13 items from 2017
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Wes Anderson has one of the most original voices of any filmmaker working today, but his movies are full of clues as to which directors have influenced him the most. From Orson Welles to François Truffaut to Federico Fellini, some of the most iconic filmmakers in the history of cinema have had a hand in inspiring Anderson’s distinctive style. Here are 10 films that had a lasting impact on the indie auteur.
“The Magnificent Ambersons” (1942)
Orson Welles’ period drama about a wealthy family that loses its entire fortune at the turn of the 20th century »
- Graham Winfrey
The upcoming mother-daughter comedy “Snatched” marks Goldie Hawn’s first film since 2002’s “The Banger Sisters.” To celebrate the end of Hawn’s 15-year sabbatical, the Quad will hold a retrospective of the Oscar winner’s films, a press release announced.
“No Hollywood actress in recent memory has come closer than Goldie Hawn to capturing the ebullience and whip-smart comic timing of the great screen comediennes of the ’30s and ’40s, a modern Joan Blondell or Carole Lombard,” the release states. “Though she won an Academy Award for one of her first roles (in 1969’s ‘Cactus Flower’), critics have tended to underestimate the depths of [Hawn’s] talent. The forthcoming film ‘Snatched’ marks her long-awaited return to the screen after a 15-year absence, and we’re celebrating the occasion with a greatest-hits retrospective, a veritable masterclass in the delicate art of cinematic comedy.”
It’s great that Hawn’s contributions to cinema are being recognized. However, while researching the Golden Goldies films as well as Hawn’s entire filmography, we noticed the actress has never worked with a female film director. From what we can tell, she has only collaborated with a woman director once, on a 2013 episode of the kids show “Phineas and Ferb.” Sue Perrotto co-directed the ep.
This is disappointing, but not a complete surprise. Last year Cosmopolitan published a story detailing how many big-name actors have never worked with a woman film director. Among them are Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, Ben Stiller, Matt Damon, Tom Cruise, and Tobey Maguire. And to be fair to them and Hawn, there are plenty of actresses who have never appeared in a woman-helmed film. Shailene Woodley, for example, has not appeared in a feature film directed by a woman
Still. We wish both male and female power players would follow Jessica Chastain’s lead. “I’m looking to work with a female filmmaker every year,” she told Variety. “That’s my goal. They’re not given the same opportunities so if I have any influence in choosing a film or a script or finding a director I’m absolutely going to make a difference. That doesn’t mean I’m excluding men — it means I need some balance in my life.”
And she’s achieving it; Chastain has worked with female directors like Kathryn Bigelow, Liv Ullmann, and Susanna White. Her most recent collaboration with a woman director is Niki Caro’s “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”
The Golden Goldies retrospective will be May 6–11 at the Quad in New York City. The featured films and their synopses are below, courtesy of Quad Cinema.
“Death Becomes Her”
Robert Zemeckis, 1992, 104m, U.S., 35mm
Sun May 7 & Mon May 8
When glamorous narcissist Meryl Streep steals her fiancé Bruce Willis, Hawn finds revenge in an elixir of youth (and immortality) supplied by a seductively devilish Isabella Rossellini. Rivalry escalates to murder as Hawn and Streep battle it out in the land of the undead in this cult black comedy about all-consuming vanity.
Hugh Wilson, 1996, U.S., 103m, 35mm
Mon May 8
Spite never sleeps in this gleefully vindictive comedy about getting even and the bonds of sisterhood. Hawn stars opposite Bette Midler and Diane Keaton as a once-acclaimed actress plagued by ageism and out for revenge against her ex-husband and his perky new muse. But acrimony eventually gives way to a new sense of liberation, culminating in an ever-endearing rendition of Lesley Gore’s anthem of female independence.
Garry Marshall, 1987, U.S., 106m, 35mm
Wed May 10
Wertmüller’s “Swept Away” reimagined as big studio farce, with Hawn’s shrill heiress mistreating blue-collar carpenter Kurt Russell, who then proceeds to enact romantic revenge after she’s afflicted with amnesia. Despite the retrograde sexual politics, the chemistry is palpable and the comic timing immaculate.
Howard Zieff, 1980, U.S., 109m, 35mm
Wed May 6 & Thur May 11
After husband Albert Brooks dies on their wedding night, spoiled rich girl Hawn is convinced by military recruiter Harry Dean Stanton to join the U.S. Army, where she comes up against a tough-as-nails C.O. Eileen Brennan. Both Hawn and Brennan were nominated for Academy Awards in this beloved box-office hit.
Jay Sandrich, 1980, USA, 100m, 35mm
Tue May 10 & Thu May 11
Hawn hits her comedic stride in this irresistible Neil Simon farce as a characteristically zany public defender torn between district attorney husband Charles Grodin and her ex, Chevy Chase, a writer charged with bank robbery. Things escalate towards a fever pitch when she decides to represent him in court.
Hal Ashby, 1975, U.S., 110m, Dcp
Mon May 8 & Wed May 11
The dream team of Ashby, screenwriter Robert Towne, and actor-producer Warren Beatty set their biting farce and undisputed ’70s classic on the eve of Nixon’s 1968 electoral landslide, with over-sexed, in-demand, and increasingly vexed hairdresser Beatty juggling frustrated girlfriend Hawn, taxing client Lee Grant, ex-girlfriend Julie Christie, and potential business partner Jack Warden as America lurches to the right.
Steven Spielberg, 1974, U.S., 110m, 35mm
Sat May 6 & Mon May 8
After losing their baby son to the state, small-time crooks Hawn and William Atherton snatch him right back and go on the run, with seemingly every law enforcement officer in Texas in hot pursuit. Spielberg’s first feature refines the technical mastery of Duel, but Hawn’s performance as an exasperated, manically determined mother gives this picture a more resonant pathos.
Jonathan Demme, 1984, U.S., 100m, 35mm
Sun May 7 & Thur May 10
When hubby Ed Harris ships off to fight WWII, housewife Hawn finds herself via a factory job — and a fling with hunky trumpet player Kurt Russell. Despite her contentious relationship with her director, Hawn displays her greatest emotional range here, and Demme’s deft touch for humanist comedy shines through. Featuring Christine Lahti, Fred Ward, and Holly Hunter.
Goldie Hawn Retrospective to Screen at the Quad Cinema in NYC was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Ever wonder why “In the Heat of the Night” beat “The Graduate” and “Bonnie and Clyde” for Best Picture Oscar in 1968? Well, as Bobby Kennedy told director Norman Jewison when he presented the movie with the New York Film Critics Award, “Norman, timing is everything.”
It’s hard to believe that the movie came out 50 years ago. Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger lit up the screen in the racially-charged murder mystery that not only captured the Civil Rights zeitgeist but also delivered a damn good drama. On April 6, the TCM Classic Film Festival celebrates that anniversary with a gala opening night screening at the Chinese Theatre IMAX on Hollywood Boulevard, attended by Jewison, Poitier, producer Walter Mirisch, Lee Grant, and composer Quincy Jones.
Considered an underdog that year, “Heat” took home five Oscars, including Best Actor for Steiger, Stirling Siliphant’s Best Adapted Screenplay, Hal Ashby’s Editing, and Sound Mixing. »
- Bill Desowitz
2017 / Color / 2.35 : 1 widescreen / Street Date March 22, 2017
Cinematography: Leonida Barboni
Film Editor: Russell Lloyd
Produced by John Bryan
Directed by Vittorio De Sica
After The Fox, a sunny mid-sixties farce about con-artists and movie-makers, boasts a powerhouse pedigree featuring leading men Peter Sellers and Victor Mature, a script by Neil Simon and Cesare Zavattini, music by Burt Bacharach, poster art from Frank Frazetta and the legendary director/actor/gambler Vittorio De Sica at the helm.
With such diverse talent on board, the film was somewhat misleadingly promoted as another in the line of 60’s screwball hipster comedies like Casino Royale and What’s New Pussycat. But the result is closer to De Sica’s laid back charmers from the ‘50s, Miracle in Milan and Gold of Naples (in fact, »
- Charlie Largent
Ever since Warner Brothers released their 30th Anniversary edition Blu-ray of Being There back in 2009, I’ve been tempted to add the disc to my home library. I can recall several occasions where I actually had the case in my hand, and at least one where I took what I would normally consider that first decisive step toward the checkout line, ready to finalize the purchase. But lingering suspicions that this film would eventually find its way into the Criterion Collection always managed to pry the item out of my fingers and back onto the shelf. A few months ago, my reluctance was vindicated by the announcement that Being There would sure enough soon bear a Cc spine number, and this past week, it finally became available to take home for the contemplation of all of us who “like to watch.”
Even for viewers who haven’t seen the film »
- David Blakeslee
"Is this the moving picture ship?"—Opening line of King Kong (1933)You can get close to madness trying to fit the entire cultural legacy of the original King Kong into a single box. Even setting aside the two Hollywood remakes, you're still left with hastily made or quickly buried sequels, follow-ups like Mighty Joe Young (1949), a Universal Studios ride, a direct-to-video cartoon, a children’s TV series, and a set of 1960s Japanese-American co-productions—Kingu Kongu!—which saw the big ape square off against Godzilla and "Mechani-Kong" in showdowns with worse special effects than the film that preceded them by thirty years. Apologies for anything I've left out, because by this point King Kong is a cottage industry unto itself, an old-fashioned self-perpetuating Hollywood myth that's morphed in meaning and presentation but never entirely gone away. The sight of King Kong atop the Empire State Building, with its a mixture »
Two very different but equally essential classics find their way to Blu-ray and DVD this week courtesy of the Criterion Collection, which has issued exemplary special editions of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up (1966) and Hal Ashby’s Being There (1979). The Antonioni film, in which a fashion photographer finds evidence of a murder in one of his stills, heavily influenced later American political thrillers like The Conversation and Blow Out in spite of the fact that Blow-Up itself is less a mystery than an anthropological document of swinging ’60s London. It was Antonioni’s first film outside his home country after L’avventura, La Notte, […] »
- Jim Hemphill
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveriesNEWSLam SuetThis year's Asian Film Awards are most notable for giving beloved Hong Kong character actor (and Johnnie To axiom) Lam Suet the award for Best Supporting Actor (for Trivisa). We were also happy to see that Tsui Hark (still madly inventive with this year's Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back) was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.Chinese actress Li Li-hua has died at the age of 92. While not very well known in the West—except perhaps in the obscure Frank Borzage film China Doll (1958)—Li's work for the Shaw Brothers studio and, later, Golden Harvest, minted many classics, including Li Han-hsiang's The Magnificent Concubine (1962), and Storm Over the Yangtse River (1969), as well as King Hu's The Fate of Lee Khan (1975).For those who aren't able to travel to the Locarno Film Festival but are able to »
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
On paper, there’s an implausibility to the central conceit of Being There that could have resulted in a four-quadrant studio comedy forgotten soon after its release. However, with Hal Ashby’s delicate touch — bringing Jerzy Kosiński and Robert C. Jones‘ adaptation to life — and Peter Sellers‘ innocent deadpan delivery, this 1979 film is a carefully observed look at how those we interact with can offer an introspective mirror into our own lives. “There’s so much left to do, »
- The Film Stage
Legendary filmmaker Hal Ashby has no shortage of classics to his name — “Harold and Maude,” “The Last Detail,” “Shampoo,” “Being There” and more — and ’70s American cinema would not be the same without his contributions. But it seems he had another project that never saw the light of day.
- Tess Bonn
David Mackenzie’s cops and robbers thriller is a throwback to a golden age of Hollywood that reflects smartly on the current plight of post-industrial America
When the best picture nominations were announced on 24 January, most of the raised eyebrows were over who and what wasn’t there: no Martin Scorsese and Silence, no Tom Ford and Nocturnal Animals (both of which had been heavily tipped) – and no Deadpool either, which the Marvel devotees had been hoping would overturn the usual superhero shutout. It took a while to notice that the David Mackenzie-directed Hell or High Water had made the list instead; although, if we’re being honest, no one is talking it up for an actual victory. (All the bookies have it as 10th in a 10-horse race, 100-1 being the standard odds.)
It’s a shame that it’s the outsider because in another era, you could »
- Andrew Pulver
2016 claimed a long list of entertainers, but the grim reaper’s most unexpected one-two punch came between the final two holidays with the death of movie icons Carrie Fisher on December 12 and her mother Debbie Reynolds a mere 36 hours later. With the premiere of the documentary about the pair, “Bright Lights” on HBO this weekend, we at the Geeks site thought we should take a look at their considerable contributions to film.
Let’s start with Carrie, who was born in Hollywood, USA on October 21, 1956, the daughter of Debbie and singer/actor Eddie Fisher. She appeared on stage with her mother throughout the late 60’s and early 70’s, even getting her first small screen credit in the 1969 TV movie “Debbie Reynolds and the Sound of Children”. It wasn’t until 1975, when she would make her big screen debut opposite Warren Beatty (quite an arrival) in Hal Ashby’s hit Shampoo. »
- Jim Batts
The self-taught sibling directors were born and raised in the L.A. beach culture and started out making videos of top surfers. So when it came to tackle their second narrative feature — made 15 years after snowboard comedy “Out Cold” — it was no surprise that they chose “The Tribes of Palos Verdes,” a dysfunctional family drama set in a posh SoCal beachfront community.
However, from the start, the brothers wanted to make sure their narrative debut — a screenplay that passed through several directors’ hands during its nearly two decades of development — wasn’t overwhelmed by the surf element.
“Surfing is such an appealing thing to people from the outside, it’s so easy to sell it, and it’s so easy to get carried away in making a movie with this setting, because you get caught up in how cool everything looks when you’re out there,” says older brother Emmett. »
- Will Thorne
13 items from 2017
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