Classics

Julie Taymor – The Tempest (2010)

Adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. Prospera, the female form of the male role in the original story, is banished from Milan by her brother. She finds herself stranded on an island with her four-year-old daughter and the beast Caliban. After 12 years of isolation, she gets the chance to take her revenge on her sibling, by causing a storm that wrecks his ship and strands those on board. Show less Read More »

Goutam Ghose – Maa Bhoomi AKA Our Land (1979)

Set during one of India’s main peasant risings, the Telangana insurrection between 1945 and 1951 in the pre-Independence state of Hyderabad, the Bengali director’s first feature tells the story of Chander’s best-known novel (Jab Khet Jaage (1948) from the peasant’s point of view. A young peasant, Ramiah, rebels against the corrupt rule of the nizam, and when his girlfriend has to submit to the potentate’s sexual coercion, Ramiah leaves. He befriends a Marxist activist (the rising was CPI-inspired) and participates in the Independence struggle. Read More »

Augusto Genina – Prix de beauté AKA Miss Europe [Silent] (1930)

From IMDb:
Lucienne, typist and gorgeous bathing beauty, decides to enter the ‘Miss Europe’ pageant sponsored by the French newspaper she works for. She finds her jealous lover Andre violently disapproves of such events and tries to withdraw, but it’s too late; she’s even then being named Miss France. The night Andre planned to propose to her, she’s being whisked off to the Miss Europe finals in Spain, where admirers swarm around her. Win or lose, what will the harvest be? Read More »

Wallace Fox – Bowery at Midnight (1942)

Bowery at Midnight casts Bela Lugosi as Professor Brenner, a psychology instructor at New York University (which looks a lot like Berkeley in the exterior shots!). When not enlightening his students — most of them buxom Monogram starlets — Brenner is engaged in charitable work, running a mission in the Bowery. In truth, however, the kindly professor is a fiend in human form, who uses his mission as a front for a vast criminal empire. When Judy (Wanda McKay), one of Brenner’s students, stumbles onto the truth, she’s targeted for extermination by the Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde prof. Read More »

Hiroshi Inagaki – Muhomatsu no issho AKA The Rickshaw Man (1958)

In the turn of the Twentieth Century, the rickshaw driver Matsugoro “Matsu” is a happy man and a troublemaker well-known by everyone in his village. One day, Matsu sees an injured boy, Toshio, and brings him home. His mother Yoshiko Yoshioka asks Matsuo to take the boy to the doctor and then her husband Capt. Kotaro Yoshioka asks her to reward Matsu. However the rickshaw man refuses the money and becomes a friend of the family. When Kotaro unexpectedly dies, Matsuo helps Yoshiko to raise her son. Soon he falls in love with her, but he does not dare to open his heart to Yoshiko since they belong to different social classes. Read More »

Hiroshi Inagaki – Muhomatsu no issho AKA The Life of Matsu the Untamed (1943)

Matsugoro is a poor rickshaw driver whose animated spirit and optimistic demeanor make him a favorite of the town. Matsu helps an injured boy, Toshio, and is hired by the boy’s parents, Kotaro and Yoshioko, to transport the boy to and from doctor appointments. Matsu comes to love the boy and his parents. When Toshio’s father dies, Matsu becomes a surrogate father, helping to raise the boy and secretly falling in love with Toshio’s mother Yoshioko. But Matsu knows there is a great gulf between their classes and there seems no hope that Matsu can ever be more than the rickshaw man to the mother and son. Read More »

Lew Landers – The Return of the Vampire (1944)

Bela Lugosi rises from the crypt in this blood-curdling horror classic! In 1918, Armand Tesla (Bela Lugosi), a 200-year-old Hungarian Vampire, prowls the English countryside, feeding from the jugulars of the villagers. But Tesla’s reign of terror is interrupted when a pair of scientists, Lady Jane (Frieda Inescort) and Sir John Ainsley (Roland Varno), drive a railroad spike through his heart. The “un-dead” Tesla remains safely entombed for two decades until the impact from a stray Nazi bomb accidentally releases him. Along with his werewolf servant Andreas Obry (Matt Willis), the resurrected vampire now plots vengeance on the family that put a halt to his nocturnal feasting. Read More »