American Graffiti (1973)
It is a film co-produced by George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola and directed by George Lucas. It portrays (ritrae) the rock and roll cultures popular among the post–World War II baby boom generation (1960s) and is told in a series of vignettes, about a group of teenagers and their adventures within (in) one night. Summer 1962. Southern California. In a small town for a group of young people it is the last night they are spending together before facing (prima di affrontare) adult responsibilities and they want to have some fun. Curt Henderson and Steve Bolander, have just graduated (si sono appena diplomati) and are going to leave for a college; nerdy (secchione) Terry “The Toad” (il ropso) dreams a date (appuntamento) with blonde Debbie; John, a 22-year-old drag racer (automobilista in corse di auto) wonders (si domanda) how much longer he can stay champion. While they are living this night with their dreams, hopes and fears – Steve thinking future with girlfriend Laurie; Curt chasing a mystery blonde; Paul preparing for a race against Bob Falfa; Terry trying to be cool (figo) – D. J. Wolfman Jack plays 41 vintage tunes (canzone dell’epoca) on the radio. The idea of the film has been in the director’s mind for ages as he wanted to deal with his (trattare) own teenage years in early 1960s, but at first he could not find a producer. Finally (alla fine) he found the Universal Picture. Filming had to take place in San Raphael, California, but the crew (staff del film) did not have permission to shoot (girare) and they all moved to Petaluma.
Notting Hill (1999)
In the film Julia Roberts plays the role of Anna Scott, famous movie star.
Hugh Grant plays the role of William Thacker , the owner of a travel book shop in Notting Hill, a popular neighbourhood in the west of London.
The film is a charming romantic comedy about two people belonging to completely different worlds who fall in love.
Anna leads the life of a showbiz celebrity while William lives the life of an ordinary bookseller.
However, their destinies meet and film shows that love can start even between two people who apparently have nothing in common.
REVIEW – In western culture, we are obsessed by concept of celebrity. This explains why paparazzi are always around famous people when they make appearances, or the popularity of gossip magazines and TV shows.
Celebrities are like royalties – glamour and untouchable, they become objects of unreasonable adulation. Perhaps one of the most common fantasies of ordinary men and women is thinking of someone famous who falls in love with them.
And this is in the starting point for Roger Michell’s funny, romantic comedy Notting Hill.
This movie follows the relationship between the most famous actress in the world and an ordinary English chap.
In the role of Anna Scott, the films star who gets $ 15 million per movie is Julia Roberts.
Hugh Grant is the commoner who plays William Tatcher, the owner of a travel bookshop in London’s trendy Notting Hill neighbourhood.
One day, William’s life changes when Anna Scott walks through the door to his little shop. Later, William literally runs into her in the street, spilling orange juice all over her.
Embarrassed, he invites her to his place to clean up. To his surprise, she accepts his offer, and, after changing into some of his clothes, she gives him a kiss.
So the whole story begins then.
The tempestuous relationship goes on with ups and downs. One of the most characteristic scenes is when Anna says: “ don’t forget I’m also just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”
Although Notting Hill is a pleasant movie, it isn’t much more than that. The comedy, while sporadically funny, occasionally feels forced and innatural.
Spellbound (1945) directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Spellbound is a 1945 American psychological mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock loosely based on the novel The House of Dr. Edwardes (1927) by Hilary Saint George Saunders and John Palmer (writing as “Francis Beeding”). The film stars Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov and Leo G. Carroll.The film opens with Shakespeare’s proverb, – The Fault… is Not in Our Stars /But in Ourselves…and words on the screen announcing that its purpose is to highlight the virtues of psychoanalysis in the cure of mental illness.
The story – Dr. Constance Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) is a psychoanalyst at Green Manors, a mental hospital in Vermont, she is the only woman and is seen by the other male doctors as detached and emotionless. The director of the hospital, Dr. Murchison (Leo G. Carroll), is being forced into retirement for nervous exhaustion and is going to be replaced by young Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck). When Edwardees comes, Dr. Petersen notices that there is something strange about him: he shows a peculiar phobia about seeing parallel lines against a white background. Dr. Petersen compares handwritings and soon realizes, that this man is an impostor and not the real Dr. Edwardes. He confides to her that he killed Dr. Edwardes and took his place. He suffers from massive amnesia and does not know who he is. Dr. Petersen believes that he is innocent and suffering from a guilt complex. ‘Dr. Edwardes’ disappears during the night, but he leaves a note for Dr. Petersen saying that he is going to the Empire State Hotel in New York City. By the time Dr. Petersen is in New York, Dr edwardees – now John Brown – is already looked for by the police. The two doctors meet in new York and Dr. Petersen uses her psychoanalytic skills to unlock Dr Edwardees’s amnesia and find out what had really happened. Pursued by the police, the couple travel by train to Rochester to meet Dr. Brulov (Michael Chekhov), Dr. Petersen’s mentor and former teacher. He helps Dr. Peterson analyzing a dream that ‘John Brown’ had. The dream sequence (designed by Salvador Dalí) is full of psychoanalytic symbols—eyes, curtains, scissors, playing cards (some of them blank), a man with no face, a man falling off a building, a man hiding behind a chimney and dropping a wheel, and wings. They deduce that Brown and Edwardes had been on a ski trip together (the lines in white being ski tracks) and that Edwardes had somehow died there. Dr. Petersen and Brown go to the Gabriel Valley ski resort (the wings provide a clue) to reenact the event and unlock his repressed memories. Near the bottom of the hill, Brown’s memory suddenly returns. He recalls that there is a precipice in front of them, over which Edwardes had fallen to his death. He stops them just in time. He also remembers a traumatic event from his childhood—he slid down a hand rail and accidentally knocked his brother onto sharp pointed railings, killing him. This incident had caused him to develop amnesia and a generalized guilt complex. He also remembers that his real name is John Ballantyne. Ballantyne is about to be exonerated, when it is discovered that Edwardes had a bullet in his body and again Ballantyne is convicted of murder and sent to prison. Dr. Petersen returns to her position at the hospital, where Dr. Murchison is once again the director. After reconsidering her notes from the dream, Dr. Petersen realizes that the ‘wheel’ was a revolver and that the man hiding behind the chimney and dropping the wheel was Dr. Murchison hiding behind a tree, shooting Dr. Edwardes and dropping the gun. She confronts Murchison with this and he confesses, but says that he didn’t drop the gun; he still has it. He pulls it out of his desk and threatens to shoot her. while going away, with the revolver still pointed at her, Dr. Petersen explains that the first murder was committed under the extenuating circumstances of Dr. Murchison’s fragile mental state, but her murder would certainly lead him to the electric chair. He allows her to leave, then turns the gun on himself. Dr. Petersen is then reunited with Ballantyne.
Hitchcock appears in the film coming out of an elevator at the Empire State Hotel, carrying a violin case and smoking a cigarette, about 37 minutes into the film.
Spellbound was filmed in black and white, except for one or two frames of bright red at the conclusion, when a gun is fired into the camera. This red detail was deleted in most 16mm and video formats, but was restored for the film’s DVD release and airings on Turner Classic Movies.
The film orchestral score was composed by Miklós Rózsa notable for its pioneering use of the theremin, performed by Dr. Samuel Hoffmann. winning the Academy Award for his score
Spellbound won the Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, and was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Chekhov); Best Cinematography, Black-and-White; Best Director; Best Effects, Special Effects; and Best Picture. Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck did not receive Academy Award nominations for the film, although they were nominated the same year for their performances in The Bells of St. Mary’s and The Keys of the Kingdom, respectively. Bergman received the New York Film Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actress for the film in 1945.
The Sword in the Stone
The film begins in England with the death of the king, Uther Pendragon. The “Sword in the Stone” appears in London, with an inscription proclaiming that “Who so Pulleth Out This Sword of this Stone and Anvil, is Rightwise King Born of England.”. None succeed in removing the sword, which is soon forgotten. Some years later, Arthur (a.k.a. Wart), a 12-year-old orphan training to be a squire, accompanying his older foster brother Kay on a hunting trip, accidentally prevents Kay from shooting a deer. Wart goes to retrieve the arrow, and falls into Merlin’s cottage. Merlin announces he will be Wart’s tutor, packs up and the two return to Wart’s home, a castle run by Sir Ector, one of Uther’s knights. Ector does not believe in magic, and refuses to allow Merlin to tutor Wart. Merlin creates a “wizard blizzard”, which persuades Ector to let Merlin stay, albeit in a decrepit old tower with countless leaks (presumably an attempt to make him leave, as Merlin notes). Ector’s friend and fellow knight, Sir Pellinore, arrives with news about the annual jousting tournament to be held on New Year’s Day in London, only this time whose winner would be crowned King of England. Ector proposes that Kay be knighted and compete for the title, despite Kay’s obvious ineptitude in both jousting and sword fighting. Merlin begins his tutoring by transforming Wart and himself into fish and going into the palace’s moat. Wart is chased and attacked by a pike, and is saved by Archimedes, Merlin’s owl (though Archimedes refuses to admit this saving). Wart is sent to the kitchen as punishment after he tried to relate his lesson to a disbelieving Ector. Merlin arrives magics the dishes to wash themselves. He then takes Wart for another lesson, wherein he transforms Wart and himself into squirrels. Merlin teaches Wart about gravity, and about male-female relationships (as two female squirrels become infatuated with them). When they return, Ector accuses Merlin of using black magic on the dishes. Wart defends Merlin, and Ector punishes Wart for “popping off” by giving Kay a different squire named Hobbs (who is unseen) For his 3rd lesson, Merlin transforms Wart into a sparrow. Wart is attacked by a hawk and flies down the witch Madam Mim’s chimney. Mim’s magic uses trickery, as opposed to Merlin’s scientific skill. Mim turns into a cat and chases Wart around her cottage. Merlin arrives and challenges Madame Mim to a Wizards’ Duel (in which the combatants try to defeat each other by changing themselves into various non-imaginary animals to destroy one another). Mim immediately breaks the rules by disappearing, and eventually transforms into a dragon. Merlin returns the favour by transforming himself into a germ and infecting her, effectively defeating her. At Christmas Kay is knighted, but his squire, Hobbs, comes down with the mumps, and so Ector reinstates Arthur as Kay’s squire. Merlin is disappointed that Wart still prefers war games to academics. Wart tries to explain that he cannot become a knight as he is an orphan, so a squire is the best position he can attain. This aggravates Merlin, who transports himself to 20th-century Bermuda in anger (through his exclamation of “Blow me to Bermuda!”).Ector, Kay, Pellinore, Wart and Archimedes travel to London for the tournament. Moments before Kay’s match, Wart realizes that he has forgotten Kay’s sword at their inn, which is closed because of the tournament. Archimedes notices a sword in a stone in a nearby churchyard, and points it out to Wart. Arthur pulls the sword from the stone, unwittingly fulfilling the Sword in the Stone’s prophecy.When Arthur returns with the sword, Ector and Sir Bart recognize it as the Sword in the Stone, and the tournament is stopped. Demanding that Arthur prove he pulled it, Ector replaces the sword in its anvil. None of the other men succeed in removing it, but Wart manages to pull it out a second time with ease. The knights all proclaim, “Hail!! King Arthur!!”, as the crowd, Sir Ector and Kay kneel to Arthur.Next the film cuts to Arthur, crowned king, sitting in the throne room with Archimedes, feeling unprepared to take the responsibility of royalty. Overwhelmed by the cheering crowd outside, Arthur calls out to Merlin for help, who arrives (in Bermudan attire) and is elated to find that Arthur is King that he had seen in the future. Merlin tells the boy that he will rise and lead the Knights of the Round Table, accomplishing many amazing feats and becoming one of the most famous figures in literature and even in motion pictures.
The Four Feathers (2002) is about the adventures of a British officer, Harry Feversham. First he resigns from his commission in the East Surrey Regiment when – in 1882 – the soldiers were sent to Egypt to suppress the rising of Arabi Pasha. His comrades deliver him three white feathers which mean cowardice and he also loses support of his Irish fiancée, Ethne Eustace, who presents him with the fourth feather. In order to redeem himself he travels on his own to Egypt and Sudan, where in 1882 Muhammad Ahmed proclaimed himself the Mahdi (Guided One) and raised a Holy War. There, with the help of a Sudanese Arab, Abou Fatma , he hepps his ex-comrades: he sends back to England Durrance – now blind for a sunstroke – and gets Trench free escaping with him from a prison. Back to England Harry’s honour is restored and Col. Durrance, now engaged with Ethne, leaves to let Harry and Ethne marry. The films were inspired by the novel by Alfred Edward Woodley Mason (1865–1948), military and politician, who started his career as a novelist with A Romance of Wastdale, in 1895. His literary successes include At The Villa Rose (1910), a mystery novel in which he introduced his French detective, Inspector Hanaud; The House of the Arrow (1924), No Other Tiger (1927), The Prisoner in the Opal (1929) and Fire Over England (1937). He also wrote plays for the theatre and contributed a short story, The Conjurer, to The Queen’s Book of the Red Cross. The Four Feathers have been made into several films, but most successful were Zoltan Korda’ adaptation of 1939 and the more recent version of Shekhar Kapur in 2002.
The story is about an American college student Billy Hayes who – in 1970 – takes some hashish blocks (pezzi di hashish) in Turkey but is captured by the police while boarding a plane (salendo a bordo) back to America. The police question (interroga) Billy till a Texan comes pretending to help him, but Billy is sent to prison. There he is ill-treated (maltrattato) and beaten (picchiato) , together with other westerns. In 1974 he is condemned to serve at least a 30-year life term for his crime. His stay becomes a living hell (inferno) where he is physically and mentally tortured till he has a mental breakdown (depression) sand is sent to the prison’s ward for the insane (reparto per malati di mente in prigione). Only the visit of his girlfriend Susan, in 1975, makes him start reacting( lo fa reagire) . He seizes (coglie) the opportunity to escape by putting on a guard’s uniform (indossando l’uniforme di una guardia) and , at last, will walk out of the front door and will manage to reach the border (confine) to Greece, and arrive home three weeks later.
Robin and Marian (1976) by Richard Lester and written by James Goldman, based on the legend of Robin Hood. Robin Hood – already quite aged (già avanto con l’età) – is still fighting for Richard the Lion-Heart in France. Richard orders him to attack a castle where he thinks there is a gold statue. Robin finds out that the castle is defended by a solitary, one-eyed old man (un vecchio con un occhio solo) who is protecting women and children, and decides not to attack together with Little John. King Richard gets angry and orders their execution, but he is mortally wounded (ferito) by an arrow (freccia) thrown (lanciata) by the old man. Before dying , Richard orders to massacre the inhabitants of the castle – only the old man remain alive (vivo) and Robin and Little John are free again (di nuovo liberi). They go back to England where they meet their old friends Will Scarlet and Friar Tuck in Sherwood Forest. Robin asks about Maid Marian: she has become an abbess (priora di una convento). When he goes to see her, he learns (viene a sapere) that the Sheriff of Nottingham, his old enemy, has ordered her arrest because King John wants to expel (mandar via) the leaders (I capi) of the Catholics Church from England. Robin helps Marian and injures (ferisce) Sir Ranulf, one of the Sheriff’s men. Sir Ranulf chases (insegue) Robin into the forest where Ranulf’s men find their death. Only Sir Ranulf is safe because Robin orders him spared (comanda che sia risparmiato). Once again Robin gathers (raccoglie) a lot of men – his old comrades – around him and Sir Ranulf asks King John for 200 soldiers to fight their eternal enemy. When the two armies are ready to fight on the open field, Robin proposes the Sheriff a duel to settle the issue (per pore fine alla questione). Unexpectedly (inaspettatamente) the Sheriff shows great ability and soon dominates Robin in the fight: he wounds Robin and demands his surrender. Robin refuses and succeed in killing the Sheriff. Sir Ranulf orders his soldiers to attack and many among Robin’s men are wounded or killed. Only Little John survives and kills Sir Ranulf. Then he and Marian take Robin to her abbey where she tells Robin she keeps (tiene) her medicine. Robin’s wound(ferita) is serious. Marian prepares the potion, gives it to Robin and drinks a glass herself. Robin understands: she has poisoned (ha avvelenato) both because he would not be the same (non sarebbe più stato lo stesso). He calls Little John and asks him to bury them (seppellirli) in the place where he is going to shoot his last arrow (lanciare la sua ultima freccia). Nobody will ever know where it has fallen (dove sia caduta).
Shutter Island is a psychological thriller directed and produced by Martin Scorsese, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. Main actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley.
1954, two U.S. Marshals, Edward “Teddy” Daniels and Chuck Aule go to Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island, Boston Harbor. A patient , Rachel Solando, accused of having murdered her children, has disappeared. The investigation is difficult: the lead psychiatrist, Dr. John Cawley does not show the record of the staff; Solando’s doctor, is on holiday; and they can explore neither(né) the ward (reparto) where the patient was, neither the lighthouse (faro) where there are the most dangerous. Daniels starts having headaches (mal di testa), visions and dreams of his wife, killed in a fire(incendio). In one dream, she tells Daniels that Solando is still on the island. Suddenly Solando is found by the staff with no explanation. A patient, reveals Daniels that in the hospital are performed (fatti) dubious experiments on patients, the incurable are sent to the lighthouse to be lobotomized and that all of them are playing a game to distract him (un gioco per distrarlo). Daniels and Aule go to the lighthouse, but they are somehow (in qualche modo) separated. Daniels finds a woman in a cave(cavern) , who says she is the real Rachel Solando : she was a former psychiatrist but after discovering she was committed (è stata internata) as a patient. Daniels finds no sign of Aule, and returns to the hospital. No trace (traccia) of Aule. Daniels decides to go back to the lighthouse and breaks into it (irrompe). At the top (in cima), he finds the lead psychiatrist (capo psichiatra) who tells him he is their most dangerous patient, who murdered (uccide) his manic depressive wife after she drowned their children. The past events were designed to take him to the truth (riportarlo alla verità)
Stagecoach was directed by John Ford in 1939, starring John Wayne and Jhn Corradine. The story of Stagecoach (It.Ombre Rosse) pivots around (ruota intorno) the passengers of a stagecoach ready to leave Tonto, New Mexico for a distant settlement in Lordsburg. They are various people from every social class but all determined to leave the place with different reasons: Dallas, a woman with a scandalous past forced to leave the place by the prig (benpensanti) ladies of the community; Lucy Mallory, the wife of a cavalry officer going to reach (raggiungere) her husband; Hatfield is a talkative gambler (giocatore d’azzardo chiaccherone) who tries to “protect” Lucy; Dr. Boone, a drunkard physician (medico ubriacone) whose licence has been removed (tolta); Mr. Peacock a nervous whiskey salesman – soon friend of Dr. Boone; Gatewood a dishonest banker; Buck is the hayseed (zotico) stage driver, and Sheriff Wilcox, come to guard the group from Ringo Kid – John Wayne – a well-known outlaw (famoso fuorilegge), just broken out (scappato) of prison. But as Ringo shows all his humanity, the real danger reveals to be a group of Apaches, led by Geronimo, ready to attack the stagecoach at any time. The film shows with realism the different personalities of the people and offers action scenes with cowboys, Indians, shootouts (sparatorie), and chases (inseguimenti) shot on the background of the Monument Valley and also gave the chance to the cast to show its stuff (capacità): John became a western star and Thomas Mitchell (the comic Dr. Boone) won an Oscar for his relief role.
The African Queen (1951) by John Huston is follows Rose (Katherine Hepburn) and Charlie (Bogart) as they boat down a river in Africa on a hair-brained scheme to find and sink the only German warship on the continent, this being the outbreak of World War I. That’s just the backdrop, of course: the movie is a zany love story between a high-born, well-bred lady accustomed to command and a drunken, vagabond river-boat captain who can fix anything. The African Queen is the uncomplicated tale of two companions with mismatched, “opposites attract” personalities who develop an implausible love affair as they travel together downriver in Africa around the start of World War I. This quixotic film by director John Huston, based on the 1935 novel of the same name by C. S. Forester, is one of the classics of Hollywood adventure filmmaking, with comedy and romance besides. It was the first color film for the two leads and for director Huston.
The Commitments is a 1991 film directed by Alan Parker based on the novel by Roddy Doyle. It follows the story of Jimmy Rabbitte who wants to create the greatest soul band in the world. He does not approve the way Irish bands make music and assembles a group trying to emulate the example of Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and Wilson Pickett. The auditions ) to find out the players and the voice take place in Jimmy’s parents’ house. The musician are all young and , unlike the famous examples he has in mind, white. He is helped by Joey “The Lips” Fagan, a veteran musician who boats he had played with famous groups. But his way of treating the members of the group and his ambition will bring to the failure (fallimento) of the project.
The Dead (1987) is the last story included in Dubliners (1914) by James Joyce. Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories whose protagonists are conditioned by rigid canons of personal, religious and social conformity and can’t free themselves from frustration, alcoholism or inertia. The stories cover four steps of man’s life: childhood, adolescence, maturity and public life. The Dead is outside this pattern: it was added later and it seems to offer a less negative “epiphany”. The epiphany is typical of Joyce’s style; it is a sudden revelation of a hidden thought or of a personal inadequacy. The story is about a Christmas period banquet, an annual party given by Gabriel’s aunts. During dinner people talk about everyday questions regarding Dublin, life in Ireland and nationalism revealing an attachment to past traditions and a paralyzed mentality. After the party Gretta, Gabriel Conroy’ wife, hears a music which reminds her a past boyfriend who died very young, after giving her farewell. Gabriel Conroy and his wife Gretta return back to their hotel where Gabriel, who has felt superior all the evening, realizes that he does not even know his wife and her feelings. Looking out of the window at the falling snow he feels there is yet some hope for himself and for Ireland. Joyce is considered a pioneer and an innovator in novel writing as to themes, language and style. He introduced the stream of consciousness technique: he followed the workings of his characters’ minds as they flow, without apparent connection but based on individual experience and on the collective memory of man (myths, tales and songs). Though Joyce was a voluntary exile, and little involved in the political conflicts in Ireland, he never forgot Irish culture and traditions and set his novels and stories in Dublin, the emblem of Irish “paralysis”. John Huston perfectly portrays the setting of the short story in his film conveying the idea of immobility and stiffness which is at the bases of Joyce’s work.
The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) , or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck (shortened to The Fearless Vampire Killers; originally titled Dance of the Vampires) is a 1967 comedy horror film directed by Roman Polanski, written by Gérard Brach and Polanski, produced by Gene Gutowski and co-starring Polanski with future wife Sharon Tate. It has been produced as a musical named Dance of the Vampires.
Transylvania. Mid-19th Century. Old Professor Abronsius, and his apprentice, the introvert Alfred are hunting vampires. They come to a small Eastern European town after a long search for vampires and at the local inn they find tormented people performing strange rituals to defend themselves from an unseen evil. Alfred falls in love with Sarah, the daughter of the tavern keeper Yoine Shagal who is kiodnapped by the local vampire lord, Count von Krolock. Her father , while looking for her, is captured and becomes a vampire himself. Abronsius and Alfred follow reach Krolock’s gloomy castle, break into it , and are trapped by the Count’s hunchback servant, Koukol. They also encounter the Count’s son, the frivolous and homosexual Herbert. Meanwhile, Shagal, tries to seduce Magda, the tavern’s beautiful maidservant. Abronsius and Alfred accept the Count’s invitation to stay in his derelict Gothic castle. Alfred spends the night restlessly. The next morning, Abronsius decides to go into the castle crypt and kill the Count,without caring about Sarah’s destiny. Abronsius and Alfred climb in through a roof window avooinding the hunchback, but Abronsius gets stuck in the window and Alfred goes back outside to free him. On his way he meets Sarah who is having a bath in her room. She does not seem to be in danger and invites him to a ball very night and vanishes in the air. Alfred frees Abronsius, and both of them re-enter the castle. Alfred looks for Sarah but meets Herbert who first tries to seduce him and then, revealing he is a vampire , tries to bite him. Abronsius and Alfred escaped but are trapped behind a locked door on a turret. At night they see an enormous number of vampires meet once a year for the ball during which they meet the new captives the Count has taken. The Count appears and mocks them reveling that Sarah will be presented as the next vampire victim. Abronsius and Alfred escape, go to the dance in disguise, take Sarah and run away. Unfortunately it is too late: Sarah awakens – she is a vampire, bites Alfred and the vampires are free to fly all over the world.
The Mummy (1959). Film directed by Terence Fisher in 1959. Egypt 1895. The archaeologists John Banning (Peter Cushing), his father Stephen and his uncle Joseph Whemple are searching for the tomb of Princess Ananka, high priestess of the god Karnak. John has a broken leg and when the tomb is found he cannot accompany Stephen and Joseph. Before the two archeologists enter, the Egyptian Mehemet Bey tells them about a curse which will fall on people who violate the sepulcher. The two do not believe him and go on. Joseph leaves to tell John the good news and Stephen finds the Scroll of Life and reads from it. Soon after he is found in a catatonic state. England, three years later. Stephen Banning recovers and sends for his son. He tells him that reading from the Scroll of Life, he unintentionally brought back to life the mummy of Kharis, the high priest of Karnak, sentenced to be buried alive: it is the punishement for him who had tried to bring Princess Ananka back to life out of forbidden love. Now, Kharis is going to kill all those who violate Ananka’s tomb. Meanwhile, Mehemet Bey, devoted worshiper of Karnak, comes to Engerfield under false name and takes with him Akir to get revenge on the Bannings. At first Kharis’s mummy falls into a bog and then, revived thanks to the Scrool of Life , goes to kill Joseph Whemple. John Banning, sees the scene and shoots him with a revolver at close range to no effect. Police Inspector Mulrooney investigates. He does not believe John’s incredible story about a killer mummy, but when he listens to other witnesses, he starts to wonder if John is right. Meanwhile John notices that his wife Isobel looks like Princess Ananka. Mehemet sends the mummy to John, but when Kharis sees John’s wife, he releases John and leaves. Mehemet believes Kharis has completed his task, and prepares to return to Egypt but John, who starts suspecting him, pays him a visit, much to his surprise. Mehemet Bey sends Kharis to try and kill him again, but once again (nuovamente) goes away when Isobel comes to help his husband. Not only: he refuses to follow Mehemet’s orders, kills him and Kharis takes Isobel, unconscious to the swamp, John, Mulrooney and other policemen are after them. When Isobel regains consciousness, and succeed in slowly moving away, they open fire: Kharis sinks into a mire together with the Scroll of Life with.
The Music Lovers (1970; L’altra faccia dell’amore in Italian) is a 1970 British film directed by Ken Russell. It is based on Beloved Friend, a collection of personal correspondence edited by Catherine Drinker Bowen and Barbara von Meck on the life and career of 19th century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The film is without a proper dialogue . The story is a sequence of flashbacks, nightmares (incubi) , and fantasy sequences which follows while Tchaikovsky’s music is heard in the background. As a child, the composer sees his mother die horribly. She suffered from cholera and was immersed in hot water as a cure for cholera; the scenes haunts (perseguitano) his life and his music. His career is not easy till he finds Madame Nadezhda von Meck who, attracted from his music, becomes his patron. He marries the nymphomaniacal Antonina Miliukova, but he soon discovers his homosexual tendency when he falls in love with Count Anton Chiluvsky. His life is a sequence of events that bring him to a mental deterioration. His patron dies; he deliberately drinks water contaminated by cholera and dies as his mother died. It is one of Russell’s films about the lives of mental composers like Elgar (1962), Mahler (1974) and Lisztomania (1975).
In The Servant (1963), a manservant facilitates the moral and psychological degradation of his privileged and rich employer. Accident explores male lust, hypocrisy, and ennui among the educated middle class as two Oxford tutors competitively objectify a student against the backdrop of their seemingly idyllic lives. In The Go-Between, a young middle class boy, the summer guest of an upper class family, becomes the messenger for an affair between the daughter of his hosts and a working class farmer.
Although Losey’s films are generally naturalistic, The Servant’s hybridization of Losey’s signature Baroque style, film noir, naturalism, and expressionism and both Accident’s and The Go-Between’s radical cinematography, amount to a All three films are marked by Pinter’s sparse, elliptical, and enigmatically subtextual dialogue, something Losey often develops a visual correlate for (and occasionally even works against) by means of dense and cluttered mise en scene and peripatetic camera work.
Tony is a a wealthy young Londoner. He employs Hugo Barrett as his manservant. Initially, they get on well, maintaining their social roles. The relationship begins to change when Tony’s girlfriend Susan who seems to be suspicious of Barrett and to hate all what he represents. Barrett introduces as his sister Vera into Tony’s household and she becomes the maidservant. Soon it comes out that Vera is actually Barrett’s lover. The couple starts to machinate against Susan and Tony, till their roles are reversed – the “master” and the “servant” exchange roles: Tony becomes more and more dissipated, sinking further and at the end Tony has become wholly dependent on Barrett and Susan is exiled permanently from the house. Losey analysis the degradation, the lust, the hypocrisy, and the ennui of his privileged the educated middle class fusing naturalism and expressionism in a Baroque style. His sophisticated construction of cinematic time and narrative perspective, use of montage and of musical score lead this Losey’ work in the direction of neorealist cinema.
The Whale Rider (2002)
Taken from the homonymous novel by Witi Ihimaera and directed bu Niki Caro in 2002 , The Whale Rider is the story of Paikea Apirana, Pai, a Maori 12-year-old girl. Her mother died on her bedchild with her twin brother. By tradition, the leader of her tribe should be the first-born son so Pai technically cannot inherit the leadership. The leader of the tribe, Koro, Pai’s grandfather, is angry at losing his first grandson and Paikea decides to leave with her father. But she cannot leave the sea as the whale seems to be calling her back, and returns home. Pai’s father does not want to assume traditional leadership and moves to Germany to follow a career as an artist. On the contrary, Pai is interested in the leadership, and learns traditional songs and dances. Koro decides to form a cultural school for the village boys, hoping to find a new leader. He teaches how to use a taiaha , afighting stick, traditionally reserved for males. However, Pai secretly learns from one of his uncles and secretly follows Koro’s lessons. Koro gets angry when she discovers Pai following his lesson and when she wins her taiaha fight. Besides, none of the boys succeed in the traditional recovering of the rei puta, the whale tooth, that would prove one of them worthy of becoming leader. Koro in despair calls out the whales; also Pai calls them to help him and the whales hear her.One day, while Koro is going to meet Pai at a concert of Māori chants , notices that numerous whales are beached near Pai’s home. Nobody can make them go back into the water and Koro sees it as a sign of his failure. Koro is walking away when Pai climbs onto the back of the largest whale and persuades it to go back into the ocean. When she goes out of sea, a woman of the village shows Koro the whale tooth which Pai had previously found and Koro declares her the leader. The story ends with the whole family on the beach together.
The Witches (1990) is a 1990 comedy – fantasy directed by Nicolas Roeg based on the book of the same name by Norwegian-British author Roald Dahl (1916 – 1990). Actors: Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling and Rowan Atkinson. While on holiday at his grandmother Helga, Luke ‘s parents die in a car crash. Helga decides to take the boy under her wings (proteggere il ragazzo) and tells him about strange creatures enemies of children, the witches. She explains Luke him how to recognize them. They spend a period in England, on the coast. In the hotel, Luke befriends with a fat boy Bruno and together they learn that in the hotel there is a witches’ convention. They are preparing a plot to turn the children into mice and then kill them all. The High Witch discovers them and transforms into rodents. But Luke and Bruno manage to escape and, with Helga’s help, they stop the evil plan.
Tom Jones is a 1963 adventure comedy film, starring Albert Finney as the protagonist. The film was directed by Tony Richardson and the screenplay was an adaptation of Henry Fielding’s classic novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749) by playwright John Osborne. The film is quite comic: the characters sometimes break the fourth wall, look directly into the camera and address the audience. Tom Jones also covers the camera with his hat. A silent film sequence introduces the movie: the good Squire Allworthy returns from London and finds a baby in his bed. The squire adopts little Tom Jones as if he were his own son.Tom grows a lively young man, good-looking and with a kind heart, very popular with the opposite sex. However he loves the tender Sophie Western and is reciprocated even if he is considered a bastard and cannot marry a young upper class lady of her high station. Sophie, too, must hide her feelings while Squire Western and his sister , Sophie’s father and aunt, wants her to marry Blifil, the son of the Squire Allworthy’s sister ,Bridget, an ill-natured man. Bridget dies unexpectedly, Blifil intercepts a mother’s letter of his mother for her brother. After the funeral Blifil and his two tutors, convince squire Allworthy that Tom is a villain until he gives Tom a small sum of money and sends him out into the world to seek his fortune. Tom has to face many misadventures on his road-traveling odyssey. Meanwhile, Sophie runs away from home to escape the attentions of the hated Blifil. The road is the same, but Tom and Sophie arrive separately in London. In London Tom attracts the attention of Lady Bellaston , a noblewoman over 40 rich, beautiful, and completely amoral. Tom and the lady have a love affair. Eventually, Tom ends up at Tyburn Gaol to be hanged accused of robbery and attempted murder by two agents of Blifil. Fortunately Squire Allworthy reads the famous letter Blifil had received: Tom is his sister Bridget’s illegitimate son and Allworthy’s nephew. Blifil is now in disgrace and disinherited. Allworthy interrupts Tom’s hanging. Tom now has permission to court Sophie, and all ends well with Tom embracing Sophie with her father’s blessing).
Apolcalypse Now (1979)
Saigon. Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) from the special services is given the order to go back a river in Cambogia , reach Colonnel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) and kill him. Colonel Kurtz is fighting a personal, cruel battle. The film produce and directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1979 is loosely based on Heart of Darkness (1902) by Anglo – Polish author Joseph Conrad. It is a very visionary and anguishing film about the Vienna War. In the film Kurz. quotes different passages from T. S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land; the poem itself is preceded by the epigraph Mistah Kurtz – he dead . It is a movie rich in extraordinary sequences, and very complex and ambitious. Acclaimed by critics it was discussed for its cultural impact and philosophical themes. During the filming Marlon Brando’s showed up overweight, Martin Sheen (Marlow) suffered a heart attack, and serious weather destroyed several expensive sets. It was awarded two Oscars – Vittorio Storaro for photography and Walter Murch for sound. In 2000 it was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry
Blackmail (1929) is a British thriller drama film directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1929 and based on the play Blackmail by Charles Bennett. Detective Frank Webber of Scotland Yard has an argument with his girlfriend alice. Then she accepts to see the pictures of a friend of hers, Mr Crewe. At his house he shows her the painting of a laughing (che rode) clown and then tries to rape (violentare) her. Alice tries to resist, takes a nearby bread knife (coltello da pane lì vicino) and stabs (pugnala) him to death. The next day, the case is assigned (è assegnato) to Frank who finds one of Alice’s gloves (guanti) in the painter’s house and understands she is the murderer (assassino) and asks to meet her. Unfortunately also Tracy – the model who had sat (posato) for the laughing clown – saw Alice go up to Crewe’s flat and attempts (cerca) to blackmail (ricattare) the couple. Frank denounces him to the police. Soon Tracy’s nerve breaks (I nervi saltano) , because he has a criminal record (rapport con la polizia) and escapes finding refuge in the British Museum where he is killed by the police. Unaware (non sapendo nulla) of this, Alice decides to give herself up (arrendersi) and goes to New Scotland Yard, but just before starting her confession the Chief Inspector receives a telephone call and asks Frank to deal with(trattare) the woman. As they leave, Crewe’s painting of the laughing clown is carried past them.
Blade Runner (1982)
In 1982 Ridley Scott directed Blade Runner, a science – fiction -noir film starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young and Daryl Hannah loosely (lontanamente) based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. The story follows Rick Deckard, a retired cop(poliziotto in pensione) in Los Angeles around the year 2019. The city is now a sort of cultural dystopia full of advertising Pubblicità), pollution (inquinamento), flying automobiles, replicants, and androids built by the Tyrell Corporation to colonize other planets. Deckard was a blade runner, that is to say a detective that captures evil replicants and is called to back to hunt (dare la caccia) four replicants led by Roy Batty who have escaped and are killing human beings. First he met Eldon Tyrell , creator of the replicants, then starts his duty (dovere). While in mission, Deckard is almost killed but is saved by Rachael Tyrell’s assistant. She is a replicant but she does not know her nature. Meanwhile Batty and his replicant lover, Pris, force a dying inventor, J.F. Sebastian, to help them get close to Tyrell and murder him (ucciderlo). Deckard finds the couple and struggle (combatte) with Batty on a skyscraper rooftop (tetto di un grattacielo) high above the city. In 1992, Ridley Scott removed (tolse) Deckard’s narration, added (aggiunse) a dream sequence, and eliminated the happy ending.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) England. Early 20th century. Caractacus Potts is an eccentric inventor who lives together with his father and two adolescent children, Jeremy and Jemima. But they’re penniless (senza soldi), but all happy. The story starts when the children asks Caractacus to buy a broken car at a local junk yard (rottamatore). Caractacus does his best to buy it and succeed helped by a pretty and wealthy young woman, Truly Scrumptious, the local candy factory owner’s daughter. Caractacus transforms the piece of junk (rottame) into a beautiful working machine, which they name Chitty Chitty Bang Bang because of the noise the engine makes. At a seaside picnic with his children and Truly, Caractacus creates a fanciful (fantastico) tale of an eccentric inventor, his pretty girlfriend his two children, and a magical car – which can swim and fly – named Chitty in the remote land of Vulgaria. The cruel Baron Bomburst, ruler (governatore) of Vulgaria, wants the magical car and kidnaps (rapisce) the automobile and the inventor while Mrs Bomburst wants to imprison the children he hates. But Bomburst captures Grandpa by mistake (per errore) and orders him to make another floating (volante) car. The Potts are hidden by the local toymaker (giocattolaio), who now works only for the baron. Chitty is discovered and taken to the castle. But while Caractacus and the toymaker go in search of Grandpa and Truly goes in search of food, the children are captured by the Baron’s Child Catcher. The toymaker takes Truly and Caractacus to a grotto under the castle where other children are hidden. There they thinks of a plan to free the children and the village from the baron. The toymaker make Caractacus and Truly enter the castle disguised (vestiti) as life-size dolls, gifts (dono) for the baron’s birthday. Caractacus gets the children free and in the chaos the baron, baroness, and Child Catcher are all captured. The family is now free and fly back with Truly to England. Back home, Caractacus finds his father and Lord Scrumptious playing a lively game of soldiers. Scrumptious offers him to buy the sweets he had invented and Caractacus can ask Truly to marry him while driving off (volando via) together in Chitty – and the car takes to the air again, this time without wings. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was made into a musical film in 1968 British film directed by Ken Hughes and produced by Albert R. Broccoli (the same producer of 007’s films) . The film’s script is by Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes and its songs by the Sherman Brothers. Dick Van Dyke stars as Caractacus Potts and Sally Ann Howes as Truly Scrumptious.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) is a satire of the nuclear scare directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick starring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott.. The film is freely based on Peter George’s Cold War thriller novel Red Alert (also known as Two Hours to Doom).The story deals with General Ripper, a paranoid Air Force base commander who orders a squadron of B-52 bombers into the Soviet Union to throw hydrogen bombs on military objective. The U.S. President is a pacifist and calls the Russian ambassador to call and warn the Russian Premier of the attack and explain that it was unintentional. The Premiere reveals the existence of their “doomsday device a large supply of atomic bombs ready to destroy the world in the event of a nuclear strike. At the Air Force base, an Army unit infiltrates with heavy fighting to get the recall code from Gen. Ripper, but he kills himself to avoid ) torture. Fortunately, an officer succeed in extrapolating the code “OPE” from Ripper’s drawing on a notebook. The bombers respond to the code and return to base, except one who’s radio receiver has been damaged. Back at the war room, Dr. Strangelove, a disfigured ex-Nazi scientist, explains a plan to save a few thousand Americans: he suggest to hide them in a deep mine pipe for 100 years until the radiation returns to a safe level. At the end the bomber drops its bombs and the doomsday device is activated, destroying the world. The topic of the film was quite risky: nobody had ever dealt with the theme of atomic bomb in a comic black comedy and if Kubrick had any intention of portraying an anti-war message, this was perhaps the best form to get it across. The act of war is compared with a sexual act and the war becomes a struggle between the two sexes. Besides almost all the most terrible decicions and evevnts happen during phone calls to show the difficulty of communication despite the new elaborated technologies. In 1989, the United States Library of Congress included it in the first group of films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
How I win the war is a 1967 black comedy directed and produced by Richard Lester. Lieutenant Goodbody, is an inexpert, idealistic, inexperienced, and obstinately nationalistic not regular officer. The platoon (plotone) tries to get rid of (disfarsi) or to kill him as he is totally unable to command them. Goodbody unfortunately leads (porta) his soldiers to their gradual end while he survives (sopravvive) together with another one who finishes into a psychiatric clinic and a deserter (disertore). Every time a soldier dies is replaced by a plastic model toy soldier (soldato Giocattolo di plastica) whose face is obscured. Lester used a wide (ampia) variety of styles—vignette, documentary film, and popular war literature and parody of the war film genre—to tell the story of 3rd Troop, the 4th Musketeers – a fictional (inesistente) regiment – and their misadventures in the Second World War. John Lennon plays his only non-musical role (il suo solo ruolo non musicale), as MusketeerGripweed and during the filming he started wearing his round glasses which will characterize his figure.
Hugo is a 2011 historical adventure film directed by Martin Scorzese and based on Brian Selznick’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret. 1930s. Paris. Hugo is an orphan boy who lives in the walls of Montparnasse railway station in Paris. He learned to fix clocks (sistenare gli orologi) and other gadgets from his father and uncle and now he keeps (mantiene) the train station clocks running (funzionanti). The only thing which connects (lo collega) him to his dead father is an mechanical man who moves with a special key. Hugo wants to find the key to discover the secret he believes it contains. He meets George Melies, a shopkeeper (negoziante), who works in the train station, and his god-daughter (figlioccia). Hugo finds that George and the girl have a surprising connection to his father and the automaton. Besides (inoltre) he discovers some memories regarding his past…
Jamaica Inn is a 1939 film shot by Alfred Hitchcock and based on the homonymous novel written by Daphne du Maurier in 1936. It was the last British film of A. Hitchcock before moving to Hollywood. The plot pivots around (ruota intorno) an Inn, Jamaica Inn, headquarter (quartier generale) to a gang of smugglers (contrabbandiri) led (comandati) by its innkeeper (proprietario della locanda) Joss. The smugglers extinguish (spengono) coastal beacon (falò che dirigono le navi a riva) in order to cause shipwrecks (naufragi); then they rob (derubano) the ships and kill the surviving sailors (marinai sopravvissuti). Mary, the orphaned niece (nipote femmina di zio/a) of Joss’s wife Patience, comes to live at the inn. While on her way to the inn, he saves the life of Traherne, a gang member who is going to be lynched (linciato) by his fellow smugglers (compagni contrabbandieri) for fraud (ingannano). Traherne is actually (in realtà) a secret law-officer who tries to find out evidences (prove) to capture Joss’s gang. Mary and Traherne escapes from the Inn and asks for protection to Sir Humphrey Pengallon, the local magistrate, without knowing (senza sapere) that he protects the smugglers taking the loots (bottini) to maintain his sumptuous lifestyle. Traherne and Mary again run away to save a ship and a love affair blossoms (nasce una storia d’amore).
Lawrence of Arabia is a 1962 British-American epic adventure drama film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. T.E. Lawrence, an obscure lieutenant who served in Cairo in World War I, is sent to evaluate the military capabilities of the Arabian tribes in resisting the Turks because of his knowledge of Arab language and culture and general lack of discipline. He impresses Prince Faisal and succeed in crossing the terrible desert , and taking the port of Aqaba from the unsuspecting Turks. The film follows his military success: he breaks into Turkish rail lines, brings together the fighting Arab tribes and beats the British forces to Damascus. He takes part in massacres and does not hide his homosexuality. It’s the story of a complicated warrior, brilliant and bloodthirsty, and his role in one of the great conflicts of history. A young and almost unknown Peter O’ Toole is Lawrence of Arabia, the protagonist who shares the scene with the magnificent and pitiless desert with its endless dunes. It was directed by David Lean with the screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson; the dramatic score is by Maurice Jarre. It is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential films in the history of cinema. It was shot in Jordan, Morocco and Spain and got an Academy Award for the desert and battle scenes.
An ideal husband (1999), film directed by Oliver Parker, is an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play (1895) of the same title – starring Jeremy Northam (Sir Robert Chiltern); Cate Blanchett (Gertrude); Rupert Everett (Lord Arthur Goring)Minnie Driver (Miss Mabel Chiltern); Julianne Moore (Mrs Laura Cheveley). The story is about two friends: Sir Robert Chiltern , a successful Government minister, and the lazy but charming Lord Arthur Goring. Chiltern has a loving wife, Gertrude , and is supported (aiutato) by his brilliant sister, Mabel. Goring flirts with Mabel but does not make up his mind (non si decide) and marry. This happy balance (equilibrio) is broken by the arrival Mrs Cheveley in London, their old acquaintance (conoscenza) . Mrs Laura Cheveley has an evidence (prova) of a past misdeed (misfatto) and wants to blackmail (ricattare) the “perfect” minister “compromising his marriage. Lord Goring will help Sir Robert turns for help to his friend. The end: the man thought to be perfect is imperfect, the man with all the imperfection does something right.