Ingmar Bergman – Karins ansikte aka Karin’s Face (1986)

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This short was made for Swedish television and was actually aired in 1986, unlike imdb claims.

“This is a surprising and lovely film, and thoroughly engrossing, given its brief length. Shot and framed with exquisite care, it validates a favorite past time and the value of looking at old photographs of family members to gain insight into one’s self.

Amassing as many of the old photos as he could of his parents and grandparents, their relatives and offspring, Bergman takes long, lingering views of their faces, their hands, the expressions in their eyes and mouths, registering for us all, something special in the faces of siblings and relatives young and old. These are long loving looks, with no narration, just a piano playing a simple slightly abstract tune. It was quite moving to see, just through juxtaposition, what Bergman could lead us to think about how he regards his mother, father, aunts, uncles, cousins, — anyone who was pictured, including himself as a boy. Read More »

Jean Epstein – L’or des mers (1932)


Cinémathèque française:
L’or des mers (1932) is based on Breton myths and legends. It tells the story of Soizic and her father, an old and alcoholic sailor who draws attention to himself when he discovers and hides a treasure from a ship wreak that has been washed up by the sea. In L’or des mers but also in the third film Chanson d’Armor, there are no good and bad characters, just human beings faced with their destiny and the forces of the nature. One of the brilliant things in both films is the way that sky and water become central figures. Epstein once said that canals and the coastline were the best characters that he ever worked with! Read More »

Theodoros Angelopoulos – O megalexandros AKA Alexander the Great (1980)


from allmovie:
Director Theodoros Anghelopulos has created a clever vehicle for conveying the substance of this award-winning political drama. He uses the acting techniques of Greek tragedy, such as formal posturing and long-held camera shots, as well as symbolism right out of classical Greek plays, to put across his parallel to Alexander the Great. This new Alexander is a “bandit” who escapes from prison in 1900 and starts fighting the government. He kidnaps some British aristocrats to hold them as ransom against amnesty for himself and his men. When he returns with his hostages to his native village, he and the local ruling schoolteacher have a go-around on how the town is to be run. — Eleanor Mannikka Read More »

Sidney Lumet – The Wiz (1978)


Sidney Lumet’s 1978 adaptation of Broadway’s all-black musical resembles
Saturday Night Fever more than The Wizard of Oz.

Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader wrote:
Sidney Lumet’s 1978 adaptation of Broadway’s all-black musical resembles Saturday Night Fever more than The Wizard of Oz. There is the same dark disco lighting, the same romanticization of urban rubble. And the theme is no longer “There’s no place like home,” but a learning-to-love-yourself homily that might have been lifted from Werner Erhard. Still, it’s one of the more competent neomusicals of the period, if only because of Dede Allen’s punchy editing and Tony Walton’s cavernous sets. A lot to look at, little to contemplate, and nothing to hum. With Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, and a curiously restrained bit by Richard Pryor. Read More »

Pat O’Neill – Screen (1969)

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Screen (Pat O’Neill, 1969, digital (originally 16mm), color, silent, 4min.)
A less-well known work by O’Neill, originally intended as an installation.
Consider supporting the filmmaker. Read More »

Karel Reisz – Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)


The sights and sounds of industrial Nottingham resonate with a grimy thud as Arthur Seaton works his tedious factory job. Through ale, women and practical jokes, he vents his frustrations against the “establishments” of work and marriage… until his reckless ways lead him to a night that changes his life. Forced to reevaluate his convictions, Arthur must decide exactly what he stands for. Read More »

Tinto Brass – Il disco volante aka The Flying Saucer (1964)



A gem! This is one of the last of the great movie comedies. Famous producer Dino De Laurentiis hired Brass to direct Rodolfo Sonego’s satirical political parable, “Il disco volante”, starring Alberto Sordi in four rôles, along with Silvana Mangano and Monica Vitti. Brass’s direction is flawlessly smooth, Sordi is at his most brilliant with his priceless doubletakes, and the film is screamingly funny. But since Brass did not write or edit it, “Il disco volante” is not a true-blue Brass film, though its anti-authoritarianism is certainly congenial to his outlook. The story concerns witnesses to some flying saucers that land in a village near Venice. They spin enough yarns that the police are brought in to arrest the visitors, but plans go awry when the aliens just want to party and when a few villagers start trafficking in Martians. Good movies are impossible to describe. Good comedies are even more impossible to describe. Take my word for it, though, you’ll like it! Read More »