Monday, July 17, 2017

Frustrated with Netflix? Check Cinesift!

Cinesift, a movie rating aggregator and competitor to Rotten Tomatoes, has an awesome service that will tell you which quality films are available on Amazon Prime and Netflix. If you're bored and the lesser dregs of Netflix will not satisfy your viewing needs, try their new search features to find a film worth watching that's available now!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Happy Birthday Peter Lorre

To celebrate Peter Lorre's birthday (June 26, 1904), here are some of BFI's 10 essential Peter Lorre performances from our collection. (THOSE EYES!!)

  • M (HU DVD 56): Drama based on the actual case of the Dusseldorf murderer of children who is hunted by police, but is caught and tried by the city’s criminals.
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much (HU DVD 3521): In this heart-pounding suspense story, spies kidnap a young girl, in an attempt to prevent her parents from revealing what they know about an assassination plot. The action takes you from the Swiss Alps to Britain’s Albert Hall and London’s East End.
  • Stranger on the Third Floor (HU DVD 6404): A reporter provides eyewitness testimony that helps sentence a small-time loser to the electric chair for murder. When the reporter himself is fingered in a second murder, he realizes both crimes are the work of a furtive stranger - but will anyone believe him?
  • The Maltese Falcon (HU DVD 130): After the death of his partner, private eye Sam Spade is dragged into a quest for a priceless statuette.
  • Arsenic and Old Lace (HU DVD 5380): An easy going drama critic discovers that his kind and gentle Aunts Abby and Martha have a bizarre habit of poisoning gentlemen callers and burying them in the cellar.
  • Beat the Devil (HU DVD 4564): Adventure story set aboard a steamer bound for Africa. The passengers attempt to outfox each other for illegal control of a piece of land they think has uranium on it.

Didn't make the BFI list, but we also have:
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and Casablanca!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The Phantom Image

In the TLS, Martin Scorsese responds to a review of his film Silence. His article, "Standing up for cinema," lives up to its title: it stands up for a much maligned creative process, and an undervalued creative product. Scorsese makes many good points, in so many beautiful lines. Definitely worth a read.

If you feel inspired, here are the films he mentions:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Border Crossing Humor

Interesting piece on Woody Allen's humor by Peter Berger, including this intriguing idea:
"I think that one of the traits of sophistication is the capacity to cross borders between different cultural relevancies. Humor is often, intentionally or not, the result if not the very technique of such border-crossing."
Zelig (HU DVD 2082) is my recommended movie to go with this article.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

For the silent film treasure hunter...

Imogen Sara Smith highlights Mostly Lost on Criterion. Definitely worth a read. On eventbrite, the description of the Mostly Lost workshop is: 
The Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, Packard Campus presents “Mostly Lost 6: A Film Identification Workshop” on June 15-17, 2017 in Culpeper, Virginia. “Mostly Lost” will feature the screenings of unidentified, under-identified or misidentified silent and early sound films.Early film experts and archivists are encouraged to attend, but the workshop is also open to anyone willing to actively help identify and research the films showcased at the workshop. In addition to films from the Library of Congress’s collections, “Mostly Lost” features material from other film archives around the world. Throughout the event there will also be presentations about The Destruction of Some American Silent Features, The Lost Origins of Silent Horror Icons, William Fox and the Fox Film Corporation, as well as others. Live musical accompaniment during the workshop and evening presentations of silent films will also be featured.
This festival sounds like an amazing opportunity for those with an eye for film treasure, and a riot even for the amateur.

Tickets are available on eventbrite.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Take a study break with a short streaming film!

Sure you could surrender your study breaks to Hulu, but AU also has streaming access to many short films that are arresting, important, and worth seeing. Here are three you might enjoy:
A Trip to the Moon (13 minutes): This drama, by director Georges Melies, features Victor Andre, Bleuette Bernon, and Brunnet in a beautifully restored black and white edition of the 1902 film about a voyage to the moon in a rocket ship.

La Jetee (27 minutes): Chris Marker, filmmaker, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, and now videographer and digital multimedia artist, has been challenging moviegoers, philosophers, and himself for years with his complex queries about time, memory, and the rapid advancement of life on this planet. Marker’s La JetĂ©e is one of the most influential, radical science-fiction films ever made, a tale of time travel told in still images.

The Red Balloon (34 minutes): Albert Lamorisse’s exquisite The red balloon remains one of the most beloved children’s films of all time. In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon, which seems to have a mind of its own, on the streets of Paris. The two become inseparable, yet the world’s harsh realities finally interfere. With its glorious palette and allegorical purity, the Academy Award, winning The red balloon has enchanted movie lovers, young and old, for generations.

Happy Studying!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Check out this silent version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on Viki:

This was the first motion picture filmed underwater! As Wikipedia states:

Actual underwater cameras were not used, but a system of watertight tubes and mirrors allowed the camera to shoot reflected images of underwater scenes staged in shallow sunlit waters. (,000_Leagues_Under_the_Sea_(1916_film))
Here in Media Services, we of course have the 1954 Disney version (HU DVD 10179):