Fiction - Commercial - Corporate - Animation - Documentary
This time our film of the week needs little introduction, underground legend that it is. A labyrinth-plotted, legally-dodgy rip-off of unprecedented dimensions, « Turkish Star Wars » as it is often referred to, steals its score from Indiana Jones, entire sequences from Star Wars, and ties it all together with insane pseudo-Rambo VS Power Ranger alien action whose level of stupidity rivals anything in Monty Python’s catalogue. As you drain the blood from your eyes you’ll find it impossible to decide whether this is the worst or best film ever made.
With its lush design and iconic villain, Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is without a doubt the most visually stunning of the studio’s golden age classics. Drawing on a rich range of Renaissance art and a score adapted from Tchaikovsky eponymous ballet, the first animated feature in super-70 widescreen has barely aged a day, and we invite you to rediscover it as soon as you can.
Our film of the week is a very subtle breed of revolutionary, turning all the common expectations one has from a documentary on their head: it’s subjective, it’s got one point of view, and is uniquely cinematic. Filmmaker Errol Morris grills US Defense Secretary (Japan firebombing and Vietnam War architect) Robert McNamara and the result is spellbinding. A must-see!
Back in 1982, a seminal, character-based sci-fi film came out and marked a generation – no, it’s not ET: it’s John Carpenter’s The Thing! One of the very best, meanest and smartest horror films in memory, it takes it time building up meticulously, and then it goes apeshit, unleashing Rob Bottin’s horrific practical effects that endure to this day. For all that, though, the real genius is in the oppressive mood and that haunting opening and closing theme.
Our mov… no, our FILM of the week is the majestic Leopard, the most beautiful, mostly-interior bound 70mm epic ever made (sorry Tarantino!): though the film throws a few fine Sicilian ones at us, who needs landscapes when you have the faces of Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale?
Our film of the week is a subtle masterpiece: in Jean-Pierre Melville’s « Silence de la Mer », an old man and his niece have to share their home with an occupying German officer. They express their protest through a vow of silence. With a lot less blood but more complex emotions, it does for WWII films what « Hateful Eight » did for Westerns, and revealed a new great talent of world cinema, already a virtuoso in his startling debut.
While The Revenant tears through screens across the world, it’s time to rediscover the virtuoso man-against-nature classic Letter Never Sent, the apotheosis of Mikhail (Soy Cuba!) Kalatozov’s career. Handheld, long-take wide-angle cinematography has rarely, if ever, been this stunning!
Our end of year viewing recommendation is, inevitably, about friendship and the passage of time, but celebrates the things that stubbornly remain the same. If you haven’t seen The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp before, you’re in for a real treat. It takes courage and skill to make such a poignant, thoughtful anti-war film right as World War II was raging on, but this masterpiece transcends its context and has something touching to say about any era. One of our favorites.
Our film of the week is one of the very best sci-fi fantasy films ever made, a visual spectacle that will make your mind and eyes melt. No, it’s not Star Wars, it’s Akira, the trojan horse through which anime entered Western theaters and consciousness, and the moment we realized animation could be sophisticated, intelligent, and very un-kid-friendly.
Our film of the week is the Alec Guinness-starring masterpiece « The Horse’s Mouth ». One of Obi Wan’s finest performances in the only film he ever wrote, it’s a beautiful examination of artist’s torments and insecurities, all memorably scored to Sergei Prokofiev’s Lt Kijé.