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13 items from 2016


The Smackdown Is Almost Here

24 July 2016 5:00 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

The Supporting Actress Smackdown Of 1977 Is Just One Week Away. Get your votes in by Friday early evening. This week will be a '77 blitz at the blog to get you in the mood. 

The Nominees were...

Leslie BrowneThe Turning Point

Quinn Cumming, The Goodbye Girl

Melinda Dillon, Close Encounters

Vanessa Redgrave, Julia

Tuesday Weld, Looking for Mr Goodbar 

Readers are our final panelist for the Smackdown so if you'd like to vote send Nathaniel an email with 1977 in the header line and your votes. Each performance you've seen should be rated on a scale of 1 to 5 hearts (1 being terrible 5 being stupendous) -- Remember to only vote for performances that you've seen! The votes are weighted to reflect numbers of voters per movies so no actress has an unfair advantage. 

Click to embiggen to see the 1977 goodies

Meet The Panelists

We'll do this piecemeal so you don't feel overwhelmed. »

- NATHANIEL R

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11 Good Movies to Watch This Month on Hulu

8 July 2016 4:06 PM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Satire, serial killers, swords, and Shannyn Sossamon.

I’m here to tell you that there’s a cinematic streaming goldmine available on Hulu that includes recent hits, older classics, domestic releases, and foreign imports. It’s even home to hundreds of Criterion titles (for now). Sure there’s plenty of filler and seemingly thousands of titles I’ve never heard of before, but I’m not here to talk about possible gems like Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell… I’m here to recommend some good movies to watch this month on Hulu.

Pick of the Month: In the Loop (2009)

These are rough, troubling, and disappointing times we’re living in, and while it’s no cure, laughter is most definitely a medicine for the blues. To that end, Armando Iannucci’s In the Loop — a feature film riff on his series, The Thick of It — is like an epic dose of comical vitamin C. Incredibly »

- Rob Hunter

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Review: “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” (1941; Directed by Alexander Hall) ; Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

13 June 2016 3:08 AM, PDT | Cinemaretro.com | See recent CinemaRetro news »

“A Heavenly Beginning”

By Raymond Benson

They must have done something right. Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) has proven to be a timeless and universal movie that keeps on giving, and the welcome new release from the Criterion Collection attests to it.

The premise of the film has been around for a while. Most of our generation know the remake better—Heaven Can Wait (1978, starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie)—which is a superb Oscar-nominated romantic comedy in its own right. Another remake in 2001, Down to Earth, starred Chris Rock.

But that’s not all. It wasn’t until I’d viewed the supplements on the new disk that I appreciated the fact that Mr. Jordan was indeed the first of several Hollywood pictures dealing with “heavenly” concepts—angels, the afterlife, and second chances. In a video discussion, critic Michael Sragow and filmmaker/distributor Michael Schlesinger reveal how the picture’s popularity actually began a trend of similar movies throughout the 1940s—A Guy Named Joe, Angel on My Shoulder, A Matter of Life and Death, It’s a Wonderful Life, and even Mr. Jordan’s direct sequel, Down to Earth (1947, not to be confused with the Chris Rock remake), which features both James Gleason and Edward Everett Horton again playing their roles from the first movie.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan was a major release and surprise hit from Columbia Pictures, a studio that always struggled to be one of the majors despite having director Frank Capra on their team in the ‘30s. Critically and popularly acclaimed, the picture successfully blends fantasy, romance, comedy, and intrigue, creating a delightful, and sometimes thought-provoking, piece of entertainment. It was nominated for Best Picture of 1941, Best Director (Alexander Hall), Best Actor (Robert Montgomery), Best Supporting Actor (James Gleason, and he steals the movie!), and Best B&W Cinematography. The film deservedly won the Oscar for Best Writing, Original Story, for Sidney Buchman and Seton I. Miller.

The story concerns Joe Pendleton (enthusiastically played by Montgomery in a stretch from his usual sophisticated tuxedo-clad characters) as a prizefighter with a heavy New Jersey accent who crashes in his private plane. His soul is saved by the Messenger (Horton), an angel whose job is to escort to Heaven the departing souls from his “territory.” In the mist-filled outskirts of Heaven, Mr. Jordan (benevolently portrayed by Claude Rains), a sort of St. Peter in a three-piece suit, checks in the new souls as they board another plane to take them to their afterlife homes. But Joe’s soul was accidentally taken before his body actually died—and therefore Mr. Jordan grants Joe a second chance. However, his consciousness must be placed into a recently deceased person—so Joe winds up inside a rich, corrupt banker’s body. Joe, in his new persona, sets about turning the banker’s life around for good, and he also attempts to continue his prizefighting. For the latter, he calls in his former manager, Corkle (Gleason) to train him. First, though, he’s got to convince Corkle that he’s really Joe inside the new man’s form. To complicate things, Joe falls in love with the daughter (Evelyn Keyes) of a man the banker destroyed financially and sent to prison. Joe also doesn’t know it yet, but he will have to jump bodies one more time before the story plays out.

The comedy and romance work like a charm, and the fantasy elements of Mr. Jordan are surprisingly effective. The movie is intelligently written and treats its subject matter with respect; and yet it has fun with the mechanics of death and the philosophical discourse of what we think the afterlife really is. The audience is tricked, in a way, into pleasantly enjoying a movie about death. What happens to Joe Pendleton at the end isn’t the norm for a romantic comedy. Technically it’s not a happy ending—and yet, it is. It’s a feel-good movie with a bittersweet center. This is a testament to the quality of writing in Here Comes Mr. Jordan.

The new 2K digital restoration looks fabulous. It has an uncompressed, monaural soundtrack. Along with the aforementioned video conversation about the film, the supplements include a long audio interview with Elizabeth Montgomery (daughter of Robert Montgomery, and, yes, the star of Bewitched) about her father and the movie; the Lux Radio Theatre radio adaptation starring Cary Grant (who was originally approached to star in the film—one can only imagine what it would have been like with Grant), Rains, Keyes, and Gleason; and a trailer. An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme adorns the booklet.

A little gem from Hollywood released just prior to America’s entrance into World War II, Here Comes Mr. Jordan is a genuine classic, arguably superior to its many remakes and imitations. You will believe...

Click Here To Order From Amazon

»

- nospam@example.com (Cinema Retro)

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‘Star Wars’ Producer Robert Watts Unveils New Films

3 June 2016 7:25 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

British producer Robert Watts, who worked on the “Star Wars” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” trilogies, is developing a pair of movies, Variety has learned exclusively.

Watts is teaming with Italian songwriter Mauro Repetto and French writer Typhanie Soulat on the live-action/animated romantic comedy “Miranda” and psychological thriller “5, 6, 7, 8.” Real Big Hits is the exclusive worldwide sales and distribution agent.

“Miranda” centers on an unborn baby who — with the help of angels — battles witches to ensure that her future parents find each other, fall in love and bring her to life. The film blends traditional animation, computer animation and live action. Repetto, founder of the pop group 883, is writing the script with Soulat. The duo is also writing the soundtrack.

“5, 6, 7, 8” centers on a sociable marketing executive who’s leading a double life as a kidnapper of young women to create a human keyboard that will perform the titular song with a dance routine. »

- Dave McNary

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Aussie director snares Kate Winslet and Kate Moss for new feature

30 May 2016 7:13 PM, PDT | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

Gabrielle Weller.

Australian director Gabrielle Weller has enlisted Kate Moss, Mick Jagger, Kate Winslet and Laura Bailey to star in her new documentary Never In, Never Out.

Weller is a writer, actor, director and producer..

In 2016 her schedule will find her on both sides of the globe.

This coming June, in the gold rush town of Ballarat, Weller will play the lead role in her first feature length film, Box, directed by Samuel O.Brien..

In August, she will return to London where she will direct Never In, Never Out, which she also wrote and produced, about the life of fashion designer Thea Porter. .

Weller said the two projects have provided a good contrast.

"They.re both challenging, but in completely different ways,. .she says.

Box, developed .by O.Brien is a poetic and surrealist screenplay, which is co-written by Weller. She will also take the lead role..

Box tells »

- Staff Writer

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HBO remaking Fahrenheit 451 with 99 Homes director

14 April 2016 9:30 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

The Wrap is reporting that filmmaker Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) has signed on to write and direct a new adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic 1953 dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451.

Fahrenheit 451 takes place in a future American society where firemen are employed to destroy the most illegal of all commodities, the printed book. However, when fireman Guy Montag meets an eccentric young neighbour called Clarisse who shows him a past where people didn’t live in fear and oppression, he begins to question everything he’s ever known.

The book was previously brought to the big screen in 1966, with Francois Truffaut directing Oskar Werner as Guy Montag and Julie Christie as Clarisse.

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- Gary Collinson

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Shampoo

27 March 2016 10:00 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Director Hal Ashby’s satire about a West Hollywood roué in the midst of an existential crisis is set against the backdrop of Nixon’s election in 1968 but was released in ’74 at the end of the Watergate scandal – an irony that did not escape the ticket buyers who made the film a huge box office success (the movie cost 4 million and grossed 50). Warren Beatty plays the horny hairdresser at the center of a sexual three-ring circus that includes, among others, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn, Lee Grant and, memorably, Carrie Fisher. Robert Towne wrote the witty, elegiac screenplay.

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- TFH Team

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Harrison Ford-ging ahead

17 March 2016 6:21 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Josh reporting on much Harrison Ford news. Ford has long since solidified himself as one of cinema’s most iconic megastars. Following the triple whammy of Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Blade Runner in the early 80’s, Harrison Ford received top billing for every film he was in until Morning Glory in 2010. That’s nearly 3 decades of leading man status. The last decade hasn’t been the series of hits he’s accustomed to with epic flops like Paranoia, Cowboys and Aliens, and Ender’s Game. Which is why we’re heading back to the 80’s and revisiting peak Ford.

The big news this week is he’s once again returning as Indiana Jones for the 5th time. If you’ve already ruined a legacy with an abysmal 4th film, why not just keep making money off it? He’ll be 77 by the time it hits our screen, and whilst »

- Josh Forward

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Harry Potter, Eastwood and the Decline of Western Civilization: Packard in April

16 March 2016 8:21 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

'Play Misty for Me': Rabid fan Jessica Walter makes life difficult for disc jockey Clint Eastwood. Clint Eastwood, 'Harry Potter' and 'The Decline of Western Civilization': Packard Campus movies Movies set in the world of music and/or radio are among the April 2016 highlights at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Virginia. Packard Campus Recorded Sound Curator Matt Barton selected the documentaries and narrative features in this particular program, which, according to the Theater's press release, includes “several rarely projected films in original release prints from the Library's holdings.” Radio/music titles include: Clint Eastwood's 1971 feature film directorial debut, the thriller Play Misty for Me, starring Jessica Walter as a woman obsessed with both a late night disc jockey (Eastwood) and the song “Misty,” jazzily played by Errol Garner at the piano. Also in the cast: Donna Mills, frequent Eastwood director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, »

- Andre Soares

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I Knew Her Well (Io la conoscevo bene)

15 March 2016 12:09 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

She's beautiful, desired and enjoys a social mobility in the improving Italian economy... but she's also a pawn of cruel materialist values. Stefania Sandrelli personifies a liberated spirit who lives for the moment, but who can't form the relationships we call 'living.' Antonio Pietrangeli and Ettore Scola slip an insightful drama into the young Sandrelli's lineup of comedy roles. I Knew Her Well Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 801 1965 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 115 min. / Io la conoscevo bene / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date February 23, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Stefania Sandrelli, Mario Adorf, Jean-Claude Brialy, Joachim Fuchsberger, Nino Manfredi, Enrico Maria Salerno, Ugo Tognazzi, Karin Dor, Franco Nero. Cinematography Armando Nannuzzi Production design Maurizio Chiari Film Editor Franco Fraticelli Original Music Piero Picconi Written by Antonio Pietrangeli, Ruggero Maccari, Etore Scola Produced by Turi Vasile Directed by Antonio Pietrangeli

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Did a new kind of woman emerge in the 1960s? »

- Glenn Erickson

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Lesley Ann Warren, Keith Carradine Starring in ‘Ray Meets Helen’ (Exclusive)

26 January 2016 2:09 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Lesley Ann Warren and Keith Carradine will star in the drama “Ray Meets Helen” with iconic indie director Alan Rudolph helming from his own script, Variety has learned exclusively.

Etchie Stroh is producing through his Moonstone Entertainment banner. The project re-teams Stroh with Rudolph, who collaborated on 1997’s “Afterglow,” starring Julie Christie and Nick Nolte.

Additionally, Rudolph worked with Warren and Carradine in 1984’s “Choose Me,” which established Rudolph as a major voice in independent film. Warren will also serve as producer along with Steven J. Wolfe (“500 Days of Summer”), who produced “Twin Falls Idaho” with Stroh.

“Ray Meets Helen” is due to begin shooting in late spring. Moonstone will start selling international territories at the Berlin Film Festival.

The characters in “Ray Meets Helen” are stalled in mid-life, beset by profound material challenges and haunted by their failed potential in happier times. Each undergo a reversal of fortune, affording »

- Dave McNary

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Execs line up for Aidc business stream

21 January 2016 8:47 PM, PST | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

The Australian International Documentary Conference has unveiled the program and international guests for this year's business stream. .

Aidc 2016.s Business Sessions will cover such areas as international funding strategies, the opportunities presented by Video On Demand (VOD) services, developing and selling factual formats, and the secrets of successful production houses..

Highlight sessions include Demystifying VOD, with Kinonation.s Roger Jackson; Taking Your Format To The World, a masterclass with Nz format expert Julie Christie; Patchwork Commissioning, an international funding how-to moderated by WildBear Entertainment.s Veronica Fury; and Docbusters, a session that explores how cinema on demand is allowing feature documentaries to blitz the box office.

Aidc Business Sessions are available only to All Access and Day Pass holders. A full schedule can be found on the Sessions page of the Aidc website.

Aidc Roundtables give attendees a rare chance to meet top decision makers and participate in highly focused discussions in an informal setting. »

- Staff Writer

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11 Actors Snubbed by Oscar

21 January 2016 12:00 PM, PST | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominates 20 actors for an Oscar each year. Hollywood heavyweights including John Barrymore, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, John Cazale, and most recently, Alan Rickman, have died without receiving recognition. The Academy welcomed actors Bryan Cranston, Tom Hardy, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rachel McAdams, Charlotte Rampling, Mark Rylance, and Alicia Vikander with their first ever nominations this year. The following are just 10 of many deserving actors who have yet to receive an Oscar nomination. Donald SutherlandDonald Sutherland may be best known to younger audiences for his portrayal as President Snow in “The Hunger Games” series, but the seasoned veteran has delivered high-caliber work for more than half a century. Sutherland, who appeared in such classic films as “The Dirty Dozen” and “Mash,” delivers a performance for the ages in Nicolas Roeg’s drama “Don’t Look Now” (1973). Sutherland received a BAFTA nomination but »

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13 items from 2016


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