USA

I. Robert Levy – Can I Do It ‘Till I Need Glasses? (1977)

The Back Cover wrote:
The creative team behind If You Don’t Stop It … You’ll Go Blind delivers this uproarious collection of racy sketches. The off-color laughs come fast and furious as the cast spoofs the Lone Ranger and Tonto, nudist colonies and the legal system. Along the way, there’s an important lesson in bus-riding courtesy. The dirty-minded players include Vic Dunlop and Judy Mazel; watch closely for a young Robin Williams. Read More »

Nancy D. Kates – Regarding Susan Sontag (2014)

NY Times website:
“Regarding Susan Sontag,” a documentary Monday night on HBO, will fill you in on a lot of the details of its subject’s life: her precocity, her travels, her illnesses, her lovers. (Particularly her lovers.)

What it won’t give you is any strong sense of her work. The famous essays and collections of criticism and analysis — “Notes on Camp,” “Against Interpretation,” “On Photography,” “Illness as Metaphor” — are used as mile markers, along with the less famous novels and films. But rather than tackle Ms. Sontag’s ideas or their value head-on, the director, Nancy Kates, continually deflects the discussion along other lines: Ms. Sontag as closeted bisexual, serial heartbreaker, liberal provocateur, narcissist, celebrity, camera subject, Jew, cancer survivor. Read More »

Alfred Hitchcock – Rope (1948)

Rope (1948) is a film written by Hume Cronyn and Arthur Laurents, produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and starring James Stewart, John Dall and Farley Granger. It is the first of Hitchcock’s Technicolor films, and is notable for taking place in real time and being edited so as to appear as a single continuous shot through the use of long takes. Read More »

Orson Welles – Touch of Evil [Restored Version] (1958)

Roger Ebert / September 13, 1998
Come on, read my future for me. You haven’t got any. What do you mean? Your future is all used up. So speaks a fortune-telling madam, played by Marlene Dietrich, to the drunken sheriff of a border town, played by Orson Welles, in “Touch of Evil.”

Her words have a sad resonance, because Welles was never again to direct in Hollywood after making this dark, atmospheric story of crime and corruption. Read More »

John Cromwell – Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)

Plot:
Among the most masterful matchups of actor and role in screen history is this stirring film of Robert E. Sherwood’s beloved play taking a thoroughly human look at the early years of our 16th President, with all his frailties and strength of character. Best Actor Oscar nominee* Raymond Massey (who originated the role on stage) wonderfully plays the future Great Emancipator in a chronicle of his backwoods childhood through his first romance with Ann Rutledge (Mary Howard) to his phenomenal rise to President Elect, besting the great orator Stephen Douglas (Gene Lockhart). Ruth Gordon also does memorable work as driven, ambitious Mary Todd Lincoln, whose vision of Abe’s leadership destiny will not be denied by anyone – including her often reticent husband. There’s also no denying the enduring emotional power of this simple, magnificent movie. From Warner Brothers! Read More »

Henry Hathaway – Souls at Sea (1937)

Gary Cooper and George Raft play a couple of seafaring buddies in this moral adventure
saga set during the 1840s, when the slave-trade had been outlawed by the British
Empire but was still a reality on the high seas. In its depiction of the friendship between
two men, one of questionable character, the film bears some similarities to Hathaway’s
Spawn of the North, made the following year. Read More »

Alan Rudolph – Return Engagement (1983)

Timothy Leary and G. Gordon Liddy went on a debating tour in 1983. This odd couple apparently bonded in prison, or some shit, despite Liddy personally busting Leary in the 60’s! They debate about a wide variety of issues from their very unique perspectives.
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