In the Napoleonic wars, an officer finds an old book that relates his grandfather's story, Alfons van Worden, captain in the Walloon guard. A man of honor and courage, he seeks the shortest... See full summary »
Set in pre- World War II era. A young man is on a strange train to see his dying father in a sanatorium. But the place is going to ruin and recalls a lot of memories from the past. He is ... See full summary »
In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period... See full summary »
A young artist draws a face at a canvas on his easel. Suddenly the mouth on the drawing comes into life and starts talking. The artist tries to wipe it away with his hand, but when he looks... See full summary »
Elizabeth Lee Miller,
Guy Maddin reluctantly returns to his childhood home, an abandoned Canadian island, where his parents ran an orphanage. As Guy fulfills his dying mother's request to paint the lighthouse ... See full summary »
An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter and the son of his chief enemy fall in love in this uniquely structured retelling of the 'The... See full summary »
In the Napoleonic wars, an officer finds an old book that relates his grandfather's story, Alfons van Worden, captain in the Walloon guard. A man of honor and courage, he seeks the shortest route through the Sierra Morena. At an inn, the Venta Quemada, he sups with two Islamic princesses. They call him their cousin and seduce him; he wakes beside corpses under a gallows. He meets a hermit priest and a goatherd; each tells his story; he wakes again by the gallows. He's rescued from the Inquisition, meets a cabalist and hears more stories within stories, usually of love. He returns to Venta Quemada, the women await with astonishing news. Written by
Luis Buñuel, who seldom viewed movies more than once, liked this film so much that he saw it three times. See more »
Don Pedro Velasquez:
We are like blind men lost in the streets of a big city. The streets lead to a goal, but we often return to the same places to get to where we want to be. I can see a few little streets here which, as it is now, are going nowhere. New combinations have to be arranged, then the whole will be clear, because one man cannot invent something that another cannot solve.
Alfonse Van Worden:
I no longer follow.
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Before I start gushing about this film, keep in mind that I rarely see European (let alone Polish) films, and I rarely see "vintage" films. The few "art houses" in Denver typically show films, like Crouching Tiger, which are intended for US audiences and distributed to regular first-run theaters in most major cities. Since I don't study the listings religiously, nor do I always have 10 bucks to blow on a film, I rarely encounter films that challenge the norms of either mainstream Hollywood or the recent Hollywood-controlled "indie" film industry. Needless to say, this film floored me. I was immediately amazed by the vividness of its black-and-white imagery. While b/w has become an overused technique to depict bleakness, this film reminded me just how little all the high-tech Hollywood production methods actually use the medium of film itself to its fully expressive potential. This film is visually stunning in its images' depth, textures, and light. The next thing that struck me was how outrageously funny the film is--funnier than I could have imagined a 40 year-old movie from a culture about which I know almost knowing. Three hours later, I didn't want the film to end. Its cycles of absurd story lines, surreal dialog, and engaging imagery were utterly new and engrossing to me. Despite my Luddite tendencies, I have vowed that when this film is released on DVD, I'll go out and get a player just to see this film over and over again. Perhaps then I'll have more critical comments--for now, just WOW.
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