Lost Treasures

Days of Heaven (1978)

by Guido Sanchez

Days of Heaven

"'Days of Heaven' is a turn-of-the-century Greek tragedy involving a love triangle, told from the pseudo-future tense point of view of the young Linda (Linda Manz 'The Game'). It is a rock-solid morality play with locusts, barnstormers, terminal illness and a flying circus... 'Days of Heaven' (1978) came out in the year of 'The Deer Hunter', 'Saturday Night Fever', and 'Midnight Express'. A year that saw 'Grease', 'Animal House', and 'Superman' make millions. It is a visual masterpiece of nostalgic beauty and lonely landscapes by Terrance I-make-a-movie-every-ten-or-twenty-years Malick ('Badlands'). 'Days of Heaven' has only one requirement: if you can’t see this film on the big screen make sure you rent the widescreen letterboxed edition."

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)

by Guido Sanchez

Don't be Afraid of the Dark

"Wind, whispers and a Victorian mansion set up the plot in less than a minute. Loving couple Sally and Alex Farnham inherit a gothic house from Sally’s recently deceased grandmother. Sally manages to open a strange room that has been locked for many years. Let the fun begin. Kim Darby ('True Grit', 'Teen Wolf Too') is Sally, the wife who sets out to refurbish the mysterious room, which contains a bricked-up fireplace. After inquiring into why the fireplace was sealed, Harris the Handyman (William Demarest –'The Jazz Singer', cantankerous Uncle Charlie from 'My Three Sons'), warns her not to mess with it."

Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

by Tom Graney

Drugstore Cowboy

"What do you want, my life's story? Lady, I'm a junkie. I like drugs," says Bob Hughes (played by Matt Dillon) to a well meaning but idealistic counselor at a drug rehab clinic. Bob is a self-described dope fiend. He tells his story to her, and us, with simplicity and the truth as he understands it. He has lived by a kind of gambler's code of you win some, you lose some... although, he knows he's doomed to lose, and lose big. He is looking for the signs to let him know when it's time to walk away before it's too late.

a Duellist, The (1977)

by Guido Sanchez

The Duellist

"A thirty-year obsession of savage duels-to-the-death sparked by an imagined insult could only come from a true story. Joseph Conrad ('Heart of Darkness') wrote 'The Duel' about two real life officers during the Napoleonic War. It is an eccentric tale of a ludicrous dispute and vendetta between two noblemen soldiers over the course of their adult lives that nearly consumes them both. 'The Duellists' (1977) is the directorial debut of Ridley Scott ('Alien', 'Blade Runner', 'Thelma & Louise') and began an eclectic career for the ex-commercial director. Can you say, 'G.I. Jane'? Keith Carradine stars as French soldier Armand d'Hubert (try imagining that one) and Harvey Keitel is Lieutenant Gabriel Feraud (New York accent et all) a fellow officer who become wrapped up in a war of words, honor and sabers."

Flirting (1990)

by Tom Graney


"Despite the heavy handed dissecting of 'Flirting's' themes in this column, John Duigan's direction is light as a feather and the tone is that of a sweet comedy. After seeing 'Flirting', you’ll be thinking about how nothing is destined and that taking little actions, even if it's just flirting with someone special, can change your whole life."

Little Romance, A (1979)

by The Usher

A Little Romance

"Once upon a time, there were coming-of-age films where characters found first love in Paris, rather than in a warm slice of apple pie. 'A Little Romance' (1979) is one such film. It is this issue's 'Lost Treasure' because it is almost never on television, everyone I mention it to hasn't seen it and it is a precious jewel compared to the costume jewelry of recent teen-oriented love stories."

My Name is Nobody (1973)

by Guido Sanchez

My Name is Nobody

"'Nobody, but 'Nobody', knows the trouble he's in!' So boasts the goofy, crazy-cool tag line of the funniest Italian spaghetti western in cinema history. It's all in good old-fashioned-action-full-sense-o-rama (thanks Fancis) shootout-foolishness that is 'My Name is Nobody' (1973)... the year is 1899 and the end of the romantic grand era that is the Old West is dying quickly. Henry Fonda, in the last of his 15 westerns, is Jack Beauregard an aging shootist who is planning a quiet retirement and escape from the West that he partially created before it all vanishes. Sharpen up them there spurs part-ner. To this day I have not been able to fully understand the convoluted plot but who gives a shit. Here we go:"

Near Dark (1987)

by Guido Sanchez

Near Dark

"A menacing mosquito sips the blood from a vein. One swat and crunch, it's over. Great opening imagery and all you need to know about 'Near Dark' (1987). What could be more horrific than a group of leather-clad hippie bikeresque hillbilly vampires traveling around in a winnebago? Nothing!"

On the Beach

by Tom Graney

On the Beach

The social relevance of "On the Beach", or captured historic mood, is not the reason why it has been selected as a "Lost Treasure", nor its oft annoying Oscar nominated score, nor its use of Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, and Fred Astaire as "average Joes". It's a "Lost Treasure" because of its characters' unique approach to the meaning of life, or more accurately, living, that is relevant for us all.

Paths of Glory (1957)

by Guido Sanchez

Paths of Glory

"'Paths of Glory' (1957) is about one of Kubrick's favorite themes -- the madness of war. The movie concerns the wide gap between those who take orders and those who give them, and is also an intelligent indictment of military practice as well as psychology. With a running time of 86 minutes, 'Paths of Glory' is a true testament to good old-fashioned storytelling, short and to the cutting point."

Point Blank (1967)

by Guido Sanchez

Point Blank

"The film's tag line says it all, 'There are two kinds of people in his up-tight world: his victims and his women. And sometimes you can't tell them apart.'"

Room with a View, A (2003)

by Tom Graney

A Room with a View

"The moral center of the movie (A Room with a View) belongs to Denholm Elliot as George's father, Mr. Emerson. Unlike his fellow Edwardians, he could give a crap for convention and manners, the defining qualities of his society. He follows his inner voice and is the person most natural and true to his feelings and impulses; almost childishly so. Mr. Emerson tells Lucy, 'It's ridiculous these niceties. They go against common sense, every kind of sense. I don't care what I see outside. My vision is within. Here is where the bird sings. Here is where the sky is blue.' He is most attuned to the concept that happiness is related to being true to one's self. In this story, the room is the human heart, and the view is one's pursuit of happiness."

Tetsuo II: Bodyhammer (1992)

by Tom Graney

Tetsuo II: Bodyhammer

"'Tetsuo II: Body Hammer' (aka 'Beauty in Destruction') is the follow-up of Shinya Tsukamoto's 1988 film 'Tetsuo: Ironman', and isn't so much a sequel as a redo with a bigger budget and more plot. The original was shot in grainy black & white with a story involving the transformation of an ordinary man into a monsterous machine, induced by a mysterious accident. Most often these two films are compared to the work of David Lynch or David Cronenberg (imagine 'Eraserhead' meets 'Videodrome'. Aaaahhh!). Perhaps a better description is to say it's a modern Frankenstein fable (like Verhoeven's 'RoboCop') seen through the filter of Japanese culture. In this world, there is no mad Doctor Frankenstein, no single person responsible for the genesis of this monster. It is simply modern technology transforming, and unleashing, a new, monsterous breed of human capable of mass destruction. In 'Tetsuo II', the monster is simply the end product of the modern, industrialized world."

Two Lane Blacktop (1971)

by Guido Sanchez

Two Lane Blacktop

"Two car nuts (played by James Taylor and Dennis Wilson) travel across the southwestern U.S. in a primer-grey '55 Chevy looking for a race with anyone who may come along. They say nothing to one another unless it has to do with the performance of 'The Car'. After a few run-ins with 'G.T.O.' and his shiny roadster, the trio are motivated into a bet at a gas station. A race ensues to Washington D.C. for ownership of the loser's car. The real story is the marathon across the country. A race that nobody seems to want to win."

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