Last Year in Marienbad (1961) : My top 5 posters

Alain Resnais’ masterpiece “Last Year at Marienbad” (1961) is indeed one of many great works he delivered throughout the years. Along with “Hiroshima mon Amour” (1959), it is surely one of the director’s most known work.

Let us check out how the film got presented, through its posters, in France, Germany, Japan and Poland…

This first image is a poster painted by Ercole Brini (1913-1989), born in Rome, whose work ranges from Rear Window to The Bycicle Thief. His work is characterized by strong brush strokes together with a very distinct water-color style.

This Last Year in Marienbad is one of his distinguished works.

German poster: Letztes Jahr in Marienbad. Illustrated by Hans Hillmann 

German poster: Letztes Jahr in Marienbad. Illustrated by Tostmann (no mention of first name)

Japanese poster: Last Year at Marienbad (unknown illustrator)

Polish poster: Last Year at Marienbad. Illustrated by Wiktor Sadowski in 1992. 

NB- I am not the author of these images. All rights go to the artists.

Check out Alain Resnais’ concentration camp documentary, shot in 1955 in Poland, “Night & Fog”, here.

Julie Christie & LIFE’s rare photos…

I first got to know Julie Christie through her roles and collaborations with John Schlesinger. My first film with her in it was when she played Bathsheba in Thomas Hardy’s adaptation “Far From the Madding Crowd” (1967, directed by Schlesinger). I then saw her in the amazing “Billy Liar” (1963, same director) alongside an actor I admire, Tom Courtenay. But it was “Darling” (1965, also Schlesigner) that lead her to stardom.  Truffaut chose her for his “Farenheit 451” in 1966 but her performance was gut-wrenching in “Don’t Look Now” (1973, directed by Nicolas Roeg) and I think it’s one of her most impressive work.

LIFE magazine celebrated this artist by placing her on their June cover in 1966. Some previously unpublished photos from that decade have recently resurfaced, albeit undated and with no mention of the photographer.

I am not the author of these images. All rights go to Life Magazine.

Humphrey Bogart on the cover of TIME

As a tribute to Humphrey Bogart’s role as Lt. Cmdr. Philip Francis Queeg in “The Caine Mutiny” (1954, directed by Edward Dmytryk), TIME magazine put Boggie on the cover of its June 7th, 1954 publication…Check it out.

I am not the author of this image. All rights go to TIME magazine.

Humphrey Bogart, Time magazine, June 7th, 1954.

NB- You can check out Bogart with Lauren Bacall on the cover of Swedish Magazine “Filmjournalen” and other covers with his lady on them here.

Tippi Hedren’s Look Magazine cover & how Alfred Hitchcock ruined her career, but not her life.

Tippi Hedren, star of The Birds (1963) & Marnie (1964), appeared on the cover of Look Magazine on December 4, 1962.  Strangely enough, she wasn’t all over the press, although these films, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, were and still are masterpieces.

Recently however, Hedren is part of an HBO movie called “The Girl”, a kind of dramatized version of Marnie. In it, Hitchcock is portrayed as obsessed with Hedren and vindictive when the actress rejects his advances. She had to fight to get out of her contract with Hitchcock and lost roles because of it, she said in an interview and it ultimately ruined her career, but not her life. 

I am not the author of this image. All rights go to Look Magazine and

Tippi Hedren on the cover of “Look Magazine”. 04/12/1962

NB – Stanley Kubrick, back in the 40s, was also a photographer for look magazine, check out his autoportrait published in1948, here.

Claudia Cardinale’s gorgeous “Hayat” magazine covers

We all know Claudia Cardinale (1938- born in Tunisia), the star of many a classic films such as “Once Upon A Time In The West” (1968), 8 1/2 (1963), The Leopard (1963) etc.

But now, let’s meet “Hayat” magazine, which became one of Turkey’s most popular celebrity magazines in the early 1950s. I searched for some interesting covers with the actress on them but a lot of that era’s production, looked right out of a cheesy ready-to-wear catalog.

Very few covers were as interesting, or aesthetically satisfying, as what Hayat printed, at the height of Cardinale’s fame.
I am not the author of these images. All copyrights go to Hayat Magazine.

Hayat Magazine, July 1962

Hayat Magazine, November 1964

Hayat Magazine, July 1964

Hayat Magazine, May 1966

Brigitte Bardot, Kirk Douglas, Cannes (1953)

Slightly less violent than “A Serbian Film” (yesterday’s post) are these gorgeous photos of Brigitte Bardot & Kirk Douglas. Apparently, they met up in Cannes in 1953, where these photos were shot.

During that year, they both starred in a film called “Un acte d’Amour”/“Act of Love” (1953, directed by Anatole Litvak). Douglas had the starring role of Robert Teller, a soldier looking to change his life after the liberation of Paris. Bardot had the small role of Mimi.

These photos are a generous contribution of Mr. Jose Salvador Gallegos. Many thanks to him!
I am not the author of these images. All rights go to the artist. Photographer Unknown.

Check out Brigitte Bardot’s visit to Picasso’s atelier here:

Let’s watch : A Serbian Film or why did the “J” word magically get omitted ?

Film Reviews and political correctness have joined hands for  a 2010 “snuff” production by the name of “A Serbian Film”, directed by Srdjan Spasojevic.

It’s pretty interesting how just about every analysis of this movie follows the same pattern: Firstly, an elaboration of its violence (and it IS violent with its protagonist raping his own kid, a dead body and just about everyone he meets). Secondly, a well-developed mention of the scandalous NC-17 rating, as if no other film in the history of mankind ever received such censorship. And lastly comes the beloved topic of aesthetic inspiration of Spasojevic, which ranges from Brian de Palma to The Human Centipede. Impressive.

One may not want to admit it, but violence has indeed lost much of its subversive power. Long gone are the days were people, unexposed to gore, shook in awe before the film that even remotely depicted such taboos. Especially with websites like roaming free in cyberspace, which put forth over and over again everything from terrorist acts to execution and suicide, “snuff” is no longer mysterious or innovative. So if A Serbian Film is visually outdated, what is the problem?

In a very “by the way” fashion, did political implications get treated, interestingly enough, especially if you consider the title. The use of the word “Serbian” has mislead many viewers and critics (especially Serbians among them such as Dragan Bjelogrlić. Surprise, surprise) into thinking that the movie is either plain stupid or plain cathartic in its allusion, or lack of it thereof, to Serbian nationalism. After all, every country with a nationalist past, has to, at a given point in time, get it out of its system and this is, to many reviewers and viewers, what the film is trying to do, in its own special way. Only it ain’t so.

The protagonist at the center of these very intimate crimes of necrophilia and pedophilia, played by Srdjan Todorovic, is constantly being ordered, drugged, coerced, forced and threatened by a mad director behind the camera filming the snuff movie in the making. Through this reflexivity, the director implicitly refers to ethnic cleansing and the government’s implication in it. As you may have expected it, his own opinion about his work is not nearly this complex, he talks about how everyone in Europe has lost their feelings. So he made a snuff film to show that he still had some ?? No!

The issue which is getting repeatedly left out here is that Spasojevic is NOT representing a bygone era in the history of Serbia, the way let’s say “Downfall” (2004) represents WWII, but one which unfortunately is still part of the country’s ideological and non-cathartic discourse. This is where a nice reading of the evening news is in order.

The fact that in 2011, murderer Slavisa Buric, killed in 1993 was commemorated as a national hero, while he is responsible for mass rapes and the notorious Srebrenica massacre says a lot. Also, flags depicting Ratko Mladic (huge Serbian war criminal currently on trial in The Hague charged with the Bosnian Genocide ) during a commemoration ceremony for Bosnian Serb soldiers killed in the Bosnian War of 1992-1995 right when Bosnia morns its 700 000 citizens killed in the ethnic cleansing, on the hands of people like Mladic should make you wonder about “A Serbian Film”.

The J-word the title refers to is clearly “JUSTIFICATION” and the scenario is the obvious “the government made me do it” just as the protagonist was forced by the director to commit the depicted crimes. There is no catharsis to consider, precisely because catharsis is not possible when the country is still knee-deep in ideology and demonstrating it during memorials.
So, A Serbian Film does NOT refer to Serbian nationalism, there is NO reference here or anything of the sort, only justification of what this nationalism apparently made people do. And there’s nothing more disgusting than one of the biggest blemishes in the history of crimes against humanity, which is the ethnic cleansing, than those who try to redeem themselves from its responsibility.

To put it in even clearer terms: A guy tries to justify the mass murder of 700 000 people and what the public is upset about is that his movie looks very snuff-ish ? Really ??

Written by Hanine H aka Kinofrau