Lloyd Bacon – 42nd Street (1933)


Julian Marsh, an sucessful Broadway director, produces a new show, inspite of his poor health. The money comes from a rich old man, who is in love with the star of the show, Dorothy Brock. But she doesn’t reply his love, because she is still in love with her old partner. At the night before the prmiere, Dorothy Brock breaks her ankle, and one of the chorus girls, Peggey Sawyer tries to take over her part. Read More »

Vincente Minnelli – Yolanda and the Thief (1945)


Plot: Johnny Riggs, a con man on the lam, finds himself in a Latin-American country named Patria. There, he overhears a convent-bred rich girl praying to her guardian angel for help in managing her tangled business affairs. Riggs decides to materialize as the girl’s “angel”, gains her unquestioning confidence, and helps himself to the deluded girl’s millions. Just as he and his partner are about to flee Patria with their booty, Riggs realizes he has fallen in love with the girl and returns the money, together with a note that is part confession and part love letter. But the larcenous duo’s escape from Patria turns out to be more difficult than they could ever have imagined. Written by Dan Navarro Read More »

Richard Lester – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)


Pseudolus is the laziest slave in Rome and has but one wish, purchase his freedom. When his master and mistress leave for the day he finds out that the young master has fallen in love with a virgin in the house of Lycus, a slave dealer specializing in beautiful women. Pseudolus concocts a deal in which he will be freed if he can procure the girl for young Hero. Of course, it can’t be that simple as everything begins to go wrong. Read More »

D.A. Pennebaker – The Complete Monterey Pop festival (1968)


Tom Wiener wrote:
Any record of popular culture of the 1960s would be incomplete without at least a mention of Monterey Pop. Monterey Pop offers the rock version of two equally invaluable documentaries, Jazz on a Summer’s Day and Festival, which respectively chronicled the jazz and folk festivals held every summer for many years in Newport, RI. Those films offered more coverage of their respective festivals’ audience members, suggesting the almost tribal nature of outdoor music gatherings. Monterey Pop lets the music do the talking for a generation of increasingly disaffected young people. The festival provided coming-out parties for a number of influential performers: Jimi Hendrix, leaving audiences members slack-jawed after he sets fire to his guitar; Janis Joplin, having the same effect on fellow singer Cass Elliot; The Who, trying to one-up Hendrix by destroying a guitar and a drum kit; Otis Redding, an established star with the black community reaching out to what he calls “the love crowd” of white hippies; and Ravi Shankar, the Indian musician little-known to American audiences bringing down the house with a final-day display of furious virtuosity (Shankar almost left Monterey after seeing what Hendrix and The Who’s Pete Townsend did to their instruments). Although Woodstock ultimately surpassed Monterey Pop for capturing a better sense of the entire experience of an outdoor music festival, Monterey’s historical status is unassailable. Read More »

Franco Enriquez – Otello (1958)


Amazon user review: I’m no special fan of things past, rather proposing that each age has its special conductors, singers, orchestras and that idolising per se performances of 30, 50 or more years ago may turn you away from your own surroundings and set you to unnecessarily living in a past that will not return, leading you to ignore very important events going on in your surroundings. There are exceptions, of course, and one of them is this 45 year old film (yes, film, not video tape and there lies its main problem, read below). Read More »

Molly Dineen – Sound Business (1981)

Narrated by none other than the mighty Mikey Dread, this original footage from the early 1980’s gives some nice insight into the culture of Sound Systems in the UK.

To be more precise, we’re introduced to one particular Sound System.

Meet Coxsone Sound: The UK’s Number One in the Reggae Sound System business during the time of this interesting documentary. As the video opens, we meet them on their way to a Reggae dance in Birmingham where they’re about to play a show.

After that introduction, Mikey Dread continues to explain just what a Sound System is, and how there is a complete underground network of these sounds.

Yes, this is 1981 and so that is where today’s UK DUB and Sound system culture is coming from. Read More »

Ken Russell – The Music Lovers (1970)


Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky was born in Kamsko-Votinsk in 1840 and died in St. Petersburg of cholera in 1893. In between he composed some of the world’s loveliest, most romantic music, married unhappily, suffered terrible bouts of depression that were linked to both his genius and his homosexuality (which he hid and referred to in his writings only by means of a hieroglyphic), and was acclaimed at home and abroad.

Although such authentic genius defies rational interpretation, except, perhaps, by another genius, Ken Russell’s “The Music Lovers” sets out to do just that. At least, I assume that’s what the film set out to do. Because “The Music Lovers” plays rather loosely with some of the facts of Tchaikovsky’s life, it can be accepted only as the kind of interpretation that certifies the most baroque speculation. Read More »