INGMAR BERGMAN’S SILENCE OF GOD TRILOGY: THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY (1961)

The first of Ingmar Bergman‘s scorching “Silence of God” chamber trilogy, Through A Glass Darkly (1961) takes its title from one of St. Paul’s most famous passages: “For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known.” The key to Bergman’s film, and indeed to the trilogy, lies in this passage that is as much about alienation as faith. In some quarters, Bergman’s triptych has been inadequately referred to as a “Trilogy of Faith,” but faith is not tangible. One cannot see, touch, or … Continue reading INGMAR BERGMAN’S SILENCE OF GOD TRILOGY: THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY (1961)

1961 EXLPOITATION TRIPLE FEATURE: THE CHOPPERS, HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD, AND WEREWOLF IN A GIRLS’ DORMITORY

  Arch Hall Jr. is practically American cinema’s masochistic patron saint of Juvenile Delinquent exploitation garbage. Guided by daddy Arch Sr. (who penned the script and produced)The Choppers was Junior’s first film in a mercifully brief career (he retired in 1965 to become a musician and aviator—daddy was ex-Air Force). To most contemporary viewers, Hall, Jr. is possibly best known for his second film, Eegah (1962), after it was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000—although to the cult crowd, his crowning achievement is 1963’s The Sadist. Both of these will be covered here, along with Wild Guitar (1962), in upcoming exploitation collections from their respective years.   In Leigh Jason’s The … Continue reading 1961 EXLPOITATION TRIPLE FEATURE: THE CHOPPERS, HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD, AND WEREWOLF IN A GIRLS’ DORMITORY

SOMETHING WEIRD TRAVELING ROADSHOW FILMS: DAMAGED GOODS (1961)/THE HARD ROAD (1970)

DAMAGED GOODS (1961) THEATRICAL POSTER

Today we tend to primarily (or solely) think of “Roadshow” films  as “filler” exploitation films for the pre-television era. However,Wikipedia’s entry on ‘Roadshow Releases,” is a useful in-depth tool on their history, revealing the initial understanding of the term was as a format, rather than genre. Of course, we’re not interested in “classy” roadshow features like Ben Hur or Cleopatra, but in the sexploitation features that took to the road to show audiences glimpses of forbidden fruit—movies that couldn’t be booked in regular suburban theaters because of their salacious content. Thefirst part of the series dealt with the phenomenon in the repressed Forties; for this installment, we move into the swinging Sixties.

DAMAGED GOODS 1961 poster

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TERENCE FISHER’S THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961)

THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961) Terence Fisher.

Terence Fisher never considered himself a “horror” filmmaker, and he clearly disliked the term.  While a number of Fisher’s film could be apt examples to drive home his point that he was more than a mere scare merchant, The Curse of the Werewolf(1961) will suffice quite nicely. This is a quite literary film, far better than either of Universal Studio’s versions of The Wolfman (1941 & 2010).

THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961) poster

 

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BUNUEL’S VIRIDIANA (1961)

Viridiana (1961) Palme D' or

Viridiana (1961) has quite a reputation among film critics and historians, often being listed as one of Luis Bunuel‘s best efforts. It is certainly among the most heterodox offerings in his considerable canon.

VIRIDIANA (1961 Bunuel) poster

Viridiana marked Buñuel‘s return to his native Spain after a twenty-five year absence. With the fascist Franco still in power, Buñuel was severely criticized and accused of making his bed with the enemy, but the filmmaker’s critics should have known better. Buñuel had an ulterior motive, with a predictably incendiary opus tucked securely in his Surrealist vest pocket.

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