Filmmaker Shirley Clarke ("The Connection") directs this powerful, stark semi-documentary look at the horrors of Harlem ghetto slum life filled with drugs, violence, human misery, and a ... See full summary »
"Tells the story of a group of Chilean children who discover a larger reality and a different world through the cinema. Each Saturday, Alicia Vega transforms the chapel of Lo Hermida into a... See full summary »
Judy O'Brien is an aspiring ballerina in a dance troupe. Also in the company is Bubbles, a brash mantrap who leaves the struggling troupe for a career in burlesque. When the company ... See full summary »
Roy Del Ruth
Essential, integral experimental work from the late 1950s is an incredible dance of montage and super-imposition starring none other than New York City's various bridges, transforming them ... See full summary »
In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she's only setting him up for a rigged craps game. He loses $100, the money he got for the sale of his family's ... See full summary »
Daniel L. Haynes,
Nina Mae McKinney,
Marie wants to escape from her job and also from her lover, Paul, an unemployed drunk. She dreams of going off with Jean, a dockworker. The two men quarrel and fight over Marie on two ... See full summary »
Eight drug addicts are waiting for their connection in a New York apartment belonging to Leach. Jim Dunn, a budding filmmaker, has agreed to pay for the fix if the addicts will allow him to film the connection scene. After the men get their shots, they talk Dunn into trying heroin in order to understand the subject "first hand." He becomes ill and while sleeping, Leach takes an overdose that puts him into a coma. Dunn recovers, with the aid of the connection, and writes off the film as a failure.Written by
This is a very difficult film, austere and hard, but after about ten minutes you can calibrate yourself to its rhythm, which is slow -- or, not so much slow as not fast, with extremely long takes in a one-room setting. The film, which is about a group of jazz musicians waiting for "the connection" (heroin) in an apartment, is essentially a filmed piece of experimental theater; it's very interesting, I think, and valuable for its honest portrayals of blacks (not all of the characters are black, but those who are are allowed to give equal amounts of monologues to the camera). The film itself, which is a product of the beat culture, is an experiment in subtle documentary satire -- the film is a film that's being made by a documentarian and his camera assistant; the documentarian becomes involved in the "film" himself by interacting with the musicians, trying to get them to act naturally for the camera by saying he's one of them, that he "reads" them. (The film is also a kind of Method film in the sense that the performances are strained and melodramatic -- the main character who owns the apartment has a boil that makes him scream at a few points -- and that everything is about the documentarian retaining emotional truth.) As the documentarian gets involved with the group (and after the connection arrives, with a female religious preacher in toe), the film feels almost like a public service announcement. It's a really fascinating document. 9/10
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