The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Without doing any actual research to confirm my suspicions, I have to assume that this film was blacklisted by the Germans because it too closely resembled the political and social insanity that was brewing in 1933.  The film’s titled prologue tells the viewer that it wasn’t until 1951 (if I recall correctly) that this film was shown in Germany. I can see why. I don’t … Continue reading The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Network (1976)

I’d like to begin this (long overdue) post by quoting a headline from a recent yahoo.com news story: “Michelle Obama wearing shorts proved too much for the media.” I think the implications of such a news ‘story’ sum up the film, Network, pretty well.  Though I’m very weary of jumping to the conclusion that Network is a film that accurately reflects today’s media sentiments. I … Continue reading Network (1976)

King Arthur (2004)

This is an interesting film.  Fuqua does not take the “Pete and Repeat” attitude like others before him have done.  He doesn’t stick completely to the most recognized and overdone Arthurian narrative, and while I commend him for taking the narrative road less traveled (because Arthurian tales DO vary), I also have to say that what Fuqua did to the essence of the Arthurian tales is … Continue reading King Arthur (2004)

Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors (1963)

  This Russian film was directed by Aleksandr Rou. And like all fairy tales, it has a moral.  And, like many Russian films, that moral tends toward glorifying the State.  And that’s okay.  I don’t mind.  I liked this film a lot.  I loved the colors and the characters with their backwards names, like “Dneirf,” which was translated in the subtitles as “Friend.” Or “Lesaew,” which … Continue reading Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors (1963)

Old Khottabych (1956)

I didn’t realize it when I ordered the film on Netflix, but based on the number of languages available in subtitles and overdubbing, this film must have had quite a world-wide appeal.  Or, at the very least, it has become a classic of Russian cinema.  It’s a delightful, propagandistically-charged (if that’s even a word) tale of a young, and “well educated” Soviet boy, Volka, who comes across … Continue reading Old Khottabych (1956)