10 items from 2015
A while back we posted a vintage half-hour documentary about the great cinematographer John Alcott. For Kubrick fans reluctant to commit to that whole program, here’s an excerpt in which Shelley Duvall talks about the director’s use of the 18mm lens on The Shining. The lens is great for furniture but terrible for faces, she says, speculating that Kubrick was trying to make everybody look more frightening. In her telling, Alcott tried to get Kubrick to occasionally relent and use a 50 or 75mm lens, but with no success. »
- Filmmaker Staff
The latest battle saw two brave ladies moving beyond their fear in order to overcome their respective mazes both of their mind and their physical being to ultimately survive. But as they took to the ring to defend these hardfought triumphs one of them had to fall. Im sad to say that Ms. Shelley Duvall The Shinings Wendy Torrance will fight no more. However moving onto the semifinals is disc jockey Stretch (Caroline Williams) of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. Well see her soon up against an as of yet unknown foe. She fought valiantly and in the end her wit determination and flexibility (ahem) paid off See you soon Ms. Williams Final votes Williams 72 Duvall 38 »
Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson on the Oscars' Red Carpet Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson at the Academy Awards Eli Wallach and wife Anne Jackson are seen above arriving at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, held on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The 95-year-old Wallach had received an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in November 2010. See also: "Doris Day Inexplicably Snubbed by Academy," "Maureen O'Hara Honorary Oscar," "Honorary Oscars: Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo Among Rare Women Recipients," and "Hayao Miyazaki Getting Honorary Oscar." Delayed film debut The Actors Studio-trained Eli Wallach was to have made his film debut in Fred Zinnemann's Academy Award-winning 1953 blockbuster From Here to Eternity. Ultimately, however, Frank Sinatra – then a has-been following a string of box office duds – was cast for a pittance, getting beaten to a pulp by a pre-stardom Ernest Borgnine. For his bloodied efforts, Sinatra went on »
- D. Zhea
Jennifer Kent’s disturbing directorial debut The Babadook arrives on Blu-ray this week, scoring some of the most critically acclaimed notices ever for a recent psychological horror film. With The Exorcist director William Friedkin’s glowing praise splashed over the front and back cover, proclaiming that he has “never seen a more terrifying film,” and that it will “scare the hell out of you as it did me,” (horror master Stephen King also submits his stamp of approval), Kent’s film has reached a level of unprecedented cultural saturation since premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Though pulling in a surprisingly paltry sum at the domestic box office in Australia, foreign markets embraced the film, including in France, the UK, and the Us, bringing its worldwide box office to just under five million.
Satisfying genre films are generally few and far between these days, so it’s with absolute delight »
- Nicholas Bell
Hollywood is not exactly a warm and fuzzy place where everyone gets along like best friends. That’s why so many film sets are hotbeds for drama. But no drama is more intense than the art-infused feuds between actor and director, because Art!
Here are some of the biggest and best actor-director fights in film history.
Let’s start with the most recent. After Mo’Nique won an Oscar for her role in Precious, she says Daniels told her she was blackballed for not playing the Hollywood game. Then recently she announced that she’d been offered roles in both The Butler and Empire, but never heard anything more until she learned Oprah and Taraji P. Henson were respectively playing what she’d been led to believe were her roles. Despite the struggles, Mo’Nique says she “could work with Lee Daniels tomorrow.”
- Courtney Enlow
Sad news for anyone eagerly anticipating the CGI animated Popeye movie that was being planned at Sony. Director Genndy Tartakovsky, best known for his Samurai Jack TV show and the 2012 hit Hotel Transylvania, is no longer with the project. Not only that, it may no longer be happening at Sony.
Genndy Tartakovsky's next project is Hotel Transylvania 2, which comes to theaters this fall. The first teaser trailer was released earlier in the week, with Moviefone speaking to the director. Even though an animation test for Popeye was met with enthusiasm, the recent regime change at Sony has seen production on the high seas adventure come to a halt. He explains:
"Popeye we put up a great screening, everybody really liked that sizzle, we got a positive reaction. I was in love with what we were doing, but I think the studio is going through changes and I don't »
Editor's Note: RogerEbert.com is proud to reprint Roger Ebert's 1978 entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica publication "The Great Ideas Today," part of "The Great Books of the Western World." Reprinted with permission from The Great Ideas Today ©1978 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
It's a measure of how completely the Internet has transformed communication that I need to explain, for the benefit of some younger readers, what encyclopedias were: bound editions summing up all available knowledge, delivered to one's home in handsome bound editions. The "Great Books" series zeroed in on books about history, poetry, natural science, math and other fields of study; the "Great Ideas" series was meant to tie all the ideas together, and that was the mission given to Roger when he undertook this piece about film.
Given the venue he was writing for, it's probably wisest to look at Roger's long, wide-ranging piece as a snapshot of the »
- Roger Ebert
Director: Robert Altman Writers: Arthur Kopit (play Indians), Alan Rudolph (screenplay), Robert Altman (screenplay) Starring: Paul Newman, Joel Grey, Kevin McCarthy, Harvey Keitel, Allan F. Nicholls, Geraldine Chaplin, John Considine, Robert DoQui, Denver Pyle, Frank Kaquitts, Will Sampson, Pat McCormick, Shelley Duvall, Burt Lancaster Thanks to Kino Lorber Studio Classics, there’s now an excuse to revisit a film you […] »
- Linc Leifeste
Paddington is an instant family classic, and will likely defy the expectations of those expecting another live-action CGI hybrid such as Scooby Doo, The Smurfs or Yogi Bear. Director Paul King is able to take the story of a young Peruvian bear known worldwide, and turn it into a unique and charming experience unlike anything seen before. It truly is a special little film, and it will surely continue to find an audience well after it leaves theaters. Its the type of movie that is impossible to hate on any level.
The movie follows Paddington as he travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined, until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. »
Paul Thomas Anderson learned to make movies by watching movies. Each of his films bears the ghostly fingerprints of his masters and mentors: the obsession and one-point perspective of Kubrick; the tough-guy veneers and fetid societies that sated the first decade of Scorsese’s career; the intense meditative stares of Jonathan Demme, constantly reminding us that we are, of course, watching a film—we’re immersed in it, but we are spectators, non-participants, in the hands of an artist. Anderson has never created voyeuristic or naturalistic films, never approached Cinéma vérité, and he’s never tried to feign an amateur aesthetic. He crafts films indebted to the grand ambience of New Hollywood, rendered unnaturally lucid and diligently composed. To watch one of Anderson’s films is to get a condensed lesson on the artisanship and history of American cinema.
But Anderson’s most obvious early influence—one he has name-checked, »
- Greg Cwik
10 items from 2015
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