Sois belle et tais-toi [Be Pretty and Shut Up] (1981)

Sois belle et tais-toi
Director: Delphine Seyrig
“Cast”: Jenny Agutter, Juliet Berto, Ellen Burstyn, Candy Clark, Patti D’Arbanville, Marie Dubois, Louise Fletcher, Jane Fonda, Luce Guilbeault, Shirley MacLaine, Millie Perkins, Maria Schneider, Barbara Steele, Susan Tyrrell, Viva, Anne Wiazemsky, Cindy Williams
Seen on: 12.4.2018

Delphine Seyrig interviews actresses about their work and the movie industry, touching on casual bias as well as outright sexism all of them encounter pretty much every day, shedding light on the struggles women face when they just want to act.

Be Pretty and Shut Up is a fascinating documentary with very interesting women and interviews, but it’s also incredibly frustrating to see that we still have the same discussions even 40 years later.

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The Killing of America (1981)

The Killing of America
Director: Sheldon Renan, Leonard Schrader
Writer: Chieko Schrader, Leonard Schrader
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

A documentary on violence in the United States of America, edited together from footage of actual (violent) crimes, shedding light on gun violence, racial violence, serial killers and the cults that surround them.

The resurfacing of The Killing of America does come at a rather poignant point in time. It feels like many parallels can be drawn between what we see on the screen in this documentary and what’s happening today. It’s interesting and depressing as hell to see how things really stay the same the more they change.

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Re-Watch: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Lawrence KasdanGeorge Lucas, Philip Kaufman
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, Denholm Elliott, Alfred Molina, Wolf Kahler, Anthony Higgins, Vic Tablian
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is a professor of archaeology, but one who likes to get his hands dirty every once in a while and go on proper adventures. When the US government approaches him to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis can get their hands on it, it seems the perfect moment for another one of those adventures. To find it, Indy has to first his ex Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) who inherited an important clue as to its location. But Indy isn’t the only one who knows about that.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is an entertainment classic for a reason: a joyful, spirited adventure story that comes with sexism and racism as is to be expected for a story of its time, though that doesn’t make it any more fortunate. Despite that, I managed to enjoy a lot of it.

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Escape from New York (1981)

Escape from New York
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: John Carpenter, Nick Castle
Cast: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes, Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers
Seen on: 21.5.2016

1997. The future. Things have pretty much turned very bad. To get some measure of control, the entirety of Manhattan was walled off and turned into a prison, leaving the people inside to their own devices. It’s there that the USAmerican President (Donald Pleasence) crashes with his plane. There is no official way to get to him, so the prison warden Hauk (Lee Van Cleef) improvises: it just so happens that Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) was supposed to be locked away that day. With his biography, he seems like the most likely candidate to find and bring back the President. And Hauk will find a way to convince Plissken.

Escape from New York is another one of those classics that seem to be ubiquitous in pop culture, but that I had never seen. From what I gathered, I expected to get something along the lines of Mad Max, but unfortunately, Escape from New York just isn’t that, although I wished it was.

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Roar (1981)

Director: Noel Marshall
Writer: Noel Marshall, Ted Cassidy
Cast: Tippi Hedren, Noel Marshall, Melanie Griffith, John Marshall, Jerry Marshall, Kyalo Mativo
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2015

Hank (Noel Marshall) has worked with big cats in Africa for a while, but in a very special manner: he collected all kinds of cats and lives with them on a farm where they basically run wild and can even get into his house. His methods have raised some eyebrows and he is generally the thorn in the side of local bigshots who would rather hunt the cats than live with them. Nevertheless Hank feels secure enough to have his family – wife Madelaine (Tippi Hedren) and children Melanie (Melanie Griffith), John (John Marshall) and Jerry (Jerry Marshall) – come to join him. But when they miss each other at the airport and Madelaine and the kids arrive at the farm on their own while Hank is gone, they are confronted with 50 big cats and no safe space to turn to.

Roar is not exactly a great movie, but from the point of view of the production process it is one hell of a story. Fortunately John Marshall joined us after the screening via skype to tell us more about it.

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Mad Max 2 (1981)

Mad Max 2 aka The Road Warrior
Director: George Miller
Writer: George Miller, Terry Hayes, Brian Hannant
Sequel to: Mad Max
Cast: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michael Preston, Max Phipps, Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Emil Minty, Virginia Hey, William Zappa
Seen on: 16.5.2015

Max (Mel Gibson) stumbles through a postapocalyptic desert, always looking for more fuel to continue his aimless wandering. But fuel, just as food and water, is rare and hotly contested. When Max happens upon a refinery guarded by a small group of people in the middle of nowhere, he can hardly believe his eyes. But he isn’t the only one who discovered that treasure trove. The Humungus (Kjell Nilsson), leader of a motorcycle gang, has also set his sight on it. Since Max himself had a run-in with Humungus’ second in command, Wez (Vernon Wells), he quickly finds himself with the refinery people, fighting against Humungus and his people.

After my being admittedly blown away by the first Mad Max movie, I was very much disappointed by the second one. Despite its cool aesthetics, it just didn’t manage to draw me in and I ended up being bored.

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An American Werewolf in London (1981)

An American Werewolf in London
Director: John Landis
Writer: John Landis
Cast: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter, John Woodvine

David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) are tramping through the UK, where they end up in a small town in the middle of nowhere. After an awkward visit to the local pub, they decide to not stay there. But while they are walking away, they are attacked. Jack dies and David gets bitten by some kind of monster. Three weeks later he wakes up in an hospital room, wiht Nurse Alex (Jenny Agutter) taking care of him. But the nightmare is only just beginning.

The movie was slightly uneven. It starts as more of a horror-comedy and suddenly there is this shift in tone and everything gets super depressing. But in any case, the most outstanding feature are the fantastic special effects – which still look great, even after 30 years.


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