USA

Kevin Brownlow – Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000)

Feature-length documentary on Lon Chaney, featuring new interviews (notably with Chaney biographer Michael F. Blake), unseen footage of Chaney, and excerpts from old interviews with Chaney contemporaries who have since passed away.
A TCM original production, included in the DVD boxset “TCM Archives – Lon Chaney Collection”. Read More »

Chan-wook Park – Stoker (2013)

Synopsis:
India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) was not prepared to lose her father and best friend Richard (Dermot Mulroney) in a tragic auto accident. The solitude of her woodsy family estate, the peace of her tranquil town, and the unspoken somberness of her home life are suddenly upended by not only this mysterious accident, but by the sudden arrival of her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed. When Charlie moves in with her and her emotionally unstable mother Evie (Nicole Kidman), India thinks the void left by her father’s death is finally being filled by his closest bloodline. Soon after his arrival, India comes to suspect that this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives. Yet instead of feeling outrage or horror, this friendless young woman becomes increasingly infatuated with him. Read More »

Lois Weber – Shoes (1916)

Quote:
Eva Meyer is poor shop girl working at a five-and-dime. She is the sole wage earner for three younger sisters, a mother who struggles to hold everything together, and a father who prefers beer and penny dreadfuls to work. Each week, Eva returns to her cold-water flat and dutifully hands over her meager earnings to her mother. But her wages barely cover the grocer’s bill and cannot provide for decent clothing. With only cardboard to patch the holes in the soles of her shoes, Eva’s life becomes harder with each rainy day and every splinter. In constant pain and with no solution in sight, the disheartened girl considers the uninvited advances of Charlie, a cad with clearly dishonorable intentions.
So begins Lois Weber’s SHOES, perhaps her finest masterpiece and one of the great feminist films in the history of cinema. Read More »

Bette Gordon – Variety (1983)

Quote:The sexually charged tale of a woman’s journey of self-discovery, Bette Gordon’s Variety is a fascinating independent film that challenges common notions about feminism and pornography. Emerging out of the underground NYC arts scene that produced the late 80s boom in American independent cinema, Variety contains the contributions of an impresive array of talent, including cinematographer Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion), actor Luis Guzmán (Boogie Nights), a script by the late cult novelist Kathy Acker, and a score by actor and musician John Lurie (Stranger Than Paradise, Down By Law). Read More »

Stuart Rosenberg – WUSA (1970)

The Egyptian Theatre writes:
COOL HAND LUKE director Stuart Rosenberg reunites with Paul Newman on this overlooked and underrated adaptation of Robert Stone’s Hall of Mirrors (Stone also wrote Dog Soldiers, which was filmed as WHO’LL STOP THE RAIN). Newman is an itinerant, hard-drinking disc jockey who shows up in New Orleans looking for a job. Con man buddy Laurence Harvey, masquerading as a fundamentalist preacher, points Newman to WUSA, a right-wing radio station run by megalomaniac Pat Hingle. Taking a gig reading news, Newman gradually becomes disgusted by the blatant lies spewed by the station. Read More »

Sam Wood – Casanova Brown (1944)

Casanova Brown is about to marry for the second time. The first just didn’t have the stars aligned up properly, or something like that. But old flames are rekindled in unexpected ways… Read More »

James Benning – Los (2001)

Quote:
I began El Valley Centro in November of 1998; I was driving through the Great Central Valley looking for places to film. I wasn’t going to start shooting for at least six months; I wanted to just look and listen – to get to know the Valley well before I would make images. But almost immediately I came across an oil well fire with flames high into the sky. I returned home for my Bolex and Nagra. Determined that landscape is a function of time, I let a full roll of 16mm film (100 feet) run through the camera. At that moment I knew I would make a portrait of The Great Central Valley using 35 two and a half minute shots. Read More »