Louis Armstrong, Lamberto Bava & More: My Films of the Week #26

As a lifelong cinephile, I have always consumed a copious amount of films. In this new feature, I keep track of the films I watch during the week. (Also, Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!)

 

The Death of Cinema and My Father Too
dir. Dani Robinson
2020, France/Israel ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A sun struggles to complete a film starring his father in the leading role before he dies of cancer. An interesting hybrid film mixing real-life and fiction. Despite the ambition of this endeavor and its multi-layered nature, Dani Robinson manages to retain a feeling of intimacy quite successfully.

 

All-In
dir. Volkan Uce
2021, Belgium/France/Netherlands

This film will premiere at the upcoming edition of CPH:DOX. Out of respect, I will refrain from making any comments about it at this time.

 

A Man and a Camera
dir. Guido Hendrikx
2021, Netherlands

This film will premiere at the upcoming edition of CPH:DOX. Out of respect, I will refrain from making any comments about it at this time.

 

Limousine
dir. Saulé Bliuvaitè
2021, Lithuania ⭐⭐

Observational documentary about groups of different generations spending time in a limousine and trying to have a good time. Despite the interesting concept, nothing interesting actually happens from which to draw any satisfactory conclusion on the human condition.

 

Hellbound Train
dir. James Gist and Eloyce Gist
1930, USA ⭐⭐⭐

Odd, hidden gem from Black American film history by two traveling evangelists, who seem to have understood cinema’s potential for indoctrination. Hellbound Train, starring the devil himself, is a melodrama essentially trying to explore the sins of the jazz age. An early exploitation feature of sorts, its ethics are understandably laughable by today’s standards but there is a lot to admire about the film’s guerrilla filmmaking spirit.

 

The Whip and the Body
dir. Lamberto Bava
1963, France/Italy ⭐⭐⭐⭐

One of the most praised Italian gothic horrors by a maestro of the genre, Lamberto Bava. Its sensual atmosphere and stylistic confidence is positively seductive. It not only helps overlook the insufferable narrative but eventually charms the viewer into sticking with it to the end.

 

A Rhapsody in Black and Blue
dir. Aubrey Scotto
1932, USA ⭐⭐⭐⭐

One of the rare known early Louis Armstrong live video performances. He’s so great that it’s almost easy to overlook the fact he was dressed in a racist, generic African garb for the occasion.

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