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Film-maker behind ground-breaking international smash hit that brought domestic gay relationships to the mainstream
Édouard Molinaro, the French film director behind the pioneering gay farce La Cage aux Folles, has died at the age of 85 from lung failure.
La Cage aux Folles, itself based on a play by Jean Poiret, starred Michel Serrault and Ugo Tognazzi as a long-term gay couple, one of whose children plans to get married to a stuffy politician's daughter. The pair must conceal their relationship when the prospective in-laws come for dinner. The film was released in 1978 to considerable box office success, in the Us as well as Europe, and broke new ground in the mainstream acceptance of a screen portrayal of domestic gay relationship. It was remade in 1990 as The Birdcage with Nathan Lane and Robin Williams in the lead roles.
- Andrew Pulver
‘La Cage aux Folles’ director Edouard Molinaro, who collaborated with Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau, Orson Welles, dead at 85 Edouard Molinaro, best known internationally for the late ’70s box office comedy hit La Cage aux Folles, which earned him a Best Director Academy Award nomination, died of lung failure on December 7, 2013, at a Paris hospital. Molinaro was 85. Born on May 31, 1928, in Bordeaux, in southwestern France, to a middle-class family, Molinaro began his six-decade-long film and television career in the mid-’40s, directing narrative and industrial shorts such as Evasion (1946), the Death parable Un monsieur très chic ("A Very Elegant Gentleman," 1948), and Le verbe en chair / The Word in the Flesh (1950), in which a poet realizes that greed is everywhere — including his own heart. At the time, Molinaro also worked as an assistant director, collaborating with, among others, Robert Vernay (the 1954 version of The Count of Monte Cristo, starring Jean Marais) and »
- Andre Soares
Oscar Sunday is three months from today, March 2, 2014 and this year, it’s anyone’s game. The Academy has a history of playing up all the glamour and suspense, and this year should be no different.
In what’s classic TV, take a look at the opening of the 43rd Academy Awards in 1971, featuring an introduction by Academy President Daniel Taradash.
The big A-listers of the day all appeared at the Oscars – Goldie Hawn, Jeanne Moreau, Melvyn Douglas, Ryan O’Neal, Leigh Taylor-Young, George Segal, Jennifer Jones, Lee Grant, Maximilian Schell, Ginger Rogers, Jack Nicholson, Ali McGraw, Robert Evans, Quincy Jones, Sally Kellerman, Jim Brown, »
- Michelle McCue
Guns, dames and hats: you can't have a film noir without them, can you? Take a look at the Guardian and Observer critics list of the best 10 noirs and you'll realise things aren't that simple …
• Top 10 westerns
• Top 10 documentaries
• Top 10 movie adaptations
• Top 10 animated movies
• Top 10 silent movies
• Top 10 sports movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
Nicholas Ray's astonishingly self-assured, lyrical directorial debut opens with title cards and lush orchestrations over shots of a boy and a girl in rapturous mutual absorption: "This boy … and this gir … were never properly introduced … to the world we live in …" A shriek of horns suddenly obliterates all other sound – their shocked faces both turn toward the camera, and the title appears: They Live by Night.
Meet 23-year-old escaped killer Bowie Bowers and his farm-girl sweetheart Keechie Mobley (Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell), in an imaginary idyll »
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95
Hailed as one of the finest films ever made, the 1962 drama-romance Jules and Jim charts, over twenty-five years, the relationship between two friends and the object of their mutual obsession.
The legendary François Truffaut (The 400 Blows) directs, and Jeanne Moreau (La Notte) stars as the alluring and willful Catherine, whose enigmatic smile and passionate nature lure Jules (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold’s Oskar Werner) and Jim (The Fire Within’s Henri Serre) into one of cinema’s most captivating romantic triangles.
An exuberant and poignant meditation on freedom, loyalty, and the fortitude of love, the classic Jules and Jim was a worldwide smash a half-century ago and remains every bit as audacious and entrancing today.
Presented in French with English subtitles, Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo of Jules and Jim includes the following features:
• New 2K digital restoration, »
Chicago – 1961’s “La Notte” helped build Michelango Antonioni’s international reputation after the success of “L’avventura” and lifted stars Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau to an arthouse plateau. The film hasn’t aged as well as some of Antonioni’s best, in my opinion, although the 4K restoration on the new Criterion Blu-ray certainly helps one appreciate the visual compositions of its incredibly influential director. The release is a bit slight on supplemental material but fans of the filmmaker or star will simply be happy to have one of his more notable works in HD.
More of a moody examination of the disintegration of a relationship than the films of the recently-released Cassavetes set, “La Notte” is an atmospheric piece that captures a certain time and place and makes its human story feel universal at the same time. The supplements are thinner than usual here when it comes »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Could a film like "La Notte" ever exist today? What would it look like? Released in 1961, Michelangelo Antonioni's visually sleek modernist masterpiece features two international stars of considerable pedigree -- Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau -- who talk, and also don't talk, about the undetectable meanings of life and love. This side of "La Notte," the closest a film comes to such a surgically precise picture of marital breakdown is "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999) by Stanley Kubrick, who loved "La Notte." And like "Eyes Wide Shut," "La Notte" is a dreamy nighttime odyssey that drives apart a husband and wife as they hurtle toward something awful and inevitable, only to bring them together again in a closing moment of possible reconciliation. But when Giovanni (Mastroianni) and Lidia (Moreau) embrace like wild dogs at the end of "La Notte," there may be reconciliation, but no hope. While Giovanni, a novelist, is »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week:
What's It About? This prequel to the Disney-Pixar favorite "Monster's Inc." takes us back in time to when Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) weren't the best of friends. Before the two became big Scarers, they were freshman at Monster's University and quickly became competitive rivals.
Why We're In: Crystal's Mike and Goodman's Sully are undoubtedly one of the funniest and most beloved onscreen animated duos. Unlike most prequels, "Monster's University" is packed with fresh humor, fun and charming moments, and will keep the whole family entertained. The prequel was also ranked one of Moviefone's Best Movies of 2013 (So Far).
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week:
"La Notte" (Criterion Collection)
What's It About? Michelangelo Antonioni's 1961 classic, "La Notte," stars Jeanne Moreau and Marcello Mastroianni as a deteriorating married couple. The two re-examine their relationship over the course of an evening, »
- Erin Whitney
(Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961; Eureka!, 12)
Cinematic trilogies have been all the rage since Pagnol's in the early 30s. But possibly the most influential was the trio that made Antonioni's beautiful, sceptical, ironic muse Monica Vitti the art house pin-up of the 1960s and created a new Italian cinema – cool, oblique, Marxist – to succeed neorealism. It began with L'Avventura, roundly booed at Cannes in 1960 by critics who thought it obscure, and concluded in 1962 with L'Eclisse, which some thought too explicit. Antonioni never made anything better than La Notte, the centrepiece of the trilogy, superbly shot in black and white by Gianni Di Venanzo, the key cinematographer of his time.
Set during a single day and night in a Milan where steel and glass skyscrapers are going up and old buildings being pulled down, it opens with a disillusioned novelist (Marcello Mastroianni) and his embittered wife (Jeanne Moreau) visiting their dying friend, a leftwing »
- Philip French
Norma Bengell dead at 78: Iconic (and controversial) Brazilian film, stage, television, and recording star made history as the first actress to be seen naked (full frontal) in a mainstream film (photo: Norma Bengell and John Herbert in ‘As Cariocas’) Norma Bengell, a sort of Brazilian Jeanne Moreau, Brigitte Bardot, and Jane Fonda rolled into one, died of lung cancer in her hometown of Rio de Janeiro on October 9, 2013. She was 78. Best known internationally for her leading-lady roles in several Italian-made cult classics of the mid-’60s, Norma Bengell was known in Brazil as a controversial show business veteran and for being the first “name” actress (purportedly anywhere in the world) to be seen fully naked — full frontal — in a mainstream film. Note: Hedy Lamarr, then billed as Hedy Kiesler, does swim and run around in the nude in Gustav Machaty’s 1933 Czech drama Ecstasy. However, Lamarr’s naked swimming was disguised by the water, »
- Andre Soares
Everyone loves a romantic movie, right? Here's what the Guardian and Observer's critics think are the 10 most romantic movies of all time. Let us know what you think in the comments below
Peter Bradshaw on romantic movies
Movies such as Gone With the Wind and Doctor Zhivago lent something grand and epic to romantic love, but it was perhaps the much-loved weepie An Affair to Remember that did the most to introduce us to the more domestic idea of the chick flick or the date movie – the romantic film adored by women and tolerated by their husbands and boyfriends.
European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award: Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau, Judi Dench are the only three female recipients to date (photo: European movies’ Lifetime Achievement Award-less actress Danielle Darrieux) (See previous post: "Catherine Deneuve: Only the Third Woman to Receive European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award.") As mentioned in the previous post, French film icon Catherine Deneuve is only the third woman to receive the European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award since the organization’s first awards ceremony in 1988. Deneuve’s predecessors are The Lovers‘ Jeanne Moreau (1997) and Notes on a Scandal‘s Judi Dench (2008). In that regard, the European Film Academy is as male-oriented as the Beverly Hills-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. More on that below. Male recipients of the European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award are the following: Ingmar Bergman, Marcello Mastroianni, Federico Fellini, Andrzej Wajda, Alexandre Trauner, Billy Wilder, »
- Andre Soares
Catherine Deneuve: 2013 European Film Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Catherine Deneuve has been named the recipient of the the European Film Academy’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award for her "outstanding body of work." And outstanding it is. Yesterday, I posted an article about Dirk Bogarde (Victim, Death in Venice, Despair), one of the rare performers anywhere on the planet to have consistently worked with world-class international filmmakers. The Paris-born Catherine Deneuve, who turns 70 next October 22, is another one of those lucky actors. (Photo: Catherine Deneuve at the Potiche premiere at the 2010 Venice Film Festival.) Deneuve’s directors have included an eclectic and prestigious list of filmmakers from various countries. Those include Belle de Jour and Tristana‘s Luis Buñuel; Le Sauvage and La Vie de Château‘s Jean-Paul Rappenau; The Hunger‘s Tony Scott; Un Flic‘s Jean-Pierre Melville; The Mississippi Mermaid and The Last Metro‘s François Truffaut »
- Andre Soares
The German actor Otto Sander, who has died aged 72 after suffering from cancer, made his name as one of the members of Peter Stein's Schaubühne theatre in Berlin, where he developed a versatile but precise stage presence that he brought to all kinds of roles. Sander also had more than 100 credits in film and TV productions, most notably Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot (The Boat, 1981), as a drunk and disillusioned U-boat captain, and Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire, 1987), as one of the two angels in Wim Wenders's magical survey of the divided city.
Born in Hanover, Sander grew up in Kassel, where he graduated from the Friederichsgymnasium in 1961. He did his military service as a naval reserve officer. In 1965, in his first engagement at the Düsseldorf Kammerspiele, he showed a natural »
- Hugh Rorrison
Legendary director William Friedkin has just been given a lifetime achievement award at the Venice film festival, but he is still making big, critically acclaimed movies, such as last year's Killer Joe. He looks back on his career, and the film he considers his best, 1977's Sorcerer
On a hot, sticky Tuesday in Venice, the American film director William Friedkin sauntered from his hotel to see an exhibition of paintings at the nearby Doge's Palace. There, he stood in front of Manet's L'Evasion de Rochefort, which depicts the flight of the man who challenged Napoleon III. He saw the little boat packed with indistinguishable figures and the mighty sea churning all around. It struck him that the painting summed up what he thinks of the world: that we're stuck on a boat, at the mercy of nature. Possibly it has something to say about his own career too.
Friedkin is »
- Xan Brooks
Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Marcel Ophüls
Section: Tiff Docs
Dates: Tuesday 10th, Thursday 12th, Sunday 15th
Buzz: The freewheeling memoir Ain’t Misbehavin’ (titled Un Voyageur in French) screened alongside Frank Pavich’s Jodorowsky’s Dune during Director’s Fortnight at Cannes. While the latter is perhaps the most buzzed about Tiff Doc, the first feature from Marcel Ophüls in nearly two decades should not be overlooked. The son of celebrated German-Jewish filmmaker Max Ophüls (The Earrings of Madame de …) and friend of François Truffaut, the master documentarian, now eighty-five years old, has lived an extraordinary life. Marcel Ophüls won the Academy Award for Best Documentary and the Fipresci Award at Cannes for Hotel Terminus (1988), while his Oscar nominated, four-hour long The Sorrow and The Pity (1969), that explored French resistance and collaboration with Nazis was memorialized in Annie Hall. After the endless critical praise for his Holocaust-related material, it will be »
- Caitlin Coder
The strength of anti-abortion feeling in the Us makes it important that celebrities join campaigners in taking a stand
It would have been so much easier to say nothing. The actor Mark Ruffalo clearly knew this when he put together his statement of support for a pro-choice campaign currently traversing the Us – but he went ahead anyway. On Saturday, outside the last abortion clinic in Mississippi (back in 1981 the state had 14 clinics), his speech was read aloud. It spoke of the abortion his mother had had to seek illegally as a young woman, a traumatising experience, "shameful and sleazy and demeaning," he wrote. "I don't want to turn back the hands of time to when women shuttled across state lines in the thick of night to resolve an unwanted pregnancy, in a cheap hotel room." He urged others to find their voice too, "and let it be known that you »
- Kira Cochrane
The latest Tiff 2013 line-up to be announced is what they have in store for documentaries. At the top of my must-see list are Errol Morris' Donald Rumsfeld documentary The Unknown Known and Frank Pavich's Jodorowsky's Dune. Also, reading through the brief synopses, I'm going to try and make time for Beyond the Edge (a 3D doc about Everest climber Sir Edmund Hillary) and The Dog (the story that was used as the basis for Dog Day Afternoon). I'll also be avoiding At Berkeley, which sounds just awful. Hit the jump for the full documentary line-up. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th. A Story of Children and Film Mark Cousins, United Kingdom North American Premiere A Story of Children and Film is the world’s first movie about kids in global cinema. A passionate, poetic portrait of the adventures of childhood — its surrealism, loneliness, fun, destructiveness »
- Matt Goldberg
The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival has set its documentary program to start unspooling when the festival launches September 5. The subjects range from Donald Rumsfeld to Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione and the Congo. Here are the films: A Story Of Children And Film Mark Cousins, United Kingdom North American Premiere A Story of Children and Film is the world’s first movie about kids in global cinema. A passionate, poetic portrait of the adventures of childhood — its surrealism, loneliness, fun, destructiveness and vitality — as seen through 53 great films from 25 countries, director Mark Cousins’ landmark film is an eye opener and a celebration of both childhood and the movies. Ain’t Misbehavin’ Marcel Ophüls, France North American Premiere The director of The Sorrow and the Pity shares his memories with us, stories both incredibly rich and fascinating, making Ain’t Misbehavin’ a cheerful and bittersweet trip through cinema history. Son of the great director Max Ophüls, »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
French film director who attracted big stars and box-office success but was disdained by the Nouvelle Vague
Denys de La Patellière, who has died aged 92, was of the generation of French film directors described with ironic contempt by François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and other critics turned Nouvelle Vague directors as representing le cinéma de papa. But De La Patellière had several huge box-office hits in France in the 1950s and 60s, featuring some of the biggest internationally known French stars of the period such as Lino Ventura, Danielle Darrieux, Michèle Mercier, Pierre Fresnay, Bernard Blier and, above all, Jean Gabin, whom he directed in six films.
"I was a commercial director, which for me is not a pejorative word," De La Patellière recalled. "I never had the ambition to become an auteur, but to make entertaining films that pleased general audiences." In a way, his first film, Les Aristocrates (1955), could »
- Ronald Bergan
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