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Honorary Oscars 2014: Hayao Miyazaki, Jean-Claude Carrière, and Maureen O’Hara; Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award goes to Harry Belafonte One good thing about the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Governors Awards — an expedient way to remove the time-consuming presentation of the (nearly) annual Honorary Oscar from the TV ratings-obsessed, increasingly youth-oriented Oscar show — is that each year up to four individuals can be named Honorary Oscar recipients, thus giving a better chance for the Academy to honor film industry veterans while they’re still on Planet Earth. (See at the bottom of this post a partial list of those who have gone to the Great Beyond, without having ever received a single Oscar statuette.) In 2014, the Academy’s Board of Governors has selected a formidable trio of honorees: Japanese artist and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, 73; French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, 82; and Irish-born Hollywood actress Maureen O’Hara, »
- Andre Soares
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a 40th anniversary screening of “Young Frankenstein” with special guests Mel Brooks, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr and executive producer Michael Gruskoff on Tuesday, September 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Film historian Leonard Maltin will introduce the comedy classic and host a live onstage discussion with Brooks, Leachman, Garr and Gruskoff.
“Young Frankenstein,” Brooks’s 1974 homage to the Golden Age of monster movies, features a large ensemble cast including Leachman, Garr, Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars and Gene Hackman. It earned Oscar® nominations for Adapted Screenplay (Wilder, Brooks) and Sound (Richard Portman, Gene Cantamessa).
Additional Academy events coming up in September at the Bing Theater in Los Angeles are listed below, with details at www.oscars.org/events:
“Let There Be Fright: William Castle Scare Classics”
- Michelle McCue
The Fade Out #1
Story by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips
Colors by Elizabeth Breitweiser
Cover by Sean Phillips
Publisher: Image Comics
Modern noir masterminds Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips begin their five-year deal with Image with the release of the first issue of The Fade Out, a sprawling saga of corruption and redemption set against a gritty West Coast backdrop. As the premiere storytellers of crime/noir comics, Fade Out actually marks their first trip into Hollywoodland, the never-innocent city of illusions. The Fade Out sees them return to the familiar conventions of ‘classic’ crime noir, and weaves a tangled web through the underbelly of a 1940′s film industry. In addition to unsettling narrative themes of ambiguity and violent death, certain stylistic characteristics immediately spring out: stark, angular shadows; the isolated feel of modern cities; conflicted anti-heroes and boiled down dialogue. The multi-layered plot grabs you immediately — and Brubaker »
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
This week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot episode is devoted to the film adaptation of Tennessee William's Suddenly Last Summer (1959) in which a brain surgeon (Montgomery Clift) whose hospital is in dire need of cash is enlisted by a filthy rich woman (Katharine Hepburn) to perform a lobotomy on her niece (Elizabeth Taylor) because that niece keeps telling lies about her dead gay son. Got that? That's just the kick-off to the crazy.
This sensationalistic film, which was the third and final onscreen pairing of bosom buddies and immortal stars Taylor and Clift, was nominated for three Oscars: Two Best Actress nominations and Art Direction.
Suddenly Last Summer (1959)
Cinematography by Jack Hildyard
Shots are displayed in their rough chronological order. Click on the shot to read the corresponding article.
11 Shots Selected By 12 Participants »
- NATHANIEL R
This is an episode of Hit Me With Your Best Shot
"Suddenly... last summer" is spoken so often in Suddenly Last Summer (1959), Joseph L Mankiewicz & Gore Vidal's adaptation of Tennessee Williams play, that it starts to take on a kind of trancy grandeur. The actresses retreat inward, psychologically, in the thrall of their own theatricality, the overheated jungles of art direction around them, and surely their good fortune to be playing Tennessee Williams characters.
my favorite scene in the film
To a minor degree the repetition of "suddenly...last summer" is not unlike the effect of Rita whispering "Mulholland Drive" like an incantation in Mulholland Dr. The comparison seems apt since both films are batshit crazy sexually charged nightmares in which a beautiful brunette has selective amnesia issues. But let's not drift away to 2001. We stay in 1959. And two beautiful brunettes is exactly what I want to talk about »
- NATHANIEL R
With the passing of Robin Williams (see what we chose as his 10 Best Performances here), perhaps this is a good moment to reflect on actors who died unexpectedly. A documentary on the brief, tragic life of Montgomery Clift has surfaced, and today happens to the birthday of the great John Cazale, an immense talent who died too young, laid low by lung cancer at the age of 42. In 2009, HBO released "I Knew It Was You: Remembering John Cazale," a terrific 40-minute look at his life, career and legacy. Featuring Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman and many more, produced by Brett Ratner (yup), and directed by Richard Shepherd ("The Matador," "Dom Hemingway") the doc takes a look at the man whose brief film career included the first two "The Godfather" films, "Dog Day Afternoon" and "The Deer Hunter." And he was fantastic in all of them. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
In discussions regarding the beginnings of onscreen method acting, Montgomery Clift is often unfairly shunted away in favor of Marlon Brando and James Dean. The actor first came to prominence in 1948, courtesy of lead roles in both Fred Zinnemann’s WWII film “The Search” and opposite John Wayne in Howard Hawks’s "Red River." Clift went on to celluloid immortality via films like "From Here To Eternity," "I Confess," "Judgment At Nuremberg" and "A Place In Sun," earning four Oscar nominations along the way. A documentary examining Clift's life and work from the early nineties has surfaced, and is an excellent primer for his exceptional and yet underexamined career. Despite his distaste for "business as usual" in Hollywood and some poor career choices, Clift could very well have been as celebrated as the two famous contemporaries mentioned above. But a near-fatal car crash in 1956 »
- Cain Rodriguez
The Austin Film Society is kicking off the weekend with another Free Member Friday event. Tonight, Afs Members can enjoy a program of short films at the Marchesa for free, including Kat Candler's original 2012 short Hellion (recently adapted into a terrific feature) and Todd Rohal's Rat Pack Rat, which won a special jury prize at Sundance this year. Come on out even if you're not a member for $10 general admission tickets.
Afs is also hosting some special advance screenings of Richard Linklater's acclaimed new film Boyhood (Debbie's review) this weekend. The 1 pm screening on Sunday at the Marchesa is already sold out, but a 7 pm show still has VIP tickets available that include a private dinner with the director and cast. The acclaimed documentary Manakamana is screening at the Marchesa on Tuesday evening while Sweet Dreams folows on Wednesday. Essential Cinema closes out a busy week with »
- Matt Shiverdecker
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
The New Yorker on Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice by Paul Mazursky. I love that movie so much
THR The Academy sues the estate of art director Joseph Wright. His family auctioned off his Oscar for My Gal Sal (1942) for $79,200. (God, imagine how much an Oscar for a famous movie or actor would get!) But auctioning off Oscars is a big big no-no. AMPAS freaks out every time.
The Wire Joe talks that Eric/Jason sex scene on True Blood and what a failure the show has been in terms of the gay. Co-sign every word.
- NATHANIEL R
By Lee Pfeiffer
Cinema Retro mourns the loss of Eli Wallach, the prolific actor of screen, stage and television, who passed away Tuesday in his New York City home. He was 98 years old. Wallach was one of the last of the Hollywood legends. He rarely enjoyed a leading role but was considered to be one of the most respected character actors of the post-wii era. He was as diversified as a thespian could be and would play heroes, villains and knaves with equal ease. For retro movie lovers, his two most iconic performances were as the Mexican bandit Calvera in John Sturges' classic 1960 film The Magnificent Seven and as Tuco, the charismatic rogue bandit in Sergio Leone's landmark 1966 production of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Although he never won or was »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
He played cotton-gin owners, military officers, monsignors, rabbis, truck drivers, Shakespearean heroes — even a Batman villain. But Eli Wallach, who passed away at age 98 due to causes unknown, is best known to a generation of moviegoers as the ultimate bandolero-wearing bandito, thanks to two iconic roles: Calvera, the leader of the frontier thugs who terrorize a Mexican village in The Magnificent Seven (1960); and Tuco, the "ugly" of Sergio Leone's epic Spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). When you think of a stubbled outlaw villain, the kind »
The Criterion Collection has issued both The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Red River recently, and though the two would seemingly have little in common, it turns out there are a number of parallels. Both films begin with the main character losing someone close to them in a way that drives the narrative, both follow a driven and arrogant man who needs to see the error of his ways, both deal with great adventure, both deal with a father/son relationship, and both conclude with the main character coming face to face with their supposed enemy, only to realize violence may not be the answer. Bill Murray and Owen Wilson star in the Aquatic for Wes Anderson, while John Wayne and Montgomery Clift star in Red River for Howard Hawks. My review of both The Life Aquatic on Blu-ray and Red River follows after the jump. The Life Aquatic »
- Andre Dellamorte
Directed by Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks’ Red River is supposedly the film that convinced John Ford of John Wayne’s talent (apparently opposed to his abilities to simply perform or suggest a powerful screen presence). Ford had, of course, worked with Wayne previously, and Wayne had appeared in dozens of other films prior to this point, but when Ford saw what Wayne did in the role of the aged, bitter, driven, and obsessive Thomas Dunson, it led him to comment to his friend Hawks, “I didn’t know the big son of a bitch could act.” If it were only for Wayne’s performance, which is excellent, Red River would be a vital entry into the Western genre. But there is more, much more to this extraordinary picture. That’s why it’s not only one of the greatest Westerns ever made, »
- Jeremy Carr
I promise – it wasn’t my plan to have seven of the ten films on this portion of the list focus on World War II. But, if we look back at the biggest international conflicts of all time, World War II is the one that provides the most opportunity. It’s a chance for a number of different countries to look at the same war from different perspectives. In this portion alone, there’s a French film, a German film, a Hungarian film, a couple British/American films, and a few American films – all about varied aspects of World War II.
courtesy of fmvmagazine.com
40. The Killing Fields (1984)
Directed by: Roland Joffé
Conflict: Cambodian Civil War
For all the films made about World War II and larger scale conflicts, the few that depict smaller, more concentrated ones are sometimes more effective. Roland Joffé’s 1984 drama The Killing Fields hones in on Cambodia, »
- Joshua Gaul
I can't remember the first time I saw Howard Hawks' Red River, but I feel like it was on Turner Classic Movies about five years ago or more. What I do remember, however, was it didn't exactly look very good, it was murky, muddy and just overall and unimpressive visual representation of this film classic. The narrative, obviously, wasn't affected. Now, Criterion has given it an HD upgrade, cleaned it up and delivered not just one version, but a pre-release version for the curious. As you'll learn in the wealth of bonus features, there was a pre-release version of the film and a theatrical version. The theatrical version of Red River runs shorter than the pre-release version, which was only intended for testing purposes. Hawks preferred the theatrical cut, though Peter Bogdanovich tells us in a new interview Hawks actually preferred the ending on the pre-release version, which was »
- Brad Brevet
The Criterion Collection continues to impress through the remarkable range of what it offers cineastes on a monthly basis. Look at the highlights of their May 2014 Blu-ray offerings, all currently available in stores and for online order. What on Earth do “Overlord,” “Like Someone in Love,” and “Red River” have in common?
One is set in World War II, one during the Chisholm Trail, and one in present day. One is British, one defiantly American, and one is Japanese. Abbas Kiarostami really couldn’t have more distinctly different cinematic intentions than Howard Hawks. And yet Criterion wisely understands that film lovers love all different kinds of film. Pick your favorite.
For me, the best film is “Like Someone in Love,” the best release is “Red River.” “Overlord” remains an interesting curiosity, a film that blends archival footage and fictional filmmaking to achieve something unique. Directed by Stuart Cooper and shot »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
I'm going to need a stiff drink tonight. (Should I blame the unpleasant Zorba the Greek?). Why is this week so hard? It's my birthday week!
Variety on Jonah Hill's blooming career and recent homophobic slur
Gawker The Chicago Sun Times apologizes for a recent bit of transphobic nonsense regarding Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) that they Must have known was unwise. People will publish anything to get clicks these days.
Metro a woman wants a divorce from her husband »
- NATHANIEL R
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? Just how far would you go for a dare? David Koechner ("Anchorman") plays a super rich dude who's looking for some cheap thrills at the expense of a couple of guys who need cash. Pat Healy ("Compliance") and Sara Paxton ("The Innkeepers") co-star.
Why We're In: This disturbing indie got great reviews, but it's definitely not for everyone. If you like your gore with a side of sly political commentary, this could be your jam.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
"The Life Aquatic"
What's It About? Bill Murray stars as Steve Zissou, an oceanographer who's making a documentary about his hunt for the Jaguar Shark, which made a snack out of his old partner. He's joined by a ragtag gang played by Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, and other Anderson all-stars.
Why We're In: This Criterion package includes audio commentary, »
- Jenni Miller
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