Cinema

Capsule Movie Review: Virgin Mountain (2015)

Virgin Mountain (Fúsi) Dramatic Comedy | 93 Minutes | 2015 | Iceland * * * * Fúsi (Gunnar Jónsson) is forty-three years old and a virgin, still living at home with his mother. He spends his days working as a baggage handler at Keflavik airport, his evenings wargaming with his friend Mörður (Sigurjón Kjartansson), as together they painstakingly recreate the Battle of…

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…

Capsule Movie Review: The Assassin (2015)

The Assassin (刺客聶隱娘) Martial Arts | 105 Minutes | 2015 | Taiwan/China * * * * * In 9th century China, the weakened Tang Dynasty struggles to retain control over its militarised province of Weibo. Nie Yinniang (Shu Qi) has been trained by the nun Jiaxin (Fang-Yi Sheu) to assassinate corrupt government officials, but though she possesses all of the art, she cannot…

Lobby Cards: The Apartment (1960)

* * * Around 1910, movie theatres began printing what came to be known as lobby cards as a means of advertising currently showing films. Typically issued in sets of eight, they featured still images accompanied by the film’s title and selected credits: usually including the producer or director, distributor, and starring names. Until about 1930 lobby cards measured 8 x…

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…