Spirit Of Youth

1011. SPIRIT Of YOUTH (1938-USA). With JOE LOUIS, EDNAMAE HARRIS, MANTAN MORELAND, MAE TURNER, CLARENCE MUSE, THE PLANTATION CHOIR, THE CREOLE CHORUS, THE BIG APPLE DANCERS. The inspiring story Of boxing immortal Joe Louis, featuring a black cast and starring Joe himself, in a rare screen apÂpearance. (Once you see him act, you’ll know why.) Made shortly after he became world heavyweight champion in 1937, the film fictionalizes Louis’ life (his character is named ‘Joe Thomas”). The story begins in Alabama around 1920, when Joe’s father becomes crippled and young Joe has to begin supporting his family. In 1932, determined to make something Of himself, he leaves home and hitchhikes to Detroit After some odd Jobs, he becomes a boxer, wins the Golden Gloves, andÑnicknamed “The Dark Destroyer” (instead Of “The Brown BomberÓ)Ñaims for the top. His mom and his childhood sweetheart Mary come to the city and provide moral support, but Joe is sidetracked by a sultry nightclub singer, ignores his training, and loses a crucial match. But, as mom tells him, “tomorrow is another day, “and Joe does get to face the champion, “Joe Stanley” (alias Jim Braddock). Our hero is about to lose, but loyal Mary shows up at ringside, and inspires him to victory. Throughout the movie, Louis appears somewhat dazed, and his performance can generously be described as wooden; for brilliant acting, you’re better Off with Buster Crabbe. But there are some lively songs and dance numbers, including a show-stopping Jitterbug routine, (to which Louis reacts with his usual non-emotion). And Of course there’s Louis in the ring, where he and the film come magic to life! 68 minutes. All Black Drama

Gate Of Hell

1015. GATE Of HELL (1953-Japan). COLOR. With machiko kyo. Directed by TEINOSUKE kinUGASa. One Of the most acclaimed masterworks in cinema history, this dazzling color production won the Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film and the Grand Prize Of the Cannes Film Festival. Employing exquisite imagery, it tells a spellbinding tale Of passion, romance, violence and honor in 12th-ceniury Japan. During a tumultuous rebellion against the ruling Taira Clan, a palace noblewoman, Kesa (Machiko Kyo, the memorable beauty Of “Rashomon,” “Ugetsu” and many other films) impersonates the Empress so that the latter can flee to safety. Moritoh, a samurai who has refused to join his traitorous brother in the revolt, rescues Kesa from rebels, and falls in love with her. When the battles are over and the Taira Clan has re-established its power, Moritoh claims Kesa as the reward for his loyalty. Even when he learns that she is happily married, he persists in his obsession for her. Proving his worth by defeating the husband in a thrilling horse race, Moritoh tells Kesa that unless she submits to him, he will kill his rival. This leads to a haunting conclusion Of sacrifice and tragedy. With shots composed as delicately as Japanese paintings, movements carefully attuned to the stylized rhythms Of Noh drama, and lavish production values, this brilliant and exciting film has richly earned its praise. Peter Cowie, in Seventy Years Of Cinema, called it “one Of the most beautiÂful… films-a feudal story unfolded with a formal grace and intensity that escape all but the greatest Japanese directors.” In Japanese with English subtitles. 84 minutes. Drama