Chris Marker – Vive la baleine AKA Three Cheers for the Whale (1972)

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Synopsis:
This is a documentary film by Chris Marker. It employs Marker’s standard rostrum camera technique, filming historic photographs and paintings of whales and the whaling trade. It also contains real-life footage of whaling and harpooning. Marker sides with the hunted mammals in this film and comments negatively on the clinical instrumental relativism of whaling. Read More »

Dennis Hopper – The Last Movie (1971)

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Quote:
THE LAST MOVIE 1971 was his follow-up to the hugely successful RIDER, but it’s core was much more elusive and abstract, dealing with the nature of film reality and reality it’s self. The editing was loose, the story half told. Hopper shot tons of footage in Peru and brought it back to his home in Taos, New Mexico. He seemed lost in this editing process and the studio was getting upset. For a while Alexandro Jodorowsky, who’s EL TOPO 1971 Hopper greatly admired, assisted in the editing.
During this time the documentary THE AMERICAN DREAMER 1971 was made showing Dennis toting a machine gun, frolicking with numerous groupies, and acting supremely wasted. (The Weird World of 70s Cinema) Read More »

Dennis Hopper – The Hot Spot (1990)

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A loner (Johnson) drives into a small Texas town and gets himself a job at a used car dealership. He gets an idea for robbing a small local bank after he tries to open a new bank account at the same time a fire occurs nearby. The bank was left open while all of the employees went to fight the fire. The manipulative boss’ wife (Madsen) wishes to use him for her own purposes: “I always get what I want, Harry”. He resists, however, as he finds himself falling in love with the accountant (Connelly) at work, who has her own problem to work out. Read More »

François Truffaut – La Nuit Américaine AKA Day for Night (1973)

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Amazon.com review:
François Truffaut’s lavish and fun 1973 comedy-drama about a film production is a clever hall of mirrors, with Truffaut himself playing a director, and his most important actor in real life, Jean-Pierre Léaud (The 400 Blows), portraying Jacqueline Bisset’s immature costar. Day for Night is full of tales undoubtedly told out of school and repeated here in camouflage, and one can’t help but be impressed with the stylistic and technical means by which Truffaut captures the adventurousness of a full-budget shoot. The cast is very good all around, with actors in some cases playing fictional thespians and in other cases playing members of the crew. A sequence set to thrilling music by Georges Delerue celebrates the whole art of filmmaking as seen from an editor’s perspective–it makes one want to drop everything and shoot a film of one’s own. –Tom Keogh Read More »

Walerian Borowczyk – Contes immoraux AKA Immoral Tales (1974)

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Plot Summary:..
Four erotic tales from in various historical eras. The first, ‘The Tide’, is set in the
present day, and concerns a student and his young female cousin stranded on the beach by the tide, secluded from prying eyes. ‘Therese Philosophe’ is set in the nineteenth century, and concerns a girl being locked in her bedroom, where she contemplates the erotic potential of the objects contained within it. ‘Erzsebet Bathory’ is a portrait of the sixteenth-century countess who allegedly bathed in the blood of virgins, while ‘Lucrezia Borgia’ concerns an incestuous fifteenth-century orgy involving Lucrezia, her brother, and her father the Pope. Read More »

Walerian Borowczyk – Dzieje Grzechu AKA The Story of Sin (1975)

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Walerian Borowczyk has become largely forgotten. This is partly due to a lack of availability (though at the time of writing there are currently four discs of his films on release in the UK) but primarily because his career hit a decline in the seventies that eventually led to a stint directing Emmanuelle 5. Yet both the man himself and his career are utterly fascinating. Starting out as an animator, producing a number of classic shorts including 1963’s Renaissance, Borowczyk moved into features with the distinctive Goto, Isle of Love and his masterpiece Blanche which earned him a place on the BFI 360 Film Classics list. His works from this point onwards, however, exist in a strange critical limbo as there is much debate as to whether they are art or simply soft porn with high production values and pretensions. As a result, the likes of La Bete and Docteur Jekyll et les femmes have never moved beyond a cult audience. This particular effort, The Story of Sin, the only film Borowczyk was able to make in Poland is one of his more popular works, especially in his home country, and in many ways it makes the perfect introduction to his work. By no means an exceptional film, and certainly not the director’s best, it does however allow for a succinct demonstration of his strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, the erotic content for which Borowczyk has become best known is relatively low-key, especially in comparison to, say, Behind Convent Walls or Immoral Tales, which will perhaps make it more accessible. Read More »

Walerian Borowczyk – Les Heroines du Mal AKA Heroines of Evil AKA Three Immoral Women (1979)

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Each of the three women in this film shows a tendency to kill their human lovers, and two of them evince a sexual attachment to their pets. In the first story, the model for artist Raphael seduces and kills Raphael and another man. In the second, a girl with a suspiciously satisfying relationship with her pet rabbit murders her parents for killing her bunny. Finally, Marie has a dog whose unusual means of effecting her rescue not only saves her from a kidnapper, but gets her out of an unhappy marriage.
-All Movie Guide Read More »