The Belladonna of Sadness from Japan, directed by Eiichi Yamamoto

‘The Belladonna of Sadness’ on Amazon Prime and Fandor

The Belladonna of Sadness (Japan, 1973), a lost classic of Japanese animation, is an erotic drama by definition, but it is quite a sophisticated one that is part subversive folk tale, part rock ballad musical, and part experimental filmmaking. Set in an unnamed kingdom in an abstracted medieval Europe, it’s a provocative film about female […]

Fernando Di Leo’s ‘Milieu Trilogy’ on FilmStruck and Fandor

Fernando di Leo was, in the estimation of genre-hound Quentin Tarantino, “the master” of the Italian crime movie, or the “poliziotteschi.” A violent action genre that picked up the escalating violence of American films like Dirty Harry and The French Connection, films where blood spattered and cops got their hands dirty, it was never as […]

Tommy Reynolds and Homer Nish in Kent Mackenzie's THE EXILES (1961). Charles Burnett and Sherman Alexie present a Milestone Films release. The film was restored from the original 35mm materials by Ross Lipman and the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

‘The Exiles’ on Fandor and DVD

The Exiles (1961), Kent Mackenzie’s independently produced drama, chronicles the lives of urban American Indians (all of them non-actors drawing from their own lives) on the Bunker Hill area of Los Angeles over one long, alcohol-lubricated night. Homer dropped out of school, left the reservation, joined the Navy, and now drinks his nights away with […]

Henry Silva and Woody Strode in Fernando di Leo's gangster classic

‘The Italian Connection’ – Mob schemes on FilmStruck and Fandor

The Italian Connection (Italy, 1972), from Italy’s king of crime cinema Fernando di Leo, stars Mario Adani (the top dog thug of the Americano’s gang in di Leo’s earlier Caliber 9) as Luca, a remarkably affable and well-liked pimp whose popularity on the street makes the Milan boss nervous. So he frames Luca for a […]

Alain Resnais You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

‘You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet’ and ‘Life of Riley’ on FilmStruck and Fandor

Alain Resnais was the most narratively experimental and ambitious of directors at the birth of the nouvelle vague, startling audiences with the short documentary Night and Fog (about the Nazi death camps) and the features Hiroshima Mon Amour (ruminating on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and Last Year at Marienbad (which you could say […]

The delirious cinematic dreamscape world of Guy Maddin's 'The Forbidden Room'

‘The Forbidden Room’ on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Fandor

Canadian iconoclast Guy Maddin has been making strange, surreal films that evoke the images and storytelling traditions of silent movies for decades. The Forbidden Room (2015), which he co-directed with his former student Evan Johnson, is like a compendium of his obsessions and cinematic fetishes. It opens on a mock-instructional film on “How to Take […]