The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)

“In the mind of a true snob there are certain limited criteria to denote the value of human existence. Jimmie’s criteria were: home, hearth, wife, land. Those who possessed these had beatitude unchallengable. Other men had accidental, random life. Nothing better.” ‘The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith’, directed by Fred Schepisi in 1978 and based on…

Blood and Sand (1922)

“Movie stars then were Gods and Goddesses, not mere mortals that walked amongst us, and Rudolph Valentino was, perhaps, the greatest of them all.” ‘Blood and Sand’, directed by Fred Niblo and starring Rudolph Valentino, is an American silent movie drama. Valentino plays Juan Gallardo, a Spaniard who grows up in poverty but becomes a…

Shoeshine (1946)

“In here they feed us, they shelter us, they give us clothes, and they even entertain us. What else could we want? This is paradise!” ‘Shoeshine’, directed by Vittorio De Sica in 1946, is an Italian neorealist movie from the director of ‘Umberto D.’, ‘Bicycle Thieves’ and ‘Two Women’. Rinaldo Smordoni and Franco Interlenghi play…

Syndromes and a Century (2006)

“Instead of depicting life and death dramas of patients in jeopardy, Weerasethakul focuses on herbal cures, reincarnation, the quirky private lives of monks, orchids, romance, holistic healing techniques, and the tranquil beauty of the natural world.” ‘Syndromes and a Century’, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul in 2006, is a Thai movie that, like the director’s earlier…

Gommorah (2008)

“Everyone I know is either dead or in jail. I want to become a boss. I want to have supermarkets, stores, factories, I want to have women. I want three cars, I want respect when I go into a store, I want to have warehouses all over the world. And then I want to die….

The Black Cat (1934)

“You must be indulgent of Dr. Verdegast’s weakness. He is the unfortunate victim of one of the commoner phobias, but in an extreme form. He has an intense and all-consuming horror of cats.” ‘The Black Cat’, directed by Edgar G. Ulmer in 1934, is an American horror movie starring Béla Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Lugosi…

The Sacrifice (1986)

“I studied philosophy, history of religion, aesthetics. And ended up putting myself in chains. Of my own free will.” ‘The Sacrifice’, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky in 1986, is a Swedish apocalyptic movie and the last by the Russian director.  Erland Josephson plays Alexander, a journalist and intellectual who lives in a remote part of Sweden…

Quadrophenia (1979)

“No, Kev, that’s it. Look, I don’t wanna be the same as everybody else. That’s why I’m a Mod, see? I mean, you gotta be somebody, ain’t ya, or you might as well jump in the sea and drown.” ‘Quadrophenia’, directed by Franc Roddam in 1979, is a British drama starring Phil Daniels as a…

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)

“Like you gonna have to kinda lay out, stretch out a little while, be real cool. Kinda lay dead. Ol’ Beetle’ll let you know what’s happenin’, what’s goin’ down. You don’t have to worry about nothin’. If you need anything, anything at all, brother, just keep the faith in Beetle, ol’ Beetle goin’ to bring…

Shadows (1959)

“The trouble with you is, you have a case of self-induced hysteria every time you hear the word ‘existentialism’.” ‘Shadows’, directed by John Cassavetes in 1959, is an American movie set amongst the ‘beat generation’ in New York. Three siblings of African-American descent move through the jazz clubs and nightlife of the city. Two are…

Limelight (1952)

“Think of the power that’s in the universe! Turning the Earth. Making the trees grow. Well that’s the same power within you! If you’d only have courage and the will to use it!” ‘Limelight’, written and directed by Charles Chaplin in 1952, is an American comedy drama. Chaplin plays Calvero, an aging stage comedian in…