Drama

Metin Erksan – Yilanlarin öcü AKA Revenge of the Snakes (1962)

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Imdb:
An early realist classic from Turkey
15 December 2004 | by Tilly Gokbudak (Roanoke, Va.)

This is one of several Turkish films I have chosen to examine for a college thesis on Turkish cinema. I found a copy of it by chance from a CD store in the Aksaray part of Istanbul, the last time I was in Turkey. This is quite a film. The Revenge of the Snakes is a definitive precursor to the films of Yilmaz Guney, Zeki Okten, Ali Ozgenturk, and Serif Goren. It is a simple tale of a young couple and their little boy trying to live a suitable life in a small Anatolian village. This is a multi-layered film in which the antagonists include the mother in law, the new neighbors- with whom there is a serious land dispute, the town chiefs, and government officials who are oblivious to the needs and concerns of the average person. The snake is a symbol for the incoming troubles that will haunt the couple. The lead actor Fikret Hakan and the whole cast is brilliant. If you like Turkish films, this is one to see. It is perhaps as relevant to Turkish cinema as Rosellini’s “Open City” is to Italian cinema. Read More »

Zako Heskija – Yo ho ho (1981)

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This is a sensitive film about human solidarity filled with humor and poetry.

A young actor with his backbone broken (he is crippled after a bad fall on the stage) is
being treated in a hospital. He is invalidated for good and he wills not to live further on.
He gets acquainted with a 10-year-old boy, Leonid, from the adjoining room. The boy is
spending time in hospital with an arm in a plastic cast. They make friends. In fact, the
actor intends to use the kid to provide him with poison. He starts telling a marvelous fairy
tale. “Yo-ho-ho” – this old refrain of a pirate song is all too familiar. For the sake of the
boy the Actor invents stories about the good buccaneer who is fighting the evil ruler
Alvarez who must be punished for his crimes. Little by little the real people in hospital are
transformed into the imaginary heroes of the pirate stories that the Actor and the child
vanquished by goodness, honesty and self-denial. The boy is fascinated. Gradually… Read More »

Christopher Morahan – All Neat in Black Stockings (1968)

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A small comedy drama about the life and sex adventures of an amorous window cleaner, in the hip and swingin’ London of the 60’s. Ginger (Victor Henry) divides his time between picking up the cleaning rag and picking up women in the London pubs. One girl he meets is the pretty and demure Jill (Susan George), who his best friend Dwyer (Jack Shephard) takes a shine to. When Ginger agrees to becomes a caretaker at an old man’s mansion and a wild party results, he asks Dwyer to look after Jill. Dwyer takes that invitation as a chance to seduce Jill. Later, when Ginger is informed by Jill that she is pregnant. Read More »

David Lean – Oliver Twist (1948)

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Expressionistic noir photography suffuses David Lean’s Oliver Twist with a nightmarish quality, fitting its bleak, industrial setting. In Dickens’ classic tale, an orphan wends his way from cruel apprenticeship to den of thieves in search of a true home. Here Alec Guinness is the quintessential Fagin, his controversial performance fully restored in Criterion’s new digital transfer.

Links:
Criterion
All Movie Guide Read More »

Allen Reisner – All Mine to Give (1957)

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This is a story based on fact that follows a husband and wife who emigrate from Scotland to Wisconsin in the 1850’s. They work very hard and become welcome citizens of their new town, Eureka. They have six children. They prosper in the husband’s boat building business. But when their eldest is 12, tragedy strikes the family, and the 12-year old is burdened with a terrible task which he handles as well as any adult could. Read More »

Basil Dearden – Cage of Gold (1950)

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Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Cage of Gold was a rare non-comic effort from Britain’s Ealing Studios. Jean Simmons stars as Judith, who awakens the morning after her wedding to discover that her new husband has deserted her. Later on, she is told that her husband is dead. After a period of mourning, Judith remarries–only to be subjected to blackmail by husband number one. It’s all a racket, of course, but Judith doesn’t go to the police until it’s almost too late. Featured in the cast of Cage of Gold as a slimy smuggler is Herbert Lom, who later gained worldwide fame as Inspector Dreyfus in the “Pink Panther” comedies. Read More »

Basil Dearden – All Night Long (1962)

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Synopsis:

“At an East London warehouse jazz party, a drummer plots his revenge on the people who thwarted his ambitions by spreading rumours and lies amongst them.”
– Screenonline

“The film, based on Othello, is neatly positioned as a vehicle to showcase some of the best Jazz musicians of the period – including Dave Brubeck and Charlie Mingus.”
– IMDb Read More »