United Kingdom

Roy Ward Baker – Asylum (1972)

Synopsis:
A young psychiatrist interviews four inmates in a mental asylum to satisfy a requirement for employment. He hears stories about 1) the revenge of a murdered wife, 2) a tailor who makes a suit with some highly unusual qualities, 3) a woman who questions her sanity when it appears that her brother is conspiring against her, and 4) a man who builds tiny toy robots with lifelike human heads. Read More »

Peter Greenaway – The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)

Quote:
Mr. Neville, a cocksure young artist is contracted by Mrs. Herbert, the wife of a wealthy landowner, to produce a set of twelve drawings of her husband’s estate, a contract which extends much further than either the purse or the sketchpad. The sketches themselves prove of an even greater significance than supposed upon the discovery of the body of Mr. Herbert. Read More »

Peter Greenaway – The Belly of an Architect (1987)

Quote:
STOURLEY KRACKLITE (Brian Dennehy), the central figure in Peter Greenaway’s ”Belly of an Architect,” is at one point seen reflected in the central panel of a triptych mirror in his Rome apartment, wearing a blood-red robe and flanked by multiple Xerox copies of classically sculpted abdomens, copies he has made from photographs of Roman statuary. It’s a perfect moment, or at least the kind of perfect moment Mr. Greenaway favors: orderly, symmetrical and obscure, offering great compositional beauty but no compelling reason why its riddles require solution. Read More »

Lindsay Anderson – In Celebration (1975)

from allmovie:
One of the more cinematic entries in the mid-1970s American Film Theatre series, In Celebration is adapted from the play by David Storey. Lindsay Anderson, who directed the original stage version, reassembles his cast for this filmization. Alan Bates, James Bolam and Brian Cox play Andrew, Colin and Steven, the well-educated sons of roughhewn coal miner “Mr. Shaw” (Bill Owen) and his wife (Constance Chapman). On the occasion of their parents’ wedding anniversary, the three sons return to their dank little home village. All three boys have become successful, but only Bolam is comfortable with his success. To his parents’ dismay, Andrew announces that he has given up his law practice to become an artist; he also confesses to harboring homosexual inclinations. Prompted by the embittered Andrew, the other sons churn up memories of their childhood that they–and their parents–had hoped to keep buried. — Hal Erickson Read More »

Lindsay Anderson – Free Cinema, 1956 – ? An Essay on Film by Lindsay Anderson (1985)


A documentary about the history of the Free Cinema movement, made by one of it’s greatest proponents, Lindsay Anderson, to commemorate British Film Year in 1985.

Produced by Kevin Brownlow and David Gill.

Unlike Richard Attenborough’s celebratory episode of the same series, or Alan Parker’s more aggressive show, which was balanced between celebrating the greats and attacking Parker’s bugbears, Greenaway and Jarman and the BFI, Anderson’s show accentuates the negative, painting an image of a British cinema in terminal artistic decline and trashing the ambitions and approach of British Film Year itself. It’s mordantly funny and very savage. Read More »

Peter Greenaway – A Zed & Two Noughts (1985)

Quote:
I know one fact about this didactic director, Peter Greenaway—that he is a painter—and that is all I need to know. Everything falls in to place. He composes every frame, meticulously, based on the fundamentals of classical design and structure as if any frame could be snatched from the reel and hung at the Tate. This is the art of cinematography, and he is a master.

A summary of A Zed and Two Noughts, or most any Greenaway film would be like briefly describing the Sistine Chapel—and it takes the Big Book to do that. This film is a lesson in dichotomy: life/death, birth/decay, everything and nothing. He reminds us that our own redemption lies in the cyclical aspect of nature and the blending of these universal opposites into the dizzying blur of existence. Read More »

Ralph Thomas – Quest for Love (1971)

After a scientific experiment goes horribly wrong during a demonstration, a scientist finds himself trapped in an alternate reality that bears some similarities to our own, but also has some striking differences. In this other reality the Second World War had never occurred, mankind had not yet traveled into Space and Mt. Everest had not yet been conquered, just to name a few things. Also in this other reality he is no longer a scientist but rather a well known author. He also finds that he is married to a beautiful woman who he instantly falls in love with but who his alternate self never cared for. Read More »