H.K. Breslauer – Die Stadt ohne Juden AKA The City Without Jews (1924)

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Despite the fact that, contrary to Bettauer’s book, the film is more a comedy rather than a real plea against antisemitism, and that it includes pretty negative archetypes against Jews, screenings of the film were actually subject to disturbances by NSDAP members. Furthermore Bettauer, who had not approved the changes made by Brelauer, was assassinated a few months later by a Nazi who, although accused as an “assassin”, had to spend only a few months in various mental hospitals and was released in 1927 without further requirements. Read More »

Michael Curtiz – Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

In London, sculptor Ivan Igor struggles in vain to prevent his partner Worth from burning his wax museum…and his ‘children.’ Years later, Igor starts a new museum in New York, but his maimed hands confine him to directing lesser artists. People begin disappearing (including a corpse from the morgue); Igor takes a sinister interest in Charlotte Duncan, fiancée of his assistant Ralph, but arouses the suspicions of Charlotte’s roommate, wisecracking reporter Florence. Read More »

George Sherman – Red River Range (1938)

The Three Mesquiteers was the umbrella title for a series of fifty-one B-westerns released between 1936 and 1943. The films featured the characters Stony Brooke, Tucson Smith and Lullaby Joslin or Rusty Joslin as the threesome; played by many B-western stars of that era. In 1938, John Wayne took over for Robert Livingston as Stony Brooke and starred in eight Mesquiteers films between 1938 and 1939, he was joined by Ray Corrigan as Tucson Smith and Max Terhune as Lullaby Joslin for the first six and Raymond Hatton as Rusty Joslin for the last two… all eight films were directed by George Sherman (Big Jake). Read More »

Jo Sol – Armugan (2020)

In a remote valley of the Aragonese Pyrenees the legend of Armugan is told. It is said that he is dedicated to a mysterious and terrible profession, the likes of such that no one dares to speak. They say that Armugan moves through the valleys clinging to the body of Anchel, his faithful servant and together they share the secret of a work as old as life, as terrible as death itself. Read More »

Yesim Ustaoglu – Pandora’nin kutusu AKA Pandora’s Box (2008)

When an aging matriarch starts showing signs of dementia, her dysfunctional family in Istanbul must navigate a minefield of unresolved issues to care for her. Read More »

Werner Herzog – Stroszek [+commentary] (1977)

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In Berlin, an alcoholic man, recently released from prison, joins his elderly friend and a prostitute in a determined dream to leave Germany and seek a better life in Wisconsin.

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Who else but Werner Herzog would make a film about a retarded ex-prisoner, a little old man and a prostitute, who leave Germany to begin a new life in a house trailer in Wisconsin? Who else would shoot the film in the hometown of Ed Gein, the murderer who inspired “Psycho” (1960)? Who else would cast all the local roles with locals? Who else would end the movie with a policeman radioing, “We’ve got a truck on fire, can’t find the switch to turn the ski lift off, and can’t stop the dancing chicken. Send an electrician.” Read More »

Patrice Chéreau – Intimacy (2001)

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Jay, a failed musician, walked out of his family and now earns a living as head bartender in a trendy London pub. Every Wednesday afternoon a woman comes to his house for graphic, almost wordless, sex. One day Jay follows her and finds out about the rest of her life (and that her name is Claire). This eventually disrupts their relationship. Read More »