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1-20 of 51 items from 2017   « Prev | Next »


'First Kill': Film Review

20 July 2017 9:46 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

First Kill marks the third collaboration between director Steven C. Miller and Bruce Willis, but their efforts are not likely to enter the pantheon of such previous cinematic teams as Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart or John Ford and John Wayne. Produced by the aptly named Grindstone Entertainment, the film, much like its Miller/Willis predecessors Extraction and Marauders, is strictly grindhouse level, if grindhouses still existed. Their modern-day equivalent, VOD, will be the natural home for this mediocre thriller receiving a limited theatrical release.

As with most of his recent vehicles, Willis here plays a supporting part. Hayden Christensen plays »

- Frank Scheck

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9 Perfect Summer Vacation Movies: From ‘Jaws’ to ‘Dirty Dancing’

3 July 2017 11:51 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Movies have long been obsessed with summer. It’s not just a time of year to release big, mindless blockbusters featuring Avengers or Transformers. It’s also an opportunity to memorialize beach-going, keg-standing, and first loves — all the central ingredients to a memorable holiday. From thrillers to comedies to slasher flicks, Variety is counting down nine films that will get you in the summer vacation spirit.

Jaws (1974)

Why It’s the Perfect Summer Vacation Movie: The film that launched both the modern studio blockbuster and Steven Spielberg’s career is also the quintessential summer movie. It boasts both a picturesque beach community setting and an unforgettable central character, a really big fish who likes to nibble on tourists. Four decades after it hit theaters, “Jaws” still has a savage bite. John Williams’ propulsive score will leave you on the edge of your seat, and the sequences where the shark hurtles toward its prey have an intensity that »

- Brent Lang

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Brother Can You Spare a Dime

19 June 2017 3:31 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

It’s 1930s America as seen in the movies, through music, and the evasions of newsreels. Franklin Delano Roosevelt preaches prosperity while James Cagney slugs out the decade as a smart-tongued everyman — in a dozen different roles. Director Philippe Mora investigates what was then a new kind of revisionist info-tainment formula: applying old film footage to new purposes.

Brother Can You Spare a Dime

DVD

The Sprocket Vault

1975 / B&W / 1:33 flat full frame / 106 min. / Street Date ?, 2017 / available through The Sprocket Vault / 14.99 (also available in Blu-ray)

Film Editor: Jeremy Thomas

Research by Michael Barlow, Jennifer E. Ryan, Susan Winslow

Produced by Sanford Lieberson, David Puttnam

Directed by Philippe Mora

 

Years before he was briefly sidetracked into sequels for The Howling, Philippe Mora was an accomplished artist and documentary filmmaker. Backed by producers Sanford Lieberson and David Puttnam, his 1974 documentary Swastika pulled a controversial switch on the usual historical fare about »

- Glenn Erickson

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Mindy Newell: Disappointment and Delight

19 June 2017 10:00 AM, PDT | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

This season of Doctor Who just isn’t working for me.

This is imho, of course, and Ymmv, but after a great opening episode (The Pilot) I’ve been very disappointed. The stories haven’t excited me, and, more important, the relationship between Pearl Mackie’s Bill Potts and Peter Capaldi’s Doctor doesn’t seem to have moved all that much forward; there isn’t any there there, as Trumpists like to say these days. (Of course I had to get a Trump reference in here. You know me.) It started off great, with hints of something even more brewing.

Why does the Doctor take an interest in the non-matriculated kitchen worker who was attending his lectures? Why did he go out of his way to use the Tardis to go back in the past to take pictures of Bill’s dead mom – of whom she had no memory »

- Mindy Newell

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TCM's Pride Month Series Continues with Movies Somehow Connected to Lgbt Talent

8 June 2017 6:21 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Turner Classic Movies continues with its Gay Hollywood presentations tonight and tomorrow morning, June 8–9. Seven movies will be shown about, featuring, directed, or produced by the following: Cole Porter, Lorenz Hart, Farley Granger, John Dall, Edmund Goulding, W. Somerset Maughan, Clifton Webb, Montgomery Clift, Raymond Burr, Charles Walters, DeWitt Bodeen, and Harriet Parsons. (One assumes that it's a mere coincidence that gay rumor subjects Cary Grant and Tyrone Power are also featured.) Night and Day (1946), which could also be considered part of TCM's homage to birthday girl Alexis Smith, who would have turned 96 today, is a Cole Porter biopic starring Cary Grant as a posh, heterosexualized version of Porter. As the warning goes, any similaries to real-life people and/or events found in Night and Day are a mere coincidence. The same goes for Words and Music (1948), a highly fictionalized version of the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical partnership. »

- Andre Soares

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Tom Cruise and ‘The Mummy’: Why This May Be the Weirdest Movie Choice of His Career

8 June 2017 9:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

In August 1983, Ronald Reagan was president, “Every Breath You Take” by The Police was in the middle of an eight-week run as the #1 single, Ivanka Trump wasn’t quite two years old, and few people were aware of the Church of Scientology. And “Risky Business,” the first movie to star Tom Cruise, became a surprise hit.

34 years later, Cruise is at a different kind of crossroads at the box office. He’s been charged with rebooting Universal’s Mummy franchise, which will launch the studio’s “Dark Universe” story world. And while “The Mummy” has already opened strongly in its first date (South Korea), projections here are considerably less kind. Reviews have ranged from disappointing to incendiary, and “Wonder Woman” is expected to soundly beat the film in its opening weekend.

Read More: Review: ‘The Mummy’ Is The Worst Tom Cruise Movie Ever

While “The Mummy” won’t be a career highlight, »

- Tom Brueggemann

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Becoming Cary Grant’

5 June 2017 5:25 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Becoming Cary Grant” is a catchy title for an inside Hollywood documentary. It suggests that the person who ultimately evolved into Cary Grant — he was born in 1904 and started off as Archie Leach, a dirt-poor kid from Bristol in the south of England — really did need to become him, for the same reason that anyone else would: namely, that Cary Grant wasn’t quite of this earth. David Thomson, the venerable film critic who speaks throughout the movie as an authority on Grant, suggests that the actor was neither British nor American, but a one-of-a-kind hybrid. Even his accent, so utterly distinctive, was unplaceable. On the surface, it had the clipped cadences of British cultivated elegance, but the music it carried had a harder America edge. The movie quotes Grant as saying, “Everybody wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.” That tells you what a »

- Owen Gleiberman

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Twin Peaks Episode 5 Recap: Did We Just Meet [Spoiler]'s Demon Spawn?

5 June 2017 5:14 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

So many familiar faces popped up in “Part 5” of Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival — and I think we can see all the far-flung storylines just starting to come together. But it was a minor footnote that finally got me bubbling over with excitement. As the credits rolled, a familiar name popped up in the crawl: angular young actor Eamon Farren is playing (drumroll) “Richard Horne.” That’s Horne, as in Horne’s Department Store, and “I’m Audrey Horne and I get what I want.” (And yes I stood up from my couch and screamed out “He’s a Horne! »

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After the Storm Review

31 May 2017 4:08 AM, PDT | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Author: Stefan Pape

 

There’s a gratifying appeal to the work of Japanese auteur Hirokazu Koreeda, whose distinctive sensibilities as a filmmaker ensure every passing endeavour is one to cherish, as he so often blends kitchen sink realism with a subtle injection of enchantment – and his latest, After the Storm, is no different.

Following the death of his father, Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) – a private detective who once garnered success as an author, has often neglected his own offspring and so makes an attempt to reconnect, starting with his ex-wife Kyoko (Yoko Maki), who is reluctant to give him a second chance. But Ryota is determined to prove his worth, and not only as a father but as a son too, as he heads back home to spend some time with his ageing mother (Kirin Kiki). All he needs is the opportunity to spend some time with them – and so he »

- Stefan Pape

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'The Man Who Knew Too Much': THR's 1956 Review

30 May 2017 8:54 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

On June 1, 1956, Alfred Hitchcock's thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much, featuring James Stewart and Doris Day, hit theaters stateside. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below.

A suspense film that can run two hours without the audience getting restless must be pretty good. Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, screenplayed by John Michael Hayes from a story by Charles Bennett and D.B. Wyndham-Lewis, meets this test. 

Hitchcock fans have reached the "show-me" point where they practically challenge him to bring forth enough new cinema inventiveness to hold them on the edge of their seats »

- THR Staff

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Their Western Moment: A Conversation with Valeska Grisebach

27 May 2017 5:28 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

For those with a sudden interest in new German cinema thanks to last year’s Toni Erdmann, the Cannes Film Festival has again selected another powerful, deeply human and intricately political drama in Valeska Grisebach’s terrific Western. Like Maren Ade, with whom she has collaborated, Grisebach has made two films—the lovely graduation short feature Be My Star (2001) and Longing (2006), a small town tale of a fireman’s love life—with long pauses in between. Western comes more than a decade after her first proper feature, and it confirms that the director is as talented as ever.The setting is a German worker camp in the modern day Bulgarian countryside, and, as as the title daringly states, this is indeed a "western." The isolated Germans are the encroaching (economic) colonizers—“we come here to work,” they say, flush with money and a reputation dating from the Second World War »

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Marlene Dietrich Retrospective Screening at the Metrograph in NYC

24 May 2017 2:01 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Marlene Dietrich in “Shanghai Express”: mptvimages.com/IMDb

If you’re a fan of actress, camp icon, and anti-fascist Marlene Dietrich or want to learn more about her, you’re in luck. The Metrograph theater in New York City is hosting “Marlene,” a retrospective featuring 19 of Dietrich’s films. The festivities kicked off May 23 and will continue until July 8.

Marie Magdalene “Marlene” Dietrich was born in Berlin in 1901. Dietrich began her career as a vaudeville performer in Weimar Germany. She moved to Hollywood and eventually became a revered film actress, “bisexual sex symbol, willful camp icon, [and] paragon of feminine glamour” — “comfortable in top hat and tails, ballgown, or gorilla suit.” But the actress did not forget about what was happening back home in Germany; Dietrich became involved in the fight against fascism during WWII. She “used her likeness to fundraise for Jewish refugees escaping Nazi Germany and performed on Uso tours, earning her the Metal of Freedom and Légion d’honneur by the French government,” the press release details. Dietrich died in 1992 at the age of 90.

The “Marlene” retrospective will feature Dietrich’s seven films with director Josef von Sternberg: “The Blue Angel,” “Morocco,” “Blonde Venus,” “Dishonored,” “Shanghai Express,” “The Devil Is A Woman,” and “The Scarlet Empress.” The actress’ collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock (“Stage Fright”), Orson Welles (“Touch of Evil”), and Billy Wilder (“A Foreign Affair”) are among the other films screening at the Metrograph. A documentary about Dietrich, Maximilian Schell’s “Marlene,” will also screen. All of the films, besides “Marlene,” will be shown in 35mm.

Head over to The Metrograph’s site for showtimes and more information. The featured films and their synopses are below, courtesy of the Metrograph.

Angel

1937 / 91min / 35mm

Director: Ernst Lubitsch

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Melvyn Douglas

While English statesman Herbert Marshall worries over international affairs, his glamorous wife (Dietrich) concerns herself with, well, international affairs, beginning a tryst with a dashing stranger (Melvyn Douglas) who she only allows to know her as “Angel.” Dietrich’s last film on her Paramount contract is a spry, surprising love triangle, one of the least-known of Lubitsch’s essential works from his Midas touch period.

Blonde Venus

1932 / 93min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant

A.k.a “The One with the Gorilla Suit,” which Dietrich dons to perform her big number “Hot Voodoo.” It’s all for a good cause: she’s an ex-nightclub chanteuse who’s gone back to work to pay for husband Herbert Marshall’s radium poisoning treatments, though she later allows herself to become the plaything of Cary Grant’s dashing young millionaire, earning only contempt for her sacrifice.

Der Blaue Engel

1930 / 106min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Emil Jannings, Kurt Gerron, Rosa Valetti

Mild-mannered, uptight schoolteacher Emil Jannings lives a faultlessly law-abiding, by-the-book existence, but it’s all over when he gets a glimpse of Dietrich’s nightclub chanteuse Lola-Lola, and is immediately ready to ruin himself for her amusement. The first collaboration between Dietrich and von Sternberg made her an international star, and linked her forever to her seductive, world-weary delivery of the song “Falling in Love Again.” We’re showing the German-language version, preceded by a four-minute-long Dietrich screen test.

Desire

1936 / 95min / 35mm

Director: Frank Borzage

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, John Halliday, William Frawley

Dietrich and Gary Cooper reunite in this delightful urbane comedy by Borzage, a master of romantic delirium, here working somewhat after the style of producer Ernst Lubitsch. La Dietrich’s stylish jewel thief stashes a clutch of pearls in the pocket of an upstanding American businessman, and while trying to get back the goods she can’t help but notice the big lug isn’t half bad-looking. An excuse to recall the following lines from the 1936 Times review: “Lubitsch, the Gay Emancipator, has freed Dietrich from von Sternberg’s artistic bondage.” Those were the days.

Destry Rides Again

1939 / 94min / 35mm

Director: George Marshall

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, James Stewart, Mischa Auer, Charles Winninger

Jimmy Stewart, still in his rangy, impossibly-good-looking phase, is a marshal who sets out to clean up the wide-open town of Bottleneck without firing a shot in this charming Western musical comedy. The local roughnecks present him one kind of challenge; Dietrich’s saloon singer Frenchy, belting out her rowdy standard “The Boys in the Back Room,” quite another.

The Devil Is A Woman

1935 / 80min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Lionel Atwill, Edward Everett Horton

Dietrich and von Sternberg’s final collaboration, and an apotheosis of sorts. In Spain in the early years of the 20th century, Lionel Atwill’s loyal suitor Pasqualito and the revolutionary Cesar Romero are teased into a frenzy by legendary coquette Concha (Guess who?). The coolly scrolling camera and baroque compositions are courtesy of an uncredited Lucien Ballard and Von Sternberg himself, doing double duty as cinematographer.

Dishonored

1931 / 91min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Victor McLaglen

Dietrich plays X-27, a Mata Hari-esque spy for the Austrian Secret Service tasked with using a bevy of costume changes (Russian peasant, feathered helmet, leather jumpsuit) to gather information on the Russians during World War I. Outrageous plotting, high chiaroscuro style, and the star’s earthy sensuality mark this unforgettable pre-code treasure, beloved by Godard and Fassbinder both. Says Victor McLaglen: “the more you cheat and the more you lie, the more exciting you become.”

A Foreign Affair

1948 / 116min / 35mm

Director: Billy Wilder

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Jean Arthur, John Lund, Millard Mitchell

Against the backdrop of a ruined postwar Berlin, another conflict is just heating up, as Dietrich’s cabaret singer with rumored Nazi ties vies with Jean Arthur’s Iowa congresswoman-on-a-fact-finding-mission for the affection of American officer John Lund. Wilder’s penultimate collaboration with co-writer Charles Brackett is a black comic delight full of crackling, piquant dialogue, and Dietrich’s knowing slow-burn has never been better.

Judgment At Nuremberg

1961 / 186min / 35mm

Director: Stanley Kramer

Cast: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell, Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift, William Shatner

Dietrich’s last truly substantial screen appearance came as part of the ensemble for Kramer’s courtroom drama, playing the widow of a German general executed by the Allies who’s befriended by investigating judge Spencer Tracy in this fictionalized retelling of the events of a 1947 military tribunal addressing war crimes by civilians under the Third Reich. Rounding out the all-star cast are Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Judy Garland, William Shatner, and Maximilian Schell, who would win the Academy Award for Best Actor, and later directed a portrait of Dietrich.

The Lady Is Willing

1942 / 92min / 35mm

Director: Mitchell Leisen

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Fred MacMurray, Aline MacMahon, Stanley Ridges

Leisen, considered a comic talent on-par with Lubitsch during the screwball era, lends characteristic sparkle to this mid-career attempt at reconfiguring Dietrich’s very 1930s star persona to fit the needs of the 1940s women’s picture; here she plays a glamor-gal diva whose life changes when she discovers a baby on Eighth Avenue and decides to adopt, passing through melodramatic coincidences and a vale of tears before falling into the arms of Fred MacMurray.

Lola

1981 / 113min / 35mm

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Armin Mueller-stahl, Mario Adorf, Matthias Fuchs

Dietrich had for all purposes retired from the screen by the time that Fassbinder began his frontal assault on West German popular culture, but her image and her unlikely combination of cool irony and torrid emotion left a profound mark on his films. Lola, the candy-colored, late-1950s-set capstone of his “Brd Trilogy” in particular draws heavily from The Blue Angel, with bordello singer Barbara Sukowa torn between Mario Adorf’s sugar daddy and Armin Mueller-Stahl’s incoming building commissioner in boomtown Coburg.

Marlene

1984 / 94min / Digital

Director: Maximilian Schell

More than twenty years after Schell had co-starred with Dietrich in Judgment at Nuremberg, during which period she’d retired to a life of very private seclusion, he tried to get her to participate in a documentary about her life. She finally gave in — sort of. Dietrich offered only her memories and her famous voice, refusing to appear on camera, but necessity became a boon to the resulting film, a sort of guided tour of Dietrich’s life and work, which simultaneously reveals much and deepens her mystery.

Morocco

1930 / 92min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Adolphe Menjou

After The Blue Angel, shot in Germany, was a hit, von Sternberg was given full run of the Paramount backlot, where he would conjure up all manner of exotic destinations out of thin air. First stop: North Africa, where French legionnaire Gary Cooper competes with sugar daddy Adolphe Menjou for the favors of Dietrich’s cabaret star Amy Jolly, who in one scene famously rocks a men’s tailcoat and plants a smooch on a female fan.

Rancho Notorious

1952 / 89min / 35mm

Director: Fritz Lang

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy, Mel Ferrer, William Frawley

Teutons Lang and Dietrich team up in a Technicolor wild west of deliberate, garish artifice in this singularly claustrophobic oater, in which a revenge-mad Burt Kennedy goes looking for his fiancée’s killers at a hideaway inn run by Dietrich, and discovers dangerous, unbidden desires instead. As the chant of the film’s recurring, persecutorial Brechtian ballad goes: “Hate, murder, and revenge.”

The Scarlet Empress

1934 / 104min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, John Lodge, Sam Jaffe, Louise Dresser

Have ever a screen persona and a historical personage found such a hand-in-glove-fit as did Dietrich and Empress Catherine the Great of Russia? While the Motion Picture Production Code was preparing to chasten American movies, Dietrich and von Sternberg got together to throw one last lavish S & M orgy, a flamboyant film of 18th century palace intrigues and ludicrously lapidary décor.

Shanghai Express

1932 / 82min / 35mm

Director: Josef Von Sternberg

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong

“It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily,” proclaims Marlene Dietrich with the disdain of an empress, though in fact she’s a high-class courtesan, re-encountering former lover Clive Brook on an express train rolling through civil war-wracked China. The fourth of Dietrich and von Sternberg’s collaborations is a riot of delirious chinoiserie artifice and sculpted shadowplay — Dietrich’s co-star Anna May Wong was never again shot so caressingly.

The Song Of Songs

1933 / 90min / 35mm

Director: Rouben Mamoulian

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Brian Aherne, Lionel Atwill

So often the instrument of corruption, Mamoulian’s film allows Dietrich to be the corrupted one, playing a country girl, Lily, who comes to big-city Berlin and quickly becomes the model and muse of sculptor Brian Aherne. Lionel Atwill’s preening decadent Baron von Merzbach admires Lily’s nude form in marble, and decides to bring the original home with him, where she slips into the role of the cynical sophisticate, though her heart remains with the artist.

Stage Fright

1950 / 110min / 35mm

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman, Michael Wilding, Richard Todd, Alastair Sim

Hitchcock’s last film in his native England until 1972’s Frenzy is an audaciously-structured thriller, making use of an extended flashback and a whiplash narrative about-face. Acting student Jane Wyman tries to save beau Robert Todd from taking the fall for a murder committed by stage star Dietrich, who shows her hypnotic charm in a show-stopper performance of “I’m the Laziest Gal in Town.”

Touch Of Evil

1958 / 95min / 35mm

Director: Orson Welles

Cast: Marlene Dietrich, Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Orson Welles

It’s not the size of the part, but what you do with it. Playing a brothel keeper in a seedy border town in Welles’s magnificently baroque late noir, Dietrich only has a clutch of lines, but they’re the ones you remember, whether her famous requiem for crooked cop Hank Quinlan, or her reading of his “fortune”: “Your future’s all used up.” Bold and self-evidently brilliant, you could use Touch of Evil to explain the concept of great cinema to a visiting Martian.

Marlene Dietrich Retrospective Screening at the Metrograph in NYC was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Cannes 2017. Europe's New Frontier—Valeska Grisebach's "Western"

22 May 2017 5:48 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Meinhard Neumann and Syuleyman Alilov Letifov.For those with a sudden interest in new German cinema thanks to last year’s Toni Erdmann, the Cannes Film Festival has again selected another powerful, deeply human and intricately political drama in Valeska Grisebach’s terrific Western. Like Maren Ade, with whom she has collaborated, Grisebach has made two films—the lovely graduation short feature Be My Star (2001) and Longing (2006), a small town tale of a fireman’s love life—with long pauses in between. Western comes more than a decade after her first proper feature, and it confirms the director as talented as ever.The setting is a German worker camp in the modern day Bulgarian countryside, and, as as the title daringly states, this is indeed a "western." The isolated Germans are the encroaching (economic) colonizers—“we come here to work,” they say, flush with money and a reputation dating from »

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The Loved One / Broken Arrow

8 May 2017 1:40 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

The Loved One 

Blu-ray

Warner Archives

1965 / B&W / 1:85 / / 122 min. / Street Date May 9, 2017

Starring: Robert Morse, Jonathan Winters, Anjanette Comer.

Cinematography: Haskell Wexler

Film Editor: Hal Ashby, Brian Smedley-Aston

Written by Terry Southern, Christopher Isherwood

Produced by Martin Ransohoff (uncredited), John Calley, Haskell Wexler

Directed by Tony Richardson

 

Funeral Director: Before you go, I was just wondering… would you be interested in some extras for the loved one?

Next Of Kin: What kind of extras?

Funeral Director: Well, how about a casket?

Mike Nichols and Elaine May – The $65 Dollar Funeral

That routine, a classic example of what was known in the early 60’s as “sick humor”, was nevertheless ubiquitous across mainstream variety shows like Ed Sullivan and Jack Paar. It also popularized the notion of a new boutique industry, the vanity funeral. The novelist Evelyn Waugh, decidedly less mainstream, documented the beginning of that phenomenon over a decade earlier with The Loved One, »

- Charlie Largent

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A Farewell to Arms (1957)

29 April 2017 10:54 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

This remake of a pre-Code classic adds amazing European locations, glorious Technicolor and entire armies on the move, yet doesn’t improve on the original. Producer David O. Selznick secured Rock Hudson to play opposite Jennifer Jones, but the chemistry is lacking. Why did the man spend twenty years trying to top Gone With the Wind?

A Farewell to Arms

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1957 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 152 min. / Street Date April 18, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Jennifer Jones, Rock Hudson, Vittorio De Sica, Mercedes McCambridgeElaine Stritch.

Cinematography: Oswald Morris, Piero Portalupi

Production Designer: Alfred Junge

Art Direction: Mario Garbuglia

Film Editors: John M. Foley, Gerard J. Wilson

Original Music: Mario Nascimbene

Written by Ben Hecht from a play by Laurence Stallings from a novel by Ernest Hemingway

Produced by David O. Selznick

Directed by Charles Vidor

 

What happens when a major Hollywood producer thinks he has all the answers? »

- Glenn Erickson

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Donnie Darko

25 April 2017 1:23 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Many weird-world genre bending millennial epics have already dated badly, but not Richard Kelly’s sci-fi / horror / satirical mind-trip about a guy given a glimpse of time travel in another dimension. The wit hasn’t faded and the menace hasn’t cooled, and the cast seems hipper than ever: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary McDonnell, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle, Drew Barrymore, Katharine Ross. Two versions, two formats, no waiting.

Donnie Darko

Blu-ray + DVD

Arrow Video USA

2001 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 113, 133 min. / Street Date April 18, 2017 / ( 4-Disc Limited Edition) / Available from Arrow Video 49.95

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary McDonnell, Patrick Swayze, Jena Malone, Noah Wyle, Drew Barrymore, Katharine Ross.

Cinematography: Steven Poster

Production Design: Alexander Hammond

Film Editors: Sam Bauer, Eric Strand

Original Music: Michael Andrews

Produced by Adam Fields, Nancy Juvonen, Sean McKittrick

Written and Directed by Richard Kelly

 

When high school kids get into creative writing »

- Glenn Erickson

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Tribeca 2017 Women Directors: Meet Alexandra Dean — “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story”

22 April 2017 11:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Hedy Lamarr in “Ziegfeld Girl”: The Everett Collection

Alexandra Dean is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer. She produced news-magazine documentaries for PBS before becoming a series and documentary producer at Bloomberg television, producing the series “Innovators, Adventures and Pursuits.” She also writes about invention for Businessweek magazine. She is a founding partner at Reframed Pictures.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on April 23.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words

Ad: “Bombshell” is a film about a girl who wanted to make her mark in the world, but the world could not see past her face. Hedy Lamarr was considered “the most beautiful girl in the world” in the 1940s. She was a screen legend who starred alongside Jimmy Stewart and Clark Gable, but she also had a secret hobby. At night, she invented.

She worked on ideas with Howard Hughes, but her most exciting invention was a “secret communication system” she invented for Allied warships to torpedo Nazi submarines with deadly accuracy. That communication system became the basis for our secure Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Gps, and even some cell phone technology today.

But Hedy was never recognized for this extraordinary invention because she never told the press what she had done. In fact, in her later years she became a recluse and died alone and penniless. Then, in 2016 we found lost tapes of Hedy talking to a reporter in 1990. Now, for the first time, Hedy explains what happened in her own words.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Ad: Who wouldn’t want to make a story about Hedy?! She was a wild child. Some said she was a spy. She was a movie star and later a drug addict and a recluse. Her life was crazy enough before we discovered she came up with a technology we use in our digital devices every day.

I spent years profiling inventors and innovators for Bloomberg Television and Businessweek, but I never heard a life story that came close to Hedy’s. I suppose it also particularly resonated for me because as a short, quiet woman who always wanted to be a director, I know a little about what it’s like to want to do something that no one expects you to do.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they’re leaving the theater?

Ad: I’d like them to wonder how many people who look wrong for the part actually have the capacity to do extraordinary things they dream of achieving. I think every single one of us has some extraordinary spark. We just need Hedy’s balls of steel to make our dreams happen!

W&H: What was your biggest challenge making this film?

Ad: Definitely the biggest challenge was finding Hedy’s voice. At first we thought we would have to get an actress to read her autobiography, but then I discovered that Hedy sued the ghostwriter for libel, claiming nothing in the autobiography was true! I started desperately looking for other primary sources, but Hedy gave only a handful of short print interviews about her invention and never spoke about it on radio or television.

I was sitting up in bed at night staring at the walls and thinking there must be some tape of her telling her life story. My team and I started calling every person who ever said on the record they talked to Hedy Lamarr and after several months of searching we finally found a reporter who had recorded her 25 years ago and never published the tapes. The day we found the tapes we ripped up our film and started again, letting Hedy dictate the way we told her story.

W&H: How did you get your film funded?

Ad: It was a mix of funds from foundations, individual donors, and investors, as well as funding from “American Masters” on PBS, the program that will air “Bombshell” next fall.

The majority of our funds we raised from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation, which has been an extraordinary supporter of Hedy and her story for many years.

W&H: What does it mean to have your film play at Tribeca?

Ad: It’s an absolute dream come true. Truly. It’s blowing my mind!

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Ad: The best and worst advice that I get as a filmmaker tends to be all wrapped up in one piece of mixed advice. People tend to tell you what you should fix about your film by explaining how they would change it. What you need to listen to is that something is “bumping” them and may need improvement. You don’t need to listen to their particular diagnosis of how to improve the film. That distinction is so crucial.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female filmmakers?

Ad: Watch out for opinionated people. They may think you need more guidance than you do. Try hard to find your own voice. It’s in there, and all of us have one.

It feels like many young boys are encouraged to speak strongly in their individual voices from birth, and I’m not sure it’s the same for girls. We sometimes have to spend time finding that voice. It’s the one that whispers to you when people try to change your work. Listen to it — it’s trying to tell you something!

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why

Ad: My favorite has to be “The Hurt Locker.” Kathryn Bigelow is a legend. I thought she told that story with exquisite timing and suspense as well as a wonderful sense of perspective about the dullness of civilian life after the macabre thrill of wartime.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Ad: God, I hope [the numbers improve, but] I have no idea [how optimistic to be]. It seems inevitable that more women will direct because more and more viewers are demanding content that comes from multiple perspectives.

What’s tricky is securing the funding for directors who are female or from minority backgrounds. We just have to wait for more people to have faith in us.

Tribeca 2017 Women Directors: Meet Alexandra Dean — “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Laura Berger

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Helen Mirren's Essay About Ryan Reynolds Will Make Your Body Feel Things

20 April 2017 9:35 AM, PDT | Popsugar.com | See recent Popsugar news »

If you have ever doubted the unflinching charm of Ryan Reynolds (and if you have, who are you and get out of here), Helen Mirren is here to put your mind at ease. Time magazine revealed its list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2017 on Thursday, and the Deadpool 2 actor holds a very well-deserved spot. To celebrate all of his recent accomplishments, his Woman in Gold costar Helen Mirren wrote an essay that details Ryan's real-life loveliness. "Can the name be real? It is such a perfect movie-star name, like something that could be on a '40s marquee," she wrote. "How fitting, then, that Ryan Reynolds has the same loose-limbed charm as Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. He's the Everyman, but somehow with more of everything: wit, elegance, looks and general hunkiness." Related8 Women Who Bagged Ryan Reynolds Before Blake Lively She went on to call the actor "committed and generous, »

- Caitlin Hacker

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The Liberal Guilt of Unbridled Anticipation for Ben Wheatley’s ‘Free Fire’

19 April 2017 12:47 PM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

When everyone has a gun…no one’s in control.

It’s kind of amazing to me that every film that features a gun (let alone a full stockade of guns) is not a horror movie. In 2017 alone, over four thousand human beings have been killed as a result of a firearm. When John Wick unsheathes his Glock 26 and rampages through the club popping one headshot after another, we should be fleeing to the exits rather than shoveling the next load of popcorn into our face. Have we simply built an immunity to ballistic violence? Has the trauma of the nightly news numbed our compassion, or have we reached peak saturation on tragedy. “Tonight on News 7, another horrible event we must ignore to maintain our sanity.”

Ten years after a gunman stormed the Virginia Tech campus killing 32 individuals and wounding 17 others, I found myself flinching during the trailer for Ben Wheatley’s latest film, Free Fire »

- Brad Gullickson

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Rules Don’t Apply Review

18 April 2017 4:02 AM, PDT | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Author: Stefan Pape

 

Hollywood heavyweight Warren Beatty returns to the director’s chair for the first time this side of the millennium to bring us Rules Don’t Apply; a resourceful slice of contemporary filmmaking that resists following a formula, creatively crafted while never compromising on the narrative at hand, nor the viewer’s emotional investment. Reflecting the film’s unpredictable hero, portrayed by Beatty, the sheer eccentricity and volatility of the role is emblematic of the writer/director’s unique approach to storytelling.

Beatty is Howard Hughes, a billionaire entrepreneur with more money than sense, living in Hollywood in 1958. His newly hired driver Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich) picks up an aspiring young actress Maria Mabrey (Lily Collins) to work for his boss, only for the two to develop feelings for one another, in spite of their conflicting religious beliefs. Under the twisted guidance of Hughes, the pair rise up through the ranks, »

- Stefan Pape

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