1-20 of 60 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
A very brief one indeed today, but I did want to help get word out there that the Hitchcock for the Holidays series is running at Chicago's Music Box Theatre through January 4. Ben Sachs in the Reader: "The films have been organized into five thematically-joined double features, making it easier for aspiring scholars to chart the development of key ideas across different periods of Hitchcock's career. The most inspired pairing may be Rope with Strangers on a Train (on December 27 & 28), which contain the strongest gay subtext of any Hitchcock films (Farley Granger, the bisexual star of both films, has interesting things to say about them in his autobiography Include Me Out); though the back-to-back screenings of Rear Window and Rebecca (on December 25 & 26) should bring out the romanticism of the former and the voyeurism of the latter."
Previous entries on Hitchcock; and earlier, in March: Remembering Farley Granger.
Lists. "Once again, »
Chicago – The unmistakable silhouette of the Master of Suspense will be cast over the Music Box Theatre during the final days of the holiday season. Ten of Alfred Hitchcock’s most beloved masterworks will be presented on the big screen in inspired double bills that illustrate the startling range and enduring brilliance of the legendary filmmaker.
Even if moviegoers have seen these titles eight dozen times on DVD, they will be amazed at how fresh the films play when screened in a packed theater. No filmmaker knew how to delight and frighten an audience better than Hitchcock. When Robert Osborne held a free screening of “North by Northwest” at the Music Box last year, it felt as if the picture had been made yesterday.
Every punchline scored a belly laugh, every moment of delicious tension caused viewers to lean forward in anticipation, and when the film ended, the packed house broke out into extended, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.
Real time – in which the plot of the film covers the same amount of time as it takes to watch – can be a blessing or a curse. When a film calls attention to it, real time can become a gimmicky distraction. On the other hand, it can add a real sense of urgency if the film just allows the events to unfold before us. There are a number of different ways filmmakers use it. For example, the action may be primarily set in one location. Other ways it is used involve hostage situations, characters waiting for something, or simply following characters around from place to place. It can be a tricky thing to pull off perfectly. So I’m deciding that as long as the film makes a real attempt, and the majority of the action takes place in real time, it is fair game. »
- Shane T. Nier
Every year it seems, the Academy comes under fire for forgetting/excluding somebody during the memorial part of the telecast to honor those in the industry who have passed away. It always seems someone is left out for whatever dubious reason, but leave it to the folks at TCM to try and get it right, and do it with style. The channel has just unveiled their lengthy, moving and touching "TCM Remembers 2011" video to honor those who have left us this year. 2011 has seen an unfortunate number of legendary, important and influential folks pass on: Pete Postlethwaite, Peter Yates, Maria Schneider, Jane Russell, Peter Falk, Farley Granger, Sidney Lumet, Laura Ziskin, Elizabeth Taylor and more left us with silver screen memories this year, and TCM finds a place for (most) of them. It's a touching tribute, and fittingly, it's one that isn't cramped by the constraints of a televised broadcast, »
Also: child actor John Howard Davies (David Lean's Oliver Twist), Charles Chaplin discovery Marilyn Nash (Monsieur Verdoux), director and Oscar ceremony producer Gilbert Cates (Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, I Never Sang for My Father), veteran Japanese actress Hideko Takamine (House of Many Pleasures), Jeff Conaway of Grease and the television series Taxi, and Tura Satana of the cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!.
More: Neva Patterson, who loses Cary Grant to Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember; Ingmar Bergman cinematographer Gunnar Fischer (Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries); Marlon Brando's The Wild One leading lady Mary Murphy; and two actresses featured in controversial, epoch-making films: Lena Nyman, the star of the Swedish drama I Am Curious (Yellow), labeled as pornography by prudish American authorities back in the late '60s, »
- Andre Soares
"TCM Remembers 2011" is out. Remembered by Turner Classic Movies are many of those in the film world who left us this past year. As always, this latest "TCM Remembers" entry is a classy, immensely moving compilation. The haunting background song is "Before You Go," by Ok Sweetheart.
Among those featured in "TCM Remembers 2011" are Farley Granger, the star of Luchino Visconti's Senso and Alfred Hitchcock's Rope and Strangers on a Train; Oscar-nominated Australian actress Diane Cilento (Tom Jones, Hombre), formerly married to Sean Connery; and two-time Oscar nominee Peter Falk (Murder, Inc., Pocketful of Miracles, The Great Race), best remembered as television's Columbo. Or, for those into arthouse fare, for playing an angel in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire.
Also, Jane Russell, whose cleavage and sensuous lips in Howard Hughes' The Outlaw left the puritans of the Production Code Association apoplectic; another Australian performer, Googie Withers, among »
- Andre Soares
I’ve finally made it to the grand master of the bravura sequence, or, more specifically, of the ending bravura sequence, King Vidor.
It isn’t surprising that a producer as knowledgeable as Selznick often ran to the services of the two major champions of “slice of cake” cinema and strong sequences, Hitchcock (Rebecca, Spellbound, Notorious, The Paradine Case) and Vidor (Bird of Paradise, Duel in the Sun, Light’s Diamond Jubilee, even Ruby Gentry), who, without a doubt, made the best films for Selznick.
Love Never Dies, Wild Oranges, Hallelujah, Our Daily Bread, Comrade X, Duel in the Sun, The Fountainhead, Ruby Gentry and their terrific denouements once made me write that Vidor was a director of film endings. No doubt I was exaggerating, but it isn’t for nothing that he hesitated for a long time between several different endings for The Crowd. I was also exaggerating because »
Ann Blyth on TCM: Kismet, Rose Marie, Our Very Own 8:00 Pm Mildred Pierce (1945). A woman turns herself into a business tycoon to win her selfish daughter a place in society. Dir: Michael Curtiz. Cast: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Ann Blyth, Eve Arden, Bruce Bennett. Bw-111 mins. 10:00 Pm Kismet (1955). In this Arabian Nights musical, the "king of the beggars" infiltrates high society when his daughter is wooed by a handsome prince. Dir: Vincente Minnelli. Cast: Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Dolores Gray. C-113 mins. Letterbox Format. 12:00 Am All The Brothers Were Valiant (1953). Brothers on a whaling schooner become romantic rivals. Dir: Richard Thorpe. Cast: Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger, Ann Blyth. C-95 mins. 2:00 Am Our Very Own (1950). The discovery that she's adopted shakes a young girl's sense of security. Dir: Dave Miller. Cast: Ann Blyth, Farley Granger, Joan Evans, Jane Wyatt. Bw-93 mins. 4:00 Am Rose Marie »
- Andre Soares
Ann Blyth is Turner Classic Movies Star of the Evening tonight, as part of TCM's "The Essentials" film series. [Ann Blyth Movie Schedule.] Opera- and Broadway-trained Ann Blyth began her film career in the mid-1940s at Universal, appearing in light B musicals opposite Donald O'Connor and/or Peggy Ryan, among them The Merry Monahans, Chip Off the Old Block, and Babes on Swing Street. Blyth's big break came in 1945, when — following back surgery — she played Joan Crawford's pathologically selfish daughter Veda in Michael Curtiz's classic film noir-cum-melodrama Mildred Pierce. A well-deserved Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination followed, and so did leads in darker, bigger-budgeted productions, among them Jules Dassin's Brute Force (1947), with Burt Lancaster; Zoltan Korda's A Woman's Vengeance (1948), opposite Charles Boyer; and Michael Gordon's film version of Lillian Hellman's Another Part of the Forest (1948), a prequel to The Little Foxes. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any of Blyth's hard-to-find Universal titles. »
- Andre Soares
Kirk Douglas on TCM: A Letter To Three Wives, Mourning Becomes Electra Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 8:00 Pm The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers (1946). Years after a murder drove them apart heiress tries to win back her lost love. Dir: Lewis Milestone. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, Judith Anderson. Bw-116 mins. 10:00 Pm Out Of The Past (1947). A private eye becomes the dupe of a homicidal moll. Dir: Jacques Tourneur. Cast: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming. Bw-97 mins. 11:45 Pm I Walk Alone (1948). An ex-convict discovers the world of crime has changed drastically since he went up the river. Dir: Byron Haskin. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, Wendell Corey. Bw-97 mins. 1:30 Am A Letter To Three Wives (1949). A small-town seductress notifies her three best friends that she has run off with one of their husbands. Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz. »
- Andre Soares
Bette Davis, Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, Three on a Match Ann Dvorak on TCM Part I: Scarface, I Was An American Spy Another cool Ann Dvorak performance is her drug addict in Mervyn LeRoy's Three on a Match (1932), which features a great cast that includes Warren William, Joan Blondell, and a pre-stardom Bette Davis. Never, ever light three cigarettes using the same match, or you'll end up like Ann Dvorak, delivering a harrowing performance without getting an Academy Award nomination for your efforts. As Three on a Match's young Ann Dvorak, future Oscar nominee Anne Shirley is billed as Dawn O'Day. (And for those who believe that remakes is something new: Three on a Mach was remade a mere six years later as Broadway Musketeers: John Farrow directed; Ann Sheridan, Marie Wilson, and Margaret Lindsay starred.) I've never watched David Miller's family drama Our Very Own »
- Andre Soares
French dancer and choreographer Roland Petit died in Geneva on Sunday. He was 87. Associated with the Paris Opera Ballet and the Ballet de Marseille for a number of years, Petit was credited for creating more than 100 ballets throughout his career. Additionally, he choreographed dance sequences for a handful of movies, notably Samuel Goldwyn's Hans Christian Andersen (1952), a color extravaganza starring Danny Kaye, Farley Granger, and Petit's future wife Zizi Jeanmaire; two 1955 Leslie Caron vehicles, the Cinderella tale The Glass Slipper and Daddy Long Legs, which paired Caron with Fred Astaire; and Henri Decoin's Folies-Bergère (1956), with Jeanmaire, Eddie Constantine, and Nadia Gray. "With his muse Zizi Jeanmaire," whom Petit married in 1954, "he wrote some of the most beautiful pages of contemporary music hall," French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand eulogized. Roland Petit and Zizi Jeanmaire remained married until his death. Mitterrand quote via the BBC. »
- Andre Soares
Montgomery Clift, I Confess Alfred Hitchcock is the focus of tonight's programming on Turner Classic Movies, which will be showing five of the director's films: Stage Fright, I Confess, Dial M for Murder, The Wrong Man, and Strangers on a Train. None of them is a masterpiece; all of them are worth your time. My favorite of the five is I Confess, partly because of its intriguing plot about a murderer who confesses his crime to a priest who later becomes the chief suspect in the case; and partly because Montgomery Clift is quite good as the tormented priest. Anne Baxter is his leading lady. However flawed, I find both Stage Fright and Dial M for Murder enjoyable. The former is immensely helped by Alastair Sim's performance, though Jane Wyman does solid work as the heroine while Marlene Dietrich gets to sing a song or two. In Dial M for Murder, »
- Andre Soares
This article was originally published in 2006 when I kicked off the Personal Canon Project but I'm trying to get all the articles back online. 'The 100 movies I most think about when I think about the movies.'
Rope (1948) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock | Screenplay by Arthur Laurents, Hume Cronyn, and Ben Hecht based on the play "Rope's End" by Patrick Hamilton | Starring: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger and Cedric Hardwicke | Production Company Transatlantic Pictures and Warner Bros | Released 08/28/48
Hitchcock and the Continuous Shot
Alfred Hitchcock served as auteur-theory training wheels for me. I doubt I'm alone in this. Perhaps it's the confines of his chosen genre that throw his presence as a director into such unmistakable relief. Or maybe it's his celebrity, cultivated through that famous profile, press-baiting soundbites, celebrated fetishes, and television fame. But what it comes down to is this: when watching a Hitchcock film, even uneducated moviegoers, »
- NATHANIEL R
When Lucio Fulci concluded The Beyond with the words "And you will face the sea of darkness, and all therein that may be explored", he might as well have been referring to the banner year of 1981.
Whatever your genre poison, 1981 delivered it in spades. Werewolves ruled the box office with films that not only redefined special effects artistry but remain stellar examples of modern lycanthropic horror – even today. Elsewhere, Satan's son reared his ugly head for a final conflict while David Cronenberg explored factions of warring psychics with Scanners. Sam Raimi's Candarian demons were unleashed in a Tennessee cabin while seemingly endless droves of slashers stalked theaters across the country. Wes Craven doled out one hell of a Deadly Blessing while The Boogens broke free from a Colorado silver mine, endearing themselves to a whole band of cult aficionados who've remained loyal to a film that, thirty years later, »
- Masked Slasher
Updated through 5/9.
"Arthur Laurents, the playwright, screenwriter and director who wrote and ultimately transformed two of Broadway's landmark shows, Gypsy and West Side Story, and created one of Hollywood's most well-known romances, The Way We Were, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan," reports Robert Berkvist in the New York Times. "He was 93."
Regarding West Side Story, "Mr Laurents's book gave a contemporary spin to the tale of Romeo and Juliet. The Montagues and the Capulets, the families of the doomed young lovers, were now represented by the Jets and the Sharks, warring street gangs in Manhattan. It was a plot device that had been discussed several years earlier by Mr Laurents, the director and choreographer Jerome Robbins and the composer Leonard Bernstein. Initially, Bernstein was to have written both the music and lyrics, »
Playwright and screenwriter who wrote the book for West Side Story
The playwright, screenwriter and director Arthur Laurents has died aged 93. If he was not as well known as some of his collaborators, Laurents was nevertheless intrinsic to the success of the stage musicals West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959) and La Cage aux Folles (1983), and the films Rope (1948) and The Way We Were (1973).
Laurents wrote the book for West Side Story, which updated Romeo and Juliet to the streets of New York, with gangs called the Jets and the Sharks replacing the houses of Montague and Capulet. The production was directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. "The book is the shortest on record," said Laurents of his contribution, "yet the last third doesn't have one musical number, neither song nor dance ... The monologue was intended to be an aria sung by Maria. »
- Christopher Hawtree
My friend Matthew, who wrote the book Boy Culture (which his blog is named after), recently interviewed the late Sal Mineo's boyfriend Courtney Burr, who is an acting teacher, in connection with a newish book on one of the most important Young Hollywood stars of the 1950s and 60s. The book in question was written by Michael Gregg Michaud. Burr had previously declined requests to help with other Mineo related books because he felt they were just after the sensationalistic aspects of the actor's legend (his sex life or his murder in the 70s -- famously none of the legendary trio from Rebel Without a Cause lived long enough to die of natural causes).
It's a lengthy interview for those of you who are interested in Sal Mineo or the difficulties for "exotic" actors or queer actors in showbiz history. The bit where Burr talks about Sal's career choices »
- NATHANIEL R
Netflix has revolutionized the home movie experience for fans of film with its instant streaming technology. Netflix Nuggets is my way of spreading the word about independent, classic and foreign films made available by Netflix for instant streaming.
This Week’s New Instant Releases…
Promised Lands (1974)
Streaming Available: 04/19/2011
Director: Susan Sontag
Synopsis: Set in Israel during the final days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, this powerful documentary — initially barred by Israel authorities — from writer-director Susan Sontag examines divergent perceptions of the enduring Arab-Israeli clash. Weighing in on matters related to socialism, anti-Semitism, nation sovereignty and American materialism are The Last Jew writer Yoram Kaniuk and military physicist Yuval Ne’eman.
Streaming Available: 04/19/2011
Synopsis: Directed by longtime star of independent German cinema Margarethe von Trotta, this reverent »
- Travis Keune
Other posts you might likeMarch 30, 2011 -- Farley Granger, 1925 – 2011 (10)March 23, 2011 -- Elizabeth Taylor, video remembrance (13)February 28, 2011 -- Rip Jane Russell (16)January 10, 2011 -- Peter Yates, Rip at Age 81 (18)December 12, 2010 -- TCM 2010 Memorial »
- Ryan Adams
1-20 of 60 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
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