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Archive for September 26th, 2008

by Allan Fish

The loss of favourite sites for moviegoers on the internet can be quite an emotional time.  Those with long memories will recall such suppliers as Machiaveldvd and others, gone but not forgotten.  The last month or two has seen three more such sites hit the dust.

Firstly, there’s the empire that was SuperHappyFun.  This American site had been going for numerous years and with its smiling child with shouting Japanese welcome, was a favourite haunt for those seeking DVDRs of films not in the public domain.  In its time, such films as Bresson’s Une Femme Douce, Fassbinder’s World on Wires (which I reviewed earlier this week) were available on their books, while for a joyous period in 2006-07, they had a subsite specialising in the Japanese New Wave, with English subtitled translations of various great works of Nagisa Oshima, Susumu Hani and Shohei Imamura, which I for one benefited greatly.  If one goes to the site (www.superhappyfun.com) now, it will take you to another site who have inherited much of their library.  I have not used this new site, so cannot comment, only to say that SHF, the acronym by which so many film buffs knew it, will be sorely missed. (more…)

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City Lights *****

by Allan Fish

(USA 1931 87m) DVD1/2

Kissing the lucky rabbit’s foot

p/d/w/ed/m  Charles Chaplin  ph  Rollie Totheroh  md  Alfred Newman  art  Charles D.Hall

Charles Chaplin (the tramp), Virginia Cherrill (the blind girl), Harry Myers (the drunken millionaire), Florence Lee (grandmother), Allan Garcia (butler), Jean Harlow, Henry Bergman, Albert Austin,

Richard Attenborough’s 1992 film Chaplin was not one of the best biopics ever made, by any stretch of the imagination.  Its best moment was a brilliant sequence showing the putting together of a movie in a hotel room to keep it from a wife’s lawyers to which some of the music for City Lights was played as backing.  Later on, we see the trouble Chaplin had with the sequence where the girl first comes to believe that the tramp is a millionaire.  That it took him so long just shows his patience, the amount of control he had on his productions at that time (only Lean and Kubrick in recent memory could match it) and his gift for using the simple to make things happen. (more…)

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