Sunday, 16 February 2014

this week on 100 Films

No brand-new reviews on 100 Films in a Year this week, but Masters of Cinema re-issued their Lubitsch in Berlin box set, so I re-posted all my reviews from 2010...

(Spot the also-posted incongruity.)

Anna Boleyn (1920)
In an age where Henry VIII is young, slim and sometimes irritatingly called “Henry 8”, not to mention more interested in shagging every young girl he can find than in, well, anything else, it’s somewhat refreshing to return to a time when he was always older, fatter and more interested in polishing off a huge slab of meat than seeing his wife. OK, so they call him “Heinrich VIII”, but at least that’s because this production team spoke a different language.
Read more here.

Die Austernprinzessin (1919)
Lubitsch stages numerous epic set pieces on gigantic sets: Ossi’s bath, where a stream of maids carry her to and fro, wash and dry her; a huge cast of choreographed waiters, kitchen staff and guests at the wedding dinner; a mad foxtrot sequence that follows it; or the ladies’ boxing match, where for the third time in as many films Lubitsch shows a gaggle of women fighting over a man.
Read more here.

Die Bergkatze (1921)
Location filming in snow-covered Alps adds a scale and breadth to the film's imagined-kingdom setting that would be inimitable in a studio. Perhaps art director Ernst Stern was right that the realism of using genuine locations doesn't quite sit with the highly stylised fort; on the other hand, a studio set simply wouldn't have the same effect
Read more here.

Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin: From Schönhauser Allee to Hollywood (2006)
Part biography, part making-of, part analytical retrospective, Robert Fischer’s documentary does what it says on the tin: tells the story of the life and work of actor/director Ernst Lubitsch from his formative years, living on Schönhauser Allee in Berlin, to when he made the move to America in the early 1920s.
Read more here.

Ich möchte kein Mann sein (1918)
the kind of silent film that might surprise some among a wider film-viewing audience, both in terms of the attitudes prevalent in what is occasionally assumed to be a highly prim era, and, even accepting that it really wasn’t, the things people were prepared to put on film then
Read more here.

Die Puppe (1919)
[A] constant expression of humour, working at every level from intellectual wit down to slapstick tomfoolery, means that even if one element has been done to death in the past near-century, there’ll be several other moments or scenes to compensate.
Read more here.

Rambo III (1988)
he goes off to Afghanistan to defeat half the Russian army single-handed. He does all this showcasing the body of a plastic action figure coated in a year’s supply of Johnson’s Baby Oil, using weapons like explosive-tipped arrows, good for tasks like taking out helicopters. Or obliterating individual soldiers.
Read more here.

Sumurun (1920)
this is primarily an Arabian Nights-style drama… but, while on the surface this looks entirely at odds with Lubitsch’s previous comedy work, it actually concerns itself with the same topic: romance, and the various entanglements and complications that lead to it.
Read more here.

More next Sunday.