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Tootsie, The Godfather, A Woman Under the Influence, Cinema Paradiso, To Kill a Mockingbird, Annie Hall and Boogie Nights make the top ten in a new poll of actors asked to name the best movies of all time. Writing for the Daily Beast, Nick Schager argues that "there may be no greater pairing" of director and actor right now than that of Christian Petzold and Nina Hoss. Also in today's roundup: Tom Cruise Week at Grantland, Christopher Nolan new short on Stephen Quay and Timothy Quay, a Vittorio De Sica season, the latest on what Richard Linklater's up to—and more. » - David Hudson »
Four Way Stop screens Thursday, July 23 at 7:15pm at The Tivoli Theater as part of this year’s St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcase. Ticket information can be found Here
Writer/director Efi da Silva’s Four Way Stop tells the story if Allen (Paul Craig), a 17-year-old inner-city African-American desperately trying to improve his life but he lacks essential support from family: His absent father is a needy drug addict, and his seriously ill mother offers only relentless criticism. Although offered illegal work by childhood friend Tay, Allen resists the lure of the street and instead seeks legitimate employment. But in his hunt for a better job, Allen ends up jeopardizing his current fast-food position by chronically arriving late or simply failing to show. Legitimately angry at the racism he confronts and the limited options he’s given, Allen all too often engages in self-sabotage, thwarting his attempts to do the right thing. »
- Tom Stockman
Continued from this article
Part I. Denazifying Leni
After World War II, Leni Riefenstahl couldn’t escape the Fuhrer’s shadow. Arrested first by American, then French troops, her property and money seized, she endured interrogations about her ties to the regime. Riefenstahl argued she’d been coerced into making propaganda and wasn’t aware of Nazi atrocities. The image stuck: three denazification tribunals acquitted her (one cautiously branding her a “fellow traveler”), and Riefenstahl began the road to rehabilitation.
More diligent investigators challenged her self-portrait. In 1946, American journalist Budd Schulberg interviewed Riefenstahl for the Saturday Evening Post. Riefenstahl claimed she didn’t know about Nazi concentration camps. Later, asked why she made Triumph of the Will, Riefenstahl claimed Joseph Goebbels threatened her with a concentration camp. Disgusted with Riefenstahl’s self-serving contradictions, Schulberg labeled her a “Nazi Pin-Up Girl.”
Then the German tabloid Revue published a damning article in »
- Christopher Saunders
With Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) now screening in New York, London and other cities, the Independent has posted Martin Scorsese's thoughts on the classic—and on Reed, "a wonderful film artist." At Hyperallergic, John Yau writes about collages by John Ashbery and Guy Maddin. Curator Ed Halter considers the films of William Klein. Calum Marsh previews the Vittorio De Sica retrospective in Toronto. This week, London's Close-Up will re-open with a series of six films by John Cassavetes. And in the London Review of Books, Michael Wood writes about Bob Hoskins in John Mackenzie's The Long Good Friday. » - David Hudson »
Richard Gere has enjoyed — and is still enjoying — the sort of hugely successful, long, eclectic career that nearly every actor would kill for. Gere started gathering serious attention in Terrence Malick’s “Days of Heaven” in 1978, but it was his role as the titular “American Gigolo” in Paul Schrader’s now-iconic 1980 film that vaulted him to Hollywood stardom. He went on to sweep Debra Winger off her feet in “An Officer and a Gentleman,” and saved Julia Roberts from a life of prostitution in “Pretty Woman” (reteaming later with Roberts on “Runaway Bride”). Gere tackled song and dance with “The Cotton Club” and “Chicago,” danced around the law as a corrupt cop in “Internal Affairs” and donned armor as Lancelot in “First Knight.” More recently, he’s walked on the seamier side of Wall Street (“Arbitrage”) and stayed over at “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
The Karlovy Vary Intl. »
- Iain Blair
'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are »
- Andre Soares
Inspired by Vittorio De Sica's 1948 drama "The Bicycle Thief," director Donald Mugisha's "The Boda Boda Thieves" gives a vivid look into the life of a Ugandan teen on a mission to save his family's livelihood. Produced through the Pan-African filmmaking collective Yes! That's Us Films, the feature recently screened at the Seattle International Film Festival. On paper, the stories for this film and De Sica's are similar – the fate of a poor family hinges on the father's bicycle business, and when his bike is stolen it throws their world into chaos. Here, the patriarch Goodman runs a boda boda (motorbike taxi) business while his wife breaks rocks for a »
- Jai Tiggett
“So one thing from another rises ever; and in fee-simple life is given to none, but unto all mere usufruct.” – Lucretius, On the Nature of Things, Book III
The above quote was once used by great Italian documentarian Franco Piavoli to open his masterful 1982 film, The Blue Planet. In that instance, it is deftly applied to the fragility of mother nature; her various granting and reclaiming of life, but can just as easily be applied to the figures followed by Roberto Minervini, an Italian based in the United States whose acclaimed Texas Trilogy – The Passage, Low Tide and Stop the Pounding Heart – was followed up at Cannes this year by The Other Side, which shifts the director’s gaze slightly eastward to the state of Louisiana. One must assume that Minervini, despite blazing his own trail that has led him through the Philippines and Spain en route to America’s Southern states, »
- Nicholas Page
★★★★☆ There are a number of key scenes in Columbian director Franco Lolli's superb Gente de Bien (2014) - a playful title that means both 'Decent People' and 'Well-off People' - where it feels like it was written as a sequel to Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948). The setting (Bogotá) and the language (Spanish) are immaterial to the notion that the neorealist classic is this French-Colombian co-production's spiritual cousin. The story of a working-class man and his son passing through an upper-class world (thanks to a kindly employer) is a beautifully observed tale about familial estrangement, the false consciousness of the class system and reconciliation between a parent and child that barely know each other.
- CineVue UK
Neil Simon, a first-time screenwriter with three hits running on Broadway, wanted Marcello Mastroianni to play the lead in this movie-biz caper comedy, but got Peter Sellers instead, who had always wanted to work with Vittorio De Sica. De Sica brought on his writer pal Cesare Zavattini. He and Simon wrote together through interpreters, but in the end Simon worried that De Sica’s Italian editors were killing the jokes. Pretty much ignored when released, it’s now a moderately popular cult item. »
- Trailers From Hell
Susanne Bier Oscar winner 'In a Better World' director Susanne Bier Susanne Bier, whose In a Better World won the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, is seen above on the 83rd Academy Awards' Red Carpet, just outside the Kodak Theatre. The other 2011 Oscar nominees in the Best Foreign Language Film category were: Rachid Bouchareb's Outside the Law / Hors-la-loi (Algeria). Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful (Mexico). Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth (Greece). Denis Villeneuve's Incendies (Canada). As in previous years, several international favorites were left out of the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar competition. Among these were the following: Xavier Beauvois' French Academy César winner Of Gods and Men / Des hommes et des dieux (France). Semih Kaplanoglu's 2010 Berlin Film Festival winner Bal / Honey (Turkey). Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 2010 Cannes Film Festival winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives / Loong Boonmee raleuk chat (Thailand). Prior to In a Better World, »
- D. Zhea
I could tell you all sorts of things about Pather Panchali (“Song of the Little Road”) and the Apu Trilogy that you’ll no doubt have read elsewhere: that Satyajit Ray was inspired, most particularly, by Italian neo-realist cinema such as that of Vittorio De Sica, whose Ladri di biciclette or “Bicycle Thieves” — I can understand that, it’s a film that makes me weep, no matter how many times I’ve already seen it. That it was based on two works by Bengali writer Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, which Ray eventually adapted into the three films of the trilogy. That the trilogy forms a bildungsroman, a coming of age story, focusing on the life of Apu. That the film is visually beautiful but is also languorous and winding and requires patience on the part of the viewer.
I could tell you that Pather Panchali was critically acclaimed, that it won the »
- Katherine Matthews
Janus Films is bringing new restorations of Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy—tag>Pather Panchali (1955), tag>Aparajito (1956) and tag>Apur Sansar (The World of Apu, 1959)—to New York's Film Forum for a three-week run, starting today. The Trilogy will then tour the States through September. In the New York Times, Andrew Robinson, the author of three books on Ray, tells the story of the films and their maker, how the young graphic designer found a mentor in tag>Jean Renoir and inspiration in tag>Vittorio De Sica’s tag>Bicycle Thieves before completing his debut. The support of tag>John Huston was instrumental in securing a run in New York, eventually leading to a watershed screening at Cannes. We're collecting fresh raves from the critics. » - David Hudson »
Wes Anderson’s meticulous attention to design and detail in all his films, in which each frame looks like a carefully fine-tuned diorama full of colors and careful staging, has made for a plethora of charming fantasy worlds, but very few in our real world. Now however, Anderson has created a project in which he has designed a cafe/bar for a new art gallery opening this month in Milan.
Bar Luce, designed by Anderson, is located inside the Fondazione Prada in Milan, a new art gallery space commissioned by the fashion designer Prada. According to Conde Nast Traveler, who visited the cafe this week, the space is complete with “retro formica chairs in bright pastel colors, jukeboxes”, and perhaps best of all, “Steve Zissou-themed pinball machines.”
According to the Fondazione Prada’s website, Anderson retained some of the original building’s architecture, including an arched ceiling once part of »
- Brian Welk
Over the course of film history, we've seen plenty of long-time actors step behind the camera to take up their directorial ambitions. Clint Eastwood did it. Mel Gibson did it. George Clooney did it. What do these three have in commonc Well, for starters, they are all men, so there's that. Further, they are all white, but more on that later. More to the point of the article, these men all eased into their directorial careers by starring in their respective debuts, using their presence on screen to help market their talents off it. And with his feature directorial effort The Water Diviner, which hits limited theaters this week, Russell Crowe is just the most recent addition to a growing list of actors who have decided to try their hand behind the camera. Like Eastwood, Gibson, and Clooney before him, the Best Actor winner stars in his first feature as director, »
- Jordan Benesh
Rome — Italian director Vittorio De Sica’s 1971 foreign-language film Oscar winner “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” will be reissued in a digitally restored print funded by Italian fashion label Antony Morato in collaboration with Italo state film entity Istituto Luce-Cinecittà and Vogue magazine, which are world-preeming the fresh version in Rome with an international launch to follow.
Restoration of the “Finzi-Continis” film, which is based on Giorgio Bassani’s largely autobiographical novel about an aristocratic Jewish family in the beautiful Italian town of Ferrara prior to their deportation to Nazi death camps, marks the latest instance of the film and fashion worlds intersecting. A glitzy March 25 gala at Rome’s Casa del Cinema will be attended among others by De Sica family members, by actor Lino Capolicchio — who starred in the film, which also featured Dominique Sanda — and by Vogue Italy editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani.
Screenings of the Italo »
- Nick Vivarelli
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
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