18 items from 2010
Dec 29, 2010
Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, which has won wide and continued acceptance from the time of its release, has come to be considered one of the screen's great masterpieces of black comedy. Yet Kubrick had originally planned the film as a serious adaptation of Peter George's Red Alert, a novel concerned with the demented General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) and his decision to order a group of B-52 bombers to launch an attack inside Russia. Gradually Kubrick's attitude toward his material changed: "My idea of doing it as a nightmare comedy came in the ...Read more at MovieRetriever.com »
Craig here with a quick pre-Xmas wrap-up of season #1 of Take Three. If you have a very short memory, that'd be the Sunday Film Experience series which looked at three notable performances from a supporting or character actor's work.
The Big Cs: Considine, Cartwright, Cheadle
Last week’s actor Paddy Considine was the last Take Three for a spell (it's seasonal shenanigans, then everything Oscar here at The Film Experience). We began all the way back in May with Veronica Cartwright. All 29 Take Threes have been a pleasure to write. I've often found new admiration for the actors featured. It's fascinating what a spot of research and a few rewatches can do: who knew that I’d come to realise how much of a Peter Lorre fan I was had I not written about a trio of his perfs.
I veered from the strict definition of what constitutes a character »
- Craig Bloomfield
Measured against the guidelines for creating good drama as articulated by Aristotle in his Poetics a few millennia ago – the earliest surviving treatise on literary theory — many of the big-budget studio releases of the last 20-30 years stand pretty feebly. While some might understandably wonder whether anything anybody wrote about good stage drama nearly 2400 years ago has any relevancy to movies today, Michael Tierno, a one-time story analyst for Miramax Pictures, says – firmly — yes. Taking it a step further, Tierno maintains the Greek philosopher’s tenets of dramaturgy have held first playwrights, then screen scenarists and TV writers, in good stead for centuries. He set that credo down in his book, Aristotle’s Poetics for Screenwriters: Storytelling Secrets from the Greatest Mind in Western Civilization (Hyperion, 2002), applying the ancient Greek’s primordial how-to concepts to such contemporary fare as The Godfather (1972), Rocky (1976), and even the hyperkinetic, chronological juggling act of »
An elegant George Clooney exudes mystery and inner torment as a cold-hearted assassin in picturesque Italy
Anton Corbijn, the Dutch portrait photographer long resident in Britain, made his directorial debut three years ago with Control, an accomplished portrait, shot in black and white, of the doomed rock musician Ian Curtis who committed suicide in 1980. His second feature, The American, is another portrait of a doomed figure, handsomely photographed by the same German cameraman, Martin Ruhe, but this time in beautiful colour.
It's a poised, self-conscious film that begins with a pre-credit sequence set around a snow-covered lake in Dalarna, the Swedish province where the painted wooden horses come from, and ends beside an idyllic stream in the mountainous Abruzzo region of central Italy. The pre-credit sequence resembles a Bond movie when a lyrical walk suddenly erupts into violence as lethal hunters ambush the hero and have the tables turned on them. »
- Philip French
Stanley Kubrick, 1964
We may think of 1964 as the year the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show or as the last year of peace before America set itself to annihilating in earnest the small Republic of North Vietnam, but it was also the year Khrushchev was overthrown and China detonated its own atomic bomb (weirdly, those two things happened on the same day). In the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination, these were things that seemed worth being terrified of.
Thankfully, Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern and Peter Sellers were on hand to make us feel better about the end of the world as we knew it, and about the psychopathic childishness of our military betters. There had been nothing in comedy like Dr Strangelove ever before. All the gods before whom the America of the stolid, paranoid 50s had genuflected – the Bomb, the Pentagon, the National Security State, the President himself, »
- John Patterson
Stanley Kubrick, 1956
With this lean black-and-white racetrack robbery thriller, Stanley Kubrick found the high style and astringent tone that would serve him for the rest of his career. Like John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (and featuring that film's lead, the rock-like Sterling Hayden), it is a forensic depiction of the planning and negotiation preceding a big hold-up, and of the treachery and violence that ensue.
Shot in a taut, quasi-documentary style, and evincing not one ounce of sentimentality, the movie features a cast of seasoned B-movie gargoyles. These include Timothy Carey's racist sniper (who shoots the favourite horse mid-race), Jay C Flippen and Elisha Cook Jr's sleazebag co-conspirators, and noir staple Marie Windsor as the perfidious moll who sends the whole caper spiralling into internecine slaughter. The presence of legendary pulp scribbler Jim Thompson as co-screenwriter probably ensured this level of coruscating cynicism and brute realism, and the »
- John Patterson
The IMDb250. A list of the top 250 films as ranked by the users of the biggest Internet movie site on the web. It is based upon the ratings provided by the users of the Internet Movie Database, which number into the millions. As such, it’s a perfect representation of the opinions of the movie masses, and arguably the most comprehensive ranking system on the Internet.
It’s because of this that we at HeyUGuys (and in this case we is myself and Barry) have decided to set ourselves a project. To watch and review all 250 movies on the list. We’ve frozen the list as of January 1st of this year. It’s not as simple as it sounds, we are watching them all in one year, 125 each.
This is our 38th update, my next five films watched for the project. You can find all our previous week’s updates here. »
- Gary Phillips
Legendary production designer Robert F. Boyle, who died last Aug. 2 at the age of 100, will be honored by the Art Directors Guild (Adg) Film Society and the American Cinematheque with a memorial screening of William Richert's Winter Kills (1979) on Sunday October 10, at 5:30 pm at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Winter Kills features Jeff Bridges, John Huston, Anthony Perkins, Eli Wallach, Sterling Hayden, Dorothy Malone, and Toshiro Mifune. Earlier that day, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will conduct "an invitational tribute" to Boyle in the lobby of its Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Based on Richard Condon's novel, Winter Kills revolves around the encounter between the son of an assassinated U.S. president and a dying man who claims to be the killer. Sets were built at the MGM Studios, in addition to location shooting in Manhattan, various sections of Los Angeles County, and the »
- Andre Soares
Trevor Hogg profiles the career of legendary Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg in the second of a five part feature... read part one here.
In an effort to gain access to their son, Ila Fae Holiday and Robert Dent kidnapped a patrolman causing them to be pursued by a massive Texan police convoy; the 1969 incident was a media sensation and served as the inspiration for the theatrical debut of Steven Spielberg. “The Sugarland Express  is partly based on truth and partly on the wonderful cartoon imaginations of two genius writers, Hal Barwood [MacArthur] and Matthew Robbins [Mimic], with whom I collaborated,” stated the acclaimed American filmmaker. “In the true story, about 90 police cars from 11 counties, and God knows how many tank towns and four-way stops fell into this rag-tag formation. Our budget only allowed us 40 police cars, but I had to make it look like 100.” The story is reminiscent of a Hollywood classic by the legendary Billy Wilder. »
By Anthony D’Alessandro
HollywoodNews.com: Despite his good looks and accessible leading man aura, George Clooney’s canon is comprised of social outsiders and in certain cases, as in his latest hypnotic thriller “The American” — nomads.
And to Clooney’s credit as an actor, he doesn’t get bogged down by the Hollywood system whereby his credits live and die by the strength of their box office openings. Clooney is allowed to stretch as a thespian and stretch he does in Anton Corbijn’s razor-sharp thriller about a Yank assassin who hides from Swedish killers in the medieval hilltop towns of Abruzzo, Italy. Filling the screen with his steely, pensive, puppy-dog looks, Clooney’s Jack — who goes by two aliases, Edward to his Italian g.f. and “Mr. Butterfly” to everyone else — is a man of few words; his small talk literally rivaling that of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cyborg in “Terminator 2: Judgement Day. »
- Anthony D'Alessandro
As if the recent November titles weren’t enough, we now have some other films to add to our upcoming Criterion Collection wishlists.
The Criterion Collection will once again be curating the upcoming All Tomorrow’s Parties Film Screenings, in Monticello New York, this September. The event overall, will be curated by Criterion alum, Jim Jarmusch (Down by Law, Night on Earth, Stranger Than Paradise, Mystery Train). Earlier today, Atp & Criterion announced their line-up of films, and hidden among the list of epic titles that we already knew were going to be released, or are already available, were a few little verifications of rumors going around.
The line-up looks to be pretty amazing, and if I could afford the flight, I would surely head out for that weekend. Several of the new Bbs box set will be screening, as well as some other films that we’ve discussed on the »
- Ryan Gallagher
Craig here with today's Take Three
Today: Sterling Hayden
Take One & Take Two:... for Mr. Kubrick or: how I learned to stop worrying and love The Killing
Kubrick didn’t often cast actors more than once in major roles in his films. Apart from Kirk Douglas (Paths of Glory, Spartacus) and Peter Sellers (Lolita, Dr. Strangelove) I can’t think of a great many others who received a repeat Kubrick experience. That is, other than Sterling Hayden, who nabbed two great roles in The Killing (1956) and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). Hayden was the stern leader of Kubrick’s crime gang in the former, and an integral part of his military circus in the latter.
For Dr. Strangelove he was drawn out of early retirement by Kubrick to play General Jack Ripper, an ever-so-slightly insane, uber-patriotic Usaf Brigadier (bizarrely obsessed with his »
- Craig Bloomfield
Marlon Brando as Don Corleone in The Godfather This week at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation’s in Culpeper, Va.: John Cusack stars in Stephen Frears‘ comedy High Fidelity (2000), in which the owner of a Chicago record store recounts his top five breakups. Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974) will be screened on the weekend. Both films were box-office and critical hits upon their release, and both won the Best Picture Oscar. Marlon Brando, who made Academy Award history by refusing to accept his Best Actor Oscar, stars in The Godfather. Al Pacino and James Caan co-star, while the supporting cast includes Diane Keaton, Sterling Hayden, Robert Duvall, and Coppola’s sister Talia Shire. Pacino is the sole lead in The Godfather Part II, which also provides meaty roles for Keaton, Duvall, in addition to Oscar nominees (all supporting) Talia Shire, »
- Andre Soares
Batman: Under the Red Hood, the latest in Warner Home Video's DC Universe animated original films, will be released on DVD, two-disc Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray on July 27 and the DVD will also include an animated short film of Jonah Hex, with actor Thomas Jane providing the voice of this new animated character. Warner Home Video recently sent along an interview Jane did, speaking about his new voice role, and here's what he had to say.
This isn't your first run at the role of Jonah Hex, is it?
Thomas Jane: I've been a fan of the comic and the character and that whole western world. I'm glad to be voicing the role, and I actually wanted to do the live-action film. When they were casting the movie, I had »
Supporting actors aren't just those familiar faces who can steal a film. They show a way for movies to portray real life
Do you remember the film Iris? Directed by Richard Eyre, it opened in 2001, and was about the marriage between novelist Iris Murdoch, and her husband, the literary professor John Bayley. I have not seen the picture since it opened and as I try to recall it, I see three faces – Judi Dench and Kate Winslet (they played the older Iris and the younger woman), and Jim Broadbent – who was Bayley in his mature years. I think of it as a tripartite film, yet I know there was a fourth corner and a fourth actor – the young Bayley. I hope he will forgive me, but I have to check his name – of course, it was Hugh Bonneville.
Having looked the film up, here is what surprises me: Dench was nominated for best actress, »
- David Thomson
Steven Spielberg's Jaws is one of my all time favorite films. I wasn't even born yet when it came out, but it is a piece of cinematic history. This is an incredible film that still continues to blow me away every time I watch it.
Jaws was released on June 20th 1975 and it gave birth to the modern day blockbuster film. It was the first film to open in hundreds of theaters across the country at the same time, and it ended up become the most successful movie of all time until Star Wars knocked it out two years later.
Had Jaws not happened I don't think movies would have been shaped the way they have over the years. Jaws has influenced almost every aspect of filmmaking and story telling. Without Jaws, we may have never seen movies like Star Wars come to the big screen. To put things into perspective for you, »
Nothing like a good rumor to close out a Friday. Today's tantalizing but unconfirmed tidbit is that Tommy Lee Jones is circling a role in Captain America. What role? We don't know. Or, more to the point, the sources that told Ugo that this is happening don't know. It's a good idea -- hell, it's a great idea. Captain America will be a war picture to some extent, and there's got to be a Colonel or a General for which Mr. Jones would be ideally suited. You can't get a much more commanding presence without digging up Sterling Hayden. I'd love to see it (Jones...though also an exhumed Sterling) but for right now I wouldn't get your hopes up too high. »
- Russ Fischer
2010 Best Actor Academy Award-winner Jeff Bridges.
Editor’s Note: Congratulations to Jeff Bridges for finally getting his props with last night's win for "Crazy Heart"! He's now officially lost the title of "Most Underrated Actor of His Generation." In the spirit of Jeff's victory, we at The Interview thought it appropriate to share this article, which originally appeared in the July 1999 issue of Venice Magazine. Enjoy, and well-done, Jeff!
Jeff Bridges is arguably the most underrated great American actor since the late Robert Ryan. A performer of incredible range, whose myriad of characterizations over the past 30 years leave the filmgoer with a continued sense of awe and admiration, Bridges' refusal to fit a mold on-screen might be the very thing that has kept him from becoming a conventional movie star. It's also the thing that has kept his work so fascinating, and so brilliant.
- The Hollywood Interview.com
18 items from 2010
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