Sunday, June 28, 2009

Neco z Alenky (1988)

Watch Alice Online
Part 1

Part 2

Alice (Czech: Něco z Alenky) is a Czech surrealist fantasy film by Jan Švankmajer. It retells Lewis Carroll's first 'Alice' book, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in Švankmajer's unique style. The film combines live action with stop motion animation. Alice is played by Kristýna Kohoutová, and the English dubbed version features the voice of Camilla Power. The movie is considered a cult movie.

This retelling of the "Alice" story is continually ambiguous about whether or not Alice is in her real world, or when exactly she crosses over to the "Wonderland". Early in the film, Alice appears to be in her bedroom, when a stuffed rabbit display comes to life and breaks out of its cage. Alice follows it up a large, rocky hill and into the drawer of a writing desk. This leads to a cavern where soon after spying the White Rabbit eating sawdust from a bowl with a spoon, she trips and falls through a bucket and seemingly down an elevator. "Wonderland" itself is a strange mix of a household-like areas with very little concern for logical space or size. Its inhabitants tend to be strange mixtures of rubbish and dead animals, such as a bed with bird legs, or a stuffed lizard with glass eyes.

Some characters from the original Alice's Adventures in Wonderland appear in similar, but Švankmajerian, forms. Such as a wind-up toy rabbit for the March Hare, or a sock with glass eyes for the Caterpillar. Similarly, several sequences from the original story, such as Alice's growing and shrinking via the consumption of unusual food and drink, or the scene in which a crying baby changes into a pig, are portrayed in original forms. For example, when Alice shrinks, she is transformed into a doll which looks fairly similar to her regular self.

The movie also contains a number of original sequences not related to the original novel. In one such sequence, Alice is trapped inside a doll-like shell, after being made to walk into a bowl of milk while in her shrunken form, and is locked in a food closet. The Queen's character is also changed somewhat, in that her execution sentences are carried out, by the White Rabbit with a pair of scissors.

When the movie ends, it is ambiguous whether everything that happened to Alice was indeed real, or if she is still dreaming. She wakes in her room, but then finds that the white rabbit is still missing from his cage, and finds a secret compartment where he keeps his scissors. She ponders whether or not she will cut his head off.
Alice trapped inside a dollhouse after growing too large to escape.

The visuals are often described as grotesque, perverse, or disturbing, but overall not repulsive. Prominent is the stuffed white rabbit, whose chest is constantly leaking so that he has to keep eating sawdust, and various animated skulls and slabs of raw meat products. As mentioned previously, many of the animated characters are made of surprising household objects. There are a number of visual puns. Scissors and knives are also recurring themes. It should also be noted that all dialogue is narrarated in third person by a large mouth.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Get Carter OST - Roy Budd

Digitally remastered reissue & the worldwide CD debut of thejazzy soundtrack by noted British film composer Roy Budd to this 1971 British gangster movie starring Michael Caine as ablood-thirsty mob boss out for vengeance after his brother is murdered. 24 tracks, including instrumental versions of 'Getting Nowhere In A Hurry' & 'Hallucinations' added as bonus tracks. The disc comes in a standard jewel case, which comes in a full color slipcase sleeve with an 11' x 15' fullcolor, fold-out replica of a promotional movie poster for the film.

01. Intro
02. Dialogue
03. Main Theme - Carter Takes A Train
04. Dialogue
05. Looking For Someone
06. Dialogue - The Race Track
07. Something On My Mind
08. Dialogue
09. Getting Nowhere In A Hurry
10. Dialogue
11. The Girl In The Car
12. Dialogue
13. Love Is A Four Letter Word
14. Dialogue
15. Livin' Should Be This Way
16. Dialogue
17. Manhunt
18. Dialogue
19. Goodbye Eric!
20. Goodbye Carter!
21. Hallucinations
22. Plaything
23. How About You
24. Getting Nowhere In A Hurry - I

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Devils (1971)

This plot is for the non-censored version of the film. Some scenes described below are omitted from other versions.

The Devils is a film directed by Ken Russell starring Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave, and based on the 1952 book The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley and the 1960 play The Devils by John Whiting, also based on Huxley's book. Derek Jarman was responsible for the film's production design. It tells the story of Urbain Grandier, a 17th century French priest executed for witchcraft.

The film's combination of religious themes and imagery combined with violent and sexual content was a test for the British Board of Film Censors that at the time was being pressured by socially conservative interest groups.

In order to earn an "X" certificate, Russell made minor cuts to the more explicit nudity (mainly in the cathedral sequences) and removed some violent detail (notably the crushing of Grandier's legs). However, the biggest cuts were made by the studio itself, prior to submission to the BBFC, removing two scenes in their entirety, notably a two-and-a-half-minute sequence of crazed naked nuns sexually assaulting a statue of Christ and about of half of a latter scene with Sister Jeanne masturbating with the charred tibia of Grandier after self-administering an enema. However, even in its released form, the film was considerably stronger in detail than most films released prior to that point.

Its fate in the United States was even more stringent, with a further set of cuts made to even more of the nudity with some key scenes (including Sister Jeanne's crazed visions, exorcism and the climactic burning) shorn of the more explicit detail.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Eine Stadt sucht einen Moerder

M (1931)

M is a German drama-thriller directed by Fritz Lang and written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou. It was Lang's first sound film, although he had directed over a dozen films previously. The film has become a classic which Lang himself considered his finest work. The roots of noir go back to German Expressionism, and there’s no movie that’s more German, Expressionist, or noir than Fritz Lang’s masterful — and finally restored — M (1931). While this story of the pursuit of a child-killer lacks one of the crucial elements of the genre, the femme fatale, the other components of noir are here in force. There’s the dark cityscape, an unstable environment in which children play in the street singing chants about "black bogeymen" and murderers. There’s the paranoid pathology of the individual in the person of the twisted Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre), who courts and kills his young victims for reasons he can’t express or fathom, and a frenzied mob that brings its own brand of justice against him. Many of the classic noirs of the 1940s and later owe a debt to M’s obsessive attention to the details of the manhunt, with the most minute aspects of police procedure rendered. Most important, though, is the sense of doom that colors the film, a fatalism Lang renders through chiaroscuro lighting effects and enormous high-angle shots that suggest a malevolent spiritual presence hovering above the city and guiding its denizens to their doom.

M is supposedly based on the real-life case of serial killer Peter Kürten, the 'Vampire of Düsseldorf', whose crimes took place in the 1920s, not long before the film was made and released, although Lang fervently denied that he drew from this case.

Lorre's character whistles the tune "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No. 1. However, Peter Lorre himself could not whistle – it is actually Director Fritz Lang who is heard. The film was one of the first to use a leitmotif, associating "In the Hall of the Mountain King" with the Lorre character. Late in the film, the mere sound of the song lets the audience know that he must be nearby, off-screen. This association of a musical theme with a particular character or situation, a technique borrowed from opera, is now a film staple.

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MPEG2 Ogg Video 512Kb MPEG4

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rumble Fish OST - Stewart Copeland

01. Don't Box Me In
02. Tulsa Tango Listen
03. Our Mother Is Alive
04. Party At Someone Else's Place
05. Biff Gets Stomped By Rusty James
06. Brothers On Wheels
07. West Tulsa Story
08. Tulsa Rags
09. Father On The Stairs
10. Hostile Bridge To Benny's
11. Your Mother Is Not Crazy
12. Personal Midget/Cain's Ballroom
13. Motorboy's Fate

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 or torrent


Rumble Fish (1983)

Rumble Fish is a film directed, produced and co-written by Francis Ford Coppola. It is based on the novel Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton, who also co-wrote the screenplay. The film centers on the relationship between the Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke), a revered former gang leader, and his younger brother, Rusty James (Matt Dillon), who can't live up to his brother's great reputation, nor can his brother live it down.

Coppola wrote the screenplay for the film with Hinton on his days off from shooting The Outsiders. He made the films back-to-back, retaining much of the same cast and crew. The film is notable for its avant-garde style, shot on stark high-contrast black-and-white film, using the spherical cinematographic process with allusions to French New Wave cinema and German Expressionism. Rumble Fish features an experimental score by Stewart Copeland, drummer of the musical group The Police, who used a Musync, a new device at the time.

Rumble Fish was booed when it debuted at the New York Film Festival. It took part in the San Sebastian International Film Festival, where it won the International Critics' Big Award. It went on to gross only $2.5 million domestically, well below its estimated $10 million budget. Most mainstream reviewers reacted negatively to Coppola's film, criticizing its overt style and lack of characterization.

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The Motorcycle Boy's Never Coming Back

Friday, June 12, 2009

Xenogenesis (1978)

James Cameron student film called Xenogenesis, a 12-minute robot vs. robot low-budget special effects demo ...shot september 11, 1978.

His first film, presented as a part of an ongoing series, might not have any plot to speak of. After a rather nifty opening narration you get about ten minutes worth of battling robots. It's easy to see, that Cameron is a trained special effects maker as the robots and settings look rather good despite of the obvious small budget.

For James Cameron fans Xenogenesis is rather interesting treat and a showcase of where he departed. What is more interesting, is the fact that Cameron hasn't changed much as a storyteller: the themes of Xenogenesis are pretty similar to his more bigger budget movies: tough female character, love ...and how machines can be either a benefit or a threat.

Bound (1996)

Bound is a neo-noir crime thriller film directed by the Wachowski Brothers. It is about a woman (Jennifer Tilly) who longs to escape her relationship with her mafioso boyfriend (Joe Pantoliano). When she meets the alluring ex-con (Gina Gershon) hired to renovate the next-door apartment, the two women begin an affair and hatch a scheme to steal $2 million of Mafia money.

Bound was the first film directed by the Wachowskis, and they took inspiration from Billy Wilder to tell a noir story filled with sex and violence. Financed by Dino De Laurentiis, the film was made on a tight budget with the help of frugal crewmembers including cinematographer Bill Pope. The directors initially struggled to cast the lesbian characters of Violet and Corky before securing Tilly and Gershon. To choreograph the sex scenes, the directors employed sex educator Susie Bright, who has a bit part in the film.

Bound received positive reviews from film critics who praised the humor and style of the directors as well as the realistic portrayal of a lesbian relationship in a mainstream film. Detractors of the film criticized the excessive violence and superficiality of the plot. The film won several festival awards, mostly at gay and lesbian festivals.

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Dark City Doctor

13 Tzameti (2005)

The 2005 film was the feature directorial debut of Géla Babluani. Twenty-two-year-old Sebastien leads an impoverished life with his immigrant family constantly struggling to support them. While repairing the roof of a neighbor’s house, he overhears a conversation about an expected package that promises to make the household rich. Sensing the opportunity of a lifetime, Sebastien intercepts the package containing a series of specific instructions. Following the clues, he assumes a false identity and manages to slip through the grasp of the enclosing police as he ventures deeper and deeper into the countryside. The closer he gets to his destination and the more people he meets along the way, the less he understands about what he is looking for. Ultimately, he comes face to face with a ring of clandestine gamblers placing bets on the outcome of a multi-player, high stakes tournament of Russian roulette.

The original won the 2006 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Babluani won best director at the Venice Film Festival.

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Tokugawa onna keibatsu-emaki: Ushi-zaki no kei (1976)

Two short stories, the first being a doomed love story between a samarai and a young woman at a time when the local Shogun really enjoys torturing those sneaky Christians - which she happens to be one of. The second tale is equally gloomy, with a shiftless brothel-janitor tries to help one of the prostitutes escape the brutality of her profession. While both those stories sound harmless, maybe even a little boring, the truth is this movie is pretty much wall-to-wall torture and executions with gallons of gruesome.

Filmed in what we'd now call docu-drama style, Shogun's Sadism is actually a surprising little flick. The first story was actually pretty moving. Don't get me wrong, it's really just another excuse for a bunch of filmmakers to show off their gore skills and how creatively sadistic they could be, but the story does actually make it through the castrations, immolations, crucifixions and other cheery stuff.

This is some seriously unpleasant viewing, though. Unlike films where it's all a little tongue-in-cheek like Bloodsucking Freaks or some women-in-prison flick where scantily clad gals whip each other menacingly, this one's much more grim.

Also the torture and execution scenes abound, I lost track and can't even remember them all. People are boiled, burned and fried, branded, crushed, castrated, torn apart, blinded, beaten... and it actually gets much worse and the list goes on and on.

Japan Shock gets extremely high marks on quality this round. Presented in an anamporphic widescreen transfer, Shogun's Sadism looks simply spectacular. Print damage is minimal, there is no evidence of artifacting and colors are quite bright and lively (for the most part). This is a tremendous looking transfer for a film of this type from the 60's. Now this isn't to say that there aren't any trouble spots, because there are a few, but overall, it's quite pleasing. Audio is presented in Japanese or German mono with optional English or Dutch subtitles. Dialogue and ambient sounds are clear with no signs of distortion.

Download links: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 subtitle

Let The Right One In OST - Johan Soderqvist

01. The Arrival (02:46)
02. Eli And Oscar (03:12)
03. Eli's Theme (02:41)
04. The Slaughter (02:49)
05. Oscar In Love (02:11)
06. Hiding The Body (01:34)
07. After The Fight (01:06)
08. Oscar Strikes Back (01:37)
09. Virginia Wakes Up (01:10)
10. The Father (01:47)
11. Spotting A Victim (01:12)
12. Giving Up (02:20)
13. Death of Hakan (02:18)
14. Virginia Is Bitten (02:31)
15. Then We Are Together (02:42)
16. Virginia In Flames (02:15)
17. Eli Bleeds (01:45)
18. Related By Blood (01:34)
19. Lacke Dies (01:47)
20. Going Home (01:40)
21. Let The Right One In (05:49)


The Samurai

"There is no greater solitude
than that of the samurai,
unless it is that
of the tiger in the jungle...

-Bushido (Book of the Samurai)

Colpo Rovente OST - Piero Piccioni

Piccioni's superb soundtrack to the 1969 Italian thriller Colpo Rovente from director Piero Zuffi. Mad rhythms, driving orchestral tunes, beautiful bass lines and some fat drum beats mix nicely with the spacey tracks and jazzy motifs. Another essential one.

01. Colpo rovente (03:14)
02. Kintabú (01:25)
03. Black flower (03:24)
04. Identikit (01:29)
05. LSD (red hot) (02:41)
06. Eros (02:03)
07. Fuoco (02:05)
08. Easy dreamer (choir) (02:46)
09. Chinatown drugs (03:21)
10. Endless love (02:18)
11. Colpo rovente (red hot) (01:43)
12. Mexican dream (02:01)
13. Acapulco (02:51)
14. Big chase (02:06)
15. Colpo rovente (alt.) (02:30)
16. Kintabú (alt.) (01:30)
17. Identikit (01:55)
18. LSD (alt.) (01:32)
19. Eros (alt.) (01:53)
20. Colpo rovente (alt. live) (03:44)
21. Easy dreamer (alt.) (02:52)
22. Mexican dream (alt.) (01:52)
23. Senza via d'uscita (03:47)
24. Acapulco (shake) (02:31)
25. Occhio dell'uragano (01:32)
26. Acapulco (alt.) (02:10)
27. Colpo rovente (film end titles) (03:31)


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dark City (1998) - Directors Cut

Dark City is a fiction film noir written by Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer, and directed by Proyas. While it was not a major box office hit when originally released, it has subsequently developed a considerable cult following within film industry and cineaste circles. Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert is a particularly high-profile supporter of Dark City, labelling it the best film of 1998.

Director Alex Proyas first wrote the story of Dark City in 1991 as a detective story. The protagonist was a detective investigating a case that did not make logical sense, driving him insane as the evidence pointed to a larger, incomprehensible scheme. The detective was originally in pursuit of Murdoch, but Proyas considered the detective's perspective too analytical and changed it to the perspective of the man being chased to take a more emotive point of view. The original plot was changed to the story of Eddie Walenski in the film, played by Colin Friels. Proyas was also inspired by science fiction stories of simulated reality that he read during his childhood. The director considered the result to be a Raymond Chandler story with a science fiction twist.

The initial ending for Dark City was originally bleak, with the Strangers claiming victory. Proyas, not liking the ending, decided to alter it to focus on the "individual's triumph" in an environment where individuality was being suppressed.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Koroshi no rakuin (1967)

Branded to Kill is a Japanese yakuza film directed by Seijun Suzuki. It was a low budget, production line number for the Nikkatsu Company. The story follows Goro Hanada in his life as a contract killer. He falls in love with a woman named Misako, who recruits him for a seemingly impossible mission. When the mission fails, he becomes hunted by the phantom Number One Killer, whose methods threaten his sanity as much as his life.

The studio was unhappy with the original script and called in Suzuki to rewrite and direct it at the last minute. Suzuki came up with many of his ideas the night before or on the set while filming, and welcomed ideas from his collaborators. He gave the film a satirical, anarchic and visually eclectic bent which the studio had previously warned him away from. After its release Suzuki was fired for making "movies that make no sense and no money". Suzuki successfully sued Nikkatsu with support from student groups, like-minded filmmakers and the general public and caused a major controversy through the Japanese film industry. Suzuki was blacklisted and did not make another feature film for 10 years but became a counterculture hero.

The film drew 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. Thirty-four years after Branded to Kill, Suzuki filmed Pistol Opera (2001) with Nikkatsu, a loose sequel to the former. The company has also hosted two major retrospectives spotlighting his career.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Abomination (1986)

In some ways it's a pity the effect of Peter Jackson's Brain Dead being released was to create an overdose of humorous gore and mega-splatter, neutralising the impact of any gore films since. Sure, the "torture porn" subgenre brought some intensity and 'squirminess' back to depictions of on-screen blood, but it's hard to watch a nineteen-eighty-six film like Brett McCormick's The Abomination and be affected by the splatter alone. Maybe I'm just desensitised in my old age. It's not a huge issue for this bizarre little curiosity of a film, though. There are other odd quirks and joys to tide curious viewers over. Any film that opens with a five minute montage of all the gore scenes from it's running time is obviously eager to please any splatter enthusiasts, and certainly lets you know where you stand. You can always turn off at this point! More...

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