Saturday, January 19, 2013

Viviane Orth

Detective Story (1951)

On one day in the 21st Precinct squad room, assorted characters form a backdrop for the troubles of a hard-nosed detective.

Gripping study of a character spiralling downward with a good cast and a splendid central performance, but otherwise quite talkative and stagebound.

Halliwell **: "Clever, fluent transcription of a Broadway play with some of the pretentions of Greek tragedy; it could have been the negation of cinema, but professional handling makes it the essence of it."

Maltin ***1/2: "Sidney Kingsley's once-powerful play about life at a N.Y.C. police precinct has lost much of its punch, but is still a fine film."

Scarlett Johansson

Ferry to Hong Kong (1959)

A habitual drunk and troublemaker with a shady past, is expelled by Hong Kong police onto a ferry, and for legal reasons is unable to go ashore and is therefore a permanent passenger and nuiscance for the captain of the ferry.

Lightweight adventure story, at times amusing, but basically a waste of the talent of the two lead performers.

Halliwell (no stars): "Silly storyline and rampant bad acting ruin the Rank Organization's first attempt at an international epic."

Maltin **1/2: "Welles and Jurgens have field day...Otherwise just routine."

Who's That Girl?

Art: Cris Brodahl


Friday, January 18, 2013

Blake Lively

A day in the life, Jan 16

A day in the life, Jan 16, Regensburg by night

Natalia Vodianova

From my vaults: Jimmy Carter


Roberta Chirko

New York

The Naked City (1948)

Kristina Gromovaite

First Lines: Maurice Maeterlinck - The Blue Bird


Anastasija Kondratjeva

ph: Sonia Sieff

A day in the life, Jan 15

A day in the life, Jan 15, Regensburg by night

Appoline Rozhdestvenska

ph: Konstantin Lunarine

Fortress 2 (2000)

7 years after the original Fortress movie the hero is again apprehended and incarcerated.
Curious and unsuccessful mix of prison camp thriller and science fiction space station drama.

Halliwell  (no stars): "Despite its futuristic setting, this is the usual prison fare, with lots of tough talk and much macho swaggering."

Katya Konstantinova

ph: Filep Motwary

In Her Line of Fire (2006)

When the Vice President's plane goes down near a remote Pacific island, he is kidnapped by rebel forces and held for ransom.

Poorly conceived action thriller that hardly meets any standards of the genre.

Shirley Manson

New Stuff: Pere Ubu

Finally a new (and fantastic) album.

Estee Rammant

ph: Simon Burstall

Hysteria (2011)

The truth of how Mortimer Granville devised the invention of the first vibrator in the name of medical science.

Modestly amusing take on a supposed Victorian sexual naivete.
Maltin ***: "Consistently amusing period comedy with a cast that never overplays the material."

Who's That Girl?

art: Liz Brizzi

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Alison Nix

A day in the life, Jan 14

A day in the life, Jan 14, Regensburg by night

Kate Moss irrégulière

A belated Happy Birthday, Kate!

From my vaults: Janis Carter


Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey

New York

(ph: Elizabeth Feeley)

Caroline Corinth

First Lines: Paul Heyse - Children of the World

In the Dorotheen Strasse, in the middle of the Latin quarter of Berlin, the modest, scholarlike colouring of which seems more and more likely to be washed out by the approach of fashionable civilization, there stood, a few years ago, a small two-storied house, narrow-chested, insignificant, and as it were initimidated by its broad-shouldered neighbours, though each year it received a wash of delicate pink flesh-colour, and had been quite lately ornamented by a new lightning conductor on its old worn gable.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tatiana Cotliar

A day in the life, Jan 13

A day in the life, Jan 13, Regensburg by night

Daria Mikhailova

New Stuff: The New Yorker

Carolina Thaler

ph: Fábio Bartelt

Maniac (1980)

A psychotic man, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in NYC, kills young women and takes their scalps as trophies.

Quite competently made slasher, but particularly disturbing by telling the story through the killer's point of view, a chillingly accurate performance by Joe Spinell and garish effects.

Maltin BOMB: "Unrelenting exercise in nihilistic gore...Although an excellent character actor, coscriptwriter-producer-star Spinell bears most of the blame for this claustrophobic, sickening film."

Who's That Girl?

Art: Howard Chaykin