1951-1960

Federico Fellini – I vitelloni (1953)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Federico Fellini’s second feature, *I Vitelloni* (literal trans.: “fatted veal calves”; figurative trans.: “the guys”), is an honest, unpretentious work from the Master before he became besotted with his own self-indulgence.

It’s autobiographical in several indirect ways. The depictions here of young men who are not quite so young anymore, living with their mothers, settling for dead-end jobs or simply not working, and generally languishing their lives away, are based on Fellini’s own observations of such fellows in his boyhood home of Rimini. Autobiographical too in its sense of style: the movie is inescapably stamped by the Neo-Realism of Fellini’s apprenticeship. The grimy faces of working-class people, crumbling tenements, and weed-choked rail-yards are all here. But with a difference: Fellini casts a critical eye on this scene, eschewing the usual Neo-Realist appeal to our presumed socialist sympathies. *I Vitelloni* is not a political film in the usual mid-century Italian manner. Fellini gives us a quintet of heroes who, for the most part, aspire to be bourgeois big-shots of their shabby seacoast town. Not content with that, he makes them lazy, as well . . . and then he asks us to root for them, to actually like them! Needless to say, the intelligentsia of the period didn’t warm to this film, even as the film-going public in Europe loved it, recognizing themselves and their friends and their own hometowns in it. Read More »

Jack Arnold – It Came from Outer Space (1953)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

This thoughtful, prototypical film was Universals initial foray into science fiction during the 1950s. While technically not the first sci-fi movie to explore the theme of benevolent aliens threatened by the ignorant, knee-jerk hostility of humans, it more or less set the standard for those that followed. Most of the credit for this belongs to a story treatment by SF legend Ray Bradbury, the sure-handed direction of Jack Arnold (who would go on to helm most of Universal\’s top drawer genre flicks of the decade), and a fine performance by lead Richard Carlson… It Came From Outer Space remains the real deal, a genuine genre classic. It\’s easily one of the best science fiction films of the \’50s.
– Eccentric-cinema.com Read More »

Lionel Rogosin – Come back, Africa [+Extras] (1959)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
In 1958, Rogosin tackled the subject of Apartheid by filming the pioneering “Come Back Africa” on location in Johannesburg, unbeknownst to South African authorities who believed Rogosin was filming a benign musical travelogue. The film focuses on the tragic story of a Zulu family trying desperately to stay together and survive. Instead, they are caught up in the contradictory laws of Apartheid. Bringing together some of South Africa’s best known radical intellectuals Rogosin shot the film combining documentary footage and fiction. Come Back Africa is an indictment on the brutality which the system created. It was selected by Time Magazine as” one of the Ten Best Pictures of 1960” and launched the career of the unknown Miriam Makeba. “I’m a political filmmaker, and the effect of the film on people who see it is still strong today as when I made it” said Rogosin. Read More »

Ingmar Bergman – Smultronstället (1957) (HD)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
With the exception of his elderly housekeeper Miss Agda who he treats almost like a surrogate platonic wife, widowed seventy-eight year old Dr. Isak Borg, a former medical doctor and professor, has retreated from any human contact, partly his own want but partly the decision of others who do not want to spend time with him because of his cold demeanor. He is traveling from his home in Stockholm to Lund to accept an honorary degree. Instead of flying as was the original plan, he decides to take the day long drive instead. Along for the ride is his daughter-in-law Marianne, who had been staying with him for the month but has now decided to go home. The many stops and encounters along the way make him reminisce about various parts of his life. Those stops which make him reminisce directly are at his childhood summer home, at the home of his equally emotionally cold mother, and at a gas station where the attendants praise him as a man for his work.
Read More »

David Miller – The Opposite Sex (1956)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Plot: Shortly after their tenth wedding anniversary, New York theater producer Steven Hilliard and his wife, former popular radio singer Kay Hilliard née Ashley, are getting a Kay-initiated Reno divorce after Kay finds out about a marital indiscretion he had with Crystal Allen, a gold digging chorus girl in one of his shows. News of the indiscretion made its way to Kay indirectly by her catty friend, Sylvia Fowler. In Kay getting the divorce, Kay’s best friend, playwright Amanda Penrose believes Kay is playing right into the wants of Crystal, whose main goal is not to be happily married to Steven, but to get what such a marriage can bring to her in material wealth and comfort. Amanda does not believe Steven loves Crystal and that he still really does love Kay. And Kay does proceed with the divorce despite believing theirs was a happy and loving marriage before she learned of the indiscretion, and despite having an adolescent daughter, Debbie, to consider. But when Kay learns some information of the goings-on within her social circle, she decides to take back control of her married status while exacting a little revenge. Written by Huggo Read More »

Agnès Varda – La Pointe courte [+Extras] (1956)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis
The great Agnes Varda’s film career began with this graceful, penetrating study of a marriage on the rocks, set against the backdrop of a small Mediterranean fishing village. Both a stylized depiction of the complicated relationship between a married couple (played by Silvia Monfort and Philippe Noiret) and a documentary-like look at the daily struggles of the locals, Varda’s discursive, gorgeously filmed debut was radical enough to later be considered one of the progenitors of the coming French new wave. Read More »

Nathan Kroll – Martha Graham: Dance On Film [+Extras] (1959)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Synopsis
One of the great artistic forces of the twentieth century, performer, choreographer, and teacher Martha Graham influenced dance worldwide. Criterion presents a sampling of her stunning craft, all collaborations with television arts-programming pioneer Nathan Kroll. A Dancer’s World (1957), narrated by Graham herself, is a glimpse into her class work and methodology. Appalachian Spring (1958) and Night Journey (1961) are two complete Graham ballets, the first a celebration of the American pioneer spirit, scored by Aaron Copland, the second a powerfully physical rendering of the Oedipus myth. These are signature Graham works and tributes to the art of the human body. Read More »