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2 items from 2016


The Forgotten: Abel Gance's "Austerlitz" (1960)

30 November 2016 4:33 PM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

The great film historian Kevin Brownlow, who has devoted large sections of his life to restoring Abel Gance's 1927 epic Napoleon, takes a dim view of this one. And indeed Austerlitz, a.k.a. The Battle of Austerlitz, has several strikes against it, belongs to several categories of film maudit all at once. It's a late film by a seventy-one-year-old director whose best work, by universal consensus, was in the silent era; it's a kind of belated sequel, the further adventures of Napoleon Bonaparte; it's a Salkind production.Incidentally, viewing the lavish sets for this movie, we can see how the Salkinds, those roving multinational mountebanks, ran up the unpaid studio bills in Yugoslavia which kept Orson Welles from building the elaborate vanishing sets he had planned for The Trial (starting realistic, it would have ended up playing in a featureless void), necessitating the repurposing of a disused Parisian railway station. »

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Film Review: Shining Restoration of Jean Cocteau’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’

9 April 2016 7:54 PM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – One of the legendary films in cinema history is Jean Cocteau’s “La Belle et La Bete,” also known to generations as “Beauty and the Beast.” The restored re-release is touring the country, and in Chicago it’s currently at the Gene Siskel Film Center, and Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com will lead a discussion of the film there on Monday, April 11, 2016.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

The story is adapted from a traditional fairy tale, but in Cocteau’s hand is more adult-like, even more so than the sophisticated Disney animated version. The “Beauty” is about sexual blossoming, and the “Beast” is willing to accommodate, but first some trials must be had. What makes the film so unusual is the palette on which this multi-textured story takes place, an expressly creative landscape of dreams, with a production design (by Christian Bérard and Lucien Carré) that uses every inch of the ‘Academy Aspect »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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2 items from 2016


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