Tag Archives: 1950s

John Huston – Moulin Rouge (1952)

Synopsis:
A fictionalized account of the latter part of the life of French artist Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (1864-1901) is presented, he who is arguably most renowned professionally for immortalizing the characters of the Paris can-can dance hall, the Moulin Rouge, on canvas. This phase of his story begins in 1890. Born into aristocracy, Toulouse-Lautrec moves to Paris to pursue his art as he hangs out at the Moulin Rouge where he feels like he fits in being a misfit among other misfits. His misfit status is due to his diminutive physical stature, his legs which were broken and stopped growing following a childhood fall down some stairs. Read More »

Koreyoshi Kurahara – Kaitei kara kita onna AKA The Woman from the Sea (1959)

Quote:
“A curious hybrid of taiyôzoku-eiga (“Sun Tribe”) and “girl-diver” genres, Koreyoshi Kurahara’s mermaid tale plays out like no other midnight movie in history – sinister, sensual and ethereal, it unfurls almost in slow motion. Hisako Tsukuba plays a voluptuous, gloomy beauty who likes to feast on fish guts.” Read More »

Federico Fellini – Lo sceicco bianco AKA The White Sheik (1952)

Synopsis:
Who would have thought that only moments after arriving at Rome for their honeymoon, the young and pure bride, Wanda, would sneak out of the room, leaving her fastidious groom, Ivan, all alone? Obsessed with the masculine Fernando Rivoli–the hero of her favourite romantic photo-novel, The White Sheik–Wanda plucks up the courage to meet him in person, only to be seduced by the arrogant protagonist, so far away from the hotel and her husband. As a result–perplexed by Wanda’s strange disappearance, and unable to disclose the news to his family–Ivan meanders through the ill-lit Roman streets in search of his wife, on pins and needles, waiting for their eleven o’clock appointment with his uncle and the Papal Audience at the Vatican. What does the new day have in store for the separated newlyweds? Read More »

Jean Renoir – Le déjeuner sur l’herbe AKA Picnic on the Grass (1959)

Synopsis:
Etienne Alexis, a candidate for president of the new Europe, is a scientist promoting artificial insemination for social betterment and therapy to eliminate passion. His wealthy household (his family owns chemical corporations that will profit from his ideas) is stiff, intellectual, and sterile. To celebrate his engagement to a German cousin, he hosts an aseptic picnic, where mother nature asserts herself. A shepherd’s flute conjures a windstorm that throws Alexis together with the luscious Nénette, a farm lass who wants to have a baby but is unimpressed with men. Read More »

Jin Xie – Nu lan wu hao AKA Woman Basketball Player No. 5 (1957)

Woman Basketball Player No. 5 not only explores the problems that a young female athlete faces in coming to grips with her ambitions in the field of sports, it portrays the fate of two different generations of Chinese athletes, one pre- and the other post-Liberation. Read More »

Robert Vernay – Le comte de Monte-Cristo (1954)

Edmond Dantes is falsely accused by those jealous of his good fortune, and is sentenced to spend the rest of his life in the notorious island prison, Chateau d’If. While imprisoned, he meets the Abbe Faria, a fellow prisoner whom everyone believes to be mad. The Abbe tells Edmond of a fantastic treasure hidden away on a tiny island, that only he knows the location of. After many years in prison, the old Abbe dies, and Edmond escapes disguised as the dead body. Now free, Edmond must find the treasure the Abbe told him of, so he can use the new-found wealth to exact revenge on those who have wronged him. Read More »

Tony Richardson – Look Back in Anger (1959)

Synopsis:
‘Three years after its incendiary run on the London stage, director Tony Richardson’s film version of John Osborne’s play Look Back in Anger (1959) became one of the precursors to the British “kitchen sink” dramas of the 1960s. Enhancing the aim to show British life as it really was through the hopeless existence of enraged working class stiff Jimmy Porter and his put-upon, better-born wife Allison, Richardson unstintingly reveals the grunginess of their industrial city residential milieu with its drab row houses and unkempt children. Read More »