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Everything posted by cinemaspeak59

  1. cinemaspeak59

    Cinema Segue

    Rome, Open City for Conquest
  2. cinemaspeak59

    I Just Watched...

    I saw Hour of the Wolf last night and found it beguiling. It’s considered Bergman’s only foray into horror. Much like Persona, viewers are on their own to interpret the film. There’ve been various theories about what the film is trying to say. My take, having just seen it, is Bergman returning to one of his favorite themes: questioning the importance of art, and his judgment of the artist as deceiver, unnecessary, and brought down from external and internal forces. As you mention, there are so many haunting images. I particularly like the ghostly woman, dressed in white, who appears to Liv Ullmann’s Alma, in daylight, and tells, more like warns, Alma about the diary. Who is she? From her clothes, she resembles someone from the turn of the century. Did Alma imagine her? The castle inhabitants, the boy, are they real? This film warrants repeat viewings, although getting a concrete answer, for me anyway, isn’t the point. Sven Nykvist’s cinematography is stunning.
  3. cinemaspeak59

    Once Upon A Time In... Hollywood (2019)

    I loved Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Pitt and DiCaprio have great chemistry, and then there’s the electric dialogue of Tarantino. It’s also a love letter to Los Angeles, and the entertainment industry, at a time when Hollywood was going through profound changes. And the ending was very satisfying.
  4. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Horror

    Horror Hotel (1960) Also known by its UK title The City of the Dead. Tidy, effective thriller with the indomitable Christopher Lee as a professor of witchcraft, who sends an eager student to the fog-shrouded hamlet of Whitewood Mass. to do research on the subject. The prologue, set in 1692, establishes the history of Whitewood, and features the witch Elizabeth Selwyn being burned alive as gleeful Puritans cheer and mock. I find Puritans tailor-made for horror, with their costumes, and especially those high buckled hats. The filmmakers have an array of tricks to elevate scares: a ghostly hitchhiker, demonically-possessed townspeople, satanic rituals and pacts for immortality. Patricia Jessel as the witch delivers a creepy performance, as does Valentine Dyall as her partner Jethrow Keane. Filling out the tropes is a blind pastor with no church goers and warning about the evil present. Betta St. John plays his saintly granddaughter, owner of a bookstore that, surprise, has useful volumes on witchcraft. This is old school horror done right.
  5. cinemaspeak59

    Recently Watched Horror

    Brilliant indeed. The color had a nightmarish quality about it.
  6. cinemaspeak59

    Name a Celebrity - Name a Movie

    Cloris Leachman was in Kiss Me Deadly with Paul Stewart
  7. cinemaspeak59

    *A to Z of Movies*

    (Le) Samouraï (1967) "The Samurai"
  8. cinemaspeak59

    Name a Celebrity - Name a Movie

    Herbert Marshall was in The Painted Veil with George Brent
  9. cinemaspeak59

    The First Film That Comes to Mind...

    Bride of Frankenstein (1935) Next: non-traditional living arrangements P.S. I was replying to TB's bad hair day (sorry about that).
  10. cinemaspeak59

    "Lifeforce" (1985)

    Agree completely. It starts off fine, but the third act was way over the top. The creature effects were great, as were the outer space sets, and I liked the way the decomposed corpses looked and then sprang to life. The eerie music helped alot.
  11. cinemaspeak59

    The First Film That Comes to Mind...

    Out of the Past (1947) Next: Movies that feature a feline
  12. cinemaspeak59

    Name the Western

    Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) Next: Cathy O'Donnell
  13. cinemaspeak59

    A to Z of Characters

    Velma Valento, played by Claire Trevor in Murder, My Sweet (1944)
  14. cinemaspeak59

    A to Z of Characters

    Lota, the Panther Woman, played by Kathleen Burke in Island of Lost Souls (1932)
  15. cinemaspeak59

    Il Bidone (1955)

    Somewhere in Fellini's filmography is the overlooked Il Bidone (The Swindle), from 1955. About a trio of small-time con artists who bilk the poor by posing as priests and housing officials, Il Bidone shares with its two predecessors, I Vitelloni and La Strada, futile struggles to create destiny and moral epiphanies that come too late in the game. Italy's post war economic conditions certainly contribute to why people existed in society’s margins as crooks, hookers, freeloaders, and circus buffoons, a nod to neorealism Il Bidone boasts an affecting performance by Broderick Crawford, as Augusto, the leader of swindlers that includes familiar Fellini faces Richard Basehart, as weak-willed Picasso, and Franco Fabrizi as Roberto, reprising his no-good scoundrel role from I Vitelloni. There's a scene in which Augusto meets seasoned pro Rinaldo who, unlike Augusto, has made enough money to go legitimate, with a beautiful wife, a fashionable apartment, all which Augusto experiences when he's invited to Rinaldo’s extravagant New Year’s Eve party. It's here he faces the humiliation – it won’t be the last - that at 48 he's too old for his line of work. An encounter with a crippled girl whose family he’s about to fleece provides a Saint Paul moment for Augusto, a last chance to go straight. With Giulietta Masina, who plays Richard Basehart’s patient loving wife. Nino Rota's score give Il Bidone a lyrical touch. And there are the evocative studio sets and Rome streets that Fellini uses so well to create atmosphere.
  16. cinemaspeak59

    *A to Z of actresses and actors*:)

    Gerwig, Greta
  17. cinemaspeak59

    *A to Z of Movies*

    Contagion (2011)
  18. cinemaspeak59

    *A to Z of actresses and actors*:)

    James, Lily
  19. cinemaspeak59

    Cinema Segue

    Show Girl in Hollywood Hotel
  20. cinemaspeak59

    International films with LGBT themes

    A Special Day (1977). Sophia Loren as a stressed housewife in 1930s Italy who falls in love with Marcello Mastroianni’s gay broadcaster dismissed from his government job when his sexual orientation is revealed. The film is set during Hitler’s May 1938 visit to Rome to meet Mussolini. This was a tour de force from the two leads. It was shot in muted colors to evoke a sense of desolation and oppression. When Loren finds out about Mastroianni, her anger and shock dissipate, and their love grows stronger. Beautifully directed by Ettore Scola.
  21. cinemaspeak59

    Cinema Segue

    The Heavenly Body Heat
  22. cinemaspeak59

    ONE word titles

    Elysium (2013)
  23. cinemaspeak59

    Cinema Segue

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being John Malkovich
  24. Two movies set in the 1940's that I loved, odes to Classic Noir and both in gorgeous B&W: The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) directed the Coen Brothers The Good German (2006) directed by Steven Soderbergh
  25. cinemaspeak59

    Cinema Segue

    No Way to Treat A Lady Without Passport

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