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.

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!

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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Georges Melies

Written by Joe D on August 10th, 2021

Here is a very informative documentary on the great Georges Melies, father of the fantasy film. He invented a lot of techniques still used today.

And here is a great website with an excellent article on Melies:

Méliès, Georges

Jessica Beshir’s Hairat

Written by Joe D on July 26th, 2021

Jessica Beshir grew up in the city of Harar, Ethiopia. She became a filmmaker and wanted to show the semi mythical relationship between Yussuf Mume Saleh and the hyenas he fed outside the walls of the ancient city. On her way to film him she met a young poet, Elias Shagiz Adonay Tesfaye and his poetry was incorporated into the film. This is pure magic and proves once again that Black and White is beautiful.

Time Piece Jim Henson

Written by Joe D on July 19th, 2021

Before he started making Muppets Jim Henson made films, here’s one of them: Time Piece.

Chang Cheh’s Kid With The Golden Arm vs Rza’s Man with The Iron Fists and Tarantino’s Kill Bill

Written by Joe D on June 28th, 2021

Here’s another gem you can watch on Amazon Prime. Chang Cheh’s Kid With The Golden Arm. It’s very entertaining, a lot of fun with great fight choreography. You can see what an influence this film had on Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill) and The RZA (Man with the Iron Fists) . I should know I worked on both those films. Chang Cheh reunites his cast from the 5 Venoms another hugh hit! The story does have parallels with MWTIF, a shipment of Gold sent to help a province afflicted by a Famine, Off beat Government agents secretly helpiong to protect the Gold, Poison used as a weapon. The list goes on. Buit watch them all and decide for yourself!

 

And here’s a link to The Kill Bill Bootleg Trailer I edited with Quentin.

Milton Moses Ginsberg

Written by Joe D on June 23rd, 2021

MM Ginsberg has passed on. He was an editor of documentaries, a writer and a director. screen them for the class. I met him through my friend Dean Wetherell, he worked with Milton’s broter Arthur, who is a film editor and directed the Iceman documentaries about a prolific serial killer. .Milton  would edit big documentaries to earn cash then write scripts in his time off. He made a film called Coming Apart, all shot from one angle, kind of Andy Warhol style but with good actors, Rip Torn, Sally Kellerman. He complained to me that a trailer company put some money into the film on the conditioon that one of the principals of the company got credit as the editor. “It’s all one shot!” He yelled, “What editing?!” He was still pissed off about it years later. But he was a nice, talented guy and he kept at his Art no matter what. A lesson to us all. Fare Thee Well, MMG.

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.

2001 in 4K! Ray Lovejoy vs. Stanley Kubrick and Pablo Ferro

Written by Joe D on June 7th, 2021

I just got the 4K BluRay of Kubrick’s 2001. And I have to say it is stupendous! It looks incredible!

 

Especially the outer space footage. All done with miniatures and opticals and it looks better than what they do today. Why? Great Artisans and great taste! Stanley held everyone to the highest standards and you can tell when you watch the film. Plus shot in 65mm! With great talents like Doug Trumbull and Wally Veevers. Astonishing! The SlitScan sequence and liquid abstractions have never looked better. So cool. I was friends with the great editor Ray lovejoy.

Ray Lovejoy

A really nice super talented guy. He was the assistant editor on Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Strangelove. 2001 was his first editing job! Talk about starting at the top! He said Stanley was very nice to work with on Dr. Strangelove.

Pablo Ferro

He also said my friend the late great Pablo Ferro drove the English negative cutters and Lab people crazy! They resigned in protest! Pablo was a bit unorthodox but a sweet talented guy. I guess he showed up at the Lab in the middle of the night to make some changes to the title sequence and the lab people had had enough! They resigned! Kubrick (so the legend goes) got an armoured vehicle to transport his precious negative to a new lab! Anyway Ray said that 2001 was such a huge job with opticals being done all over the world, no one optical house could possibly get it done in time, and Kubrick was trying to stay on top of every minute detail. It drove him crazy. Ray said he was never the same after 2001. The giant complicated film took it’s toll on Stanley. Anyway watch the 4K if you are able and be blown away by it’s beauty!

Stanley Kubrick