Epic

Abel Gance – Napoleon [Brownlow restoration, +Extras] (1927)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

TCM Review :
The story behind Abel Gance’s Napoleon (1927) is as exciting as the film. A masterpiece adventure originally running nearly seven hours, it breaks new ground with practically every shot, was filmed with techniques twenty-five years ahead of its time, and was rescued from oblivion by an obsessed teenager.

French director Abel Gance conceived an ambitious plan to film the life of the famous French leader in the early 1920s and, during a trip to America, even sought out D.W. Griffith to get his blessing for the project. Six feature films were to have presented a comprehensive biography of Napoleon but after a two-year struggle, Gance only succeeded in completing the first film before he ran out of money and time. Read More »

Franco Zeffirelli – Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Description: “Jesus of Nazareth” is by far the most detailed movie on the life of Christ. I remember when it first aired on TV back in April of 1977. That was the week of my wedding and I remember watching it with my new bride on our honeymoon. Because of it’s length and as a mini series it was able to cover most all the events in Jesus’s life. There are many scenes and which I would say are some of my favorites but by far the best scene in the whole movie is when Earnest Borgnine, playing a Roman Centurian, approaches Jesus with a request that he heal a servant of his. A servant he loves as a son. Jesus says he will go to his home. The Centurian says that it won’t be necessary since Jesus is a Jew and can’t come into a Gentiles home. All Jesus has to do is give the word and he knows that Jesus would heal his servant. Jesus says that he has found no greater faith in all Israel than that of this Centurian. Although there were some artistic interpretations in the movie, they are so very few it isn’t worth mentioning. I have seen the “Passion of the Christ” and I feel it is a very powerful movie on the last week of Christ, but it is so intense. I have to give “Jesus of Nazareth” the highest rating possible. (buttuglybiker – IMDB). Read More »

Enrico Guazzoni – Agrippina (1911)


29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Summary:
After the death of Claudius, Agrippina announced Nero the heir to the throne, which leads to despair of the true heir – Brittanicus.
Not daring to oppose Agrippina, Senators declare Nero the emperor.
Agrippina is against of an affair of Nero and Poppaea.
Agrippina threaten Nero that if he neglect his wife Octavius, she will give the throne to Brittanicus.
The threats of Agrippina had their effect. Brittanicus is poisoned.
Perversity of Nero is insatiable and he gives his trusted man, Anicetus a terrible order.
Agrippina is looking for salvation, but the indomitable hatred of Emperor Nero decides the fate of Agrippina… Read More »

Theodoros Angelopoulos – O megalexandros AKA Alexander the Great (1980)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

from allmovie:
Director Theodoros Anghelopulos has created a clever vehicle for conveying the substance of this award-winning political drama. He uses the acting techniques of Greek tragedy, such as formal posturing and long-held camera shots, as well as symbolism right out of classical Greek plays, to put across his parallel to Alexander the Great. This new Alexander is a “bandit” who escapes from prison in 1900 and starts fighting the government. He kidnaps some British aristocrats to hold them as ransom against amnesty for himself and his men. When he returns with his hostages to his native village, he and the local ruling schoolteacher have a go-around on how the town is to be run. — Eleanor Mannikka Read More »

Bernardo Bertolucci – Novecento aka 1900 [Extras] (1976)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis

Quote:
Bernardo Bertolucci’s vast historical melodrama used the massive popular, critical, and financial success of its predecessor, the scandalous LAST TANGO IN PARIS, to mount a production of epic scale. Cut down to four hours for its American release, the film utilizes an all-star Hollywood…
Bernardo Bertolucci’s vast historical melodrama used the massive popular, critical, and financial success of its predecessor, the scandalous LAST TANGO IN PARIS, to mount a production of epic scale. Cut down to four hours for its American release, the film utilizes an all-star Hollywood cast to tell its heavily Marxist tale of Italian peasants during the twentieth century. Two boys born on the same day are destined for divergent paths; Olmo (played by Gerard Depardeiu as an adult) is born to peasant parents and will become a passionate socialist, while Alfredo’s (Robert De Niro as an adult) bourgeois, landowning origins will lead him to ultimately embrace fascism. Driven by a sincere hope for and belief in political change, Bertolucci’s film is nonetheless made up of very humane individual stories; it concentrates on highly personal experiences of a politically-charged time, which color the little dramas of love, sex, family, and community. It is at once an epic poem and a political manifesto, and it is the product of a director who was unabashedly communist in his youth, contrasting markedly with later works like 2003’s THE DREAMERS. Read More »

Joe D’Amato – The Emporer Caligula: The Untold Story AKA Caligula 2 (1982)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

from IMDB:

The deranged Roman emperor Gainus ‘Caligula’ (Little Boots) Caesar (12-41 A.D.) rules Rome with an iron fist and has anyone tortured and exectued for even the slightest insubordination. Mostly set during his last year of his reign, as Caligula loses support due to his brutal and crazed excess, a young Moor woman, named Miriam, becomes his lover while ploting to kill him to avenge the murder of a friend which Caligula was responsible for. But Miriam is torn between her personal vandeda against Caligula and her own personal feelings towards him despite his madness and debauched lifestyle of orgies and bloody torture murders. Written by Matthew Patay Read More »

Stanley Kubrick – Barry Lyndon (1975)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis
BARRY LYNDON is Stanley Kubrick’s epic costume drama based on William Makepeace Thackeray’s picaresque novel. It tells the story of a young rogue who wanders through life getting lost in various adventures, meeting his share of women and oddball characters. When Redmond Barry (Ryan O’Neal, trying desperately to maintain an Irish brogue) becomes jealous of Captain Quin’s advances on Barry’s beloved cousin, he challenges the man to a duel. Winning the duel, young Barry is forced to leave his home and his mother, and off on his adventures he goes. He meets thieves, lonely soldier brides, Prussian army leaders, and British widows, inventing new stories about himself at every turn of the road. BARRY LYNDON is lush and magnificent, sparkling with color, every frame reminiscent of the finest European art. The blues of the Prussian army uniforms and the reds of the British contrast sharply with the majestic green land and mountains in nearly every background. Kubrick often begins a shot close in, then zooms out to reveal the beautiful natural landscape and ornate rooms surrounding the now seemingly insignificant characters. With rousing performances from O’Neal, Marisa Berenson, Hardy Kruger, and Leonard Rossiter, jaw-dropping camerawork, spectacular natural lighting, and a marvelous classical-music soundtrack painstakingly put together by Kubrick, BARRY LYNDON is a dramatic romantic epic that may be Kubrick’s most beautiful film. Read More »