11 items from 2015
Joan Crawford Movie Star Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and The Taxi Dancer (1927), and check her out in the more easily accessible The Unknown (1927) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928). By the early '30s, Joan Crawford had become a first-rate film actress, far more naturalistic than »
- Andre Soares
Olivia de Havilland on Turner Classic Movies: Your chance to watch 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' for the 384th time Olivia de Havilland is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 2, '15. The two-time Best Actress Oscar winner (To Each His Own, 1946; The Heiress, 1949) whose steely determination helped to change the way studios handled their contract players turned 99 last July 1. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any de Havilland movie rarities, e.g., Universal's cool thriller The Dark Mirror (1946), the Paramount comedy The Well-Groomed Bride (1947), or Terence Young's British-made That Lady (1955), with de Havilland as eye-patch-wearing Spanish princess Ana de Mendoza. On the other hand, you'll be able to catch for the 384th time a demure Olivia de Havilland being romanced by a dashing Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood, as TCM shows this 1938 period adventure classic just about every month. But who's complaining? One the »
- Andre Soares
Everything in Max Renn’s life is beginning to pulsate. First the Betamax videotape sent to him by one Bianca O’Blivion, which seems to breathe in his hand as he removes it from its beige packaging. Then Max’s television, squatting in the corner of his apartment, appears take on a life of its own: veins twitching, the screen bulging to the sound of a woman’s voice: “Come to me, Max. Come to me...”
David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, released in 1982, is loaded with violent and startling imagery like this. Like Apocalypse Now, its very narrative seems to disintegrate as its morally suspect protagonist Max Renn (James Woods) embarks on a journey into his own heart of darkness: a fascination with the origins of a video signal soon leads him to a world of corruption, »
Alleluia, Fabrice Du Welz's sensual, brutal version of the "lonely hearts killers"—made into a 1969 film by Leonard Kastle, The Honeymoon Killers, and Arturo Ripstein's 1996 Deep Crimson—was a highlight of the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes last year, and is now getting a Us theatrical release through Music Box Films' Doppelgänger Releasing arm. Shot close in intimate 16mm, the film juggles tones deftly to capture the loneliness, desire, horror, humor, and absurdity in an amour fou between two single sociopaths who find in each other an intense, primal attraction. But both persons are so distorted, and the love between them thereby turning so distorted, that it leads not to the greatest, strangest love affair—though you could call it that, I suppose—but the most perverse: the man sets up a scheme to seduce and rob women, and his lover, quickly beset by manic jealousy, ends up killing them. »
- Daniel Kasman
Earlier this week, we gave you details on first wave of special experiences and events taking place at the 2015 Stanley Film Festival. We now have details on their impressive slate of features, short films, and additional special events, including screenings of The Final Girls, Deathgasm, Stung, The Invitation, and We Are Still Here.
We're teaming up with the festival for live coverage and special opportunities for Daily Dead readers, so be sure to check back all month for contests, features, and more.
"April 2, 2014 (Denver, Co) - The Stanley Film Festival (Sff) produced by the Denver Film Society (Dfs) and presented by Chiller, announced today its Closing Night film, Festival lineup and the 2015 Master of Horror. The Festival will close out with The Final Girls. The film, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, is the story of a young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, »
- Jonathan James
Fandor, the premiere streaming service for independent, classic and critically-acclaimed films, shorts and documentaries, in a partnership with the Criterion Collection and Hulu Plus, is currently home to a rotation of uniquely curated bundles of Criterion films available to watch instantly via desktop, set top and mobile devices.
Every Tuesday, Fandor rolls out a new collection of films that share a common theme, genre, time period, film style, etc. These films are available on the site for 12 days before being replaced by a fresh new batch of featured Criterion masterpieces.
Fandor’S Criterion Picks For March
March 17-28: The Sixteenth Century
Carnival in Flanders(1935, Director Jacques Feyder): A small village in Flanders puts on a carnival to avoid the brutal consequences of the Spanish occupation. Ivan the Terrible(1944, DirectorSergei Eisenstein): As Ivan ascends to lead Russia, the Boyars are determined to disrupt his rule. Ivan’s relationship »
- Robert Greenberger
If you want to take a break from arguing with your loved ones and strangers on the internet over whether The Dress is white/gold or blue/black, take a look at this video where artist Nacho Guzman uses moving colored lights to make his actress’ face appear to be constantly in flux. It’s much cooler than The Dress, anyway. You can watch the full music video (“Sparkles and Wine” by Opale) here. Guzman is lovingly cribbing here from Henri-Georges Clouzot, who used a similar effect in Inferno, except his involves more glitter and, of course, a woman who gets seduced by a Slinky. The overall point is that light affects the way we see color. Although what’s happening with The Dress is obviously witchcraft. It’s not that an image is changing under lights; it’s that different people are seeing completely different colors at the same time. Is »
- Scott Beggs
Simone Simon: Remembering the 'Cat People' and 'La Bête Humaine' star (photo: Simone Simon 'Cat People' publicity) Pert, pretty, pouty, and fiery-tempered Simone Simon – who died at age 94 ten years ago, on Feb. 22, 2005 – is best known for her starring role in Jacques Tourneur's cult horror movie classic Cat People (1942). Those aware of the existence of film industries outside Hollywood will also remember Simon for her button-nosed femme fatale in Jean Renoir's French film noir La Bête Humaine (1938). In fact, long before Brigitte Bardot, Annette Stroyberg, Mamie Van Doren, Tuesday Weld, Ann-Margret, and Barbarella's Jane Fonda became known as cinema's Sex Kittens, Simone Simon exuded feline charm – with a tad of puppy dog wistfulness – in a film career that spanned two continents and a quarter of a century. From the early '30s to the mid-'50s, she seduced men young and old on both »
- Andre Soares
The late films of René Clément are even more neglected than the early and middle films of René Clément, which is to say, very neglected indeed. Falling somewhat between the generation of Jean Renoir and that of the nouvelle vague, he may have been seen as a dangerous professional rival, but he certainly was no friend to the emerging Cahiers du cinema cinephiles, declaring at the time of Fahrenheit 451's production that each Truffaut film was worse than the one before.
Almost effaced from film history apart from a couple of unavoidably impressive titles, Clément remains a stylish professional whose devotion to the thriller genre would have been considered admirable if he were American, but sits awkwardly with our expectations of French cinema: we have room for Henri-Georges Clouzot and Jean-Pierre Melville only.
Clément's last four films are all twisty thrillers, the kind of films that spend ages setting »
- David Cairns
"Fifty Shades of Grey" is in theaters this weekend. Have you heard? In celebration of this stunning cinematic achievement, we've trawled through all the streaming sites to bring you a list of five worthwhile erotic thrillers to watch online right now! Particularly useful for those who, you know, aren't interested in seeing "50 Shades" (they do exist!) but are nevertheless jonesing for some steely sexual tension to spice up their weekends. "Basic Instinct" (1992) The film that made Sharon Stone a star is still one of her best. Watch the aesthetically-gifted stunner command the screen with that placid, aquamarine stare. Forget the "no undies" leg crossing (or don't!) -- that interrogation scene is a classic for way better reasons than a single shot of Stone's naughty parts. "Nymphomaniac Pts. I and II" (2014) How about four hours of erotic thrillerisms? Charlotte Gainsbourg's commanding underbite does some of its best work in Lars von Trier »
- Chris Eggertsen
How would you program this year's newest, most interesting films into double features with movies of the past you saw in 2014?
Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2014—in theatres or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2014 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2014 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch »
11 items from 2015
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