Blast Of Silence

Written by Joe D on December 6th, 2021

Here is a beautifully shot low budget film, made in NYC in 1961. What amazing locations, check out Penn Station, an architectural marvel, before it was torn down to put the box of Madison Squarer Garden in it’s place. A real crime against humanity. This movie featurtes a ton of voice over by the great gravel throated Lionel Stander, who was in Once Upon A Time In The West and other cool films, like Unfaithfully Yours by Preston Sturis, and Cul de Sac by that perverted dwarf Roman Polanski.I think the VO was added later to help the film, I don’t think it was in the original script, there is a seperate credit for voice over writing.  The Ending of this film is a classic, you have to see it, kind of reminiscent of the end of Truffaut’s Shoot The Piano Player.The director and Star of this film made another film after this called Pie In The Sky or Terror in the City. I havent seen it but I will be on the lookout for it. Then he went onto direct TV shows. Too Bad. The guy has real talent, he should have stayed in the Cinema. But we all have to make a living. So too bad.

I think there is a re-release of this film happening. I went to see it at Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly on a double bill with Nighty Of The Hunter. First time I’ve been in a movie theater since the pandemic! Two great prints! They looked amazing! See it in 35mm if you are able. From the opening Out Of The Tunnel Birth sequence to the terrific ending, it’s worth it!

Out Of The Blue

Written by Joe D on November 19th, 2021

I just found out that a 4k restoration of this film is being shown in theaters. I think it’s one of Dennis Hoppers best films. I hear tell it started as an after school special, then Hopper took over and turned it into a crazy Art film. But it really is cool, great characters and acting, totally unexpected things happen in it, Check it out!

 

 

Misterios de Ultratumba / BLACK PIT OF DR M

Written by Joe D on October 29th, 2021

Here for Halloween we have a Mexican Horror film that is being screened at RED CAT, the theater under Disney Concert Hall here in Los Angeles.

And here as second half of our Halloween double bill is the Aztec Mummy!

Happy Halloween!

Gumby and Pokey In The Dough

Written by Joe D on October 20th, 2021

                                                                                       Art Clokey and his pal Gumby

Here is a surreal Fairy Tale in Stop motion Claymation that freaked me out as a young kid. Gumby always had elements of strangeness. There’s one about Indians thats also pretty deep. These were made by Art Clokey, who I hear tell, dropped LSD and became a free love hippie type , abandoning his middle class family and chasing teen aged chicks, at least so the legend goes.

                        Sneaky Pete Kleinow

One of the animators on Gumby was the amazing Sneaky Pete Kleinow, who later went on to animate the Terminator metal monster in the first Terminator film. He also did the Pilsbury dough Boy, Poppin Fresh, a lot of commercials. But he was also an amazing pedal steel guitar player! Check out his playing on Frank Zappas Waka Jawaka album, Outstanding. And he played on a lot of C&W records, plus he was a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers. What an unsung genius!

Illustrious Corpses

Written by Joe D on October 9th, 2021

I read that they were re-releasing this film in a limited release,stating in NYC. So I figured I’dcheck it out. It is directed by Fransesco Rosi ,a very creative,political filmmaker. I’ve seen a few of his other films, Salvatore Giuliano, Hands Over The City, The Swindlers. All very good and all shot by the great camerman Gianni DeVenanzo. This one however was not.Gianni died unexpectedly at age 46,but his operator Pasqualino DeSantis did shoot this film.And he did a great job,beautiful. (In my opinion no one comes close to Gianni when it comes to moving the camera around moving protagonists,the sense of space you get is magical. )

Illustrious Corpses stars the great acor Lino Ventura,a real presence on the screen. He is a real movie star. He didn’t want to act,he had to be talked into it by his friend Jaques Becker for Touchez Pas La Grisbi. And it paid off very well for him and for us,the film watchers! So thanks Jaques Becker! Also on hand are Max Von Sydow and Fernando Rey, icons of Bergman and Bunuel.  The great Piero Piccione provides the score and the editing is by Ruggerio Mastroianni, brother of Marcello! Anyway the entire movie is on Youtube. The only problem I had was with the sound level, it keeps changing, quiet for dialog, loud for musical sequences. But watch it! It is a great movie! I think my favorite of Rosi’s so far. I still have a lot of his films to see, a thought I find very reassuring.

Alice Coltrane

Written by Joe D on October 4th, 2021

Here is a video of the great Alice Coltrane playing her harp, which her husband John Coltrane gave her. It cost &50,000, some of his profits from A Love Supreme. Alice is ba spiritual musical master, she forged her own direction in music and founded an Ashram in Los Angeles. An amazing woman and a great artist. She is also the great aunt of contemporary musicia Flying Lotus. Check out her albums, she had a long creative history with Pharoah Sanders as well, another giant on the jazz scene.

CBS presents The Making of An Underground Film

Written by Joe D on September 26th, 2021

Here’s a CBS news piece from 1965, a veritable treasure trove of underground film/Art subjects! All crammed into uder 6 minutes. You get to see the early Velvet Underground, Barbara Rubin dressed as a nun in Piero Helcizer’s film as it’s being shot. Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Andy Warhol with his borrowed Norelco Video rig, Edie Sedgwick. It’s amazing. So travel back in time to NYC at the height of the Underground Film movement thanks to Youtube.

Albin Grau- Nosferatu- F.W. Murnau- Fritz Arno Wagner

Written by Joe D on September 11th, 2021

Everyone equates Nosferatu with F.W. Murnau, one of the all time great directors, and they should. He brought the film to life in such a powerful way that it still lives today. 90% of films made back then are either gone or forgotten, probably more. But let’s give credit where it’s due, Albin Grau ,who produced the film through his short lived company Prana Films also thought up the concept and designed the film. Here are some amazing images he created.

 

Albin Grau

F.W.Murnau

 

Pretty Damn Cool! You can see he was a huge part ofthe stylization,imagecreation,atmosphere,everything.Murnau ,being the supreme film artist that he was, created the celluloid realizations of these images, plus he shot on location which gave the film more reality, making it scarier.

Bram Stoker’s widow sued and won a copyright infringement lawsuit, she tried to have every copy of the film destroyed. And she almost succeded! Luckily for us a few prints and a negative escaped destruction. But Prana films was kaput! Albin Grau was forced to declare bankruptcy even though the film was a hit. The curse of Nosferatu continued with the tragic early death of Murnau in a car crash in California on the deadly Pacific Coast Highway. Years later his skull was stolen from his grave, presumably by some Satanists. Berg moved to Switzerland and worked as a graphic artist. Here’s a trailer from the restored version, so you can appreciate the beauty of Fritz Arno Wagner’s cinematography.

Dreams That Money Can Buy Featuring Stanley Kubrick

Written by Joe D on September 6th, 2021

Hans Richter

Kubrick a few years after appearing in Richters Film.

Dreams that Money Can Buy is a 1947 film by Hans Richter. I just found out that a young Stanley Kubrick appears in iyt. This was before Kubrick made any films himself. He was working as a photographer for LOOK magazine and taking night classes at a school in NYC. Richter was teaching there, he need extras for his latest production and Kubrick voluntered. I think it’s very cool that future director Kubrick appeared in an exprimental film. To help out a filmmaker! Check it out.

Kolchak The Night Stalker

Written by Joe D on September 1st, 2021

I just happened upon this on YouTube last night. One of the best TV Movies ever made! Super influential! X-Files Creator Christopher Carter sites it as a major influence. Written by Genius Richard Mathesson, he wrote the book Psycho was adapted from, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Trilogy of Terror, many TYwilight Zones, The Last Man On Earth, which has been adapted many times. The list goes on and on. A big part of why this movie is so good, Plus a great cast, Darren McGaven, Carole Lynley, Ralph Meeker, Charles McGraw, Simon Oakland, Claude Akins and Elisha Cook Jr. Some icons of Classic Film Noir. And an incredible score, kind of Dirty Harryesque, really cool. And I must say some really terrific stunt work! Makes it all seem belivable.  Many Years ago I took a Cinematography class at the Hollywood Film School, kind of a low budget AFI on Hollywood Blvd. It was taught by Michel Hugo, the guy who shot tyhis masterpiece. A very nice Frenchman and an excellent cameraman. Anyway check it out, a real blast from the past.

ANDY WARHOL’S OUTER AND INNER SPACE starring EDIE SEDGEWICK

Written by Joe D on August 27th, 2021

Andy Warhol was givren an early video recorder made by Norelco and he shot a lot of video with it.  Yu can’t watch any of it now because there are no Norelco video decks left! The curse of Rapidly Evolving Technology. He played the video in the background on a monitor and filmed SuperStar Edie in front of the monitor with a 16mm sound on film Auricon Camera. Then he distorted the video intentionally as it plkayed back, this was before Nam Jun Paik got his first video recorder. He was ahead of his time in his own weird way. Check it out .But First see her Screen Test!

 

The Sword and The Dragon

Written by Joe D on August 24th, 2021

Alexander Ptushko Russian Auteur

Russian Folk Hero- Ilya Muramets

Here is the entire movie! The magnificient Sword and The Dragon. Directed by the great Russian Fantasy Directr Alexander Ptushko! What a genius!  It’s in Russian with Spanish subtitles but it’s also in Cinemascope! The first Soviet film made with that process, also 4-track magnetic sound! It was bought by Roger Corman and released in the US in the early 60’s.  I loved this film as a kid so Enjoy!