This is a 1982 documentary produced by the Museum of Modern Art that features Marcel Duchamp, one of the great Dadaists and conceptual artists, discussing his own work and some of the major artistic developments of the 20th century.
A clergyman goes insane with lust for the wife of a general in this ravishingly beautiful silent film by one of the greatest surrealist filmmakers of all time, Germaine Dulac. She captures states of mind on film like no one I’ve ever seen. If you are looking for magic in cinema, you are going to find it here. This is a film about magic, desire, obsession, male/female power, love, faith, mysticism, and reality. Her story is hypnotic and her special effects are superb.
Here’s another of her films that I wrote about on this site.
Here is a very well-produced Batman fan film written and directed by Aaron Schoenke. It’s got a wonderfully creepy darkness, a steely vicious Batman, and a loopy deranged Joker intent on harming children at a fairground.
This first poster, for ‘A Few Dollars More,’ features a director named Bob Robertson. That was the fake American name adopted by a then unknown Sergio Leone.
This is a 1968 television documentary about the Italian film phenomenon known as the Spaghetti Western. These bold, violent, colorful movies took a dark and sometimes comic look at the western genre. In many cases, I think these films surpassed the American westerns they emulated by playing more loosely with the violence and morality that often made for a kind of stiffness in the American films. If you aren’t familiar with the full scope of the Spaghetti Western, it’s really amazing how many full length versions are available on YouTube.
This is an absolutely fascinating and rather beautiful 1936 Soviet science fiction film that foretold how a future 1946 moon mission would work. It’s got incredible zero gravity effects, miniature models of a fantastic space ship on a launch ramp, and very cool technical details like filling the cockpit with fluid to buffer the cosmonauts from launch forces. Then there’s a marvelous sequence on the surface of the moon with excellent stop motion animation inter-cut with live actors. Apparently, the Soviet censors banned the film after a short but successful first run because they felt the cosmonauts were having too much fun on the moon. They were right. These characters go hopping and bounding about with so much joy it’s almost an embarrassment. Citizens of the Soviet Union were not supposed to be happy.
Don’t worry about understanding Russian. The film was shot as a silent and is more or less a completely visual experience.
It was directed by Vasili Zhuravlov, but what’s really most interesting about the production history is that Constantin Tsiolkovski, a Soviet scientist and professor, became enthusiastic about putting some of his theories on space travel into a film. He consulted with the filmmakers in an attempt to lend verisimilitude to the moon voyage. Many years later, Werner von Braun credited Tsiolkovski’s calculations as having been correct.
So here is a old Soviet film that went to great lengths to get many of its details right.
Here is an interesting article about the film.