Monday, April 21, 2014

Apr 20th
Mean Streets**     

(US 1973)                                  

Four racketeering friends in New York's Little Italy get themselves into trouble over money and disorder.
Scorsese's first major work, a typically well made (and presumably semi-autobiographical) story about unpleasant characters, in a style similar to the later Goodfellas, although heavily influenced at the time by Cassavetes, with semi-improvised and often incoherent dialogue.

Written by: Mardik Martin, Martin Scorsese.
Producer: Jonathan T. Taplin.
Director: Martin Scorsese.
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, David Proval, Richard Romanus, Amy Robinson, David Carradine, Robert Carradine, Martin Scorsese.
Photography: Kent Wakeford.
Music: Various.
Editing: Sidney Levin.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Apr 18th
Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan*    

(Fra 2012)      

Affectionate, slavishly covered film-by-film celebration of Harryhausen's work, the great uncle of modern film fantasy (although due credit is briefly given to Willis O'Brien and even Georges Melies), making the generous boast that the likes of Lucas, Jackson, Spielberg, Cameron, etc. would not have made their films without him. The number of illustrious admirers interviewed certainly testifies to that, in what is a long but pleasant troll through some occasionally very enjoyable and always watchable fantasies.

Written and Directed by: Gilles Penso.
Producer/Music: Alexandre Poncet.
Contributions by: Ray Harryhausen, Tony Dalton, Peter Jackson, Colin Arthur, Ray Bradbury, Tim Burton, James Cameron, Joe Dante, Guillermo Del Toro, Terry Gilliam, Vanessa Harryhausen, John Landis, John Lasseter, Nick Park, Steven Spielberg, Phil Tippett, and others.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Apr 15th
The Valley of Gwangi     

(US 1969)                    

In turn of the 20th century Mexico, a lost valley of living dinosaurs wreaks its vengeance on the locals after they have tried to steal its secrets.
Unlikely but entertaining Western dinosaur yarn, with enough plot weaknesses to drive a spear at, but better than usual inregration of live and animated action in the familiar Harryhausen style.

Written by: William E. Bast.
Producer: Charles H. Schneer.
Director: James O'Connelly.
Starring: James Franciscus, Gila Golan, Richard Carlson, Laurence Naismith, Freda Jackson, Curtis Arden.
Photography: Erwin Hillier.
Music: Jerome Moross.
Special Effects: Ray Harryhausen.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Apr 12th
Under the Skin* (15)        
Ipswich Film Theatre                

(GB 2013)

A presumed alien in a woman's body stalks Glasgow luring lonely men to their deaths, but gradually has to come to terms with her own human identity.
Intriguing sci-fi/horror documentary shorn of most of the clich├ęs of the genre, vague in its plot (such as there is) with minimal dialogue, and heavy on atmosphere, a jarring soundtrack and long enigmatic static camera shots. A more unusual film you will not see this year.

Written by: Walter Campbell, Jonathan Glazer, based on the novel by Michel Faber.
Producers: Nick Wechsler, James Wilson.
Director: Jonathan Glazer.
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, and others.
Photography: Daniel Landin.
Music: Mica Levi.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Apr 10th
The Matrix**      

(US/Australia 1999)                        

The world as we know it is controlled by an artificial intelligence system known as the Matrix, with the remaining conscious humans battling the machines to get back their identity.
High concept sci-fi thriller with some trendy action for its "real" scenes, becoming quite a cult with its various pretensions to semi-spiritual technological overtones, to become the sleeper hit of its year.

Written and Directed by: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski.
Producers: Joel Silver, Dan Cracchiolo.
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Joe Pantoliano, Hugo Weaving, Gloria Foster, Marcus Chong.
Photography: Bill Pope.
Music: Don Davis.
Visual Effects Supervision: John Gaeta.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Apr 1st  
Swimming with Sharks*                         

(US 1994)

A film school graduate takes his revenge on the bullying producer he has been working under to try and climb the Hollywood ladder.
Dirtier variation on The Player combined with Wall Street megalomania, but covering the even crazier business of making movies. 90 minutes of Kevin Spacey barking quickly becomes repetitive however.

Written and Directed: George Huang.
Producers: Steve Alexander, Joanne Moore.
Starring: Frank Whaley, Kevin Spacey, Michelle Forbes, Benicio Del Toro, T.E. Russell, Roy Dotrice.
Photography: Steven Finestone.
Music: Tom Hiel.
Editing: Ed Marx.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mar 25th  
Angels One Five**      
(GB 1952)                          

Exploits of members of RAF Neethley during the height of the Battle of Britain.
Stoic, quietly effective war drama, in parts as moving as The Way to the Stars, and unlike most airborne dramas, has easy to follow action scenes.

Written by: Derek Twist, based on the book "What Are Your Angels Now?" by Pelham Groom.
Producers: John W. Gossage, Derek Twist.
Director: George More O'Ferrall.
Starring: Jack Hawkins, John Gregson, Michael Denison, Cyril Raymond, Dulcie Gray, Andrew Osborn, Humphrey Lestocq, Veronica Hurst.
Photography: Christopher Challis.
Music: John Wooldridge.

Preceded by:
Something Fishy
(GB 2014. 3m.; A goldfish's perspective on a 'cat burglar' threatening households.; d: Ian Martin; s: voice of Paul Reed, Gavin Radcliffe, Kate McCormick.)