1-20 of 42 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
(Samuel Fuller, 1953; Eureka!, PG, DVD/Blu-ray)
A hard-nosed tabloid newsman in New York before scripting B-movies in Hollywood in the 1930s, Samuel Fuller served as a much decorated infantry sergeant in North Africa and Europe during the second world war. He returned to the cinema after the war, becoming a writer-director-producer, starting with I Shot Jesse James, a low-budget western questioning the nature of courage and hero worship. War movies, noir thrillers and westerns were his forte, action films of visual power that combined nuanced social commentary with brutal directness. They confused middle-class critics the world over into thinking Fuller was a rightwing thug rather than a sensitive artist who sympathised with outsiders, losers and men in the street.
Pickup on South Street was made at 20th Century Fox under the sympathetic eye of producer Darryl F Zanuck during Fuller’s only time as a well-paid contract director. It’s a masterly film noir, »
- Philip French
Samantha Fuller’s documentary A Fuller Life has been selected to play at the second annual Reel East Film Festival in Oaklyn, New Jersey on August 21 2015. The decision to screen the documentary about the life of maverick filmmaker Sam Fuller continues the festival organiser’s interest to use the festival as a platform to look back to film history. The inaugural 2014 festival year saw screenings of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1927) and Humphrey Bogart’s All Through The Night (1942), alongside April Wright’s new documentary Going Attractions that celebrated the story of the American drive-in movie. This year’s festival presents a daughter’s tribute to her filmmaker father and focuses specifically on the career of an individual filmmaker.
A Fuller Life celebrates the independent spirit of a true American maverick whose unique output broke new ground in journalism, filmmaking, storytelling and even in service to his country. The sry »
- Gary Collinson
Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.Above: the first trailer for controversial Hungarian Holocaust drama Son of Saul, a prizewinner at Cannes.You may have noticed that the first round of the Toronto International Film Festival's program has been revealed. We're particularly excited about news films by Johnnie To and Terence Davies.The 72nd Venice Film Festival lineup has been unveiled, and includes new films by Martin Scorsese, Marco Bellocchio, Jerzy Skolimowski, Aleksandr Sokurov, Frederick Wiseman, and more. The jury has also been announced: Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Hou Hsaio-hsien, Lynne Ramsay and others, all led by Alfonso Cuarón.Above: A film still from Prelude, a new film by Nathaniel Dorsky that will premiere during the New York Film Festival's retrospective of the director.David Davidson's Toronto Film Review is featuring an epic compendium of "interviews with cinephile directors, »
Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t quite follow this one. In his 1957 review of the film for Cahiers du cinema (reprinted in the booklet accompanying this release), Jean-Luc Godard wrote that Forty Guns “is so rich in invention – despite an incomprehensible plot – and so bursting with daring conceptions that it reminds one of the extravagances of Abel Gance and Stroheim, or purely and simply of Murnau.” For a movie featuring a half-dozen standoffs, at least as many deaths, two musical numbers, and an honest-to-God tornado, nothing much seems to happen in Forty Guns. The tone and tenor of the thing feels as relaxed as Rio Bravo. I’ve seen it twice now, and viewed a few scenes here and there beyond that, and I still can’t quite reconcile the whole. But Godard’s right – it’s a hell of a thing to see. »
- Scott Nye
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then a 1989 Italian film called Shocking Dark pays James Cameron the ultimate compliment: it openly steals from not one but two of his 80s hits.
Now, it’s no secret that B-movie filmmakers have long taken ‘inspiration’ from hit genre movies - Star Wars, Alien, Jaws and Mad Max are some of the most imitated films of the 70s and 80s, spawning such cult B-movies as StarCrash, 1990: Bronx Warriors and Contamination.
Shocking Dark, on the other hand, occupies its own special place in movie history. We’re not just talking about an attempt to evoke the general atmosphere of a successful film here - we’re talking about the wholesale recreation of entire sequences. As an example, consider the following »
Dieter Laser’s megalomaniac prison boss holds this offensive film together – and he’s even a bit funny
What can only be called The Human Centipede franchise just got even more gross for its third iteration and last hurrah. Queasy though it is to admit it, there is something compelling about its extreme horror. This is because of the screaming performance of Tom Six’s star performer Dieter Laser, who has taken it to the next level. He is now even more bizarre: a colossally over-the-top turn, weirdly like Zero Mostel in The Producers, as directed by Sam Fuller.
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- Peter Bradshaw
The Swiss fest dedicated to indie cinema will award Cimino a Pard of honor Swisscom career nod in a ceremony on its open-air Piazza Grande on August 9. A mini-retro of his work will also unspool, comprising his 1974 directorial debut “Thuderbolt and Lightfoot,” starring Clint Eastwood and a young Jeff Bridges; “The Deer Hunter,” which won five Oscars in 1978; “Heaven’s Gate” (1980); and “Year of the Dragon” (1985).
Fest’s 68th edition will run August 5-15.
- Nick Vivarelli
The seventh entry in an on-going series of audiovisual essays by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin.***At the beginning, we know nothing. And some smart filmmakers (among them Fritz Lang and Samuel Fuller) like to keep us in the dark for the whole of a movie’s opening sequence—often a wordless sequence. There is time enough for verbal explanations in the following, catch-up scene.We know nothing: where we are, what is happening, or who exactly these people are. There are no opening captions, no prologue. We are thrown into a fiction abruptly, driven headlong down a country road, barrelling through a tunnel, entering a city’s limits. Who is at the wheel, exactly, and what is their destination? When the director is Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick or Roman Polanski, we will find out soon enough, because we are already wedded to a character’s point-of-view, even »
- Cristina Álvarez López & Adrian Martin
With the year half over, our three critics have each selected their five favorite U.S. releases of 2015 so far.
Novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland’s brainy, precisely calibrated chamber drama was that rare piece of contemporary sci-fi filmmaking worthy of mention in the same breath as “Blade Runner” and “The Terminator.” Whatever this modestly scaled film lacked in budgetary heft, it more than made up for in sleekly expressive production design, provocative ideas about the fine line between man and machine, and knockout performances from Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander (as the Pinocchio-like android yearning to be a real, live girl).
“Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter”
A young Japanese woman obsessed with the Coen brothers’ “Fargo” travels to the wilds of Minnesota in search of buried treasure in this comic gem from another sibling director team, David and Nathan Zellner. With deadpan elan, the »
- Variety Staff
Cinema’s Hidden Pearls – Part II
By Alex Simon
One of nature’s rarest items, a pearl is produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a clam, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. Truly flawless pearls are infrequently produced in nature, and as a result, the pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable and valuable.
Hidden pearls exist in the world of movies, as well: films that, in spite of being brilliantly crafted and executed, never got the audience they deserved beyond a cult following.
Here are a few more of our favorite hidden pearls in the world of film:
1. Massacre at Central High (1976)
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Note: For the review of Powder Burns‘ Peekarama DVD double-bill feature, Little Sisters, check out this episode of Mondo Squallido….
(1971, dir: Alex deRenzy)
“Outlaw Men – Wild Women”
After a montage of the vastness of the desert (we’re nearly in Herzogian territory here!) we are thrown balls deep in to a small shoot out. Yep, welcome to the Old West! Well, not exactly! Aside from cowboys, horses and fitting music, we also have chaps wearing aviator shades and scrapped cars laying about. The year is actually 1969 and we’re in the small town of Sewer Pipe Creek. The local sheriff (and barkeep) is having a spot of trouble with the pesky McNasty Brothers, a trio of brothers who like to cause chaos in the town for a couple of weeks once a year. Our hero runs the scum out of town and as a result, his saloon girls aren’t »
- Mondo Squallido
This week on Off The Shelf, Ryan is joined by Brian Saur to take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for the week of June 23rd, 2015, and chat about some follow-up and home video news.
Subscribe in iTunes or RSS.
Episode Links & Notes Follow-up Den of Geek article News Arrow Video Sale Disney Movie Club Blu-rays: More Herbie on Blu-ray (Herbie Goes Bananas & Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo) Warner Archive – Showdown in Little Tokyo in July on Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics – Pitfall (1948) Warner Archive’s July Slate – Sam Fuller’s Run of the Arrow, The Snorks Season 2, Centurions Part One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbYbvaLNsKY
(They also tease Atom Ant coming to DVD – to be discussed at Comic Con, along with their upcoming release of Twice Upon a Time) Severin: Three Cult Horror Films heading to Blu-ray in August New Releases 3-D Rarities Bank Shot »
- Ryan Gallagher
Known primarily for his war films and crime dramas, American director Samuel Fuller also directed a quartet of westerns, the last of which being 1957's Forty Guns. The film was part of a deal struck with 20th Century Fox after the success of Fuller's breakout film, about the Korean War, The Steel Helmet. Wooed by the studio's dedication to making "better movies" rather than lining their own pockets, Fuller signed a seven-picture deal. Forty Guns is loosely based on Wyatt Earp and the iconic "gunfight at the O.K. Corral", which went down in Tombstone, Arizona in October 1881. Here, the Earp surrogate is Griff Bonnell (Barry Sullivan), who rides into town with his two younger brothers, Wes (Gene Barry) and Chico (Robert Dix), with a warrant...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Erich von Stroheim's Greed tops Jonathan Rosenbaum's list of "The Greatest American Films Ever Made." More lists: "25 Emerging North American Indie Directors You Need To Know" and "Experimental Film & Video @ Los Angeles (1958 - 2010)." Also today: Terrence Rafferty on "The Decline of the American Actor"; James Knight on Samuel Fuller's Forty Guns; Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, pro and con; interviews with John Akomfrah, Hirokazu Koreeda, Mia Hansen-Løve and Miroslav Slaboshpitsky; a big awards night for Sebastian Schipper's Victoria; Todd Solondz's sequel to Welcome to the Dollhouse with Greta Gerwig and Julie Delpy—and more. » - David Hudson »
Hondo (1953), which is set to play June 13 - July 4 at the Museum of Modern Art as part of their "3-D Summer" series, was John Wayne's first Western in three years. It was produced by his own Wayne/Fellows Productions (later named Batjac), founded just the year prior by Wayne and producer Robert Fellows. And James Edward Grant, who had already written several Wayne features and had a particular flair for writing classic John Wayne dialogue, penned the screenplay. All told, one gets the sense that everything about this exemplary return to the genre was a carefully conscious decision by the iconic American star. Hondo is a definitive Western. Moreover, it's a definitive John Wayne Western.When Wayne made Hondo, his masculine persona was already firmly established. After viewing the film at one point, Wayne supposedly declared, "I'll be damned if I'm not the stuff men are made of." Such a comment, »
- Jeremy Carr
Directed by Budd Boetticher
When newspaper reporter Kathy Lawrence (Lucille Bremer) walks into private detective Ross Stewart’s (Richard Carlson) office, he thinks he’s just hit the jackpot seeing as she represents his first ever client. Little does he know that the investigation the alluring Ms. Lawrence needs assistance with will tax Ross of far more moral and psychological stamina than he could ever have bargained for. It seems Kathy has a lead as to where the recently convicted Judge Finlay Drake (Herbert Heyes) might have taken refuge from pursuing authorities: a mental institution. With a 10 thousand dollar reward promised to anyone who can help the police book the renegade judge, Ross accepts to play act as Kathy’s manic-depressive husband who needs time under doctoral supervision. Once instituted, Ross snoops about to learn whether or »
- Edgar Chaput
With a retrospective opening at the Museum of Arts and Design and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence screening at Film Forum, Nicolas Rapold talks with Roy Andersson for the New York Times. More goings on: Martin Scorsese's poster collection at MoMA, Barbara Hammer’s portrait of the poet Elizabeth Bishop, a revival of Samuel Fuller's Pickup on South Street, a Rainer Werner Fassbinder mini-retrospective in Los Angeles, Frederick Wiseman in Chicago, Don Hertzfeldt in Vienna, Alejandro Jodorowsky in Bordeaux and more. » - David Hudson »
Pickup on South Street is the most claustrophobic American film before Psycho. Hitchcock's lament for the aridity of the modern age focused on "private traps." Sam Fuller's 1953 noir, the finest distillation of his tabloid sensibility, is about public traps: the confinement of rigid political identity, the division of society into citizens and criminals, the solely economic line that separates pauperhood from respectability. The macguffin here is a piece of microfilm that, in the opening scene, is being ferried to communist agents by the unwitting courier Candy (Jean Peters) but gets stolen en route by the pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark). The picture is a race to convince Skip to turn over the film and forgo the big score he expects from selling it.
I interviewed James Ellroy, the great American noir novelist, at La's venerable Pacific Dining Car in April 2001. We were there to discuss his latest book, The Cold Six Thousand, but wound up tackling a myriad of subjects over our three hour lunch. Ellroy sported a snappy fedora that I said would have looked great on Meyer Lansky. He barked a laugh and removed it, displaying his bald pate. When he looked at my full head of 33 year-old hair, his eyes narrowed: "That thing on your head real or a rug?" "Real," I replied. Ellroy exhaled for what seemed like a full minute, then murmured: "Cocksucker." We were off and running.
James Ellroy: Bark At The Moon
The "Demon Dog of American Fiction" sinks his teeth into Rfk, Mlk and Vietnam with The Cold Six Thousand
If there were any justice in this world, and in the world of James Ellroy that's debatable, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Orson Welles is celebrated as one of the foremost visionaries in the history of American filmmaking. He’s also renowned as the perennial artist against the system. While both of these factors make Welles perhaps the ideal auteur – someone satisfied with nothing less than a perfect articulation of his individual vision within the collaborative medium of filmmaking – it also presents some unique problems in examining works that were taken away from him.
The classically celebrated auteurs of studio era Hollywood (e.g., Hawks, Ford, Hitchcock) were known for creating individuated worldviews across their body of work either despite or even because of the strictures inherent in Classical Hollywood filmmaking. This was not Welles, who from his rise to infamy with the 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast to his first studio feature made a name by challenging the assumed utilities of a medium. Neither could »
- Drew Morton
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