Category: Film

Soviet Film Wednesday: Tale of Tales

Tales of Tales (Сказка сказок), also titled The Little Grey Wolf Will Come, was the first Soviet animation that I ever remember seeing, and for years I would return to this mysterious film, intermittently, in awe and wonder, taking in the magic and trying to piece together the different parts. Then I watched more Yuri …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Solaris

When psychologist Kris Kelvin travels to the space station that is orbiting the oceanic planet Solaris to investigate the psychological unrest of the skeleton crew of three working there, he soon finds himself having the same mental difficulties. But let’s go back a little, when Solaris begins in an idyllic countryside scene, where Kris Kelvin visits …

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Pier Paolo Pasolini

Director and writer Pier Paolo Pasolini was born in the Kingdom of Italy on this day March 5, 1922. His most well known movies include Accattone (1961), Mamma Roma (1962), The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), Theorem (1968), The Decameron (1971), Arabian Nights (1974), and Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975). “I …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Fox and Rabbit

The 1973 animation Fox and Rabbit (Лиса и заяц) was Yuri Norstein’s debut as an exclusive director. In keeping with Norstein’s most beloved animation techniques, it is made with wonderful cut-outs and has that signature Norstein earthy feel, brimming with folksy forest animals and seasonal motifs. Based on a Russian folk tale, it is the …

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Shigeru Umebayashi – “Yumeji´s Theme”

Happy birthday to composer Shigeru Umebayashi, famous for his exceptional film scores, especially the song “Yumeji’s Theme” for Yumeji (1991) which was also used in the film In the Mood for Love (2000), and his music for House of Flying Daggers (2004). Umebayashi was born on this day February 19, 1951 in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan.

Antoine’s Questioning – The 400 Blows

Considered one of the finest films ever made, and the defining film of French New Wave cinema, The 400 Blows was directed by François Truffaut, who was born on this day February 6, 1932 in Paris, France. The young actor Jean-Pierre Léaud said Truffaut encouraged him to come up with the answers in the famous questioning …

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Paul Newman – “Plastic Jesus”

Happy birthday to Cool Hand Luke. Actor and director Paul Newman was born on this day January 26, 1925 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

The Legacy of Danny Kaye

The wonderful Danny Kaye was born David Daniel Kaminsky of Ukrainian immigrants on this day January 18, 1911 in New York City. The humanitarian, actor, dancer, singer, and comedian’s film legacy alone includes numerous classics: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), A Song Is Born (1948), The Inspector General (1949), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), …

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Hayao Miyazaki Brought Manga to the Masses

One-of-a-kind animator, artist, and masterful storyteller, Hayao Miyazaki brought delightful “manga” (Japanese comic books) and “anime” (Japanese animation) films to venerating audiences via Studio Ghibli, which Miyazaki co-founded with director Isao Takahata in 1985. Some of the first Studio Ghibli films made were Castle in the Sky (1986), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), and Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), receiving recognition and …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas (1951) was directed by the prolific Soviet animation duo of Valentina Brumberg and Zinaida Brumberg, who were also known as the “Brumberg sisters” as well as the “grandmothers of Russian animation.” Some of their most well known films are Little Red Riding Hood and Ivashka and Baba-Yaga. Not your typical Christmas story, it begins …

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