Tag Archives: 1950s

Shirley Clarke – A Moment in Love (1956)

Synopsis
The recurring theme of dance once again works its way into a Shirley Clarke project, as this short film features a performance that takes place across a multitude of environments. As a primary couple intimately interacts, Clarke tests herself as a filmmaker by enhancing the performance with camera movements and visual additions. Altering the setting and the atmosphere with the use of back-projection, this intriguing piece illustrates Clarke’s willingness to experiment on many levels. Read More »

Curt Conway – Play of the Week: John Steinbeck’s Burning Bright (1959)

Burning Bright is a 1950 novella by John Steinbeck written as an experiment with producing a play in novel format. Rather than providing only the dialogue and brief stage directions as would be expected in a play, Steinbeck fleshes out the scenes with details of both the characters and the environment. The intention was to allow the play to be read by the non-theatrical reader while still allowing the dialogue to be lifted and performed with little adaptation by acting companies. While Steinbeck could see that providing little information in the way of physical description or stage direction allowed the director and actors greater freedom and scope for imaginative interpretation, he weighed this against the benefit of making the players aware of the author’s intent and making the play accessible to the general reader. Read More »

Kon Ichikawa – Nihonbashi AKA Bridge of Japan (1956) (HD)

Ichikawa’s 1956 adaptation of Nihonbashi was the first to take the work of Kyoka Izumi— until then regarded as a writer of common tragic melodramas—and re-evaluate it as a sanbi-ha work of decadence, aestheticism, and intrigue. Ichikawa’s film presents the tragic plot of the young geisha who is unable to enact her love for a man publicly in any way other than a histrionic story of torment, a heart-rending tale of lovers being crushed by fate. Instead Ichikawa shows the contest of wills that transpires as two geisha, Oko (Chikage Awashima) and Kiyoha (Fujiko Yamamoto) fight for the top spot in Nihonbashi, the pinnacle ot the Tokyo geisha world. Nihonbashi is an elegant, if steely, exposition of manners. The young doctor, Shinzo Katsuragi (Ryuji Shinagawa), is the object of affection for both women, but appears to be more the choice reward for the plotting and thieving of these two early modern superwomen, than a lover they swoon over. Read More »

Manuel Mur Oti – Cielo negro AKA Black Sky (1951) (HD)

A woman who works as employee in a fashion store has to care for her ill mother. At the same time she falls in love with a bohemian man. Read More »

Anatole Litvak – Anastasia (1956)

Quote:
Could an amnesiac refugee named Anna Anderson (Ingrid Bergman) truly be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, purported sole survivor of the execution of Czar Nicholas II and his family during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1918, and therefore the rightful heir to the Czar’s fortune? Backed by a group of White Russian exiles led by General Bounine (Yul Brynner), she faces her possible grandmother, the imperious Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna (Helen Hayes), and the fortune-hunting Prince Paul (Ivan Desny). Read More »

Stanislaw Rózewicz – Wolne miasto AKA Free City (1958)

Quote:
The heroic struggle of Polish post office workers in Gdansk on the first day of World War II.

Wikipedia wrote:
It was the first Polish film about September 1939. The director presented the drama of a group of civilians – employees of the Polish Post Office in the Free City of Gdańsk – caught up in the gears of great history. Fragments of archival film footage of the attack on the post office add authenticity to the film. Read More »

Lewis D. Collins – Hot Rod (1950)

Plot: David Langham, the youngest son of a hot-rod hating father, Judge Langham, buys an old jalopy but, out of respect for his father, doesn’t convert it. He changes his mind when Jack Blodgett, the local speed demon, impresses David’s girl, Janie Pitts, and David makes his car the fastest in town. Jack steals David’s hot rod, and flees the scene of an accident he causes. The car is traced back to David, but the truth comes out in court, although David’s father is still unhappy about the car… until David and his friend, Swifty Johnson, use it to apprehend some escaping robbers. The Judge decides to back a movement for building a hot-rod race track for the town. Written by Les Adams Read More »