Started by wilder, November 01, 2011, 01:54:56 AM
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Quote from: HEFILMBryan Forbes is an underrated director, almost forgotten today for a string of well reviewed films that ended with this one. The good reviews did that is. Perhaps at the time the direction seemed "overboard" but by today's standards of course it is merely stylish. It features lots of interesting camera angles, almost like a Joseph Losey film at times visually, and a lot of well written dialog.Caine is very good. He played a series of almost expressionless villains and near-villains in the late 1960's. This role is one of those, crook who falls for the wrong woman, deals but he totally sells it. Even the tone of his voice is different than you'd expect. He also gets to display both surprise and rage towards the end which gives the character more of a place to go than in the more highly regarded say Harry Palmer films and the soon to be made and good but over rated GET CARTER. He really makes the film work.The odd character relationships also help a great deal as does John Barry's music. Fans of his probably know the main robbery scene is inter cut with a specially composed piece of pseudo classical music he wrote and which the scene was edited to later. It's a fascinating sequence and not like anything else Barry ever composed and worth watching for any fan of film music, meaning music in a film connected and interacting with it, not just as a CD to buy and enjoy. The whole score has a touch of the Spanish setting the film lushly invokes. You do have to ignore the lyrics and slightly heard it before nature of the Title song.This is not an action crime film, more of a corrupted souls and the crimes they commit type of approach with an interesting Spanish setting. It's disguised film noir with realistic occasionally funny dialog and cool oddball sinister angles and editing choices that maybe play better today than at the time. Well worth watching, but good luck finding it.
Quote from: KickstarterMy name is Benjamin Solovey, and thanks to the support of Kickstarter backers like yourself, I had the pleasure of restoring Manos: The Hands of Fate from the surviving 16mm elements. It's now available on Blu-ray and DVD.With your help, I'll next be overseeing a full 4K restoration of the classic B-Movie "The Atomic Brain", also known as "Monstrosity", from the original 35mm camera negative.In the process, we'll compile supplemental material about the circumstances of the film's creation, and create a documentary about its director, Joseph V. Mascelli, ASC, one of the most influential yet unknown cinematographers in film history.About The Director:A highly active member of the American Society of Cinematographers in his day, Mascelli learned his craft at a time when camera crew from the silent era were not only still alive, but still working: his collaborator on the second edition ASC Manual had shot 1914's The Perils of Pauline.Mascelli himself began as a cinematographer in the Armed Forces, and would shoot countless miles of newsreel and training footage before moving into TV and Film. Due to the ephemeral and anonymous nature of much of his work, a true survey of his credits has never been made.He would become best known for condensing the collective knowledge of his field into one concise, informative book, 1965's The 5 C's of Cinematography, that is still used to teach students the visual vocabulary of film. Mascelli's book makes the case for the democratization of film teaching, urges readers to push the boundaries of the rules (the sixth "C", he writes, is "Cheating") and fosters the easy discussion of what was once very specialized, even unspoken knowledge. It's still in print today, and could be considered his most enduring contribution to filmmaking.Our documentary will help paint a picture of Mascelli and the era in which he was working, an uneasy time when Corman and Cleopatra coexisted, a transitional decade that would give way to the "New Hollywood" of the 1970's. As one of the old guard looking to teach the new, how did Mascelli's educational work persist through the decades? In looking to the past, we might even find some good advice for the future.ASC Manual: Second Edition, 1966About "The Atomic Brain":A year and change before The 5 C's of Cinematography was completed, Mascelli's name was conspicuously absent from the poster of Monstrosity. This B-Movie tells the story of Hetty March, a rich, somewhat vampiric old woman who conspires with a scientist to transfer her brain into a younger body through atomic fission. March employs three women in her mansion while she decides which one to kill and replace. Soon, a rejected candidate's brain is swapped with a cat's, causing her to eat a mouse and climb onto the roof.Throughout, two other failed experiments, a zombie woman and a Moreau-esque dog man, loom nearby as if refugees from another movie. The situation deteriorates until the mansion, as well as March's plans, are obliterated in a bright atomic blast.Monstrosity, in fact, had been directed by Mascelli in 1958 until funding abruptly fell through. Hastily finished by its producers in 1963, sleazily advertised (see above), re-titled The Atomic Brain on dreary-looking 16mm prints, rarely presented in its intended widescreen aspect ratio, destined to land on Mystery Science Theater 3000, the film was never given much attention. Yet, despite all obstacles, Mascelli's original footage is directed and shot with a professionalism and a keen visual sense that stands out from the reshoots. Even in his one foiled attempt at directing a feature film, he proved that the principles he'd write about in "The 5 C's" did not discriminate based on budget.Monstrosity, AKA The Atomic Brain would be Mascelli's only directorial credit, and an incomplete one at that. But now, the original 35mm camera negative has been recovered, and with it comes a razor-sharp black and white image for both cult movie fans and students of cinematography to enjoy for the first time.Public Domain Version4K Sample Scan, Full AperatureThe film's public domain status has long made it a staple of bargain bin DVDs, sourced from muddy VHS transfers that drop many low-key scenes into total darkness. It also has discouraged major distributors, who would never be able to fully own the results, from investing in a proper video transfer for the film. We, the public that own it, now have an opportunity to restore The Atomic Brain in full 4K resolution, and make this once-obscure "Monstrosity" available in a condition far better than it's ever been seen.