8 items from 2014
The state of Colorado is rubbing its hands at the somewhat bloody prospect of Quentin Tarantino coming to town. The director will park his wagon and convert a ranch to shoot his much-anticipated nineteenth century slugfest The Hateful Eight, commencing December 8th. Late 2014 was mooted as the start date, now this has been confirmed by The Denver Post. A frozen Wyoming is the scenario, that sees a stagecoach journey permanently halted by a remorseless blizzard. The carriage’s mismatched occupants – including a female convict and a pair of bounty hunters locked in a game of one-upmanship – must then presumably get locked in a fight for survival. As regular Tarantino viewers will know preservation of the species is not high on his list of priorities. Audiences got a taste of the action during a live reading earlier this year.
Wyoming itself must be fuming that Colorado got the jump on it, »
- Steve Palace
By Fred Blosser
Many books have been written about Hollywood Westerns. After 45 years, the late William K. Everson’s “A Pictorial History of the Western Film” (The Citadel Press, 1969) remains one of the best: a coffee-table book with substance. Everson appropriately tips his sombrero to John Ford, John Wayne, Henry Hathaway, and Howard Hawks (with measured praise for “Red River”), and his comments on films spanning the history of the genre up to the end of the 1960s, from “The Great Train Robbery” (1903) to “The Wild Bunch” (1969), are incisive and thought-provoking. As a film scholar and preservationist, Everson was particularly knowledgeable about older and often obscure movies from the silent and early sound eras. Three of the classic titles he highlights are worthy of his approval and deserve to be better known than they are.
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Lauren Bacall Dead: 89-year-old Oscar nominee who starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in ‘To Have and Have Not’ and ‘The Big Sleep’ Lauren Bacall has died following a massive stroke earlier today, August 12. Curiously, the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee for The Mirror Has Two Faces, and the star of film classics such as To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, and How to Marry a Millionaire, had been "killed" by an Internet hoax yesterday. Bacall would have turned 90 on September 16, 2014. According to Media Mass, the Lauren Bacall death rumors began on Monday, August 11, following the creation of a "R.I.P. Lauren Bacall" Facebook page that "attracted nearly one million of ‘likes.’" On the "R.I.P. Lauren Bacall" ‘About’ page, there was the following explanation: “At about 11 a.m. Et on Monday (August 11, 2014), our beloved actress Lauren Bacall passed away. Lauren Bacall was born on September 16, 1924 in New York. »
- Andre Soares
The Duke. There was only one man like him. The craggy face and squinted baby-blue eyes, with that drawling, patient voice that commanded authority with every “Pilgrim.” Those who knew him on set said that he was a true “presence,” and not that many stars were or are. He was a cinematic titan; still holding the record for the most leads roles (142) and a timeless icon of a certain man in a certain era. With a career of mostly dramas, Wayne discovered a funny bone with 1960’s North to Alaska, directed by Henry Hathaway, who would later get the actor his first and only Oscar for the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. With two ensemble epics just under his belt, The Longest Day and How The West Was Won, Wayne moved handedly back into the spotlight with McLintock!, a western slapstick riff with good values and men being men. »
- Kyle North
The first time I probably saw Eli Wallach was in the 1960s "Batman" television show as Mr. Freeze, but I don't remember anything from those episodes other than how it looked. The first time I saw Wallach and remember him from a role in a movie is probably as Don Altobello in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather: Part III. But Wallach's most memorable role, for me at least, is undoubtedly as Tuco in Sergio Leone's iconic spaghetti western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Today we learn Wallach is as we will remember him as he died Tuesday, June 24, at the age of 98. His death was confirmed by his daughter Katherine. Wallach's career spanned more than 60 years and also included films such as Elia Kazan's Baby Doll, Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, John Sturgess' The Magnificent Seven, John Huston's The Misfits and the massive ensemble »
- Brad Brevet
This rather unusual Swedish design, a mélange of various type and illustrative styles, is a poster for one of Ernst Lubitsch’s lesser known and most atypical films: Broken Lullaby (a.k.a. The Man I Killed). A dark film about a French soldier tormented by the memory of a German soldier—and fellow musician—whom he killed in Wwi, it screens this weekend and next in New York at Anthology Film Archives as part of "Auteurs Gone Wild," a tantalizing series programmed by Notebook contributor David Phelps.
The series includes nine refreshingly less-than-obvious works—all on 35mm—by such canonical figures as Hitchcock, Chaplin, Cukor, Capra, Lang and Von Sternberg. Phelps has chosen to shine a light on these authors’ least representative films: films that have been overlooked because they don’t fit the mold, because »
- Adrian Curry
A 9-film series of not-quite-classics (on 35mm), "Auteurs Gone Wild" runs at Anthology Film Archives from March 20-30, 2014; what follows are the director's cut of the program notes (with production stills of the auteurs themselves, mid-wild)—
If the Hollywood auteurs were the ghosts in the studio machine, what would they look like exorcised? Rather than author, the word "auteur" might have referred to a kind of rhetorician working within genre codes that, once decoded, would only reveal his own commentary on them. But what would happen if this auteur cleared his throat, managed a sip of water, and tried speaking in his own tongue? Typically, the critics who had authored the auteur as a placeholder and retroactive justification for their own generic interpretations would have to snub such attempts to break out of genre molds to go strange, personal places. For the irony is that these works, kind of laboratory »
- David Phelps
Directed by Henry Hathaway
Bradford Galt (Mark Stevens) is a private investigator with a modest office in Manhattan. His only help is in the shape of his trusty and charismatic receptionist Kathleen (Lucille Ball). One evening after a day’s work, Brad convinces Kathleen to spend the evening with him, not too difficult a feat given that she fancies her employer. When perusing the games at a carnival, it comes to their attention that a tough-looking man dressed in a shiny white suit (William Bendix) is tailing them. One thing leads to another (including an attempt on Brad’s life) until the private dick gets his tail to fess up his employer. It turns out Brad’s former partner and now lawyer Tony Jardine (Kurt Kreuger) is keeping tabs on him. What neither Brad nor Tony know, however, is »
- Edgar Chaput
8 items from 2014
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