Breakfast at Tiffany's (dir. Blake Edwards, 1961)
Seminal Cinema Outfit is a New York City based group of film fans, cinephiles, and movie addicts that come together for the sole purpose of discussing a mutual obsession. We specialize in providing users with the best classic, foreign, and rare cinematic
Breakfast at Tiffany's (dir. Blake Edwards, 1961)
Last week SCO had the chance to speak with Gored director Ido Mizrahy. Gored is a documentary following Antonio Barrera, infamously known as the most 'gored' bullfighter in modern history. Filled with 'poetic, albeit moribund philosophy, [Gored] is a majestic display of suspense', Seminal Cinema Outfit programmer Daniel Engelke wrote in his review. Premiering at Tribeca 2015, the film was released nationwide last Tuesday. [ 40 more words. ]
"The film begins to break apart by degrees here, slowly becoming more fractured as Goro continues his descent; the imagery becomes more off-hinge, tilted, and dark."
Read Karelia Malin's full review of Seijun Suzuki's experimental masterpiece, "Branded To Kill" (1967).
Branded to Kill In my previous reviews, I’ve focused on the history of the film of my choosing—maybe some facts about the production, or on the director and his journey as an artist; perhaps what ...
Experimental Film ~ Part 1 ~
Waheeda Rehman (born May 14, 1936)
One of Indian cinema's most decorated and beloved actresses.
In a 2014 interview, when asked why, as a young actress in Bombay, she refused to change her name (a practice relatively common at the time):
"(Laughs) See the Bombay film industry was very different then. Mohammed Yusuf Khan became Dilip Kumar, Mahajabeen Bano, Meena Kumari and Mumtaz Jehan Begum Dehlavi Madhubala. Within minutes of coming to GD's Famous Studio office, Raj Khosla told me my name would be changed since it was too long. When I refused, he rattled off a list of big names who'd done it and said, “Everyone's done it.” I simply told him, “I am not everyone.”
Enlightening full interview at DNA India: http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/interview-i-only-look-good-on-screen-waheeda-rehman-1979414
From Hindi Film to Bollywood - Raising Social Awareness - Watch one of the only Bollywood films without songs, 'Ittefaq' (1969)! (via @NYCinemaOutfit)
Required Reading "The core of the film is the characterization of two, deeply imperfect characters, evading trouble, trying to find solution to a problem, coming close to each other, and as always, the hallmark characteristic of a good film, it is full of sympathy for the characters. Despite the fact it seems dated, slightly thespian, over the top at times." [ 155 more words. ]
Seminal Cinema Outfit's cover photo
From Hindi Film to Bollywood - Raising Social Awareness - Watch 'showman' Raj Kapoor's classic 'Awara' (1951) http://wp.me/p3R1G7-10I
Part I Part II Required Reading "On the face of it, Raj Kapoor’s “Awara” is a typical potboiler with a convoluted plot. In fact, there is so much in the plot that the first twenty minutes of the flashback are hurried through and the viewer is left thinking “woah, what happened there!?”. The device of a speeded-up beginning is something that Manmohan Desai later picked up on and used for his lost and found sagas. [ 388 more words. ]
From Hindi Film to Bollywood - Raising Social Awareness - Listen to the soundtrack of 'Kaagaz ke Phool'! (via @NYCinemaOutfit)
Required Reading "Kaagaz ke phool ("Paper flowers") is in many ways an exceedingly beautiful film. It is poetically written, touchingly acted, and shot with gorgeous and evocative black and white cinematography that I do not even feel qualified to describe. Its tortured artist theme, however, is somewhat grating - films about how hard it is to be a filmmaker always tend toward the self-indulgent, and even an excellently-crafted film like Kaagaz ke phool cannot entirely escape the gravity of that sort of navel-gazing. [ 215 more words. ]
One of Hindi Cinema's most powerful stories.
Mother India (1957), directed by Mehboob Khan.
A new week for 'From Hindi Film to Bollywood'! - 'Raising Social Awareness' - Watch a scene from 'Mother India' (1957)
From Hindi Film to Bollywood: Raising Social Awareness Films predominately reflect the country of their origin. India, now officially autonomous after the end of the British Raj, was in the midst of an evolution. Like many other post-colonial countries, the question became: who are 'we' now that our identity is not determined by the presence of an imperial power? A new decade of cinema sought to define the new nation. [ 176 more words. ]
Hindi Cinema to Bollywood - From Silence to Sound - Watch 'Kaliya Mardan' (1919) and learn everything about Krishna! http://wp.me/p3R1G7-10o
Required Reading "That doesn’t mean that Phalke’s film was a tedious or heavy-handed means of passing on political or social commentary – far from it. In fact, the film is joyous and delightful at every step. Krishna’s defeat of Kaliya comes at the very end of a series of scenes that illustrate both the mischevious and benevolent nature of Krishna, even as a child. [ 123 more words. ]
Hindi Cinema to Bollwood - From Silence to Sound - Watch (a scee) 'Alma Ara' (1931) (via @NYCinemaOutit) http://wp.me/p3R1G7-10k
Required Reading "There were huge crowds outside the theatre. Tickets were sold 'in black' According to reports, "Police aid had to be summoned to control the crowds ....Four¬anna tickets were quoted at Rs.4 and Rs.5." Later, units went on tour with the film, taking sound projection equipment with them, and everywhere the crowds were uncontrollable." - Read more at Film Impression… [ 91 more words. ]
Hindi Cinema to Bollywood - From Silence to Sound - Watch Leading Man KL Saigal in 'Devdas' (1936) (via @NYCinemaOutfit)
Required Reading "The film medium's `obsession' with the novel began in 1928 when the first version was made at Kolkata by Naresh Mitra who also played a major role in this silent movie. The cinematographer was Nitin Bose.Movie began to speak in India in 1931 and the first talkie version of ``Devdas" came out in 1935. The celebrated film company of yesteryear, New Theaters, Calcutta (now Kolkata) produced it in Bengali and Hindi. [ 166 more words. ]
SCO Presents! - 'From Hindi Cinema to Bollywood' - Silence to Sound - Watch: Raja Harischandra (1913) (via @NYCinemaOutfit)
Seminal Cinema Presents: From Hindi Cinema to Bollywood (May 2015) Bollywood is the cinema of song, dance, and flamboyantly-colored clothing, correct? Well, partially. Hindi cinema has a rich and wide-ranging history that is diverse as Hollywood. And, well, probably even more diverse than that. Hindi cinema starts in France. Or, more specifically, with the Lumieres. Soon after their spectacle showing in Paris, August and Pierre sent Maurius Seslter to India to screen a collection of their short films. [ 270 more words. ]
Cinema on Paper Sunday! - Read why 'Salo' is 'Still Hellish After 40 Years' (Eli Friedberg) http://wp.me/p3R1G7-ZZ
Salo: -- Still Hellish after 40 Years -- Watching Pier Pasolini’s Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom in a post-Human Centipede, post-Serbian Filmworld – indeed, on the heels of roughly a decade and a half of nouveau video nasties powered by the mass-desensitization and word-of-mouth of the internet era, and several decades more of video-distributed “extreme” cinema before that – feels like a twofold dare. [ 1772 more words. ]
Cinema on Paper Sunday! - Read how Dietrich and Hayworth defined female presscene in 'The Femme Fatale' (Karelia Malin)
The Femme Fatale When asked to pick a film (or films) from the golden age of cinema, I leapt at a chance to see two of the greatest actresses from the era: Marlene Dietrich in Morocco (1930) and Rita Hayworth in Gilda. My original intent, I think, had been to study these women who had made their name through their portrayal of femme fatales, and find something in them that spoke to me; something that indicated the independence of the women they portrayed. [ 971 more words. ]
Seminal Cinema at KINO! Film Fest! - Read our review of Christoph Hochhäusler's 'The Lies of Victors' (via @NYCinemaOutfit)
The Lies of the Victors is as poetically complex as the title suggests. A journalist from a prominent German magazine is chasing a story about toxic waste and Afghanistan war veterans. Somehow, he knows, these two elements are intertwined in a nefarious plot that reaches to the upper echelons of German politics. However, like any good conspiracy, there are many, many levels of complexity. [ 283 more words. ]
Trailer for Sergio Citti Italian comedy Casotto (Beach House) (1977) featuring a young Jodie Foster.
A summer Sunday in a beach hut at Lido di Ostia (Rome). Many people and stories: a female basketball team; two fitness-mad soldiers; two petrol pump attendan...
Sergio Citti (1933-2005), frequent collaborator of director Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Bawdy Tales (1973), a landmark Italian comedy directed and co-written by Sergio Citti.
From Neorealism to Art Film - 70's Italian Cinema - Watch: Antonioni's 'end of the 60's' classic 'Zabriskie Point' (1970) (via @NYCInemaOutfit)
Required Reading "Zabriskie Point" is Antonioni's first American film and the 11th feature in a filmography that includes "L'Avventura," "La Notte," "Red Desert" and "Blow-Up." Coming to us with those credentials, "Zabriskie Point" demands to be taken seriously, if only by Antonioni buffs for whom no assumption is too outrageous to make in the interests of filling in the blank spaces in the master's plan." [ 130 more words. ]
From Neorealism to Art Film - 70's Italian Cinema - Watch: VIsconti's 'aristocratic' adaption of Mann's 'Death in Venice' (1971) (via @NYCinemaOutfit)
(CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH) (Instructions: Click the 'Play' button in the middle. X out of any ads. Wait for buffer. Enjoy) Required Reading "Visconti fails, then, to develop characters and relationships that matter. The failure is fatal to the movie's success; but the physical beauty of the film itself is overwhelming. The world of the Lido of sixty years ago has been re-created in painstaking detail. [ 122 more words. ]
From Neorealism to Art Film - 70's Italian Cinema - Watch Italian film's maestro at work in 'Fellini's Casanova' (1976) (via @NYCinemaOutfit)
(Click Image to Watch) (Instructions: Click the 'Play' button in the middle of the screen. Click it a few times. X out of any ads that pop up. Let the film buffer. Enjoy.) Required Reading ""Fellini's Casanova" recalls "Fellini's Satyricon." Though its concerns are narrower, it's as otherworldly as that nightmare vision of the pre-Christian Roman Empire. Like that film, too, "Casanova" makes no attempt to recreate an identifiable era, but, rather, to create a completely subjective impression." [ 114 more words. ]
Pasolini's final interview, given hours before his death.
Courtesy of Left Curve journal.
Salò (1975) directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Pasolini's intense, relentless art film. It was also his last.
From Neorealism to Art Film - 70's Italian Cinema - Watch: Pasolini's 'comedy' 'The Decameron' (1970) (via @NYCinemaOutfit)
(CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH) (Instructions: Click Play button. X out of ads. Enjoy) Required Reading "Taking 10 tales out of the 100 in Boccaccio's "Decameron," Pasolini has created one of the most beautiful, turbulent and uproarious panoramas of early Renaissance life ever put on film. It is also one of the most obscene, if obscene defines something that is offensive to ordinary concepts of chastity, delicacy and decency, although I'd hardly call the film offensive to morals." - … [ 169 more words. ]
Beyond Neorealism - 60's Italian Cinema - Watch Pasolini's scathing documentary 'La Rabbia' (1963) (via @NYCinemaOutfit)
Required Reading "Pasolini had been a source of irritation to Italy’s elite for several decades, as a columnist, critic, poet and filmmaker. Driven by a deep-seated anger, he directed his criticism at the ruling class and the stranglehold of conformity. Pasolini’s life ended when he was at his most productive: he had just finished Salò, or 120 days of Sodom." - [ 142 more words. ]
Giulietta Masina (1921-1994)
Iconic Italian actress. Lifetime muse of husband and director Federico Fellini.
Beyond Neorealism - 60's Italian Cinema - Watch: Luchino Visconti's 'The Leopard' (1963) (via @NYCInemaOutfit)
(CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH) (Instruction: Click the 'videoweed' link. X out of the many pop-ups. Press 'Continue to Video' followed by Click 'Watch Video'. Click 'Play' button in the center of the screen or on the timeline. Enjoy) Required Reading "The convergence and divergence of Lampedusa and Visconti are particularly interesting here. Lampedusa was a Sicilian aristocrat deeply skeptical about progress; Visconti was a northern aristocrat deeply dedicated to it. [ 243 more words. ]
Beyond Neorealism - 60's Italian Cinema - Watch Pier Paolo Pasolini's 'The Gospel According to St. Matthew' (1964) (via @NYCinemaOutfit) http://wp.me/p3R1G7-Zk
(CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH) (Instructions: Click the Play button a few times. X out of any pop-ups. Enjoy) Required Reading "Pier Paolo Pasolini was stuck in St. Francis' hometown of Assisi. He had come there in 1962 to attend a seminar at a Franciscan monastery. Although it was well known that Pasolini was an atheist, a Marxist and a homosexual, he had accepted the invitation after Pope John XXIII called for a new dialogue with non-Catholic artists." [ 197 more words. ]
Beyond Neorealism - 60's Italian Cinema - Watch: 'La Notte' (Antonioni, 1961) (via @NYCinemaOutfit)
After the Oscar wins of 'La Strada' and 'Nights of Cabiria', the world was waiting to see what Italian cinema would produce next. For Fellini, it was the materpiece and Best Director nominated (notedly not Best Foreign Language) 'La Dolce Vita'. For Visconti, the Venice Film festival lauded 'Rocco and his Brothers'. And for Antonioni, it would be the Cannes-audience jeered 'L'avventura'. [ 476 more words. ]
La Notte (1961) directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.
The birth of post-Neorealism Italian cinema.
Ennio Flaiano (1910-1972), iconic Italian screenwriter and intellectual most famous for co-writing cinema classics 8 1/2, La Strada, and La Dolce Vita.
In an excerpt from his memoir, The Via Veneto Papers (1973), published posthumously, Flaiano discusses the early developmental stages of writing La Dolce Vita:
June 1958 -- "I am working with Fellini and Tullio Pinelli, dusting off an old idea of ours for a film, the one about a young provincial who comes to Rome to become a journalist. Fellini wants to adapt the idea to the present day, to paint a picture of this “wog society” that frolics between eroticism, alienation, boredom and sudden affluence. It is a society which, the terrors of the cold war now past and perhaps even in reaction to them, flourishes a bit everywhere. But in Rome, through a mixing together of the sacred and the profane, of the old and the new, through the en masse arrival of foreigners, through the cinema, presents more aggressive, subtropical qualities. The film will have La dolce Vita as its title and we have yet to write a single line of it; we are vaguely taking notes and going to the different places around town to refresh our memories."
New York, NY
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