7 items from 2014
If I had to make a list of the ten film directors who I think most influenced my own standards of what filmmaking can be and should be, Mike Nichols would be on that list, if only for the first two films he made. And it may seem strange to say that I admire how he survived making those masterworks, but early success can destroy even the greatest talent because of the expectations it creates, and Nichols somehow managed it in a way that many other talented people have not. That is not to say that the rest of his work is not worth that kind of consideration and discussion. It's just that Nichols came out of the gate with two genuine, no-debate masterpieces, two films that crackle with life, two films that are so visually adept that they are humbling, two films packed with performances that go beyond good »
- Drew McWeeny
Schamus, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and producer of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Brokeback Mountain," is set to make his feature-length directorial debut with his adaptation of Philip Roth's "Indignation." Per the press release: "Set in 1951, Indignation is the story of Marcus Messner, the idealistic son of a humble kosher butcher from Newark, New Jersey. Marcus leaves for Ohio to study at a small, conservative college, where he finds himself at odds with the administration, grapples with anti-Semitism and sexual repression, and pines after a troubled girl." Roth's licentious novels have proven notoriously difficult to translate for the big screen, with directors from Robert Benton ("The Human Stain") to Ernest Lehman ("Portnoy's Complaint") struggling to retain Roth's erudite Jewish-American voice. Larry Peerce's well-received "Goodbye, »
- Greg Cwik
Honorary Award: Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth among dozens of women bypassed by the Academy (photo: Honorary Award non-winner Gloria Swanson in 'Sunset Blvd.') (See previous post: "Honorary Oscars: Doris Day, Danielle Darrieux Snubbed.") Part three of this four-part article about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Honorary Award bypassing women basically consists of a long, long — and for the most part quite prestigious — list of deceased women who, some way or other, left their mark on the film world. Some of the names found below are still well known; others were huge in their day, but are now all but forgotten. Yet, just because most people (and the media) suffer from long-term — and even medium-term — memory loss, that doesn't mean these women were any less deserving of an Honorary Oscar. So, among the distinguished female film professionals in Hollywood and elsewhere who have passed away without »
- Andre Soares
Part of the list provides a few Best Picture nominees, a number of Oscar winners, and a childhood favorite that still pops up now and again. In reality, this list could be half-full of music documentaries, but for that reason, I stayed away from them. Plus, I did my best to include only films that really are musicals in every sense of the word. Plenty of films have lots of musical components, but only true musicals have performances in the film that truly drive the story forward. The songs in movie musicals have a purpose, if there could be a true definition.
courtesy of ew.com
40. Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Directed by Michael Apted
Signature Song: “Coal Miner’s Daughter”
- Joshua Gaul
Directed by Billy Wilder
The past few weeks have been good for Humphrey Bogart on Blu-ray. The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and The African Queen were recently rereleased and assembled for the Best of Bogart Collection, and now, Sabrina, one of the legendary star’s final films, has received its first American appearance on the format. Perhaps more importantly, if total number of titles available on Blu-ray is the basis for judgment, Sabrina also marks one of disappointingly few Billy Wilder titles available in the remastered form. That the film also stars the radiant Audrey Hepburn and the remarkably versatile William Holden confirms that the release is worth commending.
- Jeremy Carr
Directed Alexander Mackendrick
For press agents and important newspaper columnists in the 1950s, Manhattan is the heart of the jungle. With stories floating out and about from Broadway, the visits of senators or even the domain of midlevel musical artists, the Big Apple is the hubbub of gossip and breathtaking opinion pieces, a virtual goldmine for press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) and widely read columnist J. J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster). The latter’s every written word forms public opinion like that of few other writers, a power he relishes, a power that inflates his already considerable ego. The former is the sewer rat who digs up any bit of information he can on just about anything that sells a newspaper…and a whole lot of gossip can sell a newspaper. His latest assignment, decreed by his dictatorial ally J. »
- Edgar Chaput
Now it’s gettin’ good, right? This section of the list begins to get into the portion where “you’ve heard it before.” A number of the films below have been universally acclaimed for one reason or another, but the focus here is on the writing. Some are innovative, some are unexpected, and some completed changed the way films were written, creating a new style or sub-genre. After all, isn’t that what makes for good writing?
30. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
I don’t wanna kill anybody. But if I gotta get out that door, and you’re standing in my way, one way or the other, you’re gettin’ outta my way.
Before he was one of the more recognizable directors in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino was a screenwriter just trying to make enough money to get the films he wanted to make off the ground. »
- Joshua Gaul
7 items from 2014
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