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
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
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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.
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,
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,
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,
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
This Week’s New Instant Releases…
Promised Lands (1974)
Streaming Available: 04/19/2011
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
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
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,
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.
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,
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