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20 items from 2017


Good Bad Man Cortez: Final Interview Segment with Biographer of The Great Hollywood Heel

7 July 2017 5:39 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

'The Magnificent Ambersons': Directed by Orson Welles, and starring Tim Holt (pictured), Dolores Costello (in the background), Joseph Cotten, Anne Baxter, and Agnes Moorehead, this Academy Award-nominated adaptation of Booth Tarkington's novel earned Ricardo Cortez's brother Stanley Cortez an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White. He lost to Joseph Ruttenberg for William Wyler's blockbuster 'Mrs. Miniver.' Two years later, Cortez – along with Lee Garmes – would win Oscar statuettes for their evocative black-and-white work on John Cromwell's homefront drama 'Since You Went Away,' starring Ricardo Cortez's 'Torch Singer' leading lady, Claudette Colbert. In all, Stanley Cortez would receive cinematography credit in more than 80 films, ranging from B fare such as 'The Lady in the Morgue' and the 1940 'Margie' to Fritz Lang's 'Secret Beyond the Door,' Charles Laughton's 'The Night of the Hunter,' and Nunnally Johnson's 'The Three Faces »

- Andre Soares

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After Valentino and Before Bogart There Was Cortez: 'The Magnificent Heel' and the Movies' Original Sam Spade

6 July 2017 10:44 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Ricardo Cortez biography 'The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez' – Paramount's 'Latin Lover' threat to a recalcitrant Rudolph Valentino, and a sly, seductive Sam Spade in the original film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's 'The Maltese Falcon.' 'The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez': Author Dan Van Neste remembers the silent era's 'Latin Lover' & the star of the original 'The Maltese Falcon' At odds with Famous Players-Lasky after the release of the 1922 critical and box office misfire The Young Rajah, Rudolph Valentino demands a fatter weekly paycheck and more control over his movie projects. The studio – a few years later to be reorganized under the name of its distribution arm, Paramount – balks. Valentino goes on a “one-man strike.” In 42nd Street-style, unknown 22-year-old Valentino look-alike contest winner Jacob Krantz of Manhattan steps in, shortly afterwards to become known worldwide as Latin Lover Ricardo Cortez of »

- Andre Soares

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More Gay Stars and Directors and Screenwriters on TCM: From psychos and psychiatrists to surfers and stage mamas

22 June 2017 6:51 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

On the day a U.S. appeals court lifted an injunction that blocked a Mississippi “religious freedom” law – i.e., giving Christian extremists the right to discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, etc. – not to mention the publication of a Republican-backed health care bill targeting the poor, the sick, the elderly, and those with “pre-existing conditions” – which would include HIV-infected people, a large chunk of whom are gay and bisexual men, so the wealthy in the U.S. can get a massive tax cut, Turner Classic Movies' 2017 Gay Pride or Lgbt Month celebration continues (into tomorrow morning, Thursday & Friday, June 22–23) with the presentation of movies by or featuring an eclectic – though seemingly all male – group: Montgomery Clift, Anthony Perkins, Tab Hunter, Dirk Bogarde, John Schlesinger, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Arthur Laurents, and Jerome Robbins. After all, one assumes that, rumors or no, the presence of Mercedes McCambridge in one »

- Andre Soares

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Edwards Pt 2: The Pink Panther Sequels and Famous Silent Film Era Step-grandfather Director

28 May 2017 11:17 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

'The Pink Panther' with Peter Sellers: Blake Edwards' 1963 comedy hit and its many sequels revolve around one of the most iconic film characters of the 20th century: clueless, thick-accented Inspector Clouseau – in some quarters surely deemed politically incorrect, or 'insensitive,' despite the lack of brown face make-up à la Sellers' clueless Indian guest in Edwards' 'The Party.' 'The Pink Panther' movies [1] There were a total of eight big-screen Pink Panther movies co-written and directed by Blake Edwards, most of them starring Peter Sellers – even after his death in 1980. Edwards was also one of the producers of every (direct) Pink Panther sequel, from A Shot in the Dark to Curse of the Pink Panther. Despite its iconic lead character, the last three movies in the Pink Panther franchise were box office bombs. Two of these, The Trail of the Pink Panther and Curse of the Pink Panther, were co-written by Edwards' son, »

- altfilmguide

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Review: "Bad Day At Black Rock" (1955) Starring Spencer Tracy; Warner Archive Blu-ray Release

28 May 2017 6:03 AM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

“Unwelcoming Committee”

By Raymond Benson

Although the picture takes place a couple of months after the end of World War II in the year 1945, Bad Day at Black Rock is really a western. The setting is a desert town that’s barely a whistle stop for a train that hasn’t halted there in four years; the main street looks as if it’s right out of Dodge City, and the opening credits are designed in big, colorful, bold words that spread across the wide CinemaScope screen. Even director John Sturges is primarily known for his many westerns.

Good Guy Spencer Tracy rides into town—on that train—and is met with inexplicable hostility from everyone he meets. All he wants is to find a guy named Komoko—a Japanese farmer who supposedly lives just out of town. Most of the residents seem afraid to help Tracy. The ones who »

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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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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Roger Moore Remembered: How His Light Touch Made Him the Most Enduring Bond

23 May 2017 9:27 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The passing of Sir Roger Moore at 89 marks the first James Bond to do so. And the response from one of my sons was telling: “James Bond can’t die — he’s immortal.”

That sentiment will be shared by many Bond fans, particularly the generation that grew up with Moore in the ’70s and ’80s. Moore, who embraced the lighter side of Ian Fleming’s superspy, was also the most enduring, making a record seven franchise movies: “Live And Let Die” (1973), “The Man With The Golden Gun” (1974), “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977), “Moonraker” (1979), “For Your Eyes Only” (1981), “Octopussy” (1983), and “A View To A Kill (1985).”

While Sean Connery defined Bond as uber-cool and free-spirited (he enjoyed killing as much as shagging), Moore redefined him as devil may care to disarm the baddies. The first Bond to hail from London, Moore’s Bond wasn’t in it for the spying, he was »

- Bill Desowitz

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Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93

22 May 2017 9:48 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Dina Merrill, a beautiful, blonde actress with an aristocratic bearing known as much for her wealthy origins, philanthropy, and marriage to actor Cliff Robertson as for her work in film and television, died on Monday at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 93.

Her son, Stanley H. Rumbough, told the New York Times that Merrill had Lewy Body dementia.

Her parents were Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, and her second husband, Wall Street’s E.F. Hutton.

In 1983, on the occasion of Merrill’s musical comedy debut in a revival of Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 musical ”On Your Toes,” the New York Times gushed, “Long regarded as the essence of chic, the epitome of class and such a persuasive purveyor of charm and charity that she could have a rightful claim to fame as an eloquent spokesman — and fund-raiser — for a slew of worthy causes, Miss Merrill »

- Carmel Dagan

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Dina Merrill, Elegant Actress and Philanthropist, Dies at 93

22 May 2017 9:48 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Dina Merrill, a beautiful, blonde actress with an aristocratic bearing known as much for her wealthy origins, philanthropy, and marriage to actor Cliff Robertson as for her work in film and television, died on Monday at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 93.

Her son, Stanley H. Rumbough, told the New York Times that Merrill had Lewy Body dementia.

Her parents were Post Cereals heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, and her second husband, Wall Street’s E.F. Hutton.

In 1983, on the occasion of Merrill’s musical comedy debut in a revival of Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 musical ”On Your Toes,” the New York Times gushed, “Long regarded as the essence of chic, the epitome of class and such a persuasive purveyor of charm and charity that she could have a rightful claim to fame as an eloquent spokesman — and fund-raiser — for a slew of worthy causes, Miss Merrill has evoked instant recognition and elegant associations »

- Carmel Dagan

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Episode 182 – George Stevens’ Woman of the Year

9 May 2017 5:00 AM, PDT | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

This time on the podcast, David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett discuss George Stevens’s Woman of the Year.

George Stevens’s Woman of the Year, conceived to build on the smashing comeback Katharine Hepburn had made in The Philadelphia Story, marked the beginning of the personal and professional union between Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, who would go on to make eight more films together. This tale of two newspaper reporters who wed and then discover that their careers aren’t so compatible forges a fresh and realistic vision of what marriage can be. The freewheeling but pinpoint-sharp screenplay by Ring Lardner Jr. and Michael Kanin won an Academy Award, and Hepburn received a nomination for her performance. Woman of the Year is a dazzling, funny, and rueful observation of what it takes for men and women to get along—both in the workplace and outside of it.

Subscribe to the »

- David Blakeslee

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Joshua Reviews George Stevens’ Woman Of The Year [Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review]

21 April 2017 9:19 AM, PDT | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

Bogart and Bacall. Powell and Loy. Cinema history is chock full of iconic on-screen dynamic duos. However, few pairs have fostered more great films and a more historic legacy off screen than Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

Two of classic Hollywood’s most legendary actors, the pair would share the screen for nine feature films that played part in a decades-spanning love affair as public as their films were instantly beloved. Working together for roughly 25 years, Tracy and Hepburn were the focus of beloved comedies like Adam’s Rib and ultimately the figureheads for a generation in Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. But where did it all begin?

That would be George Stevens’ seminal gender politics comedy Woman of the Year, which is now out in a delightfully rich Criterion Collection DVD and Blu-ray. With a screenplay from Ring Lardner Jr. and Michael Kanin (an Oscar winning one, at »

- Joshua Brunsting

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Entertainment or Propaganda? A Brief and Critical Look at 'Christian Films'

14 April 2017 4:18 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Christian movies: Starring Nicolas Cage, the widely panned 2014 apocalyptic thriller 'Left Behind' was a box office bomb – unlike (relatively) recent popular 'faith movies' such as 'Heaven Is for Real,' 'Son of God' and 'War Room.' A thought on the New Christian American Cinema: Tired of the blatant propaganda found in 'mainstream' Christian movies Two films that might be called “Christian movies” opened last week, and I decided that I wouldn't watch them, write about them, or review them – at least directly. I'm not even going to mention their titles here because I don't promote propaganda films, and that's what this recent advent of Christian movies has become: propaganda. After all, since nearly all American cinema is Christian cinema, the New Christian American Cinema is in fact pure propaganda – not cinema. Worse yet, it bores me. So, here's the thing about what we've come to call »

- Tim Cogshell

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On This Day: Pharrell Williams, "Out" Nominees, and the 1964 Oscars

5 April 2017 8:00 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

On this day in showbiz history, some gay Oscar lore, lots of two time Oscar winners, and future Oscar winner Pharrell Williams (and much more)...

1883 Oscar favorite Walter Huston (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) born in Toronto. Without him no Huston acting dynasty!

1887 Helen Keller learns "water" from teacher Anne Sullivan, the moment will serve as the emotional climax of the popular stage and screen drama The Miracle Worker

1900 Two time Oscar winner Spencer Tracy (Boys Town, Captain Courageous) born »

- NATHANIEL R

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11 Actresses Who Earned Oscar Nods for Musicals

22 February 2017 10:00 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

La La Land garnered a record-tying 14 Academy Award nominations this year — it’s now neck-and-neck with Titanic and All About Eve for receiving the most Oscar nominations in a given year. Among those nods is a first-ever Best Actress nom for Emma Stone, who’s been racking up rave reviews for her performance in the film.

While we’ve got musicals on the mind, let’s take a look back at some other actresses who’ve received acclaim for their musical turns.

Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables (2012)

Hathaway’s turn as Fantine was the only non-technical award the 2012 adaptation of the smash musical picked up. »

- Alex Heigl

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David Reviews Michael Curtiz’s Mildred Pierce [Criterion Collection Blu-Ray Review]

21 February 2017 5:00 AM, PST | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

With the new release of Mildred Pierce, the Criterion Collection appears to be solidifying a trend over the past couple years of providing a showcase for some of the greatest female actors from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Since late 2014, stars like Claudette Colbert (It Happened One NightThe Palm Beach Story), Rita Hayworth (Gilda, Only Angels Have Wings) and Rosalind Russell (His Girl Friday) have made their first appearances in the Collection, in what can be considered career-defining roles. These additions seem to be addressing a notable blind spot for Criterion. As impressive as their reach has been in bringing many of the most iconic women from the past hundred years of world cinema to the forefront, the continuing absence of silver screen legends like Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Greta Garbo and Elizabeth Taylor, just to name a few, seems like a lingering oversight, a problem yet to be »

- David Blakeslee

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Sidney Poitier Turns 90: Inside the Actor, Activist and Diplomat’s Incredible Life

20 February 2017 6:00 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Legendary filmmaker, activist and human-rights trailblazer Sidney Poitier can now add “nonagenarian” to his list of accomplishments.

The two-time Academy Award winner turned 90 on Monday, and celebrated the milestone with friends and family, including his wife, Joanna Shimkus, whom he married in 1976, as well as six daughters, Beverly, Pamela, Sherri, Gina, Anika and Sydney. He also has eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Poitier, who made a career out of defying expectations, began his life beating the odds. The actor was born two months premature in Miami in 1927 to a pair of poor immigrant farmers from the Bahamas, and the likelihood »

- Mike Miller

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Review: "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?: 50th Anniversary Edition" (1967); Sony Blu-ray Special Edition

27 January 2017 6:40 AM, PST | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

“That’S The Glory Of Love”

By Raymond Benson

“You’ve got to live a little, take a little, and let your poor heart break a little—that’s the story of, that’s the glory of love.”

The popular opening song by Billy Hill and sung by Jacqueline Fontaine, “The Glory of Love,” sets the tone for this classic, delightful motion picture that addressed a social issue at the time that we take for granted today—interracial marriage. Hey, in 1967, this was a hot topic. The Supreme Court had decided the Loving vs. Virginia case, which prohibited states from criminalizing interracial marriage, only six months prior to the film’s release (and that legal battle is dramatized in the film Loving, currently in cinemas). Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was indeed timely, certainly controversial in more conservative areas of the country, and a powerful statement about tolerance and the rights of American citizens. »

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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‘Rumble Fish,’ ‘Tampopo,’ and More Coming to The Criterion Collection in April

18 January 2017 5:52 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

It’s about half-way through the month, which means it’s time for The Criterion Collection to reveal their next slate of additions. A clear highlight of the April batch is Francis Ford Coppola‘s newly restored black-and-white drama Rumble Fish, which will feature commentary from the director and much more. There’s also Juzo Itami‘s Tampopo, which has enjoyed as successful theatrical restoration the last year, and features a new video essay by Tony Zhou, as well as a feature-length making of documentary.

Also coming to the collection is the George Stevens romantic dramedy Woman of the Year with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, as well as Wim Wenders‘ documentary Buena Vista Social Club. Along with those, we’ll also be getting stand-alone editions of The Young Girls of Rochefort and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, previously only available through the incredible Jacques Demy set, which is easily my »

- Jordan Raup

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The Criterion Collection Announces April Titles: ‘Tampopo,’ ‘Rumble Fish,’ ‘Woman of the Year’ and More

17 January 2017 3:03 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Four new movies are coming to the Criterion Collection this April: Juzo Itami’s “Tampopo,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “Rumble Fish,” Wim Wenders’ “Buena Vista Social Club” and George Stevens’ “Woman of the Year.” In addition, two musicals directed by Jacques Demy already in the Collection are receiving new standalone editions: “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and “The Young Girls of Rochefort.” More information below.

Read More: The Criterion Collection’s 2017 Lineup: What Movies Are Being Added This Year?

Tampopo

“The tale of an eccentric band of culinary ronin who guide the widow of a noodle shop owner on her quest for the perfect recipe, this rapturous “ramen western” by Japanese director Juzo Itami is an entertaining, genre-bending adventure underpinned by a deft satire of the way social conventions distort the most natural of human urges, our appetites. Interspersing the efforts of Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto) and friends to make her café »

- Michael Nordine

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If You Have to Visit Black Rock, This New Blu Is the Way to Go

17 January 2017 9:12 AM, PST | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Warner Archive Delivers the Best Way to Enjoy a Bad Day at Black Rock

Welcome to this week in home video! Click the title to buy a Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon and help support Fsr in the process!

Pick of the WeekBad Day at Black Rock [Warner Archive]

What is it? A one-armed man arrives via train in a remote western town, and the populace reacts with suspicion and violence.

Why buy it? Spencer Tracy excels as the polite but mysterious stranger whose presence sets everyone on edge, and the more he probes the harder they push. The film explores threads of America’s deep-seated racism and small-town insulation, and it pairs that commentary with a steadily increasing suspense. The themes and actions here are still sadly relevant, even now, and it makes for an important watch that still manages to entertain. Tracy’s potential adversaries include Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Walter Brennan, and »

- Rob Hunter

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