The selection “Series B” : 5 films to watch

To help you make your choice in the multitude of series B generated by the cinema operating for the past fifty years, here is a selection of films distinguished by their high degree of improbability, their errors of taste assumed, and their leadership qualities-works well known.

MAGIC

Released in 1978, directed by Richard Attenborough with Anthony Hopkins and Ann-Margaret

If MAGIC is not presented as an official adaptation of the segment of Dead of night, it can be seen as a variation on the same theme, that of the puppet who takes the upper hand over his puppeteer. Instead of the Michael Redgrave feverish in the classic English, we find here a Anthony Hopkins on the look that is both ethereal and haunted, abysmal as it’s hard to know if it is empty or populated by demons. So it’s a real Hopkins Show that takes place in the great family of outcasts, misfits of the cinema are prisoners of their psychosis in a closed circuit, terrified at the idea of terrifying others. Richard Attenborough considers the puppet as a double-disinhibited of the human accompanying it, giving the viewer the impression that Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde are simultaneously present on the screen.

The disorder of the identity of Corky, the protagonist, is contaminating the staging, where the reality seems to be constantly challenged by the psyche sick of the ventriloquist : It is believed Corky alone…and then the frame widens, and Fats, the puppet appears on the image. Corky tells of his first triumph on stage, in voice-over…on the images contradict each other. A romantic music limit syrupy accompanies a love scene…before being plagued by the theme music unsettling of Fats, concocted by Jerry Goldsmith, maestro. In the staging, as in the story, the confrontation between serenity and murderous madness will reach its tipping point during a scene of tension, memorable, based on a silence the most severe in the history of cinema.

THE RITUAL

Released in 2017, directed by David Bruckner, with Rafe Spall and Sam Troughton
Broken to the exercise of the short film, with the omnibus films of The Signal, V/H/S and Southbound, David Bruckner, finally passes the long format with THE RITUAL. Used to maintain anxiety with a few resources, Bruckner makes the most of its know-how in developing his film around a concept résumable in a few words : while hiking in a Swedish forest, four friends get lost in an area where there are strange rituals. Has this almost that the promising director has a gain spectacular with this natural setting, where the human appears tiny. There is nothing better than waking up to a pagan mythology to confront the city dweller of today to an entity that is wild and timeless. In the area of the trip survivalist, THE RITUAL considers, therefore, on the slope of the supernatural of The Descent while falling, finally, on the approach of “villagers cut off from the rest of the world” heiress to the school The Wicker Man.

The contract horror is admirably filled by a filmmaker who knows how to skillfully balance the subjective and the front-end, the simplicity of a fear as primitive and experimentation delusional. It is as well as the decor in a forest, which from the outset is not the most reassuring, is superimposed by the different effects of spatialization, a night shop, instead of the trauma of the protagonist, also difficult to cast out of the image a retinal persistence. It can be difficult to assess the quality of this kind of films, without taking into account the final revelation of the creature, after it has played hide-and-seek during a major part of the plot. Spoiler devoid of any objectivity : its design polymorphic deserves to become an iconic figure of the fantastic.

THE DEMON WEAPONS

Released in 1950, directed by Joseph H. Lewis, starring John Dall and Peggy Cummins

Movie seminal to the times of Hallelujah, Bonny and Clyde and Killers Born, THE DEMON WEAPONS are part of these objects film the strangeness of which is increasing with time. You can view the film by Joseph H. Lewis as the matrix of many of the portraits of couples harmful, since it sets out the basics of this kind of stories by the succession of scenes-types, sometimes giving the impression of a story, agreed to a viewer today. It emerges, however, this film, an atmosphere is navigating between dream and nightmare, where the naivety of the America of the fifties and drift progressively towards a call of violence, and it is precisely this mixture of moods and values, which gives the film its character unhealthy. In the first few minutes, THE DAEMON WEAPON gives the curious impression that it is addressed to the spectator, as if it was a child that he should in no case disturb the landmarks in the moral puritan.

And then Peggy Cummings appears on the screen, dressed as Calamity Jane, brushée as Lana Turner, a colt in each hand, she brings an aesthetic, a state of mind. It brings a whole world with it. We cannot pass over in silence the alternate title of the film “Deadly is the Female” (Deadly is the female) that offers a reading misogynistic film. Vision against which we arguera that evil does not seem to come from the woman, but rather of torque, this concept where clash and exacerbated passions. Thus, what begins as a pamphlet denouncing coarsely firearms, drift over the stream of romance that begins the film at full speed, to a love story, monstrous and fascinating.

CLASS OF 1999

Released in 1990, directed by Mark L. Lester, with Bradley Gregg and Traci Lind

Mark L. Lester we had already chosen a Class of 1984 subtlety, where a music teacher had students somewhat recalcitrant. This first installment is worthy of a nightmare of Alain Finkielkraut was a coolness in the face of the crisis of authority that was contaminating already the faculty. Of course, in respect of the cinema operations which rule the problems out tatanes, we expect a sequel to do it in one-upmanship. And there, CLASS OF 1999 does not disappoint the public because it not only raises the bid in the violence and bad taste, but more than that, they don’t feed us the same formula as the Class of 1984. One can even say that it reverses this formula, with this time from the point of view of the students face-to-androids-teachers obviously previously trained to Notre-Dame-des-Landes. Then of course the result is exciting when he takes on the allure misleading a cry of revolt juvenile, but don’t expect a work of subversive way John Carpenter.

We appreciate especially the CLASS OF 1999 for his qualities of cinema bis, namely, its propensity to pick in the different trends underway at the end of the eighties. A cocktail of Mad Max, Robocop and Terminator opportunistic, certainly, but made irresistible by an artistic direction mid-way between the post-nuke italians of the 80s and a concert by Motley Crue. Add to that a cast with onions with Malcolm McDowell, Pam Grier and especially Stacy Keach decked out as if he was the end boss level of a video game type of Street of Rage or Double Dragon.

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR

Released in 2007, directed by Gregory M. Wilson, with Daniel Manche and Blythe Auffarth

Last January 24, the american writer Jack Ketchum we left. Although it is today considered one of the masters of the thriller and horror, his work has so far been only a handful of adaptations, each time in budgets and circuits holdings limited. And when we discover THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, adapted from his novel of the same name, one can easily imagine that the american producers are reluctant to invest in a vision as dark and corrosive in the country of uncle Sam. The film of Gregory M. Wilson begins in a very Stand by Me, with a strong vision of adolescence, the innocence mixed with the vulgarity, or obscenity. At the heart of this peaceful summer, one sees quickly enough that the varnish of the’american way of life, well own on him, will gradually cracking to reveal the neuroses and injustices.

We feel the tension of course, but we can’t prepare for the horror in which the narrative will switch to the point that the last third of the film appears as an ordeal to overcome, especially when one lives through the point of view of a twelve year old boy. This progress nightmare follows the evolution of the place of the body of the teenager in the about THE GIRL NEXT DOOR; appearing first as an embarrassing, damning proof of the guilt puritan, it will gradually become the scapegoat on which all the instincts misogynist will be able to break out. Horror signed Ketchum has this cold that it is sheltered in a consumer, in the basement of a quaint suburban home, she is personified by the character of the executioner, like a housewife from the middle class us of the 50’s.

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