We first see Jocasta (Silvana Mangano) giving birth to Oedipus, from afar as if we are voyeur’s looking in on a sex act (a fitting introduction given the Freudian psychological product of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex). Next, we see her in a pleasing closeup. As her baby nurses from her, her smiling face recedes into a blank look that borders on concern, before her delight returns. Only, this delight seems lessened. Her face looks as though she has seen something, an omen of some kind.
Of course, the dramatic irony inherent in this opening is intentional. Director Pier Paolo Pasolini imbues the tonal undercurrent of the film with Continue reading Oedipus Rex (1967) Movie Review
Casino Royale is the first of two films to adapt Ian Fleming’s character James Bond under a production company other than EON Productions. The film is a spoof of the genre that its lead character helped to popularize. In it, Bond (David Niven) is long retired, and is approached by an international array of spy organization leaders–including John Huston as Fleming’s MI6 head M–who attempt to goad him out of retirement.
All the while, global terrorist organization SMERSH vie to ruin Bond. The shadowy leader of the organization states boldly that “Sir James Bond is back with his morals, his vows, and his celibate image. We must destroy that image.” This, a direct attack at Continue reading Casino Royale (1967) Movie Review
You Only Live Twice, the fifth James Bond film and the fifth to feature Sean Connery in the lead role, opens on space, where a manned, United States spacecraft is hovering over Earth’s orbit. As one of the two astronauts leaves the craft, a larger spacecraft starts barreling toward them. This larger, unidentified spacecraft swallows the U.S. craft whole, leaving the external astronaut for dead in open space and the U.S. government up in arms over their lost craft.
After seeing this international kerfuffle over the missing spacecraft–the U.S. blaming the Soviets and England blaming the Japanese–we meet Bond in Hong Kong, where he is Continue reading You Only Live Twice (1967) Movie Review