1951-1960

Val Guest – The Camp on Blood Island (1958)

Plot Synopsis:
An intensely stoic Andre Morell leads a group of POWs, interned under the sadistic rule of Commander Yamamitsu, who has vowed to massacre them all and raze the camp to the ground should Japan surrender to the Allies. When the British prisoners find out via their radio that this has indeed happened, they must keep the news from their captors at all costs. Their task is made even more difficult when the Japanese capture an American pilot, who they are determined to strip of any useful information. The POW’s must find a way to escape before it’s too late. Read More »

John Paddy Carstairs – The Square Peg (1958)

Synopsis:
A British road repairman gets into a feud with the Army, gets drafted and is mistakenly parachuted into Nazi occupied France where his physical resemblance to the local German commandant triggers a hilarious chain reaction. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – À bout de souffle AKA Breathless (1960) (HD)

SYNOPSIS:
Petty thug Michel panics and impulsively kills a policeman while driving a stolen car. On the lam, he turns to his aspiring journalist girlfriend Patricia, hiding out in her Paris apartment. When Patricia learns that Michel is being investigated for murder, she begins to question her loyalties. Read More »

Georges Franju – Monsieur et Madame Curie (1956)

The film highlights key moments in the life and professional collaboration of Pierre Curie and Marie Curie. Read More »

Frank Tashlin – The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (1956)

Jean-Luc Godard’s review of the film (and Artists and Models) from the August-September 1956 issue of Cahiers du Cinéma:

The grotesque is an anything but easy genre. It requires sensitivity rather than intelligence, so many of the smartest directors come to grief with it. No chance of cheating here, of escaping into the ivory tower of the misunderstood… Read More »

Federico Fellini – Il bidone AKA The Swindle (1955)

Synopsis:
Aging small-time con man Augusto, who swindles peasants, works with two younger men: Roberto, who wants to become the Italian Johnny Ray, and Bruno, nicknamed Picasso, who has a wife and daughter and wants to paint. Augusto avoids the personal entanglements, spending money at clubs seeking the good life. His attitude changes when he runs into his own daughter, whom he rarely sees, and realizes she’s now a young woman and in need of his help to continue her studies. His usual partners are away, so he goes in with others to run a swindle, and they aren’t forgiving when he claims he’s given the money back to their mark. They leave him beaten, robbed, and alone. Read More »

Michelangelo Antonioni – La signora senza camelie AKA The Lady Without Camelias (1953)

The third feature film by cinema master Michelangelo Antonioni, La signora senza camelie [The Lady Without Camelias], expanded the expressive palette of contemporary Italian movies, demonstrating that a personal vision could take an explicitly poetic tack; that “seriousness = neo-realism” was perhaps already turning into something of a truism; and that Antonioni would answer to no-one but himself. Read More »