje AKA Innocent Sorcerers (1960)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Andrzej Wajda   Niewinni czarodzieje AKA Innocent Sorcerers (1960)

Quote:
A young doctor is tired of being sought by women. One night he meets a young girl who all but forces herself into his room where they talk of morals and love. But he loses her when he goes out to see some friends and then rushes madly around the city after her.

A neglected masterpiece by Andrzej Wajda, reflective of the best of 1960s Polish cinema. Wry and cynical in tone, the work is important for being “the first film in Eastern Europe to chronicle the disillusionment of the younger generation” (San Francisco Chronicle). A bachelor doctor, who is also a jazz musician, can’t quite commit himself to his superficial girlfriend. He and his aimless friends find any kind of human contact or emotional commitment a troubling and ultimately uninviting prospect. With Tadeusz Lomnicki, Zbigniew Cybulski, and a young Roman Polanski. Continue reading

John Sturges – Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)

fp3v John Sturges   Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 John Sturges   Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)

Last Train from Gun Hill is a 1959 Western by action director John Sturges. It stars Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Carolyn Jones and Earl Holliman. Douglas and Holliman had previously appeared together in Sturges’ Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, which used much of the same crew.

The script is by James Poe, based on a story by Les Crutchfield. The film contains elements of High Noon, 3:10 to Yuma and Sturges’ own Bad Day at Black Rock.

summary:
The wife of marshal Matt Morgan is raped and murdered. The killers leave behind a distinctive saddle, that Morgan recognises as belonging to his old friend Craig Belden, now cattle baron in the town of Gun Hill. Belden is sympathetic, until it transpires that one of the murderers is his own son Rick, whom he refuses to hand over. Morgan is determined to capture Rick and take him away by the 9.00 train; but he is trapped in the town alone, with Belden and all his men now looking to kill him. Continue reading

Federico Fellini – Le Notti di Cabiria AKA Nights of Cabiria [+Extras] (1957)

v9x9 Federico Fellini   Le Notti di Cabiria AKA Nights of Cabiria [+Extras] (1957)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Federico Fellini   Le Notti di Cabiria AKA Nights of Cabiria [+Extras] (1957)

Plot Synopsis from criterionco.com
Tragic story of a naive prostitute searching for true love in the seediest sections of Rome.

Nights of Cabiria Essay by Federico Fellini
The subject of loneliness and the observation of the isolated person has always interested me. Even as a child, I couldn’t help but notice those who didn’t fit in for one reason or another—myself included. In life, and for my films, I have always been interested in the out-of-step. Curiously, it’s usually those who are either too smart or those who are too stupid who are left out. The difference is, the smart ones often isolate themselves, while the less intelligent ones are usually isolated by the others. In Nights of Cabiria, I explore the pride of one of those who has been excluded.
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pixel Federico Fellini   Le Notti di Cabiria AKA Nights of Cabiria [+Extras] (1957)