11 items from 2015
Robert Mitchum ca. late 1940s. Robert Mitchum movies 'The Yakuza,' 'Ryan's Daughter' on TCM Today, Aug. 12, '15, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series is highlighting the career of Robert Mitchum. Two of the films being shown this evening are The Yakuza and Ryan's Daughter. The former is one of the disappointingly few TCM premieres this month. (See TCM's Robert Mitchum movie schedule further below.) Despite his film noir background, Robert Mitchum was a somewhat unusual choice to star in The Yakuza (1975), a crime thriller set in the Japanese underworld. Ryan's Daughter or no, Mitchum hadn't been a box office draw in quite some time; in the mid-'70s, one would have expected a Warner Bros. release directed by Sydney Pollack – who had recently handled the likes of Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, and Robert Redford – to star someone like Jack Nicholson or Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman. »
- Andre Soares
'The Beginning or the End' 1947 with Robert Walker and Tom Drake. Hiroshima bombing 70th anniversary: Six movies dealing with the A-bomb terror Seventy years ago, on Aug. 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima. Ultimately, anywhere between 70,000 and 140,000 people died – in addition to dogs, cats, horses, chickens, and most other living beings in that part of the world. Three days later, America dropped a second atomic bomb, this time over Nagasaki. Human deaths in this other city totaled anywhere between 40,000-80,000. For obvious reasons, the evisceration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been a quasi-taboo in American films. After all, in the last 75 years Hollywood's World War II movies, from John Farrow's Wake Island (1942) and Mervyn LeRoy's Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) to Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor (2001), almost invariably have presented a clear-cut vision »
- Andre Soares
Written by Marguerite Duras
Directed by Alain Resnais
The first thing we see is a textured image of ash covered bodies. Indistinctly illuminated limbs are entwined in what appears to be a passionate embrace. Glistening particles of dust sprinkle down like snowfall. Then comes the dialogue. A woman recalls the devastating effects of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945. She says she saw it all. A man says she didn’t see a thing. “How could I not have seen it?” she questions. We see images of it, but some of it is staged, presented for the camera, possibly from her point of view. That is, if she’s telling the truth. There is a graphically unsettling montage of photographs, reconstructions, and Japanese films, all chronicling the attack; there is a morbid museum containing artifacts of that fateful day, haunting reminders of the physical and material destruction. »
- Jeremy Carr
Upon first impression, the stark, angular and abstract constructions of Hiroshima mon amour (released in a new upgraded edition earlier this month by the Criterion Collection) serve as a kind of filter that separates viewers who find themselves bored or baffled by what they see from those who emerge from the viewing with a distinct affinity for the pair of anguished lovers at the heart of the film. The gist of the story is fairly simple: a French actress, on assignment in Hiroshima to play a part in an antiwar film, has a brief but emotionally intense affair with a Japanese man who lives there. Both are married, and even though they recognize a real temptation for them to prolong their time together to more fully enjoy this rush of passion, there’s no practical possibility of the relationship extending beyond a fling. But over the course of the weekend they spend together, »
- David Blakeslee
Criterion digitally restores its previous edition of Alain Resnais’ landmark directorial debut, Hiroshima Mon Amour, a jagged cornerstone of the French New Wave, which forever associated the reluctant auteur with one of the most acclaimed cinematic movements to date. Roughly preceding the renowned debut of Jean-Luc Godard and released the same month as Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (they competed against one another at Cannes), Resnais’ contribution changed the way we regarded linear narrative and flashback sequences, and much like those iconic works of his peers, now bears several decades worth of critical acclaim on its shoulders. Tragic, moody and ultimately a poetic exchange of present interludes shattered by ghosts of the recent past, Resnais begins with motifs he would remain fascinated with throughout his career, the nature of remembrance and recollection, instances as shattered as the narrative chronologies in his films.
Fourteen years after the atomic bomb laid waste to Hiroshima, »
- Nicholas Bell
“He Said/She Said—Reflections On Love, Unreliable Memories, And The Atomic Bomb”
Director Alain Resnais achieved worldwide acclaim with his documentary short, Night and Fog (1955), which revealed to the world the true horrors of what went on in the Nazi concentration camps. For his first feature film, Resnais turned to fiction; and yet, he maintained a somewhat documentary approach in showing the world the true horrors of what occurred in Hiroshima, Japan when the first atomic bomb was dropped. Beyond that, Hiroshima mon amour (“Hiroshima, My Love”) is an art film that not only signaled the beginning of the French New Wave (although many film historians do not count it as an example of that movement), it also established Resnais’ singular, enigmatic and ambiguous style as an auteur. The director would go on to make even more thematically-mysterious pictures (namely Last Year at Marienbad) and become »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
“Yet if you should forget me for a whileAnd afterwards remember, do not grieveFor if the darkness and corruption leaveA vestige of the thoughts that once we hadBetter by far you should forget and smileThan that you should remember and be sad.”—Christina Rossetti, Remember (1862)An opening title card from director Thom Andesen’s new feature film, The Thoughts That Once We Had, directly identifies the cinematic writings of philosopher Gilles Deleuze as the project's primary subject and inspiration. Deleuze’s two volumes on film, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image (1983) and Cinema 2: The Time-Image (1985), are today synonymous with a certain modernist school of thought that, while integrated in academia to such a degree as to be all but understood, remains quite radical. Unquestionably dense and provocatively pedantic, the French empiricist’s filmic texts integrate an array of theories and conceptualizations into a fairly delineated taxonomy, and are therefore fairly conducive »
- Jordan Cronk
The Criterion Collection has announced its new release line-up for June with five new titles set for a Blu-ray release in June.
On July 7, it will release Robert Siodmak’s The Killers (1946) and Don Siegel’s The Killers (1964). On July 14, it will release Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour, Jan Troell’s Here’s Your Life, and Carroll Ballard’s The Black Stallion. And on July 21, it will release Stephen Frears’ My Beautiful Laundrette and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.
Ernest Hemingway’s simple but gripping short tale The Killers is a model of economical storytelling. Two directors adapted it into unforgettably virile features: Robert Siodmak, in a 1946 film that helped define the noir style and launch the acting careers of Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner; and Don Siegel, in a brutal 1964 version, starring Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, and John Cassavetes, that was intended for television but deemed too »
- Scott J. Davis
Criterion has announced their July 2015 line-up of releases and it's a rather impressive one with the most notable title being a brand new release of the Alain Resnais' classic Hiroshima mon amour (July 14), a film I have never seen and there's a small bit of shame in that fact considering its influence on so many filmmakers and its importance in establishing what is now referred to as the French New Wave. The release is not without new features as Criterion gives it the Blu-ray upgrade: New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray Audio commentary by film historian Peter Cowie Interviews with director Alain Resnais from 1961 and 1980 Interviews with actor Emmanuelle Riva from 1959 and 2003 New interview with film scholar Fran?ois Thomas, author of L'atelier d'Alain Resnais New interview with music scholar Tim Page about the film's score Revoir Hiroshima . . . , a 2013 program about the film's restoration »
- Brad Brevet
By Anjelica Oswald
With the addition of Marion Cotillard’s lead actress nomination for the Belgian film Two Days, One Night, 32 actors and actresses have been nominated for their performances in foreign-language films. Cotillard was nominated for her role as a young mother and wife struggling to salvage her job in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes’ film, which was chosen as Belgium’s submission to the foreign-language category but failed to secure a spot on the Oscar shortist.
Though her performance did land a Critics’ Choice Award nomination, the Oscar nomination did come as a surprise for many pundits.
Cotillard was previously nominated for the French foreign-language film La Vie En Rose (2007) and won. She is one of six actors or actresses to win for a non-English role and is also the most recent winner.
The first acting nomination for a foreign-language performance went to Sophia Loren in 1962 for »
- Anjelica Oswald
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
A version of this story first appeared in a special awards issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
One can quickly recall the names of acting Oscar nominees (Joaquin Phoenix for The Master, Rooney Mara for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Emmanuelle Riva for Amour) and winners (Christian Bale for The Fighter, Mo’Nique forPrecious, Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight) who got where they got without doing any real campaigning — because they number so few.
People might like to think that Oscar voting is solely about merit, but that’s naive and incorrect. Academy members are people, not machines, which means that they can be influenced. And when the prize at stake is one that carries as much prestige and potential for increased opportunity and earning as the Oscar does, well, of course contenders for it are going to try to influence the outcome by lobbying voters, »
- Anjelica Oswald
11 items from 2015
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