Cinema

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…

Christmas Films: Seven of the Best

There is romance from Budapest to Bedford Falls, explosive Los Angeles action, and a little match girl who hallucinates in the hiatus between Denmark and France in Culturedarm’s collection of the seven best Christmas films. Incontrovertible classics star alongside several lesser known works, while two animated offerings show something of Christmas traditions in Scandinavia and the United States. Yours might be just…

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…

The Birds (1963): A Bird’s-Eye View of Bodega Bay

In a 1969 interview with Roger Ebert, Alfred Hitchcock described how he and his team achieved one of the most famous shots in The Birds. At a glance a bird’s-eye view of Bodega Bay, the aerial image depicts gulls swooping into frame and down towards the site of a fire which has broken out by the town’s waterfront restaurant, the result…

Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2015 In Review

Aesthetica Short Film Festival, the BAFTA-qualifying festival set across and in some cases carving out cultural spaces in the city of York, marked its fifth anniversary in 2015. Once again, 300 films were on show across fifteen venues and four days. Beyond the genres of drama, comedy, thriller, documentary, animation, music video, family friendly, experimental, and artists’ film, this year…

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…

October Film: Carnival of Souls (1962)

  Carnival of Souls 83 minutes | 26 September 1962 | United States ‘Atmospheric 60s B-horror film with a cult following. Mary Henry is enjoying the day by riding around with two friends but everything goes wrong when challenged to a drag race and their car gets forced off of a bridge. The car sinks into the murky depths, and all three women…