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18 items from 2012

Waiting for the Whole Sky All Diamonds

17 November 2012 9:50 PM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

The first-ever manufacturer of light bulbs in Portugal, Manoel de Oliveira’s father died in 1932, nine years after Raul Brandão wrote a play called Gebo and the Shadow. In the year 2012 Oliveira turned the play into a film, making a grimy, dim oil lamp its legitimate character: elderly accountant Gebo burns the midnight oil in it as he plods away at his books. In an early scene, meanwhile, his wife lights the lanterns outside their house with a match. No one seems yet to have heard of electricity; the time setting is unclear; presumably, it’s the turn of the century.

Presumably. Oliveira’s Benilde, or The Virgin Mother (1975) opens with a title-card of this word to gradually lure us into a province of utter chronological disorder. This very same word has ever since been unchallenged as the most accurate description of the bizarre, atemporal effect that grows stronger in each subsequent Oliveira film. »

- Boris Nelepo

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Top Ten Tuesday: Friendly Ghosts

29 October 2012 10:59 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

From Japanese ghost stories such as Ringu (1998) and Ju-on (2002, remade as The Grudge) to modern revisionist ghost stories such as Brad Anderson’s Session 9 (2001) and Ti West’s The Innkeepers (2011), cinematic specters have nearly always been evil, or at the very least, malicious. Scary movies have long held the belief that ghosts should frighten us, and Hollywood had lined their pockets with that notion, but is it possible to make a good movie about “good” ghosts? We think so, and here’s our proof… our Top Ten Movies About Friendly Ghosts.

10. Heart And Souls (1993)

Anything starring Robert Downey, Jr. is worth checking out in my book, but this comedy was surprisingly enjoyable. Downey plays a guy used by four ghosts to reconcile their lives before moving on into the afterlife. The catch is, Downey is less than enthusiastic, but finds himself the catalyst for something bigger than himself and goes along for the ride. »

- Movie Geeks

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Beverly Hills Hotel at 100: From Liz Taylor to the Beatles, These Walls Have Seen It All

10 September 2012 6:25 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Its famed bungalows are where Elizabeth Taylor celebrated five honeymoons, and Gene Tierney cheated with a young John F. Kennedy on estranged husband Oleg Cassini. They're where Howard Hughes hopscotched among five different units for months at a time to avoid being served papers in a lawsuit. And on Wednesday, the famed "Pink Palace" will add two more notes of distinction. This year, the Beverly Hills Hotel hits the 100-year mark, and not only will it be officially granted landmark status as part of as series of events honoring its centennial, but »

- Jordan Riefe

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Mumbai Film Festival

30 August 2012 8:51 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

The Mumbai Film Festival (October 18 – 25, 2012) is the largest film festival in India with over 100,000 attending.  The Festival is 14 years old itself but Reliance Big Entertainment, the company that backs both Dreamworks and Im Global, one of U.S.’s foremost international sales agents, has backed this festival for the last 4 years and the result is a scaled up festival.  It is part of the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image, a not for profit trust founded in 1997 by Indian Film Industry personalities led by renowned filmmaker late Hrishikesh Mukherji.  Its 220 films are all free.  

Parenthetically, though not part of the festival itself, Mumbai is "'in the news" with the Tiff's City-to-City program focusing on Mumbai. This was organized by Cameron Bailey directly with filmmakers in Mumbai and is not a Mumbai Film Festival program…Also of interest is that Mumbai also hosts India's largest international Queer Film Festival For Everyone which was held in May of this year with the Alliance Francaise de Bombay.

The Mumbai Film Festival also works with Unifance and French Rendez-Vous.

Sections include Discovery, Retrospective - this year to feature 50 years of the Cannes Critics Week, International Competition which awards $200,000 to a first feature.  

Three new developments are taking place this year.

1.  To celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema, the festival is launching a new competition for Indian films (called 'India Gold') with cumulative cash rewards of around $30,000 Us. The winners will be selected by an international jury to be announced.

2. The festival is moving to historic South Bombay. The festival, previously held mostly in the Juhu and Andheri districts of Mumbai – where Bollywood is located -  will now take place in the south of the city, the historic center of old colonial Bombay with  amazing Victorian landmarks – train station, court house, with the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Ncpa) and Inox Theatre as the main venues. The retrospective of restored films will be screened in a third theater - a historic art deco theater named the Liberty Cinema – so named because it was built in 1949, the year of India's independence from Britain. For more information on the Liberty see

3. The Spotlight on Film Restoration and Preservation. For the first time, a section of the festival (programmed by Ian Birnie, U.S. Representative for the Mumbai Film Festival) will be devoted to screenings of restored classic films with a particular focus on Twentieth Century Fox. Screenings will be introduced by various archivists all of whom are leading experts in the field. A panel will bring together Western archivists and their Indian counterparts and the discussion will focus on the economic challenges and new technologies that are changing the future of film preservation.  

The American participants are:  

            Schawn Belston, Senior VP, Library and Technical Services, Twentieth Century Fox

            Margaret Bodde, Executive Director, The Film Foundation

            Mike Pogorzelski, Director, The Academy Film Archive

            Douglas Laible,  Managing Director, World Cinema Foundation

TheTwentieth Century Fox Archive will present 8 films spanning 40 years in the 'Fox Classics' series. Note: all were restored in-house at Fox, and by Fox in association with the Academy Film Archive (Afa) and with The Film Foundation (Ff)

Sunrise (1928/b&w/94 min.) dir: F.W. Murnau; w /George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston.(Fox/Afa)

How Green Was My Valley(1941/b&w/118 min.) dir: John Ford; w/ Walter Pigeon, Maureen O'Hara. (Fox/Afa)     

Laura (1944/b&w/88 min.) dir: Otto Preminger; w/ Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb. (Fox in-house)

Leave Her to Heaven(1945/color/110 min.) dir: John Stahl; w/ Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain. (Fox/Afa/Ff)  

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953/color/91 min.) dir: Howard Hawks; w/ Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell.(Fox in-house)

Wild River(1960/color/110 min./CinemaScope) dir: Elia Kazan; w/ Montgomery Clift, Lee Remick, Jo Van Fleet. (Fox/Afa/Ff)

The Leopard (1963/color/187 min.) dir: Luchino Visconti; w/ Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale.(Fox/Ff/Cineteca di Bologna)  

Two for the Road(1967/color/110 min./Panavision) dir: Stanley Donen; w/ Audey Hepburn, Albert Finney. (Fox/Afa)

In addition to the Fox titles, 7 additional restored films will be screened.

The Academy Film Archive will present two recent restorations from their ongoing project to restore all the films by the great Indian director Satyajit Ray:

Charulata(1964/b&w/117 min.) w/ Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee, Shailen Mukherjee.

The Chess Players (1977/color/129 min.) w/ Sanjeev Kumar, Saeed Jaffrey, Shabana Azmi

The Film Foundation will present two recent restorations:

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1945/color/163 min.) dir: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger; w/ Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, Anton Walbrook.  

Once Upon a Time in America  (1984/color/ ??? min.) dir: Sergio Leone; w/ Robert DeNiro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern.

The World Cinema Foundation will present its new restoration of a classic Indian film:

Kalpana (1948/b&w/155 min.)

The Cineteca Bologna will present two restored Italian silent classics as part of an Italian Cinema retrospective. 

Sections of the Festival

Dimensions Mumbai, a short film competition of films dealing with any aspect of life in Mumbai and targeted to the Mumbai Youth below 25 years was introduced in 2008.

An International Competition for the First Feature Film of directors with the award money of Us $ 150,000 (Us $ 100,000 for the Best Film and Us $ 50,000 for the Jury Grand Prize) was introduced in 2009.  The UK Film 'White Lightn'in won the 2011 Best Film Award and Austria-Italy co-production La Pivillina won the Jury Grand Prize.

The Audience Choice Award carrying U.S. $ 20,000 for any film participating in the Festival, (excepting the Retrospectives and Tribute sections) was introduced in 09 as well.  The Indian Film 'Road to Sangam' won this award.

International Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred on the Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos.

A new initiative Mumbai Young Critics was introduced in '09 as well.  24 college students selected from more than 80 aspirants recommended by the colleges in Mumbai went through a workshop conducted by the German writer and film critic Daniel Kothenschulte for three days before the Festival. This group watched the films in the festival, wrote about them in Festival publications and newspapers and also selected a film for the Mumbai Young Critics Award.

Last year the festival  showcased over 200 films from 60 countries across various sections at its three venues- Cinemax Versova, Cinemax Sion and Metro Big Cinemas.

The festival hosts a special section ‘4me Rendez-Vous’, in collaboration with Unifrance, Embassy of France in India and Consulate General of France in Mumbai. The section screens the best of New French Cinema, which last year included ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’, ‘The Conquest’ and ‘Declaration of War’ amongst others. 

Last year's highlight was the special presentation by Lee Yong Kwan, Director, Busan International Film Festival, who presented a selection of the latest Asian Films from Busan.

Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred on the legendary actor Morgan Freeman.  Olivia Harrison widow of George Harrison presented the documentary film “George Harrison: Living in the material World”.

The Festival strengthened and consolidated its academic activities with an Indo-German Script Development Workshop scheduled from 11th to the 13th of October just ahead of the festival opening. Speakers at the workshop included the renowned directors Dani Levy, Thorsten Schulz, Screenwriters Anjum Rajabali and Sooni Taraporevala amongst others.

This year's  Festival continues to facilitate cinema business with the Mumbai Film Mart, created 'by' the industry, 'for' the industry, 'in' the industry hub - Mumbai, the Film Capital of India. The Mumbai Film Mart saw participation from the biggest Entertainment Industry players, both from India and abroad. In the three days, over 2,000 meeting requests were received, 400 meetings were carried out face to face, while an equal number took place among the senior decision makers from leading film production houses, buyers, sellers, festival programmers and independent filmmakers as they milled around and networked with each other.

Among the many firsts, the Mart attracted all the forthcoming big ticket films such as ‘Ra One’, ‘Don 2’, ‘Rockstar’, ‘Ricky Behl v/s Ladies’, ‘The Dirty Picture’, ‘DesiBoyz’ , tabled for acquisition and distribution in the non-traditional markets for Indian Cinema in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Germany, France and Latin America. The focus on these countries attracted leading buyers that included Huayi Brothers Media Corp. (China), NikkatsuCorp.(Japan), Happinet Corp.(Japan), Showbox (Korea), Apex Entertainment (Korea), Cj Entertainment (Korea), Top Films (Ukraine), Novo films (France), Rapid Eye (Germany), Im Global (USA), amongst many others.

The International Jury will be responsible choosing the winners out of 14 films, all first features of debut filmmakers around the world, awarding them with a huge cash prize. This way we would like to recognize and encourage the first time filmmakers, going in line with the festival theme of discovery.

Apart from the main international section, there are many other sections including the world cinema, Indian Frame, New Faces in Indian Cinema, Documentaries etc. Please do check out their website for more information. Last year, it screened about 220 films from 60 countries.

Composition of Mami:

Shyam Benegal, Eminent Filmmaker – Chairman

Amit Khanna, producer, lyricist and Chairman of Reliance Entertainment 

Amol Palekar, acclaimed actor-director 

Ashutosh Gowarikar (Oscar Nominee - Best Foreign Language Film for Lagaan) 

Farhan Akhtar, one of the youngest directors and actor

Jaya Bachchan, acclaimed and award winning actress 

Karan Johar, director-producer of some of the most successful films at the box office 

Ramesh Sippy, well known filmmaker of Sholay fame

Shabana Azmi, renowned actress who has won acclaim and awards Internationally 

Yash Chopra, producer-director, doyen of the Hindi film industry.

Narayan is the Director and head programmer, Anu is second in command.  

And there is a selection committee that screens all the competition films – industry people and critics in Mumbai.


About Reliance Big Entertainment

Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd. (Rbel) is the flagship media and entertainment arm of India's Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, with a significant presence in film entertainment (film production, distribution, and exhibition), broadcasting and new media ventures.

Rbel's motion picture brand, Reliance Big Pictures ( ) has built a impressive film production slate in Hindi, English & other Indian languages, which it markets and distributes worldwide. Following Reliance Big Picturess association with Im Global, the company now benefits from an international sales team with an excellent reputation and global presence dedicated to selling its Bollywood and regional language slate. Going into production in November is the $45 million ðDreddð, which Reliance Big Entertainment is co-financing with Im Global.

In Hollywood, Reliance Big Pictures has partnered with Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider on the formation of DreamWorks Studios and hasdevelopment deals with Nicolas Cage's Saturn FilmsJim Carrey's Jc 23 EntertainmentGeorge Clooney's Smokehouse Productions, Chris Columbus'1492 Pictures, Tom Hanksð Playtone Productions, Brad Pitt's Plan B EntertainmentJay Roach's Everyman Pictures, Brett Ratnerðs Rat Entertainment,Julia Robertsð Red Om Films and Brian Grazer and Ron Howardðs Imagine Entertainment.

Also worth noting: the competition section of the festival is for first features and carries a Grand prize of Us$100,000 and a Jury prize of Us$50,000.00, with a percentage of the money of allocated to the sales agent who submitted the film. With 14 features, the odds are better than most lotteries…  This was last year's lineup   The Salesman, one of the films their U.S. Representative Programmer, Ian Bernie (former longtime Lacma programmer) selected, won the Jury Award and Best Actor. 


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Hot, Capable, Refreshing Performer: K Stewart

15 August 2012 6:19 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Kristen Stewart: Hot, capable, refreshing actress [See previous post: "Kristen Stewart 'Cheating Photos': Personal / Professional Attacks."] Lillian Gish, of course, wasn’t the only one. Check out Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Edward G. Robinson, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Miriam Hopkins, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, John Gilbert, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster, Gene Tierney, Marilyn Monroe — the list goes on and on. All those actors had their trademark mannerisms and "limited ranges," but that didn’t prevent them from delivering superb performances in the right roles and when working with the right directors. With the appropriate guidance, Kristen Stewart should [...] »

- Andre Soares

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Clip joint: Taking the train

15 August 2012 9:49 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A rundown of the impacts those iron horses have made on the silver screen

This week's Clip joint is by John Carvill. Think you can do better? Email your idea for a future Clip joint to

Ever since the infamous arrival of the Lumiere Brothers' locomotive at La Ciotat Station in 1895, trains have been cinematically significant. Those big old iron horses always made for suitably impressive and technologically exciting cinematic subject matter, of course; but they also offered a compelling metaphor for the experience of cinema itself. Consider, for example, the complex relationship between motion and stasis inherent in each of these experiences: the sedentary train passenger, on a moving train, watching through the 'frame' of a window as the slumbering countryside apparently whips by; the eyes of the seated cinema audience member, presented with a sufficiently swift and numerous succession of static celluloid frames, »

- Guardian readers

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DVD Playhouse--August 2012

1 August 2012 1:11 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Interview | See recent The Hollywood Interview news »

By Allen Gardner

A Separation (Sony) This drama from Iran won the 2011 Best Foreign Film Oscar, telling the story of a couple who file for a legal separation, with the wife pushing for a divorce. He won’t leave his Alzheimer’s-afflicted father behind, while she is wanting to take their young daughter with her to the United States. After a series of misunderstandings, threats and legal actions, the couple find that there is more than just their marriage that’s on the line. Hyper-realistic to a fault, reminiscent of the neo-realist films that came out of post-ww II Europe, but also repressive and redundant in the extreme, with the characters seeming to throw the same temper tantrum for two hours straight while the story, meanwhile, seems stalled. Wildly overpraised film is a real litmus test, with viewers seeming to be staunch defenders or equally impassioned detractors. It did win an Oscar, »

- The Hollywood

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Lindsay Lohan Is Now Channeling Every Iconic Actress

22 July 2012 9:37 PM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Lindsay Lohan, as you may know, recently wrapped a Lifetime movie in which she portrays Liz Taylor. That experience may have done something special to her, because now she's filming Bret Easton Ellis's "La noir micro budget" film The Canyons and director Paul Schrader is simply beaming on Facebook after the first week of shoots. "Lindsay Lohan is a huge fan of Hollywood glamour and performances from the Golden Era. Working with her every day on varied scenes I've been making a mental checklist of classic movie performances she's touched upon," Schrader writes. "There's has been a lot of Ann Margaret, some Gena Rowlands and Faye Dunaway and of course some bits of Liz Taylor and Monroe as well as a little Rita Hayworth and even Gene Tierney." Plus Angie Dickinson, Lee Remnick, Shelley Winters, an ellipsis indicating she's channeling basically every iconic actress from decades yore. On the one hand, »

- Zach Dionne

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Barbra Streisand 2012: Movie Director Project

21 June 2012 3:08 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Barbra Streisand 2012 news: Streisand is reportedly going to direct her first film in 17 years. Skinny and Cat, about the romance between writer Erskine Caldwell (Tobacco Road, God’s Little Acre) and photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White, should commence filming in January 2013 with director Barbra Streisand guiding Oscar winners Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) and Cate Blanchett (The Aviator). The source for this information is, which adds that Linda Yellen wrote the Skinny and Cat screenplay and will also produce the independently financed film. Barbra Streisand: ‘controversial’ director Barbra Streisand’s last film as a director was The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), a (in my view quite enjoyable) romantic comedy-melodrama that was widely panned at the time. Streisand co-starred with Jeff Bridges, but veteran Lauren Bacall was the one who stole the notices and received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her efforts. [Lauren Bacall Best Supporting Actress loss.] Prior to The Mirror Has Two Faces, »

- Andre Soares

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Cannes 2012: Antiviral – review

22 May 2012 6:46 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Brandon Cronenberg's hypo-horror of celebrity disease-obsession should fit Cannes perfectly. I doubt it will go viral

The appearance of a laborious and derivative body-horror satire by David Cronenberg's son Brandon – showing among other things the exploitative replication of celebrity DNA – officially takes the Cannes film festival beyond satire. Antiviral is set in a dystopian future-present in which obsession with celebrity has reached such neurotic levels that fans eat specialist steaks and burgers created with cultured cell-lines from celebs' bodies. Worse still, the real hardcore believers get themselves injected with viruses and diseases that once lived inside their idols – all to get up close and personal with the stars.

Caleb Landry Jones plays Syd, a pale and haunted young man employed by the corporation which markets celebrity viruses; his employer has an exclusive licensing arrangement with the world's biggest female star, Hannah Geist, played by Sarah Gadon (Carl Jung's »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Open thread – what films have you been watching?

30 March 2012 9:33 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

From the awesome to the atrocious, the marvellous to the middling, we'd like to hear about the movies you've seen recently

What films have you seen recently? Whatever you've been watching, we'd like you to tell us about it.

You can either leave a comment in the thread below, or tweet your thoughts with the hashtag #gdnfilmreviews. We'll gather up the best we receive and show them off here once a week.

Probably the most discussed film of the past seven days has been The Hunger Games, given a four-star review by Peter Bradshaw last week:

The Hunger Games is a very enjoyable futurist adventure, presented with a compelling, beady-eyed intensity. The worry now is that with big-screen versions of the next books in Suzanne Collins's series coming down the line, the impact will be lessened, and it will become a Twilightish soap.

Here's what some @guardianfilm followers had »

- Adam Boult

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This week's cultural highlights: Roberto Fonseca and Laura

25 March 2012 8:06 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Our critics' picks of this week's openings, plus your last chance to see and what to book now

• Which cultural events are in your diary this week? Tell us in the comments below

Opening this weekTheatre

I Dreamed a Dream

SuBo is played by Elaine C Smith in this new musical based on the life of the Britain's Got Talent sensation, who has given her personal endorsement to this money-spinner – sorry, show. Theatre Royal, Newcastle (0844 811 2121), until 31 March, then touring.

Fierce festival

Birmingham gets ready for boundary-busting performances from UK and international performers, including Ann Liv Young, Playgroup and Graeme Miller. The festival takes place in unusual spaces all across the city, including the soon to be demolished library and under Spaghetti Junction. Various locations, Birmingham, Thursday to 8 April.


The Hunger Games (dir. Gary Ross)

Suzanne Collins's teen bestseller is turned into an exciting dystopian thriller. Jennifer Lawrence stars. »

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This week's new films

24 February 2012 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Rampart (15)

(Oren Moverman, 2011, Us) Woody Harrelson, Robin Wright, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon, Ned Beatty, Sigourney Weaver, Ice Cube. 108 mins

Harrelson looks scarily at home as the most corrupt cop in Los Angeles: drinking, smoking, cheating and brutalising his way to notoriety, then stubbornly denying all culpability. It's less a straight cop story than a fragmented study of a – personally as well as professionally – rotten man. There's almost too much in the mix, but it's told with great style and anchored by a fearsomely committed performance.

Safe House (15)

(Daniel Espinosa, 2012, Us) Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga. 115 mins

A spy thriller that gives you what you'd expect: Washington as a suave rogue spy; Reynolds as the rookie who brings him in; frenetic action; double crosses; shifting allegiance; and a bit of waterboarding for kicks.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (12A)

(John Madden, 2011, UK) Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel. 124 mins

Aah, »

- Steve Rose

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Laura – review

24 February 2012 4:46 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Otto Preminger's whodunnit-noir still grips, with its superb halfway-point coup de cinéma

Lovers of 1940s Hollywood – and of course movie-lovers in general – should savour every last drop of this rerelease, directed by Otto Preminger, made in 1944 and coming complete with an ad for Us war bonds in the closing credits. It's a fascinating whodunnit-noir with a superb coup de cinéma halfway through. Dana Andrews is the rugged Detective Mark McPherson; on account of heroic gunshot wounds in the leg, the press have dubbed him "Detective with the silver shinbone". (Something, perhaps, to set aside Preminger's 1955 movie The Man With the Golden Arm.) McPherson is investigating the gruesome murder of Laura Hunt, played by the exquisitely beautiful Gene Tierney. In flashbacks, we see how she was swept up into fashionable cafe society by her infatuated but platonic bachelor admirer, the waspish newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) – the equal, surely, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Daily Briefing. Guy Maddin's "Spiritismes" + Gene Tierney and More

24 February 2012 2:51 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

"Over eighty percent of silent films are lost. I've always considered a lost film as a narrative with no known final resting place — doomed to wander the landscape of film history, sad, miserable and unable to project itself to the people who might love it." That's Guy Maddin, as quoted by Kim Morgan, introducing Maddin's Spiritismes, happening now at the Centre Pompidou in Paris ("During 'séances'... Maddin and his actors will allow themselves to be possessed by the wandering spirits of the dead, to bring their movies back to life") through March 12:

Filmmaking, dead made undead, is happening live at the Centre — lost or unrealized films by directors as diverse as Jean Vigo, Kenji Mizoguchi, Lois Weber, William Wellman, von Stroheim (I will appear in that particular Poto-Poto), Alexandre Dovjenko and more are coming — rising from the dead, in their own unique way. Maddin will be shooting one film a day. »

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Film Review: 'Laura' (BFI re-release)

23 February 2012 2:00 AM, PST | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★★☆  Otto Preminger's film noir masterpiece Laura (1944) opens with the ominous line "I shall never forget the weekend Laura died". From there we meet hardboiled NYPD detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) in a stylish New York apartment and observe his interview with the waspish Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb). This ageing aristocrat/journalist shamelessly types his newspaper column from his bathtub as he answers McPherson's questions about his murdered protégé and close companion Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney).

Read more » »

- CineVue

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Ghouls on film: why women make the scariest ghosts

19 January 2012 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Don't be fooled by Madonna's chic spectre in pearls in W.E. Female ghosts are the most terrifying spooks on film

One of the daffiest aspects of W.E., Madonna's deeply daffy film about Wallis Simpson, is the way our heroine keeps popping up as a peculiarly soignée ghost. Clad in a little black dress and pearls, she dispenses fashion tips and lifestyle aperçus to her younger namesake, who's having a bit of a breakdown that coincides with her Simpson-fixation, in 1990s Manhattan. Murmured words of spectral wisdom include: "Attractive, my dear, is a polite way of saying a woman's made the most of what she's got," and, "The most important thing is your face. The other end you just sit on."

This is perhaps the battiest but also the most diverting element in the film, and one I wish Madonna had explored at more length, if only because the »

- Anne Billson

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Preminger's "Laura" @ Film Forum NYC

2 January 2012 6:25 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

New York's Film Forum is screening Otto Preminger's Laura (1944) through Thursday. "What's worth noting is how precarious the film's path to existence was," writes the New Yorker's Richard Brody, "and on what a fine yet obviously amazingly strong thread Preminger's career was dangling." J Hoberman in the Voice: "Elevated by studio boss Darryl Zanuck from 'B' picture status, Laura opened at the Roxy, became a critical and popular hit, was nominated for five Oscars (winning for cinematography), and launched Preminger's directorial career. Still, alternately sprightly and turgid, if abetted by its haunting, ubiquitous score, it's far from a great movie — most beloved by second-generation surrealists who appreciate it for its time-liquidating dream narrative of l'amour fou. See that movie if you can; for me, Laura is a flavorsome but flawed anticipation of two far more delirious psychosexual cine-obsessions: Vertigo and Blue Velvet."

The New Yorker's Anthony Lane suggests that »

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