1-20 of 191 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
Above: a theater advertising Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole (1951).If there’s one thing I love almost as much as movie posters (at least as far as the world of movie advertising goes) it is the movie theater marquee. I am particularly attracted to marquees in their more elaborately designed and outlandish incarnations, but I am also fond of photographs of marquees simply as a record of a moment in time when a particular film was out in the world. (One of my personal favorite Movie Poster of the Week posts was this examination of a 1930 photo of Times Square theater signs.)Over the past few years on Tumblr I have been collecting some of the best images of movie theater signage through the ages and today I am launching Movie Poster of the Day’s sister blog Movie Marquees. In Maggie Valentine’s The Show Starts on »
- Adrian Curry
The Brooklyn Academy of Music has collated an impressive, erudite collection of films of varying brow heights that, in some way, draw inspiration from "Vertigo." Put together by C. Mason Wells in collaboration with BAMcinematek's Nellie Killian and David Reilly, the series refracts Alfred Hitchcock's kaleidoscopic masterpiece through seven decades of world cinema, examining its vast influence. Since its lukewarm premiere in 1958, "Vertigo" has slowly and steadily climbed the pantheon of American cinema, finally usurping Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" and ascending to the top of Sight & Sound's list of the best movies of all time. Lists and rankings aside, few would argue that "Vertigo" is anything less than a feverish masterwork, the epitome of Hitchcock's formal prowess and his most emotionally fragile work. Pervaded by love and lust, betrayal and loss, the dark tale of an emasculated man (Jimmy Stewart) driven to chasing obsession on a »
- Greg Cwik
German Concentration Camps Factual Survey
Directed by Sidney Bernstein
An official documentary about German atrocities and the concentration camps compiled with footage shot by combat and newsreel cameramen accompanying troops as they liberated occupied Europe
Last year, Night Will Fall was released. Directed by André Singer, it documented the making of the film German Concentration Camps Factual Survey. While Night Will Fall looks back at the collection, editing and history of the footage, this is the film itself, as it was intended to be seen. Produced by Sidney Bernstein, Gccfs was intended to be screened in Germany after World War II to ensure the atrocities committed, in their name, was never forgotten. Though the vast majority of the film was completed (five out of six reels edited, narration scripted, etc) it was decided that, »
- Simon Columb
The BFI (British Film Institute) today announces UK activity at the 5th Beijing International Film Festival (Bjiff).
An excerpt from The Legend of the Willow Patterned Plate (1926), newly restored by the BFI National Archive, will screen at the opening night gala on April 16.
Carol Morley’s The Falling, supported by the BFI, is also screening In Competition at the festival on April 18 with young star Florence Pugh, who plays Abbie in the film, attending the red carpet premiere.
With a UK-China Co-Production Treaty in place, BFI CEO Amanda Nevill will be attending the festival and joining the panel at the Sino-Foreign Film Co-Production Forum on April 17, a major part of the festival organized by the China Film Co-Production Corporation.
An extract of the restored The Legend of The Willow Patterned Plate will premiere with a live orchestral accompaniment at the festival’s opening night gala event »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
A hi-tech thriller in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Nacho Vigalondo’s Open Windows is played out via webcams, computer screens and phone cameras. The film sees Elijah Wood star Nick Chambers, webmaster of a site devoted to movie star Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey) who is in Austin to promote her new schlocky sci-fi horror flick. Nick is in town as the winner of an online competition to meet and greet Jill while she is in Austin. Unfortunately his prize is a hoax; it’s all an elaborate scam set up by mysterious superfan Chord for him to play a part in an audacious plan to kidnap the actress.
- Phil Wheat
For the first time since 1987 (Diane Kurys's A Man in Love), a female director will open the Cannes Film Festival: Emmanuelle Bercot's La Tête haute. Above: Josh Karp has written a book on Orson Welles's last film, The Other Side of the Wind, and has penned an article for Vanity Fair that traces the history of this infamous lost and found movie:"The story behind the making of The Other Side of the Wind begins at Schwab’s drugstore, the Hollywood soda fountain where: Charlie Chaplin played pinball, F. Scott Fitzgerald had his first heart attack, and, according to some versions of the story, Lana Turner was discovered while cutting school to grab a Coke."More on Orson Welles: David Bordwell writes on his personal history with the filmmaker (and his hometown) occasioned by a retrospective in Madison, Wisconsin: "So I had good luck coming here »
Seventy-five years ago, Alfred Hitchcock changed the face of American film -- and made it a lot creepier.
Having already directed two dozen features in England, the filmmaker moved to Hollywood and made his first feature there, the glossy psychological thriller "Rebecca," released 75 years ago this month (April 12, 1940). The movie, about an unnamed young woman (Joan Fontaine) who marries a brooding aristocrat (Laurence Olivier) and moves into a spooky mansion still haunted by her husband's late wife (the Rebecca of the title), won the Oscar for Best Picture and launched Hitchcock's four-decade reign as Hollywood's leading director of movies that sent chills down your spine.
Today, of course, Hitchcock movies are recognized as their own genre, films whose suspense and horrors have not only kept generations of moviegoers on the edge of their seats but also became the templates that taught all thriller and chiller directors who followed how to do the same. »
- Gary Susman
Alfred Hitchcock is generally credited with coining the term ‘MacGuffin’ – putting a name to an age-old story-telling strategy. Its basic definition is as a plot device that drives the action, and motivates the protagonist of the story. Hitchcock – widely regarded as the master of the MacGuffin movie – famously felt that the nature of the MacGuffin should actually be inconsequential as far as the audience is concerned. For him, the MacGuffin could be anything – it simply serves to further the story. This sentiment was clearly evident in his 1935 film The 39 Steps, in which the titular plot device is mentioned to the protagonist by a mysterious woman at the height of a tense situation, and is not explained further.
This attitude is not shared by every filmmaker, however. George Lucas, for example, has been noted as saying that the nature of the MacGuffin should be as important to the viewer as it is to the characters onscreen. »
- Sarah Myles
Jon Snow is to receive a BAFTA Fellowship.
The journalist and broadcaster will receive the honour, which is granted "in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games".
"I am genuinely overwhelmed by the honour of being awarded a BAFTA Fellowship," Snow said. "There is no greater recognition than that of one's own industry.
"When I saw the list of Fellows I was daunted by the idea that I could in some way be ranked amongst them. I thought at first BAFTA must have the wrong Snow... There are several of my cousins they could have chosen.
"I'm genuinely looking forward to the ceremony on May 10. I think my daughters have concluded I've finally done something cool!"
He also told The Guardian that the letter informing him of the Fellowship had been sent to the wrong address, revealing: "For two or three months I was blissfully »
Plot: A computer programmer gets the opportunity to meet his reclusive boss at his vast estate; he soon learns that he's been brought there to test out an artificial intelligence... one that looks like a young woman. Review: Alex Garland, screenwriter of fan favorites 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd, makes a compelling directorial debut with Ex MacHina, a claustrophobic sci-fi mindgame that's like if Alfred Hitchcock had directed an episode of The Outer Limits. Infused with clever »
- Eric Walkuski
“Spielberg at his most Hitchcockian.” That’s how the team behind The Discarded Image (a new video essay series focused on cinema) describes the beach scene in Jaws where Brody watches a ton of potential beach-loving victims, helpless to save a little boy who’s ripped apart by the shark. I can’t disagree. Mostly because Alfred Hitchcock also loved bad hats. The video does a striking and thorough job explaining how Steven Spielberg tortures the viewer by forcing them to identify with a powerless figure caught in the middle of a violently chaotic moment. It’s about framing, camera direction and dramatic irony. It’s also about color coordination, foreground imagery and the culmination of earlier character decisions. It’s also about a dozen other things that allow us to marvel at Spielberg’s genius and allow aspiring filmmakers to shudder at the sheer level of detail that goes into making something this powerful. I »
- Scott Beggs
Thanks to the lacklustre Arcanum Club plot, somewhat aptly, Bates Motel is appearing more and more schizophrenic in season 3...
This review contains spoilers.
3.5 The Deal
Bates Motel often feels like two separate shows existing in tandem within the same hour. On the one hand we have the affecting, beautifully acted Psycho prequel that focuses on the relationships of the deeply fractured Bates family. On the other hand, we have the Twin Peaks-evoking horror/thriller centring on the hellhole that is White Pine Bay. One of those shows is great, the other not so much; and possibly one of the biggest problems with Bates Motel is that it has never convincingly made the two feel like they comfortably belong together.
Roughly at the point this week where sinister gang member #237 ran Norma off the road and started spouting crap about how Romero ‘Can’t save you; he can’t even »
Thrillers are always interesting. Everything relies on suspense and the attempt to keep the audience engrossed and wanting to see the puzzle come together right in front of them. Some work and some don’t, that’s just a fact that comes with the territory. It’s all about Wanting to take a journey with the film’s characters, and thankfully, Eric England’s Roadside is just that kind of film, one that makes you want to keep watching to find out what will happen, and succeeding at being a good thriller (and story in general) at the same time.
Revolving around Dan and Mindy Summers (Ace Marrero and Katie Stegeman), a couple driving alongside some very cold conditions, Roadside does a good job of letting its viewers know that their protagonists are already on shaky ground, with hints that the husband might be cheating on the wife and the »
- Jerry Smith
"Alfred Hitchcock is the latest installment in Peter Ackroyd’s ongoing Brief Lives series," notes Peter Murphy in the Irish Times. "He’s probably written footnotes longer than this book; at 250 pages odd it’s a mere pamphlet compared with Bible-sized behemoths such as London: The Biography or Thames: Sacred River. In that light, Alfred Hitchcock seems less like a labor of obsessive love than a pleasurable dalliance." In the Financial Times, Ian Thomson agrees: "For all its insight, Peter Ackroyd’s biography is a deft synthesis of numerous other studies of 'Alfred the Great'; it is well written, however, and unusually well attuned to the religious element." We're collecting more reviews. » - David Hudson »
Debates about Alfred Hitchcock have been raging for decades. Was he a cruel genius who treated his actors like cattle, torturing his icy blondes' performances out of them? (Some, like established movie star Grace Kelly, handled him better than others.) Some critics prefer the more whimsical British Hitchcock, tongue tucked in cheek, although his first breakout hit "The Lodger" (1927) was a sign of things to come. Clearly, Hitchcock learned from early Hollywood mentor David O. Selznick, who taught him a great deal, points out David Thomson in "The New Biographical Dictionary of Film." Over 50 years, the filmmaker always had visual flair and a distinct style, and knew how to implicate audiences in his dark, often opaque characters. Cary Grant, especially, excelled at playing charismatic men whose motives and true nature were open to interpretation, from "Suspicion" to "Notorious." Hitchcock was a true artist in the sense that he often »
For Norman McLaren form is everything. That makes sense given the medium he chose to express his art. Short films are, perhaps more than any other expression of film, succinct and to the point. The story is in the form, the vision is in the form, the art is in the form. To that end many directors have spent many years trying their best to manipulate the form. Film is malleable after all, that is the most breathtaking aspect of the medium. To see something so straightforward taken and twisted until it meets the vision of the artist is akin to the definition of art.
That is where Norman McLaren enters the picture. He was a master at taking the form of the short film and twisting and turning it until it fit his vision of art. Take a film like Dots for instance. A simple red animated landscape is »
- Bill Thompson
Creating cool fight scenes has never been easier in the current age of filmmaking. Special effects have evolved to the point where the eye can rarely discriminate between what is real and what isn’t, while choreography is much more sophisticated than it was in the past, and there’s no shortage of cash to throw at action films to get everything done just right. So with all of these advances going in modern film’s favor, why aren’t more fight scenes memorable?
Rumors swirled around the Toronto International Film Festival as Eastern Promises debuted in 2007, with word that director David Cronenberg had introduced perhaps the most perplexing fight scene into the collective consciousness of movie fans everywhere. No, I’m not referencing the opening to the film, where a graphic throat-slashing takes place, but a brutal knife fight that takes place later on. A film ostensibly about the »
- Colin Biggs
Helen Mirren is perhaps the only actress of her generation who can come close to matching Meryl Streep in terms of still finding quality film roles and delivering spellbinding performances. This week, she takes on the role of a real-life Austrian immigrant, seeking justice for her family by reclaiming a lost piece of art stolen during WWII, in the drama Woman in Gold (2015). Early reviews have been mixed, yet Mirren, as usual, has been showered with praise for another stunning portrayal from the Oscar winner.
For all the nuance that Mirren no doubt brings to Woman in Gold, it surely won’t be able to hold a candle to her finest post-Queen role, as the wife of the master of suspense in Hitchcock (2012). Based on the book by Stephen Rebello, Hitchcock chronicles Alfred Hitchcock’s (Anthony Hopkins) long journey in bringing the now-classic Psycho (1960) to the screen. The film depicts »
- Frank Calvillo
In my opinion the conclusions Ronald Rovers comes to in this breakdown of Birdman's seamless editing is a little far fetched when it comes to his "closer look", but nonetheless interesting and it's fun to see someone willing to look so close and come up with a few outlandish theories. I think Jeff Wells' headline "Birdman Meets Room 237" is pretty much spot on in this regard. Room 237 was a bunch of hooey when it comes to its theories, but nevertheless a fun exploration of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. I will say, however, I'm growing weary with everything being compared to Kubrick in some way or another. I don't know if it's simply the era in which most film bloggers and critics grew up in or if it's some sort of unnatural obsession, but as much as I love Kubrick and seeing people explore his work, the comparisons need to end. »
- Brad Brevet
Long before he co-starred as James Dalton's memorable mentor and friend in Road House, Sam Elliott took on killer amphibians in 1972's Frogs, and with Scream Factory offering up two double doses of nature-gone-wrong creature features, Frogs is invading homes on Blu-ray this May along with the giant rats of The Food of the Gods, the killer ants of Empire of the Ants, and the creepy king cobra from Jaws of Satan.
Press release - "This spring, nature strikes back! On May 26, 2015 Scream Factory presents Food of the Gods and Frogs, two nature-gone-berserk shockers on Blu-ray for the first time. This release comes complete with bonus features, including new interviews with the films’ stars Belinda Balaski and Joan Van Ark.
- Derek Anderson
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