Tide house….

I’ve been on a fantasy movie bender – or rather a fantasy movie dvd extra bender. Right now it’s watching Twighlight of the Ice Nymphs with the commmentary track. If you haven’t seen it, you ought.

0 Comments +

  1. After being utterly delighted by The Saddest Music In The World, I’m eager to try more Guy Maddin films.

    Some of my favourite fantasy films for your delectation:

  2. The City of Lost Children
      Captivating film from the makers of Delicatessen. Slightly dark but still funny and going overboard in visual invention. A really great and addictive film.
  3. The Bride With White Hair
      Operatic Chinese fantasy-action film with a strong romantic undercurrent starring the vivacious Brigitte Lin as the savage assassin and the sadly late Leslie Cheung as her chivalrous love-interest. Directed by Ronny Yu, probably better-known in the States for helming Bride of Chucky, but he shows lots more skill here.
  4. Wolf Devil Woman
      Basically, a trashy, campy and incredibly violent version of the same story Bride With White Hair is based on. Scripted, directed by and starring the unforgettable Chang Ling, who is Wolf Devil Woman! She wears a goofy dog-head bonnet, makes her hair turn white, decapitates bad guys with her odd grappling-hook-like weapon and tears live chickens apart with her bare hands. Unforgettable! But very rare. Supposedly, Ocean Shores have released a VCD of it (probably of marginally better quality than my bootleg VHS). Comb Chinatown stores for it.
  5. Ruslan & Ludmila
      The final work of Russian fantasy maestro Alexander Ptushko. It was apparently such a massive undertaking that he died midway during filming, and the film had to be completed by another director. Whatever, the results are absolutely stunning. This is one of the most visually rich and insane of the classic Russian fantasy flicks. Released as a pricey double DVD set with tons of extras, and worth every penny.
  6. Green Snake
      Hard to pick a favourite among the many great films visionary director Tsui Hark has made, but this enchanting film about two sister snake demons who take the form of humans to seduce humans is one of the most epic and memorable.
  7. The Original Fabulous Adventures Of Baron Münchhausen
      The original title of this 1961 epic from Czech filmmaker Karl Zeman was Baron Prásil. It’s definitely a film with an amazing style, something like a picture book come to life, with stop-animated paper figures matted alongside live action. Still no DVD, comb some of the cooler video stores for the long out-of-print VHS.
  8. After being utterly delighted by The Saddest Music In The World, I’m eager to try more Guy Maddin films.

    Some of my favourite fantasy films for your delectation:

  9. The City of Lost Children
      Captivating film from the makers of Delicatessen. Slightly dark but still funny and going overboard in visual invention. A really great and addictive film.
  10. The Bride With White Hair
      Operatic Chinese fantasy-action film with a strong romantic undercurrent starring the vivacious Brigitte Lin as the savage assassin and the sadly late Leslie Cheung as her chivalrous love-interest. Directed by Ronny Yu, probably better-known in the States for helming Bride of Chucky, but he shows lots more skill here.
  11. Wolf Devil Woman
      Basically, a trashy, campy and incredibly violent version of the same story Bride With White Hair is based on. Scripted, directed by and starring the unforgettable Chang Ling, who is Wolf Devil Woman! She wears a goofy dog-head bonnet, makes her hair turn white, decapitates bad guys with her odd grappling-hook-like weapon and tears live chickens apart with her bare hands. Unforgettable! But very rare. Supposedly, Ocean Shores have released a VCD of it (probably of marginally better quality than my bootleg VHS). Comb Chinatown stores for it.
  12. Ruslan & Ludmila
      The final work of Russian fantasy maestro Alexander Ptushko. It was apparently such a massive undertaking that he died midway during filming, and the film had to be completed by another director. Whatever, the results are absolutely stunning. This is one of the most visually rich and insane of the classic Russian fantasy flicks. Released as a pricey double DVD set with tons of extras, and worth every penny.
  13. Green Snake
      Hard to pick a favourite among the many great films visionary director Tsui Hark has made, but this enchanting film about two sister snake demons who take the form of humans to seduce humans is one of the most epic and memorable.
  14. The Original Fabulous Adventures Of Baron Münchhausen
      The original title of this 1961 epic from Czech filmmaker Karl Zeman was Baron Prásil. It’s definitely a film with an amazing style, something like a picture book come to life, with stop-animated paper figures matted alongside live action. Still no DVD, comb some of the cooler video stores for the long out-of-print VHS.
  15. So far, the only Ptushko’s I actually own have images of robots mocking them in silhouette. Which seems to be the only way we’re going to get Sampo (a.k.a. The Day The Earth Froze). It looks like Ruscico can’t get the rights from Suomi-Filmi to release it. Pity.

    I do, however, own a copy of Alexander Row’s wacky The Magic Weaver (née: Марья-искусница), sadly only in EP-speed from a washed-out print. Though it does contain the original (American) theatrical trailer. Ruscico does have this in their pipeline as well. Hopefully with the colours restored when it gets to DVD.

  16. So far, the only Ptushko’s I actually own have images of robots mocking them in silhouette. Which seems to be the only way we’re going to get Sampo (a.k.a. The Day The Earth Froze). It looks like Ruscico can’t get the rights from Suomi-Filmi to release it. Pity.

    I do, however, own a copy of Alexander Row’s wacky The Magic Weaver (née: Марья-искусница), sadly only in EP-speed from a washed-out print. Though it does contain the original (American) theatrical trailer. Ruscico does have this in their pipeline as well. Hopefully with the colours restored when it gets to DVD.

  17. Hell, I thought I was the only person in the world that remembered seeing Twilight of the Ice Nymphs. That was back when I had a VIP Gold Pass to the Sydney Film Festival and I blew off two weeks of university to basically go and sit in a cinema continuously through the day and sometimes into the evening. I remember it so vividly – the almost dreamy sequences, the characters which were strongly drawn.

    Maybe I should watch it again and see if it is actually like how I remembered it.

  18. Hell, I thought I was the only person in the world that remembered seeing Twilight of the Ice Nymphs. That was back when I had a VIP Gold Pass to the Sydney Film Festival and I blew off two weeks of university to basically go and sit in a cinema continuously through the day and sometimes into the evening. I remember it so vividly – the almost dreamy sequences, the characters which were strongly drawn.

    Maybe I should watch it again and see if it is actually like how I remembered it.

  19. Sounds interesting…. been on a comedy/horror kick myself. Just got 3 new Eddie Izzard DVDs and Ju-on (the movie that The Grudge was based on). Although, I do need to see my holiday classics… How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and all those other cartoons/stop-motion shows.

  20. Sounds interesting…. been on a comedy/horror kick myself. Just got 3 new Eddie Izzard DVDs and Ju-on (the movie that The Grudge was based on). Although, I do need to see my holiday classics… How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and all those other cartoons/stop-motion shows.

  21. when twilight of the ice nymphs was released, MM and i were still living in texas and he was the artistic director of the dallas film festival (The USA Film Festival is it’s name, confusing i know) and he screened the movie and shelley duval, who was living outside of austin at the time, came up to dallas for it. she was awesome, just shoveling popcorn into her mouth before the screening and talking to everyone around her and offering them all some of her popcorn.

    the best part was the q&a afterwards where she continued being incredibly genial to the hostile audience who asked her questions like, “was the director of this movie on drugs when he made it?” and “what was the point of this film?”

    she just smiled and said, “oh no of course no one was on drugs, how silly! guy maddin just has a very different vision of what a film can be!” and she deflected all their stupidity and rudeness like only the star of “3 Women”– which makes Ice Nymphs look normal–could.

    naturally being stubborn texas fucks who are immune to each other’s folksy charm (that shit only works on buttering up outsiders) the audience wasn’t having it. but at least i got to see it on a screen in dallas where it never opened otherwise.

  22. when twilight of the ice nymphs was released, MM and i were still living in texas and he was the artistic director of the dallas film festival (The USA Film Festival is it’s name, confusing i know) and he screened the movie and shelley duval, who was living outside of austin at the time, came up to dallas for it. she was awesome, just shoveling popcorn into her mouth before the screening and talking to everyone around her and offering them all some of her popcorn.

    the best part was the q&a afterwards where she continued being incredibly genial to the hostile audience who asked her questions like, “was the director of this movie on drugs when he made it?” and “what was the point of this film?”

    she just smiled and said, “oh no of course no one was on drugs, how silly! guy maddin just has a very different vision of what a film can be!” and she deflected all their stupidity and rudeness like only the star of “3 Women”– which makes Ice Nymphs look normal–could.

    naturally being stubborn texas fucks who are immune to each other’s folksy charm (that shit only works on buttering up outsiders) the audience wasn’t having it. but at least i got to see it on a screen in dallas where it never opened otherwise.

  23. Last week as a result of being freaked out by my job, I had an overwhelming desire to see Rudolph – luckily I still had my vhs copy, since I couldn’t track down the DVD anywhere.

  24. Apparently, some budget video company is planning on a cheapie box-set (that’ll probably set you back all of $10) of English-dubbed versions (probably taken from inferior prints, like my copy of The Magic Weaver) of The Day The Earth Froze, The Magic Voyage of Sadko Sinbad, The Sword and the Dragon and Jack Frost, three of which the Russian Cinema Council already released in superior versions uncut and with the original Russian dialogue (with the English dub as an alternate track). You can apparently already get a crappy dubbed version of The Snow Queen, also released in a superior version by Ruscico, in cheapskate cardboard packaging at a dollar store near you.

  25. Apparently, some budget video company is planning on a cheapie box-set (that’ll probably set you back all of $10) of English-dubbed versions (probably taken from inferior prints, like my copy of The Magic Weaver) of The Day The Earth Froze, The Magic Voyage of Sadko Sinbad, The Sword and the Dragon and Jack Frost, three of which the Russian Cinema Council already released in superior versions uncut and with the original Russian dialogue (with the English dub as an alternate track). You can apparently already get a crappy dubbed version of The Snow Queen, also released in a superior version by Ruscico, in cheapskate cardboard packaging at a dollar store near you.

  26. Have I mentioned lately that I find the sort of thinking that one can only have creative or original ideas through the use of psychotropic drugs deplorable? Well, I’m doing so again.

  27. Have I mentioned lately that I find the sort of thinking that one can only have creative or original ideas through the use of psychotropic drugs deplorable? Well, I’m doing so again.

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