20 items from 2014
A new issue of Film Comment is out and a generous slice of it is online. Amy Taubin talks with David Fincher about Gone Girl, Quintín considers the work of Lisandro Alonso and Robert Horton previews the New York Film Festival's Joseph L. Mankiewicz retrospective. Plus reviews of David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars, Alex Ross Perry's Listen Up Philip and more. Also in today's roundup: Jonathan Rosenbaum on Béla Tarr, an excerpt from an unrealized screenplay by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Sophia Nguyen on Scarlett Johansson, essays on Federico Fellini's Il Bidone, Ben Rivers and Ben Russell’s A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness and more. » - David Hudson »
With the Toronto International Film Festival winding down, it’s time to get excited for the next one. So here’s a trailer for the 52nd New York Film Festival. The festival will open this year with the world premiere of David Fincher’s Gone Girl and will also feature the world premiere of Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, Inherent Vice, as its Centerpiece selection. You can catch glimpses of those films along with others—including closing night selection Birdman—in the blood-pumping montage.
“We have a great line-up this year filled with soaring cinematic visions, concentrated meditations and wild inventions, »
- Esther Zuckerman
We're celebrating the centennial of director Robert Wise this week. Previously: Tim on "Curse of the Cat People" (1944) and Nathaniel on "Somebody Up There...". Now, David on Susan Hayward's Oscar vehicle, with an exclamation point!
Though the internet seems to increasingly denigrate the importance of punctuation, once upon a time it was vital to our sense of understanding language. Would I Want To Live! have any of the same feverish impact without that exclamation mark at the end of its title? Perhaps. But it signifies the bold stance of this cry for social justice in a millisecond. I mean, just look at this poster! Only Britain's notorious newspaper The Daily Mail has taglines that long these days.
That boldness is a quality more of the film's frenzied marketing than of the film itself; director Robert Wise, whose centennial we're marking this week, excised the closing rhetoric that producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz was insisting upon, »
The Noah movie opened the floodgates for biblical movies at the beginning of 2014 and to some, a welcome visit back to the Golden Age of Hollywood.
With Exodus bowing at the end of the year during awards season, Scott solidifies his status among the ranks of those larger-than-life directors – David Lean, Cecil B. DeMille, William Wyler, Joseph L. Mankiewicz – in his latest historical drama.
Casting is everything and with huge stars like Oscar-winners Christian Bale and Ben Kingsley, Oscar-nominee Sigourney Weaver and Joel Edgerton, the filmmaker may find himself at Hollywood’s big party in February. Last time Scott went epic was in May 2000 when Gladiator opened in theaters and later went on to win five Oscars, including Best Picture, at the 73rd Academy Awards. »
- Michelle McCue
The New York Film Festival, whose 52nd edition runs from September 26 through October 12, carries on rolling out the lineups for its various programs. This weekend sees the full roster for a Joseph L. Mankiewicz retrospective featuring such classics as All About Eve (1950), The Barefoot Contessa (1954), Guys and Dolls (1955) and Sleuth (1972). Additions to the Revivals section include Alfred Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn (1939) and Anthony Mann's The Man from Laramie (1955). And there are two programs of Short Films, too. » - David Hudson »
Episode 33 of 52: In which Katharine Hepburn is like the Goddess from the Machine.
I want to write about Katharine Hepburn, but the movie keeps getting in the way! Reading last night’s contributions to Hit Me With Your Best Shot, I was struck by how many bloggers described Suddenly, Last Summer as “camp,” “wildly expressive,” or “absolutely batshit gonzo crazy.” This is a film that will not be ignored. It’s garish and shocking. The psycho-babble hasn’t aged well--as Nathaniel points out, such things rarely do. The themes of cannibalism, sexual deviance, and monstrous madness creep like kudzu vines hanging in Violet Venable’s garden, blocking the light and threatening to squeeze the resistance out of unwary viewers who venture into the film unwarned.
This unsettling excess had been, up to that point, unusual for director Joseph L. Mankiewicz--best known for character dramas--but can be easily traced to his collaborators. »
- Anne Marie
Lauren Bacall Dead: 89-year-old Oscar nominee who starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in ‘To Have and Have Not’ and ‘The Big Sleep’ Lauren Bacall has died following a massive stroke earlier today, August 12. Curiously, the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee for The Mirror Has Two Faces, and the star of film classics such as To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, and How to Marry a Millionaire, had been "killed" by an Internet hoax yesterday. Bacall would have turned 90 on September 16, 2014. According to Media Mass, the Lauren Bacall death rumors began on Monday, August 11, following the creation of a "R.I.P. Lauren Bacall" Facebook page that "attracted nearly one million of ‘likes.’" On the "R.I.P. Lauren Bacall" ‘About’ page, there was the following explanation: “At about 11 a.m. Et on Monday (August 11, 2014), our beloved actress Lauren Bacall passed away. Lauren Bacall was born on September 16, 1924 in New York. »
- Andre Soares
Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s acidic attack on celebrity culture is more relevant today than when originally released to rave reviews and Oscar glory. Bette Davis won her eighth Oscar in sixteen years as Margo Channing, a revered theatre star neurotic about her advancing years, and her relationship with Baxter’s Eve, a young wannabe actress with eyes fixed on Channing’s throne. »
As you’ve probably heard by now, we caught up with William Friedkin at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival last week where he revealed he’s had a meeting with “True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto about working on season two—we’ll have the full interview for you soon. While we wait to see how the directing situation for the HBO show pans out, it’s the perfect opportunity to sit in on a master class Friedkin conducted at the festival. Like his contemporaries in the so-called New Hollywood movement, Friedkin is an ardent and cultivated fan of cinema and so it’s no surprise when he namechecks films as disparate as Milos Forman’s “The Firemen’s Ball”, Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s “All About Eve”—which he calls the best American screenplay ever—as his influences and some of his favorite films. The »
- Cain Rodriguez
Launched in 2012, Venice Classics will be presenting 21 new restorations at during the 71st edition of the festival running from August 27 through September 6. Among the highlights: Robert Bresson's Mouchette (1967), Krzysztof Kieslowski's No End (1984), Roman Polanski's Macbeth (1971), François Truffaut's Stolen Kisses (1968), Anthony Mann's The Man from Laramie (1955), Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Guys and Dolls (1955), Marco Bellocchio's China Is Near (1967), Maurice Pialat's Love Exists (1961) and Jack Clayton's The Innocents (1961). » - David Hudson »
The Venice Film Festival has unveiled the 21 restored films – 18 features and 3 shorts - that will screen in its Classics section of restored films.
The section, introduced in 2012, features a selection of classic film restorations completed over the past year by film libraries, cultural institutions or production companies around the world.
Director Giuliano Montaldo will chair the jury of film students which will award the Venice Classics Award for Best Restored Film and for Best Documentary on Cinema.
The 2014 Venice Classics line up:
Bez końca (No End), dir Krzysztof Kieślowski (Poland, 1984, 108’, Colour) restored by: Studio Filmowe Tor with the support of the National Audiovisual Institute (the Multiannual Government Programme Culture +) and the Polish Film Institute
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Sarah Cooper)
London — The Venice Film Festival has unveiled its Venice Classics line-up, which includes Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s “Guys and Dolls” (1955) and Francois Truffaut’s “Baisers voles” (Stolen Kisses, 1968).
The section is devoted to classic films that have been restored over the past year by film archives, cultural institutions or production companies, and documentaries about cinema and its auteurs. The pics compete for awards for best restored film, and best documentary on cinema.
The festival, which runs Aug. 27-Sept. 6, will present 21 restored films in the Venice Classics section, including 18 feature-length films and three short films.
The line-up includes a screening of Marco Bellocchio’s “La Cina e vicina” (China Is Near), winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 1967 Venice Film Festival. Restored by Sony Pictures Entertainment in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, the film is drawn from the collection of Historic Archives of the Contemporary Arts (Asac).
Other films »
- Leo Barraclough
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
The first half of the 5th season of "Best Shot" began with the most robust participation ever. I hope we can kick it back up to that notch for these final 5-7 episodes. Here's what's on tap so adjust your queues and join the fun...
Tues July 15th Batman 75th Anniversary Special (1989-2012)
WB/DC have been celebrating the 75th birthday of the winged nut (not to be confused with wingnut) all year with various events. For this special event, choose any one (or more) of the 9 theatrically released Batman features and select your "Best Shot". I'll link up to your selections. It'll be interesting to see which of the features and which characters are best represented, don't you think? I'm guessing everyone chooses Batman and Robin as their favorite.
Batman (1966) | Batman (1989) | Batman Returns (1992) | Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) | Batman Forever (1995) | Batman & Robin (1997) | Batman Begins (2005) | The Dark Knight (2008) | The Dark Knight Rises »
- NATHANIEL R
Danielle Darrieux turns 97: Darrieux has probably enjoyed the longest film star career in history (photo: Danielle Darrieux in ‘La Ronde’) Screen legend Danielle Darrieux is turning 97 today, May 1, 2014. In all likelihood, the Bordeaux-born (1917) Darrieux has enjoyed the longest "movie star" career ever: eight decades, from Wilhelm Thiele’s Le Bal (1931) to Denys Granier-Deferre’s The Wedding Cake / Pièce montée (2010). (Mickey Rooney has had a longer film career — nearly nine decades — but mostly as a supporting player in minor roles.) Absurdly, despite a prestigious career consisting of more than 100 movie roles, Danielle Darrieux — delightful in Club de femmes, superb in The Earrings of Madame De…, alternately hilarious and heartbreaking in 8 Women — has never won an Honorary Oscar. But then again, very few women have. At least, the French Academy did award her an Honorary César back in 1985; additionally, in 2002 Darrieux and her fellow 8 Women / 8 femmes co-stars shared Best Actress honors »
- Andre Soares
Written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Directed by Howard Dimsdale and Joseph L. Mankiewizc
A man (John Hodiak) wakes up in a military hospital, cognizant of the fact that he has been in battle for the United States but entirely oblivious of who he is or where he lives. Only a few cryptic pieces of paper in his pocket inform him of his name George Taylor; that a woman now hates him; and that a good pal of his, Larry Cravat, wants to meet him in Los Angeles transfer a significant amount of saved up funds through a bank account. Thus begins George’s vertiginous journey into the City of Angels, where the clues as to his true identity sometimes add up whilst other times stir further confusion. By all accounts, there are some people who view the name Larry Cravat as either a threat, as in the case of Lt. »
- Edgar Chaput
‘Gone with the Wind’ actress Mary Anderson dead at 96; also featured in Alfred Hitchcock thriller ‘Lifeboat’ Mary Anderson, an actress featured in both Gone with the Wind and Alfred Hitchcock’s adventure thriller Lifeboat, died following a series of small strokes on Sunday, April 6, 2014, while under hospice care in Toluca Lake/Burbank, northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Anderson, the widow of multiple Oscar-winning cinematographer Leon Shamroy, had turned 96 on April 3. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1918, Mary Anderson was reportedly discovered by director George Cukor, at the time looking for an actress to play Scarlett O’Hara in David O. Selznick’s film version of Margaret Mitchell’s bestseller Gone with the Wind. Instead of Scarlett, eventually played by Vivien Leigh, Anderson was cast in the small role of Maybelle Merriwether — most of which reportedly ended up on the cutting-room floor. Cukor was later fired from the project; his replacement, Victor Fleming, »
- Andre Soares
The last time a role was truly tailor-made for an actress was when Oscar-winner Elizabeth Taylor played the young queen of Egypt in the 1963 movie, Cleopatra, from director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. It had exotic makeup and wardrobe, elaborate sets and a glamorous A-list movie star.
Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora.
As the child grows, »
- Michelle McCue
The 85-year history of the Academy Awards is rife with statistical oddities, and one that has the potential to play out this Sunday is among the most intriguing: a split between the films that win Best Picture and Best Director.
Though conventional wisdom has long held that only one film will walk away with both prizes on Oscar night, many pundits are predicting that the awards will instead go to two different movies this year, with "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron expected to snag the Best Director statuette, while "12 Years a Slave" (or "American Hustle," depending on where your loyalties lie) is the favorite to win Best Picture.
While such a split has occurred just 22 times since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences started handing out trophies in 1929, four of the first five ceremonies produced a divide between the Best Director and Best Picture prizes. "Wings," dubbed the original »
- Katie Roberts
Contributed by Michelle McCue and Melissa Thompson
For many, Christmas morning came today in the form of the annual Oscar nominations announcement.
Actor Chris Hemsworth and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards today (January 16) at a 5:38 a.m. Pt live news conference attended by more than 400 international media representatives. Wamg was once again invited to the big event.
Of note, all the 9 Best Picture nominees were released in the last part of the 2013.
Gravity – October 3, 2013
Captain Phillips – October 10, 2013
12 Years a Slave – October 17, 2013
Dallas Buyers Club – November 1, 2013
Nebraska – November 15, 2013
Philomena – November »
- Movie Geeks
20 items from 2014
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