Friday, September 18, 2009

The sleeper must awaken...

Darkened Room (2002)

Darkened Room is a short 8-minute film directed by David Lynch. It first appeared on Lynch's website, in 2002. It has subsequently been released on the DVD anthology Dynamic:01.

In the first half of the film, a Japanese woman shows us her apartment in Tokyo and muses on the amount of bananas produced worldwide. The woman then tells us that her friend next door is sad. In the second half, a blonde woman (Jordan Ladd) sits on a sofa and cries. Then a brunette woman (Cerina Vincent) enters and says cruel things to her, before threatening to tell her the truth. The film ends with a fade to black.

The film was shot on digital video. In an introduction that appears on the Dynamic:01 DVD, Lynch calls the film "an experiment based on some idea", and says the film "was always some kind of tie in to bananas, information concerning bananas, so we can all learn some things as we enjoy the shows". Then he laughs.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Cat People OST (1982) - Giorgio Moroder

Perhaps best known for his Oscar-winning "Midnight Express" score and his disco collaborations with Donna Summer, composer Giorgio Moroder's finest work can be heard on "Cat People" (1982). Like the Paul Schrader film it accompanies, Moroder's score remains a masterpiece of mood and atmosphere - featuring David Bowie's excellent title song (subtitled "Putting Out Fire"). It should be noted that Moroder utilized a different recording for the movie, which is equally memorable. Hopefully, the "Cat People" CD will be reissued with additional music from the film soundtrack.

01. Cat People ("Putting Out Fire") 6:46
02. The Autopsy 1:32
03. Irena's Theme 4:22
04. Night Rabbit 2:00
05. Leopard Tree Dream 4:03
06. Paul's Theme (Jogging Chase) 3:54
07. The Myth 5:13
08. To The Bridge 2:52
09. Transformation Seduction 2:46
10. Bring The Prod 1:57


Friday, September 4, 2009

The Lady From Shanghai

Обыкновенный фашизм (1965)

Obyknovennyy fashizm

... aka A Night of Thoughts
... aka Echo of the Jackboot (UK)
... aka Ordinary Fascism
... aka Triumph Over Violence (USA)

Using found footage from East German, Soviet and Polish archives, as well as some amateur photography, this documentary builds a picture of the culture of German Nazism, including some of the films of the Nazi ministry of propaganda. This analysis of fascism, its rise in Germany in the 1930's, culmination in World War II, and present day manifestations, is compiled largely from German news and archival footage. The film is divided into chapters depicting Hitler's early emotional appeal to the German people (mass rallies, Wagnerian torchlight parades, book-burnings, etc.); the conversion of "nice boys" into storm troopers (stressed by scenes of captured German soldiers with pictures of their loved ones juxtaposed with views of their atrocities); Hitler's eventual rise to absolute power (his conquests, policy of mass murder, crimes against the Jews, and the sealing of Mein Kampf in a vault designed to last 1000 years); and his defeat. (Deletions for the U. S. release include material from the final chapter depicting neo-Nazi movements throughout the world today and the training of U. S. Marines in a manner reminiscent of the indoctrination of Hitler's Brownshirts.)

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Mikhail Romm ... Narrator (voice)
Marlene Dietrich ... Herself (archive footage)
Josef Goebbels ... Himself (archive footage)
Hermann Göring ... Himself (archive footage)
Adolf Hitler ... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Stalin ... Himself (archive footage)
Jûkichi Uno ... Narrator (voice: Japanese version)