11 items from 2013
Benjamin Franklin spent his mornings naked. Patricia Highsmith ate only bacon and eggs. Marcel Proust breakfasted on opium and croissants. The path to greatness is paved with a thousand tiny rituals (and a fair bit of substance abuse) – but six key rules emerge
One morning this summer, I got up at first light – I'd left the blinds open the night before – then drank a strong cup of coffee, sat near-naked by an open window for an hour, worked all morning, then had a martini with lunch. I took a long afternoon walk, and for the rest of the week experimented with never working for more than three hours at a stretch.
This was all in an effort to adopt the rituals of some great artists and thinkers: the rising-at-dawn bit came from Ernest Hemingway, who was up at around 5.30am, even if he'd been drinking the night before; the strong coffee was borrowed from Beethoven, »
- Oliver Burkeman
European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award: Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau, Judi Dench are the only three female recipients to date (photo: European movies’ Lifetime Achievement Award-less actress Danielle Darrieux) (See previous post: "Catherine Deneuve: Only the Third Woman to Receive European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award.") As mentioned in the previous post, French film icon Catherine Deneuve is only the third woman to receive the European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award since the organization’s first awards ceremony in 1988. Deneuve’s predecessors are The Lovers‘ Jeanne Moreau (1997) and Notes on a Scandal‘s Judi Dench (2008). In that regard, the European Film Academy is as male-oriented as the Beverly Hills-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. More on that below. Male recipients of the European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award are the following: Ingmar Bergman, Marcello Mastroianni, Federico Fellini, Andrzej Wajda, Alexandre Trauner, Billy Wilder, »
- Andre Soares
Kristen Stewart: ‘Sils Maria’ set photos Kristen Stewart co-stars opposite Oscar winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) and Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, the upcoming Carrie remake) in Olivier Assayas’ Sils Maria, a psychological drama currently being filmed in Germany and Switzerland. A Kristen Stewart fan site on Twitter has posted a series of images showing Stewart, wearing a jacket and glasses, on the Sils Maria set. Warning: Be extremely careful when visiting the photo site where the Kristen Stewart images are stored. I’ve removed the link from this post because twice when clicking on the images, popups attempted to install phishing software. (Now, please scroll down to check out the "full-body" shot of the bespectacled Kristen Stewart in Sils Maria.) Set in the Swiss area known as Sils Maria, writer-director Olivier Assayas’ movie tells the story of a middle-aged former stage star, Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche, in a »
- Andre Soares
Entrusted with delivering both an eight-hour TV miniseries and a feature film in “1864,” the most expensive Danish production ever, one can forgive director Ole Bornedal for wishing at the time that he were on an island in the Baltic Sea.
The scale of the enterprise was daunting. Major battle sequences in the film, about the war between Denmark and Prussia in 1864, required 270 extras, who, all told, clocked 18,000 hours on set. One day, a downpour caused some walls on the set to collapse. On the day that Variety visited the shoot in the Czech Republic, the heat caused a score of extras and crew members to faint.
“The logistics of doing war movies, with so many hundreds of extras, is difficult and sometimes nerve-racking,” Bornedal says, suddenly longing for the smaller, inward-looking films of fellow Scandi filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. “Bergman called in Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson to film on his island, »
- Leo Barraclough
Women in Film: Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, and dozens of movie actresses in curious morphing montage A few dozen top international female movie stars, most of them Hollywood celebrities, are seen in the Women in Film morphing montage below created by Philip Scott Johnson. The faces belong to actresses from the 1910s to the early 21st century. (Image: The ‘Daughter’ of Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner — who sort of looks like a cross between Eleanor Parker and Cyd Charisse as well — in the Women in Film morphing montage.) Just as interesting as trying to identify each of the famous faces is stopping the video while the morphing is going on, so you get Daughter of Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner, or Daughter of Audrey Hepburn and Dorothy Dandridge, or Daughter of Michelle Pfeiffer and Sigourney Weaver. Some of those Daughters are quite pretty; others look like they’ve just landed on this planet. »
- Andre Soares
Riffing on Terek Puckett’s terrific list of director/actor collaborations, I wanted to look at some of those equally impressive leading ladies who served as muses for their directors. I strived to look for collaborations that may not have been as obviously canonical, but whose effects on cinema were no less compelling. Categorizing a film’s lead is potentially tricky, but one of the criteria I always use is Anthony Hopkins’s performance in Silence of the Lambs, a film in which he is considered a lead but appears only briefly; his character is an integral part of the story.
The criteria for this article is as follows: The director & actor team must have worked together at least 3 times with the actor in a major role in each feature film, resulting in a minimum of 2 must-see films.
One of the primary trends for the frequency of collaboration is the »
- John Oursler
Produced fifty-six years ago, Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries remains a venerable warhorse in the hallowed halls of Arthouse. But unlike this reviewer, who shares a similar vintage, the film shows no loss of vitality or any sign of imminent creakiness. Despite its strengths, Wild Strawberries often gets a bit lost within the contrasty folds of Bergman’s legendary filmography. Sight and Sound’s vaunted list of The Greatest Films of All Time pegs Wild Strawberries at sixty-three; not exactly a diss but way far behind Persona. The film doesn’t even appear on Roger Ebert’s lengthy List of Great Movies, although the late critic partially compensated by including Bergman’s equally underrated Winter Light.
The inherent silliness of film ranking aside, Wild Strawberries is a stunning cinematic experience. Filled with mystical beauty and chewy philosophical constructs in a tidy, perfectly tailored ninety-two minute package, the film is a »
- David Anderson
Kristen Stewart News: Camp X-Ray and Sils Maria movie projects Kristen Stewart is back with no less than two projects to be filmed this summer, according to Deadline.com. The website asserts that Stewart "has committed" — that should mean signed contracts — to star in newcomer writer-director Peter Sattler’s political drama Camp X-Ray and in director Olivier Assayas’ psychological drama Sils Maria, co-starring Juliette Binoche and Chloë Grace Moretz. (Photo: Kristen Stewart.) Kristen Stewart takes the road to Guantanamo Camp X-Ray will have Kristen Stewart as a young woman who, as per the Deadline synopsis, escapes from her small town by joining the military. But instead of being sent to Iraq "as she hoped" (is she insane?), the soldier ends up in Guantanamo, the American concentration camp that remains open despite myriad promises about its imminent closure. At Guantanamo, the young soldier "is met with hatred and abuse from the Muslim men in her charge. »
- Andre Soares
Looking for any excuse, Landon Palmer and Scott Beggs are using the 2012 Sight & Sound poll results as a reason to take different angles on the best movies of all time. Every week, they’ll discuss another entry in the list, dissecting old favorites from odd angles, discovering movies they haven’t seen before and asking you to join in on the conversation. Of course it helps if you’ve seen the movie because there will be plenty of spoilers. This week, they celebrate a movie that violently forces its way into your mind while discussing its personal, emotional impact and contemplating the way Ingmar Bergman makes Lars von Trier look like a ray of sunshine. Plus, they foolishly try to understand why a streaming service would suggest Sex and the City as a follow-up. In the #17 (tied) movie on the list, a nurse called Alma (Bibi Andersson) takes charge of an actress named Elizabet (Liv Ullmann) who »
- FSR Staff
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 11, 2013
Price: Blu-ray $39.95
Traveling to accept an honorary degree, Professor Isak Borg—masterfully played by veteran director Victor Sjöström (The Phantom Carriage)—is forced to face his past, come to terms with his faults, and make peace with the inevitability of his approaching death. Through flashbacks and fantasies, dreams and nightmares, the film dramatizes that aforementioned voyage.
A richly humane masterpiece that deserves every bit of praise that’s been heaped onto it over the past half-century, Wild Strawberries is a genuine treasure from the golden age of art-house cinema and one of the films that catapulted Bergman to international acclaim.
The 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival continues to expand, with newly added appearances by legendary stars at screenings of some of their most memorable films, including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Marvin Kaplan, Barrie Chase, Polly Bergen,Coleen Gray, Theodore Bikel and Norman Lloyd, as well as producer Stanley Rubin, Clara Bow biographer David Stenn, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) film collections manager Katie Trainor and director Nicholas Ray’s widow, Susan Ray. In addition, TCM’s Essentials Jr. host and Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader will present screenings of Shane (1953) and The Ladykillers(1955).
And The Film Forum’s Bruce Goldstein will present a special screening of Frank Capra’s The Donovan Affair (1929), complete with live voice actors and sound effects to replace the film’s long-lost soundtrack.Mel Brooks is slated to talk about his comedy The Twelve Chairs (1970). Carl Reiner, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Marvin Kaplan »
- Melissa Thompson
11 items from 2013
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