AKA Alphaville: une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (Alphaville: A Strange Adventure of Lemmy Caution) Tarzan Vs IBM
Director: Jean-Luc Godard Starring: Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff, Howard Vernon..France. 1h 39m
Jean-Luc Godard, the King of the French New Wave lands this cryptic and incredibly iconic, sci fi noir story in the height of the movement, while on a wild run with actress and wife, Anna Kerina, the film was released around the time that the couple divorced but he continued to work with the stunner in Pierrot le Fou (1965) released in the same year.
Godard’s ceaseless innovation lead many into the realm of radical politics and extreme formal experimentation, but few could match his raw invention. Alphaville is one of his more approachable works and offers some inspiration for the dystopian futurescape of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, along with having strong parallels with John Boorman’s classic revenge flick, Point Blank (1967).
Director: Sidney J Furie Starring: Michael Caine, Aubrey Richards, Guy Doleman, Nigel Green. UK 1h
After getting into trouble while serving in the army, Harry Palmer (Caine) has a choice, two years in prison or a few months in the secret service, reluctantly he chooses the service and remain the typical bad boy. While being totally loyal his cunning and total disregard for authority and procedure does earn him a reputation and he’s soon passed from one frustrated leader to another, his most recent doesn’t have a sense of humor, which is something Harry duly notes.
The cool swinging sixties world that is revolving around Harry is quite dangerous, especially if your a brilliant scientist of some sort, they seem to be quitting jobs and vanishing like it’s going out of fashion and Harry is forced onto the case, a replacement for a agent brutally killed while trying to protect a wonderfully British scientist.Continue reading The Ipcress File (1965)→
Director: Roman Polanski Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser and Yvonne Furneaux. UK. 1h 45m
In Polanski’s highly thrilling black and white drama that kick started his tenant trilogy (which consists of two other classic films The Tenant (1976) starring Polanski himself, and the Cult classic Rosemary’s Baby (1968) , and this dark thriller, a young beautician drops deep in a claustrophobic insanity possibly spurred on by a suppressed family trauma as her feline sexuality sparks great interest from many suitors.
Repulsion is strangely enjoyable, and is a deep internal nightmare that transpires through any age, and is easily relatable to. Adapted by Gérard Brach it is fantastically brought to life by Polanski and on a meager budget of £65,000, this debut English film the budding director lost his footing at first, but as the dialogue vanishes he turns up the atmospherics and the results are quite dark and bold.
A beautiful timid girl Carole (Deneuve) is left alone in an apartment shared by her sister and her sisters husband, they are off to Europe for their holiday, leaving her some outstanding rent money for an angry landlord they skip town. Instantly the first cracks start to show in the relationship with her boyfriend and soon she starts making mistakes at work. Very slowly we see the layers of Carole’s psyche peel away leaving a vulnerable kitten and murderous vixen.
It’s quite easy to write off Carole in the early throes of the films, you hardly notice the little mouse in contrast of her sisters sultry boldness overwhelms her and she spends a lot of the time hiding behind her bleached blonde 60’s bouffant hair, but as her character changes, she starts to give up the goods and her performance is tremendous, her charisma teamed with the reclusive scenes of the apartment and shocking effects persuades the
viewer to miss the realities of what’s going on. Blending themes from Dementia 13 (1963) and Persona (1966).
The ingenuity of the effects are really beautiful not only do you literally see the cracks appearing in Carole life but her fears are coming out of the walls and dark shadows of her apartment. Polanski plays the art house card now and again, there are silent shots of rotten vegetables and dirty plates that co exist with the knife wielding madwoman episodes, but
these are short and frantic, but cause as many ripples as any Hitchcock Psycho scene and emphasis her meltdown and the effects it’s having on the real world.
It’s hauntingly stark at times but a real tour de force once it gains momentum, the horrific faces of the returning couple finding their apartment in disarray reflects the faces of any avid viewer. It’s very unusual for this style of horror/ thriller to have a knife welding psychotic serial killer but with several hints at previous sexual abuse and possible incest it’s no real shocker that this girl is this fucked up.. Her next step would be Haute Tension (2003)
Director: John Gilling Starring: John Saxon, Maurice Denham, Patricia Haines, UK. 1h 25m
There is always a huge amount of respect to be had for early sci fi, the imagination and passion that gave us so many of the inventions that are commonplace in modern times…. Or in this case the sciences is mostly about space and aliens and concepts which are a little out there… but are crazy enough to be enjoyable.
Scientist Jack Costain (Saxon) and his colleagues track and investigate a meteorite that crash lands in the British countryside, the strange spherical asteroid defies science as we know it. The asteroid is taken to the laboratory to be studied but it seems inert, but the army remain on stand by. Eventually Dr Morley (Dedham) discovers that it is an alien device from Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter and it acts like a gateway, this is only activated when people are alone, usually female. A creature emerges, and stalks Ann (Haines) eventually; using her as bait, they capture a tall alien and take it to their lab, but it escapes.Continue reading Night Caller from Outer Space / Blood Beast from Outer Space (1965)→