7 items from 2015
The dramatic use of actors playing multiple characters is a bold and rather theatrical device that has its ups and downs. It goes at least as far back as Captain Hook being played by the same actor who plays the Darling children's father in stage productions of Peter Pan, a technique largely adopted in film adaptations of the story, too (hello to Jason Isaacs).
It's used a lot in cinema too. Done well, it's impressive, but when it's bad, it's Jack & Jill. Whether used in comedy or drama or outright horror, there are countless examples of actors delivering terrific performances in more than one role at once, and that's before we even get past Cloud Atlas. Still, we've had a go at totting up 25 of the best. »
Each week, the fine folks at Fandor add a number of films to their Criterion Picks area, which will then be available to subscribers for the following twelve days. This week, the Criterion Picks focus on eight delightful French films.
Three decades of exceptional French cinema in the service of that most intoxicating, unpredictable and stubborn of muscles, to which laws of convention and commitment prove no barrier: the heart.
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Children of Paradise by Marcel Carne
Poetic realism reached sublime heights with Children Of Paradise, widely considered one of the greatest French films of all time. This nimble depiction of nineteenth-century Paris’s theatrical demimonde, filmed during World War II, follows a mysterious woman loved by four different men (all based on historical figures): an actor, a criminal, a count, and, most poignantly, a mime (Jean-Louis Barrault, »
- Ryan Gallagher
Ingrid Bergman ca. early 1940s. Ingrid Bergman movies on TCM: From the artificial 'Gaslight' to the magisterial 'Autumn Sonata' Two days ago, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series highlighted the film career of Greta Garbo. Today, Aug. 28, '15, TCM is focusing on another Swedish actress, three-time Academy Award winner Ingrid Bergman, who would have turned 100 years old tomorrow. TCM has likely aired most of Bergman's Hollywood films, and at least some of her early Swedish work. As a result, today's only premiere is Fielder Cook's little-seen and little-remembered From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1973), about two bored kids (Sally Prager, Johnny Doran) who run away from home and end up at New York City's Metropolitan Museum. Obviously, this is no A Night at the Museum – and that's a major plus. Bergman plays an elderly art lover who takes an interest in them; her »
- Andre Soares
From Alessandro Nivola, over breakfast, we learn how Nicolas Winding Refn poached an entire family, including Elle Fanning and Christina Hendricks, from Sally Potter's Ginger And Rosa and spun them into The Neon Demon, with Alessandro channeling Anton Walbrook's portrayal of Boris Lermontov in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's The Red Shoes wrapped into Tom Ford.
Coco Chanel is the link between Jean Renoir's masterpiece La Règle Du Jeu (The Rules Of The Game) and Anne Fontaine's Coco Before Chanel, in which Alessandro plays Chanel's lover who "borrowed" her for two days. How James Gray, Darren Aronofsky and Matteo Garrone will factor in is yet to be determined. Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells with Olivia Wilde and Evan Rachel Wood »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
To begin with, no, 49th Parallel is not a Canadian film. At least not technically. The Hungarian Emeric Pressburger, who had been working in England for about five years, wrote the 1941 feature, and the Kent-born Michael Powell, who had been making films since the early 1930s, directed it. All but one interior was shot at Denham Studios in Buckinghamshire, and Ortus Films, a British company, produced the picture after the Ministry of Information commissioned it. The cast is a veritable who’s who of prominent British actors, including Laurence Olivier, Anton Walbrook, and Leslie Howard, among others. David Lean, then the preeminent editor in England, cut the picture.
Still, it is a great Canadian film. Locations range from Winnipeg to Quebec to Alberta. Perhaps more than any other film, certainly of the era, it also deals explicitly with Canada’s largely ignored involvement in World War II—as far as the movies are concerned anyway. »
- Jeremy Carr
Above: French poster by Boris Grinsson for You’ll Never Get Rich (Sidney Lanfield, USA, 1941).In the new edition of Film Comment, out this week, I write about British airbrush artist Philip Castle and his iconic poster for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. The other man behind that poster, aside from Kubrick himself, was producer, director and writer Mike Kaplan who, at the time, was Kubrick’s marketing guru.Kaplan, who has been collecting movie posters, as well as art directing them, for 35 years, is a tireless proselytizer for the art form and his latest project is a labor of love and a pure delight. Gotta Dance! The Art of the Dance Movie Poster, a book he wrote and curated, was born out of a touring exhibition of his own personal collection that he has been exhibiting around the country for the past few years. Its latest stop is »
- Adrian Curry
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
7 items from 2015
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