Fantasy

Aleksandr Rou – Kashchey bessmertnyy aka Kashchei the Immortal (1944)


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Quote:
The film is based on Russian heroic legends and folklore. In a tall mansion, the beautiful Marya Morevna is waiting for her bridegroom, the mighty warrior Nikita Kozhemyaka. The longed-for meeting may happen any minute, but all of a sudden the Russian land is invaded by the armies of Kashchei the Immortal that bring destruction and death. Marya Morevna is abducted, and Nikita Kozhemyaka finds just ashes on the site of his home. But thanks to a kindly wizard who gave him a cap of darkness, the hero will find a way to rescue his bride and rout Kashchei. Read More »

Karel Reisz – Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966)

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Quote:
One of the British cinema’s more memorable images in the 1960s was that of a man, dressed in a smouldering gorilla suit, speeding away from the camera on a motorbike.

This sequence was not in David Mercer’s original TV play, A Suitable Case for Treatment (1962), transmitted by the BBC as a Sunday Night Play. Now lost, it starred Ian Hendry as Morgan. In the play, Morgan neither dons a gorilla suit to gatecrash his ex-wife’s wedding nor ends up in a psychiatric hospital.

Mercer was a playwright of great intellect and integrity, who did much to shape British television drama in the 1960s. His frequent collaborator, director Don Taylor, considers him to be the first major English dramatist to emerge from television. His work had universality and dealt with serious intellectual, philosophical and political issues. It was conceived on a grand scale and written in a heightened, sometimes poetic, style. Read More »

Ken Russell – Altered States (1980)

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Synopsis
Based on a novel and a disowned script by the late Paddy Chayefsky, Russell’s noisily grandiose swipe at psychedelia embellishes what is no more than the cosily familiar story of the obsessive Scientist Who Goes Too Far and Unwittingly Unleashes, etc. Harvard clever-dick (played with almost unconvincing solemnity by Hurt) blows his sensory deprivation experiments (with a little help from his friends and hallucinogenic drugs), and starts to regress – spectacularly – until he looks in serious danger of being sucked down the cosmic lavatory pan into the big zilch.
Time Out Read More »

Rustam Khamdamov – Vokaldy Paralelder AKA Vocal Parallels (2005)

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The movies of Rustam Khamdamov are impossible to find in the West, and for the most part in his native Russia as well.

Vokaldy paralelder [Vocal Parallels] , which happily has reached its audience, but only after nine years of production due to numerous obstacles and stoppages. What is THIS film about? Again, no definite plot, but a kind of a concert-film. You most probably exclaim in astonishment, absolutely disappointed: What?! A concert? Yes, it’s a surreal, impressionistic concert of classical opera pieces performed by several retired Soviet opera divas: Roza Dzhamanova, Araksiia Davtian, Bibigul’ Tulegenova, and the late Erik Salim-Meriuert (Kurmangaliev), a fantastic countertenor. Read More »

Nelson Pereira dos Santos – A Terceira Margem do Rio AKA The Third Bank of the River (1994)

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From the book “Brazilian Cinema” – Edited by Randal Johnson and Robert Stam:

“The Third Bank of the River” is a coproduction (French and Brazilian) and, like the Guerra film, it too ingeniously interweaves diverses stories by its source author. Beginning with the story that provides the title for the film – the virtually wordless drama of a man who abandons his family to live on a boat in the middle of the river – Nelson Pereira dos Santos integrates four other stories. Liojorge (Ilya São Paulo) the son (in Nelson’s re-creation) of the enigmatic boatman of the first story, follows an enchanted cow and thus becomes the protagonist of another story (“Seqüência”) in which the cow leads him to the most beautiful woman in the world (Sonja Saurin). Read More »

Bin Bunluerit – Krasue aka Demonic Beauty (2002)

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PLOT – short version

A Thai tale of the legendary Krasue (also known as the ‘P’ Graseau, or the Penanggalan in Chinese), a Southeast Asian Ghost, composed of a disembodied witch with a flying head and entrails dangling beneath. Political intrigue, black magic, unrequited love and disembowlment all fit together perfectly for an evening of family fun with the witch with the flying head. Written by J.W. Case Read More »

Stephen Quay & Timothy Quay – Institute Benjamente (1995)

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Synopsis
Brilliant English animators The Brothers Quay create their first feature-length live-action film in this tale of a dilapidated boarding school for the teaching of servants run by a brother and… Brilliant English animators The Brothers Quay create their first feature-length live-action film in this tale of a dilapidated boarding school for the teaching of servants run by a brother and sister in which the curriculum is the repetition of one single lesson. When Jacob, a young man, enrolls in the school, he becomes entangled in the strange lives of the students and headmasters alike. Called by director Terry Gilliam, “The most visually beautiful and hauntingly humorous film I have seen in the last 300 years.” Read More »