Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pagliacci - ópera de Ruggero Leoncavallo - Film by Franco Zeffirelli - 1982

Zeffirelli's 1982 film version of the Leoncavallo opera.

"Laugh, Pagliaccio, at your shattered love..."

A troupe of clowns regularly presents a comic version of a man being betrayed
by his wife - to a happy ending as the betrayed man is able to laugh the betrayal
off. Yet, when this happens within the troupe there is a tragic ending.

Please watch the film here:

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Pandemonium/Demons - Toshio Matsumoto - 1971

Ostensibly this is a Michael Kohlhaas type of story - an honorable person is defrauded and then becomes cruel and inhuman in his pursuit of justice.

Yet, there are many deeper levels to this film - for example, the film seems quite self-reflexive and seems to offer many insights and comments on the theater and the theater experience. The 'hero' is, after all, duped into giving away money he desperately needs after watching a highly theatrical performance.

One question the film seems to ask, in relation to the theater, is: what part of our lives is NOT performance toward some self-enriching goal? Is all personal action a deceptive performance?

This film was banned in England, I am assuming for the brutality and cruelty.

You can watch this amazing film here:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict - 2015 - Lisa Immordino Vreeland

The documentary uses Peggy Guggenheim's autobiography "Confessions of an Art Addict" as a basis but supplements the book with stories Guggenheim deliberately left out of the book and with numerous interviews with people who knew her or who had put a lot of time into reading about her.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ludwig II - 2012 - Directors: Marie Noelle, Peter Sehr

A compassionate look at the life of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who lived for art and attempted to rule Bavaria according to pacifist principles in the Age of Bismark's Blood and Iron. He was a strong patron of Wagner and an all-around tragic figure.

Looking for Mr. Goodbar - 1977 - Richard Brooks

"...when your night life interferes with your day life."

There's one scene where a club guy introduces cocaine to the protagonist of the film. She says, "What will this do?" He says: "It will make America great again."

OK, I lied, but I couldn't resist. He actually says, "It will make America beautiful."

Catch a glimpse of New York City disco culture and follow the double life of a teacher who frequents various seedy bars and indulges in various 'vices'. This is based on a true story. A remarkably good film. This film was huge in the late 70s.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Aleksandr Nevsky - Sergei Eisenstein - 1938

On April 5, 1242, Prince Aleksandr Nevsky set up a defensive position at Raven's Rock near a frozen lake and an epic battle between the army of Teutonic Knights and Russians was fought. Had Nevsky and his army lost, Russian history would have been radically different and a Russian state would have had far less territory. Indeed, the very survival of Russia was probably at stake in the battle.

Eisenstein used this battle to create a propaganda film encouraging his contemporary Russian viewers to recall this great victory, created through massive individual sacrifice, in preparation for what he felt was an inevitable German invasion soon to come.

To see the film, please click on this link:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Cup - 1999 - Khyentse Norbu

A couple young Buddhist monks in training try to figure out how they are going to watch the 1998 World Cup...

Watch the film by clicking on this link: