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1941-1950

Aleksandr Dovzhenko – Michurin (1948)

The film is about the life and work of the prominent Russian biologist Ivan Michurin. Reports of gardener-Michurin’s extraordinary experiments with plants reach far beyond the borders of the Russian empire. Trying to persuade him to move to the United States, a group of Americans comes to the village where Michurin lives. They promise him all kinds of benefits. But Michurin, despite his lack of recognition by the government, is devoted to Russia. Overcoming obstacles created by the tsarist bureaucracy, the scientist continues with his experiments on natural selection and dreams of the time when all people will be able to take full advantage of his achievements. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 makes his dreams come true and Michurin’s orchard in Kozlov becomes a center of Soviet experimental biology. Read More »

Oskar Fischinger – Oskar Fischinger: Ten Films (1926-1947)

Spirals (1926)
Study no. 6 (1930)
Study no. 7 (1931)
Kreise (1933)
Allegretto (1936-43)
Radio Dynamics (1942)
Motion Painting No. 1 (1947)

and 3 Early Films:

Wax Experiments (1921-26)
Spiritual Constructions (1927)
Walking from Munich to Berlin (1927)

Special Features
* Never-released early experiments, animation drawings and tests
* Home movies of Oskar, Elfriede and Hans Fischinger in the Berlin Studio, c. 1931
* Biographical Photographs
* A Selection of Paintings by Fischinger
* Film notes by Fischinger and others
* Biography
* Preserved films, high definition digital transfers and digitally remastered audio

Decades before computer graphics, before music videos, even before “Fantasia” (the 1940 version), there were the abstract animated films of Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967), master of “absolute” or nonobjective filmmaking. He was cinema’s Kandinsky, an animator who, beginning in the 1920’s in Germany, created exquisite “visual music” using geometric patterns and shapes choreographed tightly to classical music and jazz. (John Canemaker, New York Times) Read More »

Edmund Goulding – The Razor’s Edge (1946)

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A adventuresome young man goes off to find himself and loses his socialite fiance in the process. But when he returns 10 years later, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even though she is already married.

Amazon Review:
Beautifully directed by Edmund Goulding, this sumptuous, and prestigious adaptation of Somerset Maugham’s novel was made in 1946 to great acclaim. It’s a tale of manipulation, greed, unrequited love, and the eternal search for spiritual enlightenment. Larry Darrell the central character – and played in the movie by the startlingly attractive Tyrone Power – searches for life’s meaning in a journey that takes him from the high society of Chicago to the coal mines of France and then on to the mountains of the Himalayas. Read More »

Vittorio Cottafavi – I nostri sogni AKA Our Dreams (1943)

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Plot: Leo (Vittorio De Sica) is young man trying to make a living without any success. Through fortuitous circumstances, he is assigned by the director of a big firm to accompany for one night the daughter of the firm’s accountant, Titi (María Mercader). Leo pretends then to be the son of a tycoon, and takes her in a luxurious restaurant. Read More »

Clifford Odets – None But the Lonely Heart (1944)

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Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Cary Grant delivered Oscar-calibre performances all his life, but only when he played against type in None But the Lonely Heart did the Academy Awards people break down and give him a nomination. Grant plays a restless, irresponsible cockney who seeks a better life but doesn’t seem to have the emotional wherewithal to work for such a life. The hero’s shiftlessness extends to his love life; musician Jane Wyatt genuinely cares for him, but he prefers the company of fickle gangster’s ex-wife June Duprez. June’s former husband George Coulouris convinces Grant that the quickest means to wealth is a life of crime, but Grant drops this aspect of his life to take care of his terminally ill mother Ethel Barrymore. While Cary Grant did not win the Oscar he so richly deserved for None But the Lonely Heart, Ethel Barrymore did cop the gold statuette. Written and directed by Clifford Odets, None But the Lonely Heart unfortunately lost money for RKO, which could have used a little extra cash after paying the expenses of temporarily closing Ms. Barrymore’s Broadway play The Corn is Green. Read More »

Otto Preminger – The Fan (1949)

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Synopsis:
Lord Windermere appears to all -including to his young wife Margaret – as the perfect husband. But their happy marriage is placed at risk when Lord Windermere starts spending his afternoons with an adventuress who is working her way through London’s high society, Mrs. Erlynne. Worse, Windermere gives her big sums of money. To crown it all he asks his wife to invite the detestable woman to her own birthday party. Upset and outraged, the puritan Lady Windermere decides to leave her husband and goes to Lord Robert Darlington, who has been courting her for some time. Unfortunately she leaves her fan -the one Robert offered her for her birthday – in Robert’s house… Read More »

Nadezhda Kosheverova & Mikhail Shapiro – Zolushka AKA Cinderella (1947)

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Based on the traditional story about the hard working Cinderella, her wicked step-mother and lazy sisters. The film was restored at ”Mosfilm” in 1967. Read More »