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Wes Craven made a comic book movie (“Swamp Thing”) before comic book movies were cool, brazenly transformed an Ingmar Bergman scenario into a vicious grindhouse classic (“The Last House on the Left”), and put Meryl Streep through her paces as she gave violin lessons to inner-city kids — and made an enthusiastic if unsuccessful bid for another Oscar — in “Music of the Heart.”
But the cult-fave filmmaker, who died Sunday at 76, earned his place in the movie history books and a warm spot in the hearts of genre aficionados everywhere with two seminal, sequel-spawning masterworks: “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984), the dream-logical, high-voltage shocker that established the fire-scarred, razor-fingered Freddy Krueger as a horror-movie icon; and “Scream” (1996), the seriocomic smash hit, scripted by Kevin Williamson, that impudently played fast and loose with the cliches and conventions of slasher pics like “Halloween” and “Friday the 13th” (and, yes, “A Nightmare on Elm Street »
- Joe Leydon
The Conversation is a feature at Sound on Sight bringing together Drew Morton and Landon Palmer in a passionate debate about cinema new and old. For their eighth piece, they discuss Agnès Varda’s stunning and essential character study Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962).
This month brings the Criterion/Eclipse release of the five film box set “Agnès Varda in California,” making August the perfect time to revisit her seminal 1962 film Cléo from 5 to 7. The close to real-time film covers 90 minutes (the title is a slight fib) in the life of a beautiful French pop singer (Corinne Marchand). She has two hours to wait until her Doctor contacts her to confirm if she has cancer and what her prognosis is. In the first scene of the film, Cléo visits a fortune teller whose tarot cards reveal that she will experience a transformative experience that may involve her death. She »
- Landon Palmer
Above: Franciszek Starowieyski’s 1970 poster for Mademoiselle (Tony Richardson, UK/France, 1966).In Christopher Nolan’s new short film about the Quay Brothers (titled—with Nolan’s predilection for mono-nomenclature—simply Quay) he gives us a clue to some of the twin animators’ influences in the film’s opening shots. After drawing back the curtains in their curiosity shop of a studio, Timothy Quay opens a glass cupboard to remove a book. Blink and you’ll miss it, but on the shelves are books on Marcel Duchamp, Spanish sculptor Juan Muñoz, Czech artists Jan Zrzavy, Vlastislav Hofman and Jindrich Heisler, and—most prominently—a book on Polish artist Franciszek Starowieyski.I wrote a few years ago about the Quays’ love of Polish film posters and Franciszek Starowieyski (1930-2009) is one of the indisputable later masters of the Polish school. From the mid 50s until the late 80s he produced some 100 film »
- Adrian Curry
It’s 1940, and the Nazi invasion of France is fully under way. A mother, father, a five-year-old girl and her tiny dog are among a throng of refugees fleeing Paris and jamming roads across the French countryside while German planes drop bombs and strafe their path with a relentless rain of machine gun fire. Soon the girl will be completely alone, her parents and that beloved dog all cut down in front of her eyes. But before she even has the chance to process what has happened (if she even can—on the most immediate level, she believes they’re only asleep), she’s given a ride by an older couple, one of whom cruelly flings the animal’s corpse, the only thing the girl has been able to save of her now-devastated familiar world, into a creek. The girl, Paulette (Brigitte Fossey), jumps off their wagon, retrieves the dog »
- Dennis Cozzalio
When sifting through the catalogue of illustrious French filmmakers, the pioneers and precursors to the French New Wave, those creators of a new cinematic language, immediately pop out. You know the ones; Jean Renoir, Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Robert Bresson, et al. Put them in a single room and somewhere in a shadowy corner, wearing a rain-slicked trench-coat, his eyes obscured by the brim of his fedora, sits Jean-Pierre Melville. Unlike many of the others, he didn't go out of his way to bend the rules of cinematic convention -- he did it casually, like one of his gangsters. Born Jean-Pierre Grumbach and adopting the moniker "Melville" after his favorite American author, he fought as part of the French Resistance during WWII, and started making independent films in the late '40s after he was denied an assistant director's license. His experience during the war, coupled with a high admiration »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
In today's roundup: Jonathan Rosenbaum's interviews with Mark Rappaport and Béla Tarr and his review of Peter Watkins's La Commune (Paris, 1871); two new books on Stanley Kubrick, one on The Shining, the other on 2001: A Space Odyssey; reviews of Criterion's new release of François Truffaut's Day for Night; "Straight Outta Compton’s revisionist history"; interviews with Jerry Schatzberg, Lily Tomlin, Joe Dante and John Magary; a tribute to Mike Leigh; Christopher Nolan's admiration for Stephen Quay and Timothy Quay; a listener's guide to Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising—and more. » - David Hudson »
Directed by François Truffaut
From Fellini to Fassbinder, Minnelli to Godard, some of international cinema’s greatest directors have turned their camera on their art and, by extension, themselves. But in the annals of great films about filmmaking, few movies have captured the rapturous passion of cinematic creation and the consuming devotion to film as well as François Truffaut’s Day for Night. While there are a number of stories at play in this love letter to the movies, along with several terrific performances throughout, the crux of the film, the real star of the show, is cinema itself.
Prior to Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, Truffaut was arguably the most fervent film loving filmmaker, wearing his affection for the medium on his directorial sleeve and seldom missing an opportunity to sound off in interviews or in »
- Jeremy Carr
“The Movie For Movie Lovers”
François Truffaut had an all too short but certainly brilliant career as a filmmaker. He began in the world of film criticism in France, but in the late 1950s he decided to make movies himself. Truffaut quickly shot to the forefront of the French New Wave in the late 1950s and early 60s, alongside the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Eric Rohmer, Alain Resnais, and others. By the time the 70s rolled around, Truffaut was a national treasure in France and a mainstay in art house cinemas in the U.S. and Britain.
His 1973 masterpiece, Day for Night (in France La Nuit Américaine, or “American Night”), won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film of that year, the only time Truffaut picked up an Academy Award. Due to odd eligibility rules, the picture could be nominated for other categories the following year. For »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, will make its World Premiere at the 53rd New York International Film Festival, running from September 25 to October 11. The film was one of 26 announced as part of the festival’s main slate, along with one of four World Premieres.
Some of the main slate highlights include Todd Haynes’s Carol, featuring Cannes Best Actress Winner Rooney Mara alongside Cate Blanchett, Miguel Gomes’s three part saga Arabian Nights, Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s The Assassin, the Us premiere of Michael Moore’s latest Where to Invade Next, Michel Gondry’s French film Microbe et Gasoil, and the World Premiere of the documentary Don’t Blink: Robert Frank, about the life of the fames photographer and filmmaker.
- Brian Welk
The Toronto International Film Festival added more than 60 new films to its lineup on Tuesday, ranging from documentaries about music to thrillers and horror films, and from the work of arthouse icons to young provocateurs. Stars on display in the new batch of films include singers Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, actors James Franco, Rachel McAdams and Patrick Stewart and filmmakers Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut. Among the more than two dozen documentaries announced in the Tiff Docs program were “Amazing Grace,” a film by the late director Sydney Pollack about an Aretha Franklin concert that was. »
- Steve Pond
A seminal event happened to actor Lance Henriksen in his late teens that serves as the perfect metaphor for his life: Henriksen was working at a rural New Mexico gas station, and was taken in by the couple who owned it. They had a teenage daughter a couple years his junior. One day, figuring Lance and his daughter were getting a bit too chummy; the man drove Henriksen out to the middle of the desert. “All winter long, the frost has been pushing up these beautiful amethyst stones,” the man explained. “I’ll drop you off and you can collect them, then come back and sell them for a lot of money.” Henriksen stayed half the night, and then started to succumb to the desert’s freezing temperatures. “I dug a hole and buried myself up to my chest, with a fire in front of me. »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Paris– The Deauville American film festival will pay homage to Orson Welles to mark the centenary of his birth during its upcoming 41st edition.
As part of the tribute to Welles, three of his classic movies will be screened: “Citizen Kane,” “The Lady From Shanghai” and “Touch of Evil.” Clara and Julia Kuperberg’s documentary feature “This Is Orson Welles,” which is produced by TCM Cinema and Wichita Films, will also play.
Deauville described Welles as an “enduring legend of world cinema, who at an early age reinvented the grammar of his art with his masterpiece ‘Citizen Kane.’ François Truffaut spoke of how Welles had inspired so many filmmaking careers. He also put his stamp of innovation on films such as ‘Falstaff,’ ‘Mr. Arkadin’ and ‘Touch of Evil.'”
The fest also quoted Welles: “It’s required not to be shy with the camera, ravish it and force it into »
- Elsa Keslassy
'Everest' 2015, with Jake Gyllenhaal at the Venice Film Festival. What global warming? Venice Film Festival 2015 jury: Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón president The 2015 Venice Film Festival, to be held Sept. 2–12, has announced the members of its three main juries: Venezia 72, Horizons, and the Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film. In case you're wondering, “Why Venezia 72”? Well, the simple answer is that this is the 72nd edition of the festival. Looking at the lists below, you'll notice that, as usual, Europeans dominate the award juries. The only two countries from the Americas represented are the U.S. and Mexico, and here and there you'll find a sprinkling of Asian film talent. Golden Lion jury The Golden Lion – Venezia 72 Competition – jury is comprised by the following: Jury President Alfonso Cuarón, the first Mexican national to take home the Best Director Academy Award (for the Sandra Bullock-George Clooney »
- Anna Robinson
Francois Truffaut once said that it’s pretty much “impossible to [really] make an anti-war film.” Presumably, what he meant by this is that the cinematic medium is one that thrives on embellishment, exaggeration and heightened dramatic stakes, and can therefore not be relied on to give an accurate, honest-to-God reflection of how horrific war can be. It’s an important question: can any war film actually be “realistic” and still be entertaining? Is the relentless violence of films like Steven Speilberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” and David Ayer’s “Fury” a faithful tip of the hat to the brave men and women who fought for our country, or is the splashy cinematic treatment of wartime atrocities itself a fundamentally disingenuous thing? In helping us to ponder the question, a brand spankin’ new video essay from Now You See It looks at the many visual representations of war in film, and »
- Nicholas Laskin
Read More: Check Out These 10 Parody Movie Posters From 'Me And Earl And The Dying Girl' We've broken down the playlist by track, followed by commentary. You can play the full playlist (save for one track that was not available on Spotify) by scrolling down to the bottom of this page. Enjoy! Gomez-Rejon originally chose Georges Delerue's "Chorale" from the 1973 Francois Truffaut film "Day for Night" as the score for the high school sequence at the beginning of the film. "It really worked, it was like the soundtrack in this cinephile's head," he told us. "'Day for Night' was his way in." As the film began to evolve during post-production, Gomez-Rejon decided to switch to an original composition, which is how composer Nico Muhly ended up being brought in to create, as Gomez-Rejon put it, "a sound for the beginning" of the film -- i. »
- Shipra Harbola Gupta
Cinema’s obsession with the idea of a perfect murder is quite grotesque. The macabre fascination only cements what Francois Truffaut once said, “Film lovers are sick people.” Perfect murders are a form of intellectual freak show, and Irrational Man, Woody Allen’s newest feature, tackles on the visual and physical allure of taking a person’s life. A much less heavy-handed effort than the director’s previous Magic in the Moonlight, Irrational Man stays light while dissecting the ennui of existing.
Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix), a philosophy professor, arrives at the campus of the fictional Braylin University a broken man, suffering from a messy divorce and the untimely death of a friend in Iraq. Abe is often filmed from the waist up, exposing his less than attractive physicality. The guy does not walk; he lumbers around with his big belly. Yet women are inexplicably drawn to him, precisely because »
- Phuong Le
When it comes to naming the great directors of Indian cinema, Mani Ratnam is someone who is always included. Working not only in Hindi films, but also in the major industries in the South, the filmmaker has created some of the best movies in the Indian film canon. He began his career with Pallavi Anu Pallavi and went on to bring audiences such outstanding cinema as Bombay, Roja, Dil Se, Nayakan, Saathiya, Guru, Ravaan and this year’s O Kadhal Kanmani to name just a few. Awarded the Padma Shree in 2002, his films have also won several prestigious National Film Awards. His work has been included on Best Film lists both in Time Magazine and The British Film Institute as well as winning awards at major film festivals around the world.
Naman Ramachandran, the film programmer for The Bagri Foundation London Indian Film Festival, was allowed by Mr. Ratnam, to »
- Stacey Yount
In today's roundup: Guy Maddin on Douglas Sirk, McKenzie Wark on Pier Paolo Pasolini, James Douglas on the politics of Pixar, A.O. Scott on the culture of Comic-Con, Max Nelson on John Ford and Ireland, Stuart Klawans on Sean Baker's Tangerine, Chaitanya Tamhane’s Court, Christian Petzold's Phoenix, Liz Garbus’s What Happened, Miss Simone?, Asif Kapadia’s Amy and Stevan Riley’s Listen to Me Marlon, Jackie Cooper on Andy Warhol's Lupe (1966) with Edie Sedgwick, interviews with Hou Hsiao-hsien and Pedro Costa and a conversation between Kiriro Urayama and François Truffaut. » - David Hudson »
Criterion digitally restores its previous edition of Alain Resnais’ landmark directorial debut, Hiroshima Mon Amour, a jagged cornerstone of the French New Wave, which forever associated the reluctant auteur with one of the most acclaimed cinematic movements to date. Roughly preceding the renowned debut of Jean-Luc Godard and released the same month as Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (they competed against one another at Cannes), Resnais’ contribution changed the way we regarded linear narrative and flashback sequences, and much like those iconic works of his peers, now bears several decades worth of critical acclaim on its shoulders. Tragic, moody and ultimately a poetic exchange of present interludes shattered by ghosts of the recent past, Resnais begins with motifs he would remain fascinated with throughout his career, the nature of remembrance and recollection, instances as shattered as the narrative chronologies in his films.
Fourteen years after the atomic bomb laid waste to Hiroshima, »
- Nicholas Bell
Wes Anderson, one of modern cinema’s most talked-about auteurs, has been compared to a few other great directors who came before him. His early work was said to resemble the melancholy humanist comedies of Hal Ashby, while later pictures like “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” were often mentioned in the same breath as Francois Truffaut and Ernst Lubitsch (respectively). One film great that Mr. Anderson has decidedly not been compared to, however, is the one and only Yasujiro Ozu. There’s a reason for that. Ozu, a titan of mid-century Japanese cinema whose fabulous body of work can currently be viewed via The Criterion Collection, was one of the art form’s most singular practitioners. His films are wholly and totally his, and could almost never be mistaken for the work of another director. Many too have argued that the same is true of the idiosyncratic Anderson, »
- Nicholas Laskin
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