Tuesday, February 01, 1983


5.2.1983 8mm screening at Spectrum. A demonstration against nuclear power and a fight with the police at Gorleben.
8.2.1983 TV: Hitchcock's Frenzy half-way on. I hate the movie, but there is such a drive in the images that I cannot turn it off. Ron Goodwin's music impressive, too. Sad how H. went down after Torn Curtain.
Die Stadt der verlorenen Seelen. DE 1982. D: Rosa von Praunheim. video. Rubbish.
Tally Brown. DE 1977. D: Rosa von Praunheim. video. Much better, a funny portrait of "the most unusual woman in the world", the bohemian singer and cabaret artist.
In jenen Tagen / Autostrada. DE 1947. D: Helmut Käutner. Arsenal. A journey through the Third Reich narrated by a car (Opel Olympia), which lies as junk in a garage and tells the story of each of its owners. A fine movie with sensitivity and understanding.
11.2.1983 video screening at Video-Bar Korrekt. Cinema Vitesse: TV im Off. DE 1983. Lethally bad and boring as is the location which pretends to be a cool place.
12.2.1983 Nationalgalerie: Videokunst in Deutschland 1963-1982.
- Ingo Günther: Video Voodoo (1980)
- Marcel Odenbach: Freud gegen Marx ist die Devise 1982)
- Manfred Kage: Video Mandala (1981, music creates image)
- Friederike Pezold: Madame Cucumate - Videoplastik (1975, a totem of five monitors)
- Ulrike Rosenbach: Wer hat Angst vor der schwarzen Frau (Medusaimagination - Venusdepression) (1982)
- Ingo Günther: Hi Tao (1981) (six monitors showing the American highway)
- Barbara Hammann: Neue Welle (1983)
- Angelika Bader & Dietmar Tanterl: Ready Made Aide 1982 - Falkland Task Force South
- Ursula Wevers: Horizontales / vertikales Springen (1979)
- Peter Kolb: The Manhattan Tape ("video skyline")
- Klaus vom Bruch: Videogeister (1983)
- Wolf Vostell: Deutscher Anblick 1950-1963
- Nam June Paik: Zen for TV (1963)
In search for meaning.
The Lusty Men. The long version. Filmkunst 66. [2]. Gets better. Good story, taut direction, sensitive handling of characters, juicy dialogue.
Lucifer Rising. Video. [2]. Gets better. Explosive cinema, belongs to the Eisenstein current, taps from the archaic sources. Ecstatic, joy of sound and colour.
The Criminal Code. US 1931. D: Howard Hawks. Fkl / Fst. Apparently 16mm. H's stiff beginnings in sound film. Prison drama dragged by the burden of a filmed play. Walter Huston is the rough warden. Boris Karloff is the prisoner who has been appointed to revenge on the informer. A juvenile delinquent punished too harshly breaks down, until saved by the love of the warden's daughter. A rare milieu for H: the textile factory where the prisoners serve their sentence of hard labour and where the dirt, the noise and the forced pace of work almost bring the young protagonist down.
Tiger Shark / Tiikerihai. US 1932. Fkl / Fh. 16mm. A pretty good yarn about tuna fishers in the Pacific. Edward G. Robinson in an unusual part as the Spanish captain who loses his arm as he saves his buddy from the jaws of the shark. The missing arm is replaced by a hook, which is not an advantage when the captain is to select a wife. The wife ends up in the arms of the buddy whom he saved. The sad story gets uplift from R's performance as the boastful captain.
Orizuru Osen / The Downfall of Osen / Osen of the Paper-Cranes. JP 1934. D: Kenji Mizoguchi. Shot silent, synchronized afterwards with a commentaror's voice. A very bad 16mm print. The sorry status of the print made it impossible to make sense of the film. The story is archetypal M: a woman who helps the young man to a good start in life returns in the end as a prostitute rendered feeble-minded by venereal disease. The experience was strange since the film had both lengthy intertitles and spoken commentary. Plus English subtitles.
Pay Day / Palkkapäivä. US 1922. Charles Chaplin. Video. Another late exercise in pure slapstick, now with the full relish made possible by a lack of hurry. I love the transition via the dollar sign.
In a Lonely Place / Hermot pinnalla. US 1950. D: Nicholas Ray. Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame. A delectable psychological thriller about the frustrated screenwriter.
Josei no shori / The Victory of Women. JP 1946. D: Kenji Mizoguchi. Fkl / Fh. A really weak 16mm print. The reported duration was 84 min, actually 77 min. The lousy print again spoiled the experience. Good story: a court drama about a woman who has lost her husband and child. The defense attorney is portrayed by Kinyuo Tanaka, the embodiment of M's anima.
Joyu Sumako no koi / The Love of Sumako, the Actress. JP 1947. D: Kenji Mizoguchi. A bleak 16mm print, annoying hum on the soundtrack. Reported duration 96 min, actually 85 min. A great film from the world of the theatre. The introduction of Western theatre (Ibsen, Shakespeare) to Japan. Sumako has to abandon home and family as she dedicates herself to the theatre, until then a forbidden profession for women. Starring, of course, Kinoyo Tanaka.
Seven Chances / Seitsemän mahdollisuutta. US 1925. Buster Keaton. Fkl / Fst. Announced 75 min, actually 55 min. A masterpiece. The shy inhertior has to marry by a deadline in order to receive the millions. Finally all the women of the town are after him in a crazy chase, during the course of which K. calls forth an earthquake, among other things.
The Pilgrim / Susi lammasten vaatteissa. US 1923. VHS. Magisterial, stark, absurd satire. In the role of the poker-faced preacher C. gets as closest to Keaton. The energy of the fireball is contained in the black robe.
Dead End / Varjojen kadut (TV title 2003). US 1937. D: William Wyler. Lillian Hellman. Gregg Toland. Humphrey Bogart, Joel McCrea. VHS. Theatrical, finger-pointingly didactic crime play from New York's back streets. The slang sound unauthentic as everything else. Disappointed.