This audacious, vulgar, freewheeling fantasia on the life of pianist Franz Liszt ranks among director Ken Russell’s most outrageous efforts. Roger Daltrey, lead singer for The Who, is awkward yet likeable as the flamboyant piano performer with a bevy of fetching mistresses and groupies, while Paul Nicholas is completely outlandish as the scheming opera composer Richard Wagner. There’s no nod to reality here: Liszt and Wagner were in fact friends, and Liszt, who became Wagner’s father-in-law, actually assisted in the production of Wagner’s opulent productions. Russell, on the other hand, presents Wagner as Liszt’s jealous rival ready to wreak havoc on the world by unleashing a cryogenic Viking (Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman) and a horde of machine-gun wielding robot Nazis. In a finale out of Flash Gordon serials, Liszt saves the day after surviving a guillotine designed for phallic dismemberment. The film is fast and loud and wildly undisciplined, much like one of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies. Look fast and you’ll see Ringo Starr as the pope.
The pathetically shy LV lives the life of a recluse listening to her late father’s old records in her room and in the process driving her abusive, loud-mouthed mother, Mari Hoff, to distraction. At night, however, when her father’s ghost visits, LV sings the songs of the great divas such as Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Bassey. One evening LV is overheard by one of her mother’s loathsome boyfriends, the disastrous dead-end talent scout Ray Say, who recognizes her innate talent and realizes this is his last big chance for the glittering prizes. Gambling everything Ray Say forces LV to appear at a local run-down, seedy night club run by Mr. Boo. As preparations for the big event proceed apace LV meets the equally shy Billy, a pigeon-racing telephone engineer and they form a tentative, gentle friendship. The big night finally arrives and everything is in readiness, the band, the club and even a big agent from London, but what about LV?
Je sens le Beat qui monte en Moi (2012) Yann Le Quellec, Serge Bozon, Rosalba Torres Guerrero, Véronique Hervouet, Short, Comedy, Musical
Rosalba, a young tourist guide, suffers from a strange ailment: the very least melody sets off in her gesticulation and she beings to dance, as suddenly as uncontrollably. Despite her ruses to hide her eccentricity, this uncontrollable body might well seduce her surprising co-worker, Alain.
Born Reckless (1958) Howard W. Koch, Mamie Van Doren, Jeff Richards, Arthur Hunnicutt, Drama, Music, Romance, Western
Rider Kelly Cobb travels to county rodeos to win money so he can buy a patch of land he wants to call his own. He rescues trick rider Jackie Adams from the clutches of an amorous sports writer after her saloon song, and they travel together. Jackie begins falling in love with Kelly, but he doesn’t seem to notice as he continues to risk life and limb for his dream, occasionally being tempted by floozies. Jackie hopes to convince a man that was born reckless to change his roaming ways.
The Runaways (2010) Floria Sigismondi, Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon, Biography, Drama, Music
The Runaways were the ground-breaking, all girl, teenage rock band of the 1970s. Friends, Joan Jett and Cherie Currie went from rebellious Southern California kids to rock stars of the now legendary group that paved the way for future generations of girl bands. Under the Svengali-like influence of rock impresario Kim Fowley the group became an outrageous success and a family of misfits. With its tough-chick image and raw talent, the band quickly earned a name for itself-and so did its two leads.
Monster Dog / Leviatán (1984) Claudio Fragasso, Alice Cooper, Victoria Vera, Carlos Santurio, Horror, Music
Alice Cooper plays a pop star who takes his band to his hometown to shoot his latest video. They are greeted by the sheriff (whom he’s known since a kid) that warn him that there’s been several murders in the area where the bodies were ripped to shreds. The police think it’s a pack of wild dogs, but Alice knows differnt.
Rent (2005) Chris Columbus, Taye Diggs, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Rosario Dawson, Drama, Romance, Musical
This rock opera tells the story of one year in the life of a group of bohemians struggling in modern day East Village New York. The story centers around Mark and Roger, two roommates. While a former tragedy has made Roger numb to life, Mark tries to capture it through his attempts to make a film. In the year that follows, the group deals with love, loss, AIDS, and modern day life in one truly powerful story.
A married couple who have a song-and-dance act in vaudeville are in trouble. Their struggling act is going nowhere, they’re almost broke and they have to do something to get them back on top or they’ll really be in trouble. They decide to put their young son in the act in hopes of attracting some new attention. The boy turns out to be a major talent, audiences love him and the act is on its way to the top. That’s when an organization whose purpose is to stop children from performing on stage shows up, and they’re dead set on breaking up the act.
Done in a similar style to the musical duo’s TV show “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour”, this film is more a series of unconnected skits and parodies than a single running plot. When Sonny gets offered a role in a movie, he talks Cher into giving it a try. The proposed script, however, turns out to be awful, but in order to get out of doing this stinker of a project, Sonny has just ten days to come with his own better script. The rest of the film follows his daydreams as he plots out possible storylines starring him as a Wild West sheriff, a jungle king, and as a private eye.
Let’s Make a Night of It (1937) Graham Cutts, Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers, June Clyde, Claire Luce, Comedy, Musical
The exclusive Boydell family, members of the “400” set, suddenly became owners of two nightclubs; the father, Henry Boydell, comes into one, “The Silver Spoon,” as the payment of a business debt and keeps his new enterprise a secret from his wife,Laura. But Laura has a secret of her own. The persuasive Count Castelli has sold her a bill of goods which turns out to be the “Coconut Beach,” a notorious hot-spot in town. Their daughter, Peggy, is kept in the dark by both parents but her boyfriend, Jack Kent, stumbles across the father’s secret and uses it as a wedge to get himself a job as the Master of Ceremonies at the “Silver Spoon.” Both clubs are next-door to each other and there isn’t enough patronage for both clubs. Something has to give.