Epic

Kar-Wai Wong – Dung che sai duk AKA Ashes of Time Redux (1994)

Two years after forming his own production company, Jet Tone, Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai released ASHES OF TIME, a martial-arts epic based on THE EAGLE-SHOOTING HEROES, a series of novels by Louis Cha writing under the pseudonym Jin Yong. The film was set in jianghu, an imaginary world with its own views of good and evil. In 2008, unhappy with the many alternate versions of ASHES OF TIME available, Wong reedited and restored the film, working with the original negative and soundtrack, which were in severe disrepair. The new version, called ASHES OF TIME REDUX, which screened at such prestigious international gatherings as the Cannes, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals, is a breathtaking example of Wong’s masterly storytelling technique, combined with the stunning cinematography of Christopher Doyle and gorgeous new cello solos recorded by Yo-Yo Ma. Read More »

Satsuo Yamamoto – Senso to ningen III: Kanketsuhen AKA Men And War Part III (1973)

Quote:
Yamamoto Satsuo directed this masterful 9 hour epic trilogy on the effects of war on the five generations of a single Japanese family. Based on Gomikawa Jumpei’s (The Human Condition) bestselling novel, the film trilogy skillfully blends newsreel and archive footage with an all-star cast, exotic locations, and beautiful cinematography. The first part follows the rise of the Godai clan rise from war-profiteers to their becoming powerful industrialists in Japanese-occupied Manchuria during the 1930s. The second part follow the the stories of two brothers serving in different units of the Imperial Japanese army from 1935 to 1937 when Japan launched a full scale invasion of China. The third and final part details the family’s trials during the Sino-Japanese War to the Soviet army’s invasion of Japanese-occupied Northeastern China at the end of World War II. Read More »

Satsuo Yamamoto – Senso to ningen II: Ai to kanashimino sanga AKA Men And War Part II (1971)

Quote:
Yamamoto Satsuo directed this masterful 9 hour epic trilogy on the effects of war on the five generations of a single Japanese family. Based on Gomikawa Jumpei’s (The Human Condition) bestselling novel, the film trilogy skillfully blends newsreel and archive footage with an all-star cast, exotic locations, and beautiful cinematography. The first part follows the rise of the Godai clan rise from war-profiteers to their becoming powerful industrialists in Japanese-occupied Manchuria during the 1930s. The second part follow the the stories of two brothers serving in different units of the Imperial Japanese army from 1935 to 1937 when Japan launched a full scale invasion of China. The third and final part details the family’s trials during the Sino-Japanese War to the Soviet army’s invasion of Japanese-occupied Northeastern China at the end of World War II. Read More »

Satsuo Yamamoto – Senso to ningen: Unmei no jokyoku AKA Men And War Part I (1970)

Quote:
Yamamoto Satsuo directed this masterful 9 hour epic trilogy on the effects of war on the five generations of a single Japanese family. Based on Gomikawa Jumpei’s (The Human Condition) bestselling novel, the film trilogy skillfully blends newsreel and archive footage with an all-star cast, exotic locations, and beautiful cinematography. The first part follows the rise of the Godai clan rise from war-profiteers to their becoming powerful industrialists in Japanese-occupied Manchuria during the 1930s. The second part follow the the stories of two brothers serving in different units of the Imperial Japanese army from 1935 to 1937 when Japan launched a full scale invasion of China. The third and final part details the family’s trials during the Sino-Japanese War to the Soviet army’s invasion of Japanese-occupied Northeastern China at the end of World War II. Read More »

Michael Cacoyannis – The Trojan Women (1971)

For this ambitious screen version of one the most powerful works of classic Greek theater, director Michael Cacoyannnis (ZORBA THE GREEK, THE CHERRY ORCHARD) unleashes the talents of four of the screen’s most exciting actresses(NY DAILY NEWS). Four time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn (THE LION IN WINTER, A DELICATE BALANCE), Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave (JULIA), Oscar nominee Genevieve Bujold (ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS) and Greek screen legend Irene Papas (ANTIGONE, Z) seamlessly mesh into an unprecedented ensemble cast that one could never hope to see on stage (Pauline Kael, NEW YORKER). Read More »

Niazi Mostafa – Antar bin chaddad AKA Antar the Black Prince (1961)

Antar, son of prince Chaddad and a black slave mother, longs to be recognized by his father and win the love of his cousin, the princess Abla. In order to prove himself worthy, he undergoes all manner of obstacles and eventually becomes the greatest warrior in all Arabia.

There have been several Middle Eastern movies made about Antar, dating back to the silent era. In western cinema, Antar was played by Victor Mature in The Veils of Bagdad (1953) and by Kirk Morris in Anthar l’Invincibile (Anthar the Invincible) although these films re-imagined the character as a generic Caucasian hero with little relation to the historical figure. In this picture, Antar is portrayed by Egyptian actor Farid Chawki wearing “blackface” makeup and a nappy wig. Read More »

Matthew Robbins – Dragonslayer (1981)

A King has made a pact with a dragon where he sacrfices virgins to it, and the dragon leaves his kingdom alone. An old wizard, and his keen young apprentice volunteer to kill the dragon and attempt to save the next virgin in line, the King’s own daughter. Read More »