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Mick Garris' House of Horrors kicks off this week at Trailers from Hell, with director Garris introducing Tobe Hooper's 1982 film, "Poltergeist.""They're he-eere!" Hooper's fifth feature was his biggest to date, produced on a grand scale by co-writer Steven Spielberg the same year he made Et. Its critical and boxoffice success was undercut by persistent rumors that Spielberg had co-opted the film much like Howard Hawks did with Christian Nyby (on The Thing) and shadow-directed, a claim both filmmakers denied. The untimely deaths of several people connected with the production gave rise in some quarters to the claim the franchise was somehow "cursed". Followed by Poltergest II: The Other Side and Poltergeist III, neither of which involved Spielberg or Hooper. »
- Trailers From Hell
The Summer 2013 issue of Cineaste has hit shelves, and features interviews with Carlos Reygadas and Sarah Polley. Online you'll find the conclusion to "Film Criticism: The Next Generation" and other exclusives. The Human Rights Watch Film Festival begins tomorrow in New York. Co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the IFC center, the doc fest features acclaimed films such as The Act of Killing (pictured above) and Camp 14 – Total Control Zone (which I wrote on here). Takashi Miike is in talks to make The Outsider, his first English language film, with Tom Hardy set as the prospective lead. The film tells "an epic story set in post-World War II Japan, chronicling the life of a former American G.I. who becomes part of the Japanese yakuza."
Vulgar Auteurism is being hotly debated on Twitter, blogs and other publications. The term, which originated with Andrew Tracy and Cinema Scope, »
- Adam Cook
“...the last man that said that to me was Archie Leach just a week before he cut his throat,” says Cary Grant in “His Girl Friday.” At which a certain portion of the audience (if they caught the gag at all, so rapid fire is Howard Hawks’ movie) presumably smiled sagely to themselves. Archibald Leach, of course, was the unglamorous moniker that Grant was born with, and while by no means integral to an understanding of the plot, that knowing reference does give the remark an extra layer. A meta-textual layer, if you will, known in these po-mo times as “meta” for short, because we’re pretty much on first-name terms with the concept by now. But including the odd meta-textual quip is one thing (there is another example in the self same movie where Grant refers to the character played by Ralph Bellamy as looking “like that actor, Ralph Bellamy »
- The Playlist Staff
Simon Columb attends BFI Southbank's Rita Hayworth retrospective...
Recently, Top Gun played at The Prince Charles Cinema and, writing a review of the film, it is clear that the success of Top Gun is in the aeriel sequences of brutal, streamline fighter-jets swooping and speeding across the sky. Both Top Gun and Only Angels Have Wings were nominated for Special Effects at the Academy Awards (separated by almost 40 years) but Only Angels Have Wings still portrays flight sequences that make your jaw drop. Starring Jean Arthur, Cary Grant and - in her first major screen appearance - Rita Hayworth, Only Angels Have Wings was another success under the direction of Howard Hawks. But it is Rita Hayworth that the BFI are celebrating this month, showing a retrospective of her entire career with sold out screenings already for many of her films - and in Only Angels Have Wings she steals every scene she's in. »
- Flickering Myth
Kino Lorber’s upcoming DVD release of “Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick,” about the life of director William Wellman, is welcome for a couple of reasons. One: In the Great Filmography of American cinema, Wellman, much like Howard Hawks, is a bit like Zelig. He’s everywhere. He made perhaps The archetypal gangster picture, “Public Enemy” (1931), which not only introduced James Cagney to the screen but planted the concept of the anti-hero in a war- and Depression-weary American psyche. He made the ur-screwball comedy “Nothing Sacred” (1937) with Carole Lombard and Frederic March; he made the highly idealistic Foreign Legion adventure “Beau Geste” (1939 version). He twisted the western into politically volatile morality play with “The Ox-Bow Incident” (1943). He directed Barbara Stanwyck five times including in “Lady in Burlesque” (1943) and he made what many consider the definitive World War II film, “The Story of G.I. Joe.” Oh yeah: He won a screenplay Oscar for writing. »
- John Anderson
As Sick Boy in Trainspotting says: “one time, you’ve got it, and then you lose it, and it’s gone forever.” This particularly seems the case in regards to film directors as once they enter a rut, they seemingly can’t get out no matter what they try. Sometimes they go back to their roots, sometimes they go independent and sometimes they try something completely new, but very few directors have ever been able to resurrect their careers once they’ve had a few flops.
‘Losing it’ happens to the best of them as this list illustrates, but they’re not the only ones. Directors who are no longer with us such as Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Sergei Eisenstein, Elia Kazan and Howard Hawks all had middling conclusions to their careers. Eisenstein in particular completely regressed into conformity and his career ended so sadly considering his early work is »
- Sam Moore
Cannes, France — Director Takashi Miike says shooting an action movie in Japan is a lot harder than it looks.
His Cannes Film Festival entry "Shield of Straw" is a robust thriller about a team of police tasked with escorting a child-killer with a billion-yen bounty on his head safely across the country.
"It was extremely difficult to shoot all the scenes in Japan," he told reporters Monday. "It was impossible to close down the highways and get so many police cars on the road" – and Japan's railway operator refused to let the filmmaker shoot on its trains. Fortunately, Taiwan uses Japanese trains on its system, and was happy to oblige.
Although touched with serious themes of loyalty and duty, at heart "Shield of Straw" is an old-fashioned action flick, bursting with car chases, gunfights and explosions to rival anything from Hollywood – including a spectacular highway pileup and minutes of mayhem on a high-speed train. »
Joss Whedon Much Ado About Nothing: Oscars Outdoors film series Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing will kick off the 2013 "Oscars Outdoors" summer movie season on Wednesday, June 5 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ open-air theater in Hollywood. Much Ado About Nothing stars Amy Acker (Alias), Alexis Denisoff (How I Met Your Mother), Clark Gregg (Iron Man), Nathan Fillion (Waitress, Castle), Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods) and Sean Maher (The Playboy Club), all of whom are expected to join The Avengers director Joss Whedon for a post-screening Q&A moderated by Kcrw’s Matt Holzman. Oscars Outdoors screening films also include two upcoming releases: Morgan Neville’s documentary about backup singers, Twenty Feet from Stardom (June 6), and Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Fellow Destin Cretton’s relationship drama Short Term 12 (July 20), featuring Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2‘s Rami Malek. »
- Andre Soares
Bringing Up Bobby, 2011.
Written and Directed by Famke Janssen.
Debut films will inevitably be hindered by flaws; they are unlikely to be perfect. That said two recent directorial feature debuts, Makinov’s Come Out and Play and Ian Clark’s Brit horror The Facility, were full of promise. Look back far enough and the Soska Sisters' Dead Hooker in a Trunk and Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi were two debut films that were were rough around the edges yet equally showcased a raw creative talent that could mature with time and experience. There was a sense of inspired energy about these films, infused with an inspired vision. »
- Flickering Myth
No one will ever really accuse “H2″ or “Rob Zombie’s Halloween” of ever being a masterpiece. I mean, while they do have the vision of a man who has something to say in the horror genre, they’re not the indicators of someone who can firmly grasp what a remake is supposed to be. John Carpenter’s “The Thing” worked so well because he had source material to work off of, and re-imagined the Howard Hawks original in creative ways. Zombie’s “Halloween” movies felt like repackaged leftovers disguised as a meal. Heck, I don’t think Zombie ever grasped what filmmaking was supposed to be. His trailer for “Grindhouse” was ridiculous, especially considered about ninety-eight percent of grindhouse trailers never announced their all star line-up. Zombie, Zombie, Zombie. In “Halloween” he offers audiences a run-of-the-mill groan inducing tale of a trailer trash young teen who becomes a hulking »
- Felix Vasquez Jr.
There have been plenty of failed F Scott Fitzgerald adaptations already. Besides, who needs films based on 20s literature when their themes resonate through so much film and TV anyway?
Given the track record that film-makers of some distinction have had adapting F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, you may understand my reluctance to see Baz Luhrmann's new version. I shall need another two deep readings of the book to armour myself completely against the grievances I expect the movie will do to it.
I think Gatsby is the Great American Novel, even though it slipped out of fashion and out of print for decades (like Moby Dick and lots of Faulkner), and even though its author, no matter his achievement, is somehow assuredly not the Great American Novelist. The Great American Novel never makes for the Great American Movie. The latter rarely derives from the former. The »
- John Patterson
Written by Shane Black
Directed by Shane Black
It was only a few weeks ago that the Howard Hawks classic The Big Sleep, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, was reviewed for the purpose of this column. Certainly an amusing film, the highlight of which is the pitch perfect acting from each and every cast member. That said, what held the film back to a degree was its insistence on adhering to the spirit of the original source material insofar as it was so complex and filled to the brim with revelations and twists that the screenwriters themselves had trouble sorting it all out. Fast forward some 60 years and writer-director Shane Black, a big fan of detective and noir-inspired stories, made his debut as a director with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a story which owes a lot to the noir of yesteryear while »
- Edgar Chaput
“Walter, you’re wonderful, in a loathsome sort of way”
Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell star in one of the fastest-talking screwball comedies–make that movies–ever made. His Girl Friday is a clever script teeming with fab dialogue, delivered by a top-notch cast, and captured by one of the best directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age; Howard Hawks. You can see His Girl Friday this Saturday morning (May 10th) at St. Louis’ fabulous Hi-Pointe Theater as part of their Classic Film Series. It’s Saturday, May 10th at 10:30am at the Hi-Pointe located at 1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117.
Admission is only $5.
The second screen version of the Ben Hecht/Charles MacArthur play The Front Page, His Girl Friday changed hard-driving newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson from a man to a woman, transforming the story into a scintillating battle of the sexes. Rosalind Russell plays Hildy, about to foresake »
- Tom Stockman
I watched Scarface for the first time recently. I am of course referring to the 1983 Brian De Palma/Al Pacino version, not the old Howard Hawks flick. When people talk about Scarface, they mostly talk about a few things: say hello to my little friend, huge shootouts, mountains of cocaine, flared collars, constant f-words littered throughout, and Al Pacino’s career-defining performance as iconic character Tony Montana. It’s a film with one of the biggest fanbases of all time, and is followed by an immense reputation.
So going into it fresh was one of those times when your expectations are so high that it’s hard for a movie to possibly reach them. The great thing about a movie like Scarface though is that its credentials are well earned. It deserves the following it has. It’s a tremendously influential movie, and it’s obvious just how much of »
- Darren Ruecker
With Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake now out in cinema it seems a fine time for the sequel to Raimi’s original cult classic to be given the Blu-ray treatment. The film is actually a remake. More money and fewer production problems result a much scarier, camp follow-up that some may say even surpasses the original.
Bruce Campbell’s Ash is a legendary cult character and this sequel is the reason why. The comedic elements implanted in Ash are far more apparent here, played to emanate much more evidently than before. They’ve managed to improve on the aspects of the first by amping it up to eleven, thanks partly to a much bigger budget. As everything is set up for moments of horror, Ash is locked-and-loaded to fight back against the Deadites attacking the cabin; chainsaw in one hand, shotgun on the other. Groovy!
Ash takes his girlfriend »
- Ashley Norris
Directed by Howard Hawks
There are, arguably, two minds when it comes to intricately plotted, complex mystery stories. There may exist other, more nuanced opinions, but it feels safe to assume that most people fall into one of the following categories. First, there are those who simply do not have or, quite frankly, want to award said story their time and patience. Too many names, too many different subplots, made up alibis and in the end it often seems like much ado about, well, not a whole lot. Second are those who either genuinely enjoy trying to wrap their heads around all the large and minute details a protagonist follows in his or her quest to uncover the truth or maybe do not even invest much stock in the minutia yet still discover a level »
- Edgar Chaput
Directed by Howard Hawks
U.S.A., 1946 There are, arguably, two minds when it comes to intricately plotted, complex mystery stories. There may exist other, more nuanced opinions, but it feels safe to assume that most people fall into one of the two following categories. First, there are those who simply do not have or, quite frankly, want to award said story their time and patience. Too many names, too many different subplots, made up alibis and in the end it often seems like much ado about, well, not a whole lot. Second are those who either genuinely enjoy trying to wrap their heads around all the large and minute details a protagonist follows in his or her quest to uncover the truth or maybe do not even invest much stock in the minutia yet »
- Edgar Chaput
Feature James Clayton 19 Apr 2013 - 06:08
What if time were running backwards, and the remake of The Evil Dead actually came first? We'll let James explain this one...
Evil Dead is, according to one of its advertising posters, "The most terrifying film you will ever experience". That may be true, but perhaps not because it has brutal psychological and physical horror in a cabin in the dark woods and various other types of harrowing trauma. What might make it the most terrifying film experience is the actual experience of watching a remake of The Evil Dead - not the content we're swallowing, but the concept itself.
The poster also features the words, "A new vision from the producers of the original classic" and there are a couple of key points in that sentence if you break it down. The credibility of the 'new vision' claim can be contested, but I »
Howard Hawks' marvellous screwball comedy sees absent-minded research chemist Dr Barnaby Fulton (Cary Grant) happen upon a potion that causes anyone who takes it to act twenty years younger. It's actually concocted by an inquisitive chimp, but nobody cares about patent rights as everyone regresses to their childhood, from Barnaby's wife (Ginger Rogers) and boss (Charles Coburn) to his leggy secretary, played by a rising starlet called Marilyn Monroe. »
Quentin Tarantino once described Howard Hawks’ 1959 western Rio Bravo, starring John Wayne and Dean Martin, as a “hang out movie” because it’s a movie you watch, not just because of its artistic qualities, but also so you can spend time with the characters.
It’s one of those phrases that once you hear it you realize how many of your most beloved films could be labelled as hang out movies, ones in which the characters start to feel like old friends. The more times you watch these films, the more you know these characters, the more a part of you they become.
So, with that in mind, we’ve put together ten films that fit in with Tarantino’s casual genre-making comment. Behold, the “hang out” movies…
While the idea of hanging out with violent gangsters may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, the genius »
- Andrew Edward Davies
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