Lured (1947) - News Poster

(1947)

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Malone’s the Angel in the Centerfold of Sirk’s High-Flying The Tarnished Angels (1957) | Blu-ray Review

There remains a dearth of unappreciated titles from German émigré Douglas Sirk’s lengthy filmography, which basically includes anything outside of his seminal Hollywood melodramas of the 1950s—films would influence the output of more contemporary international auteurs, from Rainer Werner Fassbinder to Todd Haynes. Sirk is now best renowned for a quartet of iconic titles, including Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows (1955), Written on the Wind (1956) and his final masterpiece, Imitation of Life (1959), itself a remake of an earlier 1934 Claudette Colbert film directed by John M. Stahl. While some of his English language noirs of the 1940s have been recuperated, such as the Lucille Ball headlined Lured (1947), his German period remains neglected, and perhaps more surprisingly, several other 1950s works which starred his plethora of regular players.…
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All That Hollywood Allows: Douglas Sirk’s Brilliant Melodramas

The European filmmaker directed a series of deceptively complex melodramas in the 1950s.“This is the dialectic — there is a very short distance between high art and trash, and trash that contains an element of craziness is by this very quality nearer to art” — Douglas Sirk

Douglas Sirk was born in Germany in 1900, and began his career in the early 1920s working in theater. In 1922, he directed his first production — an adaptation of Hermann Bossdorf’s Stationmaster Death, and from then on he became one of the most respected theater directors in Weimar Germany. Then, in 1934, he took a job as a film director at Ufa, the biggest studio in Germany at the time.

In 1941, Sirk left Germany and began working as a director in Hollywood. His early films, such as the WWII drama Hitler’s Madman (1942) have largely been forgotten. These early films varied in genre — he directed war films (Mystery Submarine), historical dramas (A Scandal in Paris), film
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The Forgotten: Douglas Sirk's "A Scandal in Paris" (1946)

  • MUBI
Imitations of Life: The Films of Douglas Sirk (December 23 – January 6) at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York gathers a substantial number of the German auteur's classic films together with more obscure titles, some of which may deserve elevation into the higher ranks of his oeuvre. Already, in the past few years, There's Always Tomorrow (1956) has crept up the league table of Sirkian melodrama, mainly because it became easier to see and people recognized that it could stand comparison with All That Heaven Allows (1955) and Imitation of Life (1959), or nearly so.Some Sirk movies will, however, never be quite respectable, but in a way I love them for that. His period movies often dive headlong into Hollywood kitsch in a way that his once-despised weepies mainly avoid. There's a trio of movies playing with George Sanders which exemplify this in their different ways. Summer Storm (1944) was Hollywood's
See full article at MUBI »

The Forgotten: Douglas Sirk's "A Scandal in Paris" (1946)

  • MUBI
Imitations of Life: The Films of Douglas Sirk (December 23 – January 6) at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York gathers a substantial number of the German auteur's classic films together with more obscure titles, some of which may deserve elevation into the higher ranks of his oeuvre. Already, in the past few years, There's Always Tomorrow (1956) has crept up the league table of Sirkian melodrama, mainly because it became easier to see and people recognized that it could stand comparison with All That Heaven Allows (1955) and Imitation of Life (1959), or nearly so.Some Sirk movies will, however, never be quite respectable, but in a way I love them for that. His period movies often dive headlong into Hollywood kitsch in a way that his once-despised weepies mainly avoid. There's a trio of movies playing with George Sanders which exemplify this in their different ways. Summer Storm (1944) was Hollywood's
See full article at MUBI »

Deadpan in Nulltown

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The authors wish to acknowledge with gratitude the venues in which some version of this article previously appeared: Cinema Scope 24 (Fall, 2005), Trafic 62 (Summer, 2006), and the late and twice-lamented The New-York Ghost (Dec. 26, 2006).

In the Place of No Place

Every movie contains its alternates, phantom films conjured variously by excess or dearth: textures and movements that carry on their own play apart from the main line of the narrative, an obtruding performance or scene, an unexplained ellipsis or sudden character reversal, the chunk life of an object seizing the frame in an insert whose plastic beauty transcends its context.

Though the extremes of pure narrative economy (in which each detail exists purely for transmission of plot) or utter dispersal (in which no piece connects to any other) can never exist, we can tentatively use the concepts as limit-cases to differentiate films which make room for their phantoms (or, in the worst case,
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Centennial: Do You Love Lucy?

Today is the centennial of one Lucille Ball, born 100 years ago on this very day in New York. Her most famous incarnation was obviously "Lucy Ricardo" on television's beloved sitcom I Love Lucy. But until I Love Lucy and intermittently afterwards, she graced the silver screen, too.

The earliest entry in her filmography I've personally seen is the wonderful ensemble comedy Stage Door (1937) which is an absolute must-see for all actressexuals. No matter where you look on the screen in that film aboard a boarding house for Broadway dreamers, there's a screen goddess for your eyeballs: Hepburn, Ball, Rogers, Miller, Arden. Ball's last film was the ill fated musical Mame (1974) which is often ridiculed for its liberal use of ye olde 'smear the screen with vaseline' de-aging technique and for the quality -- or lack thereof -- in the singing. But even if Mame isn't anything like a classic, if
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Lucille Ball Movie Schedule: Easy To Wed, The Big Street, Panama Lady

Lucille Ball, Easy to Wed Lucille Ball Centennial on TCM: Stage Door, Best Foot Forward Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am Du Barry Was A Lady (1943) A night club employee dreams he's Louis Xv, and the star he idolizes is his lady love. Dir: Roy Del Ruth. Cast: Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly. C-101 mins. 8:00 Am Panama Lady (1939) An oil man forces a cabaret singer to work for him after she tries to rob him. Dir: Jack Hively. Cast: Lucille Ball, Allan Lane, Steffi Duna. Bw-65 mins. 9:30 Am Without Love (1945) A World War II housing shortage inspires a widow to propose a marriage of convenience with an inventor. Dir: Harold S. Bucquet. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball. Bw-111 mins. 11:30 Am Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949) An inept secretary goes to work for a bogus real estate firm thinking it's for real.
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Lucille Ball Centennial on TCM: Stage Door, Best Foot Forward

Unlike Robert Taylor, who would have turned 100 today, or Ginger Rogers, whose centennial was last July 16, Lucille Ball is actually going to be remembered on the occasion of what would have been her 100th birthday this Saturday, August 6. Turner Classic Movies' "Summer Under the Stars" series continues with 14 Lucille Ball movies. All of them have been shown before on TCM. [Lucille Ball Movie Schedule.] As an actress working mostly at Rko (1935-42) and at MGM (1943-46), Lucille Ball has been a TCM regular, as the Time Warner library encompasses films made at those two studios. On Saturday, TCM will also show the United Artists' release Lured, a crime drama directed by Douglas Sirk, and co-starring George Sanders, and two comedies Ball made during her tenure at Columbia in the late '40s: Miss Grant Takes Richmond (1949), co-starring William Holden, and The Fuller Brush Girl (1950), a reboot of The Fuller Brush Man (1948), which starred Red Skelton.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

15 Directors Who Shaped My Movie Love

So there's this meme going around that Paolo tagged me with. So why not? The idea is that you list 15 directors, mainly off of the top of your head, that contributed to the way you experience and think about the movies. This is not a list of my all time favorites though half of the list would probably overlap. This is the list I come up with when I think briefly on the formative masterminds and/or the ones that have or had some sort of claim on my soul if you will. Three of them I could definitely live without at this point but I'm trying to be honest about the exercize.

Wise with Wood ~ West Side Story So here goes in no particular order... 

Robert Wise (1914-2005)

When I was a kid West Side Story and The Sound of Music were the most Epically ! Epic !!! movies to me.
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