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Analyzing Mad Men is simultaneously the hardest, and easiest writing gig in town. The show’s refusal to sacrifice artistry for clarity, and say what it’s really thinking, means you can forget the particulars of a scene very quickly, especially if there’s a lot of agency business acronyms and numbers being thrown around. But so long as you have some sense of what’s going on, there’s nothing stopping you from spinning out your reading of events into some sort of interpretation of the show’s deeper mysteries that has a shred of merit. Mad Men has even poked fun at its knack for being so inviting to consider, yet so hard to pin down: in season two’s “The Gold Violin,” office workers trying to express their thoughts on Burt Cooper’s new painting played like a mini-Rorshach test, but all the meditations were turned into »
- Sam Woolf
Winner of three glittering Oscars, British director Tom Hooper's all-singing, all-dancing big screen adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel (as well as the subsequent stage musical) Les Misérables has certainly managed to capture the imagination of many. After conquering all and sundry at with breakthrough hit The King's Speech (2010), Hooper had set the bar intimidatingly high for his eagerly awaited follow-up. It was almost excruciatingly disappointing then, to see such a competent filmmaker undone more by his own bemusing misdirection and false steps, than by any preconceived, lofty ambition.
Set against the backdrop of 19th century France, Hooper's Les Misérables tells an interconnected, sprawling tale of imprisoned souls, demonised poor and kindred spirits, all fighting for survival amidst a country on the verge of civil unrest. Australian man mountain Hugh Jackman plays ex-convict Jean Valjean (aka prisoner 24601), hunted across the land by lawman Javert (Russell Crowe) after he breaks free of his bonds. »
- CineVue UK
In theaters September 6th, here’s the new trailer for Populaire.
Spring, 1958. 21-year-old Rose Pamphyle lives with her grouchy widower father who runs the village store. Engaged to the son of the local mechanic, she seems destined for the quiet, drudgery-filled life of a housewife. But that’s not the life Rose longs for. When she travels to Lisieux in Normandy, where charismatic insurance agency boss Louis Echard is advertising for a secretary, the ensuing interview is a disaster. But Rose reveals a special gift – she can type at extraordinary speed. Unwittingly, the young woman awakens the dormant sports fan in Louis. If she wants the job she’ll have to compete in a speed typing competition. Whatever sacrifices Rose must make to reach the top, Louis declares himself her trainer. He’ll turn her into the fastest girl not only in the country, but in the world! But a »
- Michelle McCue
Deanna Durbin: Ephemeral fame (photo: Deanna Durbin in 1981) [See previous post: "Deanna Durbin: 'Sweet Monster.'"] Unlike Greta Garbo, whose mystique remained basically intact following her retirement in 1941, Deanna Durbin’s popularity faded away much like that of the vast majority of celebrities who were removed — or who chose to remove themselves — from public view. Despite the advent of home video and classic-movie cable channels, Durbin remains virtually unknown to the vast majority of those who weren’t around in her heyday in the ’30s and ’40s. Yet, although relatively few in number, she continues to have her ardent fans. There are a handful of websites devoted to Deanna Durbin and her film and recording careers, chiefly among them the appropriately titled "Deanna Durbin Devotees." Fade Out Charles David, Deanna Durbin’s husband of 48 years, died in March 1999, at the age of 92; Institut Pasteur medical researcher Peter H. David is their only son. Durbin also had a daughter, »
- Andre Soares
Deanna Durbin: Highest-paid actress in the world [See previous post: "Deanna Durbin in the '40s: From Wholesome Musicals to Film Noir Sex Worker."] Despite several missteps in the handling of her career, David Shipman states that Deanna Durbin was Hollywood’s (and the world’s) highest-paid actress in both 1945 and 1947. In 1946, Durbin’s earnings of $323,477 trailed only Bette Davis’ $328,000 at Warner Bros. Those are impressive rankings (and wages), but ironically Durbin’s high earnings ultimately harmed her career. By the mid-’40s, her domestic box-office allure was beginning to fade, a situation surely worsened by World War II closing off most of Hollywood’s top international markets. As a result, Universal, since 1947 a new entity known as Universal-International, was unwilling to spend extra money in their star’s already costly vehicles. That’s a similar predicament to the one faced by silent-era superstar John Gilbert at MGM in the early ’30s: the studio had to pay Gilbert an exorbitant salary that made his movies much »
- Andre Soares
Deanna Durbin in the 1940s: From wholesome musicals to film noir sex worker (photo: Gene Kelly and Deanna Durbin cast against type in the un-Christmas-y Christmas Holiday) [See previous post: "Deanna Durbin Without Joe Pasternak: Adrift at Universal."] The Deanna Durbin vs. Universal dispute was settled in early 1942, when the actress was supposedly granted director and story approval. But things didn’t go all that smoothly from then on. There would be no loan-outs to the more opulent MGM, and Durbin would later complain that Universal refused to abide by her requests. Also, for the first time since her career skyrocketed in 1936, Durbin was absent from the screen for a whole year. The key reason there were no 1942 Deanna Durbin movies was the troubled production of her next star vehicle, The Amazing Mrs. Holliday, in which Durbin tries to smuggle Chinese orphans into the U.S., and which underwent not only various title changes, but also various directors and various script »
- Andre Soares
By the time you read this, I'll be in Fredericksburg for the Hill Country Film Festival. I love a film fest that's in one theater, where you get to know all the filmmakers and half the audience, and where short films prevail and celebrities do not. I wish the weather were less capricious, but you can't have everything. If you're in Austin instead, your best bet may be that fabulous new release about heroes who use their iron technology to assist mankind. Of course I mean the Austin documentary Trash Dance, which has a weeklong run at Violet Crown.
Hoping to get back in town Sunday in time for Alamo Drafthouse Ritz's Cinema Cocktails screening of the 1949 musical On the Town, a favorite of mine, screening in 35mm. Who couldn't love dance numbers from Gene Kelly, Vera-Ellen and especially Ann Miller, with a script from Comden and Green? And you »
- Jette Kernion
Child star with a powerful singing voice who played the perfect girl next door in Hollywood films of the 30s and 40s
When a teenage Deanna Durbin appeared on screen in the 1930s, wearing a decorous white dress with her hands clasped together, singing with a bell-like purity, audiences sighed contentedly. And so did film and music executives. In the days when child stars were wholesome, Durbin was everyone's idea of the perfect girl next door, and she was a huge money-spinner. Audiences flocked to see her musical comedies and, after she had trilled numbers such as It's Raining Sunbeams (in the film One Hundred Men and a Girl, 1937), Home Sweet Home (in First Love, 1939) and Waltzing in the Clouds (in Spring Parade, 1940), her fans queued to buy the latest record bearing her name.
Durbin, who has died aged 91, was the antithesis of the Hollywood glamour girl – which made her »
- Michael Freedland
The French film industry has always been among the worlds most important……at least to film studies professors. Most French movies are either funded by the French government or made with the support of government-linked media companies. Filmmakers face little market pressure in the creative process. That helps explain why they’re so boring!
Starbuck opens this weekend so we here at We Are Movie Geeks have decided to post this article about our favorite French films. Okay, so Starbuck is technically a Canadian film shot in Quebec, but its French language so, in our eyes that makes it French! The Hollywood remake is already in the can. It stars Vince Vaughn. The remake was originally tilted Dickie Donor but they’ve changed it to Delivery Man, so you just know they’ve screwed it up bad. This list may not line up with that of your typical French Cinema scholar. »
- Movie Geeks
The star-studded 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival was packed with a plethora of great films and special legendary guests. Each spring, the TCM Classic Film Festival welcomes 25,000 movie fans from around the globe to Hollywood to celebrate the art and history of cinema and this year did not disappoint.
Being as this was my third year at the Festival, I was thrilled to see Oscar-winner, Cher, join Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne as a surprise guest at the opening night gala to kick off the 4th Festival in Hollywood. She joined Osborne onstage at the Tcl Chinese Theatre for a short conversation about her love of classic film, her favorite era of films and those that have inspired her prior to the world premiere screening of a brand new 45th anniversary restoration of the musical Funny Girl (1968).
Tm & (C) Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. »
- Melissa Thompson
Chicago – This weekend is the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival, and few movie stars alive represent that classic status better than Miss Mitzi Gaynor. Whether co-starring in movies with Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, or starring in the film version of “South Pacific,” Mitzi Gaynor always inspires the old “razzle dazzle.”
Francesca Marlene de Czanyi Von Gerber – nicknamed Mitzi – was born in Chicago, and her family moved to Hollywood when she was eleven. She started singing and dancing with the Los Angeles Civic Opera at age 13, and managed to get a contract – and a new last name – with 20th Century Fox Pictures at age 17. Her star shined during the last gasp of glitzy movie musicals in the 1950s, co-starring with Marilyn Monroe in “There’s No Business Like Show Business” (1954), Frank Sinatra in “The Joker is Wild” (1957) and Gene Kelly in “Les Girls” (1957).
Gaynor was the »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron chew on some dramatic family dynamics in Ramin Bahrani's new film "At Any Price." Golden boy Efron plays rebellious Dean Whipple, a tough teen who would much rather race cars on the local circuit than take over the family farming business. His dad Dean (Quaid) is feeling the pinch of the economy and changing farming climate, where genetically modified seeds are a crucial part of the new economy. "At Any Price," which is part of this year's Tribeca Film Festival, is the latest drama from independent writer/director Ramin Bahrani, who shares writing credits with Hallie Elizabeth Newton. His previous movies include buzzy arthouse favorites like "Goodbye Solo," "Chop Shop," and "Man Push Cart." Although things between Efron and Quaid get hairy onscreen, they're a chummy duo when we meet to talk about the film. The cast that Efron was sporting at the MTV »
- Jenni Miller
Looking for any excuse, Landon Palmer and Scott Beggs are using the 2012 Sight & Sound poll results as a reason to take different angles on the best movies of all time. Every week, they’ll discuss another entry in the list, dissecting old favorites from odd angles, discovering movies they haven’t seen before and asking you to join in on the conversation. Of course it helps if you’ve seen the movie because there will be plenty of spoilers. This week, they hail Stanley Donen‘s Singin’ in the Rain as a work of delightful, effortless spectacle that almost killed its cast. It takes a lot of blood, sweat, tears and more blood to make something this blissful. In the #2o movie on the list, the age of talkies is upon Hollywood, so to celebrate that 1920s transition, Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds revive songs from the 1930s for their 1952 musical. But »
- FSR Staff
Dancin’ Dan (or, as you might know me from the comment section, denny) here, with a special Dance on Film edition of April Showers for your weekend.
You all know the feeling, right? The project you’re working on is sunk because one of your partners is an idiot (a beautiful, blonde idiot with a nasally squawk of a voice). After a late night brainstorming session with two of your other partners, you come up with a brilliant solution to your problem. How do you celebrate?
If your immediate answer to that question was not “take the partner that I have a crush on home, then wave the cab away so I can walk home in the rain, giving away my umbrella to some random stranger on the street,” don’t worry. It just means that you’re not a Hollywood star of the silent screen played by Gene Kelly in a 1950s musical. »
London, Apr 12: 'Dirty Dancing' has beaten 'Singin' In The Rain' in a poll - held to find the most iconic movie dance moment of all time.
The poll by shopping channel QVC found that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey's sequence to 'The Time Of My Life,' from the 1987 sleeper hit, earned more than one in four votes in the poll of 1,000 people, pipping Gene Kelly's 1952 wet weather routine to the title, the Daily Express reported.
Women tipped the outcome towards the movie, as most men questioned, said that they preferred 'Singin' in the Rain.'
Researchers also found that John Travolta's disco classic 'Stayin' Alive' from. »
- Diksha Singh
“Oh, Miss Higgins! You’re the prettiest manager in baseball!”
Celebrate two of America’s great pastimes, Baseball and the Hollywood Musical, this Saturday morning at St. Louis’ fabulous Hi-Pointe Theater this weekend as part of their Classic Film Series. It’s Saturday, April 13th at 10:30am at the Hi-Pointe located at 1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117. Admission is only $5.
In Take Me Out To The Ball Game, set in the first decade of the 20th century, Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly play Dennis Ryan and Eddie O’Brien, two best friends who play with the Brooklyn Wolves baseball club in the summer, then work the vaudeville circuit during the off-season (I guess ball players weren’t paid one hundred years ago what they are today). Their carefree lives are shaken up when go-getter Esther Williams inherits their franchise and takes over as an active, controversial, manager who annoys »
- Tom Stockman
We’ve been having a bit of a unique time with the classic Singin In The Rain musical recently on Thn. Last week, we attending the Royal Albert Hall for a screening with a live orchestra, that was also introduced by Gene Kelly’s widow Patricia Ward Kelly, who was absolutely charming and you can read our full report here.
It’s now also been announced that the Palace Theatre musical is set to tour the UK after it ends its West End run on June 8th this year. The production will then open at Manchester’s Opera House on Wednesday 13th November and move to Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre for a Christmas and New Year season. We’re expecting full details of the tour, including casting, to also be announced shortly. Rebecca Quigley, Producer and Managing Director, Stage Entertainment UK, said:
“The first time I saw Singin’ in »
- Dan Bullock
Monkeyshines! week continues at Trailers from Hell with director Brian Trenchard-Smith introducing Stanley Kramer's multiple Oscar nominee "Inherit the Wind," starring Spencer Tracy, Fredric March and Gene Kelly verbally duking it out during a fictionalized account of the Scopes monkey trial.1960 audiences who saw Stanley Kramer's film version of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's fictionalized 1955 theatrical treatment of the 1925 Scopes monkey trial assumed that its pro-Darwin evolutionary stance was theoretically accepted by the broad population. But over 50 years later we find, incredibly, that the argument is still not settled. A 1988 tv movie remake starred Kirk Douglas and Jason Robards, and another in 1999 featured Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott. In any case, neither were as effective as Kramer's well-cast production, which was popular in its day and still makes for riveting viewing. »
- Trailers From Hell
This will be the last top ten off the top of my head whole decade thingies for a bit -- we need to get to real articles but I've been swamped off blog. But these discussions are fun, don't you agree? The 1950s were the first film decade I was obsessed with in that when I was first becoming interested in cinema in the mid 80s, the 50s somehow came to signify Mythic Classic Hollywood to me, though cinema obviously stretched much much further back. So I guess I'll always be kind of attached to this decade when the movies got literally bigger (I do so prefer rectangulars to squares) and the era's stars really defined (at least for me) the concept of "Movie Star". I mean it's hard to argue with Liz, Brando, Clift, Dean, Monroe in all caps.
Which is why Giant is such a perfect 1950s movie »
- NATHANIEL R
Chicago – Two mercurial and classic film actors appeared last summer at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, and between them have a wealth of impressive film titles on their resumes. Sean Young (“Bladerunner”) and Dean Stockwell (“Blue Velvet”) also represent different eras of cinema history.
While making an appearance at the event they talked to HollywoodChicago.com, and sat for portraits with photographer Joe Arce. This year’s Wizard World Chicago Comic Con will take place August 8th-11th, 2013, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.
Sean Young has had both an exceptional career and one laced with controversy. She was born in Kentucky, but eventually found her way to the School of American Ballet in New York City. She began her show business ambitions as a dancer and a model, before landing a role in “Jane Austin in »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
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