Vladimir Barsky – Bela (1927)

A drama based on a chapter of Lermontov’s novel “A Hero of Our Time”.

Pechorin serves in a remote fortress. One day in a neighbouring village he meets Bela, the daughter of a local prince, at a wedding. With the help of her brother Azamat, Pechorin takes the girl to the fortress. In return he gives Azamat a horse, which he steals from the highwayman Kazbich. Pechorin’s infatuation soon subsides, and he now spends more and more time hunting. Read More »

Marcel Carné & Michel Sanvoisin – Nogent, Eldorado du dimanche (1929)

IMDB Review wrote:
Seven years before his first feature-length film “Jenny” ,Carné already displayed the populisme,the command of the picture and the brilliance which would mark his golden era (1936-1946) .With hindsight,it is pity that ,for lack of money,he could not make his final film ,”Mouche” from Guy de Maupassant , which would have taken place down by the Marne ,and which might perhaps have returned him to former glories. Read More »

Stuart Paton – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)

Stuart Paton’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916) is an epic retelling of Jules Verne’s classic novel, shot on location in the Bahaman Islands. Allen Holubar stars as the domineering Captain Nemo, who rescues the passengers of an American naval vessel after ramming them with his iron-clad, steampunk submarine, The Nautilus. Incorporating material from Verne’s Mysterious Island, the film also follows the adventures of a group of Civil War soldiers whose hot-air balloon crash lands on an exotic island, where they encounter the untamed “Child of Nature” (Jane Gail). Calling itself “The First Submarine Photoplay Ever Filmed,” the film is highlighted by stunning underwater photography (engineered by Ernest and George Williamson), including an underwater funeral and a deep sea diver’s battle with a giant cephalopod. In honor of the film’s extraordinary technical and artistic achievement, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Read More »

David Maryan – Zhizn v rukakh AKA Life in Your Hands (1930)

“The film Life in Hands (David Maryan, 1930, USSR) is an instructive historical case of the transition from the bright experiments of Sergei Eisenstein and Alexander Dovzhenko to agitprop as the focus of all the most odious in Soviet cinema. Prior to this work, Marian was a screenwriter for several films, which, as far as we know, have not survived, and this is his directorial debut, which borrows a lot from both the Earth (Alexander Dovzhenko, 1930, USSR) and the General Line (Sergei Eisenstein, 1928, USSR) – both thematically and in dramatic and visual solutions. “
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Mihály Szendrey – Nunta la Arad (1913)

One of the oldest documentaries filmed in Romania today that is still preserved, Wedding in Arad is a production during the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Transylvania – a period when film production flourished in the region under the influence of Hungarian filmmakers. Born in 1866, Szendrey began his career in acting and theater directing, as did many early film directors, which can be seen in his favorite use of space and theatrical conventions in the productions of the era. A convention visible both at the beginning and at the end of the film: the actors appear behind a curtain, and the last minutes of the film are a recording of a show that seems to be adapted after the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. Read More »

Louis Feuillade – Tih Minh (1918)

Jacques d’Athys returns from an expedition to Indochina where he picks up a book that contains the whereabouts of secret treasures and sensitive government intelligence. This makes him the target of foreign spies, including a Marquise of Latin origin, a Hindu hypnotist and an evil German doctor. Read More »

Buntarô Futagawa – Orochi AKA Serpent (1925)

This is the story of a samurai who falls on hard times due to misunderstandings and and follows the plots of his enemies. Read More »