Fritz Lang – Das wandernde Bild aka The Wandering Image (1920)

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The tangled story that unfolds in the torrid melodrama The Wandering Shadow centers around the character of Irmgard (played by actress Mia May), a virtuous woman who, like many such heroines past and present, gets involved with the wrong kind of man. As the film opens, she is seen fussing on a train headed for the picturesque mountains of Germany, fleeing an unidentified gentleman. Through flashbacks, we learn that Irmgard once found employment with a wealthy free-love advocate (Hans Marr). The two have an affair and, with Irmgard pregnant and desperate, she schemes to secretly marry the man’s brother (also played by Hans Marr) so it at least appears that the child is being raised properly. The confusing story eventually has Irmgard trudging through the mountainous terrain to come across a generous monk who offers her a chance at the redemption she so desperately desires. Continue reading

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Sergei M. Eisenstein – Stachka AKA Strike (1925)

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Russia, 1912. Sick of the conditions under which they have to toil for a meagre salary, the workers at a factory are on the brink of rebellion. The flashpoint comes when one of their number hangs himself after having been unjustly accused of stealing a tool by his foreman. The workers walk out on mass, refusing to return until their managers have agreed to their terms. The factory owners, fat industrialists with a taste for luxury, are infuriated by this illegal revolt and resolve to bring the workers to heel – by any means possible… Continue reading

Charles Chaplin – City Lights (1931)

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The Tramp meets a poor blind girl selling flowers on the streets and falls in love with her. The blind girl mistakes him for a millionaire. Since he wants to help her and doesn’t want to disappoint her, he keeps up the charade. He befriends a drunk millionaire, works small jobs like street sweeping, and enters a boxing contest, all to raise money for an operation to restore her sight.

CHAPLIN HILARIOUS IN HIS ‘CITY LIGHTS'; Tramp’s Antics in Non-Dialogue Film Bring Roars of Laughter at Cohan Theatre. TAKES FLING AT “TALKIES” Pathos Is Mingled With Mirth in a Production of Admirable Artistry.

Charlie Chaplin, master of screen mirth and pathos, presented at the George M. Cohan last night before a brilliant gathering his long-awaited non-dialogue picture, “City Lights,” and proved so far as he is concerned the eloquence of silence. Many of the spectators either rocking in their seats with mirth, mumbling as their sides ached, “Oh, dear, oh, dear,” or they were stilled with sighs and furtive tears. And during a closing episode, when the Little Tramp sees through the window of a flower shop the girl who has recovered her sight through his persistence, one woman could not restrain a cry. Continue reading

Marylin Monroe – Marylin Monroe pornography (1948)

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Many famous stars began their career in pornography, Marilyn Monroe being one of the greatest examples, who when financially stable declared she no longer had to gratify the sexual demands of studio executives.

A pornographic short film of Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe recently surfaced in Spain. This grainy black-and-white footage was made in 1947 when Monroe was 21. The American Film Institute, though has denied reports from Spain that it had authenticated the 50-year-old pornographic film purportedly showing Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe engaging in a sexual act.

As early as 1944 Marilyn Monroe was in Los Angeles modeling and acting and in 1949 posed nude for Tom Kelley in a series of photographs that would later galvanize her image as a sex symbol and fuel her rise to fame. The late 1940’s was a difficult time for Monroe, having lost her 20th Century Fox contract in 1946 she allegedly returned to less reputable means of making money to support herself. Continue reading

Ken Jacobs – Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son (1969)

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Ken Jacobs’s avant-garde landmark (1969) is both a study in the possibilities of rephotography and a film about watching movies. It begins with a 1905 short of the same title, in which a large crowd of people tumble through a doorway, leap from a loft, and climb out of a chimney in pursuit of the eponymous pig thief. Jacobs then rephotographs the film–slowing it down, freezing frames, introducing flicker effects, and isolating portions of the frame, some so tiny that we see mostly the grain. As he varies the rhythm the film becomes a series of carefully constructed riffs on particular characters or actions, or on pure shape; new meanings emerge from the little dramas between alternating shadows, or from background elements of the original. In a gesture at once didactic and poetic, Jacobs repeats the short near the end, and now it’s glorious to behold: we see its imagery more actively and intensely, far more aware of its complex and diverse rhythms. Thus Jacobs teaches us how to resee almost any film, by mentally reframing its images or changing the speed of its action. 86 min. Continue reading

Raúl Perrone – P3ND3JO5 (2013)

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Skater musical from Buenos Aires suburb. In this silent black-and-white 4:3 format film, the hypnotising soundtrack drives the images. Love, desire, drama, faces. Perrone, the godfather of Argentine independent cinema, reinvents it in his 35th film.

Argentinian director Raúl Perrone calls P3ND3JO5 (‘pendejos': slang for teen, but also idiot or worse epithets) a ‘cumbia opera in three acts with coda’. Cumbia is rhythmic Columbian music that became immensely popular in Latin America during the 1940s.
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