Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday Lead In 5

Episode:  Salty Cheever

I figured, what the hell, why not go for 3 native Canadian TV episodes in a row...  Cold Squad is a Canadian crime serial that's actually pretty OK.  This particular episode stars Canadian aboriginal actress Tantoo Cardinal as a prostitute and possible murderess.  Goes to show that natives from Canada are willing to take on roles that are lot more controversial native actors are willing to do here in the US.  This comes from season 1--the only one, unfortunately, that is on DVD

Tantoo Cardinal

British Columbian art actually featured in the episode

Thursday Lead In 5

Seems we've kind of stumbled into a mini Native American theme here.  This stars two Native Canadian actors (I know, up north you guys call them First Nations actors).  Graham Greene (Six Nations Oneida) and Michael Greyhorse (Cree) who do a great job portraying the Californian Indians who are embroiled in the modern native conundrum:  The Casino.  

Thursday Lead In 4

Episode:  Wendigo

This is one hell of a home grown monster!! They do a pretty good job of depicting the fiend in a real Native American fashion.  Hey, we have monsters too!

Thursday Lead In 3

Thursday Lead In 2

Thursday Lead In 1

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jews On The Spanish Inquisition

A Ken Russell Relic and Classic

Based in large part on Aldous Huxley's novel The Devil's of Loudun and the subsequent staging of the novel in a play in 1960 by John Whiting, this involves a complicated bit of French history that prisimed through the strange world of Ken Russell.  It is based on a true story involving the controversial (for many disparate reasons) Cardinal Richelieu, a possession that "gripped" the French Piotou town of Loudun and a French priest, Urbain Grandier (portrayed by Oliver Reed in the film) that would eventually be burned at the stake for witchcraft after being put to the extraordinary question.  He was accused of bringing on mass possession of a local convent of nuns by the demon Asmodai class of demons (Asmodeus is actually a demon from the much more ancient, and fire obsessed Zoroastrian religion of Persia).

Ken Russell has always been a controversial filmmaker, this particular film really had a reputation because of the possessed orgy scene.  But with all of Russell's "Russellism's" the film stays pretty close of Huxley's book.  Though the film villain Richelieu is seen to be to blame, it was later discovered that Grandier was most probably a victim of the conflict between the political minded, and in some cases Huguenot "helpful" Cardinal and the mother of the very young King Louis XIIIMarie de'Medici--the later of whom eventually lost her battle with him that ended in exile."

OK I had to do this...

Brand New: The Rite (2011)

This has only been out for purchase for about a month--I did not see this in the theaters, but I had heard a buzz about it that I sort of ignored.  Then I found out that art house director Mikael Håfström of Sweden directed the film--I began to think there was something to talk of praise.  Håfström directed a hell of a ghost story in 1408.  He's steadily gaining a reputation for being able to direct actors in Hollywood that are a bit stereo-typed with style:  whether it be Sam Jackson, or, here, Anthony Hopkins.  So I'm a lot more optimistic here.

Runtime:  114 min.
Rated PG-13
Color (Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL)
Language:  English, Italian, Russian, Welsh, some Hungarian
Aspect Ratio:  2.35:1 (it's standard these days)
Filmed:  Most in Hungary, some location shots in Rome
Tagline:  You can only defeat it when you believe


Shipped to theaters with the code name "Denial."

Actor Rutger Hauer speaks the only Hungarian line is the film, that translate to "My Love, My Flower, My Bliss."

The Welsh phrase on Father Lucas' wall, Fi sydd bia fe nawr, translates into English as "he belongs to me now."  When the padre gets possessed, this is what utters.  We are already informed by Father Xaviar (Ciarín Hinds) that Lucas is Welsh, so too is Tony Hopkins.

The very first trailer for the film featured the soundtrack score for Bran Stoker's Dracula (1992), in which Hopkins starred as van Helsing.  The score is by Romanian composer Wojciech Kilar.