Archive for the ‘author Allan Fish’ Category

visit 3

by Allan Fish

(Italy 1964 108m) DVD2 (Italy only)

Aka. La Visita

Donald Duck the parrot

p  Moris Ergas  d  Antonio Pietrangeli  w  Antonio Pietrangeli, Ruggero Maccari  story  Ettore Scola, Ruggero Maccari, Gino de Santis  ph  Armando Nannuzzi  ed  Eraldo da Roma  m  Armando Trovajoli  art  Luigi Scaccianoce

Sandra Milo (Pina), François Périer (Adolfo di Palma), Mario Adorf (Cucaracha), Angela Minervini (Chiaretta), Gastone Mochine (Renato Gusso),

Coming as it did at the height of the Italian art-house flowering, it’s not surprising that films such as this slipped through the cracks.  With Fellini and Antonioni reinventing themselves and Italian cinema from their neo-realist roots, the Gothic horrors of Bava and co. at their peak and enfants terribles like Pasolini and Bertolucci making a name for themselves, there were always going to be directors who fells through the cracks.  One such director is surely Antonio Pietrangeli, a director sadly taken from us far too soon and perhaps best known for his 1960 Golden Lion nominee Adua e le Compagne, a decent film in its own right, but a precursor for things to come that few outside Italy would get chance to see.  In a landscape of Italian film we think we know so well, it’s a film to make us adjust our preconceptions. (more…)

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wc 2

by Allan Fish

(UK 2014 77m) DVD2

1827 days in hell…with Roy Wood

p  Barney Reisz  d  Carl Tibbetts  w  Charlie Brooker  ph  George Steel  m  John Opstad  art  Joel Collins

Jon Hamm (Matt), Rafe Spall (Potter), Oona Chaplin (Greta), Natalia Tena (Jennifer), Janet Montgomery (Beth), Rasmus Hardiker (Harry), Dan Li (Tim),

Think of Christmas specials on TV in 2014.  Easy to think of Doctor Who, especially as 2014’s Christmas special was the best yuletide adventure for the Timelord there has yet been, in its way a far from cosy piece, hinting at the nightmarish world of dreams.  Then there was Faye Marsay’s Shona, dancing through a sick bay to Slade, strumming her leg like a guitar.  Over on Channel 4, though, something very different was brewing, no Crimbo special with Santa saving the day with his reindeer.  No, kiddies, Jack Skellington has taken over Christmas with a very real nightmare.

As a whole Black Mirror has been a mixed bag, but you daredn’t miss an episode for fear of missing a corker.  The first season in particular had unforgettable moments with poor Rory Kinnear’s Prime Minister given a dilemma and a half and Rupert Everett essentially playing a Simon Cowell from a nightmarish future.  White Christmas is another nightmarish future, but one which leaves you feeling like Holmes after Moriarty takes his blood out pint by pint.  It’s against a golden rule of inclusion, taking out one episode from a series, but the fact is that White Christmas is just too good to leave behind, as much as a warning as entertainment.  (more…)

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heimat 1

by Allan Fish

(Germany 2013 225m) DVD2

Aka. Die Andere Heimat: Chronik einer Sehnsucht; Home from Home: Chronicle of a Vision

Where the sun goes when it sets here

p  Christian Reitz  d  Edgar Reitz  w  Edgar Reitz, Gert Heidenreich  ph  Gernot Roll  ed  Uwe Klimmeck  m  Michael Riessler  art  Anton Gerg, Hucky Horngerger

Jan Dieter Schneider (Jakob Simon), Antonio Bill (Henriette Niem), Maximilian Scheidt (Gustav Simon), Marita Breuer (Margarethe Simon), Rüdiger Kriese (Johann Simon), Philine Lembeck (Florine), Mélanie Fouché (Lena Seitz), Eva Zeidler (grandmother), Reinhar Paulus (uncle), Martin Habersheidt (Fürchtegott Niem), Christoph Luser (Franz Olm), Barbara Phillip (Mrs Niem), Andreas Külzer (Pastor Wiegand), Werner Herzog (Alexander von Humboldt),

After making the greatest trilogy of the German screen Edgar Reitz could be forgiven for considering his life’s work done.  There had been Heimat: Fragments, but that had been no more than a retrospective highlights package, adding nothing to the work that had gone before.  In 2013 the BBC unveiled the first series of Peter Moffat’s The Village, a series he intended to be a British Heimat.  What he probably didn’t know in writing it was that Reitz was penning a new chapter himself, not a continuation, but a prologue, a prequel to the original work.

The location, the village of Schabbach, is the same, except that it’s the early 1840s not 1918.  The village itself is barely a village, little more than a hamlet with a kirche, but with many other such villages in the vicinity.  It’s the period before the revolutions of 1848, a time when Schabbach was still a part of the Rhineland state in western Germany, with its capital in Mainz.  The Holy Roman Empire was no more and it was essentially under Prussian overlordship, but a bigger influence was coming from Emperor Pedro II of Portugal, who was campaigning for Europeans, and especially Germans, to up sticks and emigrate to the plains of South America.  Here we find Jakob Simon, a dreamer who has learnt the native language of Cayacachua and dreams of escaping.  Sadly, like another dreamer in Bedford Falls, his dreams are put on hold by familial devotion and essentially stolen by his brother Gustav, who first takes his girl Henriette when Jakob is imprisoned for a minor misdemeanour, and then later announces his intention to quit Germany and go to Brazil himself, leaving Jakob home with his otherwise helpless consumptive mother and blacksmith father.  (more…)

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by Allan Fish

WARNING – contains spoilers and conjecture, so do not proceed if you haven’t seen till the end of series 5.

It seems so long ago now.  Arya serving Tywin Lannister at Harrenhal, trying to keep out of sight of those like Petyr Baelish who may know her real identity.  Tywin finds himself surrounded by idiots and is beginning to wonder how he can deal with Robb Stark – remember him? – the impudent Stark wolf pup who’d defeated him on the field.  Tywin asks Arya, as an authentic northern girl, about how Robb is perceived, and Arya talks of how some people talk as if he can’t be killed.  “Do you believe that?”, Tywin asks her pointedly.  “No”, she replies with just the right air of resignation, “anyone can be killed.”

Don’t we know it!  For anyone coming to Game of Thrones as a Westerosi virgin, unacquainted with the doorstopper-sized books that inspire it and who have successfully avoided spoilers, it will have been a chastening journey.  The first season alone had seen the king done in by a wild boar and a would-be candidate for his throne covered in molten gold.  The would-be heroine of the piece, Daenerys Targaryen, had her child and husband taken from her.  Oh, yes, and a bloke called Ned Stark lost his head.   If a king and the star of the show could both be talked of in the past tense before we reached the end of round one, what hope for the rest of them? (more…)

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maison 1

by Allan Fish

(France 1971 355m) not on DVD

Aka. The House in the Woods

Hervé’s war

p  Pierre Long, Yves Laumet  d  Maurice Pialat  w  René Wheeler  ph  Roger Duculot  ed  Martine Giordano, Arlette Langmann  m  Maurice Ravel, etc.  art  Isabelle Lapierre

Hervé Lévy (Hervé), Michel Terrazon (Michel), Albert Martinez (Bébért), Pierre Doris (Albert), Jacqueline Dufranne (Mother Jeanne), Agathe Natanson (Marguerite), Ovila Légaré (priest), Alexandre Rignault (Birot), Jean Mauvais (Mahu), Fernand Gravey (Marquis), Henri Saulquin (Le Bedeau), Albert Michel (Cottin), Henri Puff (Marcel), Michel Tugot-Doris (sergeant), Paul Crauchet (Paul, Hervé’s father), Philippe André (Jacques), Maurice Pialat (teacher), Marie-Christine Boulard (Mme.Pouilly), Micha Bayard (M’elle Latour), Barbara Laage (Hélène), Serge Kovacs (Serge), Brigitte Perrier (Brigitte), Eliette Demay (Michèle), Marie Marc (Aunt Marie), Magali Vacher (Magali),

Maurice Pialat’s TV drama begins with a sense of familiarity; a soldier in what is clearly a French soldier’s uniform from World War I, traipsing across the fields to return to his home village.  We have been there before; Edgar Reitz’s Heimat began the same way with a German soldier, but there the returnee was demobbed, the war was over and the series would become a chronicle of life for the next 60 years.  La Maison des Bois takes place during and the immediate aftermath of World War I, but the difference is that Pialat, as one may expect from a director who had not long ago made L’Enfance Nue (whose young star Michel Terrazon reappears here),tells it from the point of view of a child.  Not the French Heimat then, but more of a World War I variation of so many French stories of childhood or lost innocence over the course of a summer, only the summer here is rather several seasons reduced to one figurative one. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

I never met Christopher Lee.  Most people who were left deeply saddened by yesterday’s announcement of his death won’t have done either.  But they feel as if they did.  Only yesterday horror buff Mark Gatiss tweeted how he’d been a huge part of his youth and the fact is he was a part of the youth of several generations of film lovers.  It seemed as if he was, to quote our Sam yesterday, indestructible, and on a personal level his birthday was only 24 hours (if 51 years) before mine.  I’d hoped he’d live to receive a telegram from Her Majesty, and imagined him smiling at the irony.  Elizabeth Windsor’s bloodline is impressive and can be traced back over a thousand years.  “You can trace your lineage back to William the Conqueror, ma’am, not many can say that.”  He wouldn’t have added, because he was too much of a gentleman, “I can trace mine back to Charlemagne.”  He’d have scoffed at such proud sentiments. (more…)

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fff 1

by Allan Fish

(France 1973 85m) DVD1/2

Aka. Vérités et mensonges

Watch out for the slightest hint of hanky panky

p  François Reichenbach, Dominique Antoine  d/w  Orson Welles  ph  Gary Graver, Christian Odasso  ed  Marie-Sophie Dubus, Dominique Engerer  m  Michel Legrand

Orson Welles, Oja Kodar, Laurence Harvey, Joseph Cotten, Paul Stewart, Richard Wilson, Clifford Irving, Elmyr de Hory,

It’s now forty years since Welles’ final cinematic sleight of hand was released.  It would be his last original feature, only behind the scenes documentaries on the making of Othello and The Trial would follow.  Yet to use the term original may be somewhat misleading, for F for Fake exists somewhere between the real and the fraudulent, between fiction, documentary, mockumentary and even cine-essay.  It even exists loosely in time, shot on one of several sabbaticals while filming was halted on his unfinished The Other Side of the Wind.  And it is the greatest hors d’oeuvre ever made for a main course that never arrived, a side order to Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie(more…)

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