“In the opening shots of Robert Altman’s “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” the camera follows John McCabe (Warren Beatty) making his way on horseback through the green-brown hills of the Pacific Northwest. As the camera pans slowly to the right, it picks up the credits, hanging in the rain-soaked air. They don’t fade in, as most credits do. Like everything else in “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” they seem to have existed before we took our seats in the theater, before Altman started filming.
“McCabe & Mrs. Miller” is a western that, as shot by Vilmos Zsigmond, looks like old photographs lit from within, as though the subjects had created a sort of afterlife by finding a way to project their essence onto the film. The movie haunts you like a ballad whose tune you remember but whose words hang just beyond reach. And like listening to a ballad, we know the outcome of the events we’re watching was foretold long ago, but we’re helpless to do anything but surrender to the tale. Continue reading
The year is 1974. A group of five close friends are heading through the back roads of Texas en route to their grandfather’s potentially vandalized grave. Among them are Sally Hardesty, and her invalid brother Franklin. They encounter an unpleasant hitchhiker (Neal) who slashes both himself & Franklin with a wicked-looking knife. The others manage to eject the hitchhiker from the vehicle, but shortly after wards, they are forced to stop & wander over to a small, sinister clapboard house nearby in hopes for gas. What none of them realize is that this house is the home of the ghoulish Leatherface (Hansen) and his evil, demented family of cannibalistic psychopaths. One at a time, the teens are murdered by the evil Leatherface in horrifying ways. Sally soon finds herself an involuntary guest at Leatherface’s home, and flees into the night to escape the demented cannibal and his loudly-buzzing chainsaw. Can she escape the grim fate that befell her friends & brother? Based on the terrifying true story of Ed Gein Continue reading
Silvia Hacherman (Mimsy Farmer) is an industrial scientist who is completely devoted to her job. She has been going out with the handsome Roberto (Maurizio Bonuglia) for a little over four months, but he is understandably perturbed by the fact that she seems to value her work more than him. One night, while attending, with Roberto, a party at the home of a renowned African professor (Jho Jenkins), his discussion of voodoo rituals and human sacrifices seems to unroot a memory deeply buried within her psyche. She begins to hallucinate, seeing disturbingly vivid images of her mother, who died under uncertain circumstances. As the hallicunations become more frequent and more lifelike, Silvia begins to lose her grip on reality as her sanity slips away… Throw into the mix phantom girls, grisly murders, mysterious gift shops and a possible conspirary involving her boyfriend, and you have the makings of an incredibly baffling psycho-shocker that, while following some of the giallo genre’s conventions, is too anarchic a piece to fit comfortably into that particular category.
Michael Mackenzie on The Digital Fix Continue reading
The original German title, Faustrecht der Freiheit, which roughly translates as “Might Makes Right,” describes rather bluntly the crux of this compelling drama, one of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s most acclaimed films. Fassbinder takes a rare starring role as Franz–“Fox” to his friends–a gay carny thrown out of work when the cops close a fairground sideshow. Introduced to a group of cultivated homosexuals by an antique and art dealer (Karlheinz Böhm of Peeping Tom fame), he becomes involved with high-class dandy Eugen (Peter Chatel), who finds the naive, uneducated innocent easy prey when he unexpectedly wins 500 thousand marks in the lottery. Eugen alternately flatters and humiliates Fox, ridiculing his working-class manners and tastes while sponging off his fast-disappearing fortune. The story is partially autobiographical, inspired by Fassbinder’s own relationship with an illiterate butcher, but the director casts himself as the victim in the cinematic incarnation and turns his tormentor into a veritable vampire.Biographical considerations aside, it remains one of Fassbinder’s most affecting, accomplished, and personal films, and he delivers a sweet, wounded performance as the proletariat Fox in a den of cultured, upper-class hounds. His evocation of the affluent gay community is catty and brittle, but ultimately this powerful drama is less about sexual orientation than class, power, and sexual control. –Sean Axmaker Continue reading
„By the middle of the 70s, partly due to television, Hungarian films had lost much of their audience. The allure of disguised social criticism – one of the secret reasons why Hungarian films were so successful at foreign festivals – started to wear off. After 1968 social criticism became pointless. The first director to open up towards the audience (along with Zoltán Fábri) was Pál Sándor. Mourning the loss of left-wing ideals of freedom he recreated the illusion of a past community. The audience responded to his grotesque, nostalgic tone and the stories where the emphasis was always placed on the microclimate of human relationships. His “retro-films” were rich in self-irony. He never analysed and never criticised, he just told a story, created a poignant atmosphere and passionate characters. (Szeressétek Odor Emíliát – Love Emilia! 1968, Régi idők focija – Football of The Good Old Days 1973, Herkulesfürdői emlék – A Strange Role 1976, Szabadíts meg a gonosztól – Deliver Us from Evil 1978). Continue reading
A man returns to the place he once lived a passionate love affair with a woman who is now dead. So powerful are the emotions that seize him that he imagines she is still alive, and begins to live as if this were the case…
INTRODUCTION BY MARGUERITE DURAS
“Woman of the Ganges” is in a way two films. Parallel to the film is played out a purely vocal film, unaccompanied by images.
To avoid any contempt, we would like to let the spectator know that the two Voices Off of women do not belong at all to the characters which appear in the images.
We can add that the characters seen in the images are entirely unaware of the existence of the two women in the story who manifest themselves only in the dialogue which they hold. Continue reading
A sailor takes an American businessman and his girlfriend to an island where the businessman wants to build a resort. Soon a weird voodoo couple show up and warn them of bad things that are going to happen. It doesn’t take long for the zombies to show up and start chowing down on human flesh. The main characters do manage to fit in quite a bit of sex though.
One of the most interesting consequences of the brief period of “porno chic” in the early 70s was the resulting effect on the Italian exploitation industry. Never quick to miss an American cinematic “craze”, a lot of film-makers found themselves curiously crossing genres and stuffing hardcore porn into other genres, as well as vice versa. The absolute master of this was the ubiquitous Joe D’Amato, and here he fuses porno with the zombie movie (which at the time was in the midst of enormous popularity in Italy). Continue reading