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!

 

 

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.

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 Crimson Pirate, Robert Siodmak, Burt Lancaster, Robert Aldritch

Written by Joe D on August 17th, 2021

Robert Siodmak Vs. Burt Lancaster

Vs. Robert Aldritch

Here is a movie that I loved as a kid. Swashbuckling Adventure, Gymnastics, Crazy Inventions! So many cool elements that appeal to a young mind. It was directed by the great Robert  Siodmak and starred Burt Lancaster, who also produced. I guess Burt could be difficult to deal with. Siodmak “discovered” Burt, putting him in his first film, The Killers, based on a story by Ernest “papa” Hemingway, the only film adaptations of his works that Hemingway liked. Anyway Burt and Siodmak clashed and Siodmak left before the film ws completed, I think the shooting was pretty much done, but Burt wanted control. Burt was in another film (Also Great) Ulzana’s Raid, directed by Robert Aldritch, Burt insisted on creating his own cut of the film, which he did, so now there are two cuts of that film circulating out there. Burt’s cut was for the European market supposedly, but I saw it at the New Beverly Theater. I din’t know there were two cuts at the time, when I watched it on VHS, i could tell it was a different version, I researched it and found out about the different versions. Anyway Burt had his own production company and wanted to run the show. Oh well. He should have directed the films himself. Anyway here’s the trailer for The Crimson Pirate. You can watch the whole movie on Youtube but you have to pay.

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Great Stuff on Amazon Prime-Sergio Sollima’s Run Man Run and Chang Cheh’s Sword Stained with Royal Blood

Written by Joe D on June 12th, 2021

Last night I watched parts of both of these great films. We are so lucky to be able to see world cinema like this when we want to. It used to be very hard, you had to wait till a film shoed up at a revival house or on late night TV, then you had to find a video store that rented esoteric cinema. But now you can stream amazing films on Amazon Prime! So Cool. Run Man Run stars ther incredible Tomas Milian as Cuchillo , A Great Film , Check it out.

The Sword Stained With Royal Blood has as a finale one of the most Amazing Fight Scenes in Cinema, watch it and see.

Just make sure it’s the one produced by the Shaw Brothers and directed by Chang Cheh. There are other versions but I have not seen them.

The Sunchaser

Written by Joe D on May 27th, 2021

Here is one of my favorite scenes from The Sunchaser, a movie I edited for Michael Cimino. This was the last film I edited on film, in 35mm on a KEM editing machine, with splicing tape! It was a lot of work. But I did get to work with some amazing talents, Woody, Jon Seda, Anne Bancroft, Maurice Jarre, Michael Cimino. PS The whole part of them following the hawk to the sacred mountain was created by me. Wasn’t shot that way or in the script, I did it all in editing.  Thanks to the person who put this clip up, and if any of you are interested in watching the entire movie please make sure to get the Scope version not the square 4X3 that they put out. It’s a totally different experience.

Cry Danger

Written by Joe D on May 25th, 2021

Robert Parrish

Dick Powell and Rhonda Fleming

Here is a supercool film noir, Robert Parrish’s Cry Danger.  It’s worth watching for several reasons, the cast which is great, the locations, including a great trailer park that must have been on Bunker Hill before it was razed. Directed by Robert Parrish, a talented guy who was a child actor in Chaplin films, he wrote a terrific book, Growing Up in Hollwywood that I whole heartedly reccomend. I saw this at a Film Noir festival and Rhonda Fleming was there. I talked to her about this film and we emailed each other. She was real nice. Unfortunately I just read that she passed on in 2020. Farewell! She was 92 I think. Anyway take a trip down Noir Alley into old L.A. and relax.

Alex In Wonderland, Donald Sutherland, Federico Fellini, Paul Mazursky

Written by Joe D on December 31st, 2020

After making his big hit film, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, Paul Mazursky could make anything he wanted, so he made this crazy film. As Mel Brooks once said, “After a hit, you can film the phone book!” or words to that effect. This film is pretty insane but one of the great things about it is Donald Sutherland visiting Cinecita and seeing Fellini in an editing room, working with a woman editor, who is wearing a glove and splicing, at a CineMonta? editing table. Pretty Cool. The Maestro in action. Check it out

Too Much Sun, Robert Downey Sr & Jr.

Written by Joe D on December 28th, 2020

Here’s a clip from a film I edited for Robert Downey Sr. Downey Jr. is in it along with Ralph Macchio,Eric Idle , Andrea Martin, Alan Arbus, Leo Rossi, James Hong, Jennifer Ruben,and a host of others, including Howard Duff, it was his last film. In this clip you will see Laura Ernst harrassing Downey Junior at the begining. She was a great friend and married to Robert Downey Sr. But here are some funny moments. Enjoy.

Shintaro Katsu- Zatiochi Sings!

Written by Joe D on October 28th, 2020

I bought the Criterion Collection Bluray Zatiochi box set, it is great. I am going to write a piece on it soon, maybe even rate them! In the meantime here is the star of the Zatoichi films, Shintaro Katsu singing Unchain My Heart. He loved to sing, when his brother, Tomisaburo Wakayama, star of LOne Wolf and Cub, sang a song for a Lone Wolf film, Shintaro got angry and told the filmmakers to take it out. I guess he didn’t want his brother straying onto his musical turf. They did not remove the song and you can hear it in the film still. Anyway here is the great Shintaro Katsu singing. Enjoy.