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Flickering Myth Film Class: How To Do An Ensemble Film

In the latest instalment of Flickering Myth’s film class, Tom Jolliffe looks at how to pull off an ensemble film…

The art in pulling off the ensemble film. It’s a tricking balance. In the vast majority of cinema you may be limited to one or two clearly defined protagonists with a cast of supporting artists. On occasions though, a writer wants to create an ensemble piece. It may have one particular character who dominates the screen a little more than the others, but you could have four or more characters who share screen near equally.

How do you do it right? Well firstly, whether you have four characters, six, ten, or whatever, the most important element is to have clearly definable characters. You could call them archetypes certainly, but it is important to ensure that ‘character one’ is different from the rest. If you craft one character who
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The Law and Jake Wade

Many of MGM’s productions were scraping bottom in 1958, yet the studio found one more acceptable western vehicle for their last big star still on contract. Only-slightly corrupt marshal Robert Taylor edges toward a showdown with the thoroughly corrupt Richard Widmark in an economy item given impressive locations and the sound direction of John Sturges.

The Law and Jake Wade

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1958 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 86 min. / Street Date September 12, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark, Patricia Owens, Robert Middleton, Henry Silva, DeForest Kelley, Henry Silva, Burt Douglas, Eddie Firestone.

Cinematography: Robert Surtees

Film Editor: Ferris Webster

Written by William Bowers from a novel by Marvin H. Albert

Produced by William B. Hawks

Directed by John Sturges

As the 1950s wore down, MGM was finding it more difficult to properly use its last remaining big-ticket stars on the steady payroll, Cyd Charisse and Robert Taylor. Cyd
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Emmys Flashback: In 1954, 'Twelve Angry Men' Debuted Live on CBS

Inside Amy SchumerTwelve Angry Men actually started in 1954 as an hourlong live broadcast on CBS' Studio One. Written by Reginald Rose (who later adapted it for Broadway and the big screen), the story came out of his own experience sitting on a jury in a manslaughter case. "It was such an impressive, solemn setting in a great big wood-paneled courtroom, with a silver-haired judge. It knocked me out. I was overwhelmed," Rose recalled. "We got...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

’12 Angry Men’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E. G. Marshall, Martin Balsam, Ed Begley, Jack Warden | Written by Reginald Rose | Directed by Sidney Lumet

It’s the hottest day of the year and a dozen men – not universally perturbed at this point – are put in a room and asked to consider the guilt of a young man accused of killing his father. It’s premeditated murder in the first degree and the sentence is death. The jury takes their first vote and it’s unanimous. Almost.

Juror #8 (Henry Fonda) is the sole dissenting voice. It’s not that he believes the kid did not do it; he’s just not sure. Over the next 90 real-time minutes, #8 will test his doubts against the others, to understand whether or not those doubts are reasonable.

12 Angry Men began life as a teleplay. Written by Reginald Rose (inspired by his own experiences as a juror
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

By Sidney Lumet

A lengthy talk-fest interview of the underrated filmmaker, who takes us through his life story as a personal journey, not a string of movie assignments. Sidney Lumet seems to attract a lot of criticism, and so did this docu for not challenging his opinions or rubbing his nose in his less admirable movie efforts. The docu is just Lumet’s thoughts, and the words of a man of integrity are always inspiring.

By Sidney Lumet

Blu-ray

FilmRise

2015 / Color /1:78 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date January 9, 2017 / 24.95

Starring Sidney Lumet

Cinematography Tom Hurwitz

Film Editor Anthony Ripoli

Produced by Scott Berrie, Nancy Buirski, Chris Donnelly, Joshua A. Green, Thane Rosenbaum, Robin Yigit Smith

Directed by Nancy Buirski

This ought to be a good year for documentary filmmaker Nancy Buirski. I first caught up with her excellent feature docu Afternoon of a Faun, about the ill-fated ballerina Tanaquil Le Clerc, and she’s had other successes as well.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The 10 Most Beloved Movies In The Criterion Collection — IndieWire Readers Survey

  • Indiewire
The 10 Most Beloved Movies In The Criterion Collection — IndieWire Readers Survey
Editor’s Note: This article is presented in partnership with FilmStruck. Developed and managed by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in collaboration with the Criterion Collection, FilmStruck features the largest streaming library of contemporary and classic arthouse, indie, foreign and cult films as well as extensive bonus content, filmmaker interviews and rare footage. Learn more here.

Last week, IndieWire asked our readers to name their favorite movies in the Criterion Collection, which resulted in hundreds of responses that pretty much covered every nook and cranny of Criterion’s massive library. It was great to see many readers listing dramas as diverse and polarizing as Robert Altman’s “3 Women,” George Sluizer’s “The Vanishing” and Fritz Lang’s “M,” but at the end of the day, our survey revealed which 10 titles our Criterion subscribers can’t get enough of.

An intriguing mix of reliable film landmarks and a few surprises, below is
See full article at Indiewire »

Mike Gold: The Dimension of Mind

  • Comicmix
The so-called Golden Age of Television, with its two and one-half channels of network programming, produced an astonishing number of great writers, directors and talent. To name but a very, very few: Barbara Bel Geddes, Paddy Chayefsky, George Roy Hill, Ron Howard, Ernest Kinoy, Jack Lemmon, Sidney Lumet, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Boris Sagal, Rod Serling, Rod Steiger, Gore Vidal, Joanne Woodward… my fingers won’t hold out long enough to type even a “best-of” list.

You’ll never guess which of the above pioneers is my favorite.

When Scottish engineer John Logie Baird first demonstrated television in January 1926 (six years before Philo Farnsworth demonstrated the first electronic television), Rod Serling was just a few days over one year old. Baby boomers think we grew up with television; Mr. Serling actually has that honor. And he did a lot more with the medium than we would.

His worldview was clearly
See full article at Comicmix »

Watch ‘12 Silent Men,’ a Short Reimagining ‘12 Angry Men’ as a Silent Film

When praising 12 Angry Men, people most often point toward three things: the preciseness of Sidney Lumet‘s direction; Reginald Rose‘s fat-free plotting and dialogue; and the set of performances, all great, found in its ensemble cast. Perhaps it speaks to their common and unique strengths that one only occasionally remembers those moments when an image, an expression, and a gesture cohere to tell the same story that words have been giving us.

Enter 12 Silent Men, a repositioning in which the people of Filmscalpel “isolated the shots in which no character is talking: the quiet lulls in the stormy debate and the wordless reaction shots,” in doing so hoping to tell a condensed version of the story. You won’t get everything — Rose’s screenplay is an awfully verbose one, as evidenced by the paring down from 96 minutes to six — but the amount of 12 Angry Men that gets retained is
See full article at The Film Stage »

John Frankenheimer: A Remembrance

Director John Frankenheimer.

I'm often asked which, out of the over 600 interviews I've logged with Hollywood's finest, is my favorite. It's not a tough answer: John Frankenheimer.

We instantly clicked the day we met at his home in Benedict Canyon, and spent most of the afternoon talking in his den. A friendship of sorts developed over the years, with visits to his office for screenings of the old Kinescopes he directed for shows like "Playhouse 90" during his salad days in live television during the 1950s.

We hadn't spoken for nearly a year in mid-2002 when the phone rang. It was John, who spoke in what can only be described as a "stentorian bark," like a general. "Alex!" he exclaimed. "John Frankenheimer." He could sense something was amiss with me. It was. My screenwriting career had stalled. My marriage was progressing to divorce. I had hit bottom. John knew that
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

A Brief (Pun Intended) History Of Lawyers In The Movies Part II

Lawyers in motion pictures have been portrayed as one of two extremes, devils or angels, almost since celluloid was invented. The first film dealing specifically with a law firm and attorneys, 1933’s Counsellor at Law, starring John Barrymore, portrayed its J.D.s as upstanding citizens, as did the early Perry Mason films of the same period. This quickly changed, however, with many attorneys portrayed as being capable of the same brand of skullduggery as their shifty clients. With that in mind, we bring you a list of the good, the bad and the ugly of lawyers in movies. Enjoy, and please refrain from suing us if you feel otherwise...

1. Devil’s Advocate (1997)

Keanu Reeves plays Kevin Lomax, a hot-shot young Florida lawyer who is all about climbing the ladder. When he gets an offer he can’t refuse from a high-powered New York firm, led by the legendary John Milton
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Amy Schumer on her '12 Angry Men' spoof: 'I'm more proud of it than anything I've ever done'

  • Hitfix
Amy Schumer on her '12 Angry Men' spoof: 'I'm more proud of it than anything I've ever done'
We know that "Inside Amy Schumer" can do great parodies, and it can do biting social commentary, and that it has a gift for hiding the latter inside the former. That's been apparent throughout its run, and early in the Comedy Central sketch show's great third season, which has featured a dead-on "Friday Night Lights" parody that was really about rape culture, as well as last week's "One Direction" spoof about women who don't need makeup. Tonight's remarkable episode (it airs, like usual, at 10:30) takes both sides of the show to an extreme. Titled "12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer," it's an episode-length parody of Reginald Rose's classic play "12 Angry Men" (and particularly of the staging of the 1957 Sidney Lumet film version) in which the jurors — played by Jeff Goldblum (the foreman), John Hawkes (the crusading hold-out) and Paul Giamatti and Nick Dipaolo (the two bullying loud mouths), among
See full article at Hitfix »

New on Video: ‘Man of the West’

  • SoundOnSight
Man of the West

Directed by Anthony Mann

Written by Reginald Rose

USA, 1958

Man of the West was director Anthony Mann’s final Western of the 1950s. As such, it stands as something of a cumulative expression of his generic preoccupations and stylistic preferences, preoccupations and preferences that were consistently integrated in a decade’s worth of some of the finest Westerns ever made. What Mann accomplished in this particular genre during a 10-year period is one of the most impressive chapters in American film history, but Man of the West is more than just a summation of the period; it is as good, if not better in many ways, as the extraordinary pictures that came before it.

Taking over the reigns from James Stewart, who had previously starred in five earlier landmark Mann Westerns, is Gary Cooper, another perennial aw shucks leading man. Like with Stewart, Mann upsets this archetypal Cooper screen persona.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Inside the Writers’ Room: Post #14: The Revolution is Loading

  • Hope for Film
A few weeks ago HBO and then CBS announced that they would launch stand-alone online services in U.S. in 2015. Before that, Netflix had made known that it would start producing features, crushing theatrical release windows once and for all, after it had contributed to the change of the patterns of attention and the way TV series are made by releasing its House of Cards episodes all at once, as a 13-hour movie. ‘Now the real shakeout begins’, wrote Ted Hope in Hollywood Reporter. ‘We are witnessing the march from once lucrative legacy practices built around titles to a new focus on community.’ Michael Wolff, writing also in the Hollywood Reporter, disagrees: ‘Streaming services from the two networks don’t signal television’s capitulation to Netflix and the web; it’s actually the opposite, as the medium expands yet again to gobble up more revenue.’ And in that sense, he says,
See full article at Hope for Film »

The Past, Present, and Future of Real-Time Films Part Two

  • SoundOnSight
Sidney And The Sixties: Real-time 1957-1966

Throughout the 1950s, Hollywood’s relationship with television was fraught: TV was a hated rival but also a source of cheap talent and material, as in the case of the small-scale Marty (1955), which won the Best Picture Oscar. These contradictions were well represented by the apparently “televisual” 12 Angry Men (1957), which began life as a teleplay concerning a jury with a lone holdout who must, and eventually does, convince his fellow jurors of the defendant’s innocence. Its writer, Reginald Rose, persuaded one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Henry Fonda, to become a first-time producer of the film version. Fonda and Rose took basement-low salaries in favor of future points, and hired a TV director, Sidney Lumet, for next to nothing because Lumet wanted a first feature credit. Technically, there’s an opening bit on the courtroom steps that keeps this from being a true real-time film,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Eli Wallach, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ Star, Dies at 98

Eli Wallach, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ Star, Dies at 98
Tony- and Emmy-winning actor Eli Wallach, a major proponent of “the Method” style of acting best known for his starring role in Elia Kazan’s film “Baby Doll” and for his role as villain Tuco in iconic spaghetti Western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” died on Tuesday, according to the New York Times. He was 98.

On the bigscreen Wallach had few turns as a leading man, but none was as strong as his first starring role in 1956’s “Baby Doll,” in which he played a leering cotton gin owner intent on seducing the virgin bride (Carroll Baker) of his business rival (Karl Malden). But he appeared in more than 80 films, offering colorful turns in character roles in movies such as “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” “Nuts,” “Lord Jim,” “The Misfits” and “The Two Jakes.”

The actor, who appeared in a wide variety of stage,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Eli Wallach, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ Star, Dies at 98

Eli Wallach, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ Star, Dies at 98
Tony- and Emmy-winning actor Eli Wallach, a major proponent of “the Method” style of acting best known for his starring role in Elia Kazan’s film “Baby Doll” and for his role as villain Tuco in iconic spaghetti Western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” died on Tuesday, according to the New York Times. He was 98.

On the bigscreen Wallach had few turns as a leading man, but none was as strong as his first starring role in 1956’s “Baby Doll,” in which he played a leering cotton gin owner intent on seducing the virgin bride (Carroll Baker) of his business rival (Karl Malden). But he appeared in more than 80 films, offering colorful turns in character roles in movies such as “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” “Nuts,” “Lord Jim,” “The Misfits” and “The Two Jakes.”

The actor, who appeared in a wide variety of stage,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Woody Allen and the Media’s Mob Hysteria

Woody Allen and the Media’s Mob Hysteria
What’s my favorite Woody Allen movie? When I was asked, along with several other Variety staffers, to answer that question — long before Dylan Farrow posed it rhetorically to the world — for a 2013 sidebar to my own Allen interview, I picked “Husbands and Wives,” Allen’s raw and formally inventive 1992 drama of two married couples variously parting ways and reuniting amidst a roundelay of infidelities. That movie famously premiered while the director’s separation from Mia Farrow was still playing out daily in the headlines, and had reportedly been shot just as Mia was learning of Woody’s nascent affair with her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn.

All of this powered “Husbands” — one of Allen’s rare movies to be released nationwide on its first weekend — to above-average box office, but with all the life-imitates-art parallels in the press, the movie’s actual merits got somewhat lost in the shuffle. There were two Oscar nominations,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Watch: Sidney Lumet’s 1955 Rejected TV Pilot 'The Challenge'

  • The Playlist
It’s been over two years since Sidney Lumet left us, but what he left us with is an incredible body of work that spans six decades (be sure to check out our retrospective). From his first feature film “12 Angry Men” to “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” which came out 50 years later, those who wish to tackle his entire filmography could understandably feel intimidated. Furthermore, before Lumet even made “12 Angry Men,” he had already directed hundreds of television episodes from ‘50s shows such as “Danger” and “You Are There.” The Seventh Art has recently discovered one of his more obscure works, which had been posted on YouTube a few years ago by Princeton University with barely over 1,000 views. Entitled “The Challenge,” the program was intended to be a pilot episode of a series meant to tackle various issues that were negatively affecting society. Lumet directed the episode, which
See full article at The Playlist »

Watch: Sidney Lumet’s 1955 Rejected TV Pilot 'The Challenge'

Watch: Sidney Lumet’s 1955 Rejected TV Pilot 'The Challenge'
It’s been over two years since Sidney Lumet left us, but what he left us with is an incredible body of work that spans six decades (be sure to check out our retrospective). From his first feature film “12 Angry Men” to “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” which came out 50 years later, those who wish to tackle his entire filmography could understandably feel intimidated. Furthermore, before Lumet even made “12 Angry Men,” he had already directed hundreds of television episodes from ‘50s shows such as “Danger” and “You Are There.” The Seventh Art has recently discovered one of his more obscure works, which had been posted on YouTube a few years ago by Princeton University with barely over 1,000 views. Entitled “The Challenge,” the program was intended to be a pilot episode of a series meant to tackle various issues that were negatively affecting society. Lumet directed the episode, which
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Mojo, Antony And Cleopatra, 12 Angry Men: what to see at the theatre this week

Mojo | Antony And Cleopatra | 12 Angry Men | Solid Air | A Strange Wild Song; The Man In The Moone | The Recruiting Officer

Mojo, London

There's a star-studded approach to casting in Jez Butterworth's play about London gangs, Mojo. Harry Potter's Rupert Grint makes his stage debut after years of Ron Weasley, while Downton Abbey's Mr Bates (Brendan Coyle) adds to his years of fine theatrical endeavour. The top-notch cast also includes Ben Whishaw (Skyfall, Peter And Alice) and Daniel Mays (Mrs Biggs). Mojo, featuring rival gangs and grisly goings-on in 1950s Soho over the kidnap of a teenage pop star, was the first debut play to be performed on the Royal Court's main stage in 40 years since the kitchen-sink classic Look Back In Anger. It was a huge success, becoming a film in 1997, and Butterworth has since written the multi-award-winning Jerusalem. A surefire hit return.

Harold Pinter Theatre, SW1, Wed
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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