Ray Enright – Havana Widows (1933)

h54c Ray Enright   Havana Widows (1933)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Ray Enright   Havana Widows (1933)

The wonderful Warner Bros. stock company goes through its customarily breezy paces in Havana Widows. Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell star as Mae and Sadie, a couple of hard-boiled dames who support themselves by shaking down wealthy and susceptible older men in Havana. Their current target is Deacon Jones (Guy Kibbee), a self-appointed moralist whose rock-ribbed values disappear after the third drink. But Blondell spoils the scam when she falls in love with the Deacon’s son Bob (Lyle Talbot). Less than a month after the release of Havana Widows, many of the same cast members were back to their old tricks in Convention City. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
Continue reading

Elia Kazan – America, America (1963)

xrfl Elia Kazan   America, America (1963)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Elia Kazan   America, America (1963)

Quote:
One of the greatest movies about immigrant experience of coming to America is Elia Kazan’s epic journey America, America based on the stories of his uncle coming from Turkey to the United States in the early 1900′s. The title has been available previously in France and in 2010 it was released as part of Fox’s mega-set Elia Kazan Collection, but this film marks its debut on stand-alone region 1 disc. The dual-layered disc features a progressive black-and-white transfer with very good contrast and no damages on the print. There are a few problematic shots, but those were mostly from the stock footage.
The decent mono soundtrack is in English only and the disc features English and French subtitles. The lone extra is an informative commentary by Foster Hirsch. This is a highly recommended release of an underrated film that needs to be rediscovered by a wider audience.

– Gregory Meshman @ DVD Beaver Continue reading

Yakov Protazanov – Chiny i lyudi AKA Ranks and People (1929)

v68xl Yakov Protazanov   Chiny i lyudi AKA Ranks and People (1929)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Yakov Protazanov   Chiny i lyudi AKA Ranks and People (1929)

Quote:
From his early silent works, the great Russian film director, Herr Yakov Protazanov, made literary adaptations from equally great Russian writers, as is the case with “Chiny I Lyudi” ( Ranks And People ) (1929) in which three short stories by Chekhov, “Anna On The Neck”, “Death Of A Petty Official” and “Chameleon” were assembled for the silent screen.
“Anna On The Neck” tells the story the young and beautiful Anna (Mariya Strelkova ) who has just married an old but rich civil servant. Anna thinks her marriage will rescue her father and her two brothers from a miserable life of poverty. Anna becomes disenchanted fast when her rich husband turns out to be an avaricious and severe man. Anna’s sad life changes when she attends a posh ball and every man there, including the mayor, is charmed by her. Anna’s husband hopes to get business advantages through this but Anna is thinking of revenge. Continue reading

Zoltán Fábri – A Pál-utcai fiúk aka The Boys of Paul Street (1969)

90jh3 Zoltán Fábri   A Pál utcai fiúk aka The Boys of Paul Street (1969)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Zoltán Fábri   A Pál utcai fiúk aka The Boys of Paul Street (1969)

This film was nominated for the Oscar Awards in 1969 as the best foreign language film.

The film originated from a novel created by the Hungarian writer Molnar Ferenc in 1906.
The book was chosen as a class reader in Hungary for children aged 11.

About the book from Wikipedia:
“The book has earned the status of the most famous Hungarian novel in the world. It has been translated into many languages and in several countries (like the UK and Italy) it is a mandatory or recommended reading in schools. Ernő Nemecsek is now ranked there among the eternal heroes of youth literature like Oliver Twist or Tom Sawyer. The novel can be easily read in most parts of the world as if its story could have happened anywhere and in any age.”
Continue reading

Andrei Konchalovsky – Asya’s Happiness AKA The Story of Asya Klyachina (1966)

asya00 Andrei Konchalovsky – Asya’s Happiness AKA The Story of Asya Klyachina (1966)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Andrei Konchalovsky – Asya’s Happiness AKA The Story of Asya Klyachina (1966)

Asya Klyashina is a cook in a small Russian village, lame and unmarried. During harvest time she works at a field camp where she renews acquaintance with Sasha, a driver returned from the city, who announces that he loves her but has no thought of marriage. Mothers look after their children amid the harvest; the men reminisce about the Patriotic War (“fighting for the Motherland, for Stalin”) and about the prison camps after the war. But complications to her life start when Asya discovers she is pregnant by another youth, Stephan. Continue reading

Pier Paolo Pasolini – Il Decameron (1971)

decameronposter4 Pier Paolo Pasolini   Il Decameron (1971)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Pier Paolo Pasolini   Il Decameron (1971)

Quote:
Pasolini’s ‘Decameron’ at the Film Festival

Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Italian director, has always been something of a puzzle for American critics, not simply because we have to reconcile his announced Marxism with what appears to be a kind of reformed Christianity (as reflected by the neo-realistic “The Gospel According to St. Matthew,” as well as by the austerely allegorical “Teorema”), but because he forces us to keep shifting critical gears. No three Pasolinis are ever quite alike. At best, they come in pairs, like “Oedipus Rex” and “Medea,” neither of which have yet been released here.

There is, however, a peculiar kind of romanticism throughout all of his films. It is a middle-class romanticism that idealizes the spiritual and emotional freedom that Pasolini sees in what we used to call The Common Man, who, in slightly more straightforward, class-conscious Europe, is still The Peasant. As if he were some medieval maiden locked in a tower, Pasolini seems to long for the freedom to do what the simple folk do, which, to Pasolini, evokes sexual liberation as much as anything else.

In none of his films has this been more apparent than in his marvelous new work, “The Decameron,” which is as close to being uninhibited and joyful as anything he’s ever done.
Continue reading

pixel Pier Paolo Pasolini   Il Decameron (1971)