12 items from 2015
'L'Inhumaine': Marcel L'Herbier silent classic stars Jaque Catelain and Georgette Leblanc. Marcel L'Herbier silent 'L'Inhumaine': 'Intense sensory integration of sight' For me, the real jewel in the crown of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's “A Day of Silents,” held on Dec. 5, '15, at the Castro Theatre, was Marcel L'Herbier's The Inhuman Woman / L'Inhumaine (1924). The screening of this mix of desire and seduction with science fiction turned out to be an intense sensory integration of sight and sound. First, the sight. I had not seen any other films directed by L'Herbier (e.g., L'Argent, La Comédie du bonheur), so L'Inhumaine, with its spectacular visuals, came as a big surprise to me. For instance, the film features a stand-out scene of a car racing down a wooded highway from the driver's point of view, while in a party sequence I really liked the effect of the serving staff wearing sardonic face masks, »
- Danny Fortune
Nooooo. I almost forgot to share the National Film Registries new titles. Each year they add 25 pictures that are deemed historically, culturally or aesthetically important. Each year I suggest that we should watch all the titles together. Well, the ones we can find at least. Perhaps we'll actually do that for 2016 -- you never know! Getting a spot on the National Film Registry is more symbolic than active. It does not guarantee preservation or restorations but it does suggest that these films should all be preserved and/or restored.
The 2015 additions are:
Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894) - watch it now. it's six seconds long... the earliest surviving copyrighted film Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906) -watch it now. (7 minutes) from a short Winsor McCay comic strip A Fool There Was (1915) -watch it now. (66 minutes) Theda Bara tempts a married man! It's always the woman's fault, don't you know Humoresque »
- NATHANIEL R
Since 1989, the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress has been accomplishing the important task of preserving films that “represent important cultural, artistic and historic achievements in filmmaking.” From films way back in 1897 all the way up to 2004, they’ve now reached 675 films that celebrate our heritage and encapsulate our film history.
Today they’ve unveiled their 2015 list, which includes classics such as Douglas Sirk‘s melodrama Imitation of Life, Hal Ashby‘s Being There, and John Frankenheimer‘s Seconds. Perhaps the most popular picks, The Shawshank Redemption, Ghostbusters, Top Gun, and L.A. Confidential were also added. Check out the full list below.
Being There (1979)
Chance, a simple-minded gardener (Peter Sellers) whose only contact with the outside world is through television, becomes the toast of the town following a series of misunderstandings. Forced outside his protected environment by the death of his wealthy boss, Chance subsumes his late employer’s persona, »
- Jordan Raup
Each year, the Library of Congress adds 25 notable films to its permanent collection, ensuring that the titles will be preserved for generations to come. The 2015 class is typically eclectic, ranging from silent films to 1980s blockbusters, edgy indies to educational films such as the Disney-produced 1946 entry “The Story of Menstruation.”
“Selecting a film for the National Film Registry recognizes its importance to cinema and America’s cultural and artistic history,” said acting Librarian of Congress David Mao. “The registry is an invaluable way to advance public awareness of the richness, creativity and variety of our nation’s film heritage.”
The 2015 selections bring the number of titles in the registry to 675. The films are selected by Library of Congress staffers and the National Film Preservation Board, after reviewing nominations made »
- Variety Staff
Kitty Gordon: Actress in silent movies and on the musical comedy stage. Rediscovering a long-forgotten silent film star: Kitty Gordon It seems almost unthinkable that there are still silent stars who have not been resurrected, their lives and films subject to detailed, if not always reliable, examination. Yet I am reminded by Michael Levenston, a Canadian who has compiled what is best described as a “scrapbook” of her life and career, that there is one such individual – and not just a “name” in silent films, but also from 1901 onwards famed as a singer/actress in musical comedy and on the vaudeville stage in both her native England and the United States. And she is Kitty Gordon (1878-1974). 'The Enchantress' and her $50,000 backside Kitty Gordon was a talented lady, so much so that Victor Herbert wrote the 1911 operetta The Enchantress for her; one who also had a “gimmick,” in that »
- Anthony Slide
Previous | Image 1 of 15 | NextArtist and filmmaker Agnés Varda
Chicago – With the 51st Chicago International Film Festival now history, photographer Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com has collected his portrait highlights. Opening Night – October 15th, 2015 – was a Red-Carpet Extravaganza, with many notable personalities of the Festival making their way through the gauntlet of press and photographers. HollywoodChicago.com was also there, to collect some voices behind the images.
Filmmaker AGNÉS Varda
Agnés Varda is a living legend, an influencer on the French New Wave of the late 1950s and early 1960s (“Cléo from 5 to 7”) and a social and feminist commentator through her film, photography and art installation.
HollywoodChicago.com: Where does the origin of film as an art form reside in your mind and perspective?
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
'Sorrell and Son' with H.B. Warner and Alice Joyce. 'Sorrell and Son' 1927 movie: Long thought lost, surprisingly effective father-love melodrama stars a superlative H.B. Warner Partially shot on location in England and produced independently by director Herbert Brenon at Joseph M. Schenck's United Artists, the 1927 Sorrell and Son is a skillful melodrama about paternal devotion in the face of both personal and social adversity. This long-thought-lost version of Warwick Deeping's 1925 bestseller benefits greatly from the veteran Brenon's assured direction, deservedly shortlisted in the first year of the Academy Awards.* Crucial to the film's effectiveness, however, is the portrayal of its central character, a war-scarred Englishman who sacrifices it all for the happiness of his son. Luckily, the London-born H.B. Warner, best remembered for playing Jesus Christ in another 1927 release, Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings, is the embodiment of honesty, selflessness, and devotion. Less is »
- Andre Soares
'Sunset Blvd.': Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond. The Charles Brackett Diaries: Gay Rumors quashed, troubled Billy Wilder partnership discussed in Q&A with Anthony Slide See previous post: “Charles Brackett Diaries: Politics and Gossip During the Studio Era.” First of all, how did you become involved in this Charles Brackett project? And what did your editorial job entail? I discovered the diaries about six years ago when I was asked by Brackett's grandson, Jim Moore, to place a financial value on them during the process of his donating them to the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It was clear to me that these diaries had not only considerable financial worth, but also, and perhaps more importantly, they were primary resources in the study of Hollywood history. Happily, Charles Brackett's family (who own the copyright) gave permission for me to edit the diaries, »
- Andre Soares
Charles Brackett ca. 1945: Hollywood diarist and Billy Wilder's co-screenwriter (1936–1949) and producer (1945–1949). Q&A with 'Charles Brackett Diaries' editor Anthony Slide: Billy Wilder's screenwriter-producer partner in his own words Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He is renowned for classics such as The Major and the Minor, Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Witness for the Prosecution, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. The fact that Wilder was not the sole creator of these movies is all but irrelevant to graduates from the Auteur School of Film History. Wilder directed, co-wrote, and at times produced his films. That should suffice. For auteurists, perhaps. But not for those interested in the whole story. That's one key reason why the Charles Brackett diaries are such a great read. Through Brackett's vantage point, they offer a welcome – and unique – glimpse into the collaborative efforts that resulted in »
- Andre Soares
Above: three-sheet poster for The She-Devil (1918).Theda Bara, cinema’s first bona fide sex symbol, was born 130 years ago this week. Barely remembered today, she was once one of the great stars of the silent era (only Chaplin and Pickford were bigger). She made over 40 films, most of them, astonishingly, in the space of five years—between 1915 and 1919—but, thanks to a fire at Fox Studios in 1937, only a handful can be seen today. She never made a talkie, though she lived long into the sound era. But in her heyday she was a media sensation, a Kardashian avant la lettre.Born Theodosia Burr Goodman in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 29, 1885, Bara was a New York theater actress who wasn’t discovered by the movies until she was 30. The film that, quite literally, made her name—and that name was “The Vamp”—was A Fool There Was in 1915.Adapted from a »
- Adrian Curry
'Cat People' 1942 actress Simone Simon Remembered: Starred in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie classic (photo: Simone Simon in 'Cat People') Pert, pouty, pretty Simone Simon is best remembered for her starring roles in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie Cat People (1942) and in Jean Renoir's French film noir La Bête Humaine (1938). Long before Brigitte Bardot, Mamie Van Doren, Ann-Margret, and (for a few years) Jane Fonda became known as cinema's Sex Kittens, Simone Simon exuded feline charm in a film career that spanned a quarter of a century. From the early '30s to the mid-'50s, she seduced men young and old on both sides of the Atlantic – at times, with fatal results. During that period, Simon was featured in nearly 40 movies in France, Italy, Germany, Britain, and Hollywood. Besides Jean Renoir, in her native country she worked for the likes of Jacqueline Audry »
- Andre Soares
Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture today: Now that they're both part of Disney, Iron Man and Boba Fett may as well be mashed up into one. This poster is by Marco D'Alfonso (via Live for Films). Here's what happens when Chewbacca, Groot and Hodor from Game of Thrones get together to have a chat (via Topless Robot): Given that Frozen is basically a superheroine movie, here's an appropriate look at what a comic book starring Elsa and Anna would look like (via Geek Tyrant): Today is the 100th anniversay of the release of the film A Fool There Was, in which Theda Bara originated the femme fatale character type known as a "vamp." Watch the...
- Christopher Campbell
12 items from 2015
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