1. SHORTS 33 + 28 = 61 m
a) La perle (Henri d'Ursel, 1929)
b) Love Must Love (Myron Ort, 1968)
2. Mer dare / Our Century (Artavazd Peleshian, 1983)
3. SHORTS II 18 + 15 + 28 = 61 m
a) Alaska (Dore O, 1969)
b) Askeladden og de gode hjelperne / The Ashlad and His Good Helpers (Ivo Caprino, 1961)
c) Agarrando pueblo / The Vampires of Poverty (Carlos Mayolo/Luis Ospina, 1977)
4. The Gang's All Here (Busby Berkely, 1943)
5. Night Tide (Curtis Harrington, 1961)
6. Cry Vengeance (Mark Stevens, 1954)
7. Panique (Julien Duvivier, 1946)
8. The Beast of the City (Charles Brabin, 1932)
9. Clue (Jonathan Lynn, 1985)
10. Lee's Adventure (Frant Gwo, 2011)
11. La nuit fantastique / Fantastic Night (Marcel L'Herbier, 1942)
12. Dr. Plonk (Rolf de Heer, 2007)
13. Twice a Man (Gregory J. Markopoulos, 1964)
14.Summerfield (Ken Hannam, 1977)
15-16. SHORTS III-IV 22 + 24 + 29 + 26 + 29 = 130 m
a) Nuestra Señora de Paris
(Teo Hernandez, 1982)
b) Baltie zvani
(Ivars Kraulitis, 1961)
(Don Featherstone, 1986)
d) Bruits d'images aux fenêtres d'osmin
e) Das triadische Ballett
(Margaret Hasting/Franz Schömbs/Georg Veden, 1970)
Really solid series of shorts here; a and d are the two overtly experimental examples from the bunch, respectively a view of Notre Dame and of - various cityscapes, mostly - both cut very fast, enough that I wouldn't recommend anyone who has problems with strobes or certainly epilepsy to watch them; the last is a three-part short ballet film with each dancer wearing very odd costumes and a particular color scheme dominant - I liked the last, black, the best. The second, Baltie zvani
is in many ways the most conventional, a bird's-eye-view often, using some brilliant crane shots, of a little girl in pursuit of flowers and then her attempt to bring them home through a busy city under heavy construction. It may be "ordinary" but it's really beautiful and one of the best of many similar-length films about kids from this period, though far from the most famous. The third film is a very funny - but also quite serious certainly - inversion of the colonialist narrative, a mockumentary about the anniversary of the finding of "Babakiueria" by black colonists who quickly dominated the white "aboriginal" natives.
17. Anjô-ke no butôkai / The Ball at the Anjo House
(Kôzaburô Yoshimura, 1947)
An end-of-an-era drama, the fall of a great family to the destruction of the nobility in the wake of World War II, this features the titular Anjo family struggling with a new order in which their old butler may come back to save them by buying their house - if a gangster who holds their debt doesn't beat him to it. This reminded me in many ways of other stories of great families in decline - The Magnificent Ambersons
and Il gattopardo
are probably the most obvious examples, but it's a little different too in taking place mostly over one evening, the night of the ball in question, the last held in the great house by it's longtime owners, in which their fates may be decided. This is a solid but to me not really spectacular film of it's type, notable mostly for the acting, in particular the performances of the Sesuko Hara and Yumeko Aizome as the two thirty-something unmarried daughters of the family patriarch. Hara is my favorite actress and while I wouldn't call this one of her very best performances or roles, it's interesting in that it seems to point the way to some of her great work with Ozu over the next 15 years - the loyal daughter trying to keep the family together, more concerned for her father's happiness than for finding love in her own life.
18. End Play
(Tim Burstall, 1976)
Very much in the Hitchcockian vein, this to me was an only partially successful thriller, about a couple of brothers, one of them a paraplegic and the other his brother who has come for a visit, and a series of murders that the police apparently think the work of the able-bodied brother - this is all information we get early on, no real spoiler. It evolves into something more interesting and complex, but ultimately didn't work for me beyond the momentary pleasures of "how is he going to get out of this" and the acting by George Mallaby and John Waters as the siblings. It tries to be twisty and unpredictable, but really isn't, and while it starts off with a fairly strong sense of realism it really derails in the third act, in particular
the absolute idiocy of the police in the last scene beggars belief.
19. L'assassin habite... au 21 / The Murderer Lives at Number 21
(Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1942)
Fun comedy-crime pic - mostly comedy - that to my mind falls somewhere between Agatha Christie and Charlie Chan in tone, with Pierre Fresnay wonderful as the police inspector who infiltrates a boarding house to catch the murderer who leaves his card "M. Durand" pinned to each of his victims. I've seen this listed as film noir on some lists - I would never categorize it as such myself, and I think those looking for something hard-boiled or exciting aren't going to get it for the most part, though the climax has a few brief thrills, and the ending is reasonably clever if not that unpredictable to those who have seen a lot of thrillers. Lots of fun and beautifully shot - the opening murder sequence was probably fairly novel in it's day, in the use of POV - but certainly not one of Clouzot's best IMO.
(Simon Wincer, 1980)
I guess Robert Powell was one of the go-to guys in the 70s and early 80s when you wanted a magnetic personality, piercing eyes, tall and handsome, and mysterious and radiating power. Mahler, Jesus of Nazareth
and now this film make me wonder why he didn't become a bigger star; even though I don't outright love any of the three, there's no question of the power of his presence in the central role in each film. Here he is the "harlequin", the trickster, a clown perhaps, or a spy, or a con-man, but seemingly a faith healer of some sort who comes into the lives of an unhappy married couple, a politician (David Hemmings) and his wife (Carmen Duncan) when their young son is dying of leukemia. Powell's mysterious curative powers convince the wife - and his magnetism convinces her that his healing hands might be put to other uses for her own sake - but there are mysterious powerful forces playing out against him as well, and this in the end has much of the feel of a conspiracy-thriller, with a Machiavellian power (Broderick Crawford in one of his last roles) who seems to know some things about the trickster/magician and wants none of it in his world. And interesting film, nice looking and generally well-acted that in the end just doesn't quite add up to what it promises in the beginning, feeling all too prosaic by the end despite a rather obvious OOH GOTCHA final shot.
21. The Notebook
(Nick Cassavetes, 2004)
Nick's dad is spinning in his grave.