Peter Tscherkassky – The Exquisite Corpus (2015)

Synopsis:
The Exquisite Corpus is based on various erotic films and advertising rushes. I play on the “cadavre exquis” technique used by the Surrealists, drawing disparate body parts constellating magical creatures. Myriad fragments are melted into a single sensuous, humorous, gruesome, and ecstatic dream. Read More »

Jean Yarbrough – Abbott & Costello: The Naughty Nineties (1945)

Abbott and Costello’s The Naughty Nineties offers a million laughs and a nickel’s worth of plot. Most of the film takes place aboard a 19th century showboat, owned by kindly Captain Sam (Henry Travers). Bud Abbott plays the showboat’s leading man Dexter Broadhurst, while Lou Costello is handyman Sebastian Dinwiddie. A group of slick gamblers (Alan Curtis, Rita Johnson and Joe Sawyer) cheat Captain Sam out of his boat, turning the place into a floating gambling palace, but Dexter and Sebastian foil the villains and save the day. The film is a virtual encyclopedia of wheezy but still hilarious comedy routines, many of them devised by veteran Laurel & Hardy and Three Stooges gagman Felix Adler. The film’s highlight is a full-length performance of Abbott and Costello’s verbal classic “Who’s on First?”-and if one listens very closely, one can hear the cameramen and crew members laughing!
— Hal Erickson (AllMovie) Read More »

Jean Dréville – Le joueur d’échecs AKA The Devil Is an Empress AKA Chess Player (1938)

1776. Along with Lithuania and Prussia, Poland has succumbed to the might of the Russian Empire, but a determined resistance movement is working to bring an end to the country’s annexation. A young woman named Sonia is the figurehead of the Polish resistance fighters, but the Empress Catherine II has no fear of her, as she knows that Sonia is of Russian blood – a fact that she asks the Baron de Kempelen to make known to her political enemies. But Kempelen’s allegiances are ambiguous and he appears more preoccupied with the elaborate life-size automata he is working on than the political situation. Read More »

James B. Harris – Some Call It Loving AKA Sleeping Beauty AKA Dream Castle [+Commentary](1973)

In this modern day re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty, a disillusioned musician named Robert obtains a carnival act from a sleazy carny and brings home a young girl who has been asleep for many years. After bringing her to his secluded castle and awakening her with a kiss, Robert tries to introduce her to his strange and magical world, but as their relationship develops Jennifer begins to pine for a life that is more complex than Robert can offer. Read More »

Tôichirô Narushima – Seigen-ki AKA Time Within Memory (1973) (HD)

Quote:
[Toichiro Narushima’s] Time Within Memory (1973) was one of Takemitsu’s favorites films, but remains out of print. Film Critic Fritz Göttler considers this film to have been an ‘ideal collaboration…thoughtful and imaginative, a pure Takemitsu fantasy as antidote to films like The Ceremony or The Woman in the Dunes,’ while Klaus Volkmer laments its unavailability: One wants to see [Time Within Memory]—not possible. The early films from Shinoda…two films from Oshima have not been available for a long time…One can read about them—there are photos. Read More »

Cecil B. DeMille – This Day and Age (1933)

During Boys’ Week at racially integrated North High School, students Steve Smith, Gus Ruffo and Billy Anderson are elected to temporarily hold the city offices of district attorney, judge and chief of police. After Jewish tailor Herman refuses to pay protection money to Louis Garrett, Garrett’s gang bombs his store. Herman and the student who was with him survive the blast, but Herman is later murdered by Garrett after he again refuses to pay. Garrett is acquitted of murder charges because he has a perfect alibi. Steve, who had taken the stand during the trial, is humiliated by his experience as a witness because he failed to prove Garrett’s guilt. Read More »

Guillaume Brac – Le naufragé AKA Stranded (2009)

Quote:
Luc goes off on his bicycle to forget his problems. A suit of accidents make him spend the night in a little town of Picardie. He meets Sylvain, who tries to help him, for the best and the worst. Read More »