The third and definitive film adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy, this musical adventure is a genuine family classic that made Judy Garland a star for her heartfelt performance as Dorothy Gale, an orphaned young girl unhappy with her drab black-and-white existence on her aunt and uncle’s dusty Kansas farm.
Dorothy yearns to travel “over the rainbow” to a different world, and she gets her wish when a tornado whisks her and her little dog, Toto, to the Technicolorful land of Oz. Having offended the Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), Dorothy is protected from the old crone’s wrath by the ruby slippers that she wears.
At the suggestion of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North (Billie Burke), Dorothy heads down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City, where dwells the all-powerful Wizard of Oz, who might be able to help the girl return to Kansas.
En route, she befriends a Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a Tin Man (Jack Haley), and a Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr). The Scarecrow would like to have some brains, the Tin Man craves a heart, and the Lion wants to attain courage; hoping that the Wizard will help them too, they join Dorothy on her odyssey to the Emerald City. Continue reading
“Haunters of the Deep” takes us to Cornwall with a tale of a haunted mine. The American CEO of Aminco Mining Corp. wants to re-open the tin-rich Strangles Head Mine, despite the dire warnings of old local miner Captain Tregellis (Andrew Keir, who himself started his working life in a mine at the age of 14) whose childhood friend had lost his life there many years before. Warnings are ignored (there’s local employment to think of too) and its is up to Josh, whose older brother has taken a job in the mine, and Becky, the CEO’s daughter, to set aside their initial animosity and bring about a rescue when the mine walls begin to let in the sea. With its Cornish coastal setting and elements of the supernatural – Spriggans and Jack o’Lanterns and the ghost of young miner lost decades before – “Haunters of the Deep” makes effective use of its distinct local setting. Continue reading
Veteran French New Wave director Eric Rohmer’s Perceval is a unique film faithfully based on the 12th-century Arthurian poem by Chrétien de Troyes. It combines medieval music, bright colors, mime, stylized acting and theatrical sets that reflect a wonderful feel for the period. This elegant adventure film is shot entirely in the studio. Rohmer highlights Perceval (Fabrice Luchini) as a young innocent who uses this to his advantage to gain the confidence of his enemies. The naïve Perceval’s odyssey is depicted as a moral investigation, but is shot with a deft touch exhibiting great humor, wit and style… It’s more involving than either Bresson’s Lancelot du Lac or Syberberg’s Parifal. Continue reading
A poor boy wins the opportunity to tour the most eccentric and wonderful candy factory of all.
After a 23-year hiatus, The Dance of Reality marks the triumphant return of Alejandro Jodorowsky, the visionary Chilean filmmaker behind cult classics El Topo and The Holy Mountain. In the radiantly visceral autobiographical film, a young Jodorowsky is confronted by a collection of compelling characters that contributed to his burgeoning surreal consciousness. The legendary filmmaker was born in 1929 in Tocopilla, a coastal town on the edge of the Chilean desert, where the film was shot. Blending his personal history with metaphor, mythology, and poetry, The Dance of Reality reflects Jodorowsky’s philosophy that reality is not objective but rather a “dance” created by our own imaginations. Continue reading
During the Napoleonic Wars a young French officer seeks shelter in an abandoned building in the town of Saragossa. In this building he discovers a rather odd book, and when an enemy officer attempts to arrest him, the the second officer is also drawn to narrate the book which seems to have been written by his own grandfather (Zbigniew Cybulski). Soon the officer’s grandfather finds himself immersed within a story of fleeing gypsy cannibals, married to Muslim sisters … in his dreams, and on the run from the Spanish Inquisition. But when he meets up with a Cabalist and his storytelling friends, that is when things start to get truly interesting.
Set in pre- World War II era. A young man is on a strange train to see his dying father in a sanatorium. But the place is going to ruin and recalls a lot of memories from the past. He is beset by soldiers from the past, colonial black mercenaries, girls from his early life, and his parents. It is an interior adventure, with unusual atmospheric flair and extraordinary sets. Continue reading