Tag Archives: Dirk Bogarde

Joseph Losey – Modesty Blaise (1966)

Monica Vitti is Modesty Blaise, fabulous international spy-slash-jewel thief. She is hired by Sir Gerald Terrant (Harry Andrews) of the British government — I think, but I’m not sure, for reasons I’ll explain momentarily — to make sure £50 million in diamonds gets to the proper Middle Eastern sheik in exchange for oil reserves. Modesty warns them that if she is not told the full story about the diamonds and the plans to rob them en route, she will consider herself a free agent and steal the diamonds for herself. Thus begins a strange series of events that are part spy spoof, part random stream of consciousness events, and partly based on the long-running comic strip begun in 1963. Read More »

Joseph Losey – Accident (1967)

Synopsis:
Stephen is a married Oxford professor experiencing the pangs of a mid-life crisis as he begins to bristle at the stifling emotional repression of the society in which he lives. Things begin to change for him when he meets Anna, a beautiful student who is engaged to William, another of Stephen’s students. Though he begins to feel alive again in her presence, Stephen’s feelings for Anna can only end in tragedy for them and those around them. Read More »

Anthony Asquith – The Woman in Question AKA Five Angles on Murder (1950)

Synopsis:
When a fairground fortune-teller, Agnes (Jean Kent), is found strangled in her apartment, the police interview the people around her, but quickly establish that everyone saw the murdered woman in a different way. … Only when the police discover the true nature of the murdered woman, and the motive for her murder, will they be able to unmask the killer? Read More »

Luchino Visconti – Morte a Venezia AKA Death in Venice (1971) (HD)

Quote:
In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period of artistic and personal stress. But he finds no peace there, for he soon develops a troubling attraction to an adolescent boy, Tadzio, on vacation with his family. The boy embodies an ideal of beauty that Aschenbach has long sought and he becomes infatuated. However, the onset of a deadly pestilence threatens them both physically and represents the corruption that compromises and threatens all ideals. Read More »

Alain Resnais – Providence (1977)

The film describes the process of literary creation. Part of the story unfolds in the imagination of Clive Langham, a famous writer who has learnt that he has only a few months of life left and, on the eve of his seventieth birthday, is working on his last novel: a story in which he speaks of himself, his memories and his family. The links and divergences between art and life are underlined. Believing he is describing others, he describes himself, revealing hidden aspects of his personality. Read More »

Luchino Visconti – La Caduta Degli Dei (Götterdämmerung) AKA The Damned [English dub] (1969)

Quote:
This brooding, operatic movie about Nazism makes Cabaret look like wholesome family fare. The family in The Damned is a symbol of German society circa 1934. The Krupp-like steel magnate Baron von Essenbeck represents the spineless establishment. The Nazis kill the baron, then frame one heir apparent, a socialist (married to the stunning Charlotte Rampling). A bearish, boorish Essenbeck representing the SA, the Nazis’ early goon squad, takes the reins. But Hitler murdered the SA in the 1934 “Night of the Long Knives,” providing The Damned with its bravura action scene, a Nazi massacre at a gay SA orgy. The winning Essenbeck is the murderous, pedophilic, transvestite, mother-rapist Martin (sharp-featured Helmut Berger), who represents Nazism. Though he’s better in director Luchino Visconti’s 1971 Death in Venice, Dirk Bogarde is classy as Martin’s stepdad. The Damned got an Oscar screenplay nomination, and Vincent Canby called Berger’s Martin “the performance of the year.” Read More »

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Despair (1978)

Germany in the early 1930s. Against the backdrop of the Nazis’ rise, Hermann Hermann, a Russian émigré and chocolate magnate, goes slowly mad. It begins with his seating himself in a chair to observe himself making love to his wife, Lydia, a zaftig empty-headed siren who is also sleeping with her cousin. Hermann is soon given to intemperate outbursts at his workers, other businessmen, and strangers. Then, he meets Felix, an itinerant laborer, whom he delusionally believes looks exactly like himself. Armed with a new life insurance policy, he hatches an elaborate plot in the belief it will free him of all his worries. Read More »