Parallel Worlds: An Interview with Paul Clipson

  • MUBI
“Who could fail to sense the greatness of this art, in which the visible is the sign of the invisible?”—Jean GrémillonCinema is what you imagine, and what you imagine first, in the darkness where bundles of light thrown 24 times a second at a wall produce illusion, is movement, an electromagnetic record of the past conjured into motion by your mind’s eye. A vision. So cinema is alchemy, it’s mystery. Unlike television, which is ephemeral but endless, cinema is eternal yet ever ending. (Raúl Ruiz made an entire film from the short ends of another, and the studio system of Classic Hollywood was so dedicated to The End that it couldn’t go on.) Cinema is shadow, totality, the night.Not all film is cinema and not all cinema is poetry, but poetry in the movies is always cinema. And poetry is unknowable, like the films of Paul Clipson.
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The Furniture: The Night of the Hunter's American Expressionism

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter is an American classic. But it is also a clear descendant of a movement from across the Atlantic: German Expressionism. This comes through most clearly in the breathtaking work of cinematographer Stanley Cortez (The Magnificent Ambersons).

Yet while The Night of the Hunter’s visual language is clearly indebted to the German films of the 1920s, its sets are far cry from the angular nightmares of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and its siblings. Instead, the work of art director Hilyard M. Brown and set decorator Alfred E. Spencer is grounded in iconic American architecture. Through the intimate collaboration of production design and cinematographer, an Expressionist battle between good and evil unfolds through the aesthetic material of American life.
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The Angry Red Planet

Hey, Ib Melchoir’s Opus Mars-us is back, in a not-bad new scan and color-grading job. If the nostalgia bug has bitten you deep enough to appreciate a fairly maladroit but frequently arresting space exploration melodrama, this may be the disc for you. Let’s be honest: Nobody can resist the allure of the fabulous Bat-Rat-Spider-Crab, and in glorious Cinemagic, no less.

The Angry Red Planet


Scream Factory

1960 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 83 min. / Street Date June 27, 2017 / 17.28

Starring: Gerald Mohr, Nora Hayden, Les Tremayne, Jack Kruschen.

Cinematography: Stanley Cortez

Film Editor: Ivan J. Hoffman

Original Music: Paul Dunlap

Written by Ib Melchior from a story by Sid Pink

Produced by Norman Maurer & Sid Pink

Directed by Ib Melchior

Unjust though it may be, not all Savant reviews make the national news feed, but my old 2001 coverage of the pretty miserable MGM DVD of The Angry Red Planet got quoted all over the place,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Good Bad Man Cortez: Final Interview Segment with Biographer of The Great Hollywood Heel

Good Bad Man Cortez: Final Interview Segment with Biographer of The Great Hollywood Heel
'The Magnificent Ambersons': Directed by Orson Welles, and starring Tim Holt (pictured), Dolores Costello (in the background), Joseph Cotten, Anne Baxter, and Agnes Moorehead, this Academy Award-nominated adaptation of Booth Tarkington's novel earned Ricardo Cortez's brother Stanley Cortez an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White. He lost to Joseph Ruttenberg for William Wyler's blockbuster 'Mrs. Miniver.' Two years later, Cortez – along with Lee Garmes – would win Oscar statuettes for their evocative black-and-white work on John Cromwell's homefront drama 'Since You Went Away,' starring Ricardo Cortez's 'Torch Singer' leading lady, Claudette Colbert. In all, Stanley Cortez would receive cinematography credit in more than 80 films, ranging from B fare such as 'The Lady in the Morgue' and the 1940 'Margie' to Fritz Lang's 'Secret Beyond the Door,' Charles Laughton's 'The Night of the Hunter,' and Nunnally Johnson's 'The Three Faces
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

After Valentino and Before Bogart There Was Cortez: 'The Magnificent Heel' and the Movies' Original Sam Spade

After Valentino and Before Bogart There Was Cortez: 'The Magnificent Heel' and the Movies' Original Sam Spade
Ricardo Cortez biography 'The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez' – Paramount's 'Latin Lover' threat to a recalcitrant Rudolph Valentino, and a sly, seductive Sam Spade in the original film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's 'The Maltese Falcon.' 'The Magnificent Heel: The Life and Films of Ricardo Cortez': Author Dan Van Neste remembers the silent era's 'Latin Lover' & the star of the original 'The Maltese Falcon' At odds with Famous Players-Lasky after the release of the 1922 critical and box office misfire The Young Rajah, Rudolph Valentino demands a fatter weekly paycheck and more control over his movie projects. The studio – a few years later to be reorganized under the name of its distribution arm, Paramount – balks. Valentino goes on a “one-man strike.” In 42nd Street-style, unknown 22-year-old Valentino look-alike contest winner Jacob Krantz of Manhattan steps in, shortly afterwards to become known worldwide as Latin Lover Ricardo Cortez of
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Bridge at Remagen

What’s the best true-story WW2 combat film for pure-grit, no-nonsense tanks ‘n’ bombs ‘n’ crazy mayhem action on a giant scale? This non-stop battle epic gets my vote. George Segal and Ben Gazzara’s infantry dogs are suitably tough, cynical and desperate, especially when they’re repeatedly sent into danger. The history is fairly accurate — there was indeed a race to seize the last bridge across the River Rhine.

The Bridge at Remagen


Twilight Time

1969 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 117 min. / Street Date June 13, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: George Segal, Robert Vaughn, Ben Gazzara, Bradford Dillman, E.G. Marshall, Peter Van Eyck, Hans Christian Blech, Bo Hopkins, Matt Clark, G&uunl;nter Meisner.

Cinematography: Stanley Cortez

Film Editors: William Cartwright, Harry Knapp, Marshall Neilan Jr.

Original Music: Elmer Bernstein

Written by Richard Yates, William Roberts, Roger Hirson

Produced by David L. Wolper

Directed by John Guillermin

See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon

Troubling fact: the great director Otto Preminger's worst film is not Skidoo. Three physical misfits form an alternative family as a defense against the world. It's a good idea for a movie, but the writer and director do just about everything wrong that a writer and director can do. Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon Blu-ray Olive Films 1970 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 113 min. / Street Date August 16, 2016 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98 Starring Liza Minnelli, Ken Howard, Robert Moore, James Coco, Kay Thompson, Fred Williamson, Anne Revere, Pete Seeger, Pacific Gas & Electric, Ben Piazza, Emily Yancy, Leonard Frey, Clarice Taylor, Julie Bovasso, Barbara Logan, Nancy Marchand, Angelique Pettyjohn. Cinematography Boris Kaufman, Stanley Cortez Production Design Lyle R. Wheeler Charles Schramm Makeup effects Charles Schramm Film Editors Dean Ball, Henry Berman Original Music Philip Springer Written by Marjorie Kellogg from her novel Produced and Directed by Otto Preminger

See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Watch: Celebrate the Greatest Cinematography of All-Time With New Video Essay

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then there will never be a definitive list of the greatest cinematography, but for our money, one of the finest polls has been recently conducted on the matter. Our friend Scout Tafoya polled over 60 critics on Fandor, including some of us here, and the results can be found in a fantastic video essay below. Rather than the various wordless supercuts that crowd Vimeo, Tafoya wrestles with his thoughts on cinematography as we see the beautiful images overlaid from the top 12 choices.

“I’ve been thinking of the world cinematographically since high school,” Scout says. “Sometime around tenth grade I started looking out windows, at crowds of my peers, at the girls I had crushes on, and imagining the best way to film them. Lowlight, mini-dv or 35mm? Curious and washed out like the way Emmanuel Lubezki shot Y Tu Mamá También,
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200 Greatest Horror Films (170-161)

Special Mention: Shock Corridor

Written and directed by Samuel Fuller

USA, 1963

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose a killer hiding out at the local insane asylum. In order to solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum, Barrett sets to work, interrogating the other patients and keeping a close eye on the staff. But it’s difficult to remain a sane man living in an insane place, and the closer Barrett gets to the truth, the closer he gets to insanity.

Shock Corridor is best described as an anti-establishment drama that at times is surprisingly quite funny despite the dark material. The film deals with some timely issues of the era, specifically the atom bomb, anti-communism, and racism. It features everything from a raving female love-crazed nympho ward,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Conversation: Landon Palmer and Drew Morton Discuss ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’

The Magnificent Ambersons

Landon’S Take:

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
See full article at SoundOnSight »

New on Video: Silent Discoveries – ‘After Six Days’ & ‘Yesterday and Today’

From Vci Entertainment comes the odd and only moderately interesting Silent Discoveries double feature, containing After Six Days, a 62-minute 1920 Biblical epic, and Yesterday and Today, a nearly hour-long 1953 documentary. As noted by Vci, the former was “Touted at the time as a ‘$3,000,000 Entertainment for the Hundred Millions,'” and this edition was made from the only complete copy known to exist, a mint 16mm print of the 1929 7-reel sound reissue. The second title here features actor, comedian, and famous vaudevillian George Jessel as he hosts a random assortment of clips from early silent film releases, most of which were, and are, rarely otherwise seen. Neither portion is particularly good, or even consistently entertaining, but both—and this is the reason the DVD is worthwhile—are unique and scarce, and are therefore significant entries into the growing library of archived films made available for mass consumption.

To start with After Six Days,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Cinematographers pick the best-shot films of all time

  • Hitfix
Cinematographers pick the best-shot films of all time
Stumbling across that list of best-edited films yesterday had me assuming that there might be other nuggets like that out there, and sure enough, there is American Cinematographer's poll of the American Society of Cinematographers membership for the best-shot films ever, which I do recall hearing about at the time. But they did things a little differently. Basically, in 1998, cinematographers were asked for their top picks in two eras: films from 1894-1949 (or the dawn of cinema through the classic era), and then 1950-1997, for a top 50 in each case. Then they followed up 10 years later with another poll focused on the films between 1998 and 2008. Unlike the editors' list, though, ties run absolutely rampant here and allow for way more than 50 films in each era to be cited. I'd love to see what these lists would look like combined, however. I imagine "Citizen Kane," which was on top of the 1894-1949 list,
See full article at Hitfix »

The Noteworthy: Top Ten Overload, Lfu #4, "The Sixth Year"

  • MUBI

The Best-of-the-Year lists keep rolling in, so here's a batch of worthwhile entries unveiled in the past week: Film Comment - 50 Best Films | 20 Best Undistributed Films Indiewire - Critics Survey Glenn Kenny Scott Foundas Slant Magazine Michael Sicinski's "The Best of the Rest" Village Voice Film Poll The latest issue of Cineaste is on shelves now and includes, among other pieces, an article on rom-coms today by Adrian Martin, and a feature by David Sterritt on "Beats, Beatniks, and Beat Movies." Also make sure to look online for exclusive content from Aaron Cutler and Celluloid Liberation Front. Above: one of our favorite journals, La Furia Umana, is now shipping its fourth print edition, featuring multiple pieces on Nicholas Ray and Brian De Palma. The 18th online edition is due out by the end of the month, so we'll be checking up on Lfu again soon. On digital shelves is
See full article at MUBI »

‘The Night of the Hunter’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow)

Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, Peter Graves | Written by James Agee | Directed by Charles Laughton

My love of movies comes from watching them, obsessively and probably way too much. No matter how many I manage to watch though, even starting from an early age I’ve still not seen some that are deemed as masterpieces and that annoys me. There are classics out there that deserve to be seen and I do have a list in my head of ones that I will see no matter what it takes and one of these was The Night of the Hunter. When I had the chance to review the Arrow release of the film on Blu-ray I jumped at the chance, there is no better way to see it other than on the big screen. Now having seen it I feel very lucky I did, not just for the movie
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

The Night of the Hunter

(Charles Laughton, 1955; Arrow, 15)

One of the greatest, most influential directorial debuts in movie history, The Night of the Hunter was a major critical and commercial failure in 1955, and Charles Laughton never directed another film, which was bad for him, bad for us and bad for Norman Mailer, whose The Naked and the Dead was to be Laughton's follow-up project.

Based on Davis Grubb's gothic novel, it's a grim fairytale for adults set in poverty-stricken West Virginia during the depression and centres on a father going to the gallows for murder after concealing some stolen money in his little daughter's doll and swearing her brother to secrecy. An ogre in the form of a psychotic preacher (Robert Mitchum's best, most scary performance), who'd shared a cell with their father, is after the loot. When this monstrous figure of pure evil takes over the impoverished family, the children flee down the Ohio river,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

A Story of Love and Hate: The Night of the Hunter’s Journey from Failure to American Classic

  • HeyUGuys
Director Charles Laughton’s and screenwriter James Agee’s adaptation of the novel The Night of the Hunter has become a reverently admired and extremely influential film in the 60 years since the ‘failure’ of its initial release. The film has placed very highly in many international critical polls, including Cahier du Cinema’s 2007 listing of the ‘100 Most Beautiful Films’, where it sits at #2. Many filmmakers have cited it as a key inspiration, and Steven Spielberg showed it to the crew of E.T. in order to help them understand the child’s perspective from which he wanted the film to be told. It was even re-made as a virtually unwatchable 1991 TV movie with Richard Chamberlain as Harry Powell, and a musical stage version was created in the late ‘90s for which a soundtrack CD is available.

Perhaps the most important indication of the esteem in which the film is now held
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31 Days of Horror: 100 Greatest Horror Films: Top 50

Every year, we here at Sound On Sight celebrate the month of October with 31 Days of Horror; and every year, I update the list of my favourite horror films ever made. Last year, I released a list that included 150 picks. This year, I’ll be upgrading the list, making minor alterations, changing the rankings, adding new entries, and possibly removing a few titles. I’ve also decided to publish each post backwards this time for one reason: the new additions appear lower on my list, whereas my top 50 haven’t changed much, except for maybe in ranking. Enjoy!


Special Mention:

Shock Corridor

Written and directed by Samuel Fuller

USA, 1963

Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose the killer at the local insane asylum. To solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Night Of The Hunter Blu-ray Review

Director: Charles Laughton

Starring: Shelley Winters, Robert Mitchum, Peter Graves, Sally Jane Bruce, Billy Chapin

Certificate: 12

Running Time: 93 minutes

Extras: New digital transfer made from 35mm film elements restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive in cooperation with MGM Studios, with funding provided by the Film Foundation and Robert B. Strum, Optional original uncompressed Mono Pcm audio & 5.1 DTS-hd Master Audio, Isolated Music and Effects Soundtrack, Charles Laughton Directs The Night of the Hunter – A two-and-a-half-hour documentary on the making of the film featuring outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage, Archival interview with cinematographer Stanley Cortez, Original theatrical trailer, Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly artwork by Graham Humphreys, Booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and filmmaker David Thompson.

The words ‘masterpiece’ or ‘classic’ are perhaps bandied about too much these days. Certainly few modern films aren’t deserving of such praise and that’s because, more often than not, they lack originality.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

The Black-and-White Magnificence of the 'Ambersons'

Last night I watched Orson Welles' 1942 film The Magnificent Ambersons for the first time. Of course, like everyone else, I'm watching the edited down 88-minute version of the film, which was recently re-released by Warner Home Video along with the 70th anniversary release of Citizen Kane, but at this point you take what you get as it seems decided we'll never see the original 148-minute version. As David Kamp wrote in his 2002 Vanity Fair piece, Ambersons is considered one of the "two great 'lost' movies in the annals of Hollywood filmmaking" along with Erich von Stroheim's Greed, which Christopher Nolan recently pegged as a Criterion hopeful. I've had Kamp's piece bookmarked for the longest time, not wanting to read it before seeing the movie myself and I was finally able to do so. It's a fascinating story of how the film came to be an hour shorter than
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

100 + Greatest Horror Movies (pt.6) 25-1

Throughout the month of October, Editor-in-Chief and resident Horror expert Ricky D, will be posting a list of his favorite Horror films of all time. The list will be posted in six parts. Click here to see every entry.

As with all lists, this is personal and nobody will agree with every choice – and if you do, that would be incredibly disturbing. It was almost impossible for me to rank them in order, but I tried and eventually gave up.


Special Mention:

Shock Corridor

Directed by Samuel Fuller

Written by Samuel Fuller

1963, USA

Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose the killer at the local insane asylum. In order to solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum, Barrett sets to work, interrogating the other patients and keeping a close eye on the staff.
See full article at SoundOnSight »
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