5 items from 2014
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
As if his British films weren’t evidence enough of his talent, Alfred Hitchcock made quite the impression when he came to Hollywood in 1940. His first picture in the states, Rebecca, was nominated for Best Picture at the 1941 Academy Awards. So was his second, Foreign Correspondent, also released in 1940. While Rebecca would ultimately win, many – then and now – consider the achievement as belonging more to producer David O. Selznick than to the director. This is not without some justification. Though Rebecca bears more than a few notably Hitchcockian touches, between the two features, Foreign Correspondent looks and feels more appropriately like Hitchcock’s previous and later works. The Criterion Collection, recently very kind to Hitchcock on Blu-ray, now gives this latter feature a suitably well-rounded treatment, with a documentary on the film’s visual effects, an »
- Jeremy Carr
The Method actor and acting coach on improvisation, her role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the dearth of intelligent plays on Broadway
She honks, she growls, she gurgles; she flings out her arms, mock-faints, jumps up to illustrate a point. Uta Hagen off stage is as vital and intelligent a woman as, in her extraordinary performance in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", she is a vital and intelligent actress.
"Shuddup!" she bellows at the sedate walls of her Kensington hotel room. This to show how she can seemingly run her voice ragged as Mr Albee's Martha and yet keep it intact. "See? I was pushing down on the vocal cords and spreading them apart. That's all right. But listen to this. Shuddup! That was pushing sideways - straining them."
People who have watched Miss Hagen go through "Woolf's" three and a half hours of everything from wisecrack to »
Criterion adds another illustrious Alfred Hitchcock title to the collection this month with Foreign Correspondent, which followed hot on the heels of Rebecca in 1940, the beginning of the director’s American period. Though not a perfect film, it does register as one of his most unfairly overlooked films, even as it shows various signs of outside tampering as a film belonging very much to the period in which it was made. Though suffering from the effect of too many cooks in the writing kitchen, it’s a title as filled with plot twists as it is wit, as well as Hitchcock’s signature elaborate set pieces.
Opening with a dedication to the bravery of those foreign correspondents and others that risk their lives in war time, we enter into the realm of a Us newsroom where frustration is running high at the lack of actual coverage worthy news filtering in from the correspondents. »
- Nicholas Bell
Hitchcock’s War Face
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film Foreign Correspondent is often underrated or forgotten when it comes to lists of the director’s “best” films. In fact, it was nominated for an Oscar Best Picture the same year as Rebecca (which won), and, personally, I think it’s the better movie. It’s certainly more of a “Hitchcock film” than Rebecca, as it is one of those cross-country espionage adventure-thrillers along the lines of The 39 Steps, Saboteur, and North by Northwest.
It was the director’s second Hollywood movie. Although Hitchcock was contracted to David O. Selznick (who produced Rebecca), Hitch’s deal allowed Selznick to “farm out” the director to other studios and producers, for a piece of Hitchcock’s salary, of course. In this case, Foreign Correspondent was produced by Walter Wanger (who had also produced John Ford’s Stagecoach). It’s interesting that »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Best Supporting Actor Oscar Predictions 2014 (photo: Jared Leto in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’) As explained in our previous Oscar 2014 predictions post, this year’s Academy Award nominations in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories initially looked impossible to predict. For Best Supporting Actor, Jared Leto was the front-runner for his performance as a transsexual with AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club, and Michael Fassbender was another strong possibility for his evil planter in 12 Years a Slave — but who else? (See also: "Oscar Predictions 2014 Best Actress: Meryl Streep Possibly to Break Another Record," "Oscar Predictions 2014 Best Actor: Robert Redford Possible Near-Record," "Best Supporting Actress 2014 Oscar Predictions: Jennifer Lawrence and/or Scarlett Johansson to Make Oscar History?" and "Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Picture, Best Director.") A couple of weeks ago, the SAG Award nominations helped to clarify things some, but, just as in the Best Supporting Actress category, there remains quite »
- Steve Montgomery
5 items from 2014
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