Monthly Archives: February 1975

WAVELENGTH (1975 review)

From Monthly Film Bulletin, February 1975 (Vol. 42, No. 493). –- J.R.

Wavelength
Canada, 1967

Director: Michael Snow

Dist–London Film-makers Co–op. conceived and executed by—Michael Snow. In color. ed–Michael Snow. song—“Strawberry Fields Forever” by John Lennon, Paul McCartney. performed by—The Beatles. sd–_Michael Snow. l.p–Hollis Frampton (Man Who Dies), Amy Taubin (Woman on Phone). 1,538 ft. 45 min. (16 mm.).

A camera zooms across the length of an 80-foot urban loft, beginning from a distance approximating the camera’s fixed. Position — where most of the room is visible — and proceeding towards the four vertical double-windows, three intervening sections of wall space, desk, chairs and radiator on the opposite side, accompanied on the soundtrack by a sine wave gradually progressing from its lowest note (50 cycles per second) to its highest (12,000 cycles per second). The zoom mainly proceeds through a series of periodic jerks, between occasional shot changes, while the images pass through a variety of colored filters, film stocks, and qualities and degrees of processing (positive and negative)and light exposure (controlled by the camera, four light fixtures on the ceiling, and the time of day). It is interrupted four times by a visible human event, and during each of these the sine wave is overlaid with synchronized sound: (1) A woman and two men enter the room, and the former directs the latter to set a bookshelf down against the wall on screen left; all three leave.… Read more »

The Arabian Nights

From Oui (February 1975). The word “coyness” was misprinted as “boyness,” and I wondered at the time if this might have been an editor’s Freudian slip. –- J.R.


The Arabian Nights. In his treatment of The Arabian Nights, Pier Paolo Pasolini

has created what might be considered his first pagan film — a work in which

Western coyness and guilt about sex (and most of the other varieties of 20th

Century angst) seem to have mysteriously vanished. Shooting an odd batch

of tales within tales in gorgeous sections of Yemen, Ethiopia, Iran and Nepal,

Pasolini delves into a sort of fairy-tale anthropology that is often most luminous

when it’s least comprehensible. The storytelling is ponderous, but the moods

are spellbinding. The magic that we usually associate with these tales is kept

in the wings until the later sequences and is awkwardly handled when it appears.

It’s the magic of the people and the places that holds Pasolini’s interest,

and the quality that most sustains this genuinely other-worldly film is its almost

primeval strangeness.

–JONATHAN ROSENBAUM

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SWEDISH WILDCATS (1975 review)

From Monthly Film Bulletin, February 1975 (vol. 42, no. 493). -– J.R.

SwedishWiuldcats-title

 

Swedish Wildcats

U.S.A./Sweden, 1974

Director: Joseph W. Sarno

SwedishWildcats-DVD

Copenhagen. Margareta, a brothel madam who displays her prostitutes in elaborate cabaret revues at private parties, summons her two orphan nieces Susanna and Karen — both part of her entourage — to participate in a ‘slave auction’ staged for some local clients. Gerhard Jensen, chief of a ground crew handling air cargo, bids for Karen and then offers to pay extra to share a room with Susanna and his friend; Margareta agrees and watches the results through a two-way mirror: Gerhard complains to Karen, “I could get more excitement from a piece of raw liver”, and tries to make love to Susanna, then beats her when she refuses to kiss him on the mouth. In a park, Susanna meets Peter Borg, another member of Gerhard’s crew; it is love at first sight, and she presents herself as Natasha, a ballet dancer, while he claims to be a test pilot working on a secret project. Meanwhile, her sister Karen has also fallen in love with someone who doesn’t know her profession — Gabriel, an architect from a very respectable family.… Read more »

THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT (1975 review)

From Monthly Film Bulletin, February 1975 (Vol. 42, No. 493). — J.R.

Land that Time Forgot, The

Great Britain, 1974
Director: Kevin Connor

A canister is tossed into the sea and discovered on the coast of Land’s End, containing a manuscript by the American Bowen Tyler which relates the following story: 1916. A British supply ship is sunk by a German submarine; the survivors include Bowen, biologist Lisa Clayton and a few members of the crew. Together they take over the submarine from Captain von Schoenvorts and Dietz and head for the U.S., but lose their way after their radio is destroyed in an attack by a British warship and their compass rigged by von Schoenvorts; Bowen orders the sinking of a German supply ship, only to discover that their last source of rations is destroyed in the process. Finally coming upon an island with an inhospitable coastline surrounded by icebergs — identified by von Schoenvorts as the legendary Caprona — they find an underground river and Bowen charts their path to dry land.

There they discover a prehistoric world occupied by dangerous beasts, early evolutionary forms of man, and a variety of curious life-forms in the river. They capture a primitive man who calls himself Ahm, conveys to them in signs that Caprona has large deposits of oil — needed for the submarine in order to leave the island — and reluctantly takes them north to the spot; on the way, after they are attacked by the Sto-Lu and encounter other, progressively more ‘developed’ tribes of ape-men, Ahm is killed and carried off by a pterodactyl.… Read more »

I WAS BORN, BUT… (1975 review)

From Monthly Film Bulletin, February 1975 (Vol. 42, No. 493). — J.R.

Umarete wa Mita Keredo (l Was Born, But . . .)

Japan, 1932 Director: Yasujiro Ozu

Yoshi moves with his wife and two sons, Ryoichi and Keiji, from

Azabu to a Tokyo suburb, close to the home of the director of the

company where he works. His sons are ostracized and persecuted

by the other boys in the neighborhood; arriving late for school

after Yoshi urges them to get high marks, they decide to play

hooky and do their lessons in a nearby field, forging high marks on

their papers which they bring home to show their father. But Yoshi

is informed by Ryoichi’s teacher that they were absent from school,

and makes sure that they attend the following day. After a delivery

boy whom they befriend overpowers a bully who previously

defeated Keiji, the boys are accepted as leaders by their local

schoolmates. Yoshi’s boss screens home movies for his family

and friends, including his son Taro, Yoshi, Ryoichi and Keiji;

the latter two are horrified when they see Yoshi making faces and

otherwise demeaning himself in the films to please his boss, and a

family fight ensues after they and their father return home.… Read more »