Herbert Blaché & Winchell Smith – The Saphead (1920)

BLcKYv Herbert Blaché & Winchell Smith   The Saphead (1920)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Herbert Blaché & Winchell Smith   The Saphead (1920)

The Saphead is a 1920 comedy film featuring Buster Keaton. It was the actor’s first starring role in a full-length feature and the film that launched his career.

The plot was a merging of two stories, Bronson Howard’s play The Henrietta and the novel The New Henrietta by Victor Mapes and Winchell Smith, which was meant to be an adaption of Howard’s play.
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Alan J. Pakula – Sterile Cukoo (1969)

YR4nXj Alan J. Pakula   Sterile Cukoo (1969)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Alan J. Pakula   Sterile Cukoo (1969)

Synopsis:
Eccentric Pookie Adams (Liza Minnelli) pursues a quiet entymology student named Jerry (Wendell Burton), who she meets on the bus while travelling to college.

Review:
Alan J. Pakula’s debut film offers an insightful exploration into the exhilaration, complications, and devastation of “first love”. Many scenes — such as when Pookie and Jerry are about to make love for the first time — ring remarkably true, and are handled with sensitivity and gentle humor; and Minnelli’s Pookie — while unbelievably irritating at first — quickly becomes sympathetic, as we recognize a little bit of ourselves in her desperation to have a romantic relationship at any cost. Continue reading

Philippe de Broca – Le diable par la queue AKA The Devil by the Tail (1969)

1yM8Bn Philippe de Broca   Le diable par la queue AKA The Devil by the Tail (1969)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Philippe de Broca   Le diable par la queue AKA The Devil by the Tail (1969)

Synopsis:

‘A family of aristocrats have fallen on hard times. To pay for repairs to their crumbling country chateau they are forced to use their home as a hotel. The local garage mechanic, Charlie, provides a constant stream of guests for them by sabotaging any car that arrives in his garage. The latest arrival is an important-looking man, Cesar Maricorne, accompanied by his two aides. When she learns that he is a gangster who has just robbed a bank, the aging Marquise realises that her family’s financial worries may be at an end…’
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Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Warnung Vor Einer Heiligen Nutte AKA Beware of a Holy Whore (1971)

b00008l3wk01sclzzzzzzza Rainer Werner Fassbinder   Warnung Vor Einer Heiligen Nutte AKA Beware of a Holy Whore (1971)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Rainer Werner Fassbinder   Warnung Vor Einer Heiligen Nutte AKA Beware of a Holy Whore (1971)

from allmovie:
“Movies about making movies are usually concerned with the frantic desperation of a shoot, with crises popping up by the minute and everyone rushing about madly. Not so in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film, allegedly about his experiences making Whity on-location in Spain. The first quarter of the film is taken up with a long scene in a hotel lobby which might have been directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. The lassitude and sense of sexual longing is almost suffocating, as members of the film within a film’s cast and crew down drinks, break glasses, nuzzle on couches, or stare blankly into space. With the arrival of more money to continue the production and of the film’s director (Lou Castel playing a handsome version of Fassbinder) and the film’s star (Eddie Constantine more or less playing himself — there is even a reference to his Lemmy Caution character), the energy level picks up — especially when the director begins throwing hourly tantrums. And Fassbinder’s narrative becomes more fragmented, featuring short snippets of conversations among the various characters, most of them complaining about someone else on the crew screwing things up. In one long and very funny scene, the director carefully reads a newspaper containing an article about him while a half-dozen other characters around him drift away. There is some witty use of music, too; three Leonard Cohen songs from his first album drone on during the long opening scene in the lobby, and later, a party scene plays out to Ray Charles’ “Let’s Go Get Stoned.” This is all likely to be more amusing to those in the know about Fassbinder and his methods; less informed viewers are likely to see it as so much navel-gazing.” Continue reading

Howard Zieff – Slither (1973)

1jteta Howard Zieff   Slither (1973)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Howard Zieff   Slither (1973)

Plot Synopsis - by Hal Erickson

In Slither, James Caan plays Dick Kanipsia, a recently paroled car thief whose plans to go straight are interrupted when his best pal Harry Moss (Richard B. Schull) is shot and killed. As he lies dying, Moss advises Kanipsia to seek out fellow crook Barry Fenaka (Peter Boyle), who knows where a huge amount of money stolen by Moss is hidden. Aware that he himself is a marked man, Kanipsia has to play it cool en route to Fenaka. This proves difficult when his erstwhile travelling companion, dopehead Kitty Kopetzky Sally Kellerman, robs a roadside diner in his presence. Since nothing is ever quite what it appears to be in Slither, perhaps we shouldn’t tell you any more. This truly serpentine tale served as the feature-film directorial debut of Howard Zieff, the former TV-commercial helmsman responsible for the famous Spicy Meatball ad.
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Vera Chytilová – Vyhnání z ráje AKA Expulsion from Paradise (2001)

 Vera Chytilová   Vyhnání z ráje AKA Expulsion from Paradise (2001)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Vera Chytilová   Vyhnání z ráje AKA Expulsion from Paradise (2001)

Description: The uncompromising director Věra Chytilová, well-known for her harshly mocking attacks on people’s failings and foibles, has created a new filmic parable on human weakness with Vyhnání z ráje (Expulsion from Paradise, 2001), her most recent film. Although fully within the Chytilová tradition of biting moral fable, the film has had a lukewarm reception from Czech and international critics.

The main story of Vyhnání z ráje concerns Rosta, a film director (Bolek Polívka), who is shooting a film at a nudist beach.[2] Everyone in the film crew has different ideas about the genre and style of the film being shot: The director tries to create an artistic work, an experimental metaphor about Adam and Eve; the Russian producer Igor (Milan Šteindler) hopes to see an erotic lovestory produced; and the screenwriter (played by theatre director and dramatist J A Pitínský) aims to express his positive philosophy about humanity through the film. Continue reading

Peter Yates – Breaking Away (1979)

5FNQOa Peter Yates   Breaking Away (1979)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Peter Yates   Breaking Away (1979)

synopsis

Dennis Christopher stars as a recent high school graduate in Bloomington, Indiana, who is caught with his friends — Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley — coasting between high school and deciding what to do with the rest of their lives. The four friends are snobbishly looked down upon by the college students of the town as “cutters,” since they were born in Bloomington and their parents worked in the local limestone quarries that built the university. Dennis Christopher’s character Dave wants to be a champion bicycle racer and he idolizes the Italian racing team — so much so that he speaks, thinks, and acts Italian, all to his father’s (Paul Dooley) forlorn exasperation. Dave falls for a college girl (Robyn Douglass), but is ashamed to admit he is a cutter and poses as an Italian exchange student to impress her. Dave is particularly excited when his heroes — the Italian racers — come to town for a race. But they are even more snobbish than the college students and rely on dirty tricks to keep Dave from winning a race against them. After that ordeal, Dave throws away his false identity and convinces his friends to enter the university’s “Little 500″ bicycle race against the college students. This light-hearted and heartwarming tale was a surprising word-of-mouth success at the box-office and won several awards, including an Academy Award for “Best Screenplay.”
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pixel Peter Yates   Breaking Away (1979)