19 items from 2011
(Wim Wenders, 1982, Studiocanal, 12)
Modelling his career on Dashiell Hammett's, Joe Gores first worked as a private detective in San Francisco before turning to crime fiction. In 1975 he wrote Hammett, an ingenious, well-researched thriller set in 1928, when his hero was beginning to make his way as an innovative novelist. Francis Ford Coppola announced a film version by Nicolas Roeg, a task taken over by Wim Wenders, who worked on it for four years with four writers, two designers and two cinematographers.
Wenders virtually disowned what became Coppola's picture rather than his. But it's a stylish, entertaining movie, starring Frederic Forrest (a dead ringer for Hammett, bar the height) as a drinking, smoking, coughing and typewriter-bashing writer lured back into detection by an old Pinkerton associate (Peter Boyle) and stumbling into the plot of The Maltese Falcon.
A neo-noir classic, it looks like a series of Black Mask covers drawn by Edward Hopper, »
- Wim Wenders, Philip French
One from the Heart, 1982.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
In Las Vegas, a couple break up on their fifth anniversary and both go on to find whom they believe to be their perfect match.
From the director of The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, The Conversation and Apocalypse Now comes... er... One from the Heart. Remembered now as the film which declared Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios bankrupt, it remains the complete and utter failure it was when first released in 1982.
God only knows what Coppola was thinking when he wrote the screenplay; his previous four films were examples of the finest films ever put to celluloid and he must have wanted a change from all that success and praise. One from the Heart couldn’t be further removed from the »
★★★☆☆ In Francis Ford Coppola's One from the Heart (1982), Hank (Frederic Forrest) and Frannie (Teri Garr) are two working stiffs living in Las Vegas, locked in a relationship from which much of the fun and affection has drained away. After the umpteenth row, Frannie walks out and into the Fourth of July celebrations. Here she meets Ray (Raul Julia), a romantic waiter who woos her with the prospect of escaping her humdrum life. Meanwhile, Hank has made the acquaintance of beautiful circus girl Leila (Natassja Kinski).
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- Daniel Green
The Conversation, 1974.
Written and Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
During a routine wire-tapping job, a surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when comes to suspect that the couple he is recording will be murdered.
We open on a wide shot over looking San Francisco’s Union Square. People go about their day. A mime entertains a small crowd. We hear conversations of the people, but only snippets and fragments; this is interrupted by a loss of audio and static. Something isn’t right – we shouldn’t be listening in on these people’s lives. The camera switches to show a couple caught in the crosshairs of not a gun, but a state of the art listening device. As the story unfolds, we will learn that it is just as dangerous. »
★★★★☆ Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation (1974) - which stars Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Robert Duvall, Teri Garr, Harrison Ford, and Frederic Forrest - has taken on something of a cult status since its release almost 38 years ago. Having been shot between two Godfathers, and with Apocalypse Now (1979) making its appearance shortly afterwards, it's no wonder that this film almost went under the radar. Yet it returns this week in a fantastic Blu-ray Special Edition re-release, courtesy of Studio Canal.
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- Daniel Green
(Francis Ford Coppola, 1974, Studiocanal, 12)
In an amazing creative outburst between 1970 and 1979, Francis Ford Coppola scripted Patton and The Great Gatsby, produced George Lucas's Thx-1138 and American Graffiti, and directed the first two Godfather pictures and this masterly chamber film, which brought him his first Palme d'Or (then called the Grand Prix du Festival) at Cannes. The Conversation is an immaculate thriller, a study in paranoia and loneliness, long in gestation, partly inspired by Antonioni's Blow-Up, and released as the Watergate scandal was unfolding. It features one of Gene Hackman's greatest performances as Harry Caul, a San Francisco surveillance expert, a guilt-ridden, intensely private man devoted to anonymity and ethical neutrality. Harry's drawn into the devious lives of those he eavesdrops on and faces moral decisions about his work. The supporting cast includes such key Coppola performers as Frederic Forrest, Harrison Ford and an uncredited Robert Duvall. The numerous »
- Philip French
Directed by Wim Wenders.
Synopsis: When and old detective friend shows up at his door, pulp fiction writer Dashiell Hammett gets involved in a world of gangsters and double-crossers that he thought he had left behind.
Hammett is a curiosity. It's a 1982 take on the Film Noir genre, based on a fictionalised story about Dashiell Hammett, the writer of pulp detective novels such as The Maltese Falcon. It seems to have slipped into obscurity since then however, and only now is getting a proper UK DVD release with, bizarrely, no sign of a Blu-ray in sight.
Hammett apes the great detective films of classic Hollywood, particularly Hammett's own most famous work, The Maltese Falcon, but also the likes of The Big Sleep. The novel twist of Hammett is that it's the writer doing the detective work. »
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Francis Ford Coppola needs little introduction. He’s brought such titanic titles to your screens as The Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now and if you haven’t heard of him, I’m assuming that you’re a new born child – if so kudos to reaching such an advanced reading age so early. The Conversation is actually a further examination of a character that the writer/director had explored in one of his first unknown short films, one that has interested Coppola throughout his years as a film-maker; a lonely, introverted man with little to no connection to the people around him (as divulged by the man himself in the Blu-ray extras).
A newly released Collector’s Edition Blu-ray hits stands today and here is our review.
- Stuart Bedford
Francis Ford Coppola's incredible thriller The Conversation is set to make its Blu-ray Disc debut on October 25th from Lionsgate. The three-time Academy Award nominated film, (Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound, 1974) features an outstanding all-star cast including Academy Award winners Gene Hackman (Best Actor in a Leading Role, The French Connection, 1971) and Robert Duvall (Best Actor in a Leading Role, Tender Mercies, 1983); alongside Oscar nominees Harrison Ford, Frederic Forrest; and Golden Globe nominees Cindy Williams and John Cazale. Written and directed by Coppola, this "haunting" (The New York Times) tale about eavesdropping, unrequited love and murder set in San Francisco won over critics and audiences with its innovative concept, and received further »
- Patrick Luce
Release Date: Oct. 25, 2011
Price: Blu-ray $24.99
The film stars Gene Hackman (Riot) as surveillance expert and wire-tapper Harry Caul, a seasoned professional with a troubled past who makes a point of keeping his head and heart far away from the projects he takes on. Unfortunately, Harry’s latest job, seemingly a routine one, turns out to be more than he bargained for when he’s caught inside a web of deceit, secrecy and murder that threatens not only his safety, but also his sanity.
A small thriller that packs a powerful punch, The Conversation was written and directed by Coppola in between The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974). Looking back now, the movies — all modern classics — are arguably the finest trio of consecutive bull’s eyes of their era. »
Remember when Francis Ford Coppola didn't make sh*t looking movies like Twixt? Well, for those who love the now flailing director's early work, his celebrated thriller The Conversation is making its first appearance on Blu-ray Disc and Digital Download from Lionsgate on October 25th.
The three-time Academy Award nominated film, (Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound, 1974) features an outstanding all-star cast including Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall alongside Harrison Ford, Frederic Forrest; and Cindy Williams and John Cazale.
From the release:
The Conversation won over critics and audiences with its innovative concept, and received further accolades with four Golden Globes nominations across categories - Best Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Motion Picture Actor - Drama (Hackman).
Winner of the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, the film was selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry by the U.S. Library of Congress for being "culturally, »
"Cowboys & Aliens" rode to the top of the box office this past weekend (tying with "The Smurfs"), so "Extra" is highlighting those sexy men of the West - be they old or new! Yee haw!
30 Sexy CowboysDaniel Craig in 'Cowboys & Aliens'
As Jake Lonergan, Craig is the latest Hollywood star to play a ruggedly handsome cowboy from the Old West.
Role: The famed lawman Wyatt Earp Best line: "I »
Trevor Hogg profiles the career of legendary filmmaker George Lucas in the fourth of a six part feature... read parts one, two and three.
For over a decade filmmaker George Lucas had been developing a project which was a gender reversal of the Biblical story about Moses being hidden as a baby in the bulrushes. When asked to describe Willow (1988), Lucas called it “an adventure fantasy that takes place a long time ago in a mythical land.” Cast as the title character who becomes the guardian and defender of the wayward baby from an evil sorceress was Warwick Davis who made a name for himself playing the Ewok known as Wicket. “I was on holiday in southwest England when I got a call from George to come to Elstree – one of the major British studios – and audition for the part,” remembers Davis. “Actually, I did four auditions altogether; three in England and one in America. »
Was it not for his aversion to numerous varieties of poisonous bugs - and the thought of travelling to anywhere that might contain said creepy crawlies - George Lucas may never have created the Star Wars franchise that so many of us know and love; and the world as we have known it since 1977 may have been a very different place indeed. You see, George's friend and fellow film school student Francis Ford Coppola had earmarked him to direct an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness, transplanted into the still raw setting of the Vietnam War by writer John Milius.
George, however, passed on the offer and instead went back to tinkering with his long gestating space opera, leaving Coppola to pick up the directorial reins on the movie that took top spot in Shadowlocked's Top 100 Movies Of The 1970s, the incomparable Apocalypse Now.
Ironically, had Coppola had his way, »
Love the smell of napalm in the morning? Have we got a treat for you. Francis Ford Coppola's trippy Vietnam masterpiece, Apocalypse Now, is back in cinemas this month, freshly restored and complete with a snappy new trailer (below). It's been given a brand new sheen by its director and offers anyone who missed the Redux version the chance to catch Captain Willard's boat ride on the big screen.For anyone who's been waiting for Chuck Norris to bust them out of a jungle detention centre for the past 32 years, Apocalypse Now sees Martin Sheen's Us Army captain Benjamin Willard accepting a morally murky and dangerous mission to head into off-limits Cambodia and kill a rogue Green Beret, Marlon Brando's Colonel Kurtz.Along the way, there's disorientating snatches of combat, big cats, Kilgore and thundering choppers. Wagner, surfing in the Mekong and Playboy bunnies. Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, »
Cindy Williams, Frederic Forrest in Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation Review Part I Later, there is a press coterie following the young couple. Harry now believes that they are the ones who have murdered the Director, who has been killed in a car crash. Even the Director's young assistant, Martin Stett (Harrison Ford), seems to be in on the murder — if there was one. Caul's paranoia goes back to a single sentence that Mark utters to Ann, "He'd kill us if he had the chance." Throughout the film, Caul hears the emphasis on kill, meaning the couple feared the Director's wrath. After the Director is dead, Harry believes the emphasis was on us. Caul begins getting threatening phone calls to his apartment, telling him he's under surveillance. Going off the deep end, he tears apart his apartment looking for the bug, to no avail. »
- Dan Schneider
The Conversation (1974) Direction and Screenplay: Francis Ford Coppola Cast: Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Allen Garfield, John Cazale, Cindy Williams, Michael Higgins, Elizabeth MacRae, Teri Garr, Harrison Ford Oscar Movies Gene Hackman, The Conversation By Dan Schneider of Cosmoetica There are some works of art that are both obviously derivative and just as obviously inferior to the originals. Those simply ape the earlier work, tweak a few minor things, and try to pass off their theft as an "homage." The Conversation (1974), written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and winner of the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or, is not one of those minor works. Though it has an indebtedness to Michelangelo Antonioni's brilliant Blowup (1966), The Conversation does not merely ape that film's existential dilemma of an accidental photograph possibly cluing its lead character into murder. Instead, Coppola's film probes far more deeply into the mind of Harry Caul »
- Dan Schneider
Energetic founder of the pioneering experimental theatre club La MaMa
The major impetus and example for much of our first fringe and alternative theatre 50 years ago came from New York, specifically a small group of off-off-Broadway and Greenwich Village cafe theatres where Ellen Stewart, who has died aged 91, reigned supreme as the founder and artistic director of La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club.
Although never renowned as an actor or director herself (she took to directing in later life), Stewart generated creative energy and excitement in others, incontrovertible proof that theatre can only thrive given the right circumstances or opportunities.
She considered her artists as her family and, in the earliest days, kept them in clothes from her work as a designer. Many actors slept in her apartment or in the theatre itself. In British terms, she was the Lower East Side's Lilian Baylis, with elements of Sybil Thorndike and Thelma Holt. »
- Michael Coveney
Nastassja Kinsi by Richard Avedon
Editors note: For Nastassia Kinski's 50th birthday, I asked Glenn to write up a bit on her appearance in "One From the Heart" since it's a movie I know he loves (even more than me and I like it quite a lot) and also because I like to mark the big milestones for actresses and films. If you haven't seen this movie rent it. If you're too young to know Kinski's work, other must sees include Roman Polanski's Oscar nominee "Tess", the horror remake "Cat People" and Wim Wenders "Paris Texas". Here's Glenn from the great blog Stale Popcorn.
I’m going to commit what must be one of the ultimate cinephile no-no’s and go on the record as stating One from the Heart is my favourite Francis Ford Coppola film. Yes, moreso than The Conversation or Apocalypse Now, even moreso than »
- Glenn Dunks
19 items from 2011
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