1-20 of 118 items from 2013 « Prev | Next »
In early December 1963, only a couple of weeks after the Kennedy assassination, Stanley Donen's Charade opened at Radio City, Manhattan. According to Tom Wolfe, at 6am on a freezing December morning the crowds were already lining up down 50th Street and 6th Avenue to make sure they secured a seat. During "the dark days" after JFK's death, Charade offered Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn (the two most attractive people ever to appear on screen?) a Henry Mancini score, Givenchy dresses, suspense, glamour and Paris. In the midst of the dislocation and strangeness produced by JFK's assassination, it must have seemed one of the few signs that life was proceeding as normal; the world may have become strange, »
- Michael Newton
Veteran character actor Jon Gries is best known for his gut-busting portrayal of Uncle Rico, he of the orange van and dashed dreams of high school football glory, in the 2004 cult gem Napoleon Dynamite. Jon Gries is also recognizable as Roger Linus on Lost, but the actor has been kicking around in Hollywood for decades, ever since he appeared in 1969 at age 11 opposite Charlton Heston in Will Penny, a western directed by his father Tom Gries. Some of Jon’s other films include Monster Squad (1978), Get Shorty (1995), and Taken (2008). Jon is also an accomplished musician, having composed songs for the films Twin Falls Idaho (1999) and The Big Empty (2003). In 2010, after directing several music videos, Jon tried his hand at directing a feature and the result was the acclaimed redneck road comedy Pickin’ & Grinning’.
Now Jon has teamed up with writer Derek Walker for Another Man’S Gun, »
- Tom Stockman
"Scarface" co-star Steven Bauer recalled a decade ago that, during the 1983 premiere for the over-the-top epic of the rise and fall of a violent, foul-mouthed, cocaine kingpin, Martin Scorsese turned to him and said, "You guys are great -- but be prepared, because they're going to hate it in Hollywood" Bauer said he asked why, and that Scorsese replied, "Because it's about them."
Thirty years after the release of "Scarface" (on December 9, 1983), Brian De Palma's glitzy, coke-fueled tale of Cuban immigrant druglord Tony Montana now seems like a landmark of '80s cinema. It provided major early career breaks for a number of stars, from Michelle Pfeiffer to Bauer to F. Murray Abraham, as well as for screenwriter Oliver Stone. Along with fellow gangster Michael Corleone of the "Godfather" trilogy, Tony Montana is the role Al Pacino is most likely to be remembered for. And of course, the movie »
- Gary Susman
The expanding network of online streaming services means there are more ways than ever before for busy/idle/agoraphobic film lovers to see recent releases, but fans of vintage cinema are still rather poorly served. Most outlets offer a small, often arbitrary selection of older standards that are useful for beginners; those in search of more niche classics, however, are still reliant on DVD. Here's where the warren-like world of online archiving comes into play. You'd be amazed how many gems are lurking, albeit in grainy and segmented form, on YouTube, but if that seems too great an affront to cinema, the long-serving, simply named Internet Archive (archive.org/movies) is a better bet.
A non-profit-making Us site run much like an online library, »
- Guy Lodge
In honor of the month-long retrospective of the films of the great Barbara Stanwyck starting today at Film Forum in New York, I thought I’d select my favorite Stanwyck posters. Brooklyn-born Ruby Catherine Stevens made 85 films over 37 years in Hollywood so there is an awful lot to choose from. But the remarkable thing about looking back at these posters is how artists seemed to have had a hard time capturing her likeness. The poster for one of her earliest films, Capra’s 1932 Forbidden, above, captures her beautifully, but the poster for Stella Dallas (1937), her first Oscar-nominated role (she never won, shockingly), seems to be of a different actress entirely. As for the sexed-up illustration on the flyer for The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933), in that she looks more like Jean Harlow. Some of my favorite posters for her films are the Swedish and Danish designs, »
- Adrian Curry
Written and directed by Hong Sang-soo
South Korea, 2010
Canonical directors such as Stanley Kubrick and Howard Hawks are easy to laud and credit as masterful filmmakers. Even those new to film can understand their inclusion in the pantheon by looking at the breadth of thematic material they covered, often switching from one genre to another throughout the years without much hint of waning talent. The ability for a director’s signature to stand out no matter the working material was the spark of the American auteurism debate — Kubrick, Hawks, and a legion of other legendary figures posthumously adorn themselves with the title from their thematic eclecticism. If this is a talent to be valued and pronounced as exemplified filmmaking, then what of a figure who not only works within the same genre, but seems to be remaking the same film over and over?
Hong Sang-soo’s love »
- Zach Lewis
Welcome to Holiday Favorites, a series in which Slackerwood contributors and our friends talk about the movies we watch during the holiday season, holiday-related or otherwise.
This installment comes from Alvaro Rodriguez, who's cowriting El Rey cable show From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series and who's been my favorite Austin Film Festival panelist. Here's his pick, which is also a favorite of Jette and Elizabeth:
Ball of Fire (1941), directed by Howard Hawks, with screenwriters Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder. Slough off the winter doldrums with a classic comedy, whydoncha? Surely one of the greats in so many genres, Barbara Stanwyck makes words sexy in Howard Hawks' Ball of Fire, a jazzy update of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and one of my favorite go-to holiday flicks. Here, Babs is Sugarpuss O'Shea (oh, hell, yes), a nightclub artiste who hides out from the mob in a house full of »
- Debbie Cerda
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 »
Sure, the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving holiday is that big, glorious meal — a sacred tradition that shouldn’t, nay, mustn’t be sullied by glowing rectangles bearing texts or emails or live television programming. But what about after the tryptophan sets in, leaving you and your family tired, sluggish, and yearning for entertainment — long before the Steelers/Ravens game begins at 8:30 p.m. Et? For that matter, which of the Internet’s zillions of entertainment options should you turn to throughout the rest of the weekend?
Well, that’s where your friends at EW come in. Whether you’ll be juggling restless kids, »
- Hillary Busis
Written and directed by John Carpenter
With his filmmaking career beginning in the midst of the new Hollywood and its touchstones in American film history, it’s perhaps easy to see why the work of John Carpenter has been somewhat overshadowed by more celebrated filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, or Francis Ford Coppola. He found a niche in the horror genre with the landmark Halloween, and he proceeded to make one idiosyncratic, wholly original, and generally skillful film after another. Some were rather uneven, particularly in recent years, but for every Memoirs of an Invisible Man, there has been The Fog, Escape from New York, The Thing, or They Live. Carpenter’s list of credits boasts some exceptional work — inventive, daring, visually, and technically creative — but amongst these titles, one film stands out as a favorite of many cinephiles in general and Carpenter fans in particular. »
- Jeremy Carr
David Thomson's book of his favourite film moments is highly subjective and full of wit and insight
Born in London in 1941, resident in America since the early 1970s, David Thomson has been one of the liveliest, most literate, productive, provocative and daring movie critics for more than 40 years, his books ranging from a definitive biography of David O Selznick to an intrusively speculative monograph on Nicole Kidman. He has studied whole careers, single films and now he's down to choosing single key moments.
This would have pleased the gloriously named John Bickerson "Binx" Bolling, narrator of The Moviegoer, Walker Percy's philosophical novel that won the 1962 Us National Book award. Binx is a laid-back Louisiana stockbroker from old New Orleans money, and is, he says, "quite happy in a movie, even a bad movie". In fact, movies are more memorable to him than so-called real life. "Other people," he observes, »
- Philip French
Odd List Simon Brew 15 Nov 2013 - 07:08
Lots of films are dedicated to, or in memory of someone. But it's not always clear why. We've been finding out...
Back when Breaking Bad returned for its final batch of episodes in August 2013, it had a dedication at the end of it. The card read 'Dedicated to our friend Kevin Cordasco'. As it turned out, Kevin Cordasco was a 16-year old who had been battling cancer for seven years, who had met both Bryan Cranston and Vince Gilligan. Cordasco died before he could ever get to see the episode dedicated to him.
I found this such a moving story, that it got me wondering about the dedications that appear on films, and what the story behind them was. After all, the dedications are there for a reason. What I uncovered was some funny stories, mainly extremely sad ones, and some extremely moving dedications. »
It's the most all-American of film genres, filled with he-men and black hats. But the western has given us some great movies: the Guardian and Observer's critics pick the 10 best
• Top 10 crime movies
• Top 10 arthouse movies
• Top 10 family movies
• Top 10 war movies
• Top 10 teen movies
• Top 10 superhero movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
10. Rancho Notorious
Like Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang moved effortlessly between genres; his "western period" scattered throughout his "urban crime" and "film noir" periods. Even now, 60 years on, Rancho Notorious remains one of the strangest westerns ever made, furthering Lang's fascination (obsession?) with retribution, which arguably started with the 1936 lynch-mob drama Fury, his first film as a German émigré in the Us.
Perversely, although the protagonist is the wronged Vern (Arthur Kennedy), whose fiancee has been raped and killed by bandits unknown, Lang's film - which, as we are constantly reminded by its theme song, tells a tale of "hate, »
It’s that wonderful, frightful, cool and creepy time of year again, when everything including the leaves on the trees are dying and our taste buds are craving sugary sweets and pies made from the guts of our jack-o-lanterns. It’s October, which means Halloween is nearly upon us! Get you costumes completed, your home haunts constructed and your candy collected for trick’r treaters, because you have to make time to watch some of the scariest movies this time of year.
In an effort to assist you in your cinematic scare-fest, we’ve come up with a list of the scariest movies to watch on Halloween… with one caveat. We have excluded virtually all “slasher” flicks. Why? Well, let’s just say we all know them, we all love them on some level, but really… don’t we all want something more in our scary movies? In honor of »
- Movie Geeks
The work of Wes Anderson has been dividing critics for years, ever since his short film, “Bottle Rocket” (later expanded into a feature), played Sundance in 1994, and announced the presence of a unique new voice in the indie world, as well as calling attention to a hotbed of talent in Austin, Texas. But despite his detractors, who fault him mainly for his fastidious attention to production and costume design at the expense of dramatic engagement, Anderson’s films have been casting a spell on the media’s most influential voices for years. In reviewing Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom,” one naysayer, the notoriously cranky Rex Reed of the New York Observer, asked huffily: “What is it with this guy and his awful movies masquerading as ‘original ideas’ that turns otherwise sensible critics into slobbering groupies?”
- Steve Chagollan
With Halloween in the air, we thought it would be fun to reach out to the horror genre's biggest and brightest stars - both legends in the industry and up-and-coming superstars - to ask them two quick questions: What's your biggest fear, and what's your favorite scary movie? Read on for the results!
Some of the results will make you laugh. Some will make you shiver... and some, well some are just too funny for words. Sit back and get ready to hear from the likes of Anne Rice, John Carpenter, Robert Englund, the "Ghost Adventures" crew, cast members from "The Walking Dead," George A. Romero, and many - Many - more. Who knows? You may even find some new movies you should check out or at least revisit.
Let the scares begin!
1) I »
- Uncle Creepy
★★★☆☆Before 1948's Red River, Howard Hawks had already made half a dozen classics including Scarface, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday and The Big Sleep. A decade later, Hawks would direct one of the great westerns - Rio Bravo (1959). Whilst Red River isn't quite of the same calibre as these other works, it's certainly not without its charms. A prologue shows Thomas Dunson (John Wayne) founding his Texas ranch alongside his trusted companion Groot (Walter Brennan) and young orphan Matt Garth. As Dunson describes his plans for expansion, a montage takes us forward another 14 years.
- CineVue UK
Director: Howard Hawks
Running Time: 133 minutes
Extras: New high-definition1080p presentation, original theatrical trailer, exclusive lengthy video conversation about Red River and Howard Hawks by filmmaker and critic Dan Sallitt, conducted by Jaime Christley, and shot by Dustin Guy Defa and James P. Gannon.
John Wayne plays Tom Dunson, a Texan who abandons a wagon train in 1851 to make a future as a ranch owner with his longterm trailhand Nadine Groot (Walter Brennan). However, Tom learns that the love he left behind has been killed in an Indian raid and adopts the only survivor, young Matthew Garth (played as an adult by Montgomery Clift). However, whilst travelling to the Red River, the men have an argument that causes Matthew to redirect the herd and forces Tom to swear vengeance on his adopted son.
- Ellen Daniels
(Howard Hawks, 1948; Eureka!, U)
The first of Howard Hawks's five westerns, Red River is the epic story of a post-civil war cattle drive up the Chisholm trail. It's alandmark filmthat brought a new psychological complexity to the genre and gave John Wayne the first truly challenging role of his career. Anticipating his unsympathetic Ethan Edwards in The Searchers, Wayne plays Tom Dunson, a middle-aged Texas land baron acting with equal ruthlessness whether dealing with his Mexican neighbours in Texas or the hired hands he employs on the hazardous journey to a railhead up north.
The film introduced to the screen Montgomery Clift, one of the greatest American actors of his time, as Matt Garth, Dunson's quiet, gentlemanly adopted son. He revolts against his increasingly brutal father halfway through the journey and takes the herd on a different, less dangerous route. The film is a transposition to the American west of Mutiny on the Bounty, »
- Philip French
Feature Ryan Lambie 21 Oct 2013 - 07:15
It's the spring of 1978, and John Carpenter's in the midst of a risky decision. He's reached the 20th and final day of shooting on Halloween, and has a final few hours to compose what will become the movie's opening sequence: a point-of-view shot where we're introduced to the young Michael Myers, aged six. But rather than make things easy on himself by shooting the scene as simply as possible, he's decided to film it as one, unbroken sequence, with as few edits as he can get away with - an atmosphere-building bit of camera trickery inspired by Orson Welles' Touch Of Evil.
The shot requires camera operator Ray Stella to creep around the old house (hurriedly redecorated by cast and »
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