THE MAGICIAN
ANSIKTET
1958, Janus Films, 101 min, Sweden, Dir: Ingmar Bergman

This engaging, brilliantly conceived tale of deceit from one of cinema’s premier illusionists stars Max von Sydow as Dr. Vogler, a 19th-century traveling mesmerist and peddler of potions, whose magic is put to the test in Stockholm by the cruel, eminently rational royal medical adviser Dr. Vergérus. The result is a diabolically clever battle of wits that’s both frightening and funny, shot in rich, gorgeously gothic black-and-white.


SONS OF THE DESERT
1933, 65 min, USA, Dir: William A. Seiter

To attend a convention in Chicago of their fraternal organization, the Sons of the Desert, Stan and Ollie lie to their wives - but their cover story soon falls apart. Laurel and Hardy fans adopted the name of this feature for their organization, and many would cite it as the duo’s best; it was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2012. Costarring Charley Chase.


THE TALE OF THE FOX
LE ROMAN DE RENARD
1930, 65 min, France, Dir: Irene Starewitch, Ladislas Starewitch

One of the first animated feature films in cinema history (it premiered a full year before Disney’s SNOW WHITE), and the only film of this scope that Starewitch would make, THE TALE OF THE FOX is a masterpiece of the form. Master Fox, the forest’s utmost trickster, harasses the king upon whose lands he lives. Following a particularly wily hoax, however, the king orders Master Fox to be arrested and brought before the court. Inspired by a medieval French fable, THE TALE OF THE FOX is a ceaselessly inventive and wondrous film.


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