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Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, from 1927
12.12.2011
10:06 am

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Walter Ruttmann’s Berlin: Symphony of a Great City is a beautiful portrait of a day-in-the-life of the German capital. Made in 1927, the film is perhaps too beautiful, its carefully composed images present a story of the city’s aesthetics, rather a biography of its inhabitants.

Based on an idea by Carl Meyer, who withdrew from the production after disagreements with Ruttmann’s “superficial” stylized approach to depicting life in the city. Ruttmann saw the project as a “symphonic film [made] out of the millions of energies that comprise the life of a big city”.

It took over a year to film, with cinematographers Relmar Kuntze, Robert Baberske and Laszlo Shaffer, hiding their cameras in suitcases and vans to achieve an incredibly naturalistic effect. The camera is passive, like Isherwood’s Herr Issyvoo, observing with little comment, creating any sense of drama through use of editing and montage, a style inspired by Soviet film-maker Dziga Vertov.

Eighty-four years on from its release, Ruttmann’s Berlin: Symphony of a Great City is still a beautiful and compelling film, which captured Berlin in its last days before the horrors of Nazism.

Unfortunately, the original score to accompany the film has been lost, so choose your own soundtrack to create your own mini-cinematic experience.
 

 
With thanks to Stefan Arngrim
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Dennis Hopper as Napoleon & Harpo Marx as Isaac Newton
12.11.2011
05:18 pm

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Two short clips from Irwin Allen’s The Story of Mankind (1957), a bizarre movie loosely based on the non-fiction book by Hendrik Willem van Loon.

The film tells of the trial of mankind by a council elders form outer space, who must decide whether humankind should be allowed to continue or be vaporized. For the defense, the dapper Ronald Colman as The Spirit of Man. For the prosecution, the camp Vincent Price as The Devil. The pair deliberate on the evidence, which is taken from key moments in human history, from Julius Ceaser to Christopher Columbus, Elizabeth I to Napoleon. You get the picture.

The cast was a Hollywood producer’s wet dream, which included Virginia Mayo as Cleopatra, Peter Lorre as Nero, Hedy Lamarr as Joan of Arc, Agnes Moorehead as Queen Elizabeth I, Harpo Marx as Isaac Newton and even Groucho Marx.

In the first clip, two very different acting styles come together, as Dennis Hopper presents his Method Napoleon, against Marie Windsor’s Hollywood Josephine. The two styles don’t quite gel, but Hopper’s speech about a “United States of Europe” is highly topical, considering French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s current ambitions.
 

 
The second clip has Harpo Marx as Isaac Newton discovering gravity and sliced apples with his harp.
 

 
With thanks to Richard Metzger
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Peter Cushing Likes Reading and Playing
12.09.2011
09:27 am

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Peter Cushing liked to read - as can be seen from this rather strange sequence from The Skull (1965).
 

 
When the Gentleman of Horror wasn’t reading, Peter liked to play with his toy soldiers at his home in Kensington, London, as this British Pathe News reel footage from 1956 shows. This was Mr Cushing before his career defining performances as Baron Victor in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), and as Coctor Van Helsing in Dracula (1958).
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Peter Cushing’s death wish


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Jesus
12.08.2011
08:22 am

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Nobody fucks with the Jesus!
 
(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Pulp Fiction’ reconstructed in chronological order
12.07.2011
10:33 pm

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I’ve always thought of Quentin Tarantino’s loopy masterpiece as a case of the parts being better than the sum of the whole. So I don’t see this reconstruction as sacrilege. It’s an interesting experiment that illustrates how editing can alter the dynamic of a film. Tarantino’s use of flashbacks and flash forwards in PF gave the movie a kind of metaphysical spin that ultimately proved to be hollow. A mind game not a mind expander. But it did inspire a lot of directors to attempt to replicate Tarantino’s time folding in on itself approach to editing.

Pulp Fiction begins in the middle, goes backwards and forwards further and further in time, before returning and ending in the middle.

Here’s what happens when the movie gets all linear on your ass.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Watch the TERRIBLE new trailer for ‘The Three Stooges’ movie
12.07.2011
12:34 pm

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Hey c’mere. Smell this.

It smells like…

(At one point or another, Paul Giamatti, Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn, Johnny Knoxville, Michael Chiklis and Jim Carey were all being discussed in relation to this atrocity. Methinks these gentlemen dodged career-killing bullets. This looks really, really terrible.)
 

 
Via America’s Funnyman, Neil Hamburger

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Jodorowsky’s ‘March of the Skulls’: Collective Psychomagic in Mexico
12.07.2011
08:29 am

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Late last month in Mexico City, Alejandro Jodorowsky organized the “March of the Skulls” to disperse negative energy caused by the death toll of the nation’s drug war. Nearly 40,000 Mexicans have died drug war related deaths in the past five years. The advance billing for the November 27th event described it as “the first act of collective psycho-magic in Mexico” and it attracted nearly 3000 people who donned skeleton masks, face-paint, tops hats. Some marchers carried black versions of the Mexican flag and shouted “Long live the dead!”

From the Los Angeles Times:

The “maestro” arrived at the palace steps about 1:30 p.m., causing brief havoc among the gathered calaveras as people jostled to get near him. The white-haired Jodorowsky, fit and agile at 82, wore a black sports coat, a bright purple scarf and a detailed skull mask.

Along with his family, Jodorowsky led the calaveras up the Eje Central avenue to Plaza Garibaldi in a mostly silent demonstration. In the late 1980s, he filmed some key scenes of “Santa Sangre” at this plaza, homebase for the city’s for-hire mariachi bands. On Sunday, it was easy to imagine another “Santa Sangre” scene being filmed during the march, but this time from a dark and unfamiliar future.

Someone decided the group should sing a song. It became “La Llorona,” the Weeping Woman. 

Jodorowsky was displeased with the group’s initial interpretation, so he asked for another go at it. A mariachi band joined in as accompaniment.

“There are 50,000 dead beings,” Jodorowsky said through a bullhorn, before the sea of skulls. “They are sheep. They are not black sheep. We must have mercy for these souls that have disappeared. Let’s sing this song with lament, as if we were the mother of one of these persons. Understand?”

Then he asked that all those present cross and link their arms with those of the strangers around them. The group did. They chanted “Peace, peace, peace!” until Jodorowsky asked that everyone let out a big laugh. Laughter and applause followed.

You have to love that the wiley shaman did the old “c’mon you guys can do better” routine and made them sing it again!
 

 
After the jump, a news report about Alejandro Jodorowsky’s November 27, 2011 Psychomagic event in Mexico.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
WTF?!? movie trailers: ‘Eat this dog soup! I’ll make a girl soup outta you!’
12.06.2011
03:40 pm

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Apparently the American International Film Festival will consider just about anything that comes out of a video or film camera and maybe even award it prize money. Lots of it, too!

Song Of The Blind Girl and The President Goes To Heaven are two features that recently premiered at the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based festival. Both low-budget films are from writer-director Tom Charley, who apparently won the $100,000 prize for his bizarre movies, as well as an additional $10,000 prize for best trailers(!). I don’t exactly know the back story of this festival, but if the competition was so weak that these films (and trailers) won an actual six-figure monetary prize, well, that’s, pretty pathetic. (The same guy won the year before, too, with his 2010 film Lucy’s Law.)

Song Of The Blind Girl is about a PTSD-suffering Irag War vet who kidnaps children he mistakes for his own, to reconstruct his family. The President Goes To Heaven is about a dictatorial US President who can’t get past the pearly gates.

Alert the cinematic schlockmeisters at Severin Films, I think they might have another Birdemic on their hands, maybe two!

First the $10k winning trailer for Song Of The Blind Girl. Was this cut with scissors or what?:
 

 
You’re asking yourself “What the fuck is this?” right now, aren’t you?

Now carry on to the trailer for Tom Charley’s eariler “award-winning” film, Lucy’s Law, after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Twelve hours of white noise
12.06.2011
08:39 am

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Quite possibly the finest use of the Youtube I’ve come across yet. You’re welcome.
 

 
Thanks to the redoubtable Jimi Hey !

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
‘Beyond the Valley of the Dolls’ star Cynthia Myers, RIP
12.05.2011
05:37 pm

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Sad to hear that Cynthia Myers, best known for her roll as bass playing Casey Anderson in the fictional all-girl rockers, “The Carrie Nations” in Russ Meyer’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and for being Playboy magazine’s Playmate of the Month for the December 1968 issue, died on November 4, 2011.

She was 61. The cause of her death is unknown.
 

 
Thank you Douglas DeMille

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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