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Boris Karloff in James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein
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Solar Anus (1927/1931) - Georges Bataille

Georges Bataille, “The Solar Anus,” trans. Allan Stoekl, Visions of Excess, ed. Allan Stoekl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985), 5-9. Translation of L’Anus solaire, Œuvres complètes, vol. I, ed. Denis Hollier (Paris: Gallimard, 1970), 9-10.

Bataille’s “The Solar Anus” was written in 1927 and published in 1931.

In a posthumously published “Autobiographical Note” (1958?) Bataille writes,

In 1926, writes a short book entitled W.-C. (this book, of violent opposition to any form of dignity, will not be published and is finally destroyed by its author), then, in 1927, The Solar Anus (published, with Masson’s etchings, by the Galerie Simon in 1931). The virulently obsessive character of his writings troubles one of his friends, Dr. Dausse, who has him undergo psychoanalysis with Dr. Borel. The psychoanalysis has a decisive result; by August 1927 it put an end to the series of dreary mishaps and failures in which he had been floundered, but not to the state of intellectual intensity, which still persists. (Translator not credited, October 37 [Spring 1986]: 108)

--source lost

Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931) - F.W. Murnau

  1. Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931) - F.W. Murnau [Amazon.com]

    Amazon.com
    Conceived by two master filmmakers, but essentially made by only one, Tabu is the last great silent film (released four years into the talkie era). Few classics have had a more fraught history, starting with the dicey notion of combining the radically different approaches of documentarist Robert Flaherty and supernaturalist F.W. Murnau. After selecting the South Seas locations, collaborating on the story, and doing some preliminary photography, Flaherty withdrew, leaving Murnau to realize this tale of forbidden love and implacable retribution in an earthly paradise. The results, ravishing to behold, complete a spiritual trilogy begun with Nosferatu (1921-22) and Sunrise (1927), Murnau's other films of young couples drawn asunder by phantoms. Floyd Crosby won an Academy Award® for his cinematography. The director himself was killed in a car wreck just before his film was released. All the more tragic that Murnau's original, uncut version was never seen till Milestone Film & Video's restoration in 1990. --Richard T. Jameson

    Description
    Filmed entirely in Tahiti, "Tabu" represents an unusual collaboration between legendary directors F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu, Sunrise) and Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North). Two lovers are doomed by a tribal edict decreeing that the girl is "tabu" to all men. While the lovers' flight from judgment and the ultimate power of the tabu are reminiscent of Murnau's expressionist films, "Tabu" is all open air and sunlight, sparkling on the ocean and glistening on the beautiful young bodies of the native men and women. Now available completely uncensored and restored by UCLA, this cinematic landmark is one of the most gorgeous black and white films ever made, and was the 1931 Academy Award winner for Best Cinematography.

M (1931) - Fritz Lang

Peter Lorre in M (1931)

M - (1931) - Fritz Lang [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

M (original title: M- Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder (translation: M- a city in search of a murderer)) is a 1931 German film noir directed by Fritz Lang and written by Thea von Harbou in which a serial killer, played by Peter Lorre, preys on children; the police and criminal underground of Berlin both work to stop him. M was the first starring role for Peter Lorre, and it boosted his career, even though he was typecast as a villain for years after.

Peter Lorre's character whistles the tune "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg in the movie; however, Peter Lorre himself could not whistle - it is actually Fritz Lang who is heard.

The film was based in part on the stories of Jack the Ripper and the Vampire of Düsseldorf and consistently ranks among the top 50 of the Internet Movie Database's top 250 films.

Lorre's future stardom and reputation as an actor was cemented in the film's climax, in which the killer, facing certain death at the hands of an underworld kangaroo court, makes an impassioned speech declaring that he can't control his violent urges. The monologue ends with the famous line (delivered by Lorre in a near scream) "Who knows what it's like to be me?"

The movie was remade in 1951 shifting the action from Berlin to Los Angeles. The remake, directed by Joseph Losey with David Wayne playing Lorre's role, was not well received by critics or audiences. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M_(1931_movie) [Aug 2005]

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