His Girl Friday

His Girl Friday (1940)

In which Rosalind Russell plays Hildy, about to foresake journalism for marriage to cloddish Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). Cary Grant plays Walter Burns, Hildy’s editor and ex-husband, who feigns happiness about her impending marriage as a ploy to win her back. The ace up Walter’s sleeve is a late-breaking news story concerning the impending execution of anarchist Earl Williams (John Qualen), a blatant example of political chicanery that Hildy can’t pass up. The story gets hotter when Williams escapes and is hidden from the cops by Hildy and Walter-right in the prison pressroom.

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Fiesta (1995 – Pierre Boutron)

From José Luis de Villalonga’s autobiographical novel, published the same year the film was released, writer-director Pierre Boutron’s Fiesta centers on two characters: 17-year-old Rafael de Los Cobos, whose father has him whisked out of his French military school when the Spanish Civil War breaks out; Colonel Masagual, his superior officer who trains this ‘idealistic little aristocrat’ for duty at the front by adding him to Franco’s execution squad. There are a few potent images – the angled overhead shot of blood red-capped soldiers mopping up the blood after two consecutive rows of executions, ironically suggesting that no amount of such effort can ever fully do the job. What principally commends the film, however, are the pungent dialogues and the brilliant lead performances by Grégoire Colin and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Masagual is one of the most fascinating roles of Trintignant’s career – homosexual, but where this orientation isn’t the most pressing matter. Alcoholic and drug-addicted, Masagual is sufficiently embittered to mentor Rafael sadistically, bullying him into becoming a cold-blooded killer (and, incidentally, rapist). Perhaps the lowest blow he strikes in this regard comes when he tells the boy that he himself has never killed anyone. Indeed, the sparring between these two is continually irrigated by rivulets of sharp irony

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Rome, Open City – Roma, città aperta (1945 – Roberto Rossellini) see FILMS

Roma, città aperta — Rome, Open City (1945)

Rome, Open City is a 1945  Italian   war  drama film based on the true story of Don Morosi, a priest and a Resistance worker shot by the Germans in wartime Rome. The film, directed by Roberto Rossellini, features Aldo Fabrizi , Anna Magnani and Marcello Pagliero , and is set in Rome during the Nazi occupation in 1944. Rome, Open City interweaves the fates of a number of Romans enduring the last gasp of the German Occupation. At the centre of the film is Don Pietro, a priest who risks his own safety by aiding members of the Resistance. The other characters here include a revolutionary who is on the run from the fascist secret police, a pregnant young woman and a junkie whose addiction endangers the lives of those around her

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Coal not Dole!

Coal Not Dole! The Miners’ Videotapes (1984)

A series of six short films made by a group of ACTT technicians and Film and Video Workshops, with the endorsement of the Kent Area NUM/South Wales Area NUM/Derbyshire Area NUM/Northumberland Area NUM/Yorkshire Area NUM in support of the 1984 Miners’ strike. Includes interviews with Paul Foot, Dennis Skinner, Arthur Scargill, David Douglass and many more. The DVD (and other related DVDs) is available from Platform Films, Unit 14, Pennybank Chambers, 33-35 St John’s Square, London EC1M 4DS or platform.films@virgin.net

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A Benefit for Tuli Kupferberg

A Benefit for Tuli Kupferberg (Produced by Hal Willner, Friday, January 22 at 7:30pm) at St. Ann’s Warehouse, 38 Water St, DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA

On January 22, St. Ann’s Warehouse will be hosting a benefit concert to help pay medical expenses for Tuli Kupferberg, the lifelong anarchist, anti-war poet and all around wiseass who co-founded local heroes the Fugs. Kupferberg suffered two strokes, in April and September 2009, which left him blind, confined to his apartment and in need of 24-hour care. He is recovering well and is able to speak clearly, but has overwhelming medical expenses not covered by Medicare or the very modest publishing/royalties income he earns at the age of 86. Whether because of their political activism (Kupferberg was arrested trying to levitate the Pentagon, which earned him a spot in Norman Mailer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Armies of the Night), or because of top 40-unfriendly songs like “Coca-Cola Douche”, the Fugs didn’t spend a lot of time on Ed Sullivan. They were a huge influence on what later became indie music, as well as the work of icons Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground.
So far, Lou Reed, Philip Glass, John Zorn, Richard Belzer, Sonic Youth, members of the Holy Modal Rounders and the Fugs are scheduled to play. Tickets are $75-$125 and are available here or call (718) 254.8779