Archive for the ‘author Allan Fish’ Category

ws 1

by Allan Fish

(Turkey 2014 196m) DVD1/2

Aka. Kis Uykusu

Flowers of the Steppes

p  Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan  d  Nuri Bilge Ceylan  w  Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan  ph  Gökhan Tiryaki  ed  Böra Göksingöl, Nuri Bilge Ceylan  art  Gamze Kus

Haluk Bilginer (Aydin), Melisa Sözen (Nihal), Demet Akbag (Necla), Serhat Mustafa Kilic (Hamdi), Ayberk Pekcan (Hidayet), Nejat Isler (Ismail), Tamer Levent (Suavi), Emirhan Doruktutan (Ilyas), Rabia Özel (Fatma), Ekrem Ilhan (Ekrem), Mehmet Ali Nuroglu (Timur), Fatma Deniz Yildiz (Sevda),

Despite the efforts of Yilmaz Güney in the seventies and eighties, surely no director has so succeeded in putting Turkish cinema on the world map than Nuri Bilge Ceylan.  The Turkey we feel we complacently know in the west is a Turkey long gone, the heritage of Anatolia, Asia Minor and Byzantium, of the golden city of Constantinople, of the prized Hellespont and of the Troy brought back from myth by Heinrich Schliemann.  In Once Upon a Time in Anatolia Ceylan gave us a different Turkey, and he arguably goes further in this, perhaps his greatest film to date.  (more…)

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sp 1

by Allan Fish

(Belgium 1944 115m) DVD2 (Belgium/France only) Aka. Boerensymfonie Four seasons and a wedding p  Henri Storck  d  Henri Storck, Maurice Delattre  w  Henri Storck, Jacques de Schryver, Marie Gevers  ph  Henri Storck, Maurice Delattre, Charles Abel, François Rents  ed  Henri Storck  m  Pierre Moulaert Even today, into the 21st century, the cinema of what have been long described, rather disparagingly, as the Low Countries, has been at best marginalised and, at worst, almost completely unacknowledged.  The lands that gave us Van Dyke, Rubens, Vermeer and especially, Rembrandt, who was playing with light and shadow centuries before the Lumières, treated like cinematic orphans. Before Paul Verhoeven came on the scene in the seventies, Dutch cinema was confined to the documentaries of Joris Ivens and Bert Haanstra.  And then what of its neighbour Belgium?  Sure, we now have the Dardenne brothers, but they’re seen as French, and André Delvaux was treated the same.  As both made French language films it was perhaps understandable.  Before Delvaux only really one name stands out, and he, too, like Ivens and Haanstra, was a documentarist; Henri Storck.


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thm 1

by Allan Fish

(Mexico 1973 112m) DVD1

Aka. La Montana Sagrada

The master seeks the disciple

p  Roberto Viskin, Alejandro Jodorowsky  d  Alejandro Jodorowsky  w  Alejandro Jodorowsky  ph  Rafael Corkidi  ed  Federico Landeros  m  Don Cherry, Ronald Frangipane, Alejandro Jodorowsky  art  Alejandro Jodorowsky

Horacio Salinas (thief), Alejandro Jodorowsky (alchemist), Zamira Saunders (written woman), Juan Ferrara (Fon), Adriana Page (Isla), Nicky Nichols (Berg), Bert Kleiner (Klen), Valerie Jodorowsky (Sel), Leticia Robles (bald woman #1), Ana de Sade (prostitute), Connie de la Mora (bald woman #2),

It was said to be John Lennon’s favourite film.  It’s arguably Alejandro Jodorowsky’s purest vision and will always come into discussions about the greatest surrealist films.  Jodorowsky’s surrealism was as far from Luis Buñuel’s as could be offered; indeed, only Fernando Arrabal perhaps came within hailing distance.  Jodorowsky’s surrealism is not playful, but it’s so layered and so, top use that overused paradox, deeply meaningless as to still leave one awe-struck.  This is surrealism as history lesson, as faith, as legend, as superstition, as social commentary; surrealism as a holy relic and as Excalibur rising from the sea. (more…)

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humanite 2

by Allan Fish

(France 1999 148m) DVD1/2

Life is really sick

p  Rachid Bouchareb, Jean Bréhat  d/w  Bruno Dumont  ph  Yves Cape  ed  Guy Lecorne  m  Richard Cuviller

Emmanuel Schotté (Pharaon de Winter), Séverine Caneele (Domino), Philippe Tullier (Joseph), Ghislain Ghesquère, Ginette Allegré, Darius, Arnaud Brejon de la Lavergnee, Daniel Petillon

An extreme long shot, a horizon in either the first light of dawn or at dusk.  A man emerges from trees to the left and is seen to run along the horizon.  We follow him over a wall and across some barren, unforgiving landscape that wouldn’t be out of place in a Brontë film.  He then falls to the earth, on his stomach, head turned to the left vaguely towards the camera.  His eye is wide open in a way not dissimilar to the dead Janet Leigh in Psycho.  He remains motionless, and for a few seconds we wonder whether he, too, is dead.  Then he moves.  We don’t know whether he was running from or to something. (more…)

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wh 2

by Allan Fish

(UK 2015 350m) DVD1/2

Attempting a three card trick

p  Mark Pybus  d  Peter Kosminsky  w  Peter Straughan  novels  Hilary Mantel  ph  Gavin Finney  ed  David Blackmore, Josh Cunliffe  m  Debbie Wiseman  art  Frederic Evard, Pat Campbell  cos  Joanna Eatwell

Mark Rylance (Thomas Cromwell), Damian Lewis (Henry VIII), Bernard Hill (Norfolk), Claire Foy (Anne Boleyn), Anton Lesser (Thomas More), Jonathan Pryce (Wolsey), Mark Gatiss (Gardiner), Jessica Raine (Lady Rochford), Mathieu Amalric (Chapuys), Joanne Whalley (Katharine of Aragon), Natasha Little (Liz), Monica Dolan (Alice More), Charity Wakefield (Mary Boleyn), Bryan Dick (Richard Rich), David Robb (Thomas Boleyn), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Rafe), Harry Lloyd (Harry Percy), Saskia Reeves (Johane), Richard Dillane (Suffolk), Will Kane (Cranmer), Kate Phillips (Jane Seymour), Aimee-Ffion Edwards (Elizabeth Barton),

We’d be forgiven for thinking we’d had enough of Henry VIII.  How many have there been?  Charles Laughton, Robert Shaw, Richard Burton and Keith Michell (four times!!!), we all know them, they were memorable.  Not forgetting The Tudors, but we’ll leave the final apologies to cover what was wrong with that; what Wolf Hall gave us was the antidote to The Tudors; no sex or bodice ripping here, no time for that nonsense. (more…)

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nwf 1

by Allan Fish

(UK 2014 75m) DVD2

I peered into hell

p  Sally Angel, Brett Ratner, Stephen Frears  d  Andre Singer  w  Lynette Singer  ph  Arik Leibovich, Stephen Miller  m  Nicholas Singer  narrated by  Helena Bonham Carter

On showing Andre Singer’ potent documentary on Channel 4 the broadcaster made the decision to show the film without interruption from commercials.  It was a deference to the subject and there had been a precedent; the Holocaust episode of The World at War was also shown without breaks.  Breaks in 1974 would have just been one break of four minutes with less offensive adverts.  In 2015, we we’d cut from the emotional heartbreak of a survivor’s interview to cut to an old Scottish man with bad sight shearing his sheepdog to demonstrate he should have gone to Specsavers.  In the seventy years since the events depicted the survivors still cannot forget.  In the forty years since The World at War, the world millions fought and died for has sold its soul to crass commercialism. (more…)

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iaros 1

by Allan Fish

(UK 1947 92m) DVD2

A score of roller-skates 

p  Henry Cornelius  d  Robert Hamer  w  Angus MacPhail, Henry Cornelius, Robert Hamer  novel  Arthur la Bern  ph  Douglas Slocombe  ed  Michael Truman  m  Georges Auric  art  Hal Mason, Duncan Sutherland

Googie Withers (Rose Sandigate), John McAllum (Tommy Swann), Jack Warner (Det. Sgt.Fothergill), Edward Chapman (John Sandigate), Jimmy Hanley (Whitey), Sidney Tafler (Morry Hyams), Susan Shaw (Vi Sandigate), Patricia Plunkett (Doris Sandigate), Betty Ann Davies (Sadie Hyams), John Slater (Lou Hyams), Alfie Bass (Dicey Perkins), Vida Hope (Mrs Wallis), Hermione Baddeley (Doss house keeper), Edie Martin (Mrs Watson), Michael Howard (Slopey Collins), Meier Tzelniker (Sollie Hyams),

Welcome to the battered, bombed-out remnants of London (Bethnal Green to be precise) in the aftermath of the war; a time when the party of VE Day was giving way to the decade long hangover of further rationing, organised crime and poverty not worthy of so-called victors.  It’s also a time when Britain was going the way of Hollywood and entering the world of noir; 1947 also brought They Made me a Fugitive, an underrated little film in its own right, and the immortal Brighton Rock.  For years, Sunday was dismissed as dated, like an extended EastEnders for the 1940s; indeed, one can imagine old stalwarts like Lou Beale, Ethel Skinner and Dot Cotton growing up in environs just like these here.  It should not have been so easily dismissed. (more…)

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