14 items from 2015
All week our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. It’s perhaps a little quaint to choose a year that I wasn’t even alive during to represent the best year of cinema. I was not there to observe how any of these films conversed with the culture around them when they were first screened. So, although I am choosing the glorious year of 1973, I am choosing not just due to a perusal of top ten lists that year—but because the films that were released that year greatly influenced how I engage with movies now, in 2015. Films speak to more than just the audiences that watch them—they speak to each other. Filmmakers inspire each other. Allusions are made. A patchwork begins. These are the movies of our lives. Having grown up with cinema in the 90s, »
- Brian Formo
The Criterion Collection has announced its new release line-up for June with five new titles set for a Blu-ray release in June.
On July 7, it will release Robert Siodmak’s The Killers (1946) and Don Siegel’s The Killers (1964). On July 14, it will release Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour, Jan Troell’s Here’s Your Life, and Carroll Ballard’s The Black Stallion. And on July 21, it will release Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.
Ernest Hemingway’s simple but gripping short tale The Killers is a model of economical storytelling. Two directors adapted it into unforgettably virile features: Robert Siodmak, in a 1946 film that helped define the noir style and launch the acting careers of Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner; and Don Siegel, in a brutal 1964 version, starring Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, and John Cassavetes, that was intended for television but deemed too »
- Scott J. Davis
John Ford's Stagecoach and The Searchers, Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo and Red River, and Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josey Wales and Unforgiven come to mind for Ben Mendelsohn, who stars with Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee in John Maclean's untamed Slow West. He has recently been seen in David Mackenzie's prison drama Starred Up with Jack O'Connell, Kevin Macdonald's treasure-hunting tale Black Sea with Jude Law, Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly with Ray Liotta, Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy and James Gandolfini and Derek Cianfrance's The Place Beyond The Pines with Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes.
When I met up with Ben the day before »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
How 'Grey Gardens' Was Restored To its Squalid Glory (And Why You Need To See It) Christmas comes but once a year...but the Criterion Collection adds new titles all the time, which is kind of like Christmas for film lovers. All films are being released on Blu-ray and DVD. See below for the latest additions, synopses courtesy of Criterion, though you'll have to wait until summer to buy them. "The Killers" (1946 and 1964) Ernest Hemingway's simple but gripping short tale "The Killers" is a model of economical storytelling. Two directors adapted it into unforgettably virile features: Robert Siodmak, in a 1946 film that helped define the noir style and launch the acting careers of Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner; and Don Siegel, in a brutal 1964 version, starring Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, and John Cassavetes, that was intended for television but deemed too violent for home audiences and released theatrically instead. »
- Elizabeth Logan
Last week, we took a look at the career of Vin Diesel, who's ridden the Fast & Furious franchise into superstar status. This week's subject is another action hero who recently joined the saga and might be getting a boost of his own. Jason Statham Jason Statham is an unabashed throwback to an earlier kind of action star. Cut from the same cloth as guys like Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin and Chuck Norris, but sporting a rough and tumble English accent that differentiates him from »
- Chris Bumbray
Directed by Menahem Golan
Based on the real life plane hijacking by Hezbollah terrorists in 1985, just a year before the film’s release, The Delta Force follows a curious path to complete its narrative. Beginning some miles away from the Iranian capital of Iran, the U.S. special forces platoon Delta Force sees its operation to rescue hostages thwarted by poor planning in Washington. Disgusted by the bureaucracy’s incompetent meddling in their affairs, Major Scott McCoy (Chuck Norris) resigns under Colonel Nick Alexander (Lee Marvin). He is very soon encouraged to return to action however, as Lebanese terrorists, led by Abdul Rafai (Robert Forster!) have taken over an American flight heading from Cairo to New York with a stop in Athens along the way. The Delta Force must concoct a way to neutralize the fanatical villains »
- Edgar Chaput
We're proud to be partnering up with the Human Rights Watch Film Festival again this year. It opens tonight in London and to celebrate we're currently showing Sara Ishaq's The Mulberry House (pictured above) in the UK—watch it now! the 74th issue of Senses of Cinema is online now, and will keep you busy with a dozen feature articles, not counting festival reports. Start with the Editor's Note and work your way to their focus on Michelangelo Antonioni and Paul Thomas Anderson.Another online journal we're very fond of, desistfilm, has a new issue as well. Among the highlights, Adrian Martin writes on "The Post-Photographic in 1951: A Secret History." The lineup for Hot Docs, the Canadian documentary film festival taking place between April 23rd and May 5th, has been announced and the details can be found here, and trailers for the films (over 80!) can be found here. »
Released in 1987, Operation Wolf not only ushered in an era of gun games, but tapped into the decade's macho action movies, Ryan writes...
Some of the biggest arcade machines of the 80s - both in terms of popularity and physical bulk - were about bringing cinematic fantasies to life. Did you have childhood dreams of taking the controls of an X-Wing like Luke Skywalker? Atari's Star Wars let you do just that. Did you want to be Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Then Sega's nausea-inducing After Burner had you covered.
But what if you wanted to be a tough military, gun-toting hero, like Sly in Rambo: First Blood Part II, Arnold in Commando, or to a lesser extent, Chuck in Missing In Action? Lots of 80s games had military themes, like Capcom's Commando (which had nothing to do with the film), Snk's Ikari Warriors or Konami's Green Beret.
The definitive military hard-man game, »
At a retrospective at New York's Film Forum, including the baroque thriller, Point Blank, the Appalachian nightmare, Deliverance, the bizarre, sci-fi adventure, Zardoz, and his epic Arthurian legend, Excalibur, Director John Boorman premiered Queen And Country, the sequel to his semi-autobiographical 1987 opus, Hope and Glory. In a short but sweet chat, Director Boorman spoke with us about the magic of Lee Marvin, directing Mifune, and wrangling the sexual tension between Merlin and Morgana Le Fay. The Lady Miz Diva: You're here for the Film Forum's retrospective of your work, but also for the premiere of your newest film, Queen and Country, the sequel to your 1987 film, Hope and Glory. What brought you back to that autobiographical story now, nearly thirty years later?John Boorman: ...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
There are roughly 900,000 tribute pieces online this week about the 1985 John Hughes film "The Breakfast Club," and I understand the motivation. If you were the right age when the film was released (I was 15 at the time), that movie felt like a lightning bolt right to the face. Hughes treated teenagers like they were actual people with complex emotional lives worthy of respect, and while that would seem to be a logical approach to writing about any character, it certainly didn't feel average when he did it. He wrote about that secret world of teenagers with what felt like laser accuracy, and he basically created an entire industry of movies that tried to tap into that same audience. So certainly, there is much to celebrate when looking back at that particular film, but when I went to look at a list of the films that came out in 1985, a year »
- Drew McWeeny
Cameos, mistakes and in-jokes. We’ve trawled the Game Of Thrones season 4 DVD commentaries for what went on behind the scenes…
Warning: contains spoilers for Game Of Thrones season 4.
If you’re a busy Game Of Thrones fan who can’t find the spare ten hours required to re-watch season four with the accompanying disc commentaries, then we have your back. Gleaned from said audio tracks provided by the cast, crew and creators George R.R. Martin, Dan Weiss and David Benioff, is the below list of nerdy facts and anecdotes about the making of season four.
Granted, skip the commentaries and you won’t experience first-hand Peter Dinklage’s rendition of Let It Go from Frozen, a stream of filthy innuendo from Lena Headey, or the general sense of awe, adoration and good-natured mockery everyone who works on the show has for everyone else (“If only you could act, Peter »
By Anjelica Oswald
With Michael Keaton winning the Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy and Eddie Redmayne winning for best actor in a drama, both men continue establishing themselves as the frontrunners in this year’s lead actor race at the Oscars.
Though not new to films, Redmayne starred in Oscar-nominated films such as Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2008) and Les Miserables (2012). His performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, however, propelled him to widespread acclaim and put him on the radar. He is one of four best actor nominees — along with Keaton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Steve Carell — to receive their first nomination this year.
For most of his career, Keaton was known for his comedic roles, such as Mr. Mom (1983) and Beetlejuice (1988), and for his turn as Batman in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). These roles earned Keaton praise and »
- Anjelica Oswald
By Don Stradley
The final image of Arthur Penn’s “Night Moves” certainly gets the movie pundits in a lather. The scene consists of Gene Hackman as private eye Harry Moseby, shot to pieces but still trying to steer his motor boat to shore. Bleeding badly from his wounds, he’s unable to reach the gears; he ends up setting the boat in a circling motion. From above, we see Harry’s boat circling aimlessly in the Gulf Stream. This scene, which brings the film to a finish, has been described as a metaphor for many things, including America’s lost identity after the Watergate era, to Moseby’s own fruitless search for the truth, to Penn’s own floundering career. To me, it always looks like the boat is going down a drain (or a toilet). It’s the sort of ending that leaves a viewer wondering if you’ve missed something, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Robert Redford movies: TCM shows 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,' 'The Sting' They don't make movie stars like they used to, back in the days of Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, and Harry Cohn. That's what nostalgists have been bitching about for the last four or five decades; never mind the fact that movie stars have remained as big as ever despite the demise of the old studio system and the spectacular rise of television more than sixty years ago. This month of January 2015, Turner Classic Movies will be honoring one such post-studio era superstar: Robert Redford. Beginning this Monday evening, January 6, TCM will be presenting 15 Robert Redford movies. Tonight's entries include Redford's two biggest blockbusters, both directed by George Roy Hill and co-starring Paul Newman: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which turned Redford, already in his early 30s, into a major film star to rival Rudolph Valentino, »
- Andre Soares
14 items from 2015
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