Category — Classics
We’re back after a long hiatus with this fantastic scene from the Marx Bros‘ A Night at the Opera (dir. by Sam Wood, 1935), the trio’s (Groucho, Harpo and Chico) first film after leaving Paramount (and ditching Zeppo), made under the watchful eye of legendary MGM producer Irving Thalberg, who helped make it their biggest grossing film. The story of Otis B. Driftwood (Groucho) urging socialite Mrs. Claypool (perennial punchline Margaret Dumont) to donate $200,000 to the New York Opera Company, this scene – in which the stowaways pretend to be three famous aviators – is one of a handful of great scenes in this classic comedy. Enjoy!
March 12, 2014 No Comments
Ahh… the darkness is upon us and it’s time to revel in all things macabre. ’tis the season for Mario Bava, champion of the grand guignol, a man who invented the slasher (i.e. the cinematic giallo) and brought a theatricality to genre filmmaking that was at once both intimate and epic. Feast your eyes on this fantastic opening scene from one of his finest films – Black Sunday (1960) aka Mask of Satan. Barbara Steele was made an instant star as the evil witch in one of the true must-see-films of any self-respecting cinephile’s genre education. There’s nothing quite like this movie, with it’s bombastic narration, heavy use of ADR voiceover over non-English speakers, and spare yet effective sound design. Everything here is over the top: the dialogue: “and as your brother I repudiate you!” The glorious black and white cinematography, shadows dancing over spikes and a set-bound magical world filled with fake trees and endless mist. I especially love the shot in which the black hooded executioner carries the spiked mask directly out into the audience – implicating us in the impending violence… and I even more especially love the blood which spurts forth when the mallet goes THWACK! Deliciousness! Happy Halloween everyone!
October 31, 2012 No Comments
Been a crazy coupla week as I’m scrambling to get a couple of scripts finished, so all apologies for the lack of recent posts highlighting all your favorite obscurities from filmdom. We at the Isle truly appreciate your patience – so even though it’s a cop-out, here’s a nonetheless fun scene from Mel Brooks‘ Spaceballs (1987), highlighting the singular over the top talents of Michael Winslow offset by the subtle nuanced genius of Rick Moranis (I love the tiny brush aside he does before the camera moves in for its close up). And thanks for bearing with us – your continued support is much appreciated!
- Spaceballs hovercraft floats in from obscurity (autoblog.com)
- Mel Brooks Revealed The Secret To The ‘Hunger Games’ Money-Making Power Back In 1987 (businessinsider.com)
- 35 Greatest Star Wars Tributes of All Time (wired.com)
May 31, 2012 No Comments
I’m super stoked – with The Hunger Games exploding across our nation’s screens (and merchandise available everywhere) I get a chance to once again revisit Battle Royale – one of the finest films ever made, period. The last film by maestro Kinji Fukasaku (see our previous review here), it’s a risky, thought-provoking action film full of no-good kids who need a comeuppance and bitter adults putting them through a heaviness that’s missing in their too-easy lives. This movie does what all great satires do – it entertains while being SCARY – with Takeshi Kitano’s blank-faced disregard for human life embodying all that we fear in our authority figures – namely a personally motivated sadism! BR is loaded with fantastic scenes but this is one of the best – and by the end of these 8 minutes you know for certain the game is on for reals. Moshi moshi!!!
- Battle Royale Finally Getting a Proper U.S. Release on DVD and Blu-ray in March (filmjunk.com)
- An Inside Look at the Making of Battle Royale and a Bloody New Blu-ray Clip (dreadcentral.com)
- Before There Was The Hunger Games, Japan Had This Brutal, Bloody Opus [Culture Smash] (kotaku.com)
- Before ‘Hunger Games,’ there was ‘Battle Royale’ (mercurynews.com)
April 18, 2012 1 Comment