USA

Noah Baumbach – Margot at the Wedding [+ Extras] (2007)

Online review of film:
Eventually it may be that Noah Baumbach could turn into this country’s answer to France’s Eric Rohmer, turning out a steady diet of small, circumspect dramas about the lives and neurotic times of New York-era literary bourgeoisie. That’s one of the things that comes to mind as one takes in Margot at the Wedding, Baumbach’s fourth time out as writer/director and one that seems to set a template for the future. It’s a chill breeze of a film steeped in ugly inter-familial squabbling and the blinkered mentality of its self-absorbed characters who can generally only raise their gaze from their own navels long enough to find something lacking in the person they’re addressing. Read More »

William A. Wellman – Yellow Sky (1948)

Synopsis:
A band of bank robbers on the run from a posse flee into the desert. Near death from lack of water they stumble into what appears to be a ghost town, only to discover an old prospector and his granddaughter living there. The robbers discover that the old man has been mining gold and set out to make a quick fortune by robbing the pair. Their plan runs foul when the gang leader, Stretch, falls for the granddaughter, which sets off a showdown between the entire gang. Read More »

Harold Daniels – Roadblock (1951)

Quote:
An insurance agent’s greedy girlfriend with a taste for mink leads him to a life of crime. Read More »

Ron Fricke – Baraka (1992)

Quote:
The movie was filmed at 152 locations of 24 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Nepal, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States. It contains no dialogue. Instead of a story or plot, the film uses themes to present new perspectives and evoke emotion purely through cinema. The film was the first in over twenty years to be photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format. Read More »

Lewis Allen – So Evil My Love (1948)

Berkeley Art Museum – Pacific Film Archive writes:
Ray Milland is both repellent and compelling in this Victorian thriller, directed with bleak panache by Lewis Allen (The Uninvited). Milland plays a charming thief, forger, and all-around blackguard who spots a prime mark in Ann Todd, a missionary’s widow and proprietor of a boarding house where Milland takes up residence. Under the influence of Milland’s advances, the straitlaced Todd abandons her inhibitions, eventually becoming complicit in larceny and blackmail—but her seducer will learn that a woman’s passion, once unleashed, can be difficult for even the most calculating con artist to control. A carefully drawn backdrop of British respectability heightens the drama of Todd’s decline: as so many English mysteries have proven, crime can be all the more thrilling when draped in crinoline. Read More »

William Castle – Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949)

In order to smash a dope ring, a federal agent (Howard Duff) makes a deal with an Alcatraz convict (Dan Duryea) to help him infiltrate the ring. Read More »

Robert Stevenson – The Woman on Pier 13 aka I Married A Communist (1949)

Quote:
Brad Collins, former stevedore, is rising fast in a shipping company when local communist agitators use his former Party affiliation to extort his help in stirring up trouble. When Brad resists, communist femme fatale Christine works through his brother-in-law Don. But Brad’s new wife Nan sees that her husband and brother are under pressure; when she investigates on her own, party boss Vanning takes ruthless action. Read More »