5 items from 2015
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 »
5 items from 2015
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