Das Kleine Chaos: 1966 Short Film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Here’s a 1966 short crime film by a young and learning Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The great and too-soon-departed German filmmaker actually plays one of the three young criminals who decide to invade a woman’s home to terrorize and rob her. The film is relentlessly cool and begins at around the 3 minute mark to really show how deeply Fassbinder was mining the work of Jean Luc Godard. Those shots in the apartment with Fassbinder reading the novel out loud in front of a wall of pinned art prints is straight up Godard stuff. But it’s just fine to imitate other filmmakers as long as your real intention is to destroy them from the inside. Fassbinder was just that kind of filmmaker.

Here’s an article about Fassbinder on the Senses of Cinema site.

Snow – 1963 Short Film by Geoffrey Jones

This 1963 film was nominated for an Oscar. Director Geoffrey Jones captured the shovel work being done to keep British rail lines open during the winter. It’s an elegant and beautifully edited short film.  You can read more about its origin and rhythmic beat editing at the BFI site.

Made available by the British Film Institute.

A.45 at 50th – A Film About Actor James Cromwell and the Black Panthers in 1968


I got a nice surprise submission to my Vimeo Candlelight Stories Short Film group this week.  It’s a fascinating documentary about one famous actor’s experiences during the turmoil of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

John Cromwell, the son of actor James Cromwell, directed this short film with Joshua Bell. It’s about his father’s experience with members of the Black Panther Party civil rights organization in 1968. It’s a fascinating short documentary look at someone who finds himself in an unfamiliar world just trying to lend a decent helping hand. James Cromwell has been involved with the defense of the Black Panthers and other human rights causes for decades.  I like the film’s professional quality and easy capturing of the sixties look.  It presents its important and dramatic subject matter with a good dose of rather charming humor.

Here’s an article and interview with the director and his father.

Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot

Filmmaker Jon Behrens’ Psychotronic 16 blog has posted an episode of a 1967 Japanese television show called Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot.  The show was based on a popular manga series.  It’s another example of that fantastic toy-like Japanese approach to science fiction and adventure that kids of the sixties and seventies were so familiar with.

Go watch the episode.

Paul Starr – 1964 Science Fiction Puppet Series

Humorous, cheesy and somewhat difficult to sit through!  It’s got robots that are Dalek imitations, Gerry Anderson-style figures, vehicles and headquarters! This is the 1964 pilot episode for a puppet science fiction TV show that never aired. Paul Starr featured Ed Bishop, the actor who later played Commander Straker in the classic 70s UFO series, in the lead role.  The show was created by Roberta Leigh who had already produced Space Patrol.  In this episode, atomic power plants on Mars begin to explode and Paul Starr must investigate a threat to take over the red planet.