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Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » Arts & Other Philosophical Sundries » FILM FORUM » MIDNIGHT MOVIES « Previous Next »

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Posted on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 7:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Again, I just want to tell Chicago forumites to RUN not walk to the Music Box during the first two weeks of November (starting November 1) to catch the incredible film by Roy Andersson, SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR. I saw it two years ago at Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival in Champaign, and have been bugging the distributor since about a DVD or theatrical release. FINALLY, it's opening in Chicago. I hope to see it a couple of times before it leaves town. This film will blow you away; a millennium romp in which a fortune teller is summoned, and virgin is sacrificed to save the economy, and where a businessman tries to cash in on the Jesus craze (the millennium, after all, is the 2,000th anniversary of Jesus Christ's birth) and ends up in the hole. Every lapsed Catholic needs to see this film.
Posted on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 6:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I saw an film today that might interest this crowd: LA VIE DE BOHEME (d. Aki Kaurismaki). I admit I rented it because Kaurismaki decided to boycott the NY Film Festival to protest the State Dept.'s failure to issue Abbas Kiarostami a visa to attend the festival. But the idea of seeing another adaptation of the novel upon which the opera LA BOHEME is based also appealed. I've always thought of the opera as sentimental, and imagined that a Finn might have a different take on the story.

I was right. Like most Scandinavian films, this one was droll, almost deadpan. Two of the bohemians, Rodolfo (an Albanian painter) and Marcel (a French playwright), meet in a cafe, where Marcel offers to share his trout with the penurious Rodolfo. The trout has two heads, one on each end, and no tail. Great visual gag and a perfect metaphor for artists with more vision than drive.

Nonetheless, there is a good deal of feeling in the film. The friendship between the artists and the love of Rodolfo and Mimi is sweet and heartfelt. When Mimi falls ill and must be hospitalized, Marcel and a third friend, Schaunard, a composer, sell their valuables to help pay for her care. When Mimi is about to die, she sends Rodolfo out to pick flowers for her. It is quite poignant when he returns and sees her lifeless form.

This is a comic film in some ways, lampooning the life of the always-broke artist, but it never is dehumanizing. It may not get your motor running too high, but it's worth the gas in the tank to watch it.
Posted on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 4:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I received my copy of Vampire Circus today and just finished watching it. I love the old Hammer films. And letís not forget Amicus either.

Since I donít own top of the line home theater stuff and have no capabilities to measure signal-to-noise ratio and other fancy things, this will be entirely subjective. I think itís a good transfer. Itís on Maxell P/I Plus (professional/industrial) T-120 tape. Itís labeled ďUNCUT.Ē There is one rough scene transition that reminds me of the way laser discs will cut when changing sides. Was this movie ever released on laser disc? The picture and sound are both good. I say it was worth the $22 I spent on it.

Two things of note: itís interesting how a small village in the forest has about a hundred barrels of black powder on hand to destroy the vampireís lair, and the panther/vampire from the circus is named Emil.
Posted on Monday, September 30, 2002 - 3:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just found the uncut Euro version for $21. on E-bay. VHS format
Posted on Monday, September 30, 2002 - 3:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lanman do let us know how that turns out I may order one as well.
Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2002 - 9:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I cant believe you guys have Vampire Circus. I am so envious. This forum is a great place for meeting like minded oddballs.
Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2002 - 9:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just ordered a copy from Midnight Video. I hope the quality is decent.
Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2002 - 1:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have it ... it is one of the freakier early 70's Hammer Horror flicks.
Posted on Friday, September 27, 2002 - 10:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Speaking of weirdo circus movies from the 1960's, has anyone ever seen "Vampire Circus"? I saw this on tv as a kid on the late late show. I loved it and have never seen it again. It is one of those classic B horror films from the late 60's or early 70's.
Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2002 - 8:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not quite sure where to post this, but Sam Fuller is still a cult director, so here we go. I saw HOUSE OF BAMBOO (1956) tonight on the Siskel Center's glorious wide screen. This cops and robbers caper is set in Tokyo, and the colorful street life (not to mention Mt. Fuji) add a great deal to the interest of this film.

That being said, the film really isn't that interesting. I think Fuller must have known how lame and full of holes the story was. The dialog was pure shlock (keemona girl Mariko tells Robert Stack "It's not you, it's me" when explaining that she can't go on living with him to protect him from smart-smart-smart-stupid crime boss Robert Ryan. (Ryan has every angle figured except who the real mole in his organization is and what to do when cops are after you--climb to the roof and shoot more bullets than one gun (or five guns) could possibly contain.)

In Douglas Sirk's hands, this would have been camped up to the max. Fuller is not quite the director Sirk is. Instead of excess in his characters, he goes for excess with his sets and camera work. Lots of overhead and skewed-angle shots, for no apparent purpose that I could understand. He does a superb job of capturing local color (presumably part of the film was shot in Japan), provides no subtitles for the copious amounts of Japanese that are spoken (still quite understandable to a nonspeaker, however, through action), and uses Mt. Fuji to great scenic effect. The climax recalled to me the great chase on Mt. Rushmore in NORTH BY NORTHWEST (perhaps Hitchcock was influenced by HOUSE OF BAMBOO), though it occurs in an amusement park.

Fun to see "Bones McCoy" DeForrest Kelly as a mobster whose sole purpose seems to be to hand cigars out to Ryan's friends. Some homoerotic subtext--Ryan violates his rule to kill any of his gang who is wounded during the commission of a crime, ordering his Ichiban (first officer) to save a wounded Stack from a heist scene.

I can't exactly recommend going out of your way to see this film; it's not that great and it's not even very campy. But it is a skillful piece of technical film making, and worth a look if you have the chance.
Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2002 - 1:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

BERSERK!, starring Joan Crawford as a circus owner, is one wild and wacky flick. This camp classic, made in the 60s, includes singing and dancing midgets, a bearded lady, a giant, and other assorted freaks and weirdos. Joan is in uber-dyke mode and delivers her lines as if they're made of sulfuric acid. The movie was intended to be a horror movie. If the thought of a 60 year old Crawford in tights and fuckmepumps
puts a chill up your spine, than I guess you might find this Golden Turkey pretty damned scary.

I saw BERSERK! last night on AMC. Keep an eye out for it.
Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2002 - 6:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Anyone here ever seen Angels Dance?
Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 7:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The Final Programme (1974). Sloppy realization of Michael Moorcock's story of the same name, featuring assassin anti-hero Jerry Cornelius. Jerry is played by Jon Finch, looking a lot like Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen from Changing Rooms. Also stars Sterling Hayden (as a seedy arms dealer), Patrick Magee and Sarah Douglas.

Hard to find, but it's been released on DVD by US distributor Anchor Bay.
Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 4:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

noted! thankee!
Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 3:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kallisti ~

I noticed in one of the now-closed threads that you enjoyed Dance With the Devil. You should also check out Day of the Beast, another kick-ass horror flick from the same director, Alex de la Iglesias (if I recall correctly).
Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 2:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

cult films, trash, porn, rarieties,

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