Saturday, June 04, 2011

May Film Highlights

Read the 50 Word Film Reviews blog won't you now.

The Great White Silence(1925) Dir: Herbert Ponting.

Documentary by Herbert Ponting using his footage of Scott’s fateful journey to the South Pole. An incredible visual account, with visuals that inspire, bedazzle and haunt. An impressive restoration by the BFI with a disquieting new score, it’s an incredible journey into history and an almost alien landscape. Very special.


The Devil's - Director's Cut(1971) Oliver Reed, Vanessa Redgrave, Dudley Sutton, Gemma Jones, Michael Gothard, Murray Melvin. Dir: Ken Russell.
Review No.304

The church uses the erotic delusions of a nun to rid themselves of a troublesome promiscuous priest. Flamboyant and wild experience, one that goes to surreal lengths to mock the hypocrisies of the church, though when it comes to the consequences, it’s unremittingly brutal. Controversial and very powerful – Reed especially.


The Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec(2011) Louise Bourgoin, Mathieu Almaric, Gilles Lellouche, Jean-Paul Rouve. Dir : Luc Besson.

A adventuring writer tries to revive a mummy but ends up hunting a pterodactyl in paris. Part Indiana Jones, part Night at the Museum – superior to the latter, equal to the former. Terrific comic book caper that takes unadulterated pleasure in adventure. Just suspend your disbelief and enjoy the ride.


Pandora's Box(1929) Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer, Carl Goetz. Dir: G.W. Pabst.

An uninhibited call-girl becomes the ruin of the men, and women, who desire her. Film’s most famous hair-cut. Astonishingly raunchy German silent. A striking portrayal of an age of decadence, with Brooks superb as part conniving manipulator, part innocent, a victim of men’s lust. Iconic, but goes on too long.


Let's Scare Jessica to Death(1971) Zohra Lampert, Barton Heyman, Kevin O'Connor, Gretchen Corbett. Dir: John D Hancock.

A fragile woman moves to the country and experience ghostly vision, but is it in her mind? Takes place virtually all in daylight, but is skillfully unnerving from start to finish, making sinister the most everyday of occurances. You can guess what’s going on, but it always keeps something back.


Night of the Eagle(1962) Peter Wyngarde, Janet Blair, Margaret Johnston, Anthony Nicholls, Colin Gordon. Dir: Sidney Hayers

An academic is disturbed to learn his wife practices Witchcraft, but when she stops, bad things happen. Similar in style to Night of the Demon, putting atmosphere and suspense over overt horror, saving that to the climax, which boasts decent effects. Wyngarde and Blair are terrific - an under-appreciated gem.


The Way(2011) Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Karah Unger, James Nesbitt, Yorick van Wageningen. Dir: Emilio Estevez.

When his son dies walking the Way of St James, his father decides takes the pilgrimage himself. Has its heart in the right place and makes for gentle, warm viewing. But it’s undermined by an amateur script with clich├ęd characters and dialogue and forced incidents. And what a crap title.


Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) Lon Chaney, Jr., Ilona Massey,Patric Knowles, Lionel Atwill, Bela Lugosi, Maria Ouspenskaya. Dir: Roy William Neill.

Risen from the grave, the Wolf Man goes searches for Frankenstein, hoping that he can help him die. The first monster team-up is better than you might think, especially considering Lugosi’s lines were cut. Neil direction is strong and the supporting cast is good, although the monster’s scenes are a disappointment.


Fiend Without A Face(1958) Marshall Thompson, Kynaston Reeves, Michael Balfour, Kim Parker. Dir: Arthur Crabtree.

When villagers die mysteriously, the townsfolk blame atomic tests at the local airbase. Hard to imagine this film’s climax once was considered one of the most frightening ever created. It's a cheapo film - to everyone involved’s credit, they’re trying hard (there’s decent stop-motion), but it's honestly not very good.