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For even those most accustomed to the frenzy of celebrity, the Cannes Film Festival can be a disorienting experience.
For 12 days every year, the French Rivera resort town turns into one giant seaside swirl of glamour, high art and backroom deal-making. Like some sun-drenched phantasm, all of cinema comes alive in Cannes: its serious ambitions, bottom-line commerce and crass spectacle.
"Every time I go to Cannes, it feels like I'm entering the helicopter scene in `La Dolce Vita,'" says Leonardo DiCaprio. "It's an insane experience. The entire town is turned into a red carpet. Every hotel is a premiere. But at the same time, it is the mecca for the world to celebrate filmmaking and bold filmmaking."
This year's Cannes, the 66th, kicks off Wednesday with Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," a 3-D extravaganza starring DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire. In many ways, the movie's lavish, star-powered decadence epitomizes Cannes. »
On May 24th, New York’s Film Forum will continue their ongoing resuscitation of the French Old Wave with a revival of a 1956 film that has been all but forgotten outside France: a film whose French title translates as The Crossing of Paris, which was originally released in the Us as Four Bags Full, but which is being re-released now with its more alliterative and far more charming UK subtitle A Pig Across Paris.
Set during the Occupation, this black-sausage comedy may not be quite as cute and animal-friendly as Clément Hurel’s brilliant poster suggests. A hilarious, nail-biting companion of sorts to Wages of Fear, which had been released three years earlier, A Pig Across Paris follows two men (Jean Gabin and comic star Bourvil) who must transport not nitroglycerine across South American mountains, but four black-market suitcases of pork across nighttime Paris, under the nose of the Nazis. »
- Adrian Curry
As one of the first major Hollywood filmmakers to launch a paid channel on YouTube, Roger Corman, along with his longtime producer partner Julie Corman, will unveil “Corman’s Drive-In” on YouTube, which reaches more than one billion unique users monthly. Corman’s new channel is part of YouTube’s new platform offering viewers more channels through a paid subscription model.
“Corman’s Drive-In” – set to launch this summer – gives the legendary Oscar winning director the opportunity to take the treasured library of more than 400 classic films directly to his fan base, as well as reach a new millennial audience.
“I have always approached filmmaking with the desire to reach a broad audience, and YouTube is clearly where the viewers are now,” said Roger Corman. “In today’s ever-connected marketplace, I couldn’t think of a better platform on which to unveil “Corman’s Drive-In.”
Under the banner of New Horizons Picture Corp. »
- Michelle McCue
Roberto Rossellini's half-improvised neo-realist masterpiece uses the ruins of Pompeii as an unforgettable metaphor for a marriage
In terms of cinema history, Roberto Rossellini's Journey To Italy (1954) is one of the most important films you've never seen. The third part of an informal trilogy of Italian movies starring his wife Ingrid Bergman – the others are Stromboli (1950) and Europa 51 (1952) – it follows an English couple (Bergman and George Sanders) visiting Naples to sell off an inherited villa, as their unfamiliar and enforced intimacy starts eating away at the fabric of their union. As he idles with other expats and their marriage proves a transient, temporary thing, she immerses herself in the ruins around Pompeii and Herculaneum, all the while feeling rebuked and chastened by the ancient permanence of everything around her.
Rossellini, the grand old man of Italian neo-realism, is the only film-maker of 1945 to hold true to its tenets throughout his creative life. »
- John Patterson
Trevor Hogg chats with Academy Award nominated cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt about being a teenage photojournalist, working with director Mike Nichols, the Oscars and the current state of filmmaking...
My sister is a painter and architect, my father was a doctor but he always wanted to be a musician, and my mother was interested in painting. I was surrounded by art in my childhood,” states Stephen Goldblatt who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and moved with his family to the United Kingdom at the age of seven; four years later he became obsessed with photography and later as a teenager Goldblatt was hired to work for London Life Magazine owned by the Sunday Times. “I was working as a photographer when I was 18. The thing about old style film photojournalism was that you were telling a story in still pictures and not being digital, you tended to try to do »
The Critics’ Circle, the UK’s only professional association of critics of drama, music, film, dance, and visual arts and the oldest organisation of its kind anywhere in the world, celebrates its centenary this year with high profile events open to the media and public audiences. We’ve got the official announcement over the events, and talks happening for their 100-year celebrations!
27 April – 11am to 4pm: Victoria and Albert Museum (free event in the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre) presents ‘The Art of Criticism’, a public event hosted by two of the UK’s most popular broadcasters, Paul Gambaccini and Mariella Frostrup. ‘The Art of Criticism’ promises to be a day of lively discussion and debate with questions and answers flowing freely between the audience and the day’s guest panels about what makes a critic, what the job entails, what its significance is in the world of music, dance, »
- Dan Bullock
(Claude Chabrol, 1958/59, Eureka!, 12)
Coined in 1957 by the French journalist François Giroud to describe a rebellious generation of young French people polled by L'Express, the term "nouvelle vague" was rapidly applied to an amorphous group of innovative film‑makers, the most vociferously self-publicising of whom were the critics working for Cahiers du Cinéma, who embraced "la politique des auteurs".
The first of them to direct a feature film was Claude Chabrol, co-author in 1957 of the first book on the Cahiers hero Alfred Hitchcock. Chabrol used his wife's windfall inheritance to make what has been called the first new wave movie, Le beau Serge, followed immediately by a companion piece, Les cousins. Both were shot in a naturalistic manner by key nouvelle vague cameraman Henri Decaë, and star Jean-Claude Brialy and Gérard Blain.
- Philip French
Considered to be two of the finest examples of British art house cinema, director Joseph Losey and writer Harold Pinter’s first two collaborations, The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967), were re-released this week on DVD courtesy of StudioCanal.
These two films explored the waning English class system previously vacated by British filmmakers. Though this was a subject explored by Evelyn Waugh in his novel Brideshead Revisited, first published in 1945 and is one of the motifs of the current running television drama Downton Abbey.
The Servant and Accident came at a crucial time in film history, an important spell in the history of art house cinema. By 1963 the Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave) was in full force. Francois Truffaut had directed The 400 Blows, Shoot the Pianist and Jules et Jim by 1963, and Jean-Luc Godard Breathless, A woman is a Woman »
- Flickering Myth
Have you ever wondered what are the films that inspire the next generation of visionary filmmakers? As part of our monthly Ioncinephile profile (read here), we ask the filmmaker the incredibly arduous task of identifying their top ten list of favorite films. Eleanor Burke & Ron Eyal (Stranger Things) provided us with a combined/all time top ten film list (dated: April 2013).
Les Quatres cents Coups Blows (400 Blows) – Francois Truffaut (1959)
“I saw this when I was at secondary school (high school) and there was something in it that really spoke to me. It’s the film that made me want to be a director.” (Eb)
“Truffaut was getting out there onto the streets of Paris with the camera and capturing life. I love the playful scene with Antoine turning upside-down on the Rotor, and that final breathtaking tracking shot as Antoine runs down to the sea.” (Re)
- Eric Lavallee
Welcome to a new regular feature looking at the new releases from Eureka Entertainment's Masters of Cinema series. It will publish on release day, whenever a new title (or titles) hits the shelves, taking in the film(s) in question and the package as a whole.For many, Jean Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut are widely held to be the pioneers of the French New Wave (or Nouvelle Vague) movement. It was Claude Chabrol, however, who is credited with kick-starting this ambitious and groundbreaking filmmaking coup, with his 1958 debut Le beau Serge paving the way for such classics as Le Quatre Cent Coups, A Bout de Souffle and his own follow-up, Les Cousins. Chabrol started out, as was the case for Godard, Truffaut, Jacques Rivette and almost...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Hollywood has always played fast and loose with books – risking the author's wrath by changing plot and characters wholesale. Joe Dunthorne looks back on some memorable film cheats
At book readings, Stephen King sometimes tells a story about his "only preproduction discussion" for the 1980 film adaptation of The Shining. At seven in the morning, King was shaving in the bathroom when his wife ran in to tell him there was a call from London, it was Stanley Kubrick. Just the mention of the director's name was shock enough that when King went to the phone, he had a line of blood running down one cheek and the other was still white with foam. The first thing Kubrick said – and it's worth noting that King's growly impersonation makes him sound like a swamp creature – was: "I think stories of the supernatural are fundamentally optimistic, don't you? If there are ghosts then that means we survive death. »
- Joe Dunthorne
The problem of what films to make in the communist block exercised the minds of the best filmmakers. Milos Forman struggled with the issue of how to create drama in a country (Czechoslovakia) which could not admit to any social problems. At one point he confesses to writing a scenario in which a worker volunteers for so many extracurricular activities he risks meltdown: the conflict between mere commendable social participation and exceptional commitment to going above and beyond the call of duty seemed to be the only avenue of exploration left to the dramatist. Even that story would probably have been censored; at any rate, it was never made.
Nikola Tanhofer, a cinematographer who began alternating camerawork with directing jobs, chose a different approach in Yugoslavia in 1958. The title H-8... refers to the first two figures in an incomplete license plate number, belonging to an unidentified driver whose recklessness has caused a fatal motorway crash. »
- David Cairns
British actress Mirren has slammed filmmaker Mendes for failing to mention any women as influences during an acceptance speech at a British awards ceremony, a thorny issue after no women filmmakers were nominated for an Oscar this year.
Mendes, who picked up Empire awards for best director and best film for the James Bond movie 'Skyfall', as well as the annual Inspiration Award, cited Paul Thomas Anderson, Francois Truffaut, Mar in Scorsese and Ingmar Bergman as his influences.
His all-male list prompted. »
- Abhijeet Sen
Skyfall director chided for citing only male film-makers in awards ceremony acceptance speech
Speaking as she picked up her own "Legend" award on stage, Mirren noted the director of recent James Bond movie Skyfall had cited a string of male directors – including Paul Thomas Anderson, François Truffaut, Martin Scorsese and Ingmar Bergman – but ignored the contributions of female film-makers. Mendes had earlier picked up awards for best director, best film and the Empire "Inspiration" award at the ceremony in central London.
"It was great to hear Sam [Mendes'] list of moments that inspired him... I did however note there was not one woman's name there, behind the camera," said Mirren, to cheers from the audience. "Nothing against Sam … I hope, I pray, »
- Ben Child
The Queen has spoken. Or, more specifically, Helen Mirren. While being honored at the Empire Awards in London on Sunday night, the actress took aim at Sam Mendes and seemed to accuse the Skyfall director of sexism. "I don't want to unduly pick on Sam Mendes, but when he spoke about his inspirations earlier this evening, I'm afraid not a single one of the people he mentioned was a woman," Mirren said from the stage at the Grosvenor Hotel upon accepting the Legend Award, The Guardian reports. Mirren was referring to the fact that when Mendes picked up the Empire Inspiration Award, he only cited male filmmakers such as François Truffaut, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Ingmar »
Helen Mirren was honored with the “Legend” award at the Empire Awards over the weekend, and she quickly demonstrated why. In a speech that also discussed her career high points and her deep appreciation for her long career, the Oscar-winner called out Skyfall director Sam Mendes, who had won the “Inspiration” award earlier in the evening, for demonstrating how “bloke-y” her industry has traditionally been.
In Mendes’ speech, he thanked directors who had inspired him, including Paul Thomas Anderson, François Truffaut, Martin Scorsese and Ingmar Bergman, according to U.K. paper The Guardian. When Mirren took the stage, she used »
- Erin Strecker
It’s unclear why March 12th is National Alfred Hitchcock Day. It’s not his birthday or anything — he was born on a Friday the 13th in August of 1899 — but it doesn’t really matter because every square on the calendar is a good one for celebrating the filmmaker’s incredible work. But how to do it? Curling up with your favorite Hitch movie is a solid choice, but if you’re looking for something a bit more exotic, here are a few suggestions (complete with where to find his movies online if you want to stick to simplicity). 1. Check Out His (Recently Unearthed) Earliest Surviving Movie 2. Try to Spot All of His Cameos 3. Take a Trip on a Train 4. Watch Martin Scorsese Shoot Three Unfilmed Pages of a Hitchcock Script: 5. Read 6 Filmmaking Tips From the Master of Suspense 6. And Then Learn How Hitch Actually Defined “Suspense” 7. Spy On Your Neighbors After Breaking Your Leg 8. Watch Rear Window »
- Scott Beggs
Cannes Fest gets Lincoln director to preside jury Steven Spielberg may have lost the Best Director Academy Award last Sunday evening, but he has won the presidency of the jury of this year's upcoming Cannes Film Festival. Following on the footsteps of Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti, who headed last year's jury that awarded Michael Haneke's drama Amour the coveted Palme d'Or, Spielberg will preside the jury at the next Cannes Film Festival, which runs from May 15 to 26. (Pictured above: Steven Spielberg looking straight at the camera.) So far, Spielberg has won only one award at the Cannes Fest: as one of the writers (along with Matthew Robbins and Hal Barwood) of the 1974 drama The Sugarland Express, starring Goldie Hawn and William Atherton, and which Spielberg himself directed. Also, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial had its world premiere at Cannes as the closing-night gala film in 1982, while the melodrama The Color Purple »
- Zac Gille
Odd List Aliya Whiteley Feb 19, 2013
Covering 85 years of cinema, Aliya provides her pick of 25 stylish, must-see French movies...
I’m going to kick this off in best New-Wave style by pointing out that we should be praising each great director’s body of work rather than showcasing favourite movies in a list format; after all, France came up with the concept of the auteur filmmaker, stamping their personality on a film, using the camera to portray their version of the world.
Yeah, well, personality is everything. So here’s a highly personal choice, arranged in chronological order, of 25 of the most individualistic French films. They may be long or short, old or new, but they all have one thing in common – they’ve got directorial style. And by that I don’t mean their shoes match their handbags.
The Passion Of Joan Of Arc (1928)
There are no stirring battle scenes, »
At one point during the This Is 40 blooper reel, Judd Apatow's wife Leslie Mann, the film's co-lead, is discussing someone's vagina. "Does yours look like that?" somebody asks. "Not any more," she says, forlornly. "It looks like that... just longer."
The exchange didn't make the final cut. "That's actually the only time during the entire shoot where she said, 'I don't wanna say that,'" laughs Apatow, in London to promote the film. "People ask how I get her to do certain things on camera, and most of them are things she pushed to go further, like how it feels to be in a bar and be hit on when you're 40: how happy it makes you, how much you need it, and how bad »
- Alex Godfrey
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