Sam Peckinpah – Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1988 Turner Library version) (1973)


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An aging Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons–his sole purpose being to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid. (IMDB) Read More »

Férid Boughedir – Asfour Stah AKA Halfaouine: Child Of the Terraces (1990)

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Review: “Halfaouine, Boy of the Terraces” is a charming coming-of-age film from Tunisia that takes a rare look at the inner workings of Arabic culture — the stone- walled streets, alleys, rooftops and households of everyday Tunisia, where traditions seem little interrupted by the modern world.
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Edward L. Cahn – Hong Kong Confidential (1958)


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Secret agent Casey Reed (Gene Barry) goes undercover as a smarmy lounge singer (replete with cheezy white jacket!) in Hong Kong to find a missing arab prince.

Quote:
Director Edward L. Cahn always knew how to make lemonade from a lemon; his B pictures of the late 1950s displayed a raw energy that many of his higher-budgeted films of the 1930s lacked. Hong Kong Confidential is a backlot cheapie starring Gene Barry and second-feature stalwarts Beverly Tyler and Allison Hayes. Barry plays a secret agent, in Hong Kong to rescue an Arabian prince from his kidnappers. The villains, of course, are Soviet spies, easily recognizable by their baggy suits and flabby accents. Also in the cast of Hong Kong Confidential is Ed Kemmer, who’d once starred in that baby-boomer favorite Space Patrol. Read More »

Pat Brereton – Hollywood Utopia: Ecology in Contemporary American Cinema (2005)

The fruit of years of painstaking study, Pat Brereton’s Hollywood Utopia is a landmark in the emerging field of ecological media criticism. The more urban human societies become, the more our media reflect upon the landscapes, the animals and the fragile unities of our planet. Of no media formation is this more true than of Hollywood, as Brereton argues in this meticulously researched and carefully organised work. Far from trashing the planet, Hollywood films have, Brereton claims, a tradition stretching back to the 1950s of care and concern for humanity estranged from its roots, and a world at risk of destruction. Through innovative analyses of Jurassic Park, Easy Rider, Thelma and Louise, Star Trek, Terminator 2 and Blade Runner among countless older and newer films, Brereton traces a utopianism often overlooked in traditional film criticism. Not only films with explicitly Green agendas like Emerald Forest and Medicine Man, but in films noted for far different qualities exhibit the saving grace of nature. Read More »

Michel Houellebecq – La Rivière (2001)

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Description: Couldn’t find any usable information about this lesbo-arcadian short by Michel Houellebecq around on the web, except that, following its release, endless accusation of misoginy ensued. Go figure. Read More »

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea – Guantanamera (1995)

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In this satiric road movie from Cuba, Yoyita (Conchita Brando), a well-known singer living in Havana, travels with her niece Georgina (Mirta Ibarra), a college professor, to the village of her birth, where Yoyita is reunited with Candido (Raul Eguren), whom she loved as a young woman. When Yoyita and Candido meet for the first time in 50 years, they’re thrilled to discover that the flame of passion still burns within them; unfortunately, Yoyita is so thrilled that it gives her a heart attack, and she dies on the spot. Yoyita’s body must be transported back to Havana for burial, but while logic would dictate that Georgina should simply hire a hearse to make the journey, her husband, Adolfo (Carlos Cruz), a bureaucrat with more enthusiasm than common sense, has another idea — by transferring the body from one vehicle to another at the border of each province, the cost of fuel will be distributed more evenly along the route. No one much cares for this idea except Adolfo, but he has the law on his side, so Georgina, Candido, and Adolfo begin a long, slow journey back to Havana accompanied by truck drivers Ramon (Pedro Fernandez) and Mariano (Jorge Perugorria), who was Georgina’s student years ago. At every stop, the group meets a few of the people in each town (especially Mariano, who seems to have a girlfriend in every village in Cuba) and they share their thoughts on faith, politics, and love. Guantanamera was the final work from veteran Cuban director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea; he died before the film could be completed, so co-screenwriter Juan Carlos Tabió finished the film in his stead. Read More »

Tim Burton – Frankenweenie (1984)

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Frankenweenie is a short film directed by Tim Burton, and co-written by Burton with Leonard Ripps. It is a parody of, and homage to, the 1931 film Frankenstein based on Mary Shelley’s book of the same name.

Originally considered a failure and being put to the side by Disney, it was given a home video release after Burton’s breakthrough success with films like Beetlejuice, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and Batman.

Plot:
Victor Frankenstein is a young boy who creates movies starring his dog, Sparky. After Sparky is hit by a car, Victor learns at school about electrical impulses in muscles, and gets the idea to bring his pet back to life. He creates elaborate machines which bring down a bolt of lightning that revives the dog. While Victor is pleased, his neighbors are terrified by the animal, and when the Frankensteins decide to introduce the revitalized Sparky to them, they become angry and afraid. This leads to a frantic chase that cannot end well…or can it? Read More »