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Jupiter’s Wife (1995)
A Haunting Real Life Mystery
Filmmaker(s): Michel Negroponte

Michel Negroponte, a documentary filmmaker, meets Maggie one day in Central Park. Maggie claims to be married to the god Jupiter and the daughter of actor Robert Ryan. Michel gets to know Maggie over the next couple of years, and attempts to use her often outlandish stories as clues to reconstruct her past.

Neptune’s Movie There is a story in this documentary, one about a very appealing woman. She’s so open we immediately give our heart before we realise how sick she is. She’s a mess, usually homeless, always hallucinating, fanatically fixated on her many dogs. That story is...


Published March 5, 2023
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Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Manners maketh man.
Filmmaker(s): Matthew Vaughn

The story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

Not that Kind of Tailoring From time to time in these comments, I remark on my surprise at how sophisticated young viewers are, and how they demand ever more complex and subtle self-referential folds. It gives me pleasure to realise that my flower children cohort were...


Published March 5, 2023
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Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)
Of All the Lives He Changed, the One That Changed the Most Was His Own.
Filmmaker(s): Stephen Herek

In 1965, passionate musician Glenn Holland takes a day job as a high school music teacher, convinced it's just a small obstacle on the road to his true calling: writing a historic opus. As the decades roll by with the composition unwritten but generations of students inspired through his teaching, Holland must redefine his life's purpose.

The Character Lab Ostensibly, this film is an emotional account of a place where strong characters are created. But what I find interesting is the story behind the characters in the film. Disney has the most advanced character lab in the world, a place which scientifically explores...


Published March 5, 2023
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Iron Monkey (1993)
Unmask the legend.
Filmmaker(s): Yuen Woo-Ping

Iron Monkey is a Hong Kong variation of Robin Hood. Corrupt officials of a Chinese village are robbed by a masked bandit known as "Iron Monkey", named after a benevolent deity. When all else fails, the Governor forces a traveling physician into finding the bandit.

Flight Assembly I am not a student of Hong Kong martial arts movies, just someone who dips into the accessible ones. My interest is in the cinematic experience, and that depends to a large extent on how the camera is choreographed. It doesn’t matter to me how...


Published March 5, 2023
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Island of Death (1978)
The lucky ones got their brains blown out!!
Filmmaker(s): Nico Mastorakis

A British couple on a break on a small Greek Island spreads terror beyond anything the Islanders could ever have imagined, only stopping every once in a while to shag anything that moves, be it man, woman or animal. But will they go unpunished, or will the inspector from London be able to put an end to their killing spree?

Photos I have a growing respect for Jess Franco. Some of his stuff is rather clever. But to my mind, this is much better. It doesn’t suffer from that Spanish notion of the scowling bigbreasted vamp. And it has some moody photography when it is not...


Published March 5, 2023
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Ishtar (1987)
Telling the truth can be dangerous business.
Filmmaker(s): Elaine May

Two terrible lounge singers get booked to play a gig in a Moroccan hotel but somehow become pawns in an international power play between the CIA, the Emir of Ishtar, and the rebels trying to overthrow his regime.

Farentheit I am writing this at a time when George Bush is still president, Michael Moore’s film has just appeared and the American people are beginning to understand what has happened. We all grasp at the movie we live in. At the moment, the “Republican” movie is...


Published March 5, 2023
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Killers From Space (1954)
The last word in science-fiction thrills!
Filmmaker(s): W. Lee Wilder

Atomic scientist/pilot Doug Martin is missing after his plane crashes on an reconnaissance mission after a nuclear test. Miraculously appearing unhurt at the base later, he is given sodium amethol, but authorities are skeptical of his story that he was captured by aliens determined to conquer the Earth with giant monsters and insects. Martin vows to use existing technology to destroy them.

Fools You, You Fools You know, slogging through 50’s scifi through the same stuff in the seventies is a dreary business unless you invent your own film on top. Most of the viewers who do this, simply hoot at the silliness and bad production. But there...


Published March 4, 2023
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Re Lear (1910)
Filmmaker(s): Gerolamo Lo Savio

Hand-tinted Italian verison of the Shakespeare Classic King Lear.

<strong>Colour Only If you have not seen this, it is a pantomime of a play with all the characters and plot of “Lear,” but wonderfully coloured. Just looking at the colouring is an adventure because they are so abstract, so unnaturally pure. But the sad...


Published March 4, 2023
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King Solomon’s Mines (1950)
Lovers trapped in animal stampede!

Adventurer Allan Quartermain leads an expedition into uncharted African territory in an attempt to locate an explorer who went missing during his search for the fabled diamond mines of King Solomon.

The Voyage Only You need to compare this to “Out of Africa” and “African Queen”. And it compares very poorly indeed. Four-fifths of this is the voyage across Africa with only two purposes: to show off the then novel footage of the place, and to portray...


Published March 4, 2023
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The Kiss before the Mirror (1933)
The daring drama of two men, two women and the unwritten law.
Filmmaker(s): James Whale

When a famous doctor kills his adulterous wife, he is defended by his best friend, an attorney who suspects that his own wife is having an affair.

Sight, Insight. We used to have such a thing as a courtroom movie. The lawyer — usually the lawyer for the defence — would make a presentation designed to affect us while it affects then, often in the same way. Think Atticus Finch. These projects revolve...


Published March 4, 2023
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