Category: Film

Soviet Film Wednesday: A Rainy Story

Inspired after seeing this at Soviet Visuals and Folklore Film Fest‘s #SovietFilmWednesday, this was the first Soviet film I shared a little over two years ago, and it is still one of my favorites. What can I say, I love rain and cats, and the illustrations are beautiful. A Rainy Story is about a cat who wanders …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: The Scarlet Flower

The Scarlet Flower (Аленький цветочек, Alenkiy tsvetochek) is a popular Russian folktale based on Sergey Aksakov’s rendition of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Similar to the traditional tale, it begins when a merchant father, Stepan Yemelyanovich, asks his three daughters what gifts they would like from his travels. The oldest daughter, Gordeya, wishes for …

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On This Day: Chantal Akerman

Director, screenwriter, and film professor Chantal Akerman was born on this day June 6, 1950 in Brussels, Belgium. Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) is Akerman’s most highly acclaimed film. Here is the trailer:

Remembering the Shining Charisma of Rosalind Russell

You’re guaranteed to get at least this from seeing a movie starring Rosalind Russell: the sheer pleasure of watching a sparkling, sharp-witted, and warm character. Russell is well known for her lovable characters, especially her high energy socialite role in Auntie Mame (1958), her sharp repartee in His Girl Friday (1940), and her stern yet …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Mirror

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, and much like Norstein’s animation Tale of Tales, Mirror (Зеркало, Zerkalo) is another stream of consciousness film that strings together memories. The film is not meant to symbolize anything, but rather uses intuition as a means of expression. The main character, loosely based on Tarkovsky himself, is a dying poet contemplating his …

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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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