4 items from 2014
If you even wondered what it would look like if one of the greatest auteurs in film history directed an episode of “Tales From The Crypt," look no further than Federico Fellini’s absurdist short “Toby Dammit,” based on a relatively obscure Edgar Allen Poe story titled “Never Bet The Devil Your Head." The quickest way to describe “Toby Dammit” would be as “8½ in Hell." Firmly planted in Fellini’s late '60s narcissistically colorful, exuberant dream-reality period, “Toby Dammit” represented one-third of an anthology feature consisting of three Poe adaptations from three of the most revered filmmakers at the time: Fellini, Louis Malle, and Roger Vadim (perhaps “tolerated” instead of “revered” is a better description for Vadim). The feature is called “Spirits of the Dead,” and even though Fellini received a considerable amount of praise for his segment, the other two shorts failed to impress. Eventually, critics and audiences discarded. »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
Loosely inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's 1841 story "Never Bet the Devil Your Head," "Toby Dammit" was part of "Spirits of the Dead," a collage of films by Fellini, Louis Malle and Roger Vadim. Flasy and ostentatious as ever, this was Fellini's short film follow-up to "Juliet of the Spirits," and it has that film's lurid stylishness. Sexy Terence Stamp (not-so-sexy and actually quite dead-looking here) plays a boozy former Shakespearian actor in meltdown mode who sells his soul to the devil a la "Doctor Faustus." But here he's driving around the Rome cityscape in a Ferrari, having creepy visions of Satan in the form of a creepy blonde child. Nina Rota, of course, provides the groovy score. Thanks to Open Culture for the generous share. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Interview and photo by Michael Lizarraga.
When Lon Chaney Sr. drove by a tall, thin contract actor waiting for a bus one night in the pouring rain, the famous movie star did more than just offer this unassuming Englishman a ride home; he gave his passenger some acting tips that would forever change his life: “Find something that no one else is doing or willing to do, and do it better than anyone else; leave your mark.”
The unassuming passenger, of course, was Boris Karloff.
From its 1910 screen debut to the recent I, Frankenstein and upcoming Whale/Karloff remake, Mary Shelley’s “man playing God” tale has cinematically endured for over a century, largely due to the “quarterback” and “maestro” of all monsters, Boris Karloff. Twice inscribed on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, twice featured on the U.S. stamp, his voice heard every Christmas throughout millions of homes, Karloff »
- Holly Interlandi
Author and Cinema Retro columnist Raymond Benson has collaborated with bestselling author Jeffery Deaver on "Ice Cold: Tales of Mystery and Intrigue From the Cold War", a new book that presents a topic both men know well: espionage. In addition to stories by Benson and Deaver, there are contributions from many other talented writers who specialize in thrillers. The book is winning rave advance reviews (click here). Both Deaver and Benson have won acclaim for writing original James Bond novels.
Benson and Deaver, along with other noted authors, will be in New York City for a book launch event at the famed Mysterious Bookshop on April 29 at 6:00 Pm. The store is located at 58 Warren Street in Tribeca.
Cinema Retro Editor-in-Chief Lee Pfeiffer, who will be at the event, said, "We're very excited by Raymond's new project. He's been with Cinema Retro since our first issue ten years ago »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
4 items from 2014
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