Archive for French

Goregirl’s Dungeon on YouTube: Zenzile – Enter (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari)

Posted in Germany, horror, movies with tags , , , , , on November 4, 2013 by goregirl

Zenzile offer their take on the soundtrack for the 1920 film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari directed by Robert Wiene. I REALLY dig this piece and I hope you do too because I have more to come!

DELICATESSEN (1991) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in France, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2013 by goregirl

It has been a patchy trip through 1990s horror and I am still in the early part of the decade. While there have definitely been a few gems the disproportionate amount of unwatchable nonsense has been mind-boggling. I knew this was going to be a rough trip which is part of the reason I am spreading the feature out over two months. Another reason I did this was to take the opportunity to review some of the 90s non-horror masterpieces. My first foreign film experience in a theatre (at least an original language subtitled film) was Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. It was a brand new, enlightening experience that rocked my world. I fell madly in love with foreign films and seen as many as I could get my hands on. This was a challenge as our suburban theatres did not show foreign films, you had to drive to the big city of Toronto to see them; even video stores offered very little. My exposure unfortunately was pretty sporadic for a couple years at least until I moved to Vancouver in early 1990. I loved a lot of foreign titles through the decade and two of the most brilliant and original entries were directed by two men from France named Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Caro and Jeunet’s films Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children are not only two of my favourite films of the 90s but of all time!

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Delicatessen takes place in a post-apocalyptic France where food is used as money and meat is a luxury. Delicatessen’s story focuses on a dilapidated apartment building and its tenants overseen by butcher and delicatessen owner Clapet. Clapet has posted an ad for a handyman which includes room and board in the rundown building. The job is filled by Louison, a gentle and kind man who formerly worked as a clown. He replaces the former handyman who disappeared under mysterious circumstances after just one week of employment. We soon learn that the handymen hired by Clapet become meat in his deli which the building’s tenants all share.

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A rather grim premise for a fantasy comedy, but its charming love story and array of wonderfully eccentric characters ensure the grim premise is kept light. Louison the hired handyman and former clown is such a delightful and enduring character. I fell completely in love with him! Louison keeps an optimistic and hopeful outlook about people and society; despite the fact that his monkey partner was ambushed, killed and eaten by a hungry mob. Louison is smart and charismatic and concocts all manner of clever means to complete tasks. Equally lovable is Julie Clapet the butcher’s daughter. She can not prevent herself from falling for Louison despite knowing what inevitably happens to the building’s handymen. The stern butcher Clapet is an enforcer of rules and has little if any empathy for those around him; with the exception of his daughter Julie and girlfriend Mademoiselle Plusse. “I didn’t make this world!” he shouts. The animated butcher in his mind is simply trying to keep order in a disorderly situation. Aurore Interligator hears voices and makes several hilariously failed attempts at suicide, each attempt becoming grander and more outrageous! Her husband Georges pays very little mind to his wife. Other tenants include the voluptuous and feisty Mademoiselle Plusse, toymakers Robert and Roger, Marcel and Madame Tapioca, their two mischievous sons and Madame’s elderly mother, and a peculiar older man who has flooded his apartment and lives among frogs, snails and various other aquatic life. Also popping by is an arrogant and aggressive mailman who makes no secret of his desire for Julie Clapet, and The Troglodistes, an underground organization living in the city’s sewer system who are enlisted by Julie to help save Louison.

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The film is gorgeous and gothically stylish with elaborate and impressive sets that are both dark and whimsical. Every last scene in the film is amazing, but particularly extraordinary is the frogman’s water soaked apartment. Frogs hopping about, snails affixed to surfaces and it features the great Howard Vernon no less! And my very favourite, which I do not want to divulge in detail sees Louison forced to do some serious improvising to save his ass while he and Julie are trapped in his bathroom. The film is saturated in brown and red tones giving it almost an antique look. Its strange dark details are perfectly balanced with a light airiness that is nothing short of magical. Julie Clapet playing her cello alongside Louison’s musical saw is absolutely beautiful. The love story between Julie and Louison thoroughly warmed my heart without being the least bit syrupy or overly sentimental. Every single performance is excellent and the characterizations are all wonderful, intriguing and extremely watchable. I loved every single moment of Delicatessen! It is dark, beautiful, funny, quirky and is the most uplifting post-apocalyptic film I have ever seen! Delicatessen is one of the best films of the decade and a film I have re-watched several times over the years. It is simply amazing. Highest of recommendations!

Dungeon Rating: 5/5

Directed By: Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Starring: Pascal Benezech, Dominique Pinon, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Karin Viard, Mademoiselle Plusse, Ticky Holgado, Anne-Marie Pisani, Boban Janevski, Mikael Todde, Edith Ker, Rufus, Jacques Mathou, Howard Vernon, Chick Ortega, Silvie Laguna

DUNGEON DIRECTOR PROJECT: My 50 Favourite Directors #50 – #46

Posted in movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2012 by goregirl

Film is a huge part of my life. I can not seem to prevent myself from introducing it into a conversation with everyone I meet. Once in a while I run into someone whose taste in film so violently opposes my own I want to glove slap them. I do try my best to be open-minded and can usually find some common ground. It surprises me a little that so few people I discuss film with know directors by name. The underappreciated director does not generally make the tabloids and I guess in turn doesn’t make many people’s radars. Personally, I am all about the director as I suspect many a cinephile is. I follow director’s work fervently. If I loved one of the director’s films, it is a guarantee I will see another; those who score a hat trick will have a fan for life! So in honour of the director I give you my 50 favourite! I thought for this project I would mix it up a bit, so I will be counting down my 50 Favourite directors from ALL GENRES! I will be posting these lists in groups of five a couple times a week.

My 50 favourite directors #50 – #46

*NOTE: I did not include any made for TV movies in the numbers I used for each director’s full-length feature films.*

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#50. Roy Ward Baker

What I’ve Seen: Inferno (1953), A Night to Remember (1958), Quatermass and the Pit (1967), The Anniversary (1968), The Vampire Lovers (1970), Scars of Dracula (1970), Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (1971), Asylum (1972), The Vault of Horror (1973), And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973), The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974), The Monster Club (1981)

British director Roy Ward Baker has a list of 33 feature length films on IMDB. Baker made his last full length feature film, Monster Club in 1981 and directed a number of TV shows before retiring from the industry in 1992. He died at the age of 93 October 5, 2010 in London England. 93!! Holy crap! That is a ripe old age! Baker makes this list thanks to his director status on 3 of my favourite Hammer Studio films Quatermass and the Pit, The Vampire Lovers and Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde. All three are films to which I gave a perfect score. But just look at that list of films! What great fun! Okay, A Night to Remember can’t really be considered “great fun”.  A Night to Remember is about the Titanic disaster without the cheesy love story; not to mention a solid film. Baker is a superb filmmaker who brought excitement to the screen and knew how to get the best from his cast. There are a number of Baker’s films I have yet to see, although some of the subject matters are not of particular interest to me, there is still room for exploration.

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#49. Carl Theodor Dreyer

What I’ve Seen: Blade of Satans Bog (1921), The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928), Vampyr (1932), Day of Wrath (1943), Master of the House (1925), Gertrud (1964)

Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer’s made just 14 full length feature films in his career. I have seen 6 of the 14 and gave The Passion of Joan of Arc and Day of Wrath a perfect score and the other four films a 4/5! A pretty bloody impressive track record! Seriously, The Passion of Joan of Arc is one of the best films I have seen. A wrought with emotion character study that must be experienced. All of Dreyer’s films have a certain surreal vibe even those with a fairly straight up narrative. Dreyer died at the age of 79 March 20, 1968. I look forward to checking out the other films on his list, if they are half as good as The Passion of Joan of Arc they will still be very watchable!

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#48. Jean Renoir

What I’ve Seen: La Chienne (1931), Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932), Le crime de Monsieur Lange (1936), La grande illusion (1937), La Bête Humaine (1938), The Rules of the Game (1939)

French director Jean Renoir has 32 full length feature films listed on IMDB. I have seen a miniscule six of these, but bloody hell what a magnificent sextet they are! I must admit, I only seen my first Renoir film 4 years ago. I was picking up a Jean Cocteau DVD from the library and got in a conversation about foreign films with the guy behind the counter. Turns out Renoir is one of his favourite directors and he actually seemed disgusted that I had never seen a film from the director. He insisted I rented The Rules of the Game, claiming it was one of the greatest satires ever made. I don’t usually allow myself to be muscled by men working at the library, but I appreciated his passion. WOW! He wasn’t kidding; The Rules of the Game is simply perfect. I loved all six of Renoir’s flicks! All beautifully filmed, engrossing and character-driven studies of French society and humanity in general. Renoir died February 12, 1979 at the age of 84 and left behind an impressive legacy on celluloid. Clearly I have tons of fertile ground left to sow in Renoir’s field!

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#47. Rainer Werner Fassbinder

What I’ve Seen: Katzelmacher (1969), Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? (1970), The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971), The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972), Satan’s Brew (1976), The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), Lili Marleen (1981)

German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder made 23 full length feature films and a ton of TV movies during his short career. Fassbinder died June 10, 1982 at the age of 37 of an overdose. I’ve read quite a bit about Fassbinder over the years, and he seemed like a pretty complicated guy. The characters in his films seem as conflicted as he himself was. Meditations on sexuality, racism, oppression, family and the like are knitted through all his films. I have seen seven of his titles and they are all a little quirky. His films get under my skin and his characters are not always likable but are nonetheless intriguing. I have enjoyed all of the Fassbinder films I’ve seen but I am particularly fond of The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and Why Does Herr R. Run Amok? Another director who has much juiciness left for me to bite into!

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#46. Jee-Woon Kim 

What I’ve Seen:  The Quiet Family (1998), The Foul King (2000),  A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), A Bittersweet Life (2005), The Good the Bad the Weird (2008),  I Saw the Devil (2010),

Jee-Woon Kim is alive! Yep, this is the first living director still making films to land on the list. I have seen every full-length feature South Korean filmmaker Jee-Woon Kim has directed and have given TWO of his films perfect marks (The Quiet Family and A Bittersweet Life). I don’t give a film 5/5 lightly my friends! Kim’s stylish and original films range the genres but each one contains a violent element. I eagerly anticipate each one of Kim’s new projects! His next project, The Last Stand (2013) seems completely and utterly random and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger?! To be honest it is unlikely I would bother with this film if it didn’t have Kim’s name attached. A testament to how much I enjoy and respect Kim’s work.