10 items from 2012
‘Caper’ movies are a sub-genre of the crime film that in the past 50 years has created some highly entertaining, memorable pieces of cinema. Each of the classics of the sub-genre seems to follow a simple set of just three rules:
The ensemble cast, led by a strong leading actor, play a group of down-on-their-luck men (they are either criminals, ex-cons, reluctant soldiers, or unemployed) who band together to carry out a clever and audacious heist. The audience throughout cheers for the ‘criminals’ because we know they are not Really ‘bad guys’ and, until the very final moments, we hope that they will get away with the crime (any maybe afterwards). The script is as clever as the cinematic crime itself and has a strong element of black – and usually quite socially subversive – humor.
- Roger Bourke
It's astonishing to think that Lean's stately masterpiece was made half a century ago, a mere 27 years after the death of Te Lawrence, and that following the initial showing in 1962 the film was cut, making it necessary for the restorers to have Charles Gray dub the voice of the late Jack Hawkins. There are no intelligent epics like this today and, because of computer-generated effects, it's unlikely that there ever will be again. To appreciate the film fully, Lawrence must be seen in a cinema, in 70mm on the widescreen and in stereophonic sound, and the present theatrical revival is not to be missed. I spent a year in the desert doing my national service and read The Seven Pillars of Wisdom there, but when I think of sand it's Freddie Young's images from Lawrence that I remember.
I'll never forget seeing the film for the first time at the Odeon, »
- Philip French
Lawrence of Arabia, 1962.
Directed by David Lean.
T.E. Lawrence attempts to unite the hostile Arab factions during the First World War in order to lead them to victory over the ruling Turkish Empire.
There are many films which are great. There are some which are outstanding. There are a few which are close to cinematic perfection. Above all these, there is Lawrence of Arabia.
Seeing David Lean’s masterpiece on the big screen defines why cinema is the art form it is and what can be achieved when every aspect that goes into making a film is functioning at its optimum level. The re-mastered version, released in a new 4K digital transfer in cinemas to commemorate the film’s 50th anniversary, runs for 227 minutes yet there is not a wasted scene, shot, or line of dialogue. Everything »
Epic Grandeur Captured In Blu-ray Gift Set
It’s probably the quintessential motion picture epic. If you’re looking for an intimate story told on a grand scale, an adventure set in an exotic location and against the backdrop of significant historical events, and an engrossing portrait of an important First World War figure… seek no further. Lawrence of Arabia has it all. This 1962 roadshow attraction from arguably Britain’s greatest director, David Lean, Lawrence is simply a magnificent achievement—both technically and artistically. With star power such as Peter O’Toole (in his first major role), Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Alec Guinness, Claude Rains, Jack Hawkins, and Jose Ferrer, and a master cinematographer such as Freddie Young, Lawrence of Arabia is not only gorgeous to look at, it is dramatically compelling.
O’Toole states that on the first day of shooting, Lean told him, “We »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
While there were a few good Blu-Ray releases last week, nothing could top The Amazing Spider-Man, which has dominated the Blu-Ray sales charts since it became available for pre-order (Filmbug). It was closely followed by The Mel Brooks Collection, which includes the hilarious Star Wars spoof Spaceballs, and this week’s featured Blu-ray Brave, which sold enough exclusive pre-orders to nab the third bestselling spot.
Ready for this week’s Blu-Ray releases? Then read on.
Release Date: November 13th, 2012
From Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures comes this computer-animated fantasy adventure film that’s sure to be a hit with every child in your household. »
- C.P. Howells
Actor who made her name during the early years of drama on television
As a captivating young ingenue in Shakespeare on stage, and Jane Austen on television, Daphne Slater, who has died aged 84, enjoyed a brilliant career for 10 years, followed by decent television work for the next 10, before withdrawing into family life almost completely by 1975.
At Stratford-upon-Avon in 1947, she appeared as a radical (for those days) young Olivia in Twelfth Night; both mother and daughter (Thaisa and Marina) in Pericles; Juliet in Peter Brook's beautiful Romeo and Juliet set in Verona ("a miracle of masks, mists and sudden grotesquerie," wrote Kenneth Tynan); and Miranda in The Tempest. Her Juliet, said Tynan, was rightly "excitable and impetuous, and she communicates this convulsive ardour until it becomes our panic as well as hers". Her future husband, John Harrison, played Benvolio, and their offstage romance continued during The Tempest, in which Harrison played Ferdinand, »
- Michael Coveney
Reintroduced to the geek generation as the film Michael Fassbender's android character David was watching in Ridley Scott's Prometheus, Lawrence of Arabia is an undoubted classic. And now it's coming back to cinemas.
A 50th anniversary restoration of the film is being released in the UK on November 16. The movie will screen at the BFI Southbank, Empire Leicester Square and nationwide. A trailer is included below.
Official synopsis and background
A young, idealistic British officer in Wwi, »
- David Bentley
Well, the dog days of summer are fast approaching, and what better way to duck out of the heat than by spending a cool day inside, AC-blasting, with your Blu-ray player and an endless supply of chilled adult beverages. June sees the release of an Alfred Hitchcock classic (beautifully restored), a trio of Lina Wertmüller gems, a nearly lost Michael Curtiz effort, a movie about the sex lives of ghosts, and a plane crash survival tale sold on the, er, ample merits of its female lead.
“The 39 Steps” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1935)
Why You Should Care: Because “The 39 Steps,” a crackling (86 minutes!) spy thriller from Alfred Hitchcock, is one of the most beloved British movies of all time, coming in at fourth place in the British Film Institute’s poll of top British films, and more recently, named the 21st greatest British film of all time by movie magazine Total Film. The film, »
- Drew Taylor
Is there a greater film than "Lawrence of Arabia?" Perhaps. There are certainly few longer ones, or few that are more epic and sweeping in their scope (thanks to the timeless Panavision 70 photography by Freddie Young). But even if the film isn't your absolute favorite, it is the number one of many, including Steven Spielberg, who credits the picture with making him want to be a filmmaker.
David Lean's tale of T.E. Lawrence's adventures in Arabia in World War I is fifty years old this year, and ahead of a brand-spanking-new Blu-ray release next month, a glorious new 4K restoration of the film is screening at Cannes tomorrow night. To mark the occasion, as well as the anniversary of the death of Lawrence himself, who died 77 years ago tomorrow, we've assembled five things you might not know about Lean's unassailable classic.
1. David Lean nearly directed a biopic of »
- Oliver Lyttelton
“If I could do it all over again…”
How many times have you thought that, or dreamt it, or talked about it? I think everybody does. It’s in our natures, y’know?
“If I knew then what I know now…”
What would you do?
I wouldn’t be a nurse.
I’d go to film school. UCLA or Nyu. I’d aim to be a film editor.
I love movies. So, in keeping with Mike Gold and John Ostrander’s columns about the movies, I thought I would list some of my favorite movies and why I love them. In no particular order. Because every time I pick one as my “all-time fave,” I remember another and hastily move that one to the top spot.
- Mindy Newell
10 items from 2012
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