8 items from 2015
Orson Welles indisputably made a huge impact on the film industry, both in terms of technical proficiency and storytelling sophistication. However, Welles was never the biggest fan of films themselves. He just saw it as a way to tell stories he wanted to. That makes sense to me of how he approached filmmaking. Had he been a movie fan, I don't know if he would have thought so much outside of the box about to make them than he did. That isn't to say he didn't like all movies. In the early 1950s, Welles managed to cobble together a list of his ten favorite films for Sound on Sight (via Open Culture). As he had only been exposed to a couple of decades of cinema, I think this is a very interesting list, and one that makes a lot of sense for someone like Welles. City Lights (dir. Charles Chaplin) Greed (dir. »
- Mike Shutt
In today's roundup of news and views: Philippe Garrel and Luc Moullet at DC's. Peter Bogdanovich has opened up his file on Jean Renoir. Christoph Huber tells us how he rediscovered Vittorio De Sica. 3:am's posted two short pieces by Clément Rosset, one on Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes (1938), the other on Robert Bresson’s L’Argent (1983). Two very fine career surveys: Steven Hyden on Gene Hackman at Grantland and Nathan Rabin on Philip Seymour Hoffman at the Dissolve. Jonathan Rosenbaum's posted his 1998 review of James Benning's Utopia. Plus Adam Cook on Michael Mann and more. » - David Hudson »
Luis Buñuel movies on TCM tonight (photo: Catherine Deneuve in 'Belle de Jour') The city of Paris and iconoclastic writer-director Luis Buñuel are Turner Classic Movies' themes today and later this evening. TCM's focus on Luis Buñuel is particularly welcome, as he remains one of the most daring and most challenging filmmakers since the invention of film. Luis Buñuel is so remarkable, in fact, that you won't find any Hollywood hipster paying homage to him in his/her movies. Nor will you hear his name mentioned at the Academy Awards – no matter the Academy in question. And rest assured that most film critics working today have never even heard of him, let alone seen any of his movies. So, nowadays Luis Buñuel is un-hip, un-cool, and unfashionable. He's also unquestionably brilliant. These days everyone is worried about freedom of expression. The clash of civilizations. The West vs. The Other. »
- Andre Soares
Director: Vittorio De Sica
Running time: 104 minutes
Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni star as lovers torn apart by war in a beautifully crafted film by Vittorio De Sica. Originally released in 1970, Sunflower comes to DVD in a newly restored version. The film is indeed a classic depicting the trails and heartbreak of war-torn lovers, but more so through the outstanding performances of Loren and Mastroianni.
The film starts twelve days before Ww II breaks out; Giovanna (Loren) marries Antonio (Mastroianni) after a whirlwind romance. It soon becomes clear that the two are inseparable and the outbreak of war threatens their bond. With no desire to fight in the conflict Antonio fakes insanity, but officials soon see through the charade and send Antonio to the Russian front where he battles against the unbearable freezing temperatures and a short supply of rations.
As the war ends, »
- Ciham Messouki
Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2014 discoveries”…
Kenny Riches: The album Grand America by Magic Mint. The album Apple Juice and Whiskey by Rachel Goodrich (Rachel Hoodrich). A 35mm slide of my friend David.
Lavallee: What is the genesis of The Strongest Man, why were the comedic elements treated during the script phase?
Riches: It’s kind of a composite of my experiences in Miami over the years — from having my bicycle stolen to seeing street dogs and chickens to the art fairs to hearing a friend’s story about a meditation class, and so on. I guess I tried to make a visually interesting film and much of the comedy is visual or relating to certain objects that move the story forward.
Lavallee: How did you come to cast Robert “Meatball” Lorie as the film’s lead misfit? Could you describe his character.
Riches: I wrote the film specifically for Meatball. »
- Eric Lavallee
Have you ever YouTube’d “Worst man-cry ever”? Not even once? “Force Majeure” writer-director Ruben Östlund has. But he did it as research for a scene in which protagonist Tomas cries. Östlund revealed this and much more while perusing The Criterion Collection’s DVD closet recently, where he discussed not only his own films and inspiration, but his thoughts on many of the titles on the shelf. For example, he really likes Catherine Breillat’s 2001 film, “Fat Girl,” but much prefers the original French title — “À Ma Soeur!” (To My sister) — instead. On the other hand, he was delighted to see that Criterion sells Vittorio De Sica’s “The Bicycle Thief” as “Bicycle Thieves,” which Östlund claims is a much better, in fact “the right” title. As for his experiences on set, Östlund recalls a tough decision he met with while shooting a short, “Autobiographical Scene Number 6882” back in 2005. An »
- Zach Hollwedel
In today's roundup of goings on here and there: Films by and about Giuseppe Andrews plus Djibril Diop Mambety's Touki Bouki (1973) and Mati Diop’s A Thousand Suns (2013) in New York, a John Waters exhibition and a Kenji Mizoguchi retrospective in Los Angeles, films by Dan Sallitt, Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Doillon in Chicago, a Billy Wilder retrospective in Berkeley, Noir City in San Francisco, shorts in London, a Vittorio De Sica retrospective in Vienna and a documentary festival in Tokyo. » - David Hudson »
In what could be a preview of the awards season ahead, “Boyhood” swept the New York Film Critics Circle Awards in downtown Manhattan on Monday night. The drama by Richard Linklater, which took twelve years to make, picked up best picture, best director and best supporting actress for Patricia Arquette; more prizes than any other film.
Timothy Spall won best actor for “Mr. Turner,” Marion Cotillard received best actress for her dual leading performances in “Two Days, One Night” and “The Immigrant,” and J.K. Simmons was named best supporting actor for “Whiplash.” The winners, which were announced in advance, were on hand to accept their prizes at a seated dinner at Tao Downtown from presenters such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Bill Murray and Jon Stewart, who gave “Boyhood” the top prize.
“Why am I here?” Stewart asked. “When you win this many awards, you run out of people.” Stewart »
- Ramin Setoodeh
8 items from 2015
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