« January 2012 | Main | March 2012 »

February 06, 2012

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman

Restored under the auspices of Martin Scorsese. All men seem hopelessly obsessed with a nightclub singer on vacation in Spain, but she has eyes only for Hendrick, who has been cursed to sail the seven seas for all eternity in search of a woman who will sacrifice her life for him.
Special features: comparision of original vs. restored Technicolor footage, alternate opening title sequence, three theatrical trailers, two galleries of documents, stills, and behind-the-scenes photos, El Torero de Cordoba (18 minute documentary about the legendary Spanish bullfighter).

The look of the film is truly outstanding. Cinematographer Jack Cardiff was a master craftsman when it comes to shooting and processing for Technicolor. Beautiful colors and better detail than many modern films. The restoration was worth every effort and every penny. Along with the support cast; Ava Gardner and James Mason deliver solid performances. This film is truly a gem. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 52567-D 123 minutes 1951

Posted by mcmike at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

February 01, 2012

Long shadows

This film explores the ways in which the echoes of the Civil War still resonate in American society: from politics to economics, from civil rights to foreign policy, from individual to collective memory, and from South to North to West. It explores the nature of history itself, revealing how the past is truly prologue to the present.

A part of American history that has not really been addressed. This documentary offers some insight and goes a long way to fill in the blanks. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 54457-D 90 minutes 1984

Posted by mcmike at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)

Intellectual parity

"This program from the BBC archives examines the nature of historical, intellectual prejudice against women, and how that prejudice has diminished opportunities in education, particularly in the area of science. Scientist and host Jan Harding discusses the educational barriers that nearly thwarted her own science career, and insists that prejudice still exists in the classroom today".

Excellent, thoughful and historical. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 35616-D 48 minutes
Originally produced by the BBC in 1983. DVD release 2003

Posted by mcmike at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

Israel vs. Israel

A look at four Jewish Israelis who are working for peace and for the rights of Palestinian Arabs.

This documentary offers insight to the "others" of Israel. Often we will assume that a group, a race or a religion will think the same on important matters. However every group, race or religion will have those who think differently and could be considered dissenters. Usually we find that those who view the situation a different way have valid insight. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 56844-D 59 minutes 2010

Posted by mcmike at 03:04 PM | Comments (0)

The Guard

An unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is teamed up with an uptight FBI agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring.

A quirky Irish "Buddy" film. The Guard, Brendan Gleeson, is an Irish police officer who puts honesty above all else while executing his duties. Don Cheadle in the role of the FBI agent. While corruption takes hold these two will risk their lives to stop the drug-dealers. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 56854-D 96 minutes 2011

Posted by mcmike at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

This is England

School is out for the summer and twelve-year-old Shaun is about to find a dangerous new group of friends. Having lost his father in the Fakland War, life has been lonely in this grim coastal town in northern England. But when Shaun meets the local skinheads, their companionship, and even their violence, appeal to Shaun's hurt and rage. Combo is an older volatile skinhead whom Shaun finds to be like a big brother and under his leadership, the gang and young Shawn will arrive at an irreversible act of violence.

At first glance you may thing this is just another film providing gratuitous violence around the urban decay in England. It does have some of these elements however it says much more about manipulation and shattered dreams. It is an insightful lesson into a part of society where hope no longer exists and the only thing to do is to get drunk and high. The innocence of the group is corrupted by the return of a older neighborhood boy who was in prison. He brings a new violent and political dimension to the situation. There is a strong lesson to be learned in this story. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 46615-D 98 minutes 2007

Thank you to the student who recommended this title.

Posted by mcmike at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

The illustrated man

A man's intricate tattoos are the settings for an anthology of strange science-fiction stories.

Rod Steiger plays the part of a man whose tattoos hold a dark glimpse into the future. Once you stare, you cannot back away and you want to see more. Based on Ray Bradbury's “The illustrated man”.
When Mr. Steiger is in a film you can be assured that it will be dramatic and sometimes uncomfortable. He usually takes on very tough roles. He was certainly an actor who stretched the limits of his ability. This part is no exception. This is an outstanding, little known treasure at the Askwith. The screenplay is one of the best
adaptations of a Bradbury book. Jack Smight directed and Howard B. Kreitsek wrote the screenplay. Upon further research it looks like the book is being made into a film for 2013 release. Will it hold up against Steiger's interpretation? ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 54726-D 103 minutes released in 1969 and DVD issued 2006.

Posted by mcmike at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)