The Birthday Party (1968)

The Birthday Party (1968) William Friedkin directs Robert Shaw in an outstanding performance in Nobel-Prize Harold Pinter’s 1958 “comedy of menace.” Stanley [Robert Shaw] is an anonymous lodger in a seaside boarding house, run by gossip Meg [Dandy Nichols} and her deckchair attendant husband Petey [Moultrie Kelsall]. Into this residence two strangers appear, the thuggish … More The Birthday Party (1968)

Phaedra (1962)

Phaedra (1962) Jules Dassin directs his wife, Melina Mercouri, and rising star, Anthony Perkins, in Margarita Lymberaki’s adaptation of Euripides‘ Hippolytus, with a stunning film score by Mikis Theodorakis, in simmering black and white cinematography by Jacques Natteau . Known for its eroticism that defines this as a 60’s taboo-breaking movie, this forbidden folie à … More Phaedra (1962)

THE TENANT (1976)

THE TENANT (1976) Roman Polanski directed and stars in this macabre adaptation of a novel by surrealist artist Roland Topor. A timid recluse, Trelkovsky, rents a Paris apartment whose previous resident, a female Egyptologist, had attempted suicide. Others in the complex where he resides begin to accost him, and gradually he finds everyone in the … More THE TENANT (1976)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) Raw in its documentary footage, this movie became one of the most influential horror films. “The film seemed like the pornography of hell,” the British Censorship Board ruled , cancelling its distribution in England for 23 years. Shady financing, rumored with the mob, did not help. Nevertheless, anyone … More The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen [aka Baron Prášil ] (1961)

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen [aka Baron Prášil ] (1961) Czechoslovakian animator Karel Zeman combines live action with puppets and animation to create a highly stylized picture about the outrageous lies of Baron Munchausen. Influenced by the engravings of Gustave Doré, in the tradition of Ray Harryhausen, Zeman’s fantasy world revels in a childlike delight and … More The Fabulous Baron Munchausen [aka Baron Prášil ] (1961)

L’Immortelle (1963)

L’Immortelle (1963) Alain Robbe-Grillet wrote and directed this black and white cubist narrative about an unidentified traveler from France who meets and then searches for a woman who disappears in Istanbul. Lovely travelogue sequences glide by to Turkish music, as, from the rubble of exotic romance, variations on narrative tropes assemble and reassemble themselves. Istanbul … More L’Immortelle (1963)

BEAT DOUBLE FEATURE

BEAT DOUBLE FEATURE:     “The Beats are all radical from the marijuana, but deep inside they’re all lovers of Sinatra.” — Michelle McKinney The Beatniks (1960) An exploitation film, Paul Frees directs this critique of the counter-culture as a bunch of teen psychopaths . Peter Breck breaks his neck to embody Moon, the murderer … More BEAT DOUBLE FEATURE

The Scar (1948)

The Scar (aka, Hollow Triumph; aka, The Man Who Murdered Himself) (1948) Paul Henried produced, starred in, and partially directed this noir about a convict who, to escape the mob, takes on another person’s identity. In John Alton’s exquisite cinematography, a world of smoke and rain melts into identity confusion where no one can be … More The Scar (1948)