In 1950, 28-year-old outlaw Salvatore Giuliano is found gunned down in a Sicilian courtyard. Little is as it seems. The film moves back and forth between the late 1940s, when Giuliano and ... See full summary »
The last film of Andrzej Munk, who died in a crash during the filming. A German woman on a ship coming back to Europe notices a face of another woman which brings recollections from the ... See full summary »
The photographer sends miss Ophelia a dozen photographs of her in different poses. Selecting the best one, she presents it to her favorite boarder, Billy, who does not think much of it and ... See full summary »
Teodora, a Roman courtesan and former slave girl, marries the Roman emperor Justinian and assumes the throne as Empress of Rome. But the divide between nobility and slave is too great. ... See full summary »
Gianna Maria Canale,
Based on Soseki Natsume's 1908 novel of the same title, Poppy is an ornately complicated story of desire and ambition. Fujio is beautiful, talented, well-heeled, and engaged to Munechika, a... See full summary »
This example of cinema vérité was shot in Saint Pauli, the red light district of Hamburg. Indeed, the local police district and the working girls of the area are credited.
The story, such as it is, concerns Friedrich Gnaß -- he has a sort of Paul Muni look to him -- who spots a trinket in a jewelry window, performs a bit of smash-and-grab, and flees into the Saint Pauli district, where no one thinks of anything but the moment -- if indeed, that much. The film-makers don't glorify their subjects, but neither do they look down on them. Indeed, there is no emotional center to the movie, yet it easily maintains interest, thanks to some beautiful compositions by cinematographer A.O. Weitzenberg and excellent editing by Carl Behr.
There are a few musical interludes, and a final number which can only be called a paean to hopelessness. The last is apparently to give some gravitas to the entire affair, but the effect tends to make the rest of the movie seem a bit ridiculous. Still, the rest of the movie has enough of interest to make this a superior work.
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