“The film is a melodrama in the high Sirk style (Leander is a cabaret singer in 1840s London who takes the rap when her lover passes a bad check and gets deported to the penal compound that was then Australia), but with a great deal of music, performed by Leander in the wrenchingly emotional style that has made her as much of an icon to German gays as Garland is to the US community.” Continue reading
Umay is a young woman of Turkish descent, fighting for an independent and self-determined life in Germany against the resistance of her family. Her struggle initiates a dynamic, which results in a life-threatening situation.
What would you sacrifice for your family’s love? Your values? Your freedom? Your independence? German-born Umay flees her oppressive marriage in Istanbul, taking her young son Cem with her. She is hoping to find a better life with her family in Berlin, but her unexpected arrival creates intense conflict. Her family is trapped in their conventions, torn between their love for her and the values of their community. Ultimately they decide to return Cem to his father in Turkey. To keep her son, Umay is forced to move again. She finds the inner strength to build a new life for her and Cem, but her need for her family’s love drives her to a series of ill-fated attempts at reconciliation. What Umay doesn’t realize is just how the wounds have gone and how dangerous her struggle for self-determination has become…
O-Take-San (Lil Dagover) is a beautiful young woman pursued by an evil Buddhist monk (Georg John) who wants to make her one of his many geishas. She has an affair with the Danish officer Niels Prien (Olaf J. Anderson) who leaves her alone and pregnant. O-Take-San considers ritualistic suicide when she is abandoned in this tragic melodrama directed by Fritz Lang. A nitrate print of the 1919 silent classic was found in the Dutch Film Museum and restored in 1988. ~ Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide
“Movies about making movies are usually concerned with the frantic desperation of a shoot, with crises popping up by the minute and everyone rushing about madly. Not so in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film, allegedly about his experiences making Whity on-location in Spain. The first quarter of the film is taken up with a long scene in a hotel lobby which might have been directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. The lassitude and sense of sexual longing is almost suffocating, as members of the film within a film’s cast and crew down drinks, break glasses, nuzzle on couches, or stare blankly into space. With the arrival of more money to continue the production and of the film’s director (Lou Castel playing a handsome version of Fassbinder) and the film’s star (Eddie Constantine more or less playing himself — there is even a reference to his Lemmy Caution character), the energy level picks up — especially when the director begins throwing hourly tantrums. And Fassbinder’s narrative becomes more fragmented, featuring short snippets of conversations among the various characters, most of them complaining about someone else on the crew screwing things up. In one long and very funny scene, the director carefully reads a newspaper containing an article about him while a half-dozen other characters around him drift away. There is some witty use of music, too; three Leonard Cohen songs from his first album drone on during the long opening scene in the lobby, and later, a party scene plays out to Ray Charles’ “Let’s Go Get Stoned.” This is all likely to be more amusing to those in the know about Fassbinder and his methods; less informed viewers are likely to see it as so much navel-gazing.” Continue reading
Two soldiers–searching the Sahara for Atlantis–are captured by raiders from the lost city. They are taken before its beautiful queen who has over 50 mummified ex-lovers! What follows is an endless nightmare, climaxing with the murder of one of the soldiers. There are some brilliant moments in this sci-fi fantasy classic.
A pair of Legionnaires discover the remains of the lost city of Atlantis in the middle of the Sahara desert. It is ruled by a strange and beautiful demi-goddess. (guess who). Continue reading
Premiered at Toronto Film Festival, UFO In Her Eyes is a cinematic adaptation of her most recent novel of the same title. The film stars Shi Ke and Udo Kier and is a political metaphor recounted through the phantasmagoric transformation that befalls a small Chinese village after an alleged UFO sighting. Inspired by Soviet cinema, Xiaolu Guo dedicated this film to Soy Cuba, a 1964 Soviet-Cuban film directed by Mikhail Kalatozov. The movie’s score is composed by the Somali-Canadian musician Mocky and produced by Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin. It received the Public Award at Milan 3-Continental Film Festival 2013. Continue reading
Review from DVDTalk:
My first introduction to the oddball cinema of Spanish filmmaker Jesus ‘Jess’ Franco came one night about 3am while channel surfing in my parent’s basement. I’d just gotten back from college, it was time for the summer break, and I’d only minutes beforehand returned from an evening at the pub. I came across what appeared to be a pair of lesbian vampires doing their thing set to a be-bopping score and some whacked out colors and it instantly caught my attention. I didn’t really know what I was watching and didn’t find out until the film was finished that it was one of Franco’s most popular films, Vampyros Lesbos. That semi-intoxicated late night initiation led me to seek out more of the man’s work, and since that night over ten years ago I’ve become a casual fan of his wildly uneven catalogue of work. His films may not always be good in the traditional sense of the word, but they’re always interesting and there’s always a little piece of himself put into his work. Continue reading