Archive for May 17th, 2011

by Allan Fish

(France 1978 780m) DVD2 (France only)

The Man with the White Beard

p/d/w  Albert Barillé  anim/art  Philippe Landrot, René Borg, Jean Barbaud, Bernard Fiève, François Fiève  m/sound  Jacques Michau  title music  “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” by Johann S.Bach

There certainly won’t be many more obscure entries than this in the selection, but you will have to forgive me this nostalgia.  Here is a series very close to my heart, something I grew up with from the days when kids television seemed from an altogether gentler, more likeable time.  The ‘Once Upon a Time’ of the title could not be more apt, as what we have here is a potted history of civilisation, of man’s history, told in twenty six just under half hour episodes.  From the dawn of time to the future, man’s history is told accompanied by the day to day lives of a group of core characters as their descendants and ancestors are seen through time.  (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(UK 1967 144m) DVD2

The old scrap heap of humanity

p  Don Levy, James Quinn  d/w  Don Levy  ph  Keith Allams  ed  Don Levy  art  Gerald Coral, James Meller

Michael Gothard (Max), Gabriella Licudi (Clio), Peter Stephens (Farson), Antony Paul (Pointer), Helen Mirren (girl in advert), Brigitte St John, Hilda Marvin, Vivienne Myles, Ines Levy, Charlotte Wolff,

It was a striking face.  It was a visage first glimpsed when he played the puritanical Felton in Richard Lester’s Musketeer movies.  He looked like, as one critic once famously said of Paul Henreid, “his idea of fun would be to find a cold, wet grave and sit in it.”  Such was my first acquaintance on film with Michael Gothard, but others followed, most famously as the maniacal witchcraft specialist in Russell’s The Devils.  He seemed made for Russell, and yet I have always felt, at the back of my mind, that there was something untapped, a missed opportunity somewhere.  It was then I heard of Herostratus

            Gothard plays Max, a young man in his early twenties, a virgin, who has slowly drifted into depressive madness up in his flat with what could only be described as schizophrenic décor.  One day, after a fit of vandalism in his apartment, from which he is evicted, he goes to an advertising agency executive and offers him a rather strange proposition.  He announces that he intends to commit suicide, and offers the boss, Farson, the opportunity to market it or otherwise as he sees fit.  (more…)

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