Fantasy

John Hough – Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)

Synopsis:
Tia and Tony are two orphaned youngsters with extraordinary powers. Lucas Deranian poses as their uncle in order to get the kids into the clutches of Deranian’s megalomanical boss, evil millionaire Aristotle Bolt, who wants to exploit them. Jason, a cynical widower, helps Tia and Tony “escape to witch mountain,” while at the same time Tia and Tony help Jason escape the pain of the loss of his wife. Read More »

Jack Witikka – Nukkekauppias ja kaunis Lilith AKA The Doll Merchant (1955)

Quote:
The Doll Merchant (1955), a fairy tale for adults directed by Jack Witikka, is based on a radio play by Walentin Chorell. The titular doll merchant, played by Martti Katajisto, refuses to conform to the norms of an anonymous totalitarian state. The dictator of the state (Tauno Palo) thinks the merchant is a rebel and has him arrested. However, the dictator’s lover Lilith (Hillevi Lagerstam) is very fond of dolls, as is the little girl (Leena Kaprio), who is helped by an anarchist (Heikki Savolainen) in her search for the doll merchant. The many dolls seen in the film were made by Mona Leo. Read More »

Ying Chang – Da xia mei hua lu AKA The Fantasy of Deer Warrior (1961)

The happy lives of animals in the forest are stirred by the sudden attack of a pack of wolves. The Uncle Deer comes to rescue, and asks Birdy to notify his son, the deer. Sika Deer and the Deer are fighting for the Miss Deer inextricably. When the Deer rushed to his father, the Uncle Deer has died, and he asked his son to revenge before dying. Read More »

Konrad Wolf – Der kleine Prinz (1966)

Quote:
Der kleine Prinz (1966/1972) has been even more thoroughly buried by history than the rest of Wolf’s work, or the corpus of DEFA production in general. The reasons for this neglect are multiple on the one hand, the film got caught in the crossfire of the Eleventh Plenum, which took place during the shooting of the film. Although the project had been conceived of as a vehicle for the eventual launch of color TV in the GDR (an undertaking that was repeatedly started and stopped), Heinz Adamock (1921-2010), Intendant of the DFF from 1954 to 1989, sought to get out of his commitment to fund the film, until Albert Wilkening insisted he honor it. Read More »

Macoto Tezuka – Hakuchi AKA The Innocent (1999)

Harrowing drama is set in an alternate version of the 1990s in which World War II never ended and the citizens of Japan are subjected to nightly bombing raids.

Hakuchi (1999) is based off of Ango Sakaguchi’s novel of the same name and directed by Makoto Tezuka, Osamu Tezuka’s son. “Hakuchi” means “Idiot” (and is in reference to a mentally handicapped woman in the storyline). It stars my favorite Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano (Kakihara in “Ichi the Killer”, Mamoru in “Bright Future”, etc.) as a directing assistant named Izawa who works at a television station in a war-ravaged Japan. He gets harassed and abused by a pop star/actress named Ginga who he works for. One day Izawa returns home to find that the mentally-challenged wife of the crazy man next door is hiding in his closet. Read More »

Avery Crounse – Eyes of Fire (1983)

This is a story of Protestant pioneers, a single family that travels into the wilderness following the prophetic misguidance of a single man whose desires outweigh his prudence. At the height of the witch terrors, this historical horror is more accurate than many another film, and does not overstretch its portrayals to suit audience expectation. Read More »

David Lean – Blithe Spirit (1945)

Synopsis:
An English mystery novelist invites a medium to his home, so she may conduct a séance for a small gathering. The writer hopes to gather enough material for the book he’s working on, as well as to expose the medium as a charlatan. However, proceedings take an unexpected turn, resulting in a chain of supernatural events being set into motion that wreak havoc on the man’s present marriage. Read More »