Christine (Sandy McLeod), a bright and unassuming young woman, takes a job selling tickets at a porno theater near Times Square. Instead of distancing herself from the dark and erotic nature of this milieu, Christine soon develops an obsession that begins to consume her life. The character’s reaction unexpectedly flips normal gender roles; director Gordon daringly twists feminist ideology by showing a woman who finds self-expression through an interest in pornography. Variety becomes even more provocative when it dramatizes the changes that occur in Christine’s relationships with both Mark (Will Patton), her boyfriend, and Louie, a dangerous-looking patron of the theater. Continue reading
Secvente(Sequences, reffering to film sequences) is Alexandru Tatos’ quintessential film and one of the stepping stones of Romanian cinematography. Sadly, although being a critics and directors favorite ever since it’s release, Secvente never managed to find a wide audience, mostly due to the limited distribution the film received during it’s initial run in the communist years. This huge injustice was disappointingly never corrected and unless word doesn’t spread over this uniquely original gem of Romanian Cinema, Secvente will most surely never reach the following it deserves. Continue reading
Plot Synopsis by Cavett Binion
The second of two horror films shot in a single production term and bearing the name of pop-art icon Andy Warhol (whose participation pretty much ended with the use of his name), this film is slightly superior to its higher-profile predecessor, Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein. Direction is credited to Warhol factory filmmaker Paul Morrissey, though there still exists a very vocal camp who insist that the real credit should go to Italian director Antonio Margheriti. Euro-horror leading man Udo Kier assays the title role, playing the count as a pale, anemic-looking blood junkie with an overwrought accent. Finding the supply of “weer-gin” blood diminishing rapidly in Romania, Dracula is forced to seek a fix in a predominantly Catholic Italian province, where he is certain a few virgins still exist. He travels with his assistant (Arno Juerging) and his coffin-sealed sister to the decrepit, crumbling mansion of the financially-strapped Marquis DiFore (a tour-de-force performance from Bicycle Thief director Vittorio de Sica) who welcomes the affluent Count with open arms, hoping to marry off any one of his four daughters. Dracula clearly has other intentions for the girls… but his plans are rudely thwarted by beefy, socialist handyman Mario (Joe Dallesandro), who has been dutifully divesting the young maidens of their — ahem — virtue, thus tainting their blood and making it unsafe for vampiric consumption. Very unsafe, it turns out — as we are treated to protracted scenes of the death-pale Count vomiting up gallons of blood. Rated “X” at the time of its release (and subsequently re-rated “R” ten years later), this outrageous catalogue of depravity features wildly campy performances, inane dialogue and an outrageous climax. Continue reading
Leader of a traveling gypsy band from the steppes of Bessarabia (now Moldova), Toma Alistar is a skilled violinist whose fame takes him on tours around European capitals and royal courts. He remains obsessed with his first love, beautiful Leanca who was married elsewhere while Toma was traveling, and spends his life and fortune trying to find her. Written by Markku Kuoppamäki Continue reading
Rote Sonne aka Red Sun
Rudolf Thome, Germany 1970
Runtime: 85 min
“… one of the best German movies since the silent era … “
Dark and zany, Rote Sonne provides a fascinating snapshot of 60s culture, juxtaposing the B-film crime and science fiction genres with early feminist fervor. With the tag line “Frei, wild, cool und tödlich” (free, wild, cool and deadly), it depicts a group of young women who decide to kill their boyfriends if they insist on a relationship lasting more than five days.
Rote Sonne quickly grew into some early German cult movie with a constant growing importance. Only a few years later the critics called it one of the most important German movies from that time.
Between 1968 and 1971 Rudolf Thome shot four movies in a row (including Rote Sonne). Then he was broke and had to escape Munich. He started a new life in Berlin but it took years until he started to do movies again – unfortunately never achieving such a classic again. Continue reading
Munich in the late Sixties must have been the coolest place on earth. At least when you look at some of the movies that were made around that time. “Detektive” is Rudolf Thome’s feature debut, one year before he shot “Rote Sonne” (Red Sun) Link , and naturally it was a movie about girls and guns (and two cool dudes, proto slackers). The story is almost forgettable, it’s all about the style. And, of course, Uschi Obermaier, the star of “Rote Sonne”, whom Thome had discovered for “Detektive”. (Consequently, for most of the time, Uschi runs around in her undies) The dialogues are hilarious, super deadpan, the crime plot is ridiculous, the cinemathography (b/w and scope) beautiful. Heavily indebted to the French Novelle Vague and Hollywood’s classic gangster films, “Detektive” is miles away from the German New Wave around Wenders, Kluge and Fassbinder. That’s what makes this little flic, shot with friends on weekends (and between tours through the bars in the Schwabing district), so special.
In the lead, the great Marquard Bohm, something like the German Belmondo (a face like no other) and Uli Lommel, who went on to direct the German serial killer film “Die Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe” and numerous Hollywood b movies. Nuff said. Enjoy this very special gem! Continue reading
The Marquis Turns Serious In a Lighthearted Way
In “Marquis,” a Belgian-French film featuring actors wearing masks that suggest barnyard animals, a spaniel-faced Marquis de Sade spends much of his time discussing philosophy, morality and strategy with a baguette-size likeness of a penis, which has a mind of its own. This is no idle conceit. In the film’s closing credits, the performer who supplies the voice of the penis — the character is named Colin — is given second billing.
Although the bawdy, flippant “Marquis,” which opens today at Film Forum, is clearly not for everyone, it turns out to be considerably more deft than might have been expected. As directed by Henri Xhonneux, with art direction by Roland Topor, the caricaturist, “Marquis” has a consistently acerbic style and a definite viewpoint, one steeped in late 18th-century French political and literary history. (Much of the film takes place in the Bastille, where the Marquis has been imprisoned for defiling a crucifix with the perverse gusto for which he remains famous.) Continue reading