Monday, October 25, 2010

Black Orpheus

Black OrpheusImage via Wikipedia
Black Orpheus (Portuguese: Orfeu Negro) is a 1959 film made in Brazil by French director Marcel Camus. It is based on the play Orfeu da Conceição by Vinicius de Moraes, which is an adaptation of the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, setting it in the modern context of a favela in Rio de Janeiro during the Carnaval. The film was an international co-production between production companies in Brazil, France and Italy.
The film is particularly renowned for its soundtrack by Brazilian composer Antônio Carlos Jobim, featuring songs such as "Manhã de Carnaval" (written by Luiz Bonfá) and "A felicidade" that were to become bossa nova classics.
Black Orpheus won the Palme d'Or at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival as well as the 1960 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the 1960 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film (in those awards the film was credited as a French production; only in the 1961 BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film was Brazil credited together with France and Italy).

Nosferatu (1922) | First Authentic Vampire Flick | Watch Free Online

A promotional poster for the 1922 film Nosferatu.Image via WikipediaShadow of Count Orlock, in the film NosferatuImage via WikipediaAn authentic supernatural vampire features in the landmark Nosferatu (1922 Germany, directed by F. W. Murnau) starring Max Schreck as the hideous Count Orlok. This was an unlicensed version of Bram Stoker's Dracula, based so closely on the novel that the estate sued and won, with all copies ordered to be destroyed. The film, shot in 1921 and released in 1922, has names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel (for instance, "vampire" became "Nosferatu" and "Count Dracula" became "Count Orlok"). Nosferatu was ranked twenty-first in Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films of World Cinema" in 2010.
It would be painstakingly restored in 1994 by a team of European scholars from the five surviving prints that had escaped destruction. The destruction of the vampire, in the closing sequence of the film, by sunlight rather than the traditional stake through the heart proved very influential on later films and became an accepted part of vampire lore.
Murnau's Nosferatu is in the public domain in the United States but not in Germany, and copies of the movie are widely available on video (usually as poorly transferred, faded, scratched video copies that are often scorned by enthusiasts). However, pristine restored editions of the film have also been made available, and are also readily accessible to the public.
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