1961-1970

Marco Ferreri – La Donna scimmia aka The Ape Woman (1964)

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This film was nominated for the 1964 Palme d’Or

A sideshow huckster discovers a woman working in a kitchen who is completely covered with hair, and hits upon the scheme of presenting her as an ape woman in a bid to make money. He soon discovers that in order to keep her cooperation, he will have to marry her, and this leads to an interesting chain of events…

Though this can’t really be described as properly belonging to any of the fantastic genres, it does deal the theme of deformity, a staple of many horror movies. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this movie going into it; the plot description certainly makes it sound like it’s going to be somewhat depressing look at human exploitation. Yet, though the theme of human exploitation is very much there, it never becomes a simple portrait of the vileness of man, and even though there is something offensive about his money-making scheme, one is aware that the huckster is the one human being in the woman’s life who is not allowing her to be ashamed of her appearance, and this opens up a new world of possibilities for her. This is one movie that isn’t predictable; the twists and turns of life for these two are fascinating, and in particular, you never know what Ugo Tognazzi’s character is going to do. Read More »

Jirí Weiss – Zlaté kapradí AKA The Golden Fern (1963)


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IMDB:
User Review

A great fairy tale from a great storyteller
26 May 2005 | by simon-bensasson (Greece)

This is the story of a woodcutter in Bohemia during a war between Austria and Turkey. Wandering in the forest he finds a golden fern whose seed turns into a beautiful young woman – they fall in love. After a village feast in which he gets drunk he gets to sign up to the army. The fairy gives him a shirt to wear and asks him to swear he will never part with it. At the war front he falls in love with the the colonels daughter; cold beauty who asks him to perform various feats in order to respond to his courting (bring her the horse of the grand-vizier, then the necklace of the grand-vizier’s wife and finally his nightingale). In performing these feats he proves invulnerable to bullets, swords and other calamities – protected by the fairy’s shirt. Before performing the last feat, however, the colonel’s daughter asks him to throw away his ugly shirt, which he does. He returns, wounded and disguised in Turkish clothes to escape from the enemy camp. He gets arrested as a spy and condemned to death by a thousand strikes. His comrades who are assigned to throw his body at the river discover he’s still alive and let him go. Returning to his village he does not find Sylvana (the fairy of the golden fern) and the film ends with him wandering in the forest shouting her name in a beautiful photograph in which the camera moves high up the trees. Read More »

Tan Ida – Bakuhatsu sanbyômae aka 3 Seconds Before Explosion (1967)

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A renegade superspy infiltrates a violent gang of international jewel thieves in this fast-paced crime thriller from Nikkatsu Studios. His killer instincts honed to deadly perfection by a shadowy espionage bureau, Yabuki (Akira Kobayashi) abandons the organization that rained him and joins forces with fearless mercenary Yamawaki (Hideki Takahashi) to follow a trail of jewels stolen during the last days of World War II. When that trail leads Yabuki and Yamawaki to the highest levels of government and corporate malfeasance, the conspiracy is blown sky high and the bullets start to fly. Read More »

Paul Morrissey – Flesh (1968)

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Flesh was filmmaker Paul Morrissey’s first production for Andy Warhol. The story concerns a bisexual hustler (Joe Dallesandro) who does tricks so that he can pay for his wife’s lover’s abortion. The film made headlines when it was confiscated by the police during one of its earliest showings in 1970. Though this event is unlikely to repeat itself, Flesh is still explicit enough to elicit gasps from even the most jaded of underground-film enthusiasts. — Hal Erickson Read More »

Sergei Yutkevich – Lenin v Polshe AKA Lenin in Poland (1966)

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From wikipedia:
Lenin in Poland (Russian: Ленин в Польше, translit. Lenin v Polshe) is a 1966 Soviet drama film directed by Sergei Yutkevich. Yutkevich won the award for Best Director at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.

From Moscow international FIlm Festival:
Historical war movie about the events of the first world war in August 1914, when Lenin was in POLAND(at a place called Poronino, the Polish Carpathian mountains). It was there, on the former Austro-Hungarian territory, that the future leader was thrown in prison as a subject of the enemy state. The authors of the movie give the viewer a chance to follow the main character’s train of thought, to compare the foresight and the reality. Read More »

Akira Kurosawa – Tengoku to jigoku AKA High and Low (1963)

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Synopsis
“Criterion” wrote:
Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in Akira Kurosawa’s highly influential High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku). Adapting Ed McBain’s detective novel King’s Ransom, Kurosawa moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary, creating a penetrating portrait of contemporary Japanese society. Read More »

Doris Wishman – My Brother’s Wife (1966)

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A little info about Doris Wishman:
by Jens Hellroute
“After I die I will make movies in hell!” was a line Doris Wishman, the most prolific female independent filmmaker ever, stated many times. Well, I hope Beelzebub treats her nice because the queen of sexploitation cinema left us on August 10, 2002, in Miami. Like many ladies she lied about her age, but her nephew Norman Wishman recently informed the world that Doris was born July 23, 1912, which makes her an impressive 90 at the time when she sadly lost her long battle with lymphoma cancer. Read More »