Category: Film

Pollyanna Was Released on This Day One Fine May

On May 19, 1960 this cheery Disney film was released to the public. It is the story of an orphaned girl raised by missionaries who arrives in a town fraught with feuds, and transforms the community with her positive attitude. Pollyanna’s shining quality is that she can always find the good in something. Yes, it …

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On This Day: Henry Fonda

Film and stage actor Henry Fonda was born on this day May 16, 1905 in Grand Island, Nebraska. Pictured: Henry Fonda as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, an excellent performance for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. Here are his children Jane and Peter Fonda discussing his role in the film The …

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On This Day: Chishū Ryū

Actor Chishū Ryū was born on this day May 13, 1904 in Tamamizu, Japan. His most well known films include Late Spring (1949), Early Summer (1951), Tokyo Story (1953), and An Autumn Afternoon (1962).

Soviet Film Wednesday: The Little Mermaid

This wonderfully illustrated 1968 Russian animation is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. It begins with a Copenhagen tour guide’s introduction to Andersen’s story, which is not quite the same as the Disney version. As is usually the case, the older tale is much darker. Much of the imagery in this animation is also dark, yet …

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One to Watch: Satyajit Ray

Born into a talented Indian family, Satyajit Ray is not only regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, but he was also a screenwriter, author, music composer, illustrator, and calligrapher. His most well known films include his debut self-financed film Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), Apur Sansar, (The World of Apu) (1959), The Music Room (1958), The Big …

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On This Day: Jane Campion

The ever talented Jane Campion was born on this day April 30, 1954 in Wellington, New Zealand.

“Meshes of the Afternoon” by Maya Deren

Here is the avant-garde film “Meshes of the Afternoon” (1943) by experimental filmmaker Maya Deren, born on this day April 29, 1917 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Made with a budget of $250, “Meshes of the Afternoon” is Maya Deren’s most well-known work and considered to be an influential film.

On This Day: Theo Angelopoulos

Happy birthday to filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos, born on this day April 27, 1935 in Athens, Greece. You can watch the trailer for his Palme d’Or and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury winning film at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, Eternity and a Day, here.

Soviet Film Wednesday: Walking the Streets of Moscow

Walking the Streets of Moscow (Я шагаю по Москве, Ya shagayu po Moskve) is a lighthearted look at everyday city life in Moscow for youth in the ’60s. We see an opening scene in the airport, city sidewalks in the rain, taxi rides through the streets, evening traffic flows, and a concert in Gorky park. …

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Selected Classics: Gambit (1966)

Happy birthday to the illustrious Shirley MacLaine, born on this day April 24, 1934 in Richmond, Virginia. In celebration, I’m sharing one of my favorite Shirley MacLaine classics, Gambit, starring the exceptional duo of MacLaine and Michael Caine. Between the superb acting and the wonderful 1960’s design, I can’t help but be drawn to it. And …

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