Joe Dante – The Movie Orgy (1968)

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A compilation film designed to evoke nostalgia for the shared entertainment experiences of early baby boomers, “The Movie Orgy” includes clips from television programs and B-movies of the 1950s and 1960s, as well as commercials, music clips, newsreels, blooper outtakes, satiric short films and promotional and government films. The effect is something like a simulation of a lazy Saturday of channel surfing or a long double (or triple) matinee at the movies. The film is primarily structured around extended clips from Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) and Speed Crazy (1959); as it progresses, segments primarily culled from about a dozen other films and programs are increasingly intercut to create the effect of a single disjointed story in which numerous monsters and assorted social menaces seem to inflict themselves simultaneously on various American cities and towns. This principal focus is occasionally interrupted by commercial breaks and other assorted side features. (IMDB, Written by scgary66) Continue reading

Christopher Maclaine – The End (1953)

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Description from Beat Cinema
The End is in six numbered sections, each separated by long stretches of darkness during which Maclaine speaks directly to the audience. Each of the sections is a tale of a different person on the last day of his or her life. The characters in the first three sections meet their end either through random acts of violence or suicide (none depicted graphically), after which Maclaine (in dark humor mode) acknowledges that the audience may not yet be identifying with his characters (“These people are all violent!”). The characters in the second half seem to meet their end through a large-scale disaster, unspecified in Maclaine’s narration but undoubtedly the atomic explosion shown at the beginning and end of the film. The two halves of the film are bridged by Maclaine’s narrator, who equates the self-destruction of the first three characters with a complacent world awaiting “the grand suicide of the human race.” The finale of the film is the end of the world as Maclaine imagines it might look, set to the tune of Beethoven’s ninth symphony – presaging Stanley Kubrick, who would also juxtapose an atomic explosion with ironically uplifting music in Dr. Strangelove a decade later. The End is not just a stern warning, but a prophecy of absolute doom – Maclaine seems to have believed the world was ending before his very eyes, and the eyes of his audience. Continue reading

Derek Jarman – Jubilee (1978)

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Punks hail Britannia in their own peculiar way in this little-seen gem by the late queer auteur

Jubilee (1978), Britain’s only decent punk film, still isn’t respected at home as much as it should be, and it remains pretty obscure everywhere else. Instead, we had to wait for Trainspotting (1996) to represent some sort of renaissance in “cool” British cinema. Yet, even though it is almost 20 years older, Jubilee makes Trainspotting’s self-congratulatory, CD tie-in antics look like a polite Edinburgh garden party. Continue reading

Stanley Kubrick – A Clockwork Orange (1971)

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Twenty-five years on from its release, A Clockwork Orange has lost none of its power to shock and outrage. In this near-future setting the outlets for teenage enthusiasm are few and far between. Disenchanted, youths form ritualistic gangs, fight battles and engage in vandalism. Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) is the leader of just such a group, marked out by their preferences for phallic masks and boiler suits. His select followers (known as droogs) are Dim (Warren Clark), Georgie (James Marcus) and Pete (Michael Tarn). On a typical evening they’ll stop by the Korova for some milk-plus, to sharpen them up, before venturing into the urban jungle. On this particular night they don’t have to travel far for a spot of “ultraviolence”; a rival gang are about to force a bit of the “old in-out” on a helpless young devotchka (girl). For the pure love of violence they decimate their rivals. Continue reading

Jorge Mautner – O Demiurgo AKA The Demiurge (1972)

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A colorful feature film that mixes exile with the figure of the poet Rimbaud and the feminist revolution. “It’s super-intellectual. A fable-musical-philosophical-chanchada”, Mautner says. He also affirms that the work focuses a lot on the longing for Brazil, on the will that the exiled had to return to their homeland. The idea came from conversations between the musician and his old father, “always talking about the pre-Socratics”, he recalls. Glauber Rocha states that “The Demiurge” is the best film “of” and “about” exile. Continue reading

Jean Rollin – Les démoniaques aka Demoniacs aka Curse of the Living Dead (1974)

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Jean Rollin’s surreal pirate film takes place on land amidst the skeletons of beached and plundered ships, the legacy of a cutthroat band of “wreckers” who lure ships into the shallows. When a pair of survivors, young girls glowing in white nightgowns, wander through the shallows seeking help from the merry quartet, they are summarily molested, beaten, and left for dead. Like in many of Rollin’s films, the story doesn’t make much narrative sense–the girls escape to the haunted ruins where a woman in clown makeup cares for them and a mysterious magician gives them the power to take their revenge in return for sex–but the logic takes on a dreamlike quality appropriate to the gorgeous and bizarre imagery. In a strange tavern adorned with skeletons (and a man playing with a Dracula doll!), the Captain is haunted by visions of the girls as white-faced specters. A search for the girls amidst the rotting hulls of old ships culminates in a fiery inferno that burns spectacularly against the night sky. Meanwhile well-endowed costar Joëlle Coeur strips at the slightest suggestion, frolics and bounces on a bed, and runs around the beach topless while hunting the girls. Rollin’s strange little film, a ghost story without ghosts, rambles on a little too long before it culminates in a self-destructive frenzy and ends on a sad, serene note. Continue reading

Marguerite Duras – India Song (1975)

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Poetical tale of Anne-Marie Stretter, the wife of a French diplomat in India in the 1930s. At 18 she had married a French colonial administrator and went with him on posting to Savannakhet, Laos. There she met her second husband who took her away and for 17 years they lived in various locations in Asia. Now in Calcutta, she takes lovers to relieve the boredom in her life. Told in a highly visual style with little dialogue but a constant voice-over narrative by the different characters. Continue reading