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The Forgotten: Jean Kerchbron's "The Golem" (1967)

  • MUBI
Jean Kerchbron is certainly a subject for further study, or would be if his available oeuvre occupied enough space to fill out a microscope slide. He worked mainly in French television and not much of that stuff has filtered out in a way we can watch. Intriguing works include President Faust (1974), clearly a film for our times, and yet another version of Saharan exotica L'atlantide (1972), both of which seem to show the same pop-art, surrealist, expressionist design ethic as his most famous work.Le golem ignores Paul Wegener's German epic and goes straight to Gustav Meyrink's amazing Czech novel, which uses the figure of the clay man more metaphorically than literally: but if you're looking for mysticism, mystery and magic, neither book nor film will disappoint.The novel behaves with Lynchian dream logic, tying its splaying narrative threads together with weird recurring images and phrases rather than rational cause-and-effect,
See full article at MUBI »

Daily | Soderbergh, Khrzhanovsky, Bava

  • Keyframe
We open today's roundup with reports on current projects by directors who've taken opposite approaches, Steven Soderbergh and Ilya Khrzhanovsky. Plus Hou Hsiao-hsien on The Assassin, Jennifer Lawrence on fairness, a new book on Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl, another on Paul Wegener, reviews of Vincente Minnelli's Some Came Running, David Cronenberg's The Brood, Mario Bava's Black Sabbath and Bay of Blood, Karel Reisz’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Karina Longworth on William Haines, further thoughts on the late Chantal Akerman—and more. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Early Black Film Actor Has His Day

Rex Ingram in 'The Thief of Bagdad' 1940 with tiny Sabu. Actor Rex Ingram movies on TCM: Early black film performer in 'Cabin in the Sky,' 'Anna Lucasta' It's somewhat unusual for two well-known film celebrities, whether past or present, to share the same name.* One such rarity is – or rather, are – the two movie people known as Rex Ingram;† one an Irish-born white director, the other an Illinois-born black actor. Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” continues today, Aug. 11, '15, with a day dedicated to the latter. Right now, TCM is showing Cabin in the Sky (1943), an all-black musical adaptation of the Faust tale that is notable as the first full-fledged feature film directed by another Illinois-born movie person, Vincente Minnelli. Also worth mentioning, the movie marked Lena Horne's first important appearance in a mainstream motion picture.§ A financial disappointment on the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Lots of German Angst on Display in this New Anthology

No, German Angst is not a Uwe Boll biopic, although that would seem pretty damned appropriate. What we have here, kids, is a new anthology film featuring the works of Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik, Der Todesking), Andreas Marchall (Tears of Kali, Masks), and Michael Kosakowoski (Zero Killed).

In 1920 Germany became the most influential production location for fantastic films. Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s Nosferatu, Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Hands of Orlac, Paul Wegener’s The Golem earned the German cinema the label The Demonic Screen (Lotte H. Eisner). German filmmakers told stories of the underworld beneath urban life, about the invasion of the subconscious. The frontiers between reality and dreams blurred and the fear of dark eros emerged. These masterpieces of German Expressionist cinema are the ancestors of the contemporary fantastic genre. Their influence is still felt in almost every modern film. With the Nazi dictatorship
See full article at Dread Central »

The devil's work

From Nosferatu to Twilight, gothic films have explored what frightens us – and why we are willing victims of our fear. A few days before Halloween, and as the BFI begins a nationwide season, Michael Newton is seduced by horror, sex and satanism

Beyond high castle walls, the wolves howl. The Count intones: "Listen to them! The children of the night! What music they make!" And those words usher you into a faintly ludicrous cosiness, the comfortable darkness of gothic. For gothic properties are altogether snug, as familiar as Halloween costumes – a Boris Karloff mask, the Bela Lugosi cape, an Elsa Lanchester wig. So it is that many of us first come to the form through its parodies; I knew Carry On Screaming! by heart before I saw my first Hammer film. And yet, within the homely restfulness, something genuinely disturbing lurks; an authentic dread. And watching these films again, we
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Far from Hollywood Epic: Lubitsch's Pharaoh

The Loves of Pharaoh: Ernst Lubitsch early historical epic (photo: Emil Jannings [center] in The Loves of Pharaoh) Ernst Lubitsch’s The Loves of Pharaoh (1922) exists only in a truncated version, with some stills and title cards inserted into the lost footage. Lubitsch’s early epic was screened at the 2012 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The film tells the familiar story of the lustful, evil King Amenes (Emil Jannings), Pharaoh of Egypt, and his unrequited love for the Greek slave girl Theonis (Dagny Servaes), who loves the gallant Ramphis (Harry Liedtke), who, for his part, is being kept prisoner in a rock quarry. Pharaoh Amenes makes Theonis his Queen, but she manages to avoid getting in bed with him. Then those pesky Ethiopians want their Queen / Slave for their own and invade Egypt. Needless to say, Ramphis escapes to claim Theonis. The Loves of Pharaoh‘s tale of treachery and
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Clip joint: ghettos

From the narrow streets of medieval Prague to the rubbish dumps of Rio De Janeiro, here are five of the best ghettos featured in films

This week's clip joint is from Claire Adas - check out more of her writing on her blog here. If you have an idea for a future clip joint, email adam.boult@guardian.co.uk

Every city has its shantytowns, tenements, projects and favelas; ghettoes in which people are thrown together, joined by race, religion or, most frequently, poverty. Theses spaces form a teeming world of their own within the larger macrocosm of the city, connected but self-contained. Life is stacked upon life in a confined area, making the situation rife for story telling; a perfect stage setting of tension and drama.

The term "ghetto" has expanded somewhat from its original use in the 11th century, when it specifically described the part of a city where Jews could live.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Deadpan in Nulltown

  • MUBI
The authors wish to acknowledge with gratitude the venues in which some version of this article previously appeared: Cinema Scope 24 (Fall, 2005), Trafic 62 (Summer, 2006), and the late and twice-lamented The New-York Ghost (Dec. 26, 2006).

In the Place of No Place

Every movie contains its alternates, phantom films conjured variously by excess or dearth: textures and movements that carry on their own play apart from the main line of the narrative, an obtruding performance or scene, an unexplained ellipsis or sudden character reversal, the chunk life of an object seizing the frame in an insert whose plastic beauty transcends its context.

Though the extremes of pure narrative economy (in which each detail exists purely for transmission of plot) or utter dispersal (in which no piece connects to any other) can never exist, we can tentatively use the concepts as limit-cases to differentiate films which make room for their phantoms (or, in the worst case,
See full article at MUBI »

The Forgotten: Unheimlich Maneuvers in the Dark

  • MUBI
Unheimliche Geschichten (Uncanny Tales) is a remake... except it isn't. And it's an anthology film... except it isn't. Richard Oswald, Austrian movie master, made a film of that title in 1919, a horror film which blended stories by Poe, Stevenson and others into a single overarching narrative with Conrad Veidt as central character.

In 1932, four years before the Jewish Oswald was forced to flee the country, he made another Unheimliche Geschichten, a comic compendium that used some of the same source stories, including Poe's The Black Cat and Stevenson's The Suicide Club, but added a new one and used a different overall story to tie it all together. The film was intended as a parody of the whole German expressionist horror school, and if it lacks somewhat in the laughter department, it is nonetheless a fascinating summation of German silent cinema in the early sound era.

Oswald alternated between comedy and sometimes horror-tinged melodrama,
See full article at MUBI »

It Began In Germany: the origins of horror

  • SoundOnSight
Horror has had a rough year in 2011, both in cinemas and on our DVD shelves. As late into the year as October (the month in which horror is god) the only effective genre films have been those that merged together horror with comedy (Attack the Block and Tucker & Dale versus Evil for instance). Everything else has been shown on the festival circuit, which means they won’t see the light of public consumption until 2012. Failing that the peak of horror has potentially been saved for the final months of the year. Now instead of picking fault with the poor films that have been released thus far this year, let us travel back to the origins of the genre and to Germany where three select films were made that proved to be intrinsic in the development of the genre. Those three films are Robert Weine’s The Cabinet of Dr Caligari,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Cinema’s 10 most underrated monsters

They’re sometimes furry, sometimes scary, and always angry. Here’s our list of cinema’s 10 most underrated monsters…

King Kong. Godzilla. The terrifying creature out of Alien. They’re all household names. They’re the superstars of the monster world, hogging the limelight while their less charismatic brethren languish in obscurity.

To redress the balance a little, we’ve compiled a list of a few cinematic monsters that deserve more attention. And given that movie monsters are always being shot, stabbed and set on fire by square jawed heroes, it’s fair to say that even the rubberiest, most shambling ones deserve a little bit of love, so if there are any you think we’ve forgotten, feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

Q: The Winged Serpent

Larry Cohen’s largely forgotten 1982 creature feature is a genuine trash classic, with some great stop-motion effects and memorable performances from Michael Moriarty,
See full article at Den of Geek »

The origins and evolution of the movie sequel

We delve deep into the mists of time to discover the origins of the sequel, and come up with an unusual prime suspect…

If you want to blame somebody in particular for the rise and lingering popularity of movie sequels, you may want to point an accusatory finger at Johannes Gutenberg. Several hundred years before the first moving image was projected onto a wall somewhere in the late Victorian era, it was with the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg and his contemporaries that the concept of the sequel almost certainly began.

The first book to go into mass publication was the Bible, which was hardly the kind of book you'd dare to attempt to follow up with a sequel (though Jerry Bruckheimer may have tried, had he been a 15th century publisher). It was the modern novel, an invention that properly came into being in the 1700s, that
See full article at Den of Geek »

Netflix Nuggets: Russians Filming G.I. Joe Dolls Fighting Hercules for the Serpent’s Egg

Netflix has revolutionized the home movie experience for fans of film with its instant streaming technology. Netflix Nuggets is my way of spreading the word about independent, classic and foreign films made available by Netflix for instant streaming.

This Week’s New Instant Releases…

Promised Lands (1974)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Documentary

Director: Susan Sontag

Synopsis: Set in Israel during the final days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, this powerful documentary — initially barred by Israel authorities — from writer-director Susan Sontag examines divergent perceptions of the enduring Arab-Israeli clash. Weighing in on matters related to socialism, anti-Semitism, nation sovereignty and American materialism are The Last Jew writer Yoram Kaniuk and military physicist Yuval Ne’eman.

Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2009)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Heino Ferch, Hannah Herzsprung, Gerald Alexander Held, Lena Stolze, Sunnyi Melles

Synopsis: Directed by longtime star of independent German cinema Margarethe von Trotta, this reverent
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Shocking Stuffers!

Shocking Stuffers!
Fellow monster fans, there’s a disturbing fact we must face around the same time each year: Few gift buyers immediately associate the post-Halloween holidays with horror movies! The everyday shopper can therefore be forgiven for not realizing that you’d be especially thrilled to receive one of your favorite chiller classics (past or present) in your stocking, or that mega-size gift set under the tree.

So, in the spirit of the holidays, I’m here to help you out and provide a service to relatives, longtime companions, and any other colleagues, best pals, or associates eager to please their beast fiends. If you don’t already own at least one of the following 10 fright-acular films, you may feel free to forward this post to all those concerned.

I’m going to endeavor to avoid some of most obvious of gift items. We all know that the Alien Quadrilogy has
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

DVD Review: The Magician (1926)

DVD Review: The Magician (1926)
Francis Ford Coppola wasn’t around to give writer W. Somerset Maugham his father’s famous advice about “stealing” from the best to create your own art, but mystic Aleister Crowley accused the British author of doing just that after he read Maugham’s 1908 novel, The Magician. Maybe it was just sour grapes—seeing as how Maugham’s fantasy-terror tale was said to be inspired in part by Crowley’s life—but in Maugham’s story of a mad medical student who dabbles in the occult secrets of creating life (not to mention unnecessary surgery), Crowley saw elements he felt were directly lifted variously from Rosenroth’s Kabbalah Unveiled, as well as a book about 16th-century physician/alchemist Paracelsus and H.G. Wells’ man-beast classic The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Sounds like that could be a great movie? Not only has the obscure 1926 silent thriller made from Maugham’s book, produced and directed by Rex Ingram,
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

Black Francis Scores The Golem. Watch It Now!

That Pixies front man Black Francis is a savvy film fan is not exactly news. Film references have popped up in his lyrics for years, most notably nods to Bunuel's Un Chien Andalou making up the spine of Debaser. But Francis is taking his appreciation for film to a whole new level.

The 2008 edition of the San Francisco International Film Festival commissioned Francis to create and perform a live score to Paul Wegener's 1920 silent film The Golem, which he did, though chances to see the film with the Francis score have been scarce since.

Not any more.

Earlier this year Francis released an ultra-limited edition (only 500 copies) version of the score which he has since edited down to a single disc version which will be available on his web store November 16th. Better yet, he's also releasing a version of the film on DVD including his complete score.
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Academy Award Nominee Topol to Star in The Golem Remake

Topol, 74, a Best Actor nominee for Norman Jewison’s 1971 blockbuster Fiddler on the Roof (above), is attached to star in a Yiddish-language version of The Golem, Screen Daily reports. The $5 million British/Czech/German co-production will be produced by Stuart Urban, who also penned the screenplay. Filming is scheduled to take place in Prague next year. In The Golem, Topol (born in Tel Aviv in 1935) will play a 16th-century Prague rabbi named Maharal, who brings to life a clay statue to protect the local ghetto from anti-semitic pogroms. Paul Wegener co-directed (with Carl Boese), co-wrote (with Henrik Galeen), and starred as the giant, Frankenstein-like Golem in a 1920 German version. Albert Steinrück played the rabbi in that film. Photo: United [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Westmore Monsters of Hollywood

By Scott Essman

In the history of the modern American cinema, there are but few legacies of makeup artists. While the legendary Burman and Dawn names each include three generations of makeup artists, there is but one lasting family that features four working generations: the Westmores of Hollywood. With ties to virtually every studio in the annals cinema, the Westmores have created classic makeups in top contemporary film and TV shows back to the earliest years of silent film.

George Westmore, the patriarch of the Westmore clan at the turn of the century, worked as a wigmaker in his native England — where he was born in 1879 — and gave birth to sons Mont (born in 1902), twins Perc and Ern (born in 1904), Wally (born in 1906), and a daughter, Dorothy (born in 1907). The young family traveled to the U.S. to seek better opportunities and maintained a wig-making and beauty salon business which floated amongst various cities,
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

See also

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