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5 items from 2015

The Forgotten: Charles Vanel's "Dans la Nuit" (1929)

20 November 2015 2:55 PM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

A friend pointed out that a shot of a girl on a swing in Renoir's A Day in the Country (filmed in 1936, completed in 1945) seemed surprisingly similar to one in Robert Florey's Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932). The girl swings, and the camera swings with her. Was Renoir influenced by Florey? Both men were French. Maybe Papa Jean was a Bela Lugosi fan. But now it seems like both were influenced by Charles Vanel, who includes an identical shot in the only film he directed, Dans la nuit (1929).Vanel also sets his camera on various fairground rides, and in this, as well as much of his visual style, he seems influenced by the impressionist school: Jean Epstein features a long, ecstatic funfair scene in his Cœur fidèle (1923). Like Epstein, Vanel exults in hallucinatory moments of disorientation, transient effects of light, and contrasting overheated emotion with gritty locations and a naturalistic depiction of working life. »

- David Cairns

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The Forgotten: "The House of Mystery" (1923)

30 April 2015 12:41 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Flicker Alley's release 0f The House of Mystery (La maison du mystère) restores to light a major movie serial almost lost forever, and allows us again to appreciate the talents of the White Russian filmmakers who greatly energized French filmmaking in the 1920s. In particular, star Ivan Mosjoukine and director Alexander Volkoff, who would also collaborate on Kean (1924) and Casanova (1927) are approaching the height of their powers.The plot is pure melodrama: a mill owner is framed for murder, escapes from a penal colony, and spends years trying to clear his name, while the real killer woos his wife. But the ten episodes use their extended cumulative running time to explore nuances of character rather than to pile on implausible escapes and battles (though there are a few extremely impressive examples of those). The result is a tale of injustice that grips and satisfies, while displaying a highly sophisticated cinematic sense. »

- David Cairns

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2015 Stanley Film Festival Lineup Includes The Final Girls, Deathgasm, Stung, The Invitation

2 April 2015 8:30 AM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Earlier this week, we gave you details on first wave of special experiences and events taking place at the 2015 Stanley Film Festival. We now have details on their impressive slate of features, short films, and additional special events, including screenings of The Final Girls, Deathgasm, Stung, The Invitation, and We Are Still Here.

We're teaming up with the festival for live coverage and special opportunities for Daily Dead readers, so be sure to check back all month for contests, features, and more.

"April 2, 2014 (Denver, Co) - The Stanley Film Festival (Sff) produced by the Denver Film Society (Dfs) and presented by Chiller, announced today its Closing Night film, Festival lineup and the 2015 Master of Horror.  The Festival will close out with The Final Girls. The film, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, is the story of a young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, »

- Jonathan James

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Penn Is Latest Hollywood Celeb to Take Home French Academy's Honor

28 January 2015 1:46 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

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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Garcia, Ossard, Neville, Fremaux, Konchalovsky, Make Kusturica’s 8th Kustendorf Fest

22 January 2015 6:15 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

L.A.-based Mexican producer-financier Alex Garcia, French producer Claudie Ossard and Amanda Neville, British Film Institute CEO, form the three-member jury panel at this year’s 8th Kustendorf Intl. Film and Music Festival, which opened Jan. 21 with a gala screening of Venice competition player “The Postman’s White Nights.”

Beforehand, director Andrei Konchalovsky took an audience through some of the challenges of filmmaking, such as the stolidity of the camera, which, per a festival report, he explained, citing Robert Bresson’s diktat: “The camera is like the eye of a cow.”

Also in attendance: Cannes director Thierry Fremaux, to present a restored copy of 1929’s “In the Night,” the only film helmed by resilient French actor Charles-Marie Vanel, whise 77-year career took included being seen with Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief.” Vanel received a tribute-retrospective at Lyon’s 2013 Lumière Festival, which Fremaux runs with Institut Lumière president Bertrand Tavernier, »

- John Hopewell

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

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