Golgotha is noteworthy because it is the very first sound-picture ever made about Jesust. On top of that, it is thoroughly well done and engrossing. It starred a cast of hundreds—perhaps the biggest ever assembled for a film at the time. Like Cecil B. DeMille’s 1927 film King of Kings, Duvivier gives his film a glossy, Hollywood look featuring terrific sets and (at the time) epic camera shots, but unlike many Hollywood incarnations of Jesus’ life, the story is decidedly intimate, focusing on characters who speak quietly in closed rooms rather than over-expressive actors who wear their Shakespearian training (or lack thereof) on their sleeves. Continue reading
After a mysterious prologue in a Christmas tree ornaments-filled “starscape”, Turkish Clark Kent is told by his parents that he is an Alien from space and that he must leave to accomplish his destiny. They give him a green gem which he takes into a nearby cave. There, Jor-El, minus half of his front teeth, appears and reveals to Clark that he is Superman… Continue reading
On the Road With Young Che
In the spring of 1952, two young men set out by motorcycle on an ambitious, footloose journey that they hoped would carry them from Buenos Aires up the spine of Chile, across the Andes and into the Peruvian Amazon. (They made it, a little behind schedule, though the unfortunate motorcycle did not.) Their road trip, however inspired and audacious it might have been, could have faded into personal memory and family lore, even though both travelers produced written accounts of their adventures. The older, a 29-year-old biochemist named Alberto Granado, is still alive and appears at the very end of “The Motorcycle Diaries,” Walter Salles’s stirring and warm-hearted reconstruction of that long-ago voyage. Granado’s companion was a 23-year-old medical student named Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, whose subsequent career as a political idol, revolutionary martyr and T-shirt icon — Che! — reflects a charismatic, mysterious glow onto his early life. Continue reading
A group of rogues steal a scroll granting its bearer the property of the land of Aurocastro in Apulia (south of Italy). They elect a shaggy knight, Brancaleone from Norcia, as their leader, and decide to get possession of this supposedly wealthy land. Many adventures will occurr during the journey. Continue reading
Noted modernist German filmmakers Daniele Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub are behind this evocative minimalist retelling of the tragic story of Empedocles, a Greek philosopher and statesman who lived in the fourth century BC. To prove himself a god and therefore, immortal, Empedocles hurled himself into the burning caldera of Mount Etna and survived. There are four slightly different versions of the film available.
This charming film, made when Oliver Reed and Diana Rigg were at the height of their appeal, is what they used to call a “romp”, when it wasn’t considered to be a putdown. Reed, as Ivan, born and bred to lead an international group of highly-placed assassins, is hired by would-be reporter Sonia (Rigg) to have his group kill him, and realizing that his house badly needs some cleaning out, Ivan accepts the commission. The rest is a whirlwind tour of Europe, taking out substantial portions of the terrain as they go, avoiding bungled attempts on his life as he tries to track down the traitors who would turn the Bureau into a political machine. The dialogue is refreshingly devoid of political correctness, but maintains a firm respect between the unlikely couple as they go from bickering rivalry to bickering fondness. Guest villains include Clive Revill as a gluttonous Italian, and sad stories include the accidental demise of Roger Delgado (Dr. Who, the first Master) while on location. Much worth the time and effort Continue reading
Humphrey Bogart plays Fred C. Dobbs, down-on-his-luck American in Mexico—he cadges the odd peso out of friendly passersby and countrymen, just so he can fill his stomach every now and again. He pals around with Curtin (Tim Holt), and after the two of them get cheated out of their wages by an American unethical even by the standards of this film, they exact their revenge, but their pockets are still empty. At the local flophouse, they overhear talk of an old codger called Howard (Walter Huston), who promises that in fact there is gold in them thar hills. If only they had enough scratch to buy the necessaries, they could be making themselves a fortune. Continue reading