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It is always an exciting day when Eureka Entertainment announces their upcoming titles for its Masters of Cinema series, and with today's announcement, they might have just outdone themselves. Sidney Lumet's seminal police thriller, Serpico, starring a top-of-his-game Al Pacino leads the pack, followed by William A. Wellman's silent classic Wings, Ted Kotcheff's brilliantly bizarre Australian outback nightmare, Wake In Fright and Sam Fuller's racially charged White Dog. We will also see Andrew Bujalski's delightfully eccentric Computer Chess released on the label, as well as Francesco Rosi's Hands Over The City, which arrives alongside Federico Fellini's love letter to his home city, Roma. As a little cherry on the top of their already gloriously glazed announcement, Eureka annouced that they will be releasing Robert Altman's ensemble epic,...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Although "12 Years a Slave" is still favored to win Best Picture, its helmer Steve McQueen is locked in a tight race for Best Director with Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity"). History favors McQueen winning as these two awards have lined up for 63 of the 85 years of Oscar. However, of the 22 times they have not, the most recent instance was last year when Ang Lee won his second Academy Award for helming the 3-D spectacle "Life of Pi" while "Argo" won Best Picture despite director Ben Affleck not being nominated. That marked only the fourth time in Oscar history that the director of the Best Picture was snubbed by the academy. The other instances: 1927/28: "Wings" won Best Picture; William Wellman was snubbed: Frank Borzage won Best Director for "Seventh Heaven"; 1931/32: "Grand Hotel" won Best Picture; Edmund Goulding was snubbed: Frank Borzage »
This year's edition of the silent film festival featured Welles' previously-thought-lost Too Much Johnson amid a typically irreverent and varied selection
• Orson Welles's first professional film discovered in an Italian warehouse
The first full day of the 32nd Giornate del Cinema Muto, the world's most prestigious silent-film festival, took place exactly 86 years after The Jazz Singer premiered in New York. There were no mournful faces in the town of Pordenone, Italy, where the Giornate is held, however. In this corner of the world, for one week only, it is not quite as if the talkies never arrived, but rather that they failed to stop the party. Silent cinema continues to reinvent itself, to surprise even its most protective guardians, and to multiply.
The opening gala night of the festival featured a recent film that paid tribute to European silent cinema, Pablo Berger's invigoratingly »
- Pamela Hutchinson
Joan Fontaine today: One of the best actresses of the studio era has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day Joan Fontaine, one of the few surviving stars of the 1930s, is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" star today, Tuesday, August 6, 2013. I’m posting this a little late in the game: TCM has already shown six Joan Fontaine movies, including the first-rate medieval adventure Ivanhoe and the curious marital drama The Bigamist, directed by and co-starring Ida Lupino, and written by Collier Young — husband of both Fontaine and Lupino (at different times). Anyhow, TCM has quite a few more Joan Fontaine movies in store. (Photo: Joan Fontaine publicity shot ca. 1950.) (TCM schedule: Joan Fontaine movies.) As far as I’m concerned, Joan Fontaine was one of the best actresses of the studio era. She didn’t star in nearly as many movies as sister Olivia de Havilland, perhaps because »
- Andre Soares
Mary Boland movies: Scene-stealing actress has her ‘Summer Under the Stars’ day on TCM Turner Classic Movies will dedicate the next 24 hours, Sunday, August 4, 2013, not to Lana Turner, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Esther Williams, or Bette Davis — TCM’s frequent Warner Bros., MGM, and/or Rko stars — but to the marvelous scene-stealer Mary Boland. A stage actress who was featured in a handful of movies in the 1910s, Boland came into her own as a stellar film supporting player in the early ’30s, initially at Paramount and later at most other Hollywood studios. First, the bad news: TCM’s "Summer Under the Stars" Mary Boland Day will feature only two movies from Boland’s Paramount period: the 1935 Best Picture Academy Award nominee Ruggles of Red Gap, which TCM has shown before, and one TCM premiere. So, no rarities like Secrets of a Secretary, Mama Loves Papa, Melody in Spring, »
- Andre Soares
Have you seen Kubrick’s top 10?
In 1963, Stanley Kubrick created a list of the greatest films of all time. It has recently resurfaced, and is worth checking out:
I Vitelloni (dir. Federico Fellini, 1953) Wild Strawberries (dir. Ingmar Bergman, 1957) Citizen Kane (dir. Orson Welles, 1941) The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (dir. John Huston, 1948) City Lights (dir. Charlie Chaplin, 1931) Henry V (dir. Laurence Olivier, 1944) La Notte (dir. Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961) The Bank Dick (dir. Edward F. Cline, 1940) Roxie Hart (dir. William A. Wellman, 1942) Hell’s Angels (dir. Howard Hughes, 1930)
Find details, and links to more of the greatest movies of all time here. »
Any time a top ten list is made nowadays it is typically made by movie bloggers born in the late '70s / early '80s and therefore the span of time it covers is frequently limited to just a few years before their birth to modern day. As a result many great films are forgotten simply because it's damn near impossible to see everything. Thankfully, there are others out there to encourage us to see films before our time and expand our cinematic knowledge. Just yesterday I posted Spike Lee's list of 87 Essential Films (see that here) and I've always pointed out and referenced Roger Ebert's list of Great Movies, which you can see in its entirety right here. If you haven't seen these films, add them to a spreadsheet of your own and get to work as today I have ten more for you to consider. Born »
- Brad Brevet
Film Forum's 2012 William Wellman retrospective brought new and much-needed critical attention to a director best remembered today for a small handful of the 80 or so films he made between 1920 and 1958, including Wings (1927), The Public Enemy (1931), A Star is Born (1937), Beau Geste (1939), and The Ox-Bow Incident (1943). Despite the relatively strong reputations of those films, Wellman has often been overlooked in critical discussions of Hollywood auteurs. In fact, a collection of essays that grew out of the retrospective, William A. Wellman: A Dossier, edited by Gina Telaroli and David Phelps, is the closest thing to a book-length study of Wellman currently available. After reading through much of the Dossier, I was encouraged to give Wellman a serious look myself, and this formal analysis is a small effort to continue the momentum of Telaroli's and Phelps's work.
Made just a few months apart and packaged conveniently on the same disc of TCM’s Forbidden Hollywood Collection, »
- Darren Hughes
Kino Lorber’s upcoming DVD release of “Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick,” about the life of director William Wellman, is welcome for a couple of reasons. One: In the Great Filmography of American cinema, Wellman, much like Howard Hawks, is a bit like Zelig. He’s everywhere. He made perhaps The archetypal gangster picture, “Public Enemy” (1931), which not only introduced James Cagney to the screen but planted the concept of the anti-hero in a war- and Depression-weary American psyche. He made the ur-screwball comedy “Nothing Sacred” (1937) with Carole Lombard and Frederic March; he made the highly idealistic Foreign Legion adventure “Beau Geste” (1939 version). He twisted the western into politically volatile morality play with “The Ox-Bow Incident” (1943). He directed Barbara Stanwyck five times including in “Lady in Burlesque” (1943) and he made what many consider the definitive World War II film, “The Story of G.I. Joe.” Oh yeah: He won a screenplay Oscar for writing. »
- John Anderson
When you’re looking to put together a movie collection, it doesn’t hurt if you happen to be Warner Brothers. If the collection you’re after is classic gangster movies, you’re really in luck.
For fans of the genre, especially those looking to upgrade titles to Blu-Ray, the new Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics is one you’ve got to get your hands on. Not only do you get some of the films that helped create the genre, and have become the foundation upon which countless movies are built, but the extras are worth the price on their own.
The collection here comes at you like a history lesson, not just of the genre, but of film. Little Caesar, with Edward G. Robinson setting the stage for all future gangsters with “short man syndrome,” but struggling mightily against the production theories of the day, is not only a classic treasure, »
- Marc Eastman
The Canadian (photo: Thomas Meighan in The Canadian) Thomas Meighan is The Star of William Beaudine’s The Canadian (1926), which screened at the 2012 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The credits feature his name far above everyone else’s. The basic story of The Canadian, scenario by Arthur Stringer from the 1913 W. Somerset Maugham play The Land of Promise, is similar in theme to Victor Sjöström’s later film The Wind (1928), but without the wind tempest and the murder. Instead, The Canadian concentrates on characterizations. After her rich aunt dies, stuffy, uptight Nora (Mona Palma) travels from London to a wheat farm owned by her brother (Wyndham Standing) in Calgary. She looks down with disdain at the simple, rustic life he lives in the country, with his wife, Gertie (Dale Fuller), and farm hands — especially the independent-minded Frank Taylor (Thomas Meighan). The Canadian starts out as an unpredictable and engaging tale. »
- Danny Fortune
Wings, Dr. Strangelove: Film preservation and ‘Amazing Tales from the Archives’ (photo: Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers, Clara Bow, Richard Arlen in William A. Wellman’s Wings) The 2012 San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s edition of "Amazing Tales from the Archives" was perhaps the weakest of the series to date. In the past, they have done a wonderful job demonstrating the excitement of finding lost films and footage, assembling them together, preserving and restoring them. This installment revolved around the "Digital Age," and did not concentrate only on silent film. The reconstruction of William A. Wellman’s Wings (1927), the first Best Picture (or "Best Production") Academy Award winner, was a familiar story of how an old film print could be dusted off and used for the production of a Digital Cinema Package. By now, we all are aware of the importance of film preservation, which is part detective work and part modern technology. »
- Danny Fortune
Last October, my co-editor David Phelps and I released our first self-published e-book out into the world. It was entitled William A. Wellman: A Dossier, and after the somewhat life-changing experience we had discovering Wellman's films during his Film Forum retrospective, we were happy to have discovered a format that would allow us to curate, create, and share an anthology of criticism centered on Wellman's work.
After the release, David and I found ourselves contemplating what to do next, and our thoughts soon brought us back to a night when we screened Allan Dwan's Cattle Queen of Montana (1954), a Western unlike any Western we had seen. A movie that on paper is a simple genre exercise about a vengeful woman trying to regain her land and cattle but in practice is about how different people and events fill »
- gina telaroli
Ultimate Gangster Collection — Classics
Due Out: May 21, 2013
The “Ultimate Gangster Collection: Classics“ and “Ultimate Gangster Collection: Contemporary” are available on Blu-ray 5/21
Who’S It For?
This collection is for anyone who gets excited for a gangster flick. The look of each film is fantastic, especially considering the age of these movies. Just being able to own (and compare) Little Caesar and The Public Enemy is worth the price alone. Little Caesar has every single cliché that Hollywood is still using for its gangster films. It doesn’t hold up compared to modern movies, but that’s the point of watching it. With Little Caesar these aren’t exactly clichés, but new attempted techniques. The Public Enemy completely holds up. It’s an amazing character study brought to life by the brilliant Cagney. Seeing the intro, explaining that Hollywood is against »
- Jeff Bayer
To celebrate the release of The Story of GI Joe on June 3rd, we are offering you the chance to win one of three copies of the DVD.
Based on the columns of war correspondent Ernie Pyle, The Story of GI Joe is a gripping World War II drama often considered the single most realistic Hollywood war film of the 1940s.
Pyle befriends several of the soldiers, including commanding officer Bill Walker (Robert Mitchum), family man Sgt. Warnicki (Freddie Steele) and would-be romeo Pvt. Dondaro (Wally Cassell) and reports on the everyday trials and tribulations of the humble foot soldier.
Featuring the breakthrough performance from Robert Mitchum, The Story Of GI Joe received four Oscar® nominations including Best Supporting Actor, »
Ferrell vs. Plaza popcorn-wrestling match. Who is the real comedic genius? See the preceding article: Mma '13 Winners: From Tom Hiddleston to Taylor Lautner The highlight of the MTV Movie Awards ceremony this year wasn't anyone's moving speech, an expletive -- and there were a few of those -- or Taylor Lautner's fat suit now that he's 21 he's been drinking and eating too much. Instead, that somewhat dubious honor goes to Safety Not Guaranteed and Parks and Recreation performer Aubrey Plaza, who tried to wrest Will Ferrell's Comedic Genius Golden Popcorn during the comedian's acceptance speech. Pictured above: Ferrell and Plaza fight for popcorn onstage. Please scroll down to check out the video of the popcorn wrestling match. According to various online reports and to MTV itself, the Ferrell vs. Plaza popcorn fight was totally unscripted. The actress, with the title of her August movie The To Do List »
- Andre Soares
With Father’s Day coming up, it makes perfect sense for Warner Bros. to look to the past, and release two impressive Blu-ray collections. Ultimate Gangster Collection Classic and Ultimate Gangster Collection Contemporary should make plenty of men happy*.
*Women are also allowed to be happy by this news.
Here is the news release…
Burbank, Calif., March 11, 2013 – As part of the studio’s 90th Anniversary celebration, eight of Warner Bros. Pictures’ greatest gangster films – from Edward G. Robinson’s 1931 classic Little Caesar to Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning masterpiece The Departed– will now be available in two Blu-ray sets May 21. Released to coincide with Father’s Day gift-giving, the WB genre greats, along with one of Paramount’s best gangster films, will be offered in the Ultimate Gangster Collection: Classic and Ultimate Gangster Collection: Contemporary.
The four films in the Classic Collection have been remastered for their Blu-ray debuts. They include »
- Jeff Bayer
"Argo" has achieved a rare -- if dubious -- distinction. This Best Picture at the 85th Academy Awards is only the fourth film in Oscar history to win without its director even getting a nomination.
When Ben Affleck, the director and star of "Argo," failed to get a Best Director nomination, many were shocked. He was widely believed to be a favorite to win, and subsequent victories at the Golden Globes and Directors Guild Awards proved that others regarded his work with great esteem. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, however, paid no attention.
This snub makes it all the more unusual that "Argo" won the Best Picture Award. How unusual? Well, since the Oscars were first awarded in 1928, only three other films -- "Wings" (1928), "Grand Hotel" (1931) and "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989) -- have won Best Picture without a Best Director nomination. Now, Ben Affleck joins directors William A. Wellman, »
Above: 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (Michael Curtiz, USA, 1932).
When I wrote about the posters of 1933 last week this was one poster I deliberately held back (though 20,000 Years in Sing Sing was released on Christmas Eve 1932, it is included in Film Forum’s retrospective). The early 1930s, no less than today—though the execution was a lot more interesting— was an era of big floating heads in movie posters. While 1920s movies had the occasional floating head poster for their biggest stars, artists and studios still favored the look of early silent posters with their head-to-toe portraits and snippets of narrative. Though Norma Desmond said famously of the silent era “We didn’t need dialogue...we had faces!” it was ironically with the coming of sound that faces started to dominate movie posters and, until Saul Bass, minimalism in American movie posters was almost non-existent.
All that makes the 20,000 Years poster, »
- Adrian Curry
The time has finally arrived. This Sunday, film fans across the nation will be tuning into the 85th Academy Awards to see who wins the best of the best — or to win that awesome office pool they contributed to. While people are preparing to party with their favorite cocktail and take a dig at host Seth MacFarlane (please be funny, sir), you can get a head start on the celebrations by checking out this Best Picture Oscar supercut. Filmmaker Nelson Carvajal took the liberty of creating a four-minute video that collects every Oscar-winning feature film since William A. Wellman's Wings in 1927, to last year's winner: Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist. Oddly enough, both are silent films and the only two that won Oscars. Set to "November" by Max...
- Alison Nastasi
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