13 items from 2016
“I feel like I’m dreaming,” says young Dasy to her sister Viola over halfway into “Indivisible”, and it’s a sentiment likely to be echoed by audiences. A subtle, appealing and slightly unreal Neopolitan fable that unfolds with the often brutal logic of a fairytale, Edoardo De Angelis’s conjoined-twins drama has the feel of updated folklore — a Brothers Grimm classic, perhaps — relocated to contemporary Italy. While hardly a picture with blockbuster pretensions, a modest post-festival life on the arthouse circuit seems entirely possible, since despite its neo-gothic trappings the narrative is at heart warm and accessible.
Dasy and Viola (presumably named for real-life English conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, who were exploited by various handlers and went on to appear in Tod Browning’s 1932 classic “Freaks”) are played by debut performers Angela and Marianna Fontana. The young actors are identical twins: Unlike their onscreen characters, they are not conjoined, »
- Catherine Bray
Lyon, France — Walt Disney’s “Alice Comedies,” a series of cartoons made before Disney went to Hollywood, have been freshly restored and re-packaged for global distribution by France’s Malavida Films, one of the specialty cinema companies announcing their 2017 lineups at Lyon’s Lumière festival vintage cinema market.
Disney made the silent shorts starting in 1923 when he was still a struggling cartoon filmmaker in Kansas City. They feature a young girl named Alice, originally played by Virginia Davis, who interacts with animated characters. Local company Laugh-o-gram Films produced them and subsequently went bust. Now they are in the public domain.
“These are the only films in the Disney catalogue that are not copyrighted,” said Malavida co-chief Lionel Ithurralde.
Malavida is a niche vintage arthouse movies outfit whose upcoming French releases include several works by British director Derek Jarman, including his 1976 drama “Sebastiane,” the first film ever shot in Latin.
- Nick Vivarelli
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then Guillermo del Toro’s new exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is sure to please viewers with an eye for the macabre. Titled “Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters,” the show runs from August 1 until November 27, and will travel to co-organizing museums in Minneapolis and Ontario next year. Containing almost 600 eerie objects from the filmmaker’s private collection — including sculptures, paintings, costumes and books — the exhibition reflects his lifelong obsession with monsters.
“You can see my movies over and over again, and you will see that I adore monsters. I absolutely love them,” del Toro said at Saturday’s preview, adding “I think humans are pretty repulsive!”
Though he doesn’t consider himself a horror filmmaker these days, del Toro’s Lacma exhibit is filled with the type of ghoulish artifacts most often associated with a Fangoria convention. »
- Matthew Chernov
My name is Josh Soriano and I’m the Co-Editor here at Icons of Fright. My romance with the horror genre started early on in life when my dad took me into a little video store, with maroon carpeted walls no less, and rented Tod Browning’s Dracula for me on Betamax (you analog purists must be creaming your pants at the thought). I had never seen a “horror movie” and asked him to help me pick out one. I still somewhat vividly remember the emotions I was taken over with when I saw Bela Lugosi step down the eroding stairs of his Transylvania abode. It wasn’t fear. It was love at first site. I instantly wanted that castle as my home, exploring its corridors with a candelabra, whisking spider webs aside in a monochrome world. The idea that a single movie can completely change your life and give »
- Josh Soriano
1553 Lady Jane Grey takes the throne in England. Her reign is just nine days long and Helena Bonham Carter plays her in her feature film debut (filmed just before A Room With a View though it was released second)
1856 Nikola Tesla, famed inventor and futurist is born in the Austrian empire. He's later played by David Bowie in Christopher Nolan's The Prestige (2006) but isn't it strange that he has never received his own major biopic given his fame and eccentricity and pop culture relevances (bands named after him, characters based on him, etcetera)?
1871 Marcel Proust, French novelist is born.
1925 The "Monkey Trial" in which a man is accused of teaching evolution in science class, begins in Tennessee. It's later adapted into a famous play and the Stanley Kramer film »
- NATHANIEL R
Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.
Watch a clip from Quentin Tarantino‘s commencement speech at AFI this year:
At BFI, Pedro Almodóvar on 13 great Spanish films that inspired him, and watch a video on his use of circles:
Blancanieves is one of the peaks in recent Spanish cinema, but had the bad luck to be released a year after The Artist (2011), a silent film that triumphed the world over. Pablo Berger had in fact decided years earlier to film his personal take on the Brothers Grimm fairytale as a black-and-white silent; the result is heartrendingly beautiful. »
- The Film Stage
Brian De Palma‘s shocking exploitation gut-punch, Sisters, is a perfectly orchestrated exercise in style, a staging of some of the finest suspense sequences since Alfred Hitchcock was above ground. Channeling the Master of Suspense’s gleeful enjoyment of audience manipulation, De Palma remarkably employs a trashy genre aesthetic to satirically explore issues of race and social alienation. It’s a film about outsiders — a starkly disturbing reminder that looks and appearances can be dangerously deceiving — that’s nevertheless less interested in soap-box statements than inducing audiences to squeal and squirm. Grim in its contemporary relevance, De Palma and co-writer Louisa Rose‘s political satire is ever-present but far from overt, quietly bubbling in the background. This is a film in which police officers respond to learning of the stabbing of an African-American man by hatefully grumbling, “Those people are always stabbing each other.”
The film’s opening scene launches »
- Tony Hinds
The continued adventures of Duane Bradley and his sinister twin brother are getting the high-def treatment, as Synapse Films announced that they will release Basket Case 2 and Basket Case 3: The Progeny on respective Blu-rays this August:
1982’s Basket Case introduced horror fans to Duane Bradley and his twin brother Belial, and a new horror classic was born. They also introduced the world to Frank Henenlotter, the uniquely crazed talent who would later give us Brain Damage and Frankenhooker. In 1990 and ‘91, Henenlotter and star Kevin Van Hentenryck returned for two even more demented sequels, both coming to Blu-ray from Synapse Films this August, each at the low price of $19.95!
- Derek Anderson
Review by Adrian Smith
When I Love Lucy debuted on American television in 1951, nobody could have suspected that it would become one of the most beloved shows of all time. Across six seasons Lucille Ball and her real-life husband, Cuban band leader Desi Arnaz, shared their lives with millions. At the time it was the most watched show in the United States, and undoubtedly helped fuel TV set sales during the decade. It has also been repeated constantly since, and sold around the world. Now, almost sixty years since the final episode, it is possible to go back and view it all from the beginning.
Keeping their own names helped further blur the line between the show and reality in the minds of the audience, and watching Desi and Lucy every week felt like you were spending time with real friends. For the most part the situations played out in »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
We cannot thank you all enough for your support in this year’s 14th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards! Just announced last night, FM was awarded Best Classic Magazine, Rick Baker’s Bride cover (FM #281) stole the show and snatch up the Best Cover award, and executive editor David Weiner was awarded Best Interview for his piece with Mel Brooks on Young Frankenstein. Read the full press release below, and check out all the winners.
Arlington, Va. – Revivals of classic horror and science fiction franchises of the 1980s won top honors in the just-completed 14th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, announced April 14 after an online vote by fans and genre professionals worldwide.
The popular Evil Dead movie franchise directed by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell took four awards, including Best DVD, Best Restoration, Best DVD Extra, and Best TV Presentation of 2015 for the offshoot series on Starz, »
- Caroline Stephenson
Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.
“Welcome to Metrograph: A-z” brings George A. Romero‘s greatest zombie picture, Day of the Dead, on Friday. Saturday includes Abbas Kiarostami‘s Close-Up, Robert Bresson‘s The Devil, Probably (also playing on Sunday), and Coming Apart; Sunday, see the Maggie Cheung-led Comrades: Almost a Love Story.
“Three Wiseman” offers two Wisemans: High School and Titicut Follies. »
- Nick Newman
Joop van den Berg's 1929 poster for AtlanticE.A. Dupont achieved early fame for Varieté (1925), a grimly saucy slice of Weimar doom and spiciness, and followed it up with prestigious British productions Moulin Rouge (1928) and Piccadilly (1929), the latter starring Anna May Wong—but just as his career was on the upswing he fell prey to the advent of sound, producing a big-budget version of the Titanic disaster in English and German versions.Atlantic, or Atlantik, became something of a laughing-stock in Britain, owing to Dupont's unfortunate combination of Teutonic tendencies and technical trepidation. The actors were directed to communicate as slowly as possible, perhaps so that Dupont could follow what they were saying. His desire to inflect each syllable with suitable weight and portent robbed the film of any sense of urgency, despite it being set on a ship that starts sinking around twenty minutes in (none of the ninety-minute time-wasting »
- David Cairns
Attention classic movie freaks – Set your DVR for this Monday!!!!
Tod Browning (1880-1962) was a pioneering director who helped establish the horror film genre. Born in Louisville Kentucky, Browning ran away to join the circus at an early age which influenced his later career in Hollywood and echoes of those years can be found in many of his films. Though best known as the director of the first sound version of Dracula starring Bela Lugosi in 1931, Browning made his mark on cinema in the silent era with his extraordinary 10-film collaboration with actor Lon Chaney, the ‘Man of a Thousand Faces’. Despite the success of Dracula, and the boost it gave his career, Browning’s chief interest continued to lie not in films dealing with the supernatural but in films that dealt with the grotesque and strange, earning him the reputation as “the Edgar Allan Poe of the cinema”. Browning »
- Tom Stockman
13 items from 2016
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