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Despite the pronounced pedigree of its origins, Ken Russell’s glorious 1971 film The Devils is still mysteriously unavailable in the United States. An infamously plagued reception continues to usurp deserved attention away from its subversive content, though a growing legion of champions within the critical arena which had once sacrilegiously abandoned it has resulted in its growing recuperation.
Based, very loosely on a 1952 novel by literary giant Aldous Huxley depicting the downfall of 17th century French priest Urbain Grandier, it relates an incidence of hysteria and mob mentality run amok in the totalitarian paradigm of the Catholic Church. Russell, his project backed by none other than Warner Bros. studio itself, crafted an off-putting extravaganza of a film (shall we say, making Huxley’s text more Grandier) depicting events decried as pure blasphemy.
Wit unabashedly blunt sexual »
- Nicholas Bell
G.W. Pabst's silent German classic is intact, restored and looking great. Louise Brooks is the virginal innocent betrayed on every level of the sexual double standard. Brooks is nothing less than amazing, with a performance that doesn't date, and Pabst only has to show how things are to make a statement about societal hypocrisy. German cinema doesn't get better. Diary of a Lost Girl Blu-ray Kino Lorber Classics 1929 / B&W / 1:33 flat / 112 min. / Tagebuch einer Verlorenen / Street Date October 20, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Louise Brooks, Fritz Rasp, Valeska Gert, Franziska Kinz, Edith Meinhard, Andrews Engelmann, Kurt Gerron, Siegfried Arno, Sybille Schmitz, André Roanne. Cinematography Sepp Allgeier, Fritz Arno Wagner Art Directors Erno Metzner and Emil Hasler Original Music Javier Perez de Azpeitia (Piano) Written by Rudolf Leonhardt from the novel by Margarethe Böhme Produced by Directed by G.W. Pabst
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
The universally revered Louise Brooks »
- Glenn Erickson
Take a trip into political art history: the state-run East German film company Defa uses the experiences of Communist artists to promote the party line and educate young people on the sacrifices of the past. Some of the personal stories are incredible, and the art covered is indeed very impressive -- writers, illustrators, a cartoonist, a film director, an actor, a journalist. It's interesting to see what the films choose to emphasize and what they choose to ignore.
Arts in Exile: Nine East German Shorts on Artists Forced to Flee the Nazis DVD Defa Stiftung / Progress Film GmbH, Defa Film Library UMass Amherst / Icestorm / Goethe Institut 2015 / B&W & Color 1:33 flat full frame / 204 min. Kunst im Exil Street Date September, 2015 available through Defa Film Library / 39.95
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
I've been privileged to review many Defa Film Library disc releases of productions from East Germany, the German Democratic Republic. Until »
- Glenn Erickson
There's one ironclad rule for mad scientist movies: if you show a monstrous caged ape-creature in the first act, that ape-creature must absolutely break loose and wreak havoc before the end of Act III. Just ask George Zucco or John Carradine, they'll tell you. It makes no difference if the film is being made on Gower Gulch, or at Germany's prestigious UfA Studios. Alraune Region 2 Pal (Germany) DVD Arthaus 1952 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 87 min. / Unnatural, Mandragore, Vengeance / Street Date July 6, 2007 / Available at Amazon.de / Eur 16,90 Starring Hildegard Knef, Erich von Stroheim, Karlheinz Böhm, Harry Meyen, Rolf Henniger, Harry Halm, Hans Cossy, Gardy Brombacher, Trude Hesterberg, Julia Koschka, Denise Vernac. Cinematography Friedl Behn-Grund Film Editor Doris Zeitman Costume Designer Herbert Pioberger Original Music Werner R. Heymann Written by Kurt Heuser from the novel by Hanns Heinz Ewers Produced by Günther Stapenhorst Directed by Arthur Maria Rabenault
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson »
- Glenn Erickson
Ah, Coast City. The DC universe’s answer to Los Angeles and/or any seaside metropolis in the Sunshine State! Oh, and home of Hal Jordan. Perhaps less well known to the general populace than Metropolis or Gotham (or Starling City at this point), Coast City has none the less played a central role in the lore throughout the years. Now it looks like Coast City will be joining the Dctv universe in the flesh…or whatever the city equivalent of the phrase “in the flesh” is. “Arrow” and “Legends of Tomorrow” writer Marc Guggenheim recently tweeted a link to a piece of production art from the upcoming 4th season of “Arrow.” Sure, Coast City has been mentioned in passing on the show before, but this is the first indication that audiences might visit the scenic metropolis. Image Credit: DC Entertainment/The CW Of course, you can’t have Coast City without Green Lantern. »
- Donna Dickens
“I want you to remember, Clark…in all the years to come…in your most private moments…I want you to remember…my hand…at your throat…I want…you to remember…the one man who beat you.”
That’s the quote from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns comic book series that was used to introduce the concept of Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice back in the summer of 2013. Specifically, the quote comes towards the end of the series, where a big bust-up between DC’s finest heroes comes to a head.
Snyder has cited the comic »
Robots have been a staple on the big screen for many decades, showing up as far back as Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic Metropolis and as recently as Alex Garland’s 2015 film Ex Machina. With numerous depictions of robots have come numerous ideas of what they look like, what they’re capable of, whether they’re good or evil, and other such concerns.
Now vimeo user Mennomail has made a mashup of the various robotic representations on the big screen over the years. The video is set to both Fractals by Monea Music and Ich Will by Rammstein, and highlights both the similarities and differences in how robots have been depicted by various filmmakers. Mennomail also released a list of films from which scenes appear, which is as follows:
Films used (in alphabetical order)
1. Automata (2014)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
3. Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
4. Alien (1979)
5. Aliens (1986)
6. Bicentennial Man (1999)
7. Big Hero 6 (2014)
8. Blade Runner »
- Deepayan Sengupta
From the very earliest days of cinema, practical effects have been the big draw for audiences. The very first films may have wowed the crowds with images of trains pulling into a station, but it was the fantastical made real that fired the imaginations of millions, and led to film as we know it - narrative flights of fancy which have entertained and made us gasp for well over 100 years. But the last 25 years have seen practical effects fall by the wayside.
Digital effects created in a computer took over, and allowed filmmakers to dream even bigger. But practical effects are beginning to make a comeback. Some of this is due to audiences feeling the CG burnout; no longer quite believing what they’re seeing, resulting in »
Raymond Massey ca. 1940. Raymond Massey movies: From Lincoln to Boris Karloff Though hardly remembered today, the Toronto-born Raymond Massey was a top supporting player – and sometime lead – in both British and American movies from the early '30s all the way to the early '60s. During that period, Massey was featured in nearly 50 films. Turner Classic Movies generally selects the same old MGM / Rko / Warner Bros. stars for its annual “Summer Under the Stars” series. For that reason, it's great to see someone like Raymond Massey – who was with Warners in the '40s – be the focus of a whole day: Sat., Aug. 8, '15. (See TCM's Raymond Massey movie schedule further below.) Admittedly, despite his prestige – his stage credits included the title role in the short-lived 1931 Broadway production of Hamlet – the quality of Massey's performances varied wildly. Sometimes he could be quite effective; most of the time, however, he was an unabashed scenery chewer, »
- Andre Soares
See Full Gallery Here
Packing over three minutes of dark, superhero action and an immeasurable amount of content to pour over, it’s fair to say that the collective DC fanbase is still reeling from Comic-Con’s appropriately monumental trailer for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
As a film trailer, it was excellent; but what sold many a moviegoer was the jet-black tone of Zack Snyder’s rendition, as the filmmaker sets out to bring three of the most iconic characters in comic book history to the silver screen like never before. And today, we’ve got a hoard of images from the new trailer that offers up a play-by-play breakdown of the footage in question – from Gal Gadot in action as the Amazonian Queen to Jesse Eisenberg as the leering Lex Luthor – and there’s quite a bit to digest.
Hot on the heels of these stills was »
- Michael Briers
In 1974, William Friedkin was one of the hottest directors in Hollywood, having just come off of the two-punch successes of “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist.” So, naturally, he decided to use his newfound clout in the industry to conduct an extended interview with his idol, Fritz Lang, director of “M” and “Metropolis," and the only man on planet Earth who successfully rocked an eye patch And sunglasses. The resulting 90-minute interview was as compact of a film school any student of cinema could have asked for. Read More: Watch: William Friedkin Spends 15 Minutes Talking About His Favorite Films Of All Time Forty years later, during the 2014 Cph Pix festival, Friedkin saw his career come full circle as he became the interview subject for another young director who idolizes him. There’s more than a whiff of “The French Connection” and “To Live and Die in La” in “Drive,” so »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
You had only to look at the collected films of Brad Bird to know that Tomorrowland would be in large part a reverie for yesterday. The Iron Giant (1999) was such a friendly evocation of Cold War sci-fi that it belongs, in paperback form, tucked away in the back of a school library. The Incredibles (2004) was a tribute to 60s comics, 60s modernism, and the jazzy vibe of Thunderball-era Bond movies. Ratatouille (2007), with its story of talking rats in a timeless Paris, was a very classical kind of animation. More than anything else Pixar has put out—though Finding Nemo (2003) might come close—its style operates in the vernacular of what Disney animation used to mean in the 50s. Even Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011), whose place in Bird's filmography is largely to show if he could handle live action (he can!), is the biggest throwback of that franchise. Its plot centered »
- Duncan Gray
Here’s your first look at Mrs Deadpool & the Howling Commandos #1 – a new Secret Wars series. From blockbuster Deadpool writer Gerry Duggan and artist Salvador Espin comes an explosive new adventure as Deadpool’s betrothed and a monstrous legion venture across Battleworld and beyond!
Monster Metropolis – an underground city buried deep below Manhattan. Brimming with monsters, creeps and spooks – the city is home to any and all things that go bump in the night. It’s ruler – Shiklah, undisputed Queen of the Monsters! In her world, she ruled over all monsters with her husband Deadpool, the Merc With a Mouth. But on Battleworld, nothing is as it once was. With her husband now deceased and her city now residing beneath an entirely new planet, Shiklah now leads a super team unlike any you’ve ever seen before!
Enter the Howling Commandos – the most monstrous team of them all! Werewolf-by-Night! Frankenstein’s Monster! »
- Phil Wheat
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the robot Maria in Fritz Lang's Metropolis, the female replicants in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, the bodiless AI/Os in Spike Jonze's Her and the sisterhood of the traveling clones in Orphan Black are all up for discussion as the New Yorker and the Los Angeles Review of Books address Alex Garland's Ex Machina. Also in today's roundup: Mark Lukenbill on Olivier Assayas, a Palme d’honneur for Agnès Varda, an interview with Juliette Binoche, revisiting Ruggles of Red Gap, The Sopranos creator David Chase on Twin Peaks, Wes Anderson's bar in Milan, Al Pacino in Los Angeles—and more. » - David Hudson »
See, now this is when you need a good lawyer.
For the first half of the third season in the CW series Arrow, the good guys were doing what they were supposed to do; catching bad guys in Starling City http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Starling_City and turning them over to the police for trial As this column’s about Arrow, the good guys in question are Oliver Queen, John Diggle, Felicity Smoak, and Roy Harper. Or, if you prefer, Arrow, yada, yada, and Arsenal.
(By the way, what kind of name is Starling City? God knows what bullies like Metropolis or Gotham City are doing to it, because with a wimpy name like Starling even Smallville’s giving it a wedgie.)
Now, you might think what I was talking about, when I said someone needed a good lawyer were those aforementioned bad guys. After all captured bad guys »
- Bob Ingersoll
Tis I, Jason from Mnpp, here, with another week's new edition of our "Beauty vs Beast" series. So over the next several days The Film Experience is going to be diving into the cinematic realm of Artificial Intelligence (known as "A.I." to people in a hurry and Haley Joel Osment fans), and to get the ball rolling I figured we'd make ourselves like science-fiction and hop in the way-back machine to the year 1927, when a little chap who went by the name Friedrich Christian Anton Lang, known to his friends as Fritz, made a little movie called Metropolis. In case you don't know the story, it goes like this: Boy meets Girl, Girl Gets Clones Into Evil Robot, Dystopian Nightmare Explodes, and a Kiss, The End. Somewhere in there dancing happens, and it is crazy awesome.
But thanks to a ferocious performance from actress Brigitte Helm you really couldn't get »
TV shows either have to evolve or die when they outlive their original premise, argues Caroline. Change is vital to survival...
Television shows, network Us television shows especially, tend to start off with an obvious hook. The ability to describe a premise in a single word or sentence is a valuable part of getting something on the air in the first place, and so it’s no wonder we get a slew of pilots every year with silly one-word descriptors and obvious, over-the-top characterisations.
But what happens when a show outlives that part, and evolves into something that doesn’t even really resemble that original premise at all?
It happens more often than we may immediately realise, and it comes down to a number of factors. There are network notes soon after a show has premiered, but there's also audience reaction, sometimes so strong that it demands change for series »
Every decade has their cinematic science fiction obsessions which speak to its concerns of the age; in the 1950s films such as Earth vs. The Flying Saucers and Them! capitalised on fears of alien invasion and nuclear proliferation. In the 1960s films like Barbarella and Ikarie Xb-1 captured the hopes and dangers of space exploration while in the 1970s Silent Running and A Boy and His Dog showed a growing concern for the environment and a mistrust of governments resulting in dystopian futures. Then in the 1980s it was the exploration of inner space with the boundaries of the human mind and body being crossed and redrawn with films like Altered States and the cinema of David Cronenberg. The 1990s ushered in an obsession with apocalyptic imagery and alternate realities with Dark City and The Thirteenth Floor amongst many others.
Through these decades of cinematic science fiction, the concept of »
- Liam Dunn
“For our policemen, we created a race of robots,” the Alien Klaatu tells a crowd of fear-stricken earthlings in The Day the Earth Stood Still. Robots like “Gort,” we are told, were made to patrol the galaxy to preserve civility. “Your choice is simple,” Klaatu tells us. “Join us, and live in peace…or pursue your present course, and face obliteration.”
Perhaps some readers would be quick to dismiss this as ham-fisted Cold War genre pulp. The reality, though, is that paranoia surrounding the misuse of technology is at all an time high, and popular fiction reflects this today as much as it did in 1951. Robots have been around for a while now. Movies like Ex Machina confirm that they’re just as creepy as ever. Movies like Chappie also help confirm that the robots still provide a useful foil for exposing what makes people creepy.
It’s interesting to »
- Brandon Engel
Article by Beth Kelly
Science fiction, by its very nature, seeks to innovate in storytelling. Restricted only by the boundaries of their imaginations and the limits inherent to their craft, filmmakers of this genre use complex cinematic effects and fantastical plotlines to create worlds outside time. These films are notable for their craftsmanship as well as their embedded social and political messages, which later serve as reflections of the time periods during which they were produced. For enthusiasts of film, culture, and recent American history, classic science fiction movies provide a window into the past while predicting the course of society’s future
1. Metropolis (1927)
At date of its release this was the most expensive silent film ever made. Unfortunately, in the time since its initial debut in Weimar Germany, nearly a quarter of the original film has been lost. Legendary German director Fritz Lang, a notorious control freak, used inventive »
- Movie Geeks
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