The Carpetbaggers
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by Peter Nellhaus
6M ago
Edward Dmytryk - 1964 KL Studio Classics BD Region A There is an inspired moment in The Carpetbaggers where the camera rests on the entry to a bathroom in a mansion. George Peppard is seen walking into the bathroom where Carroll Baker has been taking a bath. We do not see them but we hear the dialogue. I do not know who came up with this idea, director Dmytryk or screenwriter John Michael Hayes, but there are a couple more scenes that have similar moments. In any case, there is a soup├žon of visual wit in a film that is otherwise not known for being subtle. The Carpetbaggers already was pre-so ..read more
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Piccadilly
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by Peter Nellhaus
7M ago
E.A. Dupont - 1929 Milestone Film & Video BD Region A I had seen Piccadilly once before, as a British DVD, roughly twenty years ago. The first thing that struck me, that I had totally forgotten, was that actress Gilda Gray had top billing, her name larger than anybody else in the cast. Gray was originally known as a dancer, credited with inventing "The Shimmy", and had starred in about half a dozen films prior to Piccaadilly. The evaporation of her screen career coincided with the transition to talking pictures. By what appears to be a cruel coincidence, Piccadilly has also been the artis ..read more
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The Storms of Jeremy Thomas
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by Peter Nellhaus
8M ago
Mark Cousins - 2021 Cohen Media Group DVD Region 1 It was probably a given that Jeremy Thomas would work in the film industry. His father was Ralph Thomas, best known for making Dirk Bogarde a star in the Doctor series and a handful of more serious efforts. Uncle Gerald Thomas made a career of directing the Carry On series. There was also the more distant connection of grand-uncle Victor Saville, remembered mostly as the producer of Kiss Me Deadly. What was not a given were the films that Jeremy Thomas chose to produce. Nothing could be described as mainstream British cinema. Thomas managed t ..read more
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Creepy Crawly
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by Peter Nellhaus
8M ago
Chalit Krileadmongkon & Pakphum Wongjinda WellGo USA BD Region A I admittedly have not been keeping up with Thai cinema as I had in the past. It has been a while since I last wrote about any films and even longer since I have seen any Thai horror films. I would think the most ideal way to watch Creepy Crawly would be in a full Thai theater with an audience there to scream and laugh, usually in that order. I should note that the film's original English language title in The One Hundred, which is how the film is known outside the U.S. There may be a bit of eyeball rolling at the initial set ..read more
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Piaffe
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by Peter Nellhaus
8M ago
Ann Oren - 2022 Oscilloscope The title is an equestrian term, basically having a horse trot in place. Eva, who becomes so horse identified, is unable to stay in place, compulsively in motion. Ann Oren's film is made up of ellipses in the beginning. The various seemingly unrelated pieces do come together to create a narrative that at certain points share some of the themes of David Cronenberg. Eva's body mutates, but Oren dispenses with any kind of direct pseudo-scientific explanations. Eva is working as a foley artist, attempting to create the sounds of a horse to be used in a television comm ..read more
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Early Short Films of the French New Wave
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by Peter Nellhaus
9M ago
Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Alain Resnais, etc. - 1956-1968 Icarus Films Home Video BD Region A Two-disc set To describe these nineteen short films as being part of the Nouvelle Vague is a bit misleading. What unifies this group of films is that they were all produced by Pierre Braunberger, who also produced several features by several of the directors. In the accompanying booklet, Braunberger is quoted as saying that he financed the short films to test the young directors prior to backing such films as Shoot the Piano Player and My Life to Live. Along with the filmmakers who have be ..read more
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Love and Death - Two films on VOD
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by Peter Nellhaus
9M ago
Birth / Rebirth Laura Moss - 2023 IFC/Shudder At times I felt that there was too much underlining of the differences between the two main characters in Birth/Rebirth. Celie, the obstetric nurse, is empathetic. Rose, professionally known as Dr. Caspar, a pathologist, almost totally clinical. Celie works with birth, Rose with death. The two, who both work at the same Bronx hospital, are united after Rose essentially kidnaps Celie's six year old daughter, who officially died of a sudden bacterial meningitis infection. The two women create a synergy based on secrecy and need. Celie wants to keep ..read more
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The Fallen Bridge
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by Peter Nellhaus
9M ago
Duan Qiao Li Yu - 2022 I hope that in the near future, someone will write a comprehensive look at neo-noir films from mainland China. What is interesting to me is that this is a genre that represents some of the more interesting work in contemporary Chinese films, a overshadowed it would seem by the special effects blockbusters that usually make up the imported films seen in the west, as well as the patriotic epics extolling the heroism of Communist party members primarily during World War II. That what is seen by U.S. viewers is scattershot at best, a handful of films that play the festival ..read more
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The Spanish Dancer
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by Peter Nellhaus
9M ago
Herbert Brenon - 1923 Milestone BD Regions ABC My first time watching The Spanish Dancer and I am thinking this is another fanciful silent film about an exotic time and place, and yes, Pola Negri is attractive, but this looks like just another period piece taking place in early 17th Century Spain. And then the action moves from the countryside to Madrid, with a huge citywide celebration. The set itself is huge, with a colossal cathedral in the back, with rows of multistory buildings. And literally hundreds of extras either in period dress or costumes, clogging the streets, many doing their ow ..read more
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Strangers in the House
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by Peter Nellhaus
9M ago
Les Inconnus dans la maison Henri Decoin - 1942 KL Sudio Classics BD Region A It has been four years since Henri Decoin's Razzia sur la Chnouf was made available on home video in the U.S. With this new release only the second from a lengthy filmography, Decoin remains very much a subject for further research as Andrew Sarris might have put it. Even though Decoin is not named among his French director peers as being part of "cinema de papa", Strangers in the House comes close to being part of the so-called tradition of quality. The film is a combination murder mystery/courthouse drama from a n ..read more
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