Three sequences are linked together in this short film by Straub; the first sequence is a long tracking shot from a car of prostitutes plying their trade on the night-time streets of ... See full summary »
In the coal mining region of Pennsylvania, Wanda Goronski is constantly drinking to shut out the problems in her life. Having deserted her husband and infant children, Wanda sleeps on her ... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg directed, photographed, provides the voice-over narration and wrote the screenplay (from a based-on-actual event novel by Michiro Maruyana translated by Younghill Kang) ... See full summary »
The Ceddo try to preserve their traditional African culture against the onslaught of Islam, Christianity, and the slave trade. When King Demba War sides with the Muslims, the Ceddo kidnap ... See full summary »
Two segments. The first one arranges six stories from Cesare Pavese's "Dialoghi con Leucò", taken from classical mythology. The second segment is taken from Pavese's novel "La luna e i falò... See full summary »
At a boarding school in the pre-war Austro-Hungarian Empire, a pair of students torture one of their fellow classmates, Basini, who has been caught stealing money from one of the two. The ... See full summary »
MACHORKA-MUFF (Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet, 1963) **
I’ve somehow never been drawn towards pursuing the work of these art-house film-makers (even if a good many of them have turned up over the years on a specialized programme on late-night Italian TV); having now, at long last, stumbled upon one of them I can understand why! The premise of the 17-minute short, in itself, isn’t too bad – a number of former Nazi officials reconvene years later in order to bestow an honor upon a former colleague – but the treatment is so austere as to be alienating, resulting in a largely unappetizing film!
Intermittently, however, there’s an agreeable irreverence at work here: to begin with, all the Nazis have two surnames (and always starting with the same letter, such as the titular figure); a dream sequence in which the protagonist enters a museum and uncovers a statue atop a balcony of himself; the illusion that military men can do no wrong because at no point in the Bible does Christ judge them!; the recipient of the tribute – a Major who had suffered dishonor, and subsequently died in exile, because his company suffered losses in combat amounting to a mere 8,500 men – has his reputation restored in the wake of an investigation which has firmly established that the death toll was actually in excess of 14,500!!
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