The Fantastic Journeys of Karel Zeman

While Ray Harryhausen was making effects-laden fantasies in the mid-20th century, the Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman was doing much the same thing behind the Iron Curtain…but with a better sense of humor. Using stop-motion animation, puppets, live action, beautiful illustrations, and a sense of comedy, he made visually striking, entertaining films that have been forgotten … Continue reading The Fantastic Journeys of Karel Zeman

German Expressionism & Marvel Superheroes: How I spent my Sunday

I saw two movies on the big screen Sunday, and they couldn't have been more different. First, at BAMPFA, a late silent noir from Germany. Second, at the United Artists Berkeley 7, a new animated take on Spider-Man. I have to say that Spider-Man was the better movie. Asphalt at the BAMPFA Alas, Louise Brooks … Continue reading German Expressionism & Marvel Superheroes: How I spent my Sunday

Tito and the Birds tells us to love courage and pigeons

C+ Animated family fantasy Written by Eduardo Benaim, Gustavo Steinberg Directed by Gabriel Bitar, André Catoto, Gustavo Steinberg This Brazilian cartoon has two important messages for young children: We need to overcome our pointless fears, and we should listen to the birds - especially the wild pigeons that both beautify our cities and make a … Continue reading Tito and the Birds tells us to love courage and pigeons