#583/The Four Feathers-Zoltán Korda
This spectacular Technicolor epic, directed by Zoltán Korda, is considered the finest of the many adaptations of A.E.W. Mason’s classic 1902 adventure novel about the British Empire’s exploits in Africa, and a crowning achievement of Alexander Korda’s legendary production company, London Films. Set at the end of the nineteenth century, The Four Feathers follows the travails of a young officer (John Clements) accused of cowardice after he resigns his post on the eve of a major deployment to Khartoum; he must fight to redeem himself in the eyes of his fellow officers (including Ralph Richardson) and fiancée (June Duprez). Featuring music by Miklós Rózsa and Oscar-nominated cinematography by Georges Périnal, The Four Feathers is a thrilling, thunderous epic.
In this poetic and atmospheric horror fable, set in a village in war-torn medieval Japan,
a malevolent spirit has been ripping out the throats of itinerant samurai. When a military
hero is sent to dispatch the unseen force, he finds that he must struggle with his own
personal demons as well. From Kaneto Shindo, director of the terror classic Onibaba,
Kuroneko (Black Cat) is a spectacularly eerie twilight tale with a shocking feminist angle,
evoked through ghostly special effects and exquisite cinematography.
#585/Identification of a Woman-Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni’s Identification of a Woman is a body- and soul-baring voyage into one man’s artistic and erotic consciousness. After his wife leaves him, a film director finds himself drawn into affairs with two enigmatic women, while at the same time searching for the right subject (and actress) for his next film. This spellbinding anti-romance was a late-career coup for the legendary Italian filmmaker, and is renowned for its sexual explicitness and an extended scene on a fog- enshrouded highway that stands with the director’s greatest set pieces.
#586/Island of Lost Souls-Erle C. Kenton
A twisted treasure from Hollywood’s pre-Code horror heyday, Island of Lost Souls is
a cautionary tale of science run amok adapted from H. G. Wells’s novel The Island of Dr. Moreau. In one of his first major movie roles, Charles Laughton is a mad doctor conducting ghastly genetic experiments on a remote island in the South Seas, much to the fear and disgust of the shipwrecked sailor (Richard Arlen) who finds himself trapped there. Erle C. Kenton’s touchstone of movie terror is elegantly shot by Karl Struss, features groundbreaking makeup effects that inspired generations of monster-movie artists, and costars Bela Lugosi in one his most gruesome roles.
And your Eclipse release:
Eclipse Series 29: Aki Kaurismäki’s Leningrad Cowboys
In the late eighties and early nineties, Aki Kaurismäki, the master of the deadpan, fashioned a waggish fish-out-of-water tale about a U.S. tour
by “the worst rock-and-roll band in the world.” Leningrad Cowboys Go America’s posse of fur-coated, outrageously pompadoured hipsters struck such a chord with international audiences that the fictional band became a genuine attraction, touring the world. Later, Kaurismäki created a sequel, Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses, and filmed a gigantic stadium show the band put on in Helsinki for the rollicking documentary Total Balalaika Show. With this Eclipse series, we present these crackpot musical and comic odysseys, along with five Leningrad Cowboys music videos directed by Kaurismäki.
"The most dementing of all modern sins: the inability to distinquish excellence from success."-David Hare