History

Vladimir et Rosa / Vladimir and Rosa (1971) Groupe Dziga Vertov, Jean-Luc Godard, Yves Afonso, Juliet Berto, Jean-Luc Godard, Drama, History

Vladimir et Rosa (1970)
In Godard and Gorin’s free interpretation of the Chicago Eight trial, Judge Hoffman becomes Judge Himmler (who doodles notes on Playboy centerfolds), the Chicago Eight become microcosms of French revolutionary society, and Godard and Gorin play Lenin and Karl Rosa, respectively, discussing politics and how to show them through the cinema.
Read More »

Francesco, giullare di Dio / The Flowers of St. Francis (1950) Roberto Rossellini, Aldo Fabrizi, Gianfranco Bellini, Peparuolo

Francesco, giullare di Dio (1950)
The film dramatizes about a dozen vignettes from the life of St. Francis and his early followers – starting with their return in the rain to Rivotorlo from Rome when the Pope blessed their Rule and ending with their dispersal to preach. The unconnected chapters are like parables, some with a moral. The slight and comic Ginepro returns naked to St. Mary’s of the Angels, having given away his tunic, but not his ricotta. The aged Giovanni shouts and holds onto his cape; the beatific St. Clair pays a visit. Humble Francis doubts his leadership, hugs a leper, and sends his brothers spinning, dizzy, and smiling into the world. This brotherhood is infused with whimsy as well as belief.
Read More »

Köshpendiler / Nomad: The Warrior (2005) Sergey Bodrov, Ivan Passer, Kuno Becker, Jason Scott Lee, Jay Hernandez

Koshpendiler (2005)
Rebirth of a nation. Not since Genghis Khan has anyone united the Kazakh tribes. Jungar tribesmen of Mongolia rule Kazakh land, but a prophecy has it that a descendant of Genghis will unite his people. Oraz the Wise travels the land looking for the child who will fulfill the prophecy. He finds that infant and protects him from the warriors of Galdan, the Jungar king. Oraz recruits one lad from each Kazakh tribe and teaches them the art of war, loyalty, and camaraderie. Two are the best: Mansur and Erali. They are like brothers. Each must prove himself; both fall in love with the same young woman; both fall into enemy hands. At what cost does a prophecy come to pass?
Read More »

Juarez (1939) William Dieterle, Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Brian Aherne

Juarez (1939)
The newly-named Emperor Maximillian, the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire, arrives in Mexico in the early 1860s with his wife Carlotta to face popular sentiment favoring Benito Juarez and popular demand for democracy. With an elite group of Mexican monarchists, Maximillian tries to appease the democratic Mexicans but he fails. Abraham Lincoln continues to support Juarez and asks the French to withdraw support for Maximilian. Carlotta goes to France to plead with Napoleon III, to no avail.
Read More »

Abdul the Damned (1935) Karl Grune, Fritz Kortner, Nils Asther, John Stuart

Abdul the Damned (1935)
In 1908, Sultan Abdul Hamid rules the Turkish Empire, but he is faced with the threat of revolt by the Young Turk party. He allows Hilmi Pasha, the leader of the Young Turks, to return from exile and form the country’s first constitutional government. With tensions still growing, chief of police Kadar Pasha assassinates Hassan Bey, the leader of the Old Turk party, and makes it look as if a Young Turk committed the crime, in order to give Abdul an excuse for arresting the Young Turk leaders. Meanwhile, Abdul becomes infatuated with a visiting Austrian singer. When she rejects his advances, she endangers both herself and her fiancé, a Turkish officer who also knows who really shot Hassan Bey.
Read More »