Miss Mend (1926) - News Poster

(1926)

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The Forgotten: Gambling Hell

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The second in a short series celebrating the films of the Pathé-Natan company, 1926-1934. 

Fyodore Otsep (Russia), also credited as Fjodor Ozep (Germany), Fedor Ozep (Canada) and Fédor Ozep (France) is probably best known as co-writer of sci-fi epic Aelita (1924) and director of Soviet classic Miss Mend (1926). His work in Europe and America is harder to see, and the whole lot is rarely grouped together for consideration as a whole, the curse of itinerant filmmakers like Dassin, Siodmak, even Ophüls.

To decide whether this is merely a quirk of film history, or a full-on case of major artistic neglect, simply watch this clip:

Amok (1934) is the third of Ozep's Pathé-Natan films, and the most baroque. It's based on a story by Stefan Zweig (Letter from an Unknown Woman) later filmed in Mexico with less fidelity but plenty of gusto. It's a very weird orientalist fever dream.

Jean Yonnel,
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Movie Poster of the Week: The Posters of the Stenberg Brothers Part Two

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As promised, here are some more of my favorite posters by the amazing Stenberg brothers.

The enormous 81 inch square poster for Miss Mend (Boris Barnet & Fyodor Otsep, Ussr, 1926) promises the thrills and spills (as well as a fair share of capitalist indifference) of this epic, four hour long adventure serial, which is one of the few films promoted by the Stenbergs that has actually survived. Set partially in an imagined America, the film was based on a serialized detective novel written by Marietta Shaginian under the yankee nom-de-plume "Jim Dollar." The film, which follows three reporters and an American office girl attempting to stop a biological attack by a cabal of western business leaders determined to wipe the Soviet Union off the face of the earth, was one of the most popular Soviet films of the 1920s although it was condemned by the Soviet press of the time as lightweight "Western-style" entertainment.
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The films that time forgot

The new wave 40 years early. The soft side of Jean-Pierre Melville. Nicole Kidman makes the unmakeable. Somewhere out there is an alternative history of film – David Thomson unearths 10 lost works of genius

Erotikon (1920)

Forget 1920, this is an absolutely modern comedy about romance and sex, directed in Sweden by Mauritz Stiller. We should remember that when MGM brought Greta Garbo from Sweden in the mid-20s, she was almost baggage in the deal that hired Stiller, one of the sharpest and most sophisticated of silent directors, but a man who would be crushed by Hollywood. Stiller needs to be recovered (like his contemporary, Victor Sjöström), and Erotikon has an instinct for attraction and infidelity that simply couldn't be permitted in American films of the same period. It's also marvellous to see that, nearly 100 years ago, Swedish cinema was in love with its country's cool light and with actresses as warm but ambiguous as Tora Teje,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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