Archive for August 16th, 2011

by Allan Fish

(Portugal/France 2010 330m) DVD2 (France/Portugal only)

Aka. Misterios de Lisboa

The mausoleum of the mind

p  Paolo Branco  d  Raoul Ruiz  w  Carlos Saboga  novel  Camilo Castelo Branco  ph  André Szankowski  ed  Valeria Sarmiento, Carlos Madaleno  m  Jorge Arriagada  art  Isabel Branco, Paula Szabo  cos  Tania Franco

Adriano Luz (Father Dinis), Maria Joao Bastos (Angela de Lima), Ricardo Pereira (Alberto de Magalhaes), Joao Arrais (young Pedro da Silva), José Afonso Pimentel (adult Pedro da Silva), Albano Jerónimo (Count de Santa Barbara), Léa Seydoux (Blanche de Montfort), Clotilde Hesme (Elisa de Montfort), Julien Aluguette (Benoit), Martin Loizillon (young Father Dinis), Joana de Verona (Eugenia), Melvil Poupaud (Ernesto Lacroze), Joao Baptista (Don Pedro da Silva), Sao José Correia (Anacleta dos Remédios),

It’s said that when it went into production Mysteries of Lisbon was expected to be Raoul Ruiz’s last film; he was suffering from liver cancer at the time of its shooting.  He’d made various TV dramas in his early days and this Portuguese TV adaptation of a legendary, dense book by Camilo Castelo Branco, partly financed with French money, was a long-cherished project.  In many ways it would seem like a return full circle, were it not for the fact that the notion of a circle seems so foreign to Ruiz.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

by Allan Fish

(USA 1931 63m) DVD1

Marry in haste, repent in Reno

p  William LeBaron  d  William A.Seiter  w  Ralph Spence, Eddie Felch, Tim Whelan  ph  Jack Mackenzie  ed  Jack Kitchin  m  Max Steiner  art/cos  Max Rée

Bert Wheeler (Wattles), Robert Woolsey (Julius Swift), Dorothy Lee (Prudence Bruno), Zelma O’Neil (Pansy Bruno), Joseph Cawthorn (Joe Bruno), Cora Witherspoon (Aggie Bruno), Sam Hardy (Judge Jackson), Mitchell Harris (Ace Crosby), Josephine Whittell (vamp), Stanley Fields,  

So say that the names of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey are all but forgotten in the present day is somewhat of an understatement.  There’s no doubting that they were very popular in their day, almost as popular in their time as Astaire and Rogers at the same studio.  Critics were less impressed, seeing them as merely second grade Marx Brothers, without the polish of a Paramount to guide them.  Their partnership was cut short by Woolsey’s premature death in 1938, though to be fair the partnership had run its course.  Joe and Aggie Bruno gather with friends and their two daughters to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, only to announce they’re getting a divorce after their umpteenth barney.  Racing each other to Reno, their daughters set off after them to stop it.  Before they can, the old couple make it to Reno and employ opposite partners in shyster law firm Wattles and Swift, who arrange to get divorces by employing a couple of co-respondents, who turn out to be none other than themselves, with Wattles dressed in drag.  To complicate matters, sharp-shooting Ace Crosby seems to have wandered in off the set of a western wanting to pump Wattles full of lead for giving his wife a divorce.  Finally, the Bruno girls arrive to try and persuade the crooked duo to stop the divorce. (more…)

Read Full Post »