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“A murderer would never parade his crime in front of an open window”.
Rear Window Screens at The Hi-Pointe Theater in St. Louis Saturday morning January 31st at 10:30am
As with so many of Alfred’s Hitchcock’s films, Rear Window (1954) is a wonderful example of how to take an almost absurdly simple idea and spin out the maximum tension, character, humor and drama from it. It should be boring (a movie set in one room with a guy who can’t move) and ludicrous (a killer who murders his wife and chops her up in front of his neighbors) but it’s quite the opposite – riveting and eerily plausible. If ever there was a film about voyeurism and its relationship to cinema, this is it; Hitchcock tells engrossing little silent movies of the tenants (the newlyweds, the sculptress, Miss Torso, the dog-owners, the killer, the songwriter, Miss Lonelyhearts »
- Tom Stockman
It’s rare these days to find a sci-fi that doesn’t bog you down in condescending exposition for the first half an hour, boring you senseless with background and character history to the point that you’re unlikely to care all that much when the story proper kicks in. Last year’s Lucy was a prime example of this: the movie kept explaining its ridiculous plot to you despite the fact that no-one’s ever gone into a Luc Besson movie expecting complex, intelligent storytelling. 2014′s other sci-fi starring Scarlett Johansson, Under The Skin, however, is a masterclass in understatement and trusting the audience to comprehend the story without it being spoon-fed to them.
I say all this because, thankfully, Ex Machina is much closer to the latter than the former in its storytelling. Though there is a lot more dialogue. »
- Mark Allen
Arts critics tend to get a rough time of it in the movies. Even looking at this year's awards season hopefuls, Birdman casts a wonderfully scabrous Lindsay Duncan as a theatre critic who is determined to kill the hero's play, and Mr. Turner presents John Ruskin as a lisping, pretentious fop, a representation that has led some to take mild umbrage.
To look even further back, at Ratatouille's sneering Anton Ego, or Lady In The Water's film-savvy 'straw critic', or Theatre Of Blood's gleefully murderous tract, there's not a whole lot of love for critics in film. Any of this might give way to the preconception that critics, especially film critics, don't actually like films and that they're out of touch with both the filmmakers whose works they »
L.A.-based Mexican producer-financier Alex Garcia, French producer Claudie Ossard and Amanda Neville, British Film Institute CEO, form the three-member jury panel at this year’s 8th Kustendorf Intl. Film and Music Festival, which opened Jan. 21 with a gala screening of Venice competition player “The Postman’s White Nights.”
Beforehand, director Andrei Konchalovsky took an audience through some of the challenges of filmmaking, such as the stolidity of the camera, which, per a festival report, he explained, citing Robert Bresson’s diktat: “The camera is like the eye of a cow.”
Also in attendance: Cannes director Thierry Fremaux, to present a restored copy of 1929’s “In the Night,” the only film helmed by resilient French actor Charles-Marie Vanel, whise 77-year career took included being seen with Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief.” Vanel received a tribute-retrospective at Lyon’s 2013 Lumière Festival, which Fremaux runs with Institut Lumière president Bertrand Tavernier, »
- John Hopewell
Image Courtesy of Newsweek
Alfred Hitchcock made films in which birds attacked mankind, in which a psychopath killed women in the shower, and in which a man holed up in his room could witness a murder about to unfold. Yet his most disturbing film was never seen by the public and has been buried for 70 years.
In 1945, Hitchcock was commissioned to make German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, a documentary to be filmed at the Bergen-Bensen concentration camp during the Holocaust at the end of World War II. Hitchcock and a crew of filmmakers captured unspeakable horrors at the hands of the Nazis. But for a variety of reasons, in part because Billy Wilder was commissioned to make another film, in part because diplomacy was moving forward and in part because the footage was so gruesome, that Hitchcock’s work was buried and unfinished.
- Brian Welk
In 1945, British Allied Forces commissioned director Alfred Hitchcock (circa "Spellbound" era) to supervise a documentary on the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. Titled "German Concentration Camps: Factual Survey," the project foundered under political and artistic pressures. Thus, enter producer Brett Ratner and director André Singer, whose "Night Will Fall" plays HBO on Monday, January 26 at 9pm Est. Watch trailers and clips below. The presentation combines restored, hardly seen archival footage (including pieces of an elusive sixth reel thought to be lost) and eyewitness testimony to offer an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at a film that was never finished. (An incomplete version played the Berlin Film Festival in 1984, and PBS in 1985, under the title "Memory of the Camps.") Newsweek has a fascinating, in-depth look at what went wrong and what this footage looks like: "Two women drag an emaciated female corpse »
- Ryan Lattanzio
While William Randolph Hearst may not agree with the decision, it seems like the rest of his family are open to showing a movie that famously took a lot from his life.
Variety reported on Friday that for the first time ever, Citizen Kane would be showing in the Hearst Castle. The film will screen on March 13 as part of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. The movie will be screened at the private theater at the massive hilltop estate, the inspiration for Xanadu in Citizen Kane, for about 50 people. Tickets will cost $1,000 each and proceeds will benefit the festival and The Friends of Hearst Castle preservation group.
- Zach Dennis
The art of creating a successful mystery seems to be lost on many of today’s filmmakers and their films. Instead of allowing a solid story to play out in front of you and keep you guessing, a lot of films falling into the mystery/thriller genre tend to utilize the same ol’ twists and turns we’ve all seen time and time again. When a film comes along and offers a story full of suspense and surprise, it’s a surprise and a very refreshing one at that. Luckily, Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini’s feature directorial debut, The Two Faces Of January, is just that type of film, one that keeps you guessing until the very end.
- Jerry Smith
From the pool party dive in Boogie Nights inspired by Mikhail Kalatozov’s I Am Cuba to the steering wheel scene in Hard Eight that so deftly recalls Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur, playing spot the reference with Paul Thomas Anderson is always fun. It is through these moments that we can fully appreciate the voracious depth at which one man is embroiled in his art; forever the immersed student despite his steady rise to master, yet with a constant, gleeful wish to share with us an unconditional love for the cinema – something that we can all identify with.
Of all Paul Thomas Anderson’s creations, one continues to standout as a jarring anomaly: that being Punch-Drunk Love, which does away with many of the recurring narrative themes (fathers and sons, abandonment, etc.) that can be traced throughout his work, and instead challenges the conventions of the romance genre – though, with »
- Nicholas Page
In his relatively short time directing films, Paul Thomas Anderson has been called a rock star, a genius, an artist who knows no limits, the most devout filmmaker of his generation, and even the best film director in the world. Anderson has secured a spot in the hearts of most cinephiles generally reserved for dearly departed masters like Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick. Somewhere along the line, Anderson transformed from the latest cinematic wunderkind to the new American master.
As such, there are hundreds of articles (justifiably) praising the new golden boy of American cinema, but few of them acknowledge Anderson’s flaws as a filmmaker, or else they work overtime to explain them away. Let’s play devil’s advocate and look at those flaws head-on.
- Jeff Rindskopf
Tom Hardy, who is a brilliant actor but sounds unintelligible, was forced this week to drop out of the superhero franchise in the making Suicide Squad. Tom Hardy was to be the lead Rick Flag, alongside Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevigne and Jared Leto, in a supervillain mash-up movie. But Hardy’s latest project, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant, is running behind schedule, forcing the actor to pull out and leave the super villainy to someone else.
The Wrap is now reporting that Suicide Squad’s director David Ayer’s first choice to replace Hardy is Jake Gyllenhaal, who has never appeared in a superhero movie and previously worked with Ayer on the cop drama End of Watch. The Wrap points out that Gyllenhaal is currently at work on Southpaw for Antoine Fuqua, a boxing movie that required him to get absolutely jacked.
Ruben Östlund, director »
- Brian Welk
The Gone Girl team of director David Fincher, screenwriter Gillian Flynn and actor Ben Affleck have already set their sights on their next project: Strangers, a modern take on Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 suspense classic Strangers on a Train, according to Deadline.
In the Hitchcock original, the plot revolves a murder pact between a tennis star (played by Farley Granger) and the titular stranger on a train (portrayed by Robert Walker). Aboard, they devise a plan to kill the source of each other's problems – the tennis star's ex-wife, the stranger's father »
It.s only been a few months since the theatrical release of Gone Girl, but as we learned yesterday, director David Fincher, writer Gillian Flynn, and star Ben Affleck are all very much itching to get back to work together. It.s been revealed that the trio are now reteaming for a remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train, with Affleck set to play the movie.s protagonist. The big question that remains, however, is who will play opposite him as the film.s murder-trading villain. Reported to be titled simply Strangers, sources have said that elements of the original story are set to be changed in a significant way in the new film . including the fact that the setting will be modern day and that a private plane will be taking the place of a train. That being said, the relationship between the two lead characters »
It seems Ben Affleck and director David Fincher hit it off during the making of Gone Girl, as the two are expected to team up for a remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train, the first remake of the great man's work since 1998's Psycho. According to Deadline, Gone Girl author and screen writer Gillian Flynn is also on board for the remake, which will possibly just be called Strangers. In the original, tennis pro Guy Haines meets the charming, yet psychotic, Bruno on a train, which sets in motion a plan to pull off the perfect crime, with both strangers tasked with murdering the other's respective thorn in their side. This modernised version would take on slightly meta aspect, with Affleck as an actor in the middle of an Oscar campaign who accepts a ride on a wealthy stranger's private jet after his own plane breaks down. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
The remake will be a contemporary version and will switch the pivotal meeting from a train to a plane. The film will reportedly be titled Strangers, and Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl, is also said to be in talks to write the screenplay.
As per Deadline, “Affleck will play a variation of the role played by Farley Granger of a tennis pro who is bored with his marriage and wants to get divorced, but instead gets entwined with a wealthy socialite psycho who proposes the notion of exchanging murders. The twist here is a compelling one. Affleck will play a movie star–in the middle of a campaign for an Oscar during awards season–whose private plane breaks »
- Thomas Roach
"Gone Girl" writer Gillian Flynn recently revealed that would like to reunite with Ben Affleck and director David Fincher for a sequel. While that will likely not happen, now comes word that the trio may reunite for an entirely new project. THR is reporting that Flynn, Affleck and Fincher are working on a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1951 classic "Strangers on a Train," which would star Affleck as the character Farley Granger played in the original. In "Strangers on a Train," a psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder... a theory that he plans to implement. »
Above: the great Italian filmmaker, Francesco Rosi, has passed away at the age of 92. Takao Saito, the Japanese cinematographer and frequent collaborator with Akira Kurosawa, has passed away at the age of 85. Best known for his turn in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, actor Rod Taylor has passed away at the age of 84. It started out as a very casual conversation on Twitter (and eventually Facebook), but Kevin B. Lee has put together an impressive poll of the best films of the decade at its halfway mark, with nearly 300 people factoring in to the results. Here's a peep at the top 10, and you can click here to see all the details:
1. The Tree of Life (103 votes)
2. Certified Copy (91 votes)
3. The Master (76 votes)
4. Margaret (68 votes)
5. Holy Motors (66 votes)
6. A Separation (64 votes)
7. Under the Skin (61 votes)
8. Inside Llewyn Davis (59 votes)
9. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (45 votes)
10. Boyhood (44 votes)
For The A. »
No strangers to suspense! Gone Girl director David Fincher and star Ben Affleck are set to team up again for an upcoming Alfred Hitchcock remake, Deadline reports. The duo, who successfully adapted the best-selling thriller Gone Girl in 2014, earning critical praise and Golden Globe nominations to boot, will be putting a modern spin on Hitchcock’s 1951 classic Strangers on a Train. Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn is currently in talks to write the film’s script. The movie, titled Strangers, is set to take place on a [...] »
The films of Alfred Hitchcock still provide rich pickings for modern filmmakers, in spite of the fact that the last full-on remake was Gus Van Sant's ill-advised take on Psycho. Thus, Michael Douglas vehicle A Perfect Murder went back to the Dial M For Murder source material, whilst the Shia Labeouf-headlined Disturbia was inspired by the wonderful Rear Window.
Next up then? It might just be Strangers On A Train. Warner Bros is trying to get a remake of the 1951 original together, and it's recruiting the team behind Gone Girl to do it. Thus, the studio wants novelist and screenwriter Gillian Flynn, star Ben Affleck and director David Fincher to take the job on.
The new version will be modernised (taking place in the middle of an Oscar campaign, »
Strangers on a Train, written by Patricia Highsmith, has a brilliantly simple premise. Two total strangers -- Guy, a famous tennis player, and Bruno, the son of a wealthy businessman -- exchange grievances on a train, where one of them proposes that the solution to both of their problems lies in murder. Bruno will kill Guy's wife if Guy agrees to kill Bruno's old man. Since they're total strangers with no conceivable motives connecting them to the victims, the police can never pin the crime on them, making it a perfect plan. Until nothing goes to plan, that is. Alfred Hitchcock directed a famous adaptation of it back in 1951, and since then the same plot has been used all over the place, from big-name movies like Throw Momma from the Train to even a...
- Peter Hall
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