Don Hertzfeldt – It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

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Quote:
Bill struggles to put together his shattered psyche, in this new feature film version of Don Hertzfeldt’s animated short film trilogy. Read More »

Hans-Jürgen Syberberg – Hitler – ein Film aus Deutschland AKA Hitler: A Film from Germany (1978)

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Quote:
The third and longest part of Syberberg’s extraordinary trilogy on German culture, history and nationalism (the two earlier films were Ludwig – Requiem for a Virgin King and Karl May), best described as a high camp, heavy-duty analysis of both history and historical analysis itself. The chosen method is to single out, act out, alter, and finally comment on the lives of a handful of ‘awkward’ German historical figures, from Ludwig of Bavaria through fantasy author Karl May to Hitler, the ‘madman’. Behind aesthetic complexity lies a simple purpose: to show up the sort of historical contradictions solved by Marxists with bare economic models, and by others with suspect reference to the ‘greatness’ or ‘madness’ of the figures involved. Visually lyrical, the style is eclectic to the point of hysteria; and the tone oscillates between the operatic (Wagner figures large) and the colloquial (Hitler in conversation with his projectionist) without ever quite coming unstuck. Humour mixes with mythology and analysis in the attempt to reunite art, history and ideology. It’s a quite remarkable film, with a sense of metaphor equal to its intellectual courage. Read More »

Robert Frank – Cocksucker Blues [+Extras] (1972)

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Plot Outline :
With Cocksucker Blues, Frank bids a final adieu to the utopia of the Beat generation. What did the Rolling Stones expect when they hired him to make a film about their 1972 North American tour? There are scenes of groupie sex in private jets, cocaine snorting, and even a masturbation scene in which Jagger reveals himself to be the cameraman in a reflected image.

But ultimately Frank focuses on the lonely spaces that permeate the rock and roll machine. This is the ultimate direct cinema. The camera movement infects the images with an unbelievable filmic energy, and Frank ignores all orientation guidelines. Populated by the living dead, Cocksucker Blues is a zombie film with no refuge. Read More »

Danny Peary – Cult Crime Movies (2014)

Cult Crime Movies: Discover the 35 Best Dark, Dangerous, Thrilling and Noir Cinema Classics
by Danny Peary
Print Length: 451 pages
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (December 2, 2014)
Language: English
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Eric Khoo – Mee Pok Man (1996)

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IMDb Description: A painfully shy noodle-shop owner and a prostitute have a chance encounter when destiny arrives in the form of a car accident.

Variety Review:
In terms of raw power, the new Singaporean film “Mee Pok Man” can be described as “Taxi Driver” without the latter’s cathartic violence and Scorsese’s visual pizzazz. Eric Khoo makes an impressive directorial debut in a rather depressing tale of two alienated youths whose lives fatefully intertwine. Though damaged by a last reel that is unnecessarily long and a bit indulgent, pic deserves berths in festivals and perhaps even limited theatrical release if only for its novelty, being a rare export from Singapore.

The lead performers, Joe Ng as the slow-witted man and Goh as the world-weary prostitute, are decently credible if not totally engrossing. Still, pic’s overall impact is disturbing, showcasing a new director who is seriously intent on documenting the malaise of contemporary life in Singapore. Read More »

Michael Curtiz – White Christmas [+Extras] (1954)

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The Charge
Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye in a song and dance extravaganza.

Opening Statement
The 1954 musical White Christmas had the advantage of the biggest selling song of the time for its title, and adding the huge fame of stars like Bing Crosby made it one of the biggest films of the year and a Christmas tradition in many households ever since. The thin romantic comedy plot is overshadowed by the numerous song and dance numbers, making for a sentimental spectacle. Paramount has done an excellent job of bringing this classic to DVD in time for Christmas, and fans of the big Hollywood musicals can rejoice. Read More »

Walerian Borowczyk – La marge aka The Margin (1976)

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IMDb comments:

Walerian Borowczyk’s Most Underrated Film

Borowczyk remains one of the least appreciated filmmakers of his era, inarguably an auteur, but one so erratic and unusual that he remains cherished only by a handful of critics for his early surrealist work and by cult movie devotees for his later, sexually-explicit films. While from the mid-seventies onward his films would range from the good (Behind Convent Walls, The Story of Sin) to the not-so-good (The Art of Love, Immoral Tales, etc), his film-making legacy rests with the bizarre La Bete, which unfortunately belongs to the latter category. However it is his early films (both animated and live action) that are undoubtedly Borowczyk’s key works – Blanche, for instance, is one of the finest films ever made, while Goto the Island of Love is almost as good – and in many ways these films set up the themes that would be prevalent throughout much of his subsequent work, most importantly that sex is constantly linked with guilt, persecution and death. Read More »