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Busan Film Review: ‘Promise at Dawn’

Busan Film Review: ‘Promise at Dawn’
However abetted by fiction, Romain Gary’s autobiographical novel “Promise at Dawn” is more of a roaring yarn than most memoirs have a right to be: Covering over 20-odd years in the celebrated French author’s early life, it’s a bildungsroman that covers pluckily overcome poverty in Poland, sensual education in the south of France and WWII aviation derring-do in Africa and Europe, its many colorful vignettes sewn through by the fierce love between Gary and his vivacious single mother Nina. It’s a story that, from its publication in 1960, veritably begged to be a movie, and it’s perhaps a shame that Gary, also a filmmaker in his own right, never took a stab at it himself. Jules Dassin caught only part of the book’s magic in his 1970 adaptation; now, Eric Barbier’s long, sometimes lively, sometimes lumbering version isn’t really an improvement.

Which is not to say that this expensively revived “[link
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Or, “Never on Sunday with Your Stepson.” Director Jules Dassin’s monument to his beloved Melina Mercouri transposes a Greek tragedy to a modern setting. The pampered wife of a shipping magnate is like a queen of old — she can fling a priceless gem into the Thames on just a whim, and she goes in whatever direction her heart takes her. When her attractive stepson Anthony Perkins enters the picture, there will be Hell to Pay.



Olive Films

1962 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 116 min. / Street Date March 21, 2017 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.95

Starring: Melina Mercouri, Anthony Perkins, Raf Vallone, Elisabeth Ercy.

Cinematography: Jacquest Natteau

Film Editor: Roger Dwyre

Original Music: Mikis Theodorakis

Written by Jules Dassin, Margarita Lymberaki from the play Hippolytus by Euripides

Produced and Directed by Jules Dassin

Anyone into amour fou, the romantic notion of a love without limits, beyond the harsh constraints of reality?
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Boy on a Dolphin

Killer Greek scenery in CinemaScope graces Jean Negulesco's relaxed thriller about art theft in the Aegean. But viewers are more likely to remember Sophia Loren's sexy wet diving costume that insured that her American debut didn't go unnoticed. Boy on a Dolphin Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1957 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 111 min. / Street Date October 25, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Alan Ladd, Clifton Webb, Sophia Loren, Alexis Minotis, Jorge Mistral, Laurence Naismith, Piero Giagnoni, Gertrude Flynn, Marni Nixon (voice), Scilla Gabel (Loren underwater). Cinematography Milton R. Krasner Film Editor William Mace Original Music Hugo Friedhofer Written by Ivan Moffat, Dwight Taylor from the novel by David Divine Produced by Samuel G. Engel Directed by Jean Negulesco

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Back when working on extras for The Guns of Navarone we saw documentation showing that Columbia Pictures had to jump through a lot of hoops with the Greek Royal Family
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Noir Takes a Holiday: Close-Up on Jules Dassin's "The Law"

  • MUBI
Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. The Law is playing on Mubi in the Us through January 21, 2016.For those who like nice touches, keep your eye on the bird. In Jules Dassin's The Law (1959), it's the first character we meet, where, in a town square under the hot Mediterranean sun, a group of men are watching a pigeon. The men are out of work and squarely at the bottom of the socioeconomic totem pole. The pigeon is an idiot, one man says—why would anything that could fly choose to stay here? Because sometimes people throw it crumbs, a man answers. And if you had any doubts what this all symbolizes, another of the men hastily adds: just like us. This is a film very much about hierarchy, and the forces or illusions that keep everyone in their place. The air is soon
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Julie Harris, Costume Designer for Bond and Beatles Movies, Dies at 94

Julie Harris, Costume Designer for Bond and Beatles Movies, Dies at 94
Oscar-winning costume designer Julie Harris, who helped define the swinging looks of the 1960s and ’70s London, died May 30 in London. She designed for James Bond films “Casino Royale” and “Live and Let Die” as well as the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help.” She was 94 and had suffered a chest infection.

Harris (no relation to the late actress Julie Harris) won an Academy Award for her mod designs in the 1967 Julie Christie-Dirk Bogarde film “Darling.” Over a four-decade career, she also served as costume designer on “Goodbye Mr. Chips,” “Rollerball,” the 1979 “Dracula” with Laurence Olivier and “The Great Muppet Caper.”

After working on the two Beatles films, she said, “I must be one of the few people who can claim they have seen John, Paul, George and Ringo naked.”

The glamorous looks for 1968’s “Casino Royale” and 1973’s “Live and Let Die” helped define the James Bond style,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Time Machine: Veterans Wallach and Coppola - Godfather 3 in Common - Are Special Oscar Honorees

Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson on the Oscars' Red Carpet Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson at the Academy Awards Eli Wallach and wife Anne Jackson are seen above arriving at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, held on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The 95-year-old Wallach had received an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in November 2010. See also: "Doris Day Inexplicably Snubbed by Academy," "Maureen O'Hara Honorary Oscar," "Honorary Oscars: Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo Among Rare Women Recipients," and "Hayao Miyazaki Getting Honorary Oscar." Delayed film debut The Actors Studio-trained Eli Wallach was to have made his film debut in Fred Zinnemann's Academy Award-winning 1953 blockbuster From Here to Eternity. Ultimately, however, Frank Sinatra – then a has-been following a string of box office duds – was cast for a pittance, getting beaten to a pulp by a pre-stardom Ernest Borgnine. For his bloodied efforts, Sinatra went on
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

5 to 7 | Review

Love in the Afternoon: Levin’s Gallic Flavored Romantic Drama Lacks Sense of Amour Fou

Writer and producer Victor Levin makes a patiently observed portrait of unconventional romance in the heterosexual realm with the warmly performed 5 to 7, so named for the French saying “Le cinq a sept,” which basically means happy hour but carries playful connotations of extramarital romance in the hazy, undocumented hours afforded the working class before reporting for duties on the domestic hearth. Playful, observant, and provoking to those who’ve never considered the possibility (or worthiness) of such an arrangement as the romantic involvement suggested here, the film feels calibrated towards the type of American conservatism that can only begin to fathom such quandaries through the guise of a pronounced European influence.

Here, it is a French couple suggesting that monogamy has little to do with a successful marriage, and a series of intellectual Manhattan
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A Foreign Language Actress So Nice, She's Been Nominated Twice: Sophia Loren

abstew here. Only 15 women in the 87 year history of the Academy have scored a Best Actress nomination for a foreign language performance. In contrast, British actresses have won Best Actress 14 times. While the Academy has always warmed to Brits, their European neighbors have had to struggle to breakthrough with recognition in the acting races. (There has still never been a Best Actress nominee for a performance in any language outside of a European origin.) The first actress to even score a nomination for a foreign language performance was Melina Mercouri for Never on a Sunday in 1960, over 30 years into the Academy's history. Only two women have actually won Best Actress for a foreign language performance and both those women have the even rarer distinction of being honored twice with nominations for foreign language performances. The first was Sophia Loren who won for 1961's Two Women and was nominated again for
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Five Unmissable Buñuel Classics Tonight on TCM

Luis Buñuel movies on TCM tonight (photo: Catherine Deneuve in 'Belle de Jour') The city of Paris and iconoclastic writer-director Luis Buñuel are Turner Classic Movies' themes today and later this evening. TCM's focus on Luis Buñuel is particularly welcome, as he remains one of the most daring and most challenging filmmakers since the invention of film. Luis Buñuel is so remarkable, in fact, that you won't find any Hollywood hipster paying homage to him in his/her movies. Nor will you hear his name mentioned at the Academy Awards – no matter the Academy in question. And rest assured that most film critics working today have never even heard of him, let alone seen any of his movies. So, nowadays Luis Buñuel is un-hip, un-cool, and unfashionable. He's also unquestionably brilliant. These days everyone is worried about freedom of expression. The clash of civilizations. The West vs. The Other.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Earliest Best Actor Oscar Winner Has Died

Maximilian Schell dead at 83: Best Actor Oscar winner for ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’ (photo: Maximilian Schell ca. 1960) Actor and filmmaker Maximilian Schell, best known for his Oscar-winning performance as the defense attorney in Stanley Kramer’s 1961 political drama Judgment at Nuremberg died at a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, on February 1, 2014. According to his agent, Patricia Baumbauer, Schell died overnight following a "sudden and serious illness." Maximilian Schell was 83. Born on December 8, 1930, in Vienna, Maximilian Schell was the younger brother of future actor Carl Schell and Maria Schell, who would become an international film star in the 1950s (The Last Bridge, Gervaise, The Hanging Tree). Immy Schell, who would be featured in several television and film productions from the mid-’50s to the early ’90s, was born in 1935. Following Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938, Schell’s parents, Swiss playwright Hermann Ferdinand Schell and Austrian stage actress Margarete Schell Noé,
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The 5 Non-"Psycho" Anthony Perkins Movies You Need To See

Anthony Perkins in Goodbye Again

Happy birthday to the man I call my Time Machine Husband (Tm), Anthony Perkins. The effete, beautiful actor best known for his astonishing performance as Norman Bates in Psycho would've been 81 today, and without even reading Charles Winecoff's gripping biography Split Image, you can tell in Mr. Perkins' performances that he was enigmatic, complicated, and conflicted. Though Perkins died of AIDS in 1992, his silver screenlegacy endures thanks to his lengthy, strange filmography.

Hollywood wanted Perkins to be the next James Dean, but his vulnerability and (frankly) apparent gayness stood at odds with that demand. As I like to say, we can't rewrite cinematic history to include all the wonderful gay characters we deserve, so we as gay entertainment anthropologists have to find our stories in the nuances, innuendos, and otherwise untold stories hidden right onscreen (perhaps unintentionally), right within all the stated heterosexuality. Though
See full article at The Backlot »

The 5 Most Ridiculous Best Actress Wins

I had a ball with a 10 Greatest Best Actress Victories list, and now it's time to reveal my dark side: Here are my five least favorite wins for Best Actress, and you'll notice they're all pretty fabulous actresses doing subpar work in subpar fare. Maybe I'm just mad at them for getting rewarded for the wrong work. Maybe I'm contrarian. T'any rate, here are the five offenders:

5. Jodie Foster, The Accused

This is not my way of damning Jodie for that cryptic, near-Dada speech she gave at the Golden Globes. This is my way of acknowledging that The Accused is unimportant Oscar bait full of teary monologues that just don't work. Jodie Foster is a commanding actress, and I consider her work in The Silence of the Lambs one of the most justified wins of the '90s. (Love the '91 Oscars so, so much. Thelma, Louise, Rambling Rose, Mercedes Ruehl,
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The Forgotten: Crime of Passion

  • MUBI
Jules Dassin had established himself as a very capable, smart genre filmmaker in Hollywood by the time the blacklist kicked him out. In Britain, he made Night and the City (1950), which continued his winning streak, and in France Rififi (1955) not only anticipated the direction Jean-Pierre Melville's career was about to take (translating American crime movie tropes to the French idiom), it spawned a whole sub-genre of unofficial sequels. Dassin's own Topkapi (1964) was a colorful spoof of the heist movie.

But the other strand of Dassin's European filmmaking is not so popular: his attempts at being an arthouse director have inspired considerable derision: David Thomson recommends The Law, Phaedra and 10:30 P.M. Summer as cures for suicidal depression; their earnestness strikes him as irresistibly preposterous.

Well, I can resist the temptation to laugh, up to a point: Anthony Perkins' torrid love scene with Dassin's wife, Melina Mercouri, in
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George Clooney, Shailene Woodley Photo: SAG Awards 2012

Shailene Woodley, George Clooney Shailene Woodley and George Clooney speak onstage during the 18th Screen Actors Guild Awards broadcast on TNT/TBS from the Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2012, in Los Angeles, California. Clooney and Woodley introduced their film, Alexander Payne's family drama The Descendants, up for the SAG Award for Best Cast. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage.) The nominated The Descendants' cast consisted of: Robert Forster, George Clooney, Matthew Lillard, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer, and veteran Beau Bridges, who starred opposite Melina Mercouri in Norman Jewison's Gaily, Gaily back in 1969. Additionally, Clooney was a Best Actor nominee. As it happened, Clooney lost to The Artist's Jean Dujardin. His other competitors were Demián Bichir for Chris Weitz's A Better Life, Brad Pitt for Bennett Miller's Moneyball, and Leonardo DiCaprio for Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar. As for the Descendants cast, they lost to the cast
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DGA Awards vs. Academy Awards: Odd Men Out Jules Dassin, Federico Fellini, Arthur Penn

Eiji Okada, Emmanuelle Riva in DGA (but not Oscar) nominee Alain Resnais' Hiroshima, mon amour (top); Melina Mercouri, Jules Dassin in Dassin's Oscar- (but not DGA-) nominated Never on Sunday (bottom) DGA Awards vs. Academy Awards 1953-1959: Odd Men Out Jack Clayton, David Lean, Stanley Donen 1960 DGA (14)Vincente Minnelli, Bells Are RingingWalter Lang, Can-CanDelbert Mann, The Dark at the Top of the StairsRichard Brooks, Elmer GantryAlain Resnais, Hiroshima, mon amourVincente Minnelli, Home from the HillCarol Reed, Our Man in HavanaCharles Walters, Please Don't Eat the DaisiesLewis Gilbert, Sink the Bismarck!Vincent J. Donehue, Sunrise at Campobello AMPASJules Dassin, Never on Sunday DGA/AMPASBilly Wilder, The ApartmentJack Cardiff, Sons and LoversAlfred Hitchcock, PsychoFred Zinnemann, The Sundowners   1961 DGA (21)Robert Stevenson, The Absent Minded ProfessorBlake Edwards, Breakfast at Tiffany'sWilliam Wyler, The Children's HourAnthony Mann, El CidJoshua Logan, FannyHenry Koster, Flower Drum SongRobert Mulligan, The Great ImpostorPhilip Leacock, Hand in HandJack Clayton,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

10 of the best films set in Istanbul

From Turkish versions of Tarzan and Dracula to wintry weepies, via (whisper it) Midnight Express, Fiachra Gibbons picks out the best films shot in Istanbul

• As featured in our Istanbul city guide

From Russia with Love, Terence Young, 1963

"They dance for him, they yearn for him, they die for him …" From Russia with Love is not only arguably the best of the Bond films, it set the template for all that followed, right down to the corny one-liners. This is Tatiana, the Russian double-agent love interest succumbing to Sean Connery's charms: "The mechanism is… Oh James… Will you make love to me all the time in England?" "Day and night, darling… Go on about the mechanism…" The film was shot when the city's population was less than two million (it has mushroomed to more than 13 million today), and it's a magic carpet ride back to a time when Istanbul teemed with hamals,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Michael Cacoyannis obituary

Director best known for the visually splendid and energetic Zorba the Greek

Although the first Greek films appeared in 1912, long periods of war and instability crippled any attempts at forming a national film industry. This meant that few features were produced until the 1950s, when the director Michael Cacoyannis, who has died aged 90, became the embodiment of Greek cinema, giving it an international reputation which reached a peak of popularity with his Zorba the Greek (1964).

Based on Nikos Kazantzakis's novel, the film burst on to the screen with extraordinary energy and visual splendour. It brilliantly combined the rhythmic music of Mikis Theodorakis and the Oscar-winning black-and-white cinematography of Walter Lassally with indelible performances by Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas and Lila Kedrova (who won the Oscar for best supporting actress).

The film celebrated joie de vivre, yet there was an underlying pessimism and an echo of Greek tragedy
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Michael Cacoyannis Dead at 89: Oscar-Nominated for Zorba The Greek

Michael Cacoyannis, best known for the 1964 Oscar-nominated drama Zorba the Greek, died of complications from a heart attack and chronic respiratory problems early Monday at an Athens hospital. He was either 89 or 90, depending on the source. Born in Limassol, Cyprus, on June 11, 1921 or 1922, the young Cacoyannis (Mihalis Kakogiannis in Greek) was sent to London to study Law, but later turned to the theater, studying Drama at the Old Vic and playing various roles on the British stage, including the lead in Albert Camus' Caligula. Unable to find work in the British film industry, he eventually moved to Athens. Cacoyannis' directorial debut took place in the early '50s, with the breezy comedy Windfall in Athens (1955), whose production lasted two years. International acclaim followed the release of Stella (1955), which was screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. This drama about a free-spirited young woman (Melina Mercouri) torn by her
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Michael Cacoyannis dies aged 90

Cypriot film-maker – real name Mihalis Kakogiannis – behind 1964 smash Zorba the Greek has passed away, according to reports

Multi-award-winning Cypriot film-maker Mihalis Kakogiannis, best known for the 1964 hit Zorba the Greek starring Anthony Quinn, has died at the age of 90, it has been reported. Kakogiannis, who was billed under the name Michael Cacoyannis for his English-language productions, was nominated in three separate Oscar categories for Zorba (including best director), and became a regular in competition at Cannes.

Born in Limassol in 1922, Kakogiannis learned his craft in the UK at the Old Vic, before travelling to Greece to shoot his first film, Windfall in Athens. His follow-up, Stella, starring a young Melina Mercouri, became an international hit and set Kakogiannis on his way. Zorba the Greek, adapted from a novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, eventually won three Oscars (though none for Kakogiannis himself).

Thereafter Kakogiannis found it hard to match Zorba's success. His follow-up,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Today’s Special: Tax day heist movie quiz

Is the IRS making you feel a poorer? As today is tax day, Disc Dish is celebrating with some great films in which characters use not-so-legal ways to fill their wallets (not that we’re advocating any, but they’re so much fun to watch.)

The question is, how well do you know your cinematic capers? Below are some of the best heist movies.

How many film titles can you match with the prize the characters are trying to steal? If you get tripped up, steal a peak at the answers.

The Movie The Loot 1. Larceny, Inc. (1942) – Ex-cons J. Chalmers Maxwell (Edward G. Robinson), Jug Martin (Broderick Crawford) and Weepy Davis (Edward Brophy) launch an elaborate scheme to get to this enticing jackpot. But there’s one problem – the fake luggage shop they set up to mask their criminal goings-on is doing a booming business and taking them away from the task at hand.
See full article at Disc Dish »
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