WAR AND PEACE
VOYNA I MIR
1967, Janus Films, 421 min, Soviet Union, Dir: Sergey Bondarchuk

At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet film industry set out to prove it could outdo Hollywood with a production that would dazzle the world: a titanic, awe-inspiring adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic tome in which the fates of three souls - the blundering, good-hearted Pierre; the heroically tragic Prince Andrei; and the radiant, tempestuous Natasha - collide amid the tumult of the Napoleonic Wars. Employing a cast of thousands and an array of innovative camera techniques, Bondarchuk conjures a sweeping vision of grand balls that glitter with rococo beauty and breathtaking battles that overwhelm with their expressionistic power. As a statement of Soviet cinema’s might, WAR AND PEACE succeeded wildly, garnering the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and setting a new standard for epic moviemaking. "You are never, ever, going to see anything to equal it ... as spectacular as a movie can possibly be." - Roger Ebert.


SENSO
1954, Rialto Pictures, 123 min, Italy, Dir: Luchino Visconti

Against the backdrop of the Italian-Austrian war of unification, troubled Countess Livia Serpieri (Alida Valli) betrays her country for the love of an Austrian rogue, Franz Mahler (Farley Granger). As her resources dwindle, Livia comes to realize that their love might not be as pure as she thought. "A passionate and melodramatic romance, with doomed lovers, posturing soldiers, secret meetings at midnight, bold adultery and dramatic deaths. ... SENSO is lush, broadly emotional and beautifully photographed." - Roger Ebert.


BLACULA
1972, Park Circus , 93 min, Dir: William Crain

When the charitable Prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall) travels through 18th century Transylvania, a fated run-in with the one-and-only Count Dracula damns him for all eternity. It isn’t until a century later, that he suddenly finds himself in 1970s Los Angeles, where he must balance his infatuation with a woman, whom he believes to be his wife reincarnate (Vonetta McGee), with an insatiable taste for blood. The first and perhaps most enduring Blaxploitation horror film of the early 1970s, BLACULA tells the tragic story of a good-natured man’s transformation into a blood-sucking undead killer.


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