Various – Boris Karloff’s Thriller [Season 1] (1960)

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Thriller (aka. Boris Karloff’s Thriller) was an hour-long TV Horror anthology series that originally aired on NBC from 1960 to 1962. Horror fans who grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s were nearly enraptured with the content and structure of this show. Indeed, in his non-fiction book on horror, Danse Macabre, Stephen King calls Thriller “the best horror series ever put on TV” (224; 1983 ed). At the beginning of each hour, Hollywood’s master of the macabre himself, Boris Karloff, would set the tone and prime the viewers for frightful and chilling dramatizations based on the works of some of the era’s greatest writers in the genre – writers like Robert E Howard, Cornell Woolrich, Richard Matheson, and Robert Bloch. Each episode was shot in eerie black and white and offered at least one story, with a few episodes dividing the hour between two or three shorter plays. Continue reading

François Reichenbach & Frédéric Rossif – Portrait: Orson Welles (1968)

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A famous French documentary director has chosen to match his talents with those of a powerful subject who talks on his youth, his formative years, his life and work. Reichenbach on Welles on Welles, one might say.

These recollections help to explain something of the creative processes of film making, comparing the behaviour of Welles the director and Welles the man. Orson at home, Orson interviewed at the Cannes Festival, Orson shooting a scene with Jeanne Moreau… Orson in portrait. No less. (MIFF) Continue reading

Ingmar Bergman – Fanny och Alexander [TV Version] (1982)

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Plot Synopsis from ALLMOViE:

Though he made allusions to his own life in all of his films, Fanny and Alexander was the first overtly autobiographical film by Ingmar Bergman. Taking his time throughout (188 minutes to be exact), Bergman recreates several episodes from his youth, using as conduits the fictional Ekdahl family. Alexander, the director’s alter ego, is first seen at age 10 at a joyous and informal Christmas gathering of relatives and servants. Fanny is Alexander’s sister; both suffer an emotional shakedown when their recently-widowed mother (Ewa Froling) marries a cold and distant minister. Stripped of their creature comforts and relaxed family atmosphere, Fanny and Alexander suddenly find their childhood unendurable. The kids’ grandmother (Gunn Wallgren) “kidnaps” Fanny and Alexander for the purpose of showering them with the first kindness and affection that they’ve had since their father’s death. This “purge” of the darker elements of Fanny and Alexander’s existence is accomplished at the unintentional (but applaudable) cost of the hated stepfather’s life. Ingmar Bergman insisted that Fanny and Alexander, originally a multipart television series pared down to feature-film length, represented his final film, though within a year after its release he was busy with several additional Swedish TV projects, and he returned to make one more theatrical release movie before his death – the 2003 Saraband. Oscars went to Fanny and Alexander for Best Foreign Film, Best Cinematography (Sven Nykvist), Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration. Continue reading

Enrique Urbizu – 6 Películas para no dormir: Adivina quién soy aka 6 Films to Keep You Awake: A Real Friend (2006)

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Synopsis: “Estrella, a girl of ten, has lived alone with her mother Angela since her father died when she was very small. She is a lively and sociable child, but she spends a lot of time alone at home. Too much. Estrella enjoys fantasy and horror stories and, in order to exorcise the fear that the ‘big monsters’ cause her, she makes friends with them: she gives them a body, talks to them, they go to school with her, they protect her…. One day, Estrella makes friends with a new companion, a vampire. But could it be that this ‘friend’ is not merely a product of the girl’s imagination?” Continue reading

Chantal Akerman – Tous les garçons et les filles de leur âge…: Portrait d’une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles (#1.3) (1994)

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Dave McDougall at MUBI.com

Last Monday night, MoMA played two installments from the series “Tous les garçons et les filles de leur âge…”, a series of one-hour television episodes “in which French directors were asked to contribute films based on their recollections of adolescence” (BFI). The first episode shown was Chantal Akerman’s Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 1960s in Brussels.

Akerman’s episode is an achievement of an entirely different level. It moves beyond being one of the great coming-of-age films; it is simply one of the great films. A moving, multifaceted, and magical hour, presented with honesty and subtle artistry. Continue reading