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Remembering Bob Hoskins & ‘The Long Good Friday’

“This is the decade in which London will become Europe’s capital.” – Harold Shand, The Long Good Friday.

Arrow Video/YouTube

In 1979, a new British feature went into production under the title ‘The Paddy Factor’. The film, scripted by London-born writer Barrie Keeffe would help define a genre, give legendary actor Bob Hoskins one of his first major movie roles, feature a future 007, and would also predict the commercial and corporate future of an area of east London.

The events of The Long Good Friday take place on the annual Easter holiday during Thatcher’s reign as Prime Minister. The main protagonist is Bob Hoskins’ Harold Shand, a ‘freewheeling, capitalist developer’ – and head of an underworld corporation – who is about to make the deal of the century. He’s just landed, via Concord, of course, back in the UK after a successful trip across the pond in the United States
See full article at The Hollywood News »

13 Christmas Movies for People Who Hate Christmas Movies — IndieWire Critics Survey

  • Indiewire
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday.

This week’s question: What’s the best Christmas movie for people who hate Christmas movies?

Ken Bakely (@kbake_99), Freelance for Film Pulse

If you want a movie that emulates the feeling of the holidays without being directly about them, look no further than Todd Haynes’s “Carol,” with the film’s first act taking place against the backdrop of the last days before Christmas. In establishing its characters and setting, everything from the winter weather, crowded department stores, and putting up Christmas trees is included with a delicate sense of detail that is simply haunting. It’s emblematic of how note-perfect and intimately precise the entire movie is, sublimely starting at a time of year rooted in high expectations and the feeling of possibility, and expanding out from there in the development of its central romance,
See full article at Indiewire »

Cinema St. Louis’ Classic French Film Festival Continues This Weekend With Alphaville, Lovers On The Bridge, and Pickpocket

The Tenth Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival — co-presented by Cinema St. Louis and the Webster University Film Series continues this weekend. — 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.

There are two more events for the Tenth Annual Robert Classic French Film Festival happening this weekend:

Friday, March 16th at 7:30pm – Alphaville

A cockeyed fusion of science fiction, pulp characters, and surrealist poetry, Jean-Luc Godard’s irreverent journey to the mysterious Alphaville remains one of the least conventional films of all time. Eddie Constantine stars as intergalactic hero Lemmy Caution, on a mission to eliminate Professor Von Braun, the creator of the malevolent Alpha 60, a computer that rules the city of Alphaville. Befriended by the scientist’s beautiful daughter Natasha (Godard
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

The Diabolical Dr. Z

Engaged to direct by a reputable producer, Jesús Franco takes yet another stab at conventional B&W horror. The pulp thrills get a boost through the contributions of talented collaborators: excellent camerawork flatters the idiosyncratic obsessions of a writer-director in search of his own dream-world sensibility. Although it’s not saying much, this might be the best of Franco’s earlier B&W horror output.

The Diabolical Dr. Z

Blu-ray

Redemption / Kino Lorber

1966 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 87 min. / Miss Muerte; Dans les griffes du maniaque / Street Date February 6, 2018 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Estella Blain, Mabel Karr, Howard Vernon, Fernando Montes, Marcelo Arroita-Jáuregui, Guy Mairesse, Antonio Jiménez Escribano, Lucía Prado, Daniel White, Jesús Franco.

Cinematography: Alejandro Ulloa

Film Editor: Marie-Louise Barberot, Jean Feyte

Original Music: Daniel White

Written by David Kuhne (Jesús Franco), Jean-Claude Carrière

Produced by Serge Silberman, Michel Safra

Directed by Jesús Franco

Am I correct when I remember
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Reality of a Reflection: An Exploration of Jean-Luc Godard's Filmography

  • MUBI
Mubi's retrospective For Ever Godard is showing from November 12, 2017 - January 16, 2018 in the United States.Jean-Luc Godard is a difficult filmmaker to pin down because while his thematic concerns as an artist have remained more or less consistent over the last seven decades, his form is ever-shifting. His filmography is impossible to view in a vacuum, as his work strives to reflect on the constantly evolving cinema culture that surrounds it: Godard always works with the newest filmmaking technologies available, and his films have become increasingly abstracted and opaque as the wider culture of moving images has become increasingly fragmented. Rather than working to maintain an illusion of diegetic truth, Godard’s work as always foreground its status as a manufactured product—of technology, of an industry, of on-set conditions and of an individual’s imagination. Mubi’S Godard retrospective exemplifies the depth and range of Godard’s career as
See full article at MUBI »

Oss 117 Five Film Collection

He’s fast on his feet, quick with a gun, and faster with the to-die-for beauties that only existed in the swinging ’60s. The superspy exploits of Oss 117 were too big for just one actor, so meet all three iterations of the man they called Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath . . . seriously.

Oss 117 Five Film Collection

Blu-ray

Oss 117 Is Unleashed; Oss 117: Panic in Bangkok; Oss 117: Mission For a Killer; Oss 117: Mission to Tokyo; Oss 117: Double Agent

Kl Studio Classics

1963-1968 / B&W and Color / 1:85 widescreen + 2:35 widescreen / 528 min. / Street Date September 26, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 59.95

Starring: Kerwin Matthews, Nadia Sanders, Irina Demick, Daniel Emilfork; Kerwin Matthews, Pier Angeli, Robert Hossein; Frederick Stafford, Mylène Demongeot, Perrette Pradier, Dominique Wilms, Raymond Pellegrin, Annie Anderson; Frederick Stafford, Marina Vlad, Jitsuko Yoshimura; John Gavin, Margaret Lee, Curd Jurgens, Luciana Paluzzi, Rosalba Neri, Robert Hossein, George Eastman.

Cinematography: Raymond Pierre Lemoigne
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

All These Stories We Simply Can't Understand

Every so often, usually while walking around Toronto on a busy day, I'll be struck by the vividness and accuracy of Agnès Varda's singular portrayal of a day in the life (barely two hours, really, making it even more remarkable) spent in the various layers and spaces of the urban environment. I speak, of course, of Cléo from 5 to 7, Varda's 1962 classic and the first film of hers I fell in love with. In those instances, I'll find myself returning to the moments I've cherry-picked as my favorites over the years, skipping across the linear sequence of events that follow the titular singer (Corinne Marchand) across Paris as she waits for the results from a medical examination within the film's designated timeframe (minus half an hour, as the film famously ends at the ninety minute mark). More than for any other film, engaging in these mental replays feels very much like replaying the events of a day I had once experienced myself long ago—albeit one that I’ve been able to revisit and come to know nearly by heart, complete with all of my favorite moments and details waiting in their proper places, so often have I gone back to that June 21st in Paris, 1961.Varda has even made it relatively easy for anyone who wishes to explore and investigate to their heart's content the events of that fateful first day of summer from so long ago now, not only by making such a crisp cinematic itinerary of the various locations visited in the film itself, but also by helpfully providing a map in her book Varda par Agnès complete with a color-coded legend indicating the locations of key scenes from the film, practically inviting the reader to recreate Cléo’s journey for themselves on the streets of present-day Paris. At once attentive and relaxed in its tour of the city (mainly focused in the Left Bank), Cléo is ably conducted in a number of different registers: as an uncommonly lovely essay-poem on the ebb and flow of urban life, an at-times somber meditation on the precarious balance between life and death, and a revealing and honest study of female identity and the ways it is scrutinized and distorted in the public’s relentless gaze. In a feat of remarkable economy and resourcefulness, the film was shot in chronological order across a five-week period, beginning on the date of the story’s events, synchronized as closely as possible to the times in the day Cléo experiences them, in keeping with narrative fidelity and proper quality of light for each scene. Neatly arranged into thirteen chapters, each with its duration clearly stated so we can easily keep track in real time, Cléo’s lucid odyssey through the various public and private spaces that make up her day is observational cinema at its most fertile, free, and magically attuned to its subjects, partly the result of Varda and her team’s carefully planned and executed shoot, partly that of simply being in the right places at the right times.Together, the films of the French New Wave make up one of the most valuable and immersive audiovisual documents of a specific time and place in history—namely France in the late 1950s and early 1960s—that we have. This is especially true of the Paris-situated films, which create the alluring image of an interconnected network of overlapping stories concentrated in a single city. The sharing of certain actors, cinematographers, writers, composers, and other key artists and technicians across different films by different directors especially helped make the impression of one Paris holding an eclectic anthology of New Wave tales. This perception was further reinforced by the cheeky self-referential winks and nods that so many of the New Wave directors—Jean-Luc Godard in particular—lovingly included in their films as gestures of solidarity and support with their nouvelle vague comrades. This is why the eponymous hero of Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob le flambeur, noted by many as a crucial New Wave precursor, gets name-checked by Jean-Paul Belmondo in Godard’s Breathless, why Truffaut muses Marie Dubois and Jeanne Moreau both pop up in A Woman Is a Woman, with Moreau getting asked by Belmondo how Jules and Jim is coming along, and why Anna Karina’s Nana glimpses a giant poster for the same Truffaut film as she is being driven to her fate in the final moments of Vivre sa vie.Varda got in on the fun herself in Cléo from 5 to 7 not only by casting Michel Legrand, who provided the film with its robust score, as Cléo’s musical partner Bob (a part that gives the legendary composer a substantial amount of screen time and amply shows off his incandescent charm), but also by extending the invitation to Godard, Karina, Sami Frey, Eddie Constantine, Jean-Claude Brialy, producer Georges de Beauregard, and Alan Scott, who had appeared in Jacques Demy’s Lola. They all show up in Les fiancés du pont Macdonald, the silent comedy short-within-the-film that serves triple duty as a welcome diversion for our stressed heroine, a loving cinephilic tribute to the legacy of Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd, and an irresistible, bite-sized New Wave party. And yet I find Cléo to be perhaps the most enchanting of all the New Wave films not for the aesthetic commonalities and cleverly devised linkages that bind it to The 400 Blows, Breathless, Paris Belongs to Us, and its other cinematic brethren, but rather for the tapestry of curious details that root it in its specific time and place and entice on the power of their inherent uniqueness and beauty. “Here,” Varda seems to say as she follows Cléo across the city, “let’s have a look at these interesting people and places on this first day of summer here in Paris, and see what we can see after watching them for a while.” The film’s opening scene continues to extend this invitation as it draws us in closer. It shows us, through the sepia-hued Eastmancolor that deviates from the rest of the film’s silvery monochrome and the “God’s eye” overhead shots (long before Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson adopted the technique as their own), the cryptic spectacle of Tarot cards being shuffled, placed down, and turned over to reveal the story of Cléo’s potential fate before we’ve even gotten a chance to properly meet Cléo herself. The slightly macabre illustrations to which Varda and cinematographer Jean Rabier dedicate their tight close-ups and the elderly card reader’s accompanying explanations of their meanings lend an air of prophecy to the events to come while also fueling Cléo’s anxiety surrounding her fate (when pressed for a clearer forecast of the future through a palm reading, the reader’s evasive response is less than inspiring). This introduction effectively locks us into Cléo’s perspective, preparing us for the next hour and a half that we will spend quietly observing as, following her distraught exit from the reader’s apartment, she grapples with her fears and insecurities, contemplates and revises her appearance and the identity behind it (tellingly, we discover late in the film that Cléo's real name is Florence), and comes to terms with the ultimately fragile nature of her own mortality. In our allotted chunk of time with her, we see the pouty girl-child subtly shift and adjust her attitude, inching a little closer towards a place of earned maturity, grace, and acceptance regarding her fate, wherever it may take her.Along the way, the film seems to expand to take in as much of the people and places around Cléo as it can. Scene by scene, her Paris makes itself felt and known through key peripheral details: a pair of lovers having an argument in a café near where Cléo sits, listening in; the procession of uniformed officers on horseback heard clip-clopping through the street on the soundtrack and seen reflected in the array of mirrors placed throughout a hat shop; a spider web of shattered mirror and a cloth pressed against a bloody wound, indicating some incident that occurred just before Cléo happened along the scene of the confused aftermath. Other stimuli fill a dazzling program of serendipitous entertainments for us to take in one by one: whirlwind rides in two taxis and a bus, an intimate musical rehearsal in Cléo’s chic, kitten-filled apartment (with Legrand, no less, clearly having a great time, his nimble fingers releasing ecstatic bursts of notes and melodies from Cléo’s piano as if they were exotic birds), the aforementioned silent short, a sculpting studio (the space alive with the indescribably pleasant sound of chisels being tapped at different tempos through soft stone), a frog swallower, a burly street performer who wiggles an iron spike through his arm, and the soothing sights and sounds of the Parc de Montsouris, among a hundred other subtle and overt pleasures scattered throughout this gently orchestrated city symphony, a heap of specificities found and sorted into a chorus of universal experience.Very much in her own way, across a body of work informed by a boundless spirit of generosity, Agnès Varda has gone about carefully collecting and preserving a marvelously varied assortment of subjects throughout her busy life, shedding fresh light on some of the most unlikely (and overlooked) people and places in the world. She refers to her self-made approach to filmmaking as ciné-criture (her own version of Alexandre Astruc's caméra-stylo), which, as we’ve come to know it through Varda’s intensely personal works, is a little like cinema, a little like writing, and uses aspects of both media to make a compassionate, genuine, and wholly original film language. Just as Antoine (Antoine Bourseiller), the dreamy young man whom Cléo encounters in the Parc de Montsouris, translates the world around them into a stream of fanciful observations and flowery speech, so too does Varda, in allegiance with poetry, ditch any semblance of objectivity, going instead for presenting the world simply as she sees it, investing it with her own unmistakable blend of charm, warmth, eloquence, and empathy, all somehow executed with nary a shred of ego or preachiness.“All these stories we simply can’t understand!” randomly exclaims a café patron to her young companion at one point late in Cléo’s journey, perhaps suddenly becoming aware, as we gradually have, of the unfathomable multitude of trajectories that trace themselves across every city every day in a dense tangle of narrative strands. In picking up Cléo’s and diligently following it with her camera for an hour and a half, Varda draws our attention to all those other strands that make up the lives of other people, leading off into their own directions, fated to become entangled with others still. Wisely, deftly, one discovered strand at a time, she helps us better appreciate, again and again, the humble miracle of so many lives coursing and thriving alongside each other, each one special and strange, each rooted in its own distinct flavor of being-ness. Cléo from 5 to 7 in turn roots us in another person’s life for its short time span and ends up giving us a whole universe, casually overflowing with meaning, life, lives, and the myriad details that shape and define them. No, we can’t understand all the stories we come across in a day. But then again, sometimes we don’t really need to understand so much as simply see. See, and accept, and appreciate what is...and then move along to whatever’s next.
See full article at MUBI »

Voyaging further by Anne-Katrin Titze

Bertrand Tavernier on Jacques Prévert and Joseph Kosma's Les Feuilles Mortes with Yves Montand in Marcel Carné's Les Portes De La Nuit: "The birth of the song. I mean, that's a good scene." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

In the second installment of my conversation with Bertrand Tavernier on his Voyage À Travers Le Cinéma Français we go towards Ernst Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait, Lino Ventura and Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean Gabin in Jean Delannoy's adaptation of Georges Simenon's Inspector Maigret, Bernard Blier in Henri Verneuil's Le Président, Nadja Tiller in Gilles Grangier's Le Désordre Et La Nuit, Eddie Constantine, and composers Jean-Jacques Grunenwald, George Van Parys, and Paul Misraki.

Martin Scorsese critiquing a Robert De Niro performance in a film by another director is unimaginable to Bertrand. "Distance is important to give you a wider vision of things."

Lino Ventura to Bertrand Tavernier on
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

BFI Review – Alphaville (1965)

Alphaville, 1965.

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard.

Starring Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff and Howard Vernon.

Synopsis:

Tasked with an undercover investigation in Alphaville, a private investigator from The Outlands realises the computer that controls the city needs to be destroyed…

Jean-Luc Godard’s sci-fi film noir, on a budget, is Alphaville. Pre-dating 2001: A Space Odyssey’s unforgettable HAL9000, and the sinister machines of Alien and Thx-1138, Godard knew what we feared. In 1965, technology and shiny, imposing architecture was the threat. We now know, fifty years into the future, that technology has fulfilled its promise of innovation and progress. With cinematic offerings of Ex Machina and Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, it seems as if the power wielded by computers remains a sinister part of modern society. Godard remains relevant and uses Lemmy Caution, “Secret Agent”, to save the day.

Set in a monochrome dystopia, Alphaville uses urban Parisian streets
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Scott Reviews John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday [Arrow Films Blu-ray Review]

Throughout the supplements on Arrow’s new (rather impressive) Blu-ray edition of this landmark gangster film, nearly everyone involved speaks of their collective desire to simply make the best film they possibly could, and in many ways, The Long Good Friday is just about the most natural result of that pursuit. Nothing goes unaccounted for, the characters are all richly drawn, the narrative drive is forceful without overwhelming a chance for reflection, and there’s just enough of a mystery to the whole thing to keep the audience hooked. The satisfaction that can come from such a well-rounded, expertly-delivered film can sometimes, however, be diminished by the sheer contentedness of the thing. Life is unwieldy, unpredictable, and sometimes incomprehensible, and films that ignore those qualities in the pursuit of “perfection” can feel closed-off.

Indeed, most of The Long Good Friday follows this tendency – Harold Shand’s (Bob Hoskins) is a
See full article at CriterionCast »

Ingenious Godard Came up with Solution for Greece Debt Crisis: Why Is No One Listening?

Jean-Luc Godard in his youthful days. Jean-Luc Godard solution for the Greek debt crisis: 'Therefore' copyright payments A few years ago, Nouvelle Vague filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, while plugging his Film Socialisme, chipped in with a surefire solution for the seemingly endless – and bottomless – Greek debt crisis. In July 2011, Godard told The Guardian's Fiachra Gibbons: The Greeks gave us logic. We owe them for that. It was Aristotle who came up with the big 'therefore'. As in, 'You don't love me any more, therefore ...' Or, 'I found you in bed with another man, therefore ...' We use this word millions of times, to make our most important decisions. It's about time we started paying for it. If every time we use the word therefore, we have to pay 10 euros to Greece, the crisis will be over in one day, and the Greeks will not have to sell the Parthenon to the Germans.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

‘The Long Good Friday’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

Stars: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, P.H. Moriarty, Kevin McNally, Alan Ford, Dave King, Bryan Marshall, Derek Thompson, Eddie Constantine, Paul Freeman, Leo Dolan, Patti Love, Pierce Brosnan | Written by Barrie Keeffe | Directed by John Mackenzie

The gangster movie is a beast very like the gangs it is based on. Depending on the country of origin the crime organisations tend to have certain looks and style and a certain tradition that they cling to as their laws of how to do business. The modern gangster movies are definitely an example of this, but they also share one thing in common, they lend a lot from The Long Good Friday which gets the Arrow Video treatment with its new release on Blu-ray.

Harold (Bob Hoskins) is a British gangster with an eye to capitalism and being a successful business man. Seeing London as his empire he is taken aback at the incredulous
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Blu-ray Review – The Long Good Friday (1980)

The Long Good Friday, 1980.

Directed by John Mackenzie.

Starring Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Dave King, Pierce Brosnan, Eddie Constantine, Paul Barber, Derek Thompson, Brian Hall, Alan Ford, Kevin McNally, P.H. Moriarty, Karl Howman, Bryan Marshall.

Synopsis:

A ruthless English gangster’s empire starts to fall after a series of bombings over the Easter weekend.

Britain has always made good gangster films but there was always an angle to them, a little something that the filmmakers honed in on so they offered slightly more than the ultra-violent mob movies coming out of America. But in 1980 The Long Good Friday arrived and gave British crime movies a new, for the UK anyway, edge; a gangster film that was actually about gangsters and what they do.

But despite the gritty nature of the script and the raw production values it was the central performance by a then relatively unknown Bob Hoskins as Harold
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Exclusive: Watch The Trailer For The 35th Anniversary Edition Of ‘The Long Good Friday’

One of my favourite films of all time has to be the fantastic 1980s London-set gangster film The Long Good Friday. The film, which starred the late Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren and Paul Freeman, still stands up today, 35 years on from its original, acclaimed release.

The epic gangster movie is getting a limited cinema re-release on the 19th June through Arrow Films, and below, we have an exclusive look at the theatrical trailer for the 35th Anniversary Edition, which has a high-quality 2k digital restoration.

Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins) is a businessman with great ambitions. Spotting the development potential of London’s derelict Docklands area years before the Thatcher government, he tries to broker a deal with his American counterpart (Eddie Constantine) that will make them both millions. But who is killing Harold’s other associates and blowing up his businesses – and why?

Universally regarded as one of the greatest British gangster films ever made,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

‘Alphaville’ Remake In the Works From ‘Twin Peaks’ Cinematographer, Studiocanal (Exclusive)

  • The Wrap
‘Alphaville’ Remake In the Works From ‘Twin Peaks’ Cinematographer, Studiocanal (Exclusive)
Veteran cinematographer Frank Byers (“Twin Peaks,” “Boxing Helena”) is set to direct an indie remake of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 film noir “Alphaville,” TheWrap has learned.

Studiocanal and the director’s Ville Productions are teaming on the project, which was written by Franc. Reyes (“Empire”).

Also Read: ‘Goodbye to Language’ Wins Top National Society of Film Critics Award

Alphaville” follows Lemmy Caution, who is sent to the titular dystopian city on a series of missions by the Outerlands. He searches for the Outerland’s missing agent Henry Dickson and he’s also there to capture or kill the creator of Alphaville,
See full article at The Wrap »

Video of the day. Jean-Luc Godard's "Letter in Motion"

  • MUBI
My dear President, dear festival director and dear colleagues,

Once again, I thank you for inviting me to the festival, but you know I haven't taken part in film distribution for a long time, and I'm not where you think I am. Actually, I'm following another path. I've been inhabiting other worlds, sometimes for years, or for a few seconds, under the protection of film enthusiasts; I've gone and stayed.

[Cut to a scene of Eddie Constantine as Lemmy Caution in "Alphaville"]

Eddie Constantine/Lemmy Caution: "I don't feel comfortable in this environment anymore. It's not longer 1923, and I'm not longer the man who fought through the police barricades, the man who fought behind the scenes with a gun in my hand. Feeling alive was more important than Stalin and the Revolution."

The risk of solitude is the risk of losing oneself, assumes the philosopher because he assumes the truth is to wonder about metaphysical questions, which are actually the only ones the everyone's asking.
See full article at MUBI »

'Alphaville': Why This Piece of 60s Pulp Fiction is Must-See Jean-Luc Godard (Clip)

'Alphaville': Why This Piece of 60s Pulp Fiction is Must-See Jean-Luc Godard (Clip)
A long overdue digital restoration of my favorite Jean-Luc Godard film, the glorious 1965 black-and-white surreal sci-fi noir "Alphaville," starring Eddie Constantine, Godard's wife Anna Karina and Paris at night, is playing for a week at La's Nuart in West Los Angeles. Never officially reissued and screened mostly via worn-out 35mm prints, "Alphaville"'s digital restoration features sharp new subtitles by Lenny Borger and Cynthia Schoch. (See other locations here; clip below, review from the Lat's Ken Turan.) ‘’Reality is too complex. What it needs is fiction to make it real,” intones the computer at the film’s beginning. "Alphaville" exaggerates reality. Godard and cinematographer Raoul Coutard did not flood Paris with light. Instead they photographed at night on real Paris locations in order to make a film with the creepy feel of a nightmare. As a young critic in the 50s, Godard spent long days at the French Cinematheque...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Jean-Luc Godard's Noir Alphaville Returns to the Big Screen

Jean-Luc Godard's Noir Alphaville Returns to the Big Screen
There is not a more intoxicating loading dose of uncut movieness available on New York screens at the moment than Jean-Luc Godard's famous hyper-sci-fi-meta-noir, which skylarks about an absurd dystopian future in the wet streets of 1965 Paris.

All totemic genre gestures all the time, the movie tracks trench-coated secret agent Lemmy Caution (aging frogface Eddie Constantine, who had played the character straight in a series of cheap French potboilers) as he enters the citadel of Alphaville, a metropolis controlled by a giant (and possibly mad) computer, looking for its programmer and the key to its destruction.

Everything is a dislocated signifier of totalitarian confusion — language, institutional sex, assassination attempts, scientific lingo, modernist archite...
See full article at Village Voice »

DVD Review: "Room 43" (1958) British Film Noir Starring Herbert Lom, Diana Dors, Eddie Constantine And Odile Versois

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer 

The Shadowplay niche market DVD label has released the obscure British film noir crime thriller Room 43. The 1958 B&W film was directed by Alvin Rakoff and features some intriguing star turns. The real star of the film is Odile Versois, a French actress who is largely unknown in English language films. She plays Marie Louise, a young Parisian waitress who is framed for a petty crime in a human trafficking scheme. Faced with trial and jail, she accepts the help of a British benefactor, Aggie (Brenda de Banzie), a middle aged tourist who invites her to immigrate to London to work as her personal assistant. Once in London, she is housed with many other comely young women in a building run by Aggie. She is also introduced to Nick (Herbert Lom), an assertive but seemingly kindly businessman who pretends to have her best interests at heart.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

10 1958 films about fear that aren't Vertigo

Top 10 Aliya Whiteley 6 Aug 2013 - 07:06

Hitchcock's Vertigo may have dominated 1958, but that year was full of other films about fear and loathing. Here's Aliya's top 10...

There are so many things to be scared of. Apart from the obvious perils, such as large spiders, venomous snakes, and dentists, there are less tangible things to panic about. Fear of growing old. Fear of falling into poverty. Fear of thermonuclear war.

In 1958, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo was released. It’s very good at making the watcher feel very uncomfortable, through the camera angles and the great score by Bernard Herrmann. But it’s not just the audience who gets to feel scared; it’s there in the script too. Scottie (played by James Stewart) suffers from vertigo, but he’s also afraid of his past, and of the pain of loss. He’s been hurt so badly before that he’ll
See full article at Den of Geek »
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