Lino Brocka – Macho Dancer (1988)

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Macho Dancer is a 1988 Philippine film, directed Lino Brocka, which explores the harsh realities of a young, poor, rural gay man, who after being dumped by his American boyfriend, is forced to make a living for himself in Manila’s seamy red-light district. Based on a true story, the film frank depiction of homosexuality, prostitution, drag queens and crooked cops, porno movie-making and sexual slavery, and drugs and violence caused the Filipino government censors to order extensive edits of the film, forcing an uncensored edition to be smuggled out of the Philippines and shown to a limited number of international film festivals. This print is now part of the permanent collection at The Museum of Modern Art in New York [Images in the Dark: An Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Film and Video. 1994. Raymond Murray] Continue reading

Nobuo Nakagawa – Onna shikeishû no datsugoku AKA Death Row Woman (1960)

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Synopsis:

A Hitchcockian narrative and noirish atmosphere characterise this effective, taut thriller, made the same year as the director’s magnum opus, JIGOKU (Hell). Set in the present day, DEATH ROW WOMAN is at once a prison film, an innocent-man/woman-on-the-run story, a police procedural, and a family melodrama, that is equal parts Hitchcock, Samuel Fuller and Douglas Sirk. Continue reading

Lewis Seiler – You Can’t Get Away with Murder (1939)

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Synopsis:
Humphrey Bogart plays mobster Frank Wilson, the heavy headlining this crime thriller that sprung from the pen of Sing-Sing’s warden himself! Based on the play “Chalked Out” by Warden Lewis E. Lawes and Jonathan Finn, You Can’t Get Away With Murder tells the grim tale of a young punk taken in by the glamorous gangster life, only to find himself sent away to the federal pen with a man’s fate resting in his hands and a murderer dogging his every step. Young Johnnie Stone (original “Dead End Kid” Billy Halop) hooks up with hoodlum Wilson only to help Wilson frame his sister’s (Gale Page) straight and narrow fiancé Fred (Harvey Stephens) for Murder One. All three men soon find themselves sent to the “Big House” – two serving a stretch for robbery, the third for Death Row. Can Johnnie come clean in time to save Fred, with Frank watching his every move? Continue reading