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As part of the war movie genre, the heroic exploits of the Resistance have been a popular form of cinematic entertainment since the end of World War Two. The bane of the invading German forces, the Resistance always represented the ordinary man picking up arms against the dreaded Hun to defend their country. Whether it was booby-trapping panzers or smuggling escaped POWs and Jewish refugees to safety, many films emphasized their heroism to great effect. Exploits of the Greek, Norwegian and French Resistance have been put to good use in The Guns of Navarone (1961), 633 Squadron (1964) and The Night of the Generals (1967).
As great as these films were, the exploits of the Resistance has been pretty much romanticized and even parodied (for those who remember ‘Allo ‘Allo!). The reality was very different. They were ruthless killers who took no prisoners and treated those who had in any way collaborated with the enemy with cold-blooded hostility. »
We're picking out your finest responses to our My favourite film series, for which Guardian writers have selected the movies they go back to time and again.
"You can't ruin a film by quoting it," said magicman of Withnail & I, the pic that opened the fourth week of our series on our writers' favourite films. But, by God, you can try. A full half of the 447 comments that joined Tim Jonze in raising a glass to Bruce Robinson's ragtag comedy reproduced Withnail's wisdom to the letter. Withnail and Marwood fled the city for an accidental holiday again. Uncle Monty made his intentions forcefully clear once more. Camberwell carrots were rolled, fights were weasled out of. Something's flesh remained. It all happened here, »
If you were up for "Saturday Night Live" this weekend, you may have found yourself up from the couch, French Dancing. Host Emma Stone was boogying down with the "SNL" crew in the "Les Jeunes de Paris" skit, but the co-star of the scene was singer Camille, with the track "Ta Douleur." For those who are curious, Camille was the vocal third of Nouvelle Vague, who roared through bossa nova covers of famous rock tracks from "The Guns of Brixton" to "Too Drunk to F*ck." The Parisian singer has resumed a life of solo albums, from which the song "Ta Douleur" was »
- Katie Hasty
The first screenings of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson‘s highly anticipated blockbuster The Adventures of Tintin kicked off this past weekend in UK and the word is mostly positive. Most outlets praised the level of entertainment Spielberg and co. have delivered, with some qualms over the animation style and story.
Timing with release, Hitfix has a new poster which shows our lead character and his trustworthy dog Snowy. Check it out below followed by a round-up of the critical response for the film starring Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Daniel Craig, Cary Elwes, Toby Jones, Mackenzie Crook and Daniel Mays. While us Americans have to wait over two months, UK’ers get to see the adventure starting October 26th. Click each outlet for the full review.
The Hollywood Reporter:
It’s precisely the old-school exploits of the Jones films that the director and screenwriters Steven Moffat, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
Empire’s 4-star review raves “Spielberg has brought a boy’s heart, an artist’s guile, and a movie-lover’s wit” to Tintin: From the Nouvelle Vague flourish of the opening credits, »
- Ryan Adams
Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin premieres in Paris next weekend, and on October 26 will start to hit theaters in the UK and Europe. But you don't have to wait two more weeks for some elements of the film. Previews of John Williams' score have hit the internet, so you can hear a few seconds of his classic-sounding adventure themes. The first review of Tintin has hit, as well. It is generally quite positive; check out pullquotes from that, below. The score samples are at CinemaMusica  (via Film Music Reporter  and Geeks of Doom ) and will give you a taste of the eighteen tracks that will comprise the official score release. I haven't listened to all the samples, as I'd prefer to hear most of the score in the context of the film, but what I did hear is very recognizably Williams, and suggests the Tintin score might »
- Russ Fischer
As "Castle" fans or anyone whose seen James Bond's "Quantum of Solace" can attest, Stana Katic is something of a head-turner. So it was really only a matter of time before the 33-year-old actress found a part that involved her canoodling on a French beach.
"For Lovers Only," which has enjoyed a fruitful domestic release on iTunes and continues to appear in many festivals abroad, was filmed over just 12 days with only three people: Katic, co-star and writer Mark Polish and director Michael Polish.
"It was a script that Mark and Michael had sitting around for awhile," Katic recently told Zap2it on the "Castle" set." They had various renditions of it that they'd been playing with for years, and then I think »
"People’s perceptions of a country are often defined by its cinema,” says the veteran film-maker John Irvin, the driving force behind the new South African Annual Film Festival which is launched at BAFTA this week-end. “Think of the American Western, musicals, comedies and gangster movies; think France and the Nouvelle Vague; think England's James Bond and the Ealing comedies. South Africa has a rich literary tradition and now is the time to promote its cinematic endeavour." »
“I was doing some turning out in England the other day because I’m selling my apartment there,” recalls British film editor Anne V. Coates who made a surprising discovery. “I came across this letter which said, ‘Dear Mr. Spiegel, I don’t think I can cut Lawrence of Arabia  for the money you’re offering.’ I turned down the picture. It’s a two page letter saying all the reasons why I wasn’t going to do it.” Coates explains, “I had already cut Tunes of Glory  and The Horse’s Mouth . I wasn’t a complete nonentity. They were offering, and they paid me, very little money. Sam Spiegel said to me, ‘If you cut Lawrence then you would be able to ask any money you like afterwards.’ So seven years later when »
"Like an old rock song that used to be a favorite and now sounds past its prime, or an apartment that used to be swinging and now badly needs a paint job and new furniture, watching Philippe Garrel's That Summer has a sweet retro taste of the Nouvelle Vague that soon turns insipid," begins Deborah Young in the Hollywood Reporter. "Set in present-day Paris and Rome and, gasp, shot in color, this drama of two couples (one separates, the other doesn't) is dramatically lifeless and uninvolving. Fans of Garrel, a two-time Silver Lion winner in Venice for directing I Can No Longer Hear the Guitar and Regular Lovers, may enjoy the self-reference of topliners Louis Garrel and Monica Bellucci, who play off their iconic images, but there isn't much more to pin down even specialized audiences."
Overall, "a dispiritingly tepid experience," agrees Jonathan Romney in Screen. "The film begins promisingly, »
Chilean-born film-maker who became the darling of the French avant garde
Raúl Ruiz, the Chilean-born film director who has died aged 70 after suffering a lung infection, held audiences with his glittering eye for more than 40 years. Baroque imagery, bizarre humour and labyrinthine plots made his elusive and allusive oeuvre unlike anything else in contemporary cinema.
Although most of his films were made while he was an exile in France, his work was part of the fabulist tradition that runs through much Latin American literature, such as the writings of Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges and Alfonso Reyes. Ruiz liked to quote the Cuban surrealist writer José Lezama Lima, who stated that the task of the poet is "to go into a dark room and build a waterfall there".
Born in Puerto Montt, in southern Chile, Ruiz studied law, theology and theatre before becoming a prolific avant-garde playwright. His first feature, »
- Ronald Bergan
Cinema on this side of the Channel is no laughing matter says the Gallic stand-up
As I say in my wonderful book, What We French Think Of You British … And Where You Are Going Wrong, it is a myth that the French hate the British. Most of the time we choose simply to ignore you. And, of course, the same can be said of British cinema.
When I see what is on offer at most British movie theatres, it is difficult not to recall Truffaut's belief that the words "British" and "cinema" seem to be at odds when placed together in a sentence. Often you seem proud of your productions only when handed statuettes by the USA, like only being proud of a child for winning an eating contest, while we insist on a certain quota of French films being shown in our cinemas (for which the cinemas, in fact, »
At the occasion of the anniversary of its iconic Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre hosted a prestigious event at Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris under the theme: Capturing your magic moment.Jérôme Lambert, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre welcomed 800 guests. Among the guests, actress Catherine Deneuve, Diane Kruger accompanied by Joshua Jackson, actor Clive Owen, Adrien Brody, Isabelle Huppert, Barbara Bui, Vahina Giocante, Richard Anconina, Eduardo Novillo Astrada and Astrid Munoz, Saif Ali Khan, Mohammed Al Habtoor, Sergi Arola, George Chakra, Kareena Kapoor, Ricardo Scamarcio and Valeria Golino, Giovanni Soldini, Carice Van Houten, Dennenesch Zoude, John Eales, Raphael Ibanez, and many other distinguished guests and friends of Jaeger-LeCoultre.The musical program of the evening presented the Nouvelle Vague artists: Mareva Galanter, Julien Doré and Helena Noguerra.The evening was also the opportunity for personalities to tell their own story with Reverso through the dedicated set-up:- Catherine Deneuve and the Reverso capturing the time of »
Avant-garde director best known for Hallelujah the Hills
Adolfas Mekas, who has died aged 85, was the director of Hallelujah the Hills (1963), perhaps the most light-hearted, amusing, innovative, allusive and freewheeling film to come out of the New American Cinema Group established in 1962. One of the clauses in its manifesto reads: "We believe that cinema is indivisibly a personal expression. We therefore reject the interference of producers, distributors and investors until our work is ready to be projected on the screen." Mekas, his older brother Jonas, and other avant-garde members of the group, such as Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie, Shirley Clarke and Gregory Markopoulos, lived by this doctrine in all their film-making.
Shot in black and white in 16mm, Hallelujah the Hills, which cost only $75,000 from concept to can, was directed, written and edited by Mekas, with Jonas as assistant; a young friend, David Stone, as first-time producer; Stone's wife, Barbara, »
- Ronald Bergan
"It happens every year: at least one film from France is in competition that the domestic audience seems to adore but which leaves us foreign journalists, almost without exception, utterly nonplussed as to why it was selected." Sight & Sound editor Nick James: "This year's puzzle is Pater (France), the latest relaxed, personal, made-at-home film from the usually estimable Alain Cavalier."
"There is one fascinating, appalling non-cinema subject that people have been talking about endlessly," notes the Guardian's Peter Bradshaw from Cannes. "The line taken generally is that Strauss-Kahn is innocent until proven guilty, but also an uneasy sense that this sort of legal sensation could never have happened in France, where attitudes to sexual politics and powerful men are quite different. The case gave an interesting flavor to Alain Cavalier's Pater, which satirizes the patriarchal system of political power, and power generally, in France. The film… is a stripped-down, »
Has anyone listened to that song since 1990?
Fear not -- the rest of the soundtrack to Paul Feig's raucous comedy "Bridesmaids" leans more toward earnest pop and rock, culling from a diverse group of primarily female artists and sprinkling in some testosterone to balance the album out.
(And full disclosure: you might find yourself humming "Hold On" for a few hours after seeing "Bridesmade," like, um, we did.)
With a movie about an impending wedding, it would've been easy to pollute your soundtrack with "Celebration," "Ymca," "Stayin' Alive" and countless other musical tropes that wore out their welcome 30 years ago. Instead, we get quirky singer-songwriters (Fiona Apple's "Paper Bag" and Kate Nash's "Do Wah Doo,") punk classics (two versions of Blondie's »
- Jason Newman
If your music collection is stuffed with indie rock staples, you don't have to put them aside while planning your wedding playlist. Mainstream dance tunes just aren't every couple's style, and there are plenty of indie songs with a good beat that will get the crowd grooving. Don't be afraid to wander off the proverbial beaten path when compiling your reception playlist. If this is the kind of music you and your fiancé enjoy most, it will have more meaning. Just because Sinatra didn't croon it (or Timbaland didn't produce it) doesn't mean it's not wedding-appropriate or fun. I put together a playlist of good reception songs from smaller artists - including some tunes that are pretty and others that are straight-up fun to dance to. Whether you're looking to go all indie or just want to sprinkle in something a little different between your oldies and your retro tunes, »
Mathieu Ravier, who writes about movies and movie posters from down under at his blog A Life in Film, recently alerted me, via Twitter, to a wonderful collection, on the website of the French newspaper L’Express, of every festival poster of the last 64 years of the Cannes Film Festival. You can see the full collection here, but I wanted to pick out a few of my favorites.
First of all, I have to say that the poster for this year’s festival may be my favorite of them all. The festival has used beautiful black and white photographs of actresses before (Monica Vitti in 2009, Marlene Dietrich in 1992) but those posters have often been let down by their uninspired typography and layout. But this year’s poster, which uses a Jerry Schatzberg photograph of Faye Dunaway at her most gorgeous (a restored print of their wonderful 1970 film Puzzle of a Downfall Child »
Marie-France Pisier, the stunning actress who launched her career as go-to gal for the leading filmmakers of the French New Wave, died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, Var, France on Sunday, April 24. She was 66 years old.
Beginning in the early 1960s, Mme Pisier appeared in seminal films of the Nouvelle Vague by Francois Truffaut (Love on the Run, Stolen Kisses), Jacques Rivette (Celine and Julie Go Boating) and Andrew Techine (1969’s Pauline is Leaving, Techine’s first film). She became a staple in French cinema and television over the years, appearing in dozens of TV and film productions, including the international cross-over comedy Cousin Cousine. She even did a little slumming in Hollywood, popping up in such silly fare as French Postcards and the high-trashy TV miniseries Scruples.
A hardworking career actor, Mme. Pisier was seen most recently in the 2009 French TV legal drama Les Chasseur.
Much of Marie-France Pisier’s movie canon »
Maybe it’s only fitting that family commitments (and, I’ll admit, the return of nice weather to the area where I live) kept me busy enough to delay the writing of this week’s Eclipse Series column. After all, the themes of the films I’ve been watching lately have a lot to do with the disillusionment that settles upon young children when they discover the misguided priorities of their parents. And even though my own kids are well past the ages of Antoine Doinel in The 400 Blows and the even younger Keiji and Ryoichi in I Was Born, But…, I’m still conscious of the example I set and don’t want to do anything that will only add to their cynicism regarding the world that the adults have so badly prepared for them.
- David Blakeslee
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