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1-20 of 58 items from 2009   « Prev | Next »

Why we should give a damn about Victor Fleming

26 December 2009 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Victor Fleming directed two of the greatest films ever, The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind. Yet he has rarely been given credit for their success. As the first critical biography of him is released, Philip French reassesses the legacy of the combative and intruiging director who created film magic with Judy Garland, Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh

Seventy years ago, on 15 December 1939, one of Hollywood's most legendary movies, Gone With the Wind, a celebration of what the American South endured as a result of the Civil War, had its whites-only world premiere in Atlanta, Georgia. Its stars were there – Vivien Leigh, who played the brave, capricious, head-strong, thrice married heroine Scarlett O'Hara, and Clark Gable, Hollywood's democratically elected king, who played the handsome, pragmatic hero Rhett Butler; and also present, of course, was its producer, the "boy wonder" David O Selznick, who had been developing the film for three years, »

- Philip French

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cinemadaily | Season’s Screenings

18 December 2009 12:29 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Two bona-fide classics return to New York today for extended runs this holiday season: Carol Reed’s existential thriller “Third Man” begins a 12-day engagement at Film Forum for its 60th anniversary, while Howard Hawks’ screwball masterpiece “His Girl Friday” gets a week-long run at Bam. The A.V. Club: “A sharp, exciting thriller that beautifully captures a dispirited Europe nowhere near recovered from WWII, Carol Reed’s ‘The Third Man’ is one of … »

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Bloggers' Reviews: 2012

24 November 2009 4:51 AM, PST | Screenrush | See recent Screenrush news »

Here at Screenrush, we're all about getting voices heard. So, in the first of a series of features, we're giving you the chance to find out what's on the collective minds of the greatest bloggers the information superhighway has to offer.

This week, our friends from Movie Reviews By Captain D, Battle Royale With Cheese and Heyuguys give their verdict on Roland Emmerich's disasterific new flick, 2012...

Movie Reviews By Captain D

After the silly but fun Independence Day and bloated climate warning epic wannabe The Day After Tomorrow, Robert Emerich is back trying to destroy the planet again. In 2012, he chooses, rather than spaced out aliens or freaky weather conditions, the effect of a gigantic solar flare on the earth's core.

Click here to read on...

Battle Royale With Cheese

The end of the world - It is something that no one wants to come to pass in real »

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Farber on Film: Introduction, Part 2 (Farber and Negative Space)

18 November 2009 7:42 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Above: Manny Farber, Heiner Muller, and Jean-Luc Godard in California in the 1970s.  Photo by Wim Wenders.

The Farber equation is never simple.  That sentence is a variation on a Samuel Beckett line I've wanted to adapt for an essay, review, biography, even poem, ever since I read the original in college. As the opening sentence to his first book Beckett wrote, "The Proustian equation is never simple," and from the outset I was comforted by the promise of persistent, accelerating, perhaps eternal difficulty and puzzle.  But as over the years I repeated to myself the sentence, "The Proustian equation is never simple," at the blind start of any obstinate piece of writing, I found myself startled by Beckett's conflation of "Proustian" and "equation": his brisk juxtaposition of involuntary memory and the painstaking working through of quantities and variables.

I never found a space for the sentence because the »

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Farber on Film: Introduction, Part 4 (After Negative Space)

18 November 2009 7:36 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Above: Farber's painting A Dandy's Gesture (1977).

Farber’s 1969 Howard Hawks essay––as hinted earlier––lodges a wry double self‑portrait: as he summons his own birthplace for a joke about small‑town provincialism, his praise of the filmmaker’s mobility and speed conjures his own termite activities as a writer and painter. His film criticism is personal, even autobiographical, though of a deflected sort that edges into allegory and fever‑dream.

In A Dandy's Gesture (1977), one of Farber’s two “auteur” paintings focused on Hawks, he glances at––often through toys and miniatures––images from the director’s films: a plane crashed into a chocolate candy mountain, from Only Angels Have Wings; a tiger, from Bringing Up Baby; an elephant, from Hatari; a boat, from To Have and Have Not; and newspaper layout pages, from His Girl Friday, with gangster Johnny Lovo (from Scarface) in the headline. But following the »

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Holiday Preview: A Repertory Calendar

3 November 2009 1:01 PM, PST | | See recent IFC news »

Tim Burton invades New York, New Italian Cinema hits Los Angeles, Harold and Kumar spread holiday cheer in Austin and everywhere you look, they're celebrating All Tomorrow's Parties -- just some of the holiday film fun you can have this winter at your local repertory theater.

More Holiday Preview: [Theatrical Calendar]

[Repertory Calendar] [Anywhere But a Movie Theater]

New York


In November, the 92YTribeca Screening Room will have some special guests in the house when it hosts the already sold out "A Conversation with Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman" on November 10th, with the two longtime collaborators discussing their latest film "Fantastic Mr. Fox." But tickets are still available for the night before (Nov. 9th), when actor Ben Foster and director Oren Moverman will screen their acclaimed new post-war drama "The Messenger". Much of the rest of the month is devoted to Cinema Tropical's Ten Years of New Argentine Cinema series with screenings of Adrián Caetano's immigration »

- Stephen Saito

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Free Flick of the Day: His Girl Friday

31 October 2009 3:02 PM, PDT | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

By now, you've had your fill of ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night. You've cleaned up pumpkin guts, peeled off your skin along with your spirit gum prosthetics, hoping OxyClean gets fake blood stains out of your carpet. You need a movie with class, wit, and Cary Grant. You need Howard Hawks' classic His Girl Friday, which is playing right now on SlashControl.

There's nothing I can say about this movie that hasn't already been said. Rosalind Russell's Hildegard "Hildy" Johnson remains one of the gutsiest heroines to ever grace the silver screen, and the fact that Cary Grant's Walter Burns loves her for her byline makes him one of the sexiest men of all time. The romance, the scheming, and the race to the presses will still leave you dizzy and laughing. Oh, and let's not forget the clothes. Oh, to spend »

- Elisabeth Rappe

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Topics/Questions/Exercises Of The Week—23 October 2009

23 October 2009 10:03 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

But Not Me Baby, I'm Too Precious, I Hadda...: Oscar blogger and World's Biggest Sunrise Fan Tom O'Neil is perturbed that Precious (Full title: Precious Based On The Novel "The Charterhouse Of Parma" By Stendhal, oh sorry, Precious Based On The Novel "Push" By Sapphire) didn't get nominated for a Gotham award this year. And he knows who's to blame: "is this just one of those ridiculous, irrelevant side shows we should all just ignore because it's a fluke — a case of huffy film critics acting stubbornly against a popular trend when permitted to decide the nominees of an awards group?"

I know, right? Effing film critics and their huffiness and their effing refusal to go along with a popular trend. What's up with that? For more of O'Neil's critic-hating, check here. As a Snob and a Bad Person, I have to admit: part of me is hoping that »

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Alexandra Sokoloff ('The Unseen', 'The Harrowing')

27 September 2009 5:55 PM, PDT | Planet Fury | See recent Planet Fury news »

By Alan Kelly

Alexandra Sokoloff is a screen-writer well established in California writing novel adaptations (like the thriller Cold Kisses) for various Hollywood studios like Sony, Miramax and Disney. A graduate of Uc Berkeley where she majored in theatre and minored in just about everything else. Sokoloff has had three extremely well-received novels published: The Harrowing, The Price and The Unseen and is collaborating on a vampire trilogy with Heather Graham and Deborah Leblanc, which is due out next year...

Sokoloff explores themes of loss, loneliness, things that may be at the edge of our awareness or merely manufactured traumas created by the unnerving worlds her characters inhabit, plunging her readers into terrifying occult realms. Her novels are slices of supernatural realism which are fast, punchy, clever and chock-full of creepy intrigue.

Structure seems very important to you. Do you map your novels out before beginning; I ask this because »

- Superheidi

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400 Screens, 400 Blows - The Best of the Best

27 September 2009 7:02 AM, PDT | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

Recently, my uncle -- a film buff to put most other film buffs to shame -- sent me a clipping from the Seattle Times, in which critic John Hartl celebrated the greatest movie year of all time. Not 1939, as is generally accepted, but 1959. And I have to agree with him. It was an amazing time when the old Hollywood guard was winding down and creating their final masterpieces, new upstarts were coming in with fresh new films and the most outrageously artistic of European cinema was getting released (and being watched) in America. Not taking into account any weird release patterns -- such as the fact that Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries (1957) was released here in 1959 -- and based on the IMDb's list of 1959 movies, here's my top ten list for that great year.

1. Rio Bravo. On most days, this is my favorite Western, with its combination of breathless suspense »

- Jeffrey M. Anderson

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To Have and Have Not: Carmichael and Bacall Sing Am I Blue?

26 September 2009 6:27 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The 1944 war-time romance To Have and Have Not marked Lauren “Betty” Bacall’s first movie (she was 19). Discovered by director Howard Hawks’ wife Slim on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, Bacall met Hawks and after she got the part (as “Slim”), her future husband, Humphrey Bogart, busting up his third marriage. Contrary to legend—that Andy Williams sang for her in the movie—Bacall did her own singing. Here she joins in … »

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Steven Soderbergh: He keeps working, and changing, to stay fresh

9 September 2009 3:58 PM, PDT | - The Movie Critics | See recent - The Movie Critics news »

I have yet to see Steven Soderbergh’s new movie, The Informant! (it opens next week), but I can hardly wait to see it -- and that's how I feel, more or less, every time his name is on the credits. Whatever you end up thinking of a Soderbergh film, you can always bet that he's bending himself in a new direction, trying for something fresh and bold and zingy and different. Okay, okay: He did make three Ocean's films in seven years. But the first of them, Ocean's Eleven, is one of his most nimble, lit-from-within creations -- a perfect toy of a movie, a vision of men-at-work-as-devious-high-play that rivaled, in the cool casualness of its bonding, the films of Howard Hawks. Soderbergh himself would admit that the Ocean's franchise is something he bought into, in part, to cement his power, to win himself the right to do what »

- Owen Gleiberman

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Walter Hill: The Hollywood Interview

9 September 2009 12:07 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Interview | See recent The Hollywood Interview news »

Director Walter Hill.

Kicking Ass with Walter Hill

by Jon Zelazny

Action flicks. Two-fisted tales. Guy movies. Whatever you want to call them, writer, producer, and director Walter Hill is one of the living masters, with a resume full of classics from The Getaway (1972), to the Alien series, and the definitive eighties action-comedy blockbuster, 48 Hrs. (1982).

2009 marks the 30th anniversary of The Warriors (1979), Hill’s surreal “street gang on the run” cult classic, and his breakout success as a director.

Jon: A couple years ago, you did an audio commentary and on-camera intro for a new DVD edition of The Warriors. It was the first time I’d ever seen you; is it my imagination, or have you kept a low profile over the years?

Walter Hill: I’d never done a commentary before on one of my films. I don’t like the idea of explaining a movie; I »

- The Hollywood

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Directors We Love: Kathryn Bigelow

28 August 2009 7:02 PM, PDT | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

How would you go about programming a weeklong retrospective of Kathryn Bigelow double features? We could put the vampire movie with the futuristic sci-fi movie, and then maybe the skydiving/bankrobber movie with the biker movie. Let's see... then we could put the war movie with the submarine movie, but then the time-switching murder story would have to go with the lady cop movie. Hmm. Let me start over...

Or rather, let me just take a minute to gush about one of my favorite directors, who just now seems to be getting the praise she has long deserved for her current movie The Hurt Locker. She began her career by attending the San Francisco Art Institute and studying painting, which slowly segued into film. Her bold, painterly images can be seen to this day, throughout all her work. She has taken a tough, genre approach to filmmaking, following in the »

- Jeffrey M. Anderson

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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Horror Remakes

25 August 2009 2:14 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

In case you haven’t noticed, Hollywood loves a good remake.  New ideas don’t have to be dealt with, audiences converge on the theaters simply due to name recognition, and studios can kick back and gather up the proceeds. Horror remakes, in particular, have been a staple of the film industry for years. Recently, this trend has gotten out of hand, and, many times, the resultant film is less than desirable. There are, however, a few remakes here and there that are acceptable. Some, in fact, are even better than the original. In honor of Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween II’ hitting theaters this week, we thought it was time to look at some of these horror remakes that stand out from the crowd.

10. Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)

When thinking about horror remakes, one rarely ever goes back to the vintage, Universal, horror movies of the ’30s.  However, believe it or not, »

- Movie Geeks

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Tarantino’s 20 in 17.

18 August 2009 11:02 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

This past weekend, in order to help promote his new film Inglourious Basterds, famed director Quentin Tarantino recorder a short video for online film-news website Sky Movies ( [1]). The video shows Tarantino naming out his favorite top 20 films of the past 17 years. 17 marks a lucky number for Tarantino, as it was 17 years ago when he directed his first feature length film Reservoir Dogs (‘92). Starting out with a budget of only $30,000, Reservoir Dogs went on to become a cult phenomenon for younger generation filmmakers, grabbing the Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance and initially paving the road for Tarantino’s future projects. Why not celebrate with commemorating the best of favorites? Named Tarantino’s favorite, from all films released in the last 17 years, is Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale (2000). “If there has been any movie that has been made since I’ve been making movies that I wish I had made, »

- Eric

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‘The Thing’ Writer Talks Prequel

8 August 2009 10:26 AM, PDT | | See recent Screen Rant news »

The prequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing has been quietly rumbling along in development for some time now. We know that Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore penned a draft of the script and that Eric Heisserer was brought in to do a rewrite for the film which is to be directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

Heisserer has recently been doing some on-set publicity interviews for New Line Cinema’s A Nightmare on Elm Street reboot and while doing this, he gave away a few plot points as well as some information on when The Thing might start shooting.


Carpenter’s 1982 film was a “re-imagining” of the Howard Hawks-produced film The Thing From Another World from 1951. The Master of Horror’s film is set in an Antarctic research station where a shape-shifting alien kills the men stationed there one by one. Over the course of the film, »

- Niall Browne

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Free Flick Fridays: His Girl Friday

7 August 2009 1:00 AM, PDT | | See recent Tribeca Film news »

His Girl Friday Dir. Howard Hawks (1940) Travel back to a time when the news was glamorous - not an endangered species - and reporters were sexy with today's pick, His Girl Friday. Howard Hawks' nostalgic picture, based on the play The Front Page, stars the dreamy Cary Grant as Walter Burns, editor of a major Chicago newspaper. When Burns' former wife and top notch reporter, Hildy Johnson (played by four-time Oscar nominee Rosalind Russell) informs him of her pending nuptials to insurance salesman Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy, perpetual Baxter) and subsequent retirement from the paper, Burns resolves to get her to stay, whatever it takes! With his pranks and pratfalls, Burns creates a very tangled web in this charming comedy from a long-gone era. If you're hankering for Grant on the big screen, check out Bam's Cary Grant Film Festival, which has screenings until August 20. Watch the film now »

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Fall Preview: Repertory Calendar

5 August 2009 11:17 AM, PDT | | See recent IFC news »

Joe Dante presenting "The Movie Orgy" in L.A., a rare stateside appearance of Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda for a retrospective in New York and the Fantastic Fest in Austin are just a few of the events that serve as the perfect antidote for the endless stream of summertime sequels and toy-based franchises.

More Fall Preview: [Theatrical Calendar]

[Anywhere But a Movie Theater]

[Breakout Performances]

92Y Tribeca

While the 92Y Tribeca is taking a well-deserved break in August, the cinema space comes roaring back in September, beginning with hosting the Fifth Annual NYC Shorts Festival (Sept. 10-13), followed by a late night "Labyrinth" sing-along complete with trivia and a costume contest (Sept. 25-26), and a Michael Winterbottom double bill of "Code 46" and "24 Hour Party People" (Sept. 30)...In October, the 92Y Tribeca will premiere "Zombie Girl: The Movie" (Oct. 2), the doc about 12-year-old filmmaker Emily Hagins and her quest to make a zombie movie, followed by hosting the Iron »

- Stephen Saito

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The greatest movies ever made

2 August 2009 10:59 AM, PDT | | See recent Roger Ebert's Blog news »

All lists of the "greatest" movies are propaganda. They have no deeper significance. It is useless to debate them. Even more useless to quarrel with their ordering of titles: Why is this film #11 and that one only #31? The most interesting lists are those by one person: What are Scorsese's favorites, or Herzog's? The least interesting are those by large-scale voting, for example by IMDb or movie magazines. The most respected poll, the only one I participate in, is the vote taken every 10 years by Sight & Sound, the British film magazine, which asks a large number of filmmakers, writers, critics, scholars, archivists and film festival directors.

1. The Night of the Hunter, 1955

That one at least has taken on a canonical aspect. The list evolves slowly. Keaton rises, Chaplin falls. It is eventually decided that "Vertigo" is Hitchcock's finest film. Ozu cracks the top ten. Every ten years the net is thrown out again. »

- Roger Ebert

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