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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Killers From Space a Twin Peaks Return influence?

Written by Joe D on September 21st, 2017

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I just happened to watch Killers From Space today on YouTube. This is a movie I loved as a kid, a scene from it, where Peter Graves is menaced by a giant Gila Monster was in the Chiller Theater credit sequence!
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It had a lot going for it, the desert, atomic bomb tests aliens with big bulging eyes, giant insects and lizards, stock footage of jets scrambling, A bombs blasting, military stuff up the wazoo, all things I was into as a 10 year old.
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by the way this is Warren Oates in an episode of The Outer Limits that looks influenced by Killers From Space!
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Anyway I noticed some strange similarities to the latest season of Twin Peaks, which I think was groundbreaking! Amazing! Visionary! I loved it. OK first of all the Atomic Bomb plays a big role in both, in Killers From Space the aliens use the bomb to mutate insects and reptiles to giant size to destroy humanity, in Twin Peaks the A bomb mutates a weird insect lizard thing that winds up down some poor girls throat. In KFS the aliens have strange uniforms, the belts of which bear a resemblance to the iconic zigzag pattern of the Black Lodge
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and when the head alien is getting a report from one of his minions, the minion speaks in reverse! I don’t know if it was a subconcious influence or what. Did David Lynch see this gem as a kid with a Dan’l Boone coonskin cap on? Could be! Here it is on Youtube decide for yourself!

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.

Peter Sellers Interview

Written by Joe D on September 14th, 2017

Here’s an interview with the amazing Peter Sellers. Star of Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, he played Dr. Strangelove and several other parts in that film.
I know several people that worked on that film, Pablo Ferro, who did the incredible title sequence and Ray Lovejoy, he was the assistant editor on Strangelove. He was bumped up to editor on Kubrick’s next film, 2001, a Space Odyssey. He worked with Kubrick for many years.

Voice Of Baceprot

Written by Joe D on September 3rd, 2017

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Check out this all girl Muslim Heavy Metal Band! You can’t stop cross cultural idea exchange.

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.

Senor Wences

Written by Joe D on August 4th, 2017

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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