8 items from 2015
Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture: Coming this March, Lego's Avengers S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier play set, which comes with mini-figs for Captain America, Black Widow, Iron Man, Nick Fury and Maria Hill (via Live for Film): Learn about the geometry involved in the films of Akira Kurosawa via the underrated The Bad Sleep Well and a brief video essay by Tony Zhou (via Devour): Learn why the Lord of the Rings trilogy is so much more satisfying than the Hobbit trilogy, via this video essay by Sean Hickey (via Filmmaker Iq): Now we just need some little purple costumes to put on the birds who frequent this The Grand Budapest Hotel...
- Christopher Campbell
“It’s like a lot of films one sees today. Not that I see very many, but to me they are what I call ‘photographs of people talking.’ It bears no relation to the art of the cinema, and the point is that the power of the cinema in its purest form is so vast because it can go over the whole world,” Alfred Hitchcock once said. That dissatisfaction with seeing modern-day directors simply shooting actors and cutting between a multitude of shots is what motivated the fine folks over at Every Frame A Painting to take a closer look at Akira Kurosawa’s visual style in a new short video essay. Running just over three minutes, “The Geometry of a Scene” focuses on a scene from Kurosawa’s 1960 corruption drama “The Bad Sleep Well,” and deconstructs how Kurosawa is able to derive tension from a relatively simple scene without cutting between multiple shots: instead, »
- Cain Rodriguez
When Adam Sandler secured his lucrative deal with Netflix, it was unclear what the first project from this groundbreaking union would be. Well, The Wrap is reporting that the first film will be Sandler's long-gestating western comedy "Ridiculous 6." What's more, the site is reporting that Sandler has lined up an all-star cast. Apparently, with his first Netflix outing, Sandler wants to go big.
"Ridiculous 6," co-written by Sandler and regular collaborator Tim Herlihy, will star Blake Shelton, Whitney Cummings, Luke Wilson, Steve Zahn, Nick Nolte, Danny Trejo, Chris Parnell, Lavell Crawford and returning Sandler favorites Steve Buscemi, Rob Schneider (so I guess he patched up whatever beef he had with Sandler that kept him out of "Grown Ups 2"), Dan Aykroyd, Nick Swardson, Terry Crews, John Lovitz and Vanilla Ice. Whew, that's a lot of people.
What's somewhat more iffy about the project is the fact that it's a comedic western, »
- Drew Taylor
Everyone knows Woody Allen. At least, everyone thinks they know Woody Allen. His plumage is easily identifiable: horn-rimmed glasses, baggy suit, wispy hair, kvetching demeanor, ironic sense of humor, acute fear of death. As is his habitat: New York City, though recently he has flown as far afield as London, Barcelona, and Paris. His likes are well known: Bergman, Dostoevsky, New Orleans jazz. So too his dislikes: spiders, cars, nature, Wagner records, the entire city of Los Angeles. Whether or not these traits represent the true Allen, who’s to say? It is impossible to tell, with Allen, where cinema ends and life begins, an obfuscation he readily encourages. In the late nineteen-seventies, disillusioned with the comedic success he’d found making such films as Sleeper (1973), Love and Death (1975), and Annie Hall (1977), he turned for darker territory with Stardust Memories (1980), a film in which, none too surprisingly, he plays a »
- Graham Daseler
The award will be presented at the Writers Guild Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Feb. 14.
“Almodovar – the first name is almost unnecessary – is a genius, is a flower, is a guiding light: the last, best son of Buñuel and so much more than that,” said WGA West VP Howard Rodman. “His screenplays, which he directs with passion and fine care, have taught us about the exteriors of his native land and the interiors of our own hearts. From the early, manic experimental Super-8 work to the breakthrough ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,’ his titles are as evocative as most people’s screenplays.”
“Yet for all their antic energy, Almodovar’s films are deeply spiritual: watching his disturbing, mysterious, heart-rending ‘Talk to Her’ is to understand, »
- Dave McNary
We remember four remarkable men we've lost this past week. Cinematographer Takao Saito worked for nearly half a century with Akira Kurosawa and won a Japanese Academy Award. Film historian and critic Gilberto Perez wrote a landmark book in 1998, The Material Ghost: Films and their Medium. Samuel Goldwyn Jr. "helped create a business model—low production costs, guerrilla marketing—that allowed art-house movies to grow into a powerful cultural and economic force" (New York Times). And "fame-ish" Taylor Negron will be remembered for more than his roles in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Better Off Dead and Punchline—he was also an engaging and funny writer. » - David Hudson »
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. »
"My father always said that the films he loved were too many to count, and to make a top ten rank," Akira Kurosawa's daughter Kazuko Kurosawa wrote in the preface of her father's book "A Dream is a Genius." "That explains why you cannot find in this list many of the titles of the films he regarded as wonderful. The principle of the choice is: one film for one director, entry of the unforgettable films about which I and my father had a lovely talk, and of some ideas on cinema that he had cherished but did not express in public. This is the way I made a list of 100 films of Kurosawa's choice." Those are words to keep in mind as you run through the list below of the great filmmaker's favorite movies. But even if this isn't a definitive list from Kurosawa, it's great overview of a »
- Kevin Jagernauth
8 items from 2015
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