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Blu-ray Review – Le Plaisir (1952)

Le Plaisir, 1952.

Directed by Max Ophüls.

Starring Jean Gabin, Claude Dauphin, Danielle Darrieux, Simone Simon, and Pierre Brasseur.

Synopsis:

An anthology film consisting of three separate stories examining a single theme: pleasure.

In this elegantly crafted piece, Max Ophüls draws inspiration from France’s best known short story writer Guy de Maupassant to concoct a wistfully philosophical examination of the human experience of pleasure.

The three part film begins with Le Masque, a look at an ageing dandy’s attempts to stay young and desirable through dance and socialising. Ophüls captures a dream-like fantastic world of nightlife here, with the camera responding back and forth to the most expressive and extravagant dance moves. The dance of the man, who goes each night to the club wearing a mask to hide his aged visage, is modern in style and could easily fit in to a venue of today. Behind the blurred
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The Love of a Woman

Welcome to the world of Jean Grémillon, where adult characters work through adult problems without benefit of melodramatic excess. The impressively directed experiences of Micheline Presle’s lady doctor on a storm-swept island opts for a progressive point of view, not sentimentality.

The Love of a Woman

Blu-ray + DVD

Arrow Video USA

1953 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 104 min. / Street Date August 22, 2017 / L’amour d’une femme / Available from Arrow Video 39.95

Starring: Micheline Presle, Massimo Girotti, Gaby Morlay, Paolo Stoppa, Marc Cassot, Marius David, Yvette Etiévant, Roland Lesaffre, Robert Naly, Madeleine Geoffroy.

Cinematography: Louis Page

Film Editor: Louisette Hautecoeur, Marguerite Renoir

Production Design: Robert Clavel

Original Music: Elsa Barraine, Henrie Dutilleux

Written by René Fallet, Jean Grémillon, René Wheeler

Produced by Mario Gabrielli, Pierre Géin

Directed by Jean Grémillon

Film critics that pride themselves on rediscovering older directors haven’t done very well by France’s Jean Grémillon, at least not in this country.
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The Love Of A Woman (1953) Available on Blu-ray from Arrow Academy August 22nd

The Love Of A Woman (1953 – L’amour d’une femme) 2-Disc Special Edition DVD + Blu-ray will be available August 22nd from Arrow Academy. Pre-order Here</strong

The Love Of A Woman (L’amour d’une femme) was the final feature of the great French filmmaker Jean Grémillon, concluding a string of classics that included such greats as Remorques, Lumière d’été and Pattes blanches.

Marie, a young doctor, arrives on the island of Ushant to replace its retiring physician. She experiences prejudice from the mostly male population, but also love in the form of engineer André.

Starring Micheline Presle, whose impressive career has encompassed French, Italian and Hollywood cinema, and Massimo Girotti, best-known for his performance in Luchino Visconti’s Ossessione, The Love of a Woman is a sad, beautiful, romantic masterpiece.

Special Edition Contents

• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition presentations of the feature, from materials supplied by
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Spotlight on a Murderer

The uncanny Georges Franju strikes again, in an Agatha Christie-like thriller imbued with his special mood, the eerie music of Maurice Jarre and some great actors including Jean-Marie Trintignant, Pierre Brasseur, Dany Saval, Marianne Koch and Pascale Audret. If mood is the key, then Franju has found an ideal setting, a beautifully preserved castle in Brittany.

Spotlight on a Murderer

Blu-ray + DVD

Arrow Academy USA

1961 / Color / 1:37 full frame (1:66 widescreen?) / 92 min. / Street Date May 30, 2017 / Available from Arrow Video.

Starring: Pierre Brasseur, Pascale Audret, Marianne Koch, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Dany Saval, Jean Babilée,

Georges Rollin, Gérard Buhr, Maryse Martin, Serge Marquand, Philippe Leroy.

Cinematography: Marcel Fredetal

Film Editor: Gilbert Natot

Original Music: Maurice Jarre

Written by Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac, Georges Franju, Robert Thomas

Produced by Jules Borkon

Directed by Georges Franju

Until a few years ago most U.S. fans knew of Georges Franju solely through the great
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Georges Franju’s Spotlight On A Murderer on Blu-ray May 30th from Arrow Academy

Georges Franju’ Spotlight On A Murderer (Pleins feux sur l’assassin – 1961) will be available on Blu-ray May 30th from Arrow Academy.

When the terminally ill Count Herve de Kerloquen (Pierre Brasseur, Goto, Isle of Love) vanishes without trace, his heirs are told that they have to wait five years before he can be declared legally dead, forcing them to devise ways of paying for the upkeep of the vast family chateau in the meantime. While they set about transforming the place into an elaborate son et lumiere tourist attraction, they are beset by a series of tragic accidents if that s really what they are…

The little-known third feature by the great French maverick Georges Franju (Eyes Without a Face, Judex) is a delightfully playful romp through Agatha Christie territory, whose script (written by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac of Les Diaboliques and Vertigo fame) is mischievously aware of the
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Eyes Without a Face (Bfi Import)

Sometimes a movie is simply too good for just one special edition… Savant reached out to nab a British Region B import of Georges Franju’s horror masterpiece, to sample its enticing extras. And this also gives me the chance to ramble on with more thoughts about this 1959 show that inspired a score of copycats.

Eyes Without a Face (Bfi — U.K.)

Region B Blu-ray + Pal DVD

Bfi

1959 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 90 min. / The Horror Chamber of

Dr. Faustus, House of Dr. Rasanoff, Occhi senza volto / Street Date August 24, 2015 / presently £10.99

Starring: Pierre Brasseur, Edith Scob, Alida Valli, Francois Guérin,

Béatrice Altariba, Juliette Mayniel

Cinematography: Eugen Schüfftan

Production Designer: Auguste Capelier

Special Effects: Charles-Henri Assola

Film Editor: Gilbert Natot

Original Music: Maurice Jarre

Written by Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac, Pierre Gascar, Claude Sautet from a novel by Jean Redon

Produced by Jules Borkon

Directed by Georges Franju

Savant has reviewed Eyes Without a Face twice,
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Classic French Film Festival Continues This Weekend – Day For Night, Eyes Without A Face, and Paris Belongs To Us

The Ninth Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival — co-presented by Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series started last Friday and continues the next two weekends — The Classic French Film Festival celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1920s through the mid-1990s, offering a revealing overview of French cinema.

All films are screened at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood).

The fest is annually highlighted by significant restorations, which this year includes films by two New Wave masters: Jacques Rivette’s first feature, “Paris Belongs to Us,” and François Truffaut’s cinephilic love letter, “Day for Night.” The fest also provides one of the few opportunities available in St. Louis to see films projected the old-school, time-honored way, with both Alain Resnais’ “Last Year at Marienbad” and Robert Bresson’s “Au hasard Balthazar” screening from 35mm prints.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Cinema St. Louis’ Classic French Film Festival March 10th -26th at Webster University

The Ninth Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival — co-presented by Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series — celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1920s through the mid-1990s, offering a revealing overview of French cinema.

The fest is annually highlighted by significant restorations, which this year includes films by two New Wave masters: Jacques Rivette’s first feature, “Paris Belongs to Us,” and François Truffaut’s cinephilic love letter, “Day for Night.” The fest also provides one of the few opportunities available in St. Louis to see films projected the old-school, time-honored way, with both Alain Resnais’ “Last Year at Marienbad” and Robert Bresson’s “Au hasard Balthazar” screening from 35mm prints. Even more traditional, we also offer a silent film with live music, and audiences are sure to delight in the Poor People of Paris
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Episode 177 – Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face

This time on the podcast, Ryan is joined by West Anthony to discuss George Franju’s Eyes Without a Face.

At his secluded chateau in the French countryside, a brilliant, obsessive doctor (Pierre Brasseur) attempts a radical plastic surgery to restore the beauty of his daughter’s disfigured countenance—at a horrifying price.

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Trailer

Episode Links Eyes Without a Face (1960) – The Criterion Collection Eyes Without a Face on iTunes Watch Eyes Without a Face Online at Hulu Eyes Without a Face: The Unreal Reality – From the Current – The Criterion Collection Appearances to the Contrary: Eyes Without a Face – From the Current – The Criterion Collection The Woman Behind the Mask – From the Current – The Criterion Collection Eyes Without a Face – Wikipedia Eyes Without a Face (1960) – IMDb Eyes Without a Face (1962) – Rotten Tomatoes Eyes Without a Face Movie Review
See full article at CriterionCast »

Gold (1934)

The Nazis can't even keep the National Socialist propaganda out of a simple science fiction fable. Hans Albers is the Aryan King Midas as a scientist, and gorgeous Brigitte Helm the Englishwoman who thinks he's peachy keen. The climax is pure Sci-Fi heaven, an unstable 'Atomic Fracturing' installation, wa-ay deep down in a mineshaft under the ocean. Gold (1934) Blu-ray Kino Classics 1934 / B&W / 1:33 flat Full Frame / 117 min. / Street Date June 14, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Hans Albers, Friedrich Kayßler, Brigitte Helm, Michael Bohnen, Ernst Karchow, Lien Deyers, Eberhard Leithoff, Rudolf Platte. Cinematography Otto Baecker, Werner Bohne, Günther Rittau Art Direction Otto Hunte Film Editor Wolfgang Becker Original Music Hans-Otto Borgmann Written by Rolf E. Vanloo Produced by Alfred Zeisler Directed by Karl Hartl

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

The Hardy Encyclopedia of Science Fiction still teases Sci-fi fans that want to see everything listed in its pages. Thankfully, videodisc companies catering to collectors make possible the sale of titles that might never show up on some (authorized) streaming service. Video disc has brought us the original Der Schweigende Stern and Alraune from Germany, and I hope to someday see good copies of Kurt Siodmak and Karl Hartl's F.P. 1 Does Not Answer and the Harry Piel Sci-fi trilogy An Invisible Man Roams the City, The World Unmasked (an X-ray television camera) and Master of the World (a robot with a death ray). I've read about Karl Hartl's 1934 Gold for at least fifty years, since John Baxter's Science Fiction in the Cinema told us (not quite correctly) that its final reel had been borrowed for the conclusion of Ivan Tors' 1953 Sci-fi picture The Magnetic Monster. As it turns out, Kino is releasing both movies in the same week. Sometimes referred to as the Nazi Metropolis, Hartl's Gold is a follow-up to the director's very successful F.P.1. Does Not Answer, a spy thriller about a fantastic airport in the mid-Atlantic called Floating Platform One. Both pictures were filmed in simultaneous foreign versions to maximize the box office take. The German original of F.P. 1 starred matinee idol Hans Albers (The Blue Angel) Sybille Schmitz (Vampyr) and Peter Lorre, while a concurrent French version used Charles Boyer, Danièle Parola and Pierre Brasseur. A third English version starred Conrad Veidt, Jill Esmond and Donald Calthrop. The French version starred Brigitte Helm in the same role, but star Hans Albers reportedly rebelled at making two movies for the price of one. According to reports, the exceedingly expensive Gold was in production for fifteen months. We can see the cost immediately in the enormous main set for the 'atomic fracturing' machine built to transmute lead into gold. Otto Hunte and Günther Rittau designed and filmed special effects for Metropolis and the impressive set is very much in the same style. Off the top of my head I can't think of any technical apparatus quite so elaborate (and solid-looking) built for a film until the 1960s and Ken Adam's outlandish settings for UA's James Bond films. Writer Rolf E. Vanloo had worked on the silent classic Asphalt and is the sole writer credited on the popular Marlene Dietrich vehicle I Kiss Your Hand, Madame. His screenplay for Gold is tight and credible, even if its theme is even more simplistic than -- and somewhat similar to -- that of Thea von Harbou for Metropolis. Scientist Werner Holk (Hans Albers) aids the visionary Professor Achenbach (Friedrich Kayßler) in testing what looks like an electric atom smasher. The experiment: to turn lead into gold. The 'Atomic Fracturer' explodes, killing the old genius, whose work is discredited. Holk barely survives, thanks to a blood transfusion from his faithful girlfriend Margit Moller (Lien Deyers). When agents for the fabulously wealthy Englishman John Wills (Michael Bohnen) contact Holk, he realizes that the experiment was sabotaged. Werner allows himself to be taken to a fabulous yacht and from there to a Scottish castle, where, hundreds of feet under the ocean, Wills has constructed his own, far larger atom smasher with plans stolen from Achenbach. Split between his need for revenge and a desire to prove the dead Achenbach's theories, Holk goes through with the experiment. Wills' daughter Florence (Brigitte Helm), a gorgeous playgirl, is attracted to the German visitor, Holk finds that the workers' foreman, Schwarz (Rudolf Platte) is of a like mind on economic issues. But Wills' engineer Harris (Eberhard Leithoff) is jealous of Holk's talent, and cannot be trusted. Gold begins by repeating the 'big money hostile takeover of science' theme from Fritz Lang's Frau im mond: a pioneering German scientific exploit is siezed by an unscrupulous international business entity. The unspoken message is that the weakened Germany is being cheated in the world economy because it lacks the resources to exploit its superior technology. The avaricious John Wills makes big financial decisions all day long. There's no gray area in this conflict, as Wells murders, steals and spies on people to get what he wants. We've seen his ruthless agents wreck Achenbach's original, modest experiment. This 'England plays dirty' theme mirrors Germany's bitterness toward England for at least the better part of a century of colonial, naval and financial competition. Versailles and WW1 aren't mentioned, but that had to be on the minds of the audience as well: Germany innovates and works hard, but is consistently handed a raw deal. The scenes with the sleek, fascinating Brigitte Helm would be better if they went somewhere; her Florence does what she can to entice Herr Holk but withdraws when he declares his love for his faithful girl back home, the one whose life blood now flows in his veins. 'Das Blut' cannot be dishonored, even if Holk is half convinced that Wills is going to have him murdered after the giant machine starts turning out Gold by the ton. Act Two instead becomes a conflict between Big Capitalism and the lowly-but-virtuous Working Man. Down in the underground warren of tunnels (another Metropolis parallel) Wills' Scottish workforce of sandhogs and technicians side with Holk against their boss. After a preliminary test yields a tiny bit of gold, we get the expected montages of worldwide economic panic, standard material in socially oriented sci-fi as diverse as La fin du monde and Red Planet Mars. Wells plans to grow rich by flooding the world with his artificially produced gold, a strategy that will have to be explained to me. Gold is the world's standard of value precisely because it's rare; it can't be printed up like money. Thirty years later, the surprisingly sophisticated scheme of Auric Goldfinger is to increase the value of his stash of gold bullion by rendering America's gold reserves radioactive, and therefore worthless. If scarcity raises the value of the element, making more should do the opposite. (On the other hand, what about artificial diamonds? Is there any correspondence there?) [I'm acutely aware that discussing the subject matter of movies mainly points up how much I don't know, about anything but movies.] The Incredible Holk convinces the mob of workers that he represents their interests better than the greedy John Wills. The idea that rich English capitalists need to be rejected in favor of honest German morality is the only real message here. It's as simple as the 'heart mediating between the hands and the brain' slogan of Metropolis, but with a slightly arrogant nationalism added. The lavishly produced Gold was filmed on a series of truly impressive sets, including Wills' enormous Scottish mansion. But the giant setting for the climax, deep in a mine under the ocean floor, is the stuff of core Sci-fi. Millions of volts of electricity are harnessed to transmute lead into Gold. That's got to be a heck of an electricity bill; factor in the other enormous overhead costs and we wonder if Wills will ever turn a profit. The special effects for this sequence are sensational. The enormous apparatus is suspended on huge oversized porcelain insulators. The giant glass tubes atop the specimen stage are apparently visualized with mattes and foreground miniatures. But the camera pans and trucks all over the hangar-sized set; it all looks real, with bolts of electricity flashing like crazy. It's a dynamic special effect highlight of the 1930s. The actors sell the conflict well. Beefy Hans Albers sometimes looks like George C. Scott. He exudes personal integrity and a calm force of will. Lien Dyers is as wholesome here as she was wantonly sexualized six years earlier in Fritz Lang's Spies. Michael Bohnen is more than convincing as a powerful man trying to corner all business on an international scale. Although mostly in for decoration, Brigitte Helm is a sophisticated dazzler. Those penciled eyebrows remind us that she had become the Marlene Dietrich that didn't go to Hollywood. Although she did have offers, Helm wanted to stay in Germany. The Nazification of the film industry and the appalling political climate motivated her to leave for Switzerland in 1935, abandoning her career. Although the gist of Gold fits in with Josef Goebbels' National Socialist propaganda aims, the movie doesn't attack England directly. Ufa may have held hopes of foreign distribution. The one man in Scotland that Holk knows he can trust is the captain of Wills' yacht, a fellow German. Nine years later, Josef Goebbels' anti-British version of Titanic would make a German the single ethical person in authority on the doomed ocean liner. The fellow is constantly badmouthing the craven captain and the venal English ship owner. When Hans Albers finishes this movie with a ten-cent moral about love being the only real treasure, the show seems plenty dumb. But that amazing special effect set piece is too good to dismiss so easily. Gold is a classic of giddy '30s science fiction. The Kino Classics Blu-ray of Gold (1934) is a good encoding of the Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung's best copy of this once-rare item. The print we see is intact and with has good audio, but the contrast is rough. It shifts and flutters a bit, especially in some scenes in the middle. I did notice that the final special effects sequences looked better than much of the rest of this surviving print. But the parts of the movie repurposed for The Magnetic Monster look better on that 1953 science fiction film than they do here. In his book Film in the Third Reich David Stewart Hull explains that when the occupation forces reviewed the recovered German films, they ordered this one destroyed. They were concerned that the Alchemy / Atomic Fracturing machine might have some connection to Germany's wartime nuclear program. So how could Ivan Tors have bought the footage from Ufa, if the U.S. Army had seized it? I have a feeling - just idle speculation -- that it might have been obtained in a special deal made through government connections. Since the image looks much better on The Magnetic Monster, Ivan Tors might even have cut up Gold's only existing printing element to make his movie. After finally seeing Gold, one more thing impresses me besides the grandiose special effects. It's sort of a 'brain-drain' movie. In the '30s, Germany had a reputation for the best precision engineering in the world. Werner Holk is semi-kidnapped to serve John Wills' greedy science project, which was pirated from Germany in the first place. Also in awe of German scientific prowess is Brigitte Helm's Florence. The playgirl finds Werner Wolk's brilliance and clarity of mission irresistible. He's both smarter and more ethical than her father. Holk just stands there looking like he's posing for a statue, and Florence is carried away. Ms. Helm is terrific, but it would be nice if her character had a more central role to play in the story. On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor, Gold (1934) Blu-ray rates: Movie: Very Good Video: Fair + This may be a rare surviving print. Sound: Good - Minus Supplements: none Deaf and Hearing Impaired Friendly? Yes; Subtitles: English Packaging: Keep case Reviewed: June 10, 2016 (5137)

Visit DVD Savant's Main Column Page Glenn Erickson answers most reader mail: dvdsavant@mindspring.com

Text © Copyright 2016 Glenn Erickson
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Remembering Actress and Pioneering Woman Producer Delorme: Unique Actress/Woman Director Collaboration

Danièle Delorme: 'Gigi' 1949 actress and pioneering female film producer. Danièle Delorme: 'Gigi' 1949 actress was pioneering woman producer, politically minded 'femme engagée' Danièle Delorme, who died on Oct. 17, '15, at the age of 89 in Paris, is best remembered as the first actress to incarnate Colette's teenage courtesan-to-be Gigi and for playing Jean Rochefort's about-to-be-cuckolded wife in the international box office hit Pardon Mon Affaire. Yet few are aware that Delorme was featured in nearly 60 films – three of which, including Gigi, directed by France's sole major woman filmmaker of the '40s and '50s – in addition to more than 20 stage plays and a dozen television productions in a show business career spanning seven decades. Even fewer realize that Delorme was also a pioneering woman film producer, working in that capacity for more than half a century. Or that she was what in French is called a femme engagée
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For Halloween: Eyes Without A Face

Halloween doesn’t have to be over once the last trick-or-treater has crept back into the shadows of the night. You may still be possessed by the spirit of the holiday and in desperate need of some real scares. In an effort to address that need and help you find a choice that goes beyond the usual iconography of the season, I’ve picked three titles that may not immediately jump to mind when it comes to autumn-tinged chills and terror. They are not self-consciously seasonal choices, like John Carpenter’s Halloween or Michael Dougherty’s 2007 anthology Trick ‘R Treat, both excellent choices for cinematic fear on the pumpkin circuit. Two of them rely more on mood, creeping dread, an insinuating style and, dare I say, even a poetic approach to storytelling than the usual Samhain-appropriate fare. And one has an inexplicably bad reputation in the halls of conventional wisdom,
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The Definitive Foreign Language Horror Films: 10-1

Here we are at what is a surprisingly modern list. At the beginning of this, I didn’t expect to see so much cultural impact coming from films so recently made, but that’s the way it goes. The films that define the horror genre aren’t necessarily the scariest or the most expensive or even the best. The films that define the genre point to a movement – movies that changed the game and influenced all the films after it. Movies that transcend the horror genre. Movies that broke the mold and changed the way horror can be created.

10. El laberinto del fauno (2006)

English Language Title: Pan’s Labyrinth

Directed by: Gullermo del Toro

It’s more a dark fantasy film than a horror film, but it would be tough to make a list of 50 of those. Plus, it has enough graphic, nightmarish images to push it over the threshold.
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DVD Review: 'Eyes Without a Face'

  • CineVue
★★★★☆ If you only know Eyes Without a Face (1960) from the Billy Idol rock ballad, then you are in for a treat. Georges Franju's Gallic body horror is a complex atmospheric chiller which balances graphic shocks with subtle characterisation. A woman Louise (Alida Valli) drives through the French countryside at night. In the backseat, a passenger sways unconscious. Parking by a river, the woman drags the passenger down the muddy bank and drops her in the water. The celebrated Dr. Génessier (Pierre Brasseur) is called to the morgue to identify a body which might be his missing daughter. He does so and a funeral follows but all is not as it seems as his assistant Louise stands by his side.
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Watch: The Influence of 'Eyes Without a Face'

Watch: The Influence of 'Eyes Without a Face'
French documentarian and co-founder of the Cinematheque Francais Georges Franju’s second fiction feature remains one of the most influential horror films of its decade, a nightmarishly poetic dreamscape that elevates a Monogram Pictures-level conceit to the realm of expressive exotica. Surgeon Pierre Brasseur’s Lugosi-like commitment to restoring his disfigured daughter’s face provides some of the more disconcerting images in the genre. Jess Franco, John Woo and Pedro Almodovar are just a few of the filmmakers whose work has reflected elements of Franju’s bizarre achievement. This is the textless French trailer.
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Eyes Without A Face

French documentarian and co-founder of the Cinematheque Francais Georges Franju's second fiction feature remains one of the most influential horror films of its decade, a nightmarishly poetic dreamscape that elevates a Monogram Pictures-level conceit to the realm of expressive exotica. Surgeon Pierre Brasseur's Lugosi-like commitment to restoring his disfigured daughter's face provides some of the more disconcerting images in the genre. Jess Franco, John Woo and Pedro Almodovar are just a few of the filmmakers whose work has reflected elements of Franju's bizarre achievement. This is the textless French trailer.
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Starmaker Allégret: From Gay Romance with 'Uncle' (and Nobel Winner) Gide to Simon's Movie Mentor

Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (photo: Marc Allégret) (See previous post: "Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.") Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical and financial success of the 1934 romantic drama Lac aux Dames, directed by her self-appointed mentor – and alleged lover – Marc Allégret.[1] The son of an evangelical missionary, Marc Allégret (born on December 22, 1900, in Basel, Switzerland) was to have become a lawyer. At age 16, his life took a different path as a result of his romantic involvement – and elopement to London – with his mentor and later "adoptive uncle" André Gide (1947 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), more than 30 years his senior and married to Madeleine Rondeaux for more than two decades. In various forms – including a threesome with painter Théo Van Rysselberghe's daughter Elisabeth – the Allégret-Gide relationship remained steady until the late '20s and their trip to
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Remembering Actress Simon Part 2 - Deadly Sex Kitten Romanced Real-Life James Bond 'Inspiration'

Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (photo: Jean Gabin and Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine') (See previous post: "'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.") In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century-Fox from another French import, Annabella (later Tyrone Power's wife), Simone Simon returned to France. Once there, she reestablished herself as an actress to be reckoned with in Jean Renoir's La Bête Humaine. An updated version of Émile Zola's 1890 novel, La Bête Humaine is enveloped in a dark, brooding atmosphere not uncommon in pre-World War II French films. Known for their "poetic realism," examples from that era include Renoir's own The Lower Depths (1936), Julien Duvivier's La Belle Équipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937), and particularly Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938) and Daybreak (1939).[11] This thematic and
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Jean Grémillon: Realism and Tragedy

  • MUBI
Translators introduction: This article by Mireille Latil Le Dantec, the first of two parts, was originally published in issue 40 of Cinématographe, September 1978. The previous issue of the magazine had included a dossier on "La qualité française" and a book of a never-shot script by Jean Grémillon (Le Printemps de la Liberté or The Spring of Freedom) had recently been published. The time was ripe for a re-evaluation of Grémillon's films and a resuscitation of his undervalued career. As this re-evaluation appears to still be happening nearly 40 years later—Grémillon's films have only recently seen DVD releases and a 35mm retrospective begins this week at Museum of the Moving Image in Queens—this article and its follow-up gives us an important view of a French perspective on Grémillon's work by a very perceptive critic doing the initial heavy-lifting in bringing the proper attention to the filmmaker's work.

Filmmaker maudit?
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Top 100 Horror Movies: How Truly Horrific Are They?

Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »
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