7 items from 2017
Red (raspberries), white (wine) and blue (lobster) — and possibly, by special request, one very well done faux filet steak — will be on order tomorrow when French President Emmanuel Macron takes the Trumps out to dinner.
The President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania are escaping to Paris – just a few days after returning to the U.S. from Germany for the G20 summit – amid growing controversy over Donald Jr.’s 2016 meeting »
- Peter Mikelbank
Although François Truffaut has written that the New Wave began “thanks to Jacquette Rivette,” the films of this masterful French director are not well known. Rivette, like his “Cahiers du Cinéma” colleagues Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Éric Rohmer, did graduate to filmmaking but, like Rohmer, was something of a late bloomer as a director.
In 1969, he directed the 4-hour L’amour fou (1969), the now legendary 13-hour Out 1 (1971) (made for French TV in 1970 but never broadcast; edited to a 4-hour feature and retitled Out 1: Spectre (1972)), and the 3-hour Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974), his most entertaining and widely seen picture. In these three films, Rivette began to construct what has come to be called his “House of Fiction”–an enigmatic filmmaking style involving improvisation, ellipsis and considerable narrative experimentation.
- Tom Stockman
Yvonne Monlaur: Cult horror movie actress & Bond Girl contender was featured in the 1960 British classics 'Circus of Horrors' & 'The Brides of Dracula.' Actress Yvonne Monlaur dead at 77: Best remembered for cult horror classics 'Circus of Horrors' & 'The Brides of Dracula' Actress Yvonne Monlaur, best known for her roles in the 1960 British cult horror classics Circus of Horrors and The Brides of Dracula, died of cardiac arrest on April 18 in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Monlaur was 77. According to various online sources, she was born Yvonne Thérèse Marie Camille Bédat de Monlaur in the southwestern town of Pau, in France's Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, on Dec. 15, 1939. Her father was poet and librettist Pierre Bédat de Monlaur; her mother was a Russian ballet dancer. The young Yvonne was trained in ballet and while still a teenager became a model for Elle magazine. She was “discovered” by newspaper publisher-turned-director André Hunebelle, »
- Andre Soares
Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This April will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.
To sign up for a free two-week trial here.
Monday, April 3 The Chaos of Cool: A Tribute to Seijun Suzuki
In February, cinema lost an icon of excess, Seijun Suzuki, the Japanese master who took the art of the B movie to sublime new heights with his deliriously inventive approach to narrative and visual style. This series showcases seven of the New Wave renegade’s works from his career breakthrough in the sixties: Take Aim at the Police Van (1960), an off-kilter whodunit; Youth of the Beast (1963), an explosive yakuza thriller; Gate of Flesh (1964), a pulpy social critique; Story of a Prostitute (1965), a tragic romance; Tokyo Drifter »
- Ryan Gallagher
Forget Disney’s recent reiteration of the classic fairy tale and instead look back at where the tale’s magic began on film, with Jean Cocteau.
The self-titled Belle and her captor-turned-prince Beast have returned to cinema screens around the world. In Disney’s latest live-action reiteration of one of their much-loved animated fairytales, Bill Condon’s live-action Beauty and the Beast has reintroduced contemporary audiences to the pair. With their return has come explorations of Disney’s representations of gayness, the question of modern viewing habits, and record-breaking box office success (the film has broken the March record for best opening with a $175m domestic gross).
This multiplicity of films on the same tale has been seen before, with the reintroduction of Snow White in 2012 arriving in the form of three very different films. 2012 brought the strong and defiant rebel ‘Snow’ in Snow White and the Huntsman, while Mirror Mirror restyled the classic tale. Pablo Berger »
- Sinéad McCausland
Taking a look at the French director’s fascinating filmography.
One of the biggest films of 2016, La La Land, owes a thing or two to French director Jacques Demy. The bright, colorful musical visually mirrors Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), and director Damien Chazelle was able to capture something of the melancholic sweetness of Demy’s musicals. Demy is not one of the most famous French directors, however his films have a specific charm and intelligence that no other filmmaker could match. The way he blended Hollywood style with French culture was unlike any other filmmaker at the time.
Demy began his career in 1960s France, during the time of the “Nouvelle Vague” or French New Wave. This was the time of films such as Breathless, Jules and Jim, The 400 Blows, and Le Beau Serge. However, Demy lies a little bit outside of this group of filmmakers, and »
- Angela Morrison
Disney wants us to know that Bill Condon’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a vital live-action remake of its own 1991 animated classic. Alan Menken and Tim Rice wrote three new songs for the film, and in interviews, Condon promised the first “exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
They succeeded on one point: The film’s most Broadway-like thrills come from the Menken-Rice tune written as the Beast’s soliloquy. As for that gay moment, it’s tough to know which one he meant. There are a few winks and nods, the most apparent being a gag at the end where Wardrobe dresses three intruders in women’s clothes. In what could have been another tired cross-dressing gag (two men run away in disgust), a third stares directly into camera, beaming. Condon also might have been referring to another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, when Monsieur LeFou (Josh Gad), right-hand man to Belle’s suitor Gaston, »
- Jude Dry
7 items from 2017
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