10 items from 2015
Crime and Punishment: Sautet’s Enthralling Policier an Obscure Neo-Noir
Following the international acclaim of his 1970 film The Things of Life, Claude Sautet re-teamed with his leads Michel Piccoli and Romy Schneider for a return to the criminal tendencies comprising his earlier filmography as a director. Less well known today than his 1960 classic Classe Tous Risques, Sautet’s 1971 devious psychological drama Max and the Junkmen is well worth reexamination in modern contexts. As has been pointed out before, Sautet’s genre efforts have long languished in the shadows of Jean-Pierre Meville’s filmography, with well-renowned crime sagas like Le Samourai (1967) and Le Cercle Rouge (1970) having already been released by the time Sautet hit his stride. But while Melville’s celebrated filmography focuses on precise elaboration, Sautet’s outings within genre tend to be character oriented, in particular lending this title a melancholy tint, doubled over in its final, dramatic climax. »
- Nicholas Bell
Rialto Pictures resurrects five classic titles from French auteur Claude Sautet in brand new Dcp versions for a mini-retrospective one week run in Los Angeles (July 24th – 30th) at the newly revamped Laemmle Royal Theater.
It’s a considerable spotlight on a neglected voice from one of 1970s French cinema most prominent figures. Sautet, who trained as a painter, sculptor, and music teacher before becoming a student of film, worked his way up to director in 1956 with his debut, Hello Smile! He continued with several film noir gangster films, like 1960’s Classe Tous Risques, a title that would gain wider consideration years later (and is now part of the Criterion collection). However, Sautet was most prominent as a screenwriter in the 1960s, passed over during the Nouvelle Vague as he adapted Jean Rodin’s novel Eyes Without a Face for Georges Franju, Backfire for Jean Becker, and Banana Peel for Marcel Ophuls. »
- Nicholas Bell
Marco Ferreri's 1973 film is something else: jaded, perverted, and drenched in ennui, says Peter Bradshaw. Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Piccoli and Philippe Noiret, it is ostensibly about four men who get together to eat themselves to death. La Grande Bouffe – aka Blow Out – is a still-jawdropping satire of decadence and conceit. It is re-released in cinemas today Continue reading »
- Peter Bradshaw
Jean-Luc Godard in his youthful days. Jean-Luc Godard solution for the Greek debt crisis: 'Therefore' copyright payments A few years ago, Nouvelle Vague filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, while plugging his Film Socialisme, chipped in with a surefire solution for the seemingly endless – and bottomless – Greek debt crisis. In July 2011, Godard told The Guardian's Fiachra Gibbons: The Greeks gave us logic. We owe them for that. It was Aristotle who came up with the big 'therefore'. As in, 'You don't love me any more, therefore ...' Or, 'I found you in bed with another man, therefore ...' We use this word millions of times, to make our most important decisions. It's about time we started paying for it. If every time we use the word therefore, we have to pay 10 euros to Greece, the crisis will be over in one day, and the Greeks will not have to sell the Parthenon to the Germans. »
- Andre Soares
Birdman star to receive Excellence Award.
Us actor, director and producer Edward Norton is to attend the 68th Locarno Film Festival (Aug 5-15), where he will be awarded the Excellence Award Moët & Chandon.
Norton will also participate in an on-stage conversation with festival attendees at Locarno’s Spazio Cinema (Forum). The tribute will include the screening of a selection of films from his career.
Carlo Chatrian, the festival’s artistic director, said of Norton: “He is someone who has shown immense talent in giving shape to characters as fascinating and complex as the times in which we live.”
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
For a good while, fans of Arrow Video’s amazing releases had to put their heads in the laps and cry while listening to Joy Division, due to the releases not being U.S. capable (unless you had an all region player or liked to be a hacker…like the girl in Jurassic Park…). Well, Arrow is a company that cares, and they’ve expanded their releases to the States, and I for one, have been doing jumping jacks nonstop over it (not really, I still have a gut dammit).
We were sent some information that made us quite excited, and if you’re one of the cool kids (blame my daughter for my using of that phrase, she is obsessed with that crazily catchy song), you’ll be excited as well!
- Jerry Smith
It’s the start of a new month, and as ever in film and Blu-ray circles, nothing gets the fans salivating more than the upcoming release slate from the awesome folks over at Arrow Films. Its line-up of releases for August has been unveiled (both UK and Us), and you can view all the information below, including the stand-out title, David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, which is getting a very special, limited edition release in a collector’s package.
Videodrome: Limited Edition
Combining the bio-horror elements of his earlier films whilst anticipating the technological themes of his later work, Videodrome exemplifies Cronenberg’s extraordinary talent for making both visceral and cerebral cinema. Max Renn (James Woods) is looking for fresh new content for his TV channel when he happens across some illegal S&M-style broadcasts called ‘Videodrome’. Embroiling his girlfriend Nicki (Debbie Harry) in his search for the source, his »
- Scott J. Davis
Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (photo: Jean Gabin and Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine') (See previous post: "'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.") In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century-Fox from another French import, Annabella (later Tyrone Power's wife), Simone Simon returned to France. Once there, she reestablished herself as an actress to be reckoned with in Jean Renoir's La Bête Humaine. An updated version of Émile Zola's 1890 novel, La Bête Humaine is enveloped in a dark, brooding atmosphere not uncommon in pre-World War II French films. Known for their "poetic realism," examples from that era include Renoir's own The Lower Depths (1936), Julien Duvivier's La Belle Équipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937), and particularly Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938) and Daybreak (1939). This thematic and »
- Andre Soares
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. »
- Andre Soares
With his 1984 classic title, Favorites of the Moon finally receiving a re-mastered blu-ray release for Us consumption earlier this year, we’re greatly anticipating Georgian director Otar Iosseliani’s latest film, his first since 2010’s Chantrapas. Titled Chant d’hiver (Winter Song), Iosseliani has been purposefully vague on the exact nature of the plot, stating only that the film is concerned with ‘the nonsense of revolutions” as well as “the dramatic chaos that every revolution brings.” Employing mostly a non-professional cast, French veterans Michel Piccoli and Pierre Etaix are apparently part of the known names involved.
Productions Co.: Studio 99, Pastorale Films.
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available.
- Nicholas Bell
10 items from 2015
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