La grande illusion/The great Illusion (1937)
Posts tagged Retro.
Susan George and Dustin Hoffman in “Straw Dogs” (1971)
“Peeping Tom” also known as “Face of Fear” (a movie way ahead of its time), directed by Michael Powell and written by Leo Marks, was released in theaters a month before Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”. Both are about men killing off beautiful women in horrific ways.
While Psycho maintains some suspense over the nature of the killer, Peeping Tom has him front and center, presenting a compelling and conflicting examination of his mind. Starring Karlheinz Böhm as Mark Lewis, a shy, lonely and quiet man with a dark secret, on his off hours, he supplies a local porno shop with cheesecake photos and dabbles in filmmaking, at night he’s killing young women, using a movie camera to film their dying expressions.
A Billy Wilder film, based on Charles R. Jackson’s novel about the desperate life of a chronic alcoholic, followed through a four day drinking bout. Starring Ray Milland, Jane Wyman and Phillip Terry.
Don Birnam, long-time alcoholic, has been “on the wagon” for ten days and seems to be over the worst; but his craving has just become more insidious. Evading a country weekend planned by his brother Wick and girlfriend Helen, he begins a four-day bender. In flashbacks we see past events, all gone wrong because of the bottle. But this bout looks like being his last…one way or the other.
Gwyneth Paltrow in “Shakespeare in Love” (1998)
What an ironic title. If theres one movie that will make you depressed, it’s “Happiness”. A movie by Todd Solondz, who is known for making heartbreaking films, such as “Welcome to the Dollhouse” and “Storytelling”. This one gets so intense at times I could barely look, it literally took my breath away!
There are 10 different characters (and more) connected to each other, some very weird and some very lonely, but all in all, they try to find happiness. All the actors did a great job, from young to old, but Dylan Baker as the therapist/father/psychopath/pedophile, was the most convincing character for me. Loneliness, rage, sexual repression/obsession, disintegrating marriages, sadly sophisticated children, relationships built upon artifice, this film has it all. Got 134 minutes and a desire to see something darkly different? Watch “Happiness”.
A film directed and written by Clive Barker (based on his novel “The Hellbound Heart”), starring Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Sean Chapman, and Ashley Laurence. Barker has delivered us a real horror story, packed with intensity, both emotionally, as well as physically, also with a great/scary soundtrack. Though the special effects from the 80’s make you smile a little, “Hellraiser” can be pretty revolting, so I don’t recommend this to everyone!
Clive Barker’s feature directing debut graphically depicts the tale of a man and wife who move into an old house and discover a hideous creature - the man’s half-brother, who is also the woman’s former lover - hiding upstairs. Having lost his earthly body to a trio of S&M demons, the Cenobites, he is brought back into existence by a drop of blood on the floor. He soon forces his former mistress to bring him his necessary human sacrifices to complete his body.
Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall on the set of “How to Marry a Millionaire” (1953)
A Russian film also known as “My Name Is Ivan” or “Ivan’s Childhood”, beautifully directed by Andrey Tarkovskiy. The movie is about Ivan, a 12 year old boy, played by Nikolay Burlyaev, who works as a spy at the eastern front. He can cross the German lines unnoticed to collect information, while three Soviet officers try to take care of him.
Vladimir Bogomolov wrote “Ivan” which is a fictional story but is based on real facts. It caused a sensation in 1962, no one had seen such a powerful motion picture about war and what it does to the youngest and weakest - the children. It’s a bleak, haunting and horrifying portrait of lost innocence and the childhood that was interrupted the very day the boy’s family was murdered.
A film by Otto Preminger, starring Dana Andrews as police detective, who falls in love with the woman whose murder he’s investigating, Laura, played by gorgeous Gene Tierney.
Detective Mark McPherson investigates the killing of Laura, found dead on her apartment floor before the movie starts. McPherson builds a mental picture of the dead girl from the suspects whom he interviews. He is helped by the striking painting of the late lamented Laura hanging on her apartment wall. But who would have wanted to kill a girl with whom every man she met seemed to fall in love? To make matters worse, McPherson finds himself falling under her spell too. Then one night, halfway through his investigations, something seriously bizarre happens to make him re-think the whole case.