Monthly Film

February Film: Under the Red Robe Analysis

A dowdy swashbuckler even at the time of its release in 1937, Under the Red Robe remains a curiosity today as the final film by Victor Sjöström, the father of Swedish cinema. Born in Silbodal in western Sweden, an infant Sjöström moved with his parents to Brooklyn, returning to Sweden at the age of seven and spending the remainder of…

February Film: Under the Red Robe (1937)

  Under the Red Robe 81 minutes | 8 November 1937 | United Kingdom/United States ‘The massacre of Saint Bartholemew in 1572 had swilled the gutters of Paris with Huguenot blood. 50 years later, diehards in the South were still a thorn in the side of Cardinal Richelieu. It was a period of plot and counter-plot, of reckless gallantry and ruthless…

January Film: The Great Flamarion Analysis

Based on a short story by the Austrian writer Vicki Baum, The Great Flamarion is full of film history resonance and would seem ripe for critical reassessment: set in the world of vaudeville, depicting an embittered artiste who kills at the behest of a femme fatale, the picture was an early directorial effort from Anthony Mann, who would later become renowned…

January Film: The Great Flamarion (1945)

  The Great Flamarion 76 minutes | 13 January 1945 | United States ‘Erich von Stroheim is The Great Flamarion, a marksman who employs a married couple for his vaudeville act. Having decided to rid herself of her husband, Connie plots to trick The Great Flamarion into doing the dirty work for her.’ Director: Anthony Mann Producer: William Lee Wilder Screenplay: Anne Wigton, Heinz…

December Film: Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka Analysis

After the embarrassing failure of the adolescent poem Hanz Kuchelgarten, Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka was the first collection of short stories published by Nikolai Gogol, in two volumes between 1831 and 1832. The collection was an immediate success. While Gogol had already been taken up by the leading literary figures of the day, including Anton Delvig and Vasily Zhukovsky, had made…

December Film: Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka (1961)

  Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka («Вечера на хуторе близ Диканьки») 66 minutes | 8 December 1961 | Soviet Union Based on the story ‘Christmas Eve’ by Nikolai Gogol, this eccentric and fantastical fairy tale takes place near the village of Dikanka on the night before Christmas. Amid carol singing, drunken revelry, and amorous hijinks, the blacksmith Vakula persuades the Devil to fly him to…

November Film: The Little Match Girl (1928) Analysis

The Little Match Girl (‘La Petite Marchande d’allumettes‘), based on the short story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, was the eighth of nine silent films directed by Jean Renoir. Released in June 1928 – still in the early phase of Renoir’s career, a decade before his French masterpieces Grand Illusion (1937), The Human Beast (1938), and The Rules of the…

November Film: The Little Match Girl (1928)

  The Little Match Girl (‘La petite marchande d’allumettes’) 34 minutes | 8 June 1928 | France ‘From Hans Christian Andersen’s story to the screen by Jean Renoir, Catherine Hessling as Karen evokes delight and pathos. An impoverished girl tries to sell matches on NYE. Shivering with cold and unable to sell her wares, she sits in a sheltered nook. Striking a match…

October Film: Carnival of Souls Analysis

Herk Harvey – the professional name of Harold Arnold Harvey, born 3 June 1924 – was a student of the theatre, first as an undergraduate then as a graduate at the University of Kansas, acting and directing and afterwards remaining at the university to teach. In 1952 he was hired by the Centron Corporation, an industrial and educational film production…