Pablo Ferro passes on.

Written by Joe D on November 17th, 2018

My dear friend Pablo Ferro passed away last night at the age of 83. He was the greatest, nicest guy. Super talented, he loved working, creating, doing incredible things.He was friend and collaborator to Stanley Kubrick, Hal Ashby, Bob Downey, Steve McQueen, Jeff Bridges, so many amazing people. He got me the job editing The Sunchaser for Michael Cimino and I tried to get him gigs whenever I could. Actually Pablo gave Cimino his start in filmmaking.  He was a legend. So raise a glass to a departed genius. Here’s a taste of his crazy magic.

Orson Welles Lady From Shanghai Crazy Mirrors Sequence

Written by Joe D on November 8th, 2018

Here is the granddaddy of all Mad Mirror scenes! Orson directs and stars with his beautiful ex-wife Rita Hayworth and Mercurey Theater alumnus Everett Sloane, Mr. Berstein from Citizen Kane. Amazing photgraphy in this film, you can really feel the extra silver  in the old nitrate film stock. Rita is so amazingly gorgeous in the scene on the yacht. A crazy film but worth checking out.

 

Little Shop Of Horrors, COLORIZED!

Written by Joe D on November 2nd, 2018

two geniuses- Chuck Griffith and Mel Welles

I am not a fan of colorized movies, I love B&W films! But I must say I enjoyed this vcolor version of the Chuck Griffith/Roger Corman classic. Probably because the original B&W photography was not the greatest. They shot the movie in 4 days or something so not much time to nitpick the lighting. Anyway Enjoy it IN COLOR!

The Pit And The Pendulumn

Written by Joe D on November 26th, 2017

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Here is a short film of E.A.Poe’s great story, The Pit and The Pendulumn. Made by the illustrious animator/ filmmaker Jan Svankmajer. Super creepy, great sound effects, wonderful design by his talented wife, it’s a masterpiece. It does take a few liberties with the original story, in Poe’s version the walls of the room come together like a flattened box, forming a narrower and narrower lozenge, the metal walls of which are red hot, ay the center of the lozenge is the Pit which the victim is forced to fall into, devilishly ingenious. Svankmajer has the metal wall push one towards the Pit, a slight difference, also the end of the story turns out differently. But the subjective viewpoint he uses does match the internal monolouge of Poe’s version, without a voice over. I think it’s an interesting creative choice. The fiendish decorations seem inspired by Hieronymous Bosch and are beautifully realized. What a cool film. So wonderful it was made, there aren’t enough works like this these days, personal, artistic, artisinal. Check it out.

P.S. Here is a translation of the Latin quote at the begining of the piece, it is from Poe’s story as well.
Here an impious mob of torturers, insatiable, fed their long-lasting frenzies for innocent blood. Now that the fatherland is safe, now that the cave of murder has been destroyed, in the place where foul death once was, life and health are open to all.

Robert Enrico’s Chickamauga

Written by Joe D on November 13th, 2017

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Everyone has seen an Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, the short film by Robert Enrico based on a short story by Ambrose Bierce. It was even shown on The Twilight Zone by Rod Serling. But did you now it was only one chapter in a trilogy feature film by the great Robert Enrico? Here is a dupey looking copy of the first chapter Chickamauga, another story by Bierce about a particularly vicious Civil War battle at that Indian named location. It’s great, the production value of all the soldiers in the woods, the creative use of sound, the mood, all amazing. Europeans were fascinated by the American Civil War. It was the first modern war that used rifles, cannon’s, primitive machine guns on such a large scale. German officers came and toured the battle sites in preparation for their own warmaking. Enrico was obsessed with America of the 1800’s, he did a film based on Edgar Allan Poe’s Pit and The Pendulum that is worth checking out. Much truer to the story than Roger Corman’s Vincent Price vehicle, which I must say I greatly enjoyed as a kid.

Manson Family Vacation

Written by Joe D on October 19th, 2017

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Here is an excellent film that polarizes people in an unconventional way. Some people are repulsed by Charlie Manson, others are fascinated by the story of the Family. It is compelling stuff, the murder of a Movie Star, almost a ritual sacrafice. Manson preached love, environment, fair treatment of animals but he also brainwashed seemingly normal young people into committing heinous acts of murder. A very strange compelling case, hence the 60,000 pieces of mail Manson gets every year in prison. There is an interesting documentary on Manson called Manson but get the early one if you can the new one has a lot of horrible voice over. Anyway Manson Family Vacation deals with Manson peripharelly , although there is footage of him in the movie. It’s about two brothers and their strained relationship. I don’t want to go into too much detail, watch the movie, but the writing and acting are top notch. This is a funny film but funny in an intelligent, thought provoking way which I really like. And you can stream it on Netflix! So Bravo everyone involved with this film, great job. I understand this was made on weekends so everyone could keep their day jobs. That’s an admirable love of filmmaking.

David Lynch on Surrealist Cinema

Written by Joe D on October 8th, 2017

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Here’s a British Film Show called Arena. David Lynch is the host and he discusses Surrealist Films and the influence they had on him. Bad quality tape but a great show.

Stanley Kubrick’s Fear and Desire

Written by Joe D on October 3rd, 2017

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Hear Kubrick talk about and put down his first film. Then watch it for yourself and make up your own mind.
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Deadline U.S.A.

Written by Joe D on September 17th, 2017

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Here is one of the all time great newspaper movies. With Bogey, Ethel Barrymore and Kim Hunter. Written and Directed by Richard Brooks, based on the demise of The New York Sun, a paper that folded in 1931. I think it’s very relevant these days with all the attacks on the press and newspapers shutting down. We need newspapers and reporters to keep letting us know about all the crimes and corruption that infects our cities and government. And now you can watch it on YouTube.

Fellini directs Juliet Of The Spirits

Written by Joe D on August 31st, 2017

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This is amazing footage of a maestro at work on his first film in color. I have seen this footage in color, I’ll try to find it again. The thing that gets me is when you watch the film, everything is so beautiful. The house, the lawn, the sangria, but when you watch this behind the scenes footage it all looks like it’s made of cardboard, ready to fall apart, it has none of the richness the camera gives it. This is the power of Cinema.

Happy Birthday Mario Bava

Written by Joe D on August 2nd, 2017

July 30 is Bava’s birthday so to celebrate here’s a link to a film
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Antonioni shorts

Written by Joe D on April 15th, 2017

antonioni.jpgHow did the great Michelangelo Antonioni get started one might ask? He was a painter and had written film criticism. After the war he got a chance to make some short documentaries. Already you can see his talent for capturing atmospheric images, the importance of the settings he places his characters in, see the artist finding his palette, his voice, his vision. Here for your viewing pleasure are two of his documentaries. Gente del Po, a film about the inhabitants of an area in Italy, centering on the Po river and N.U. about the street sweepers of Roma. Enjoy!