In early 1930s, a sensational true story titled I Am A Fugitive From A Georgia Chain Gang! landed on Warner Bros desk. The story documented Robert Burns’ incarceration in a brutal chain gang and subsequent escape. The board was apprehensive to adapt due to the story’s violence, suspected uproar in the South, and an oppressive […]Read more "I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang! (1932)"
Music has been the backbone of the cinema experience since Méliès visited the moon. Live pianists acted as soundtrack, from lightheartedly accompanying The Tramp’s adventures, to striking a dagger-like chord in Nosferatu. But The Jazz Singer changed everything as it synchronised the act with the beat. Ingenious filmmakers discovered ever more inspiring ways to wield […]Read more "Love Me Tonight (1932)"
Have you ever had that moment after walking away from a heated debate, or lying in bed long after a discussion ended, and the perfect one liner pops in your head? That moment doesn’t exist in screwball comedy land. A time in filmmaking when physical gags were gunned down by quick fire dialogue. A place […]Read more "Me and My Gal (1932)"
Renoir once said ‘A director only makes one film in his life. Then he breaks it into pieces and makes it again’. The Bitch was a jigsaw puzzle comprised of cold blue class cynicism, red hot infidelity, and shameful shades of black moral turpitude. Boudu Saved From Drowning is a assembled from these pieces, but […]Read more "Boudu Save From Drowning (1932)"
It was early in the Golden Age of cinema when screenwriter Willis Goldbeck crossed the MGM backlot to the home of Hollywood tycoon Irving Thalberg. Goldbeck was welcomed with a copy of the short story ‘Spurs’ and instructions to make the adaption ‘horrible’. After a quick turn over, Golbeck was once again summoned to the […]Read more "Freaks (1932)"
Rom-com is an ugly word. It groaningly prods memories of insipid ‘will they won’t they’ scenarios resolving unsurprisingly. It is not that this premise can not work, it becomes formula because it works far too well, but without disguising this format, the mantra ‘opposites attract’ is laid blatantly on show and leaves little interest in […]Read more "Trouble In Paradise (1932)"
Horror films have transformed an awful lot since the 1920 appearance of the great granddaddy The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari. Now, as we settle down with a box of popcorn, the lights yawn to darkness and the projector flickers to life, we ready our mental checklist; sudden bangs, creepy music, evil incarnate and blood by […]Read more "Vampyr (1932)"
Evening news harks the same catastrophes and human atrocities night after night. Terrorism, racial hatred, political corruption, and murder. Instantaneous internet uploads of brutal images on a twenty four seven basis has led to nothing but a melancholy cacophony. But when a killer is loose, especially one who’s modus operandi is child victims, the world […]Read more "M (1931)"
Limite has shown me my seemingly limitless capabilities of procrastination. The prospect of reviewing this visual puzzle unnerved me. Compounded, no doubt, by its praise as the Un Chien Andalou of Latino Cinema. Buñuel’s short is purposefully and immediately surreal. An eye sliced by a straight razor. Hands crawling with ants. Impossible geography. Limite is a […]Read more "Limite (1931)"
SPOILERS Jean Renoir is a name you either know from his films or have almost certainly encountered from current directors discussing inspirations. La Chienne or The Bitch is the first inclusion of Renoir’s work, his second sound feature, and an indispensable glimpse at a blossoming French perspective. In his own words ‘A director only makes […]Read more "The Bitch (1931)"