Med Hondo – West Indies (1979)

One of Hondo’s enduring masterpieces, West Indies is a stunning widescreen musical that takes place entirely on a single set – a giant slave ship that symbolizes the triangular relationship between Africa, Europe and the Caribbean – as it explores the parallels between the forced migration of the Atlantic slave trade and the contemporary migration of Afro-Caribbean subjects to former colonial metropoles. In a breathtaking display of virtuosity, Hondo deftly uses an array of filmic techniques (a vertically oriented mise en scène, dexterous tracking shots, beautifully orchestrated long takes) to explore four centuries of history within his single location, signalling temporal shifts through fluid camera movements and sumptuous staging; meanwhile, the remarkable range of musical styles, witty, poignant, and rousing lyrics, and brilliant choreography dazzle the senses and invite the spectator to join in the struggle to transform the world. –Aboubakar Sanogo Read More »

Francisco Ribeiro – O Pátio das Cantigas AKA The Courtyard of the Ballads (1942)

This classic of Portuguese cinema depicts the friendships and rivalries of the inhabitants of a square in downtown Lisbon, where exists a spirit of familiarity between neighbors. (from IMDB) Read More »

Teo Hernandez – Salomé (1976)

A personal interpretation of Oscar Wilde Salome from three basic elements: the light, the color and the projection speed.

“Ce film n’est pas l’illustration d’un récit historique ou d’une pièce de théâtre mais il est structuré par sa dynamique propre et trois éléments basiques: la lumière, la couleur et la vitesse de projection. Par leur interaction il vise le regard du spectateur.
Le film propose un questionnement sur:
1) ce qu’il génère c’est-à-dire sa propre histoire;
2) l’imaginaire du spectateur et son regard;
3) le seul dehors questionné: le devenir de l’image qui est sa seule possibilité d’être. (…) Read More »

Bob Dylan – Eat the Document (1972)

This film is a documentary on Dylan’s tumultuous and historic 1966 tour of Europe with the Band – the one where he was roundly booed and reviled for “going electric” (and from which the recently released “Royal Albert Hall” album was taken). The legendary nature of these shows alone makes it worth having a document of them. Read More »

Werner Herzog – Tod für fünf Stimmen AKA Gesualdo: Death for Five Voices (1995)

Gesualdo was a nutcase, but a brilliant one. His madrigals are among the most moving moments in music history. You will walk away from this film realizing all of the above. While using what appears to be actual employees at the various sites of Gesualdo’s life, we are given a tour of his physical life and his music. There are performance excerpts from his madrigals. There is a learned professorial type giving us a biography of his life. Read More »

Franc Roddam – Quadrophenia (1979)

London, 1965: Like many other youths, Jimmy hates the philistine life, especially his parents and his job in a company’s mailing division. Only when he’s together with his friends, a ‘Mod’ clique, cruises London on his motor-scooter and hears music such as that of ‘The Who’ and ‘The High Numbers’, he feels free and accepted. However, it’s a flight into an illusionary world. Read More »

Victor Schertzinger – One Night of Love (1934)

After several false starts, opera star Grace Moore became a motion picture success in the sublimely assembled One Night of Love. Moore opens the film by losing a radio talent contest in New York. She disconsolately heads to Europe, where the best job she can come up with is singing in a restaurant. Here she is discovered by brilliant voice-teacher Tulio Carminatti, who carefully nurtures Moore until she becomes the toast of the European opera world. The two fall in love, but jealousy nearly destroys them both… Read More »