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Guns, dames and hats: you can't have a film noir without them, can you? Take a look at the Guardian and Observer critics list of the best 10 noirs and you'll realise things aren't that simple …
• Top 10 westerns
• Top 10 documentaries
• Top 10 movie adaptations
• Top 10 animated movies
• Top 10 silent movies
• Top 10 sports movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
Nicholas Ray's astonishingly self-assured, lyrical directorial debut opens with title cards and lush orchestrations over shots of a boy and a girl in rapturous mutual absorption: "This boy … and this gir … were never properly introduced … to the world we live in …" A shriek of horns suddenly obliterates all other sound – their shocked faces both turn toward the camera, and the title appears: They Live by Night.
Meet 23-year-old escaped killer Bowie Bowers and his farm-girl sweetheart Keechie Mobley (Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell), in an imaginary idyll »
In 1934 a 19-year-old Orson Welles created his first short film Hearts Of Age, mostly seen by audiences many years later on home video. In 1938, to accompany his stage adaptation of William Gillette's 1894 play Too Much Johnson, Welles created three short films to act as prologues to each act of the play. Originally including live music and sound effects, and despite starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles himself, the three-act slapstick was never finished, and the play opened August 16, 1938, without the filmed sections. The film never received any public screenings, Welles moved on and the film was mislaid, and lost, later believed to have burned in a fire at his Spanish villa. Then, in 2012, almost 75 years after its...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. I am including documentaries, short films and mini series, only as special mentions – along with a few features that can qualify as horror, but barely do.
Directed by Benjamin Christensen
Denmark / Sweden, 1922
Orson Welles' Too Much Johnson, screened for the first time to a full house at Pordenone Festival of Silent Cinema, comes trailing clouds of mystery like so much else in the life and work of its maker.
We know Welles shot the film in 1938 with a newsreel cameraman, intending it as a series of insert sequence within a play he was producing with the Mercury Theater. For various reasons, the three sequences, intended to carry the exposition in William Gillette's 1894 farce, were not ready or could not be projected when the play opened, and as a result the show was not a success.
Now George Eastman House has restored what it describes as Welles' cutting copy, apparently discovered in a warehouse in Pordenone itself. It consists of several reels of loosely ordered material with multiple takes, and was presented without any alteration apart from the preservation necessary to make the material projectable. »
- David Cairns
The Pordenone Silent Film Festival holds a special place in the calendar. Now in its 32nd year, Pordenone remains the most important festival of silent cinema, the mother ship in a sense for the encouraging plethora of smaller silent film events (San Francisco, Bonn, Tromso, etc.) that have cropped up in recent years. Attracting an esoteric crowd of archivists, scholars, conservationists and programmers, Pordenone has long been a catalyst for early film research and, thanks to scholarships offered to young applicants who attend as part of the festival’s Collegium, a way of encouraging and disseminating interest in the field. This year’s edition (which ran Oct. 5-12) saw more international attention than usual thanks to the extraordinary discovery, in the city of Pordenone itself, of Orson Welles’ lost 1938 silent lark, “Too Much Johnson.”
Preceded in Welles’ cinematic career only by his short “The Hearts of Age,” made when he »
- Jay Weissberg
The first trailer for Wes Anderson's latest film is released today, and the signs are that all those stylistic flourishes we know and love are present and correct
• Fantastic Mr Fox recap: Wes Anderson reworking well worth another look
Nothing gets us going more than the promise of a new Wes Anderson film. Will it be a funny as Rushmore? As inventive as Fantastic Mr Fox? As ambitious as The Royal Tenenbaums? Well, another one is on the way: The Grand Budapest Hotel, which despite its title seems to have less to do with Anderson's tenderly mysterious short film Hotel Chevalier than an amalgam of Anderson's predilection for jewel-box environments, giant major-name casts, and arch pseudo-professional patter.
That's not to say The Grand Budapest Hotel doesn't look great: we can safely say this is a return to the mentor »
- Andrew Pulver
This year's edition of the silent film festival featured Welles' previously-thought-lost Too Much Johnson amid a typically irreverent and varied selection
• Orson Welles's first professional film discovered in an Italian warehouse
The first full day of the 32nd Giornate del Cinema Muto, the world's most prestigious silent-film festival, took place exactly 86 years after The Jazz Singer premiered in New York. There were no mournful faces in the town of Pordenone, Italy, where the Giornate is held, however. In this corner of the world, for one week only, it is not quite as if the talkies never arrived, but rather that they failed to stop the party. Silent cinema continues to reinvent itself, to surprise even its most protective guardians, and to multiply.
The opening gala night of the festival featured a recent film that paid tribute to European silent cinema, Pablo Berger's invigoratingly »
- Pamela Hutchinson
Norma Bengell dead at 78: Iconic (and controversial) Brazilian film, stage, television, and recording star made history as the first actress to be seen naked (full frontal) in a mainstream film (photo: Norma Bengell and John Herbert in ‘As Cariocas’) Norma Bengell, a sort of Brazilian Jeanne Moreau, Brigitte Bardot, and Jane Fonda rolled into one, died of lung cancer in her hometown of Rio de Janeiro on October 9, 2013. She was 78. Best known internationally for her leading-lady roles in several Italian-made cult classics of the mid-’60s, Norma Bengell was known in Brazil as a controversial show business veteran and for being the first “name” actress (purportedly anywhere in the world) to be seen fully naked — full frontal — in a mainstream film. Note: Hedy Lamarr, then billed as Hedy Kiesler, does swim and run around in the nude in Gustav Machaty’s 1933 Czech drama Ecstasy. However, Lamarr’s naked swimming was disguised by the water, »
- Andre Soares
C’est arrivé près de chez vous (Man Bites Dog)
Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel and Benoît Poelvoorde set out to make their first feature film with little resources and little money. In the tradition of filmmakers who can’t afford much film stock, the trio settled for a faux-documentary-style approach – the result is a high-concept satire of media violence which would spoof documentaries by following around a fictitious sociopath named Ben as he exercises his lethal craft. While the cinematic tradition of presenting villains as suave, charming, attractive, and intelligent individuals is nothing new, Man Bites Dog was still in many way, ahead of its time. Much like the great Hitchcockian villains such as Joseph Cotten in Shadow of a Doubt or Anthony Perkins in Psycho, Ben is a man of »
Gregory Peck from ‘Duel in the Sun’ to ‘How the West Was Won’: TCM schedule (Pt) on August 15 (photo: Gregory Peck in ‘Duel in the Sun’) See previous post: “Gregory Peck Movies: Memorable Miscasting Tonight on Turner Classic Movies.” 3:00 Am Days Of Glory (1944). Director: Jacques Tourneur. Cast: Gregory Peck, Lowell Gilmore, Maria Palmer. Bw-86 mins. 4:30 Am Pork Chop Hill (1959). Director: Lewis Milestone. Cast: Gregory Peck, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn. Bw-98 mins. Letterbox Format. 6:15 Am The Valley Of Decision (1945). Director: Tay Garnett. Cast: Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp. Bw-119 mins. 8:15 Am Spellbound (1945). Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming, Bill Goodwin, Norman Lloyd, Steve Geray, John Emery, Donald Curtis, Art Baker, Wallace Ford, Regis Toomey, Paul Harvey, Jean Acker, Irving Bacon, Jacqueline deWit, Edward Fielding, Matt Moore, Addison Richards, Erskine Sanford, Constance Purdy. Bw-111 mins. 10:15 Am Designing Woman (1957). Director: Vincente Minnelli. »
- Andre Soares
Gregory Peck movies: Memorable miscasting in David O. Selznick’s Western Gregory Peck is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 15, 2013. TCM is currently showing Raoul Walsh’s good-looking but not too exciting Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), with Peck in the title role and Virginia Mayo as his leading lady. (See “Gregory Peck in ‘Duel in the Sun’: TCM movie schedule.”) (Photo: Gregory Peck ca. 1950.) Next in line is Zoltan Korda’s crime melodrama The Macomber Affair (1947), based on a story by Ernest Hemingway about a troubled married couple and their safari guide. This is another good-looking film — black-and-white cinematography by veteran Karl Struss, whose credits ranged from the 1920 Gloria Swanson melo Something to Think About to Charles Chaplin’s The Great Dictator. Unfortunately, the psychology, the romance, and some of the acting found in The Macomber Affair is — at best — superficial. Joan Bennett and Gregory Peck look great, »
- Andre Soares
Milan — A long-lost Orson Welles film that was believed destroyed in a 1970 fire has been discovered in a northern Italian warehouse and will finally make its public debut 75 years after being filmed, an Italian film archive announced Thursday.
The silent film "Too Much Johnson," a slapstick comedy made just before Welles went to Hollywood to film "Citizen Kane," was found in a box that had been stored for years in the northeastern city of Pordenone before being identified, said Giuliana Puppin, a spokeswoman for the archive, Cineteca del Friuli.
How the 35mm nitrate print arrived in Pordenone remains a mystery.
Found by a shipping company, it was turned over at some point to a local film society – but the film seemed of no particular value and was left unopened for many years, Puppin said.
"We don't know where the box came from. There were no documents with it. We don't know the road it took, »
Too Much Johnson – which was intended for inclusion in a theatre show – forms an 'intellectual bridge' between the director's theatrical and cinematic careers, says its restorer
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It's hugely exciting discovery – and a bizarre, unexpected one too. An early Orson Welles film, previously thought lost, has been found in a warehouse in northern Italy. Too Much Johnson, the second film Welles ever created, is a silent movie, a slapstick comedy that has never been shown and was thought to have been destroyed in a fire.
"We may never fully understand the mystery of why it was abandoned. What matters now is that it is safe, and that it will be seen," says Dr Paolo Cherchi Usai, senior curator of motion pictures at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, which restored the footage.
The film, says Cherchi Usai, is the "intellectual bridge" between Welles's theatrical and cinematic careers. »
- Pamela Hutchinson
A 1938 Orson Welles film has been discovered in a warehouse in Italy.
The silent film was originally intended to be used in conjunction with Welles’ stage adaptation of an 1894 play by William Gillette. The Mercury Theatre planned to show the three short films as prologues to each act of the play.
The nitrate print of the film - left unfinished by the Mercury Theatre and never shown in public - was given by Cinemazero to one of Italy’s major film archives, the Cineteca del Friuli in nearby Gemona, and transferred from there to George Eastman House in order to be preserved.
According to published sources, until now the only known print of Too Much Johnson had burnt »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
It isn't The Merchant Of Venice or the missing footage from The Magnificent Ambersons, but the discovery of an Orson Welles work thought lost for forty years is still cause for celebration. So it's great news that the silent short Too Much Johnson (stop sniggering at the back) has been unearthed and restored in Italy, in time for this year's silent film festival in Pordonone in October. It was thought that the only copy was destroyed in a fire at Welles' Madrid home in 1970, but he always insisted another copy still existed somewhere. He was right!Too Much Johnson was filmed in 1938, three years before Citizen Kane and in the same year as Welles' infamous War Of The Worlds radio broadcast. A pastiche slapstick comedy, it stars Joseph Cotten along with other members of Welles' Mercury Theatre troupe, and was intended to form part of a theatre production, from which it took its title. »
While we're on the subject of Alfred Hitchcock, having just discussed the most memorable performances in his films, we thought we'd look at Hitchcock's own favorite Shadow of a Doubt (1943) for this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot. I wasn't surprised that the film failed to score in that list we just made, if only because the whole cast is so memorable. How do you choose amongst them? What's more, the subject of the film is, if you ask me, not the gruesome crimes that are continually referenced but the family unit itself. How protective and proud of one's own blood should you be? How do you preserve the family's happy cohesion, whether real or imagined? What to do about the rotten apple in the bushel?
Since Shadow of a Doubt (1943) is strangely underseen given Hitchcock's own love of it and the endurance of so many of his films, »
- NATHANIEL R
We all know of Orson Welles from his vocal performance in The Transformers: The Movie and his voice work for Findus Frozen Peas, but long before that he made his directorial debut that many herald as the greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane. Well, it was thought to be his debut, but a recent discovery in Italy may be about to shake things up. It appears that Welles directed a 40 minute adaptation of the 1894 William Gillette play titled, Too Much Johnson (blimey they were raunchy back then). It was a film that was meant to screen before Welles’ stage production of the play, but he didn’t finish editing it before the theatre run. Since then it has been almost forgotten about completely, and after a fire at Orson Welles’ Spanish villa, it was thought the film was lost forever.
Luckily that isn’t the case as a new »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Though Orson Welles has been gone from this world for 28 years, but that doesn't mean he's done giving films to the world. Back in 1938, Welles worked on a stage production of an 1894 play from William Gillette. As part of the show, Welles and his Mercury Theater planned to show three short films as prologues to each act of the play. The segments together formed a three-part slapstick comedy starring Citizen Kane and Soylent Green actor Joseph Cotten, which were originally supposed to be screened with music and live sound effects, but the project was never completed and was thought lost. But it has just been found in Italy! Variety reports the film, called Too Much Johnson, was discovered in an Italian warehouse and has been restored and set for premiere at Italy’s silent film fest Le Giornate del Cinema Muto on October 9th. Following its debut overseas, the film »
- Ethan Anderton
A long lost, never-before-seen film that was written and directed by 20-year-old wunderkind Orson Welles three years before the premiere of Citizen Kane has been unearthed in Italy and restored for a premiere in October. Too Much Johnson (1938), a screwball marital farce that starred Joseph Cotten, Arlene Francis and Ruth Ford, was done by Welles’ famed Mercury Theatre as a companion piece for a planned multimedia stage adaptation of the 19th century play by William Gillette. The silent work, filmed in three acts and about an hour in length, was never finished or seen publicly,
- Mike Barnes
As the New York Times' Dave Kehr points out in a recent highlight piece, Orson Welles' filmmaking debut came seven years before 1941's "Citizen Kane," with an eight-minute short titled "The Hearts of Age." Teenager Welles made the film with a friend from school, William Vance. In this early endeavor, Welles dons old-age makeup -- a sign of disguises to come in "Kane." Watch below. The main gist of Kehr's article, however, focuses on forty minutes of footage filmed by Welles in 1938, made to be shown with theatrical production "Too Much Johnson," a revival of an 1894 comedy the director planned for the 1938 season of the Mercury Theatre. When the show closed following a negatively received preview in Stony Creek, Connecticut, Welles put the footage aside. Mercury Theatre members, including eventual screen star Joseph Cotten and Welles' wife at the time, Virginia Nicholson, were part of the abandoned film. Recently »
- Beth Hanna
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