Freaks – Tod Browning (1932)

freaks-poster

Freaks is a 1932 American Pre-Code horror film about sideshow performers, directed and produced by Tod Browning and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, with a cast mostly composed of actual carnival (funfair) performers. The film was based on Tod Robbins‘ 1923 short story “Spurs“. Director Browning took the exceptional step of casting real people with deformities as the eponymous sideshow “freaks,” rather than using costumes and makeup.[1][2]

Browning had been a member of a traveling circus in his early years, and much of the film was drawn from his personal experiences. In the film, the physically deformed “freaks” are inherently trusting and honorable people, while the real monsters are two of the “normal” members of the circus who conspire to murder one of the performers to obtain his large inheritance.

Despite the extensive cuts, the film was still negatively received by audiences, and remained an object of extreme controversy.[5] Today, the parts that were removed are considered lost. Browning, famed at the time for his collaborations with Lon Chaney and for directing Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931), had trouble finding work afterward, and this effectively brought his career to an early close. Because its deformed cast was shocking to moviegoers of the time, the film was banned in the United Kingdom for 30 years.[6] Beginning in the early 1960s, Freaks was rediscovered as a counterculture cult film, and throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the film was regularly shown at midnight movie screenings at several movie theaters in the United States.[7] In 1994, Freaks was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Fan Made Trailer:

Link to Feature Film:

http://archive.org/details/freaks1932

Advertisements

The Party – Blake Edwards (1968)

The Party is a 1968 comedy film directed by Blake Edwards, starring Peter Sellers and Claudine Longet. The film has a very loose structure, and essentially serves as a series of set pieces for Sellers’s improvisational comedy talents. The comedy is based on a fish out of water premise, in which a bungling Indian actor accidentally gets invited to a lavish Hollywood dinner party and “makes terrible mistakes based upon ignorance of Western ways.

The Party is considered a classic comedic cult film. Edwards biographers Peter Lehman and William Luhr said, “The Party may very well be one of the most radically experimental films in Hollywood history; in fact it may be the single most radical film since D.W. Griffith‘s style came to dominate the American cinema.” Film historian Saul Austerlitz wrote, “Despite the offensiveness of Sellers’s brownface routine,The Party is one of his very best films… Taking a page from Tati, this is neorealist comedy, purposefully lacking a director’s guiding eye: look here, look there. The screen is crammed full of activity, and the audience’s eyes are left to wander where they may.”

The original script was only 63 pages in length. Edwards later said it was the shortest script he ever shot from, and the majority of the content in the film was improvised on set.

The film draws much inspiration from the works of Jacques Tati; Bakshi arrives at the party in a Morgan three-wheeler similar to Monsieur Hulot‘s cyclecar in Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday. The entire film storyline is reminiscent of the Royal Garden restaurant sequence of Playtime; and the comedic interaction with inanimate objects and gadgets parallels several of Tati’s films, especially Mon Oncle.

Trailer:

Link To Feature FIlm:

http://viooz.eu/movies/1725-the-party-1968.html

Melancholia – Lars von Trier (2011)

Melancholia is a 2011 film written and directed by Lars von Trier, starring Kirsten DunstCharlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland. The narrative revolves around two sisters during and shortly after the wedding party of one of them, while Earth is about to collide with an approaching rogue planet. The film prominently features music from the prelude to Richard Wagner‘s opera Tristan und Isolde (1857–59).

Trier’s initial inspiration for the film came from a depressive episode he suffered and the insight that depressed people remain calm in stressful situations. The film is a Danish production by Zentropa, with international co-producers in Sweden, France, Germany and Italy. Filming took place in Sweden.

The film premiered in May 2011 at the 64th Cannes Film Festival. Dunst received the festival’s Best Actress Award for her performance.

Trailer:

Link to Feature Film:

http://viooz.eu/movies/508-melancholia-2011.html

Melancholia’s Prologue – Making Of:

Brazil – Terry Gilliam (1985)

Brazil is a 1985 British science fiction fantasy/black comedy film directed by Terry Gilliam.

Pitting the imagination of common man Sam Lowry (the brilliantly befuddled Jonathan Pryce) against the oppressive storm troopers of the Ministry of Information, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil has come to be regarded as an anti-totalitarianism cautionary tale equal to the works of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Gathering footage from both the European and American versions of this masterpiece, Gilliam has assembled the ultimate, 142-minute director’s cut of his most celebrated film.

The film stars Jonathan Pryce and features Robert De NiroKim GreistMichael PalinKatherine HelmondBob Hoskins, and Ian Holm.

Gilliam’s original cut of the film is 142 minutes long and ends on a dark note. This version was released internationally outside the US by 20th Century Fox.

US distribution was handled by Universal. Universal executives thought the ending tested poorly, and Universal chairman Sid Sheinberg insisted on dramatically re-editing the film to give it a happy ending, a decision that Gilliam resisted vigorously.[18] As with the cult science fiction film Blade Runner (1982), which had been released three years earlier, a version of Brazil was created by the movie studio with a more consumer-friendly ending. After a lengthy delay with no sign of the film being released, Gilliam took out a full-page ad in the trade magazine Variety urging Sheinberg to release Brazil in its intended version. Eventually, after Gilliam conducted private screenings (without the studio’s approval), Brazil was awarded the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award for “Best Picture”, which prompted Universal to finally agree to release a modified 132-minute version supervised by Gilliam, in 1985.

Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan described the film as “the most potent piece of satiric political cinema since Dr. Strangelove“.

Trailer:

Link To Feature Film:

http://viooz.eu/movies/5072-brazil-1985.html

What Is Brazil – Making Of:

Seijun Suzuki interview

According to critic Manohla Dargis, “To experience a film by Japanese B-movie visionary Seijun Suzuki is to experience Japanese cinema in all its frenzied, voluptuous excess.” Suzuki played chaos like jazz in his movies, from the anything-goes yakuza thrillers Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Killto the daring postwar dramas of human frailty Gate of Fleshand Story of a Prostitute to the twisted coming-of-age storyFighting Elegy; he never concerned himself with moderation, cramming boundless invention into his beautifully composed frames, both color and black-and-white. Suzuki first pursued film after returning home to Tokyo from service in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II and failing university entrance exams. Following an unsatisfying stint as an assistant director at Shochiku, Suzuki was lured in 1954 to the recently reopened Nikkatsu studio, which was hiring fresh talent to appeal to a new kind of youth audience. He flourished there for years, with such films as Take Aim at the Police Vanand especially Youth of the Beast, a commercial breakthrough for him. Yet his bosses became more and more opposed to his increasingly surreal visual stylings and lack of attention to narrative coherence, and after he made Branded to Kill, which a superior deemed “incomprehensible,” they unceremoniously (and illegally) revoked his contract. Of course, as any true Suzuki fan (and they are legion) knows, the incomprehensibility is part of the fun, and today his sixties works are considered some of the most essential of the Japanese New Wave.

Branded To Kill – Seijun Suzuki (1967)

Branded to Kill (殺しの烙印 Koroshi no rakuin) is a 1967 Japanese yakuza film directed by Seijun Suzuki and starring Joe ShishidoKoji NanbaraAnnu Mari and Mariko Ogawa.

When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his studio (Nikkatsu), he was promptly fired. Branded to Kill tells the ecstatically bent story of a yakuza assassin with a fetish for sniffing steamed rice (the chipmunk-cheeked superstar Joe Shishido) who botches a job and ends up a target himself. Seijun Suzuki’s Branded to Kill is a cinematic masterpiece that transcends its genre. It is about as close to traditional Yakuza pictures as Godard’s Alphaville is to science fiction. This is Suzuki at his most extreme—the flabbergasting pinnacle of his sixties pop-art aesthetic.

The film grew a strong following, which expanded overseas in the 1980s, and has established itself as a cult classic. Film critics and enthusiasts now regard it as an absurdist masterpiece. It has been cited as an influence by filmmakers such as Jim Jarmusch, John Woo, Chan-wook Park and Quentin Tarantino. Jarmusch listed it as his favourite hitman film, alongside Le Samouraï (also 1967) and thanked Suzuki in the screen credits of his own hitman film Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999). Most notably, Jarmusch mirrored a scene in which the protagonist kills a target by shooting up from a basement through a sink drain.

Trailer:

Feature Film:

Select subtitles by using the “CC” option in the player. If you want any other language use the option “Translate Captions” from the “CC” button.

La Jetée – Chris Marker (1962)

La jetée is a 1962 French science fiction featurette by Chris Marker.

Time travel, still images, a past, present and future and the aftermath of World War III. The tale of a man, a slave, sent back and forth, in and out of time, to find a solution to the world’s fate. To replenish its decreasing stocks of food, medicine and energies, and in doing so, resulting in a perpetual memory of a lone female, life, death and past events that are recreated on an airports jetée.

La jetée is constructed almost entirely from optically printed photographs playing out as a photomontage of varying pace. It contains only one brief shot originating on a motion-picture camera. The stills were taken with a Pentax Spotmatic and the motion-picture segment was shot with a 35mm Arriflex. The film has no dialogue aside from small sections of muttering in German. The story is told by avoice-over narrator. The scene in which the hero and the woman look at a cut-away trunk of a tree is a reference to Alfred Hitchcock‘s 1958 film Vertigo, which Marker also references in Sans soleil.

Feature Film:

English Subtitles available – press on the on the left icon at the bottom right (labeled Captions) of the imbedded player after pressing play. It is also possible to translate available subs into any other language.