Doctor Zhivago at the Gryphon Theatre

drzhivago-flyer-printThe Laramie Film Society thanks the Laramie Plains Civic Center’s Gryphon Theatre and all who attended last night’s screening of Doctor Zhivago. The 50th anniversary presentation brought the epic film back in all its glory. Thanks as well to Vicki Schuster for yet another great poster!

Zhivagoscreen1Above, a shot of the movie as it played [exit sign on far right will give you an idea of the size of the screen]; below, attendees exit the theater following the screening.


LFS Outdoor Summer Screenings

Bobsilentpic2015This past July, a Laramie Film Society tradition continued with the screening of silents on 16mm during the Jubilee Days street dance on July 10. Bob Roten threads up the films in the photo at left.

On August 8, the Laramie Film Society presented “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960) in the courtyard of the Alibi Pub. The LFS thanks the Alibi for the space, and for being one of our 2015 sponsors! Click the photo below for a video link showing what it was like. The Laramie Film Society thanks member Brittney Beck for shooting photos during this event for us! Below, the LFS’ Bob Roten and John Davis set up the screening.




Doctor Zhivago Wins! Top Ten of ’65 Follows

DrZhivago_AsheetDoctor Zhivago is the winner of the 1965 movie poll– in a very close race with The Sound of Music. Below, is the top ten as voted….

1. Doctor Zhivago (57 votes/ 7 lists) 

2. The Sound of Music (50 votes/ 8 lists) 

3. For a Few Dollars More (40 votes/ 6 lists) 

4. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (35 votes/ 6 lists) 

5. A Patch of Blue (22 votes/ 3 lists) 

6. Cat Ballou (21 votes/ 4 lists) 

7. The Collector (20 votes/ 3 lists) 

8. Thunderball (19 votes/ 4 lists) 

9. The Great Race (19 votes/ 2 lists) 

10. Ship of Fools (18 votes/ 5 lists)

Film Review: Alphaville (1965) by Patrick Ivers drama set in a utopian society where emotions are forbidden.
(b/w; Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution, French). Posing as Ivan Johnson, a journalist from the Outlands, Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine), secret agent 003, wearing a trench coat & brimmed hat, checks into a hotel in the futuristic city of Alphaville, 9,000 km from his planet. A hostess, Beatrice, seductress 3rd class, offers to bathe with him; a man barges into the room, attempting to attack him, which he later leans was a psycho-test. “All things weird are normal in this whore of cities,” he declares. Lemmy’s assignment is to find & bring back Professor Leonard Vonbraun (Howard Vernon), formerly known as Dr Nosferatu of Los Alamos, inventor of the death ray, “alive, or liquidate.” But first he intends to locate Henri Dickson (Akim Tamiroff). Miss Natasha Vonbraun (Anna Karina) comes to the hotel room with an offer to take him to the gala reception of the city’s annual festival. As they walk down the hotel corridor, listening to her explanation of providing services for visitors, Johnson asks with incredulity: “You never have love affairs?… Has no one ever fallen in love with you?” “In love?” she replies: “What is that?”
A legend can make complex reality easier to communicate in director/writer Jean-Luc Godard’s sci-fi drama of a utopian society, in which asking “why” rather than saying “because” is forbidden, sometimes employing film negatives in scenes. Neon signs of “hf=mc2” & its alternative equivalent “E=mc2” flash momentarily throughout the film.
Dickson lives at the Red Star Hotel on Enrico Fermi, after Heisenberg Blvd, not far from Mathematical Park. On the drive, Natasha, repeating in her “pretty sphinx voice” what she’s been taught, tells Johnson, who asks her if Prof Vonbraun is her father (yes, though she’s never seen him): “No one’s lived in the past or will live in the future.” When Dickson arrives at the Red Star, Johnson gives him US currency with which Henri pays for his room key & a seductress.
Many people who cannot adapt to Alphaville’s highly organized lifestyle, from which all artists have been eliminated, commit suicide; others who behave illogically are executed. With is dying breath, Henri begs Johnson to make Alpha 60 self-destruct. The seductress drives Johnson to the south district where he enters the Central Memory complex of Alpha 60’s logic organization. “The present is the form of all life,” declares the computer, describing life & death as a circular pattern. Words change meanings, or meanings change words. Next Lemmy travels to the north district where he joins Natasha for a display of executions performed at a swimming pool with girls diving into the water where the victims fall after being shot. Natasha says to Johnson, taking photographs of people getting shot for expressing their emotions: “Isn’t that a crime in the Outlands?”
In an elevator, as Lemmy tries to speak to Prof Vonbraun alone, he’s prevented by a couple of thugs who beat him senseless. When Natasha sees him, tears flow, though she denies she’s crying because that is forbidden. Interrogated by Alpha 60 (“working for universal good”), Johnson after answering the questions hears the mechanical voice pronounce: “You are hiding certain things.” In answer to Johnson’s inquiry about Dr Nosferatu, he’s told that the scientist, who was exiled from the Outlands in 1964, no longer exists, only Professor Vonbraun. Johnson is introduced to Professors Jeckell & Heckell, who expect a war with the Outlands, so Johnson could be useful. Back in his hotel room, Lemmy finds Natasha waiting for him, admitting: “When I’m with you, I’m afraid.” He reads poetry to her from The Capital of Pain by French surrealist poet Paul Éluard. Among the words she doesn’t comprehend – words disappear every day, replaced by new words, confusing communication – is “conscience”; she searches the room for a Bible, which when she finds it (“conscience” not in it) is actually a dictionary. Alpha 60 tries to bribe Johnson with an offer of his taking charge of a galaxy with its gold & women; he poses a riddle to the computer: “If you find it, you will destroy yourself simultaneously because you will become my kin, my brother.”


Alphaville is available at UW’s Coe Library.

Patrick is a regular contributor to Laramie Movie Scope. See many more reviews of his at:

Film Review: Loves of a Blonde (1965) by Patrick Ivers

sw01Romantic comedy wherein a provincial factory girl follows a pianist to Prague.
(1965, b/w; Lásky jedné plavovlásky, Czech). A reserve military unit is sent to the provincial town of Zruc where young factory girls, relocated by the Communist government, outnumber the male population sixteen to one. Three soldiers send a bottle of wine over to three girls at a dance mixer, but the waiter initially delivers it to the wrong table, before correcting his mistake. One of the men, accidentally dropping his wedding ring on the floor, retrieves it by crawling under the table where the bottle had originally been sent. Retreating to the ladies room after spending some time dancing with the soldiers & visiting at their table, having been asked to accompany them for some fun, Jana (Jana Nováková) says to Marie (Marie Salačová: “I’m not going. Those old geezers will try to drag us to the woods.” The third girl, Andula (Hanu Brejchovou), chats with the young pianist, Milda ((Vladimir Pucholta), who while reading her palm remarks on her long life line & a scar. Andula confesses to once having attempted suicide. He induces the coy girl up to his room & cleverly – ostensibly while demonstrating methods of how to defend herself from someone being a nuisance – gets her to disrobe. In bed with him, she asks him to pull down the window shade, initiating a comic routine.
Behind the iron curtain in this romantic comedy from director & co-screenwriter Milos Forman – with Jaroslav Papousek, Ivan Passer, & Václav Sasek – Andula says to Milda, “I don’t trust you,” & then she does with her entire heart. Repeatedly Milda assures her: “I don’t have a girl in Prague.” He compliments her as having an angular figure like a guitar in a Picasso painting.
At the conclusion of their weekend together, Milda returns to Prague & Andula to the shoe factory. Her previous boyfriend, Tonda (Antonin Blazejovsky), after a month’s absence, shows up, demanding that she wear or return the gold ring with a diamond that he gave her. Andula refuses: “You’re disgusting like a beast.” If they want to win a decent boy who will become the husband who will love & cherish them forever, a female comrade instructor exhorts the factory girls that they must hold onto their personal honor while earning respect from the boys by not going out with someone different every time. They all pledge to improve their conduct. Andula, catching a ride on a truck to Prague, appears in the evening at the home of Milda’s parents with suitcase in hand. Informed by Milda’s father (Josef Sebánek) that he doesn’t keep track of his son’s whereabouts, she asks if she may leave her suitcase while she goes out looking for him. “Incredible,” exclaims Milda’s mother (Milda Jezková) when her husband relates the unexpected appearance of a girl asking for Milda: “I’m worried about him.”
Unable to leave the building because the exit door is locked, Andula returns to ask to be let out. Instead, Milda’s mother insists on the girl’s coming inside, asking her about why she has made an appearance with apparent intention of spending the night. While his wife worries about what the neighbors will think, Milda’s father says: “We’ll fix up a bed for her. We can’t throw her out.” When Milda returns after midnight from an evening of playing piano & enjoying female company, he tells his father he didn’t invite anyone to come see him, until he recognizes Andula.


Loves of a Blonde is available at UW’s Coe Library.

Patrick is a regular contributor to Laramie Movie Scope. See many more reviews of his at:

Film Review: Pierrot le Fou (1965) by Patrick Ivers

pierrot-le-fou-movie-poster-1965-1010203278Surreal, picaresque adventures of a madman & his girl living outside the law, is like a bad dream made beautiful.
French, English, & Italian). A pretty girl is playing tennis. Ferdinand Griffon (Jean-Paul Belmondo), recently fired from his job in television, is reading a book about Velázquez, the painter of Spanish royalty at “a court that lived outside the law,” in the bathtub to his little daughter. His wife Maria (Graziella Galvani), an Italian with money, intends to introduce him to an executive with Standard Oil at a surprise party for her parents, Mr & Mrs Expresso. Ferdinand prefers staying home, but Maria says that Frank’s niece, a student, is coming to babysit. “His niece?” says Ferdinand: “Knowing him, it’s a call girl.”
At the party (shot with different colored filters) the conversation resembles commercials for automobiles, deodorants, hairdos, lingerie (with a naked woman’s endorsement). An American film director says he’s directing a film, Flowers of Evil – Ferdinand recognizes Baudelaire’s title – about love, hate, action, violence, sex, emotion. Saying he feels like so many different people but alone, Ferdinand, bored, smashes a handful of cake into Maria’s face before leaving. At home, finding the babysitter Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina) asleep, he tells her: “I’ll take you home.”
Director/writer Jean-Luc Godard’s surreal romantic drama of a madman & his girl living outside the law, in which life is an unsolved mystery, is like a bad dream made beautiful. His former lover of more than five years earlier, Marianne (“To want something, you have to be alive”) wants life to be like novels – “clear, logical, organized.” Hearing of “115 killed” in a conflict on the radio, she’s distressed by the anonymity of those lives lost. She promises Pierrot: “I’ll do anything you want.” He repeatedly reminds her when she calls him Pierrot: “My name is Ferdinand.” She sings to him a love song, “Jamais je ne t’ai dit que je t’aimerai toujour.” A scene of a man lying dead – “a story … all mixed up” – in a room with guns as another man, an Algerian gangster, enters – having connection with Marianne’s brother Fred, a gun-runner – whom Ferdinand conks out with a bottle before the couple leave in a hurry.
Guys like Pierrot, says Marianne, are sorry too late. At a Total gas station, Ferdinand tells the attendant, “Put a tiger in the tank,” before Marianne brings the hood of the Peugeot down on his head. They have no money, because when they fake an accident, setting the car on fire, a suitcase in the trunk is full of cash. On foot – “Travel broadens the mind,” quips Ferdinand – they steal a blue Ford convertible, which he drives into the sea. “Life may be sad,” remarks Ferdinand, “but it’s always beautiful.” In a picaresque existence, chapter 7 follows chapter 8; Ferdinand reads from a book of poetry. “There’s a war in Yemen.” To earn money, Vietnam is the topic of their play for tourists, American sailors. Conversation between words (ideas) & feelings (emotions), literature versus music – Ferdinand makes entries in his journal – just as five years before, says Marianne: “We never understood each other.” What lies between space, sound, & color? Tired of sun, sea, & sand on the coast of the Mediterranean, Marianne says to Pierrot: “We’ve played Jules Verne long enough. Let’s go back to our detective novel, with fast cars and guns and nightclubs.” Things are complicated, observes Ferdinand; no, replies Marianne, simple. “Let’s go, daddy-o.” Donovan, a short man, dies of scissors stabbed through his neck. Women can kill too. Marianne’s palm has a short fate line. “She makes me think of music,” admits Ferdinand: “Her face.” A crazy guy relates the tale of a love song he can’t get out of his head. The Algerians put Ferdinand through water torture (similar to waterboarding) in their attempt to locate Marianne & the money. Lost & found.

Pierrot le Fou is available at UW’s Coe Library.

Patrick is a regular contributor to Laramie Movie Scope. See many more reviews of his at:


Film Review: Darling (1965) by Patrick Ivers

Adult drama set in “swinging 60s” London.
(b/w, English, French, & Italian). A new billboard advertisement in London of a pretty face – “‘My Story’ beginning today in Ideal Woman” – covers up a plea to stop world-hunger. A professional question mark, TV journalist Robert Gold (Dirk Bogarde), interviews a professional bosom, model Diana Scott (Julie Christie), who says she had an ordinary childhood & then was “square” at 20. Outside of the studio with Robert she says: “It should be so easy to be happy, shouldn’t it? Should be the easiest thing in the world…. I wonder why it isn’t.” Both are married: she to Tony Bridges, “the nicest boy,” but immature, unprepared for responsibilities; he to Estelle with two children. On a train together, they embrace, after Robert’s interview with Walter Southgate, an elderly man of letters; they call their respective spouses to give excuses for not coming right home, instead checking into a hotel room. Her first time having an affair, not something he’s done capriciously either.
Apprehensive initially about breaking up Robert’s family, Diana moves into a new flat with Robert; tensions develop along with her suspicious jealousies, yet she declines his offer of matrimony. Adult drama of “swinging 60s” directed by John Schlesinger from Frederic Raphael’s screenplay is more mature & responsible than advertised; it’s not over until the fat lady sings. Chosen as the Honeyglow Girl for the Glass Group, Diana with an eye to helping her career by participating in a charity event for eliminating malnutrition in the impoverished parts of the third world, spends an evening with Miles Brand (Laurence Harvey). Referring to the firm’s safe as well as to himself personally, Diana requests: “I wish you’d open up.” Miles replies: “I can’t do that.” She plays the title role in a forgettable film, Jacqueline. Perceptive but patient with her shenanigans, Robert recognizes Diana’s ambition: “You know as well as I do what you’re up to.”
Pregnant, she first asks Robert if this is what he wants; then she decides it would be “the ruination of my career,” arranging for “a miscarriage” over which she feels regret. Bored from a visit with her sister Felicity & brother-in-law Alec, impatient while Robert works at the typewriter, she goes off to Paris with Miles, saying she’s auditioning for another movie. There she gets involved in a “truth game” at a party, sort of like musical chairs without chairs, in which participants partially disrobe & impersonate other participants when in the spotlight by answering questions. Returning to London, Diana wanted to make sure nobody, especially Robert, got hurt. “I don’t take whores in taxis,” Robert, having lost his forbearance, says to Diana as they walk back to their flat: “Your idea of fidelity is not having more than one man in bed at the same time. You’re a whore, baby, that’s all. Just a whore.” She replies: “We’re not married. At least not to each other.”
Selected as the Happiness Girl for Germany, Diana goes to Italy with her photographer Malcolm (Roland Curram) – telling him she wants to be like a sister to him, “I could do without sex,” which is copasetic with him – for a photoshoot, advertising for chocolates, where she makes acquaintance with Cesare della Romita (Jose Luis De Vilallonga), an Italian prince & ancestor of a pope, & his handsome son Curzio. Might she accept a proposal to become Princess Diana? Back in England, Miles rebukes her insult: “My impotence, my darling, makes a pair with your virginity.” She snaps back: “Impotence in every way, except in bed.” If “darling” were an obscenity, this film would be R rated; a pair of goldfish are jabbed at with a pencil & eventually accidentally killed with ice cubes & alcohol poisoning.

Darling is available at UW’s Coe Library.

Patrick is a regular contributor to Laramie Movie Scope. See many more reviews of his at:



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.