Donatello Dubini – Die Reise Nach Kafiristan AKA The Journey to Kafiristan (2001)

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In 1939, the author Annemarie Schwarzenbach and ethnologist Ella Maillart travel together by car to Kabul, but each is in pursuit of her own project. Annemarie Schwarzenbach, who was among Erika and Klaus Mann’s circle of friends in the 30’s, is searching for a place of refuge in the Near East to discover her own self. Ella Maillart justifies her restlessness, her need for movement and travel, with a scientific pretext: she would like to explore the mysterious Kafiristan Valley and “make a name” for herself with publications on the archaic life of the nomads living there. Both women are on the run, but political developments and their own biographies catch up with them again and again. Their mutual journey through the outside world, which runs from Geneva via the Balkans and Turkey to Persia, is compounded by the inner world of emotions with a tender love story. As both women arrive in Kabul, the Second World War breaks out and puts an end to their plans.
Une Suisse rebelle, Annemarie Schwarzenbach 1908-1942 Continue reading

Duccio Tessari – Zorro (1975)

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Plot:
The internationally produced Zorro is set in South America instead of the California locales of the series.
Alain Delon stars as the newly appointed governor who immediately butts heads with corrupt Colonel Huerta. To rescue the peasants from Huerta’s despotry, the governor becomes the caped-and-masked do-gooder Zorro.
The film never really takes itself seriously, not even during the final, well-staged duel between Zorro and Huerta. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Continue reading

Fritz Lang – Der Tiger von Eschnapur AKA The Tiger of Eschnapur (1959)

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Quote:
“Der Tiger von Eschnapur” is a visual splendor, with an unusually inventive use of color, which is not unlike his British peer Michael Powell (Black orchid,thief of Bagdad).Lang was an architect ,and it’s impossible not to feel it,here more than in his entire American period. It’s no coincidence if his hero (Henri Mercier/Harald Berger) is an architect too;they are always holding and studying plans .Lang’s camera perfectly captures the space it describes .Mercier (Paul Hubschmid)is often filmed in high angle shot,in the huge palace of the Maharajah,in the tiger pit ,or later,in the second part ,in the dungeon where he’s imprisoned.Actually,and it’s obvious,it takes us back to Lang’s German silent era ,particularly “der müde Tod” “die Niebelungen” and “Metropolis”. Continue reading

Christy Cabanne – Mutiny on the Blackhawk (1939)

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Plot

One part high-seas adventure and one part western, Mutiny on the Blackhawk opens as a pair of heroes take a stand against mutineers and a ship load of freed slaves. Eventually the ship docks off the California coast and the twosome disembark. While traveling the land, they end up trying to prevent Mexican soldiers from destroying a village. Continue reading

W.S. Van Dyke – Eskimo (1933)

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Plot Synopsis
The remarkable location-filmed Eskimo was adapted from two books: Die Flucht Ins Wiesse Land and Der Eskimo, both written by naturalist Peter Freuchen. Director Woody Van Dyke, in the tradition of his White Shadows on the South Seas and Trader Horn, took his cast and crew on location to the Arctic, arriving by whaling schooner at the topmost settlement in Alaska with author Freuchen as his guide. Van Dyke, Freuchen, and cinematographer Ray Wise also played prominent on-screen roles in the film. Eskimo Ray Mala (billed only by his last name) essays the title role, speaking in the tongue of his ancestors (even though his English was excellent). Rather than use superimposed titles, Van Dyke resorted to old-fashioned silent-movie subtitles in several dialogue sequences. The story concentrates on the more exotic aspects of Eskimo life, notably the race’s (alleged) casual approach to sex. Though tribal leader Mala has, by his own admission, slept with 20 women without benefit of clergy, woe betide anyone who tries to steal his current sweetheart — as a rapacious trader discovers when he’s harpooned to death by the cuckolded hero. Mala is ultimately undone by the Canadian Mounties, whose efforts to civilize the Eskimo community result in a sudden and tragic shift of the balance of power. Editor Conrad A. Nervig won an Oscar for his Herculean efforts to bring cohesiveness to the story. Performing respectably at the box office, Eskimo inspired another location jaunt in 1935: Last of the Pagans, which also starred Ray Mala. by Hal Erickson Continue reading

W.S. Van Dyke – Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)

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Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) is the first feature-length talking (sound) version of the Tarzan series. [Tarzan films stretch into the silent film era back to 1918.] The Tarzan saga was based upon the original ‘Lord of the Jungle’ characters created by novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Tar-zan character (called various titles through the years, including John Clayton, Lord Bloomstoke (Greystoke)), first appeared in late 1912 in All-Story Magazine. Many actors have portrayed Tarzan, both on screen and on television, including Elmo Lincoln, Gene Pollar, P. Dempsey Tabler, James Pierce, Frank Merrill, Larry “Buster” Crabbe, Herman Brix (Bruce Bennett), Johnny Weissmuller, Lex Barker, Gordon Scott, Denny Miller, Jock Mahoney, Mike Henry, Ron Ely, Miles O’Keefe, Joe Lara, Wolf Larson, Christopher Lambert, and Casper Van Dien. Continue reading

Agasi Babayan – Dersu Uzala (1961)

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This is little known the first version of “Dersu Uzala” from 1961.
The famous Kurosawa’s “Dersu Uzala” is a remake made 15 years later, in 1975.

SYNOPSIS:
Dersu Uzala is a 1961 Soviet film, adapted from the books of Vladimir Arsenyev, about his travels in Russian Far East with a native trapper, Dersu Uzala.

The film was produced by Mosnauchfilm, directed by Agasi Babayan with screenwriter Igor Bolgarin and featuring Adolf Shestakov and Kasym Zhakibayev.

The film won the Golden Wolf at the 1961 Bucharest Film Festival. Continue reading