Cine-East Film Club: The First 50 Presentations

by George_East on August 31, 2014

Film projectorWith the presentation of Terry Gilliam’s fantastical comedy, The Fisher King dedicated to Robin Williams, the Cine-East Film Club reached its  half century.  When I started the feature a couple of years back (yes, my intention of weekly posts has for one reason or another not lived up to reality) was to provide a regular film feature which would cover the full variety of films: classics, lost gems, cult favourites and just films I love, from all parts of the world, all periods and of all kinds.     My inspiration was the great Moviedrome seasons of curated films that lit up Sunday nights on BBC2 in the late 1980s and early 1990s (with those wonderful introductions by Alex Cox and then Mark Cousins).

My aim was to provide a list of films that would celebrate the sheer diversity of great cinema (in particular steering well away from much of the contents of the godawful greatest film lists found on IMDB or in Empire magazine, which give the impression that only Hollywood makes films and that cinema started with Jaws)The idea was that if you watched the films featured (either for the first time or revisiting) you would hopefully build up a view of the sheer artistic possibility of cinema.

So, how have I done? The Cine-East Film Club has become, wholly unintentionally, something of a Dead Film Icons Club over the last year, as one after another director or actor has bitten the dust, with presentation dedications to Karen Black, Peter O’Toole, Joan Fontaine, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Vera Chytilova, Maximilian Schell , Bob Hoskins, Harold Ramis and Robin Williams – with a few more to come! Please, please can someone give Kirk Douglas a dose of something to keep him going for a few more years yet!

This deathfest has thrown back some of the films I intended to present.  Of the 50 films that have featured, 28 are from the US (both independents and Hollywood), 9 from Britain, 5 from France and 2 from Japan and Italy.  The balance is made up of single film from the cinemas of Germany, Poland, Austria and the then Czechoslovakia).    So that is nothing from Africa, South America or Australasia, and indeed nothing from the two most populous countries: China and India.

The chronological spread has been broad.  The earliest film presented so far is the original horror film the expressionist masterpiece The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (now in some selected cinemas in a beautifully restored version) from 1920 (one of three films to appear from the silent era – all from different countries); the most recent George Clooney’s monochrome take on McCarthyism, Good Night and Good Luck from 2005).   The most popular decade is the 1940s with 10 films followed by 7 films from the 1950s and to me surprisingly 7 from the 1990s.

Two films directed by each of Stanley Kubrick, Sam Peckinpah, Alfred Hitchcock and Clint Eastwood have featured.

I am deeply conscious of the fact that the long promised John Ford western has not yet appeared (and what a choice there is to be had amongst his opus).  Among the giant directors of classical Hollywood there has also not been anything from the great Howard Hawks or the subversively brilliant glossy melodramas of Douglas Sirk, to name but three.  Oh and nothing directed by perhaps the greatest genius of all American directors, Orson Welles (though one of his greatest acting performances has featured, as Harry Lime in Carol Reed’s The Third Man).

Although we have had an MGM musical or two and a universal horror picture, there has been no Warner Brothers gangster picture, and shockingly no true film noir (even though after the western it is probably my favourite genre).    Additionally there have been no shorts and no animation.

Of the icons of cinema – we’ve had Gene Kelly, Fred and Ginger, Garbo, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda and Clint Eastwood,  but no Cagney, Bogart or Monroe (again to name but three).

Moving away from Hollywood, Japanese cinema has been represented by both Akira Kurosawa and Yosijuro Ozu, but there has not been anything yet by Kenji Mizoguchi or Mikio Naruse, of the big four.     Of the Italian greats, films from Rossellini and Fellini have featured, but nothing so far from Visconti, Da Sica, Pasolini or Bertoluci.    There has been nothing from the Scandinavians despite Ingmar Bergman probably being the first heavyweight arthouse director I ever got into.

There has been nothing from the great Soviet directors of the 1920s, nothing from the French New Wave who reinvented the language of cinema in the early 1960s or from Brazil’s revolutionary Cine Novo movement of the 1960s, or the German New Wave of the 1970s.  So so many films I can’t wait to feature.

As a reminder the first 50 films to feature were as follows (there is no link to #14, as sadly the post got lost in the technical glitches we had with the blog back in December 2012).  Looking back at them – I think you could do a lot worse than spend 50 evenings watching them.

#1: 1952: Singin’ In The Rain (Gene Kelly/Stanley Donen);

#2: 1957: Kanal (Andrzej Wajda)

#3: 1920: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Weine);

#4: 1937: La Grande Illusion (Jean Renoir)

#5: 1979: Alien (Ridley Scott);

#6: 1949: Passport To Pimlico (Henry Cornelius);

#7: 1990: Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese);

#8: 1972: Junior Bonner (Sam {Peckinpah);

#9: 1976: The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood);

#10: 1947: Record of A Tenement Gentleman (Yosijuro Ozu);

#11: 1950: Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa);

#12: 1980: The Shining (Stanley Kubrick);

#13: 1953: Wages of Fear (Georges Cluzot);

#14: 1992: Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino);

#15: 1946: It’s A Wonderful Life (Frank Capra);

#16: 1949: The Third Man (Carol Reed);

#17: 2001: The Piano Teacher (Michael Haneke);

#18: 1970: Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson);

#19: 1982: This Is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner);

#20: 1957: 3:10 To Yuma (Delmar Daves);

#21: 2005: Good Night and Good Luck (George Clooney);

#22: 1944: Hail The Conquering Hero (Preston Sturges);

#23: 1973: The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy);

#24: 1963: 8 1/2 (Frederico Fellini);

#25: 1986: Blue Velvet (David Lynch);

#26: 1943: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger);

#27:  1937: Shall We Dance (Mark Sandrich);

#28: 1957: 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet);

#29: 1941 The Wolf Man (George Waggner);

#30: 1957: Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick);

#31: 1976: The Killing of A Chinese Bookie (John Cassavates);

#32: 1926: Flesh and The Devil (Clarence Brown);

#33: 1927: Napoleon (Abel Gance);

#34: 1962: Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean);

#35: 1941: Suspicion (Alfred Hitchcock);

#36: 1944: Meet Me In St Louis (Vincent Minelli);

#37: 1964: The Diary of A Chambermaid (Luis Bunuel);

#38: 1999: The Talented Mr Ripley (Anthony Minghella);

#39: 1990: Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood);

#40: 1966: Daisies (Vera Chytilova);

#41: 1945: Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellin);

#42: 1977: Cross of Iron (Sam Peckinpah);

#43: 2002: Etre et Avoir (Nicolas Philibert);

#44: 1979: Life of Brian (Terry Jones);

#45: 1980: The Long Good Friday (John McKenzie);

#46: 1936: Sabotage (Alfred Hitchcock);

#47: 1993: Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis);

#48: 1993: The War Room (DA Pannebaker/Chris Hegedus);

#49: 1930: All Quiet On The Western Front (Lewis Milestone);

#50: 1991: The Fisher King (Terry Gilliam).


Week 35: Hero – MK Dons

by Ray_North on August 31, 2014

hero_icon2This week’s heroes are the MK Dons.

No one particularly likes the MK Dons, even the fans of the MK Dons are a bit embarrassed to support a team that really only exist because the former owners of Wimbledon FC, fucked over the history and culture of that club and relocated to Milton Keynes.

But, credit where credit is due – fair’s fair – this week, MK Dons are worthy winners of our weekly award for heroism.


Well, they won a game of football – what’s surprising about that, you may ask, after all, they are a football team. But, it wasn’t any game of football, against any old opposition, this week, MK Dons of Division One (that’s the old Third Division, for those of us of a certain age), played against Manchester United. This summer alone, Manchester United have spent over £150m on new players, they have appointed a manager who has a reputation for international and domestic success and they have whipped up their fans in the belief that the good times will return this season.

MK Dons’ team cost about four shillings and sixpence to put together, the total value of the whole club is £4.4m, which is about the price of one of Man United’s tea ladies. The most they’ve ever spent on a player is £220,000, which is about what Man United paid for Jimmy Greenhoff in 1975.

Yet, despite this massive contrast – the MK Dons Davids, slew the United Goliath – and not with a lucky slingshot, but with four superb, unanswered goals. United were hammered.

But that’s not the reason we’ve made the Dons our heroes, they’ve won our award, because they’ve reminded us that football is a game, not a business, it is about skill and guts and playing to the very best of your ability, not money. And, of course, it is about the fans – and every fan must have the right to dream about beating Man United 4-0 in the cup, otherwise, there is no point to football.

MK Dons have achieved that.
Well done lads.


Week 35: Prat – David Cameron

August 31, 2014

This week, our glorious Prime Minister has earned our panel’s Prat of the Week Award According to our Prime Minister, Islamic State are ‘a greater and deeper threat to security than we have ever known’. As George East remarked earlier this week, this is a ridiculously hyperbolic statement that does not bear much examination. My […]

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Week 35: Villain – Shaun Wright

August 31, 2014

This Week’s Villain of the Week is the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, Shaun Williams The sheer scale of sexual abuse of children in care in Rotherham is truly horrifying involving over a thousand of the most vulnerable children as victims and spanning a period of 16 years, from 1997 until as recently […]

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#926: 1967, The Kinks, Autumn Almanac

August 29, 2014

The leaves are already beginning to turn, the days are noticeably shorter and there is a chill in the air. I’ve been lucky enough to be off work for pretty  much the whole ofAugust but will be back at my desk on Monday.   It is the first time in many many years that I am […]

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David Cameron Wags The Dog

August 29, 2014

David Cameron has had a very bad week.  It began with Boris Johnson confirming that he would seek the Conservative nomination for the safe London seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.   Boris would not be bothering to do so unless he thought there were good chance that the Tories will lose the election, so that […]

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#925: 1960, Fats Domino, Walking to New Orleans

August 27, 2014

When George East summarised our first 900 song choices earlier this month, one of the glaring omissions was Fats Domino. Domino is one of the few founding fathers of Rock’N’Roll still with us at the ripe old age of 86, despite fears for a number of days during Hurricane Katrina that he had been killed […]

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On The Road Again… #3: Louisiana

August 27, 2014

For the third episode of my US travel journal, I am in the Pelican State I’m running a little behind on my travel journal, so I have now left Louisiana and returned to Texas. But regular readers of this blog might know that I have a soft spot for the Pelican State, even if it […]

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Some Thoughts About Immigration

August 26, 2014

As we drove up towards the embarkation gates at Calais, you couldn’t help but notice the number of black men standing in clusters by the side of the road. Some smiling, some looking forlorn, there were easily 200 of them – they all appeared to be waiting for something. Now, I didn’t talk to them, […]

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#924: 2013, Arc & Stones, Silence

August 25, 2014

Let’s have some contemporary rock and roll – and why not a bit of American group, Arc & Stones. Proper Rock’n’Roll band this – check them out, all hair and sunglasses, guitars and soaring anthemic choruses – marvellous. I wouldn’t say that they were particularly original – you can definitely hear The Black Keys in […]

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Week 34: Hero – James Foley

August 25, 2014

This week’s Hero is the late American Photojournalist James Foley. I’ve been away on holiday. I’ve done what I try to do when I go away and stay as far from the news as I possibly can – I find it cleansing. This week though, George forwarded me a tweet about the death of 40 […]

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Week 34: Prat – David Cameron

August 25, 2014

This Week’s Prat of the Week Award goes to Prime Minister David Cameron for yet another absurd holiday photo op while the world goes to hell in a handbag David Cameron likes a holiday enough to have had two this summer.  But there is one thing that David Cameron likes even more than a holiday […]

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Week 34: Villain – The Islamic State

August 25, 2014

This week, our panel has bestowed our Villain of the Week award to the jihadist group The Islamic State After their advance across northern Iraq was halted last week by a combination of the Peshmerga and US bombing, The Islamic State (the group formally known as ISIS who have declared a caliphate across most of […]

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On The Road Again… #2: Dallas

August 23, 2014

For the second in my series of posts, I’ve fallen a bit behind schedule (I’m writing this from Louisiana). This post covers Dallas. More on the Pelican State in my next post. Dallas is certainly worth a visit, even if I was unlucky enough to be there on a day when most of the museums […]

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#923: 1967, Canned Heat, On The Road Again

August 20, 2014

I have to confess I was struggling with inspiration for my song now that the superb anti-war week is over.   I was toying with going for something new, but couldn’t quite decide on the song.  Then Jackie South solved my dilemma for me, with the title of the journal posts from his latest US trip.   […]

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On The Road Again… #1: Oklahoma City

August 19, 2014

I’m back in the USA after a two-year gap (you can read about last time here). About half of my time will be in Texas, so this series takes its title from a song from one of the state’s favourite sons. For my first post I’m going to reflect on the first two places on […]

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Week 33: Villain(s) – the Police of Ferguson, Missouri

August 18, 2014

This week, our panel has decided that the police force of the St Louis suburb of Ferguson deserve our award for being the greatest villains of the last seven days The full truth of the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by policeman Darren Wilson has still to emerge. But what is already abundantly […]

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Week 33: Hero(es) – the Kurdish Peshmerga

August 17, 2014

This Week’s Heroes of the Week are the Kurdish Peshmerga who have halted and in some places reversed the advance of ISIS, helping those who live in northern Iraq of all faiths and none in the process In many ways the Kurds are the unluckiest people on the planet.  Their lands are rich in oil.  […]

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Week 33: Prat – Mark Simmonds MP

August 17, 2014

This Week’s Prat of the Week is Tory MP for Boston and Skegness and former Minister of State and the Foreign Office, Mark Simmonds This week the world’s smallest violins were out in sympathy with poor (at least that is how he would like himself to be seen) Tory MP, Mark Simmonds.   You see,  the […]

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#922: 1972, Randy Newman, Political Science

August 17, 2014

For our final song in our anti-war themed week here at Songs to Learn and Sing, we turn to the Cold War. With an intervening quarter century since the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is sometimes difficult to recall that my generation’s teenage years were under a mushroom-cloud shaped shadow of the distinct possibility […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #50: 1991, The Fisher King (Terry Gilliam)

August 17, 2014

Jack Lucas: ‘I wish there was some way I could just pay the fine and go home’ I initially didn’t intend to post a Cine-East film club tribute presentation to Robin Williams.  Much of his film career, so it seemed to me, involved roles of such saccharine vacuity that his life in films was not […]

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#921: 1982, Gang of Four, I Love A Man In Uniform

August 15, 2014

It’s day six of our Anti-War Song Week and I’ve plumped for this number from The Gang of Four – which in the finest traditions of good music was banned by the BBC, as it’s content, released as it was in the middle of the Falkands Conflict, was deemed to be too unpatriotic. They clearly […]

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Back Of The Net With Ray North: Part 2 – Two Days To Go, The Relegation Fodder

August 14, 2014

Well, the first part of my Premier League Preview, saw me hammered, not for the predictions, but for my inability to count up to seven and work out that half of twenty is, in fact ten, not twelve. I’m afraid that I can’t even blame drink for those rudimentary arithmetical errors – I am actually […]

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Back Of The Net With Ray North: Two Days To Kick-Off Part 1 – The Challengers

August 13, 2014

It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago that we were watching the incredible World Cup Match where Germany dismantle Brazil 7-1. No one, absolutely no one saw that coming. But, the World Cup is now in the past. A distant memory, a future conversation, sporting nostalgia, regret and half-remembered statistics. Now, once again, we’re back […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #49: 1930, All Quiet On The Western Front (Lewis Milestone)

August 13, 2014

Katczinsky: “I’ll tell you how it should all be done. Whenever there’s a big war comin’ on, you should rope off a big field…And on the big day, you should take all the kings and their cabinets and their generals, put ‘em in the centre dressed in their underpants, and let ‘em fight it out […]

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Dilemmas of a Liberal Non-Interventionist

August 12, 2014

Of all of us here at Allthatsleft I am probably the one who is most instinctively against western interventionism. So far as I can see it more likely than not ends in disaster even where the motives are good. And we need to be frank that the motives rarely are good or even disinterested. Indeed […]

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#920: 1980, The Clash, The Call Up

August 12, 2014

It is day 5 of our anti-war songs theme week.   Whereas all of the other songs chosen so far have been inspired by specific wars, today’s pick is one that has in its sights, war generally, capturing both the permanency of war and how it rests upon a willingness of a populace to fight for […]

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Abandoned by the Coalition Part 2: Those dependent upon State Education

August 12, 2014

I am a governor at little Ryan, Iorweth and Declan’s school – it is a wonderful village primary school with a wonderful head teacher and great ethos and super staff. It has been well run, and, yes, I accept that, socio-economically it may not be in the most challenging of locations, but it is testament […]

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#919: 1967, Country Joe and The Fish, I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag

August 11, 2014

Here at Songs to Learn and Sing, we are halfway through a week of anti-war songs. So far, we’ve covered the First World War and the Iraq War. But of course it was the Vietnam War that inspired more music than any other, and whilst that war by no means created the political song, it […]

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Week 32: Prat – Alex Salmond

August 10, 2014

This week, our panel has bestowed Scotland’s First Minister with our regular award for being the greatest prat of the last seven days. Alex Salmond and the SNP seem to have had the best of the debate on independence, or did until this week. Up until now, they have been able to use their role […]

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