Category Archives: film

‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ in motion

The Seven Deadly Sins (2011) is a video animation by Belgian artist Antoine Roegiers based on The Seven Deadly Sins or the Seven Vices by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Bruegel is the best-known Bosch follower and Karel van Mander called him “Pieter the Droll” in his Schilder-boeck:

“Oock sietmen weynigh stucken van hem, die een aenschouwer wijslijck sonder lacchen can aensien, ja hoe stuer wijnbrouwigh en statigh hy oock is, hy moet ten minsten meese-muylen oft grinnicken.”
“There are few works by his hand which the observer can contemplate solemnly or with a straight face. However stiff, morose or surly he may be, he cannot help chuckling or at any rate smiling.”

— Here reprinted in F. Grossmann’s translation (Bruegel, The Paintings, [London, Phaidon Press, n.d.], pp. 7 ff.)

 

Alfred Hitchcock @110

Alfred Hitchcock @110


Alfred Hitchcock KBE (August 13 1899April 29 1980) was a highly influential film director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and thriller genres.

Hitchcock’s films draw heavily on both fear and fantasy, and are known for their witticisms. They often portray innocent people caught up in circumstances beyond their control or understanding.

Until the later part of his career, Hitchcock was far more popular with film audiences than with film critics, especially the elite British and American critics. In the late 1950s the French New Wave critics, especially Éric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol, and François Truffaut, were among the first to see and promote his films as artistic works. Hitchcock was one of the first directors to whom they applied their auteur theory, which stresses the artistic authority of the director in the film-making process.

Psychoanalytical film theorists such as Slavoj Žižek (The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema) have noticed how Hitchcock often applied Freudian concepts to his psychological thrillers, as in Rebecca, Spellbound, Vertigo, Psycho, and Marnie. Additionally, Hitchcock often dealt with matters that he felt were sexually perverse or kinky, and many of his films aimed to subvert the restrictive Hollywood Production Code.

Cover: Murders on the Half-Skull by Alfred Hitchcock (1970, Dell [New York]). Cover artist ID anyone?

RIP Karl Malden (1912 – 2009)

RIP Karl Malden (1912 – 2009)

Click for sources

Carroll Baker in
Baby Doll (1956) – Elia Kazan [amazon.com]
image sourced here.

Karl Malden is personally best-remembered for his portrayal of vulnerable and gullible chumps. The epitome of the weak character is the naive cuckold in Baby Doll.

Baby Doll is a 1956 film which tells the story of the childlike bride of a Mississippi cotton gin owner, who becomes the pawn in a battle between her husband and his enemy.

The movie was written by Tennessee Williams and was based on his one act play 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. It was directed by Elia Kazan.

The film is credited with both the name and originating the popularity of the babydoll nightgown, which derives from the costume worn by Baker’s character.

The Catholic Legion of Decency succeeded in having the film withdrawn from release in most U.S. theaters because of their objections over its sexual themes. The movie was banned in many countries like Sweden, due to its allegedly exaggerated sexual content. The film was also condemned by Time, which called it the “dirtiest American-made motion picture that had ever been legally exhibited”.

Baby Doll is World Cinema Classic #110

PS In one of my other favorite performances he plays a blind man in The Cat o’ Nine Tails (Dario Argento) in which he reminded me of the blind mother in Peeping Tom. There he is quite different from the chump stereotype.

Gratuitous nudity #17

Gratuitous nudity #17

via www.vintagesleaze.com Cinema X Cinema X was a british film magazine best known for its coverage of sexploitation films. Early issues of the magazine were undated, but it is believed the first issue was published in 1969. The first film to grace the cover of Cinema X was Loving Feeling directed by Norman J. Warren.  Other films covered in the first issue were I Am Curious (Yellow), Curse of the Crimson Altar and Therese and Isabelle, people interviewed in the premiere issue included Norman J Warren, John Trevelyan and Anthony Newley. Related:  Continental Film Review British exploitation Sexploitation film slicks 1963–1973 Erotic film magazine British sex film Bachoo Sen

via www.vintagesleaze.com

Cinema X was a british film magazine best known for its coverage of sexploitation films. Early issues of the magazine were undated, but it is believed the first issue was published in 1969. The first film to grace the cover of Cinema X was Loving Feeling directed by Norman J. Warren. Other films covered in the first issue were I Am Curious (Yellow), Curse of the Crimson Altar and Therese and Isabelle, people interviewed in the premiere issue included Norman J Warren, John Trevelyan and Anthony Newley.

Related:

The Cut-Ups is World Cinema Classic #108

The Cut-Ups is World Cinema Classic #108

The Cut-Ups

Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello.
Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes? Hello!
– Look at that picture – Yes, hello.
Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes? Hello!
Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello.
Yes? Hello! Yes, hello.- does it seem
to be persisting? – Yes? Hello!
Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! – Good!
– Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! – Thank
you – Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes,
hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes?
Hello! Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes,
hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes?
Hello! – Look at that picture – Yes,
hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes?
Hello! – Does it seem to be persisting?
– Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes, hello.
Yes? Hello!Yes, hello. Yes? Hello! Yes,
hello. Yes? Hello! – Good! – Yes, hello.
Yes? Hello! Yes, hello. Yes? Hello!
– Thank you!

The Cut-Ups[1] is an experimental film by British filmmaker Antony Balch and American writer William Burroughs, which opened in London in 1967. It was the second time Balch and Burroughs had collaborated after their earlier Towers Open Fire. The Cut-Ups was part of an abandoned project called Guerrilla Conditions meant as a documentary on Burroughs and filmed throughout 1961-1965.

The film contains 19 minutes of someone saying “Yes, Hello?”, “Look at that picture,” “Does it seem to be persisting?,” and “Good. Thank you,” accompanied by a repetition five or six basic film clips shot in New York City and featuring Brion Gysin.

Inspired by Burroughs’ and Gysin’s technique of cutting up text and rearranging it in random order, Balch had an editor cut his footage for the documentary into little pieces and impose no control over its reassembly. The film opened at Oxford Street’s Cinephone cinema and had a disturbing reaction. Many audience members claimed the film made them ill, others demanded their money back, while some just stumbled out of the cinema ranting “its disgusting”.

Included in The Cut-Ups are shots of Burroughs acting out scenes from his book Naked Lunch. The idea of bringing Naked Lunch to the big-screen was Balch’s dream project. First developed in 1964, a script was completed in the early 1970s which would have adapted the book as a musical. Personal differences between Balch and the film’s would-be leading man Mick Jagger caused the project’s collapse.

For an indepth description of the films of William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, and Antony Balch, see brightlightsfilm [1] by Rob Bridgett.

Herschell Gordon Lewis @80

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ2t0et8wWc]

“Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to see scenes from the most unusual picture of all time. We urgently recommend if you have a heart condition, or if you are with a young and impressionable child, that you leave this auditorium.” –trailer for Blood Feast

Blood Feast, a 1963 film directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis, is an American exploitation film often considered the first “gore” or splatter film.

RIP David Carradine (1936 – 2009)

RIP David Carradine (1936 – 2009)

via www.andyland1point5.com “RIP David Carradine (1936 - 2009)”.

David Carradine (December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009) was an American actor best known for his work in the 1970s television series Kung Fu and more recently in the movies Kill Bill.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGhu5Zl5ry8&]

A typical scene from one of my fave “small” American films: Death Race 2000

During the heyday of the B-movie, he starred in Paul Bartel‘s hilarious Death Race 2000 and Cannonball.

One of his more interesting roles was in Boxcar Bertha (Scorcese) together with then real-life partner Barbara Hershey.

Other of his appearances worth checking are Mean Streets (Scorcese) and Q (Larry Cohen) in the eighties.

Carradine once commented on Roger “never lost a dime” Corman‘s career that “It’s almost as though you can’t have a career in this business without having passed through Roger Corman’s hands for at least a moment.”

Death Race 2000 is World Cinema Classic #105.

RIP Mort Abrahams (1916 – 2009)

Mort Abrahams (born 1916 – died 28 May, 2009) was an American film and television producer.

Among his credits are nine episodes of spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and, as associate producer, Doctor Dolittle (1967), Planet of the Apes (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), co-writing the story of the latter.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. theme[1] by Space Age Popper Hugo Montenegro

Pam Grier@60

via here.

Pamela Suzette Grier (born May 26, 1949) is an iconic American actress. She came to fame in the early 1970s, after starring in a string of moderately successful women-in-prison and blaxploitation films, and has generally remained in the public eye, starring in B-movies such as 1974’s Foxy Brown, and in mainstream films such as Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 film, Jackie Brown.

The Last Days of Emma Blank by Alex van Warmerdam

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFGrA1KCfEo]

The Last Days of Emma Blank[1] by Alex van Warmerdam

Chances are slim that you come across this film if you live outside of Europe or even Dutch-speaking countries, but if you see this film playing near you, don’t miss it. Warmerdam is the best director of The Netherlands and has been for some time now. His palmares includes Abel (1986), The Northerners (1992), Little Tony (1998), Grimm (2003)  and Waiter (2006).

The Last Days of Emma Blank (Dutch original: De Laatste dagen van Emma Blank) is a Dutch film by Alex van Warmerdam released in May 2009. The film is co-produced with La Parti Productions in Belgium and is the story of Emma Blank, a rich woman who is incurably ill and who is living her last days. She is surrounded by personnel who patiently await her death, which takes longer that originally envisioned.