Le Corbeau

Written by Joe D on July 23rd, 2010

Here’s a film that got made in France under Nazi occupation and was a veiled attack on fascism. Nevertheless it got it’s director, Henri-Georges Clouzot in hot water. Critics wanted him arrested for collaboration, banned from filmmaking, executed! He was judged by a panel of “experts” that never even saw his film. The affair Clouzot was a scandal and many notable French filmmakers came to Clouzot’s defense including Jean Renoir and Jean Pierre Melville. Clouzout was vindicated and directed many classic films after the war but I think Le Corbeau is his best film. Made under extremely difficult circumstances and by all accounts an unpleasant experience for all who worked on it, it emerges from the troubled waters of creation a masterpiece like Venus rising from the foam of a tempest tossed sea. If you look carefully at the Marquee in Inglorious Basterds you will see Le Corbeau is showing at the Parisian theater the heroine runs.

Robbe-Grillet’s L’Immortelle

Written by Joe D on July 18th, 2010

Here is an incredible scene from Alain Robbe-Grillet’s first and best film L’Immortelle. It features some of the most mysterious, mesmerizing belly dancing ever captured on celluloid. I wrote about this film after seeing it Here.
Please watch and enjoy!

UPDATE! I’ve been thinking about it and I believe this is a different version of the scene than what I saw in the theater. I distinctly remember Close Ups of the dancer. Very Strange!

Clouzout’s Inferno

Written by Joe D on July 17th, 2010

Here’s some experimental footage shot by Henri-Georges Clouzout from his abandoned film Inferno. Romy Schnieder is beautiful and the visuals are stunning. A documentary about this lost film is being released right now, it’s playing in New York and will open soon in Los Angeles.

Prepare to be Mesmerized.

And here’s the trailer for the Documentary, in French.

Vonetta McGee 1945-2010

Written by Joe D on July 15th, 2010

The lovely Vonetta McGee has passed on to the next dimension. Luckily for us trapped here on Earth we can still enjoy her beauty projected on the Silver Screen. She got her break appearing in Sergio Corbucci’s Il Grande Silenzio, a top notch Spaghetti Western, and she is an amazing presence in that film.

A gorgeous Black woman in a Western! Corbucci had vision, it’s no wonder that he is one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite directors. Vonetta also appeared in The Eiger Sanction playing against another veteran of the Italian western, Clint Eastwood.

Alex Cox, a huge fan of Il Grande Silenzio and an expert on Spaghetti Westerns cast Vonetta in his cult hit Repo Man probably because she was in The Great Silence.

She is also in a film of gigantic cultural significance, Blacula.

Goodbye Vonetta, we will all miss you. Maybe Quentin will put together a retrospective of your films and screen them at the New Beverly or The CineFamily. I think that would be Super Cool.

Gone With The Pope to screen at the New Beverly

Written by Joe D on July 13th, 2010

Damn, I wish I could go see this film tonight but I’m working! Duke Mitchell’s lost film,Gone With The Pope,finally finished by Bob Murawski will unspool at the super cool New Beverly Cinema tonight July 13th at 7:30 pm. The story goes that Murawski tracked down Duke’s son and was given 10 boxes of film, some notes and a VHS copy. He began working on it in his spare time and now it’s ready. Hats off to Bob for dedication and perseverence and honoring the work of a deceased filmmaker. A Great Accomplishment! Duke Mitchell had an act in the 50’s with Sammy Petrillo, they were like Dean Martin,& Jerry Lewis clones, they made one film Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla before a lawsuit put an end to their act. So thanks to Murawski and his partner Sage Stallone for resuscitating this lost gem and their Grindhouse Releasing for getting it out.