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James Gray seems like an anachronism. Between visually noisy blockbusters and indies that display a greater interest in bending narrative conventions rather than mastering them, his adherence to a more classical form of storytelling feels out-of-touch with contemporary filmmaking practice. His evident influences and forerunners include Robert Bresson, Roberto Rossellini and Francis Ford Coppola, and his cinematic relationship to New York City feels indebted to Sidney Lumet yet remains unmistakably his own. Gray doesn’t use other filmmakers’ work as a Tarantino-esque palette for diversion, despite his shared affinity for crime drama, that signature ’90s indie genre staple (Gray’s first feature was a 1994 gangster film starring Tim Roth – that’d be Little Odessa, not Pulp Fiction). Gray’s narratives are classical and familiar, but they’re never derivative or postmodern. The filmmaker instead uses cinema’s history as a tool to master storytelling, character development, mood and setting as a form of practice, and »
- Landon Palmer
What is it about foreign horror films that makes them more interesting than so many English language horror films? You would have to think that the language barrier makes it more terrifying; people screaming is already difficult, but speaking a language you don’t understand can only make it worse. So, why are the remakes typically so bad? On this portion of the list, we are treated to a few of the more upsetting films in the canon – one movie I wouldn’t wish for anyone to see, a few that blazed the trail for many more, and one that I would elevate above the horror genre into its own little super-genre.
30. Janghwa, Hongryeon (2003)
English Title: A Tale of Two Sisters
Directed by: Kim Ji-woon
Another excellent Korean horror film America had to remake to lesser results. 2003′s A Tale of Two Sisters is just one of many film adaptations of the folktale, »
- Joshua Gaul
Right after Francis Ford Coppola turned a Mafia family’s travails into grand opera with 1972’s “The Godfather,” which went on to win 1972’s best-picture Oscar, he topped himself in 1974 with “The Godfather, Part II,” which became the first sequel to ever win the award. Later on, while preparing to film 1979’s “Apocalypse Now,” he tossed those Oscars out the window, shattering all but one. He was enraged that he couldn’t convince major stars such as Steve McQueen and Al Pacino to be his headliner. Eventually Marlon Brando did sign on. “The success … went to my head like a rush of perfume," Coppola recalled. "I thought I couldn’t do anything wrong.” Excess – fueled by fame, fortune and self-serving, often-destructive behavior -- often goes hand in hand with success, especially in the movie biz. Few film history books proved that as well as “Easy Rider, Raging Bulls: How the »
- Susan Wloszczyna
In the early 20th century, when the public’s love affair with cinema began, we were first introduced to this beguiling new art form through its stars, and this is exactly how the powers that be wanted it. When the Hollywood studios ran the film industry like a tightly controlled, upper-class bordello, the emphasis was placed on the faces you could see, the actors, and a films director existed in some theoretical dark corner of the silver screen, practicing some ethereal cinematic wizardry that the plebeian film fan could never even hope to understand. As the Hepburns’, Davis’, Borgarts’, and Gables’ of the world began to age though, and their box office power diminished, the studios were briefly forced to let the inmates run the prison, handing over the keys to the pesky directors. Suddenly, the auteur was born.
While technically speaking, Auteur Theory, the belief that a »
- Christopher Lominac
Though there are some spoilers sprinkled throughout this piece for some of the films, they are largely vague for readers who have not seen the films in question.
In his book Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, journalist Rick Pearlstein posits that Nixon, one of history’s most reviled presidents, manipulated social trends, tense racial crises and even war to assume the office, and, perhaps inadvertently, created the way the Right and Left deal with each other in the present day. The scars of the seventies indeed still hang like a dark cloud over Washington, its internal systems ravaged by covert bugging operations and illegal payoffs. With Edward Snowden’s Nsa revelations and Wikileaks at the forefront today, America has once again regressed into paranoia, though nothing in contemporary cinema compares to the violent, bleak reactions filmmakers had to the Watergate scandal. The occasional modern conspiracy thriller, »
- Kenny Hedges
The year is 1998 and Werner Herzog is one of few filmmakers who possess an aura. Not tabloid longevity, but the true beatification that comes with being a small-town Bavarian who ended up surviving not only postwar Germany but Central African prisons, Peruvian arrows, Klaus Kinski, pilgrimages across Europe and forty years in the film industry. His struggles are sometimes self-imposed but always Promethean; his vision, personal, strange and poetic. And his fans: devotional. Herzog doesn't do much to discourage the following...which is why Herzog, I and his assistant director, Herbert Golder, were laughing when we read the fortune opened by the holy man at a restaurant not far from Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope building, where Herzog was doing some work. "A modest man never talks of himself," it said. It was already too late.>> - Susan Gerhard »
"What Gordon did is create a negative that no one could mess with." In 2008, Paramount restored and re-released Francis Ford Coppola's original The Godfather trilogy in full high definition, and the result was a glorious must-have box set featuring all three movies. The restoration was supervised by Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis (who just passed away a few months ago) as well as Steven Spielberg, and this 19-minute short explores the process they went through to bring these classics back to life. Featuring interviews with Coppola, Willis, archivist Robert A. Harris, and others, it's a fun and fascinating featurette. Thanks to The Film Stage for the tip on this video. Description from the Vimeo page: "19 minutes featurette on the restoration process and describing the original color and lighting design that this endeavor was trying to restore. Features interviews with director of photography Gordon Willis, Francis Coppola, [sic] Stephen Spielberg and restoration technicians. »
- Alex Billington
Day 3 of Sdcc '14 marks the end of an era with "True Blood's" last panel. It's joined by fellow fangers "The Vampire Diaries," the witches of "Salem" and "Ahs: Coven," "Grimm," Sin City, "Constantine," Troma, and lots more.
Per usual, we have the horror highlights along with info on a few other panels that should be of general interest (plus a couple of things for the kids). Be sure to visit the official 2014 San Diego Comic-Con website for the full lineup.
Day 3: Saturday, July 26, 2014
10 Am - The Simpsons
Celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Simpsons-no gifts please-with creator Matt Groening, executive producer Al Jean, supervising director Mike Anderson, and director for life David Silverman. Topics include the new Treehouse of Horror, Simpsorama, a visit from Homer Simpson and much, much more.
Saturday July 26, 2014 10:00am - 10:45am - Ballroom 20
10 Am - Idw: Summer Blockbusters!
- Debi Moore
Taking a summer road trip? Obsessed with Hollywood? If both of those things apply to you, consider visiting one of these five travel attractions owned by celebrities, as rounded up by Biography.com : Dollywood: Dolly Parton bought a stake in a Tennessee theme park, named it after herself, and the rest is history—the nearby town, Pigeon Forge, now even hosts an annual Dolly Parade. Mirimichi golf course: Also in Tennessee, this tourist attraction was created by Justin Timberlake—and it's also an Audubon Society-approved sanctuary. Francis Ford Coppola Winery: Owned by the director, the Napa Valley winery also includes »
- Evann Gastaldo
The obligatory movie catchphrase…memorable golden dialogue for the cinematic soul. What film fan does not enjoy reciting and repeating their favorite movie quotes? After all, there are countless catchphrases in films–some are famous, some are familiar, some are obscure. Still, paraphrasing movie quips has become an art onto itself?
So what are your all-time movie catchphrases? Perhaps it is Jimmy Cagney’s “You dirt rat…you killed my brother?”. Maybe it is Cary Grant’s “Judy, Judy, Judy”? Or how about Lauren Bacall’s “You know how to whistle, don’t you? Just blow…” Whatever movie catchphrases catches your fancy is fine so long as it brings up memories of the film or film characters tat have made a big impression on your cinema experiences.
The Lip Service: The Top 10 Movie Catchphrases selections are: (in alphabetical order according to film title):
1.) “Fasten your seat belts, it »
- Frank Ochieng
On the fourth disc of Paramount's 2008 Blu-ray release of The Godfather trilogy, dubbed the "Coppola Restoration", is an excellent, 19-minute featurette called "Emulsional Rescue" and today the entire feature has been found online (via The Playlist). amz asin="B000NTPDSW" size="small"I mentioned the feature in my review writing, "For you tech junkies 'Emulsional Rescue' will be a lot of fun as it takes a look at how they went about restoring the film including the color correction and removal of scratches and dust." That essentially breaks it down rather simply in what was a 1,000+ word review because it goes much deeper than that, but now you can give it a look for yourself, though if you're any fan of the trilogy you ought to just click here and buy it for yourself considering it's only $27.26 at Amazon right now. The feature includes interviews with director of photography Gordon Willis, »
- Brad Brevet
The story of "The Godfather" and how it was made is already the stuff of movie legend. But the story of how the movie was saved and restored to the glory of how it first looked back in 1972 is one that probably deserves a bit more attention. And if you've got about twenty minutes to spare, you'll want to give this one a look. In 2008, Paramount released "The Godfather: The Coppola Restoration" with a fresh transfer assembled by Robert A. Harris of Film Preserve, but it was a lot of work to get that movie back on store shelves. "Emulsion Rescue" is a fascinating look at the step-by-step process of restoring Francis Ford Coppola's film to its original state, and most importantly, to the visual look cinematography Gordon Willis imprinted on the film. It's fascinating stuff that gets very, very technical on how prints are made and preserved, but »
- Kevin Jagernauth
I sat down with Matt Reeves in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge to see which one of us could have our hair more disheveled by the amazing wind on Crissy Field. Enjoy the video. The last time I saw Reeves, it was at Michael Giacchino's house, where I got to watch the two of them working on a scoring session for "Let Me In." I don't bring that up simply to not-so-humblebrag, but to illustrate just how unusually open Reeves can be about the filmmaking process. Even after almost 16 years of writing about films online, I can count the number of scoring sessions I've been invited to attend on my fingers. It's one of the more private parts of the overall filmmaking experience, and it's also a pressure cooker, so many filmmakers simply can't open that up to reporters. When "Let Me In" came to Comic-Con, I moderated the panel, »
- Drew McWeeny
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominations for the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards this morning. The 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Seth Meyers, will air live on Monday, August 25 (8pm Et / 5pm Pt) on NBC.
Take a look at The Emmy Awards nominees below.
Outstanding Drama Series
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
We take a light-hearted look at a few of the more strange coincidences and quirks of fate in recent cinema history...
Stories are often built on coincidences and happenstance. Chance encounters at railway stations. Bruce Willis bumping into Ving Rhames while he's out and about in his Honda in Pulp Fiction. But what about those weird patterns we see in our everyday reality, or, more to the point, in cinema history?
When Batman Begins came out, it was widely noted that Christian Bale had already played an unfathomably rich man with a secret double life before, in Mary Harron's adaptation of American Psycho. Bale's character, Patrick Bateman, even has a surname that's basically Batman with an 'e' added to it.
Those are the kinds of strange quirks of fate we're looking at here. If you have any of your own, do share them in the comments section.
10. Instruments »
Obviously to attempt to list the ten best edited sequences of all-time is a fool's errand so let's just consider the following video, excellently compiled and discussed by the CineFix crew, to be a presentation of some of the best edited sequences so as to not start a slew of "you forgot" comments. I, for one, could never begin to even remember all the best edited sequences in cinema's long history, which is perhaps why CineFix's ten selections are among the most popular and undoubtedly the most highly influential and talked about of all-time from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, a pair from Alfred Hitchcock, another pair from Francis Ford Coppola including The Godfather and, obviously, Sergei M. Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin. For my money I'd add The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Citizen Kane and a personal favorite, Godard's Breathless as I feel the editing in »
- Brad Brevet
The Guanajuato International Film Festival revealed yesterday all the details for its upcoming seventeenth edition, which is going to be celebrated from Friday, July 25 to Sunday, August 3. This is one of Mexico's top festivals and this year's lineup turned out to be both exciting and surprising, especially thanks to the fact that Giff is paying homage to B movie king Roger Corman. Producer of Death Race 2000, Piranha, Forbidden World, and hundreds others; director of such films as Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Little Shop of Horros, and The Pit and the Pendulum; and mentor of several consolidated directors, including Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, and Jonathan Demme; Roger Corman is quite simply a living film legend. At age 88, Corman is...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Richard Linklater's Boyhood has landed on the covers of both Sight & Sound and Film Comment, just in time for the film's opening in New York and Los Angeles before it begins rolling out across the country all summer long. Also in today's roundup of news and views: Francis Ford Coppola, Agnés Varda, Wim Wenders, Volker Schlöndorff, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Manoel de Oliveira, Costa-Gavras, Stephen Frears, William Friedkin, Bernardo Bertolucci and Souleymane Cissé pay tribute to Henri Langlois. » - David Hudson »
Most people today would likely be shocked to think that in 1972, The Godfather went into the Oscars anything but a sure bet for Best Picture. Aside from Casablanca and Citizen Kane it is recognized as the greatest American film of all time and in hind sight most people forget that not only was it tied for nominations in 1972, but Coppola lost Best Director.
Because hindsight is anything but 20/20 when popular consensus takes over, the narrative of the Hollywood Renaissance is one of Scorsese, Spielberg and Lucas getting snubbed for Taxi Driver, Jaws, Close Encounters, and Star Wars. But looking at the 1970s and the race for Best Director, what you see instead is two directors fighting it out for director of the decade, each earning three nominations.
- Mynt Marsellus
The art of expression in the world of film is not just reserved for “professional” movie reviewers. The accessible flexibility that anyone can comment and show delight or dismay regarding the cinema landscape is quite encouraging because Any voice matters in terms of one’s particular preference. From a famed Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic to a blue-collar plumber with an affinity for vintage films from the golden age of Hollywood anyone can harbor a viewpoint about what constitutes quality or queasy filmmaking.
Thankfully, online venues such as Sound on Sight allow for several degrees of opinion, expertise, insight and analysis when it comes to an array of topical interests that cater to the constitution of escapist tastes in film, television, comic books and podcasts.
No, The Voicemakers: A Sound of Reasoning is not a disguised pat-on-the-back to shamelessly promote this site’s accolades. Quite frankly, the site’s staff, regular »
- Frank Ochieng
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