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Director John Frankenheimer.
I'm often asked which, out of the over 600 interviews I've logged with Hollywood's finest, is my favorite. It's not a tough answer: John Frankenheimer.
We instantly clicked the day we met at his home in Benedict Canyon, and spent most of the afternoon talking in his den. A friendship of sorts developed over the years, with visits to his office for screenings of the old Kinescopes he directed for shows like "Playhouse 90" during his salad days in live television during the 1950s.
We hadn't spoken for nearly a year in mid-2002 when the phone rang. It was John, who spoke in what can only be described as a "stentorian bark," like a general. "Alex!" he exclaimed. "John Frankenheimer." He could sense something was amiss with me. It was. My screenwriting career had stalled. My marriage was progressing to divorce. I had hit bottom. John knew that »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
At Reverse Shot, Fernando F. Croce previews "The Essential John Ford," a series at New York's Museum of the Moving Image that's "an invaluable overview of the artist’s often paradoxical moods, ranging from the spacious buoyancy of Young Mr. Lincoln/tag> to the claustrophobic bleakness of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance/tag>. The canon classics are there (including Stagecoach/tag>, The Grapes of Wrath/tag>, and The Searchers/tag>), and so are lesser-known titles (the thorny maternal journey of Pilgrimage/tag>, the travelogue surrealism of Mogambo/tag>, the rowdy theatrics of Upstream/tag>) ready to be rediscovered." Writing for Artforum, Nick Pinkerton argues that "Ford is one of the mightiest figures in international cinema, and one of the greatest American artists in any medium, full stop." » - David Hudson »
Olivia de Havilland picture U.S. labor history-making 'Gone with the Wind' star and two-time Best Actress winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 (This Olivia de Havilland article is currently being revised and expanded.) Two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland, the only surviving major Gone with the Wind cast member and oldest surviving Oscar winner, is turning 99 years old today, July 1. Also known for her widely publicized feud with sister Joan Fontaine and for her eight movies with Errol Flynn, de Havilland should be remembered as well for having made Hollywood labor history. This particular history has nothing to do with de Havilland's films, her two Oscars, Gone with the Wind, Joan Fontaine, or Errol Flynn. Instead, history was made as a result of a legal fight: after winning a lawsuit against Warner Bros. in the mid-'40s, Olivia de Havilland put an end to treacherous »
- Andre Soares
In today's roundup of news and views: Charles Mudede on John Sayles's The Brother from Another Planet, André Gregory and Wallace Shawn's list of top ten Criterion releases, Terrence Rafferty on Bernhard Wicki’s The Bridge, Mike D'Angelo on John Ford and Native Americans, Philippa Snow on Ana Lily Armirpour's A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin, Patrick Wang on Lisa Joyce's performance in Jonathan Demme's A Master Builder, Kevin Hatch on Bruce Conner, Ryan Gilbey on Wim Wenders, interviews with Jia Zhangke, Hannah Gross and Deragh Campbell—and more. » - David Hudson »
"...the final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here, in our present. Tonight..."
You can tell a lot about how effective a movie scene is by watching it again with the sound turned off. Stripped of its dialogue, sound effects and music, can the sequence still communicate its message?
James Cameron's The Terminator, blessed though it is with a superb score by Brad Fiedel and numerous quotable lines, could work almost as well as a silent movie. So much of Cameron's feature debut (discounting Piranha II: The Spawning, from which he was fired after just two weeks) is told through body language and skilful shot composition.
Watch The Terminator's opening again without sound, and you'll see just how effective and lean its visual storytelling is. »
Musician-turned-director John Maclean strikes gold with this haunting mix of genres in the old west
Musicians have long been drawn to the cinematic myths of the old west. From the singing cowboys of early sound cinema (Ken Maynard, Gene Autry et al) through such big-screen Elvis vehicles as Flaming Star (1960) and Charro! (1969), to Glen Campbell in True Grit (1969) and Bob Dylan in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973), the western has proved the natural home of the troubadour.
More recently, Australian rocker Nick Cave has done some of his very best work writing and co-scoring The Proposition (2005) and even having a cameo as a storytelling saloon singer in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), on which he collaborated once again with long-term musical compadre Warren Ellis. Little surprise, then, that this first feature from former Beta Band musician John Maclean should be a western, albeit one »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Variety’s critics reveal their choices for the publication’s annual Critics’ Choice sidebar at the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival, which runs July 3-11.
Director: Nicolas Steiner
A mesmerizing plunge into the damaged psyches of five characters floating by on the margins of American society — from a couple scraping by in a Las Vegas drainage tunnel to the young woman determined to be among the first crew to colonize Mars — this remarkable graduation film serves as a perfect companion piece to the wave of post-apocalyptic stories flooding TV and megaplexes. The latest (and best) in an unlikely subgenre of not-quite-documentaries to spring up around the desolate expanse beyond California’s Inland Empire, the pic delves into a patch of the American frontier that appears even less inhabitable now than it did in the time of John Ford classics. These dried-up lakes and sun-scorched vistas offer fertile soil for the artistic-minded, »
- Variety Staff
Los Angeles' Bendix Building. Photo by Jordan Cronk.The bats have left the bell towerThe victims have been bled Red velvet lines the black boxBela Lugosi's dead —BauhausBela-Bonkers Brit Bloke Brazenly Boosts Bendix-Building Black Bandana!In the annals of Los Angeles crime, it was hardly an episode to titillate James Ellroy. Was it even really a crime? I was on the short stairwell that connects the 11th—the top—floor of the Bendix Building, a Garment District block on the corner of Maple St and 12th St, when I spotted the square of white-patterned black cotton. Into my pocket it rapidly went, compensation for the fact that my quest for rooftop access had been stymied. An orange plastic sign across the door up ahead, warning (bluffing?) of alarms that would ring out if opened, dissuaded further progress. I wasn't too disheartened—my unplanned visit to the Bendix Building had yielded sufficient delights. »
- Neil Young
'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are »
- Andre Soares
2015 is the rare year with not one but two Pixar films: this weekend’s Inside Out, and this fall’s still-mysterious The Good Dinosaur. Most of what we’ve heard about the latter so far has had to do with its offscreen woes. The Good Dinosaur was originally scheduled for release in 2014, but was yanked off the […]
- Angie Han
Hondo (1953), which is set to play June 13 - July 4 at the Museum of Modern Art as part of their "3-D Summer" series, was John Wayne's first Western in three years. It was produced by his own Wayne/Fellows Productions (later named Batjac), founded just the year prior by Wayne and producer Robert Fellows. And James Edward Grant, who had already written several Wayne features and had a particular flair for writing classic John Wayne dialogue, penned the screenplay. All told, one gets the sense that everything about this exemplary return to the genre was a carefully conscious decision by the iconic American star. Hondo is a definitive Western. Moreover, it's a definitive John Wayne Western.When Wayne made Hondo, his masculine persona was already firmly established. After viewing the film at one point, Wayne supposedly declared, "I'll be damned if I'm not the stuff men are made of." Such a comment, »
- Jeremy Carr
While the name Gabriel Figueroa may not be a familiar one to many, even those with a stronger affinity for filmmaking and the art behind it, New York’s own Film Forum is hoping to change that.
On June 5, the theater began a career spanning retrospective surrounding the work of iconic cinematographer and Mexican film industry legend Gabriel Figueroa. Taking a look at 19 of the photographer’s films, the series is running in conjunction with the new exhibition at El Museo del Barrio, entitled Under The Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa – Art And Film.
Best known as a pioneer of Mexican cinema, primarily with his work alongside director Emilio Fernandez, Figueroa’s work was as varied as they come. His work with Fernandez is without a doubt this retrospective’s highlight, particularly films like Wildflower. One of the many times Mexican cinema’s “Big Four” worked together, the film saw the »
- Joshua Brunsting
Lenny Bruce: Dustin Hoffman in the 1974 Bob Fosse movie. Lenny Bruce movie review: Polemical stand-up comedian merited less timid biopic (Oscar Movie Series) Bob Fosse's 1974 biopic Lenny has two chief assets: the ever relevant free speech issues it raises and the riveting presence of Valerie Perrine. The film itself, however, is only sporadically thought-provoking or emotionally gripping; in fact, Lenny is a major artistic letdown, considering all the talent involved and the fertile material at hand. After all, much more should have come out of a joint effort between director Fosse, fresh off his Academy Award win for Cabaret; playwright-screenwriter Julian Barry, whose stage version of Lenny earned Cliff Gorman a Tony Award; two-time Best Actor Oscar nominee Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy); and cinematographer Bruce Surtees (Play Misty for Me, Blume in Love). Their larger-than-life subject? Lenny Bruce, the stand-up comedian who became one of the »
- Andre Soares
The last time we caught up with director Colin Trevorrow, it was ahead of the UK release of his sci-fi rom-com, Safety Not Guaranteed in 2012. And how times have changed since; within months of that interview, Trevorrow and his writing partner Derek Connolly (who wrote Safety) had agreed to take on a fourth Jurassic Park movie - a project stuck in a production quagmire for more than a decade.
Trevorrow and Connolly's fresh perspective seemed to grease the gears on the project, and now, here it is: Jurassic World, the bigger, more evolved sequel to a series that hasn't been seen on the silver screen since 2001. Its story could be seen as a reflection of the filmmaking duo's journey from the east coast to the cutthroat landscape of Hollywood: in the movie, »
A taut and intense action adventure, The Dead Lands is a superb showcase for director Toa Fraser. It provides an insight into a culture not often explored on screen - set in pre-colonial New Zealand, the film’s dialogue is entirely in the Maori language - while delivering the kind of pared-back revenge story you might expect from a western or a samurai film.
In other words, The Dead Lands is both unique to its country and universal; its historical setting and subtitles might suggest something for the arthouse crowd, but its bruising fight scenes will please the action crowd, too. What’s more, James Cameron is officially a fan.
With Journey to the Shore, Kiyoshi Kurosawa returned to the Cannes and the Un Certain Regard section for the first time since 2008's Tokyo Sonata, a film that helped bridge a connection to a normal art house crowd for this director too often incorrectly pegged either as some kind of arty J-Horror filmmaker or, even worse, someone who was once good at making such films. Unsurprisingly, after the wacko minimalist version of Inception (with CGI dinosaur), Real, and a featurette comedy thriller shot in Vladivostok, the director returns to Cannes with a movie that among all his many films made for cinema and television, most closely resembles Tokyo Sonata.Its unfortunately bland English title notwithstanding, Journey to the Shore is one of the few unquantifiable movies that premiered on the Croisette, a truly odd and quite lovely ghost story. The premise is ripe for a sentimental American remake: the missing, »
- Daniel Kasman
It's fitting that Clint Eastwood and John Wayne both have the same birthday week. (Wayne, who died in 1979, was born May 26, 1907, while Eastwood turns 85 on May 31). After all, these two all-American actors' careers span the history of that most American of movie genres, the western.
Both iconic actors were top box office draws for decades, both seldom stretched from their familiar personas, and both played macho, conservative cowboy heroes who let their firearms do most of the talking. Each represented one of two very different strains of western, the traditional and the revisionist.
As a birthday present to Hollywood's biggest heroes of the Wild West, here are the top 57 westerns you need to see.
57. 'Meek's Cutoff' (2010)
Indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt and her frequent leading lady, Michelle Williams, are the talents behind this sparse, docudrama about an 1845 wagon train whose Oregon Trail journey goes horribly awry. It's an intense »
- Gary Susman
Chicago – Now playing at Chicago’s Music Box Theater and on VOD (but best seen on the largest screen possible), “Slow West,” is a tight genre journey pic that invigorates the western while confirming that its territory remains open, despite the many who have passed through.
It’s a progressive western; recognizable for Fassbender’s Clint Eastwood impression, but offering something new with its ideas of gender and violence. Not for nothing, it also features “The Place Beyond the Pines” actor Ben Mendelsohn in a coat that will change the way you look at fashion.
The story follows a young man (Kodi Smit-McPhee), as he ventures across 19th century America in search of a woman (Caren Pistorius) that he loves. He receives some help from independent traveler Silas (Fassbender), while encountering unpredictable forces of nature (played by Mendelsohn) and brutal inhumanity.
Before his debut film, director John Maclean was in »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Legendary filmmaker Brooks will pay tribute to Martin's 40-year career as an icon of film comedy at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on June 4.
Brooks received the prestigious film prize two years ago, while last year's winner was Jane Fonda.
Martin has received many other accolades during his career, such as an honorary Academy Award and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour.
He is expected to return to the big screen in director Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk following a five-year absence.
TNT airs highlights from this year's AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony on Saturday, June 13 at 10pm Et. »
By Alex Simon
There are few rituals in life more chaotic, confounding and magical than the wedding. Appropriately, marriages have provided the backdrop for many a story spun through the ages. Whether it’s sending out multitudes of wedding invitations, choosing the right dress, or whether to seat Aunt Mabel next to her second or fifth ex-husband at the reception, weddings both in life and on film are almost always guaranteed to bring forth a surge of emotions. Below are a few of our favorite cinematic nuptials:
1. The Searchers (1956)
John Ford’s western masterpiece is full of many iconic moments, not the least of which is one of the screen’s greatest knock-down, drag-out fights between Jeffrey Hunter and Ken Curtis for the hand of comely Vera Miles. Martin Scorsese loved this scene so much, he paid homage by having his characters watch it in Mean Streets (1973).
- The Hollywood Interview.com
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