Federico Fellini – Amarcord aka I Remember [+Commentary] (1973)

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In this carnivalesque portrait of provincial Italy during the Fascist period, Federico Fellini’s most personal film satirizes his youth and turns daily life into a circus of social rituals, adolescent desires, male fantasies, and political subterfuge, all set to Nina Rota’s classic, nostalgia-tinged score. The Academy Award-winning Amarcord remains one of cinema’s enduring treasures. Continue reading

W.S. Van Dyke – I Love You Again (1940)


Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Those popular MGM co-stars William Powell and Myrna Loy take a break from their usual Thin Man duties to star in the zany comedy I Love You Again. The film opens with Loy prepared to divorce her dull businessman husband Powell. A blow on the head causes Powell to remember his former life as a notorious con man. No one in town has any knowledge of Powell’s criminal past, a fact he hopes to use to his advantage. Loy, astounded at Powell’s sudden surge of amorous ardor, reconsiders her divorce. When she learns of his true identity, she is even more fascinated. Another blow on the head restores the non-criminal Powell–at least, that’s what he and Loy would like you to believe. The film’s highlight is a screamingly funny sequence in which Powell plays scoutmaster to a group of surly youngsters (including Our Gang veterans Carl Switzer and Mickey Gubitosi, aka Robert Blake). Continue reading

Vittorio De Sica – Matrimonio all’italiana aka Marriage Italian Style (1964)


Synopsis :

Sophia Loren stars in this comedy about a successful businessman (Marcello Mastroianni) who kept a woman as his mistress for several years and now plans to marry another woman until his mistress pretends to be on her deathbed to induce him to marry her before she dies. Continue reading

Alfred Hitchcock – Marnie (1964)


Marnie Edgar is a habitual liar and a thief who gets jobs as a secretary and after a few months robs the firms in question, usually of several thousand dollars. When she gets a job at Rutland’s, she also catches the eye of the handsome owner, Mark Rutland. He prevents her from stealing and running off, as is her usual pattern, but also forces her to marry him. Their honeymoon is a disaster and she cannot stand to have a man touch her and on their return home, Mark has a private detective look into her past. When he has the details of what happened in her childhood to make her what she is, he arranges a confrontation with her mother realizing that reliving the terrible events that occurred in her childhood and bringing out those repressed memories is the only way to save her. Continue reading

John Huston – Key Largo (1948)


Key Largo is a 1948 film noir directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Lauren Bacall and featuring Lionel Barrymore and Claire Trevor. The movie was adapted by Richard Brooks and Huston from Maxwell Anderson’s 1939 play of the same name, which played on Broadway for 105 performances in 1939 and 1940.

Frank McCloud travels to a run-down hotel on Key Largo to honor the memory of a friend who died bravely in his unit during WW II. His friend’s widow, Nora Temple, and wheelchair bound father, James Temple manage the hotel and receive him warmly, but the three of them soon find themselves virtual prisoners when the hotel is taken over by a mob of gangsters led by Johnny Rocco who hole up there to await the passing of a hurricane. Mr. Temple strongly reviles Rocco but due to his infirmities can only confront him verbally. Having become disillusioned by the violence of war, Frank is reluctant to act, but Rocco’s demeaning treatment of his alcoholic moll, Gaye Dawn, and his complicity in the deaths of some innocent Seminole Indians and a deputy sheriff start to motivate McCloud to overcome his Hamlet-like inaction. Continue reading

Howard Hawks & Richard Rosson – Scarface (1932)


Plot Synopsis [AMG]
Completed in mid-1930, Scarface, based on Armitage Trail’s novel of the same name, might have been the first of the great talkie gangster flicks, but it was held up for release until after that honor was jointly usurped by Little Caesar and Public Enemy. Paul Muni stars as prohibition-era mobster Tony Camonte, a character obviously patterned on Al Capone (whose nickname was “Scarface”). The homicidal Camonte ruthlessly wrests control of the bootlegging racket from his boss, Johnny Lovo (Osgood Perkins), and claims Lovo’s mistress, Poppy (Karen Morley), in the bargain. But while Poppy satisfies him sexually, Tony has a soft spot in his heart only for his sister Cesca (Ann Dvorak). The film’s finale is one of the longest and bloodiest of the 1930s, maintaining suspense and concern for the characters involved even though Muni has deliberately done nothing to make Tony likeable to audience. Continue reading

Leni Riefenstahl & Béla Balázs – Das blaue Licht AKA The Blue Light (1932)


Junta is hated by the people in the village where she lives, especially by the women, who suspect her of being a witch. Only she can climb the nearby mountains to a cave high up, whence a mysterious blue light glows when the moon is full. Many young men of the village have died trying to follow her. She is driven out of town, and takes to living in the mountains. Eventually she shares the secret of the blue light with one man, and he betrays it. Continue reading