12 items from 2014
The Classic French Film Festival celebrates St. Louis’ Gallic heritage and France’s cinematic legacy. The featured films span the decades from the 1920s through the 1980s (with a particular focus on filmmakers from the New Wave), offering a comprehensive overview of French cinema. The Mystery Of Picasso will screen as part of the festival at 7pm Friday, June 20th at the St. Louis Art Museum.
In 1955, Henri-Georges Clouzot, the acclaimed director of “The Wages of Fear” and “Diabolique,” joined forces with artist Pablo Picasso to make an entirely new kind of documentary, a film that could capture the moment and the mystery of creativity. Together, they devised an innovative technique: The filmmaker placed his camera behind a semi-transparent surface on which the artist drew with special inks that bled through. Clouzot thus captured a perfect reverse image of Picasso’s brushstrokes, and the movie screen itself became the artist’s canvas. »
- Tom Stockman
Palais des Festivals at the 2013 Cannes Film FestivalPhoto: RopeofSilicon.com The 2014 Cannes Film Festival begins in just two days and since I won't be able to attend this year I still wanted to do something Cannes-related. I started looking back over the years of the festival, which is celebrating its 67th edition this year. I considered going back and reviewing 15-16 films from a specific year in the past, but I thought of it too late. I then started looking over the history of past winners, and while I realize I haven't seen even half of the Cannes Film Festival winners I thought it would be fun to take a look at a list of the top ten I had seen, assuming readers could add their thoughts in the comments, suggesting some titles I have not yet seen or those you believe belong in the top ten. As we all know, »
- Brad Brevet
Thirty-seven years ago, director William Friedkin knew who was responsible for the critical and commercial failure of his "Exorcist" follow-up, 1977's allegorical action-adventure "Sorcerer": Darth Vader.
"Sorcerer" opened about a month after "Star Wars," replacing it at Hollywood's Chinese Theatre, for instance, only to be pulled a week later (after slow sales) and replaced by "Star Wars." To Friedkin, George Lucas's blockbuster had displaced not just "Sorcerer" but the entire movement of American director-driven cinema that had flourished in the early 1970s, to be supplanted ever-after by assembly-line franchise and action films designed more to make money than to create art.
These days, the 78-year-old Friedkin is more philosophical about "Sorcerer," acknowledging in his 2013 memoir "The Friedkin Connection" the role his own creative decisions played in the film's negative reception. For one thing, his hubris in remaking a classic (Henri-Georges Clouzot's 1953 adventure "The Wages of Fear") earned »
- Gary Susman
I interviewed William Friedkin back in 2012 (read part one here and part two here) and asked about the status of Sorcerer back then, knowing of the legal issues it was facing as Paramount and Universal couldn't seem to decide who owned the rights to the film. Friedkin was suing both studios in order to figure that out and hopefully get a remastered version of, what I believe is best called a "cult classic" at this point, the film released. Two years later, it finally arrives courtesy of Warner Home Video in all its tension laden madness. While Friedkin doesn't like the term, Sorcerer is a remake of French director Henri-Georges Clouzot's Wages of Fear (which itself was based on Georges Arnaud's novel), an amazing movie and one I've written about before, including my 2009 review of the Criterion Blu-ray. I can understand Friedkin's aversion to the word "remake" as »
- Brad Brevet
In the mid-1970s, there were few American filmmakers riding as high as William Friedkin. The French Connection swept the 1971 Academy Awards, nabbing Friedkin a Best Director statuette. The Exorcist, released two years later, broke box office records to become one of the top grossing films of all time. Boasting creative power and freedom that most directors could only dream about, Friedkin opted to film an updated version of French auteur Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic The Wages of Fear (1953).
The result, 1977’s Sorcerer, became one of the most notorious box office bombs of the decade. Its dark, unrelenting tale of four desperate, disparate men (Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, Amidou) who undertake a suicide mission by driving truckloads of nitroglycerine across the rugged South American jungle wasn’t what the changing tide of audience tastes were buying then, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
What’s my favorite Woody Allen movie? When I was asked, along with several other Variety staffers, to answer that question — long before Dylan Farrow posed it rhetorically to the world — for a 2013 sidebar to my own Allen interview, I picked “Husbands and Wives,” Allen’s raw and formally inventive 1992 drama of two married couples variously parting ways and reuniting amidst a roundelay of infidelities. That movie famously premiered while the director’s separation from Mia Farrow was still playing out daily in the headlines, and had reportedly been shot just as Mia was learning of Woody’s nascent affair with her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn.
All of this powered “Husbands” — one of Allen’s rare movies to be released nationwide on its first weekend — to above-average box office, but with all the life-imitates-art parallels in the press, the movie’s actual merits got somewhat lost in the shuffle. There were two Oscar nominations, »
- Scott Foundas
For the first time a daily matinee of a classic film will accompany the new films shown in competition at the upcoming City Of Lights, City Of Angels: A Week Of French Film Premieres In Hollywood.
Classic film screenings include restored versions of Jean Cocteau’s Beauty And The Beast, René Clément’s Purple Noon, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s L’Assassin Habitue Au 21 and Otar Iosseliani’s Favourites Of The Moon.
The 18th edition of the festival will run at the Directors Guild Of America headquarters from April 21-28. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will open the 2014 edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival with the world premiere of a brand new restoration of the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! (1955). TCM’s own Robert Osborne, who serves as official host for the festival, will introduce Oklahoma!, with the film’s star, Academy Award®-winner Shirley Jones, in attendance. Vanity Fair will also return for the fifth year as a festival partner and co-presenter of the opening night after-party. Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide withTCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.
In addition, the festival has added several high-profile guests to this year’s lineup, including Oscar®-winning director William Friedkin, who will attend for the screening of the U.S. premiere restoration of his suspenseful cult classic Sorcerer (1977); Kim Novak, who »
- Melissa Thompson
In the words of James McAvoy Filth is a “bold, brave, controversial and a rare and precious film in English speaking cinema.” One could almost be mistaken for thinking that Scotland’s leading man was referring to his own performance, if it were not for that one singular word “film.” Every great actor at the mention of their name has that one singular film that immediately comes to mind, or in the case of Robert de Niro a handful of films that can spark a furious impassioned debate amongst red-blooded cineastes. For James McAvoy the character is Bruce Robertson; the film Filth.
Whilst in my introduction to Jon S. Baird’s interview I stated that Filth “delivered a shock to the system, and shook up the cinematic social consciousness with a bold and courageous piece of filmmaking.” Equally McAvoy’s full blooded performance delivered the same shock and shakes that »
- Paul Risker
This Story Has Been Updated From Our Original Posting Of January 6. The Blu-ray Packaging Art Has Been Added And The Title Is Now Available For Pre-order From Amazon.
Good news for fans of William Friedkin's underrated 1977 classic Sorcerer: after years of false starts, the remastered film will now be available on Blu-ray through Warner Home Video. Check out the press release we've just received from them:
Burbank, Calif., January 6, 2014 – William Friedkin’s Sorcerer, the cult suspense thriller that has been largely overlooked since its 1977 release, has now been acquired and fully restored by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and will make its Blu-ray™ debut on April 22, 2014. The release, also available on DVD, will be packaged as a 40-page Blu-ray book filled with beautiful images from the film and excerpts from the book, “The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir.”
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Finally having all the legal issues settled, Sorcerer, William Friedkin's long buried 1977 remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot's classic suspense piece Wages of Fear, will be available to those outside of the European festival circuit (where it played via a restored print at Venice last year, but few (perhaps no) other cinematic bastions - no Tiff or Nyff or Lightbox or Moma.) Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is releasing the film sans-extras, but in glorious Blu-ray on April 22, 2014.The full Press Release, which includes notes on the restoration, is below:January 6, 2014 - William Friedkin's Sorcerer, the cult suspense thriller that has been largely overlooked since its 1977 release, has now been acquired and fully restored by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and will make its Blu-ray™ debut...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 22, 2014
Price: DVD $12.96, Blu-ray $27.98
William Friedkin’s Sorcerer, the 1977 cult suspense thriller will make its Blu-ray debut in a 40-page Blu-ray book filled with images from the film and excerpts from the book Friedkin’s recently published book, The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir.
Sorcerer is derived from the same Georges Arnaud novel that inspired Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1953 French classic, The Wages of Fear. The film, made following the successes of Friedkin’s The French Connection and The Exorcist, tells the story of four men who end up in a dismal South American town where an American oil company is seeking courageous drivers willing to haul nitroglycerin through 200 miles of treacherous terrain. The four displaced men have nothing to lose so they agree for a small payment of cash.
12 items from 2014
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