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Read More: 'By the Sea,' Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's European Marital Adventure, Opens AFI Fest "La Notte" (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961) In the long tradition of art house cinema, including Antonioni's own "L'Avventura" and "L'Eclisse," "La Notte" is an evocative drama built entirely on mood and spiraling feelings. Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau play an unfaithful married couple whose relationship deteriorates over the course of a long day filled with temptation from suitors and longing for the connection they once shared. Upon first introduction, the couple seems to have it all; Mastroianni's Giovanni is an acclaimed writer who has recently published his latest novel, while Moreau's Lidia is a sultry beauty. A master of observation, Antonioni fills the picture with long silences and drawn out scenes that expose the ruins of the couple's interior state. As each finds »
- Zack Sharf
'Saint Joan': Constance Cummings as the George Bernard Shaw heroine. Constance Cummings on stage: From sex-change farce and Emma Bovary to Juliet and 'Saint Joan' (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Frank Capra, Mae West and Columbia Lawsuit.”) In the mid-1930s, Constance Cummings landed the title roles in two of husband Benn W. Levy's stage adaptations: Levy and Hubert Griffith's Young Madame Conti (1936), starring Cummings as a demimondaine who falls in love with a villainous character. She ends up killing him – or does she? Adapted from Bruno Frank's German-language original, Young Madame Conti was presented on both sides of the Atlantic; on Broadway, it had a brief run in spring 1937 at the Music Box Theatre. Based on the Gustave Flaubert novel, the Theatre Guild-produced Madame Bovary (1937) was staged in late fall at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre. Referring to the London production of Young Madame Conti, The »
- Andre Soares
Anne-Katrin Titze presents The Salt Of The Earth - IFC Center Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
On September 18, at 3:05pm, as part of the Wim Wenders: Portraits Along The Road in New York, film journalist Anne-Katrin Titze will present Wenders' and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado's The Salt Of The Earth on the life and work of master photographer Sebastião Salgado.
In an upcoming conversation on Until The End Of The World, Wim and I discuss Sam Shepard's influence before he worked with Volker Schlöndorff on Max Frisch's Homo Faber. We also talk about Yasujiro Ozu actors Chishû Ryû and Kuniko Miyake, Alfred Hitchcock and San Francisco, Chen Kaige and China, Robby Müller and Vermeer, and look forward to Michael Almereyda's Experimenter.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
By John M. Whalen
When the “hardware widow” (Allyn Ann McClerie) asks Monte Walsh (Lee Marvin) if he’d gotten used to the idea of his long-time partner Chet Rollins (Jack Palance) and her being married, Monte says: “I never had so many things to get used to in my whole life, as now.” That line of dialogue in the middle of William Fraker’s “Monte Walsh” (1970) pretty much sums up this first and best film adaptation of Jack Schaeffer’s novel about the end of the Old West in general and the cowboy life in particular. It’s a true classic and even though it features two of the toughest tough guy actors of the sixties and seventies, it’s not a melodramatic shoot-em-up, full of violence, sound and fury. Rather it’s an elegiac portrait of the way it must have really happened, presented in a style as »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Pray for the Wounded Planet: Wenders’ Belabored Road Trip to the Apocalypse
The troubled production and following critical ambivalence towards Wim Wenders’ 1991 film Until the End of the World launched it into a sort of oblivion. Nearly twenty five years after its ill-fated reception, initially released as a three hour film which the director bitterly deigned the Reader’s Digest version of his epic, the near four hour and forty minute director’s cut premiered at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival to coincide with the premiere of his first narrative feature in seven years, Every Thing Will Be Fine. Now, this complete version is finally seeing a Us theatrical release courtesy of a fifteen city national touring retrospective of Wenders’ films kicking off in New York at the IFC Center. In retrospect, time has been much kinder to the mishandled title than anticipated. Restored as Wenders’ complete vision, it’s »
- Nicholas Bell
Very few movements in film history have been as rewarding, and yet as undervalued among film fans, as that of the New German Cinema. With names like Rainer Werner Fassbinder now beginning to be muttered in broad collections of film fans, the world of German filmmaking that came to light in the late 1960s has birthed some of the greatest auteurs of its generation, even a handful that are still turning out some of their best work. Most notably filmmakers like Werner Herzog have transitioned from this movement into worlds that they themselves have broken the ground on.
Same could be said for one Wim Wenders.
Best known for masterpieces like Wings Of Desire and Paris, Texas, the filmmaker is to this day pushing the boundaries of what cinema can do. With 3D films like Pina and his startlingly poignant Salt Of The Earth, Wenders has had a more than productive career spanning 5 decades, »
- Joshua Brunsting
August 25 will be a big night for Academy board members: That’s when they select 2015 recipients of the Governors Awards.
According to the website, AMPAS encourages members of the Academy to weigh in. They didn’t say anything about non-members, but why not? Movie fans have strong ideas too.
So here are some proposals: Michael Apted, whose range includes the “Seven Up!” docus to “Coal Miner’s Daughter”; Tsui Hark, a key figure in Asia’s action films; Richard Lester, the influential director; documaker extraordinaire Frederick Wiseman; and actress-director Jeanne Moreau. Incredibly, none has ever been nominated for an Oscar. And how about activist Rob Reiner for the Hersholt?
Variety exec editor Steven Gaydos also offers some stellar names for consideration: Gilles Jacob, who led the Cannes Fest for decades; producer-casting pro Fred Roos, whose groundbreaking credits include “The Godfather” and “American Graffiti”; Brit filmmaker Ken Loach; American actress Gena Rowlands »
- Tim Gray
Despite it being the directorial debut of five times Oscar nominated cinematographer William A. Fraker, 1970’s revisionist Western Monte Walsh isn’t as well remembered as it possibly should be. Prizing characterization over narrative and ignoring the usual set of genre highlights until its third act, it’s a mellow, melancholy bit of nostalgia about the last days of the Old West. Sporting a handsome cast and imbued with the right touch of technical appropriations, it’s a rather humble offering following on the footsteps of iconic juggernauts of the genre, like True Grit or The Wild Bunch, both of which premiered the year prior. Awards glory and controversial depictions of violence launched those films into the zeitgeist, but Fraker’s has remained an obscure item rooted in realistic, low key tendencies.
- Nicholas Bell
(Orson Welles, 1965; Mr Bongo Films, PG)
Throughout his life, Orson Welles was fascinated by Shakespeare – studying and editing the texts (usually pretty drastically), directing them and performing them on the stage and in the cinema. His third and final Shakespeare film, Chimes at Midnight, was the completion of a project first embarked on when a schoolboy in 1930 as Five Kings, a conflation of plays about the Wars of the Roses. It was eventually shot over a year in Spain with money conned out of a Spanish producer, who believed that Welles was simultaneously directing on the same sets and location the Shakespearean Chimes at Midnight (a potentially unprofitable venture) and a new version of Stevenson’s Treasure Island (a far more commercial prospect) with himself as Long John Silver. In fact, not a foot of the adventure movie was made, though Welles did play Long John in 1972 in a rarely seen Spanish-Italian production. »
- Philip French
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau, Suzanne Flon, Michel Simon, Wolfgang Preiss, Albert Rémy, Charles Millot, Richard Münch, Jacques Marin, Paul Bonifas, Jean Bouchaud, Donald O’Brien, Jean-Pierre Zola, Arthur Brauss | Written by Franklin Coen, Frank Davis | Directed by John Frankenheimer, Arthur Penn (uncredited)
What is more precious, art or human life? Your first reaction is probably to say human life and that would be the most logical answer, but for cultural worth the answer may not be so easy. During World War 2 precious works of art were stolen and still to this day are found and become big news. Arrow Academy’s latest Burt Lancaster release The Train creates a story loosely based on real life events, looking at the protection of French masterpieces, and the human cost of war.
In 1944 during the last gasps of Germany’s occupation of France, art lover and fanatical Nazi Colonel »
- Paul Metcalf
For anyone who says Orson Welles made one good movie and never did again, you are a horribly misinformed person. Welles was a genius, pushing what the medium could do with nearly every film he made. One of these gems has been criminally under seen, mainly due to the fact it is extremely difficult to find. This is his ode to one of William Shakespeare's greatest creations, Falstaff. The film: Chimes at Midnight. It will be screening across the world throughout the month of May in theaters. You can look here to see if it is playing near you. Thankfully, it is playing here in Austin. Following those screenings, Chimes at Midnight will hit DVD and Blu-ray on June 29. I, for one, am extremely excited about this, though, the home release seems to be only for the UK... for now... Hopefully Kino, Olive, Cohen or Criterion will pick it up for a U. »
- Mike Shutt
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 »
- D. Zhea
Manoel de Oliveira, the oldest living active filmmaker, with a career that spanned nine decades from the silent era to the present, has died. He was 106. News of Oliveira’s death was confirmed on the website for the city of Porto, Portugal, where the director was born in 1908.
As impressive as his longevity was, Oliveira is most highly regarded as the dean of Portuguese cinema and the filmmaker most responsible for heightening the prestige of his country’s film culture on the world stage.
His work drew considerable accolades — he received no fewer than 12 career achievement prizes from major film festivals, including a career Venice Golden Lion and a special jury prize (for 1991’s “The Divine Comedy”) as well as a Cannes jury prize for his 1999 film “The Letter” — but distribution of Oliveira’s films, especially in the U.S., was relatively limited given his well-honed practice of adapting highly literary texts, »
- Robert Koehler
Spring in New York comes alive with Haute Couture on Film featuring the work of Hubert de Givenchy in Stanley Donen's Funny Face, starring Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire and Kay Thompson, presented by Eye For Film's Anne-Katrin Titze on April 7.
See creations by Pierre Cardin in Jacques Demy's Bay Of Angels (La Baie Des Anges) with Jeanne Moreau, Claude Mann, Paul Guers and Henri Nassiet. Emanuel Ungaro made the clothes for Gena Rowlands in John Cassavetes' Gloria with Julie Carmen and Buck Henry. Coco Chanel in Jean Renoir's The Rules Of The Game (La Règle Du Jeu) dressed Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély and Odette Talazac. Be dazzled by Christian Dior in Jean Negulesco's How To Marry A Millionaire with Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and Lauren Bacall. Yves Saint Laurent's »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (photo: Marc Allégret) (See previous post: "Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.") Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical and financial success of the 1934 romantic drama Lac aux Dames, directed by her self-appointed mentor – and alleged lover – Marc Allégret. The son of an evangelical missionary, Marc Allégret (born on December 22, 1900, in Basel, Switzerland) was to have become a lawyer. At age 16, his life took a different path as a result of his romantic involvement – and elopement to London – with his mentor and later "adoptive uncle" André Gide (1947 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), more than 30 years his senior and married to Madeleine Rondeaux for more than two decades. In various forms – including a threesome with painter Théo Van Rysselberghe's daughter Elisabeth – the Allégret-Gide relationship remained steady until the late '20s and their trip to »
- Andre Soares
Lea Seydoux is having a pretty good time right now, hanging out with James Bond in the new movie Spectre. But before we have a chance to see her running around next to Daniel Craig, we can see her in Benoît Jacquot’s new adaptation of the Octave Mirbeau novel, The Diary of a Chambermaid.
The film features Seydoux as the titular chambermaid Celestine, who joins a new household and becomes the object of lust for her older employer…much to the chagrin of her mistress. The maid is aware of the seductive power she wields, but winds up caught in the power struggles going on within the marriage and the household.
The Diary of a Chambermaid has already seen two adaptations, one by French auteur Jean Renoir, and the other by master surrealist Luis Bunuel. The latter is among the better known of the two, taking the novel’s themes of sex, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
Nearly two decades into a career that has since spanned nearly seven, Jeanne Moreau had already worked under the direction of Godard, Malle, Welles, Antonioni, Demy, Ophüls, Frankenheimer and Buñuel, among others, by the time she collaborated again with François Truffaut, who had previously helped make her a star with Jules and Jim. Their third collaboration (the first being 400 Blows), The Bride Wore Black, a psycho-thriller inspired by the work of his hero Alfred Hitchcock again put her in the spotlight, this time as a vengeful seductress to which Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman’s Bride of Kill Bill is much indebted to (though the homage crazed auteur claims to have never seen the film). With incredible bipolar turns, Moreau plays Julie Kohler, a widow on a mission to take revenge on the five men (including Claude Rich, Michel Bouquet, Michael Lonsdale, Daniel Boulanger and Charles Denner) responsible for the death of her husband. »
- Jordan M. Smith
There are 195 individuals nominated for Oscar this year. And when the winners are named Feb. 22, they will become part of film history, joining such greats as Billy Wilder, Ingrid Bergman, Ben Hecht and Walt Disney.
But 80% of the contenders will go home empty-handed. However, there is good news: They are in good company as well.
Here is a sampling of nominees that didn’t win: “Citizen Kane,” “Chinatown” and “Star Wars”; directors Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick and Ingmar Bergman; writers Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Dashiell Hammett, John Steinbeck, Graham Greene, Harold Pinter and David Mamet; actors Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Blvd.”; Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”; and Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia.”
They managed to do Ok, though.
- Tim Gray
Sold by Elle Driver, “Diary” is directed by Benoit Jacquot (Farewell, My Queen”). Deal was negotiated by Cmg senior VP John Kochman and Elle Driver co-founder Adeline Fontan Tessaur. Pic is set for a late 2015 U.S. theatrical release.
Set in the French provinces in the early part of the last century, “Diary” stars Seydoux as Celestine, an ambitious new chambermaid at the Lanlaire household who rebuffs her master’s advances, endures the authoritarian Madame Lanlaire, and falls for an enigmatic gardener, Joseph (Vincent Lindon, “Bastards,” “The School of Flesh”).
- John Hopewell
Sean Penn: Honorary César goes Hollywood – again (photo: Sean Penn in '21 Grams') Sean Penn, 54, will receive the 2015 Honorary César (César d'Honneur), the French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Crafts has announced. That means the French Academy's powers-that-be are once again trying to make the Prix César ceremony relevant to the American media. Their tactic is to hand out the career award to a widely known and relatively young – i.e., media friendly – Hollywood celebrity. (Scroll down for more such examples.) In the words of the French Academy, Honorary César 2015 recipient Sean Penn is a "living legend" and "a stand-alone icon in American cinema." It has also hailed the two-time Best Actor Oscar winner as a "mythical actor, a politically active personality and an exceptional director." Penn will be honored at the César Awards ceremony on Feb. 20, 2015. Sean Penn movies Sean Penn movies range from the teen comedy »
- Steve Montgomery
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