3 items from 2010
Olivier Assayas's engrossing movie traces the life of one of the 20th century's most notorious terrorists
Conventional wisdom suggests that we look to America for the essential models of the crime movie, but in fact, in addition to providing a name for that most respected of Hollywood genres, the film noir, the French were way out front when, early in the last century, Louis Feuillade directed a succession of sophisticated, surreal serials of underworld activities that remain unsurpassed, among them Judex, Fantômas, Les vampires and Tih Minh.
This tradition was carried on in Marcel Carné's classics of the 1930s and after the second world war by Jacques Becker with Touchez pas au grisbi (based on a Série noire novel by Albert Simonin that was accompanied by a 14-page glossary of underworld argot) and Jean-Pierre Melville, who specialised in gangster movies of a purity unrivalled by Hollywood.
Numerous petits-maîtres »
- Philip French
Reviewer: Jeffrey M. Anderson
Rating (out of 5): ****½
Louis Feuillade worked at the great French movie studio Gaumont, making dozens upon dozens of films, of all different stripes. He made comedies, historical films, "realist" films, and even a series of films with child stars, such as "Bout de Zan." But out of his 700 or so films, his reputation rests mainly on his lengthy crime serials, including Les Vampires (1915), Judex (1916), Tih Minh (1918), and beginning with the five-and-a-half hour Fantômas (1913). These remarkable films were among the first to employ location shooting, and to use a sustained, intertwining plot that lasted for more than a couple of reels. They also perfected the use of the cliffhanger and the maintaining of suspense; D.W. Griffith had learned how to create thrills with his cross-cutting, but Feuillade slowed this down and stretched it out for a richer and deeper experience. His techniques would later be passed on to Fritz Lang, »
First the history, then the list:
In 1969, Jerome Hill, P. Adams Sitney, Peter Kubelka, Stan Brakhage, and Jonas Mekas decided to open the world’s first museum devoted to film. Of course, a typical museum hangs its collections of artwork on the wall for visitors to walk up to and study. However, a film museum needs special considerations on how — and what, of course — to present its collection to the public.
Thus, for this film museum, first a film selection committee was formed that included James Broughton, Ken Kelman, Peter Kubelka, Jonas Mekas and P. Adams Sitney, plus, for a time, Stan Brakhage. This committee met over the course of several months to decide exactly what films would be collected and how they would be shown. The final selection of films would come to be called the The Essential Cinema Repertory.
The Essential Cinema Collection that the committee came up with consisted of about 330 films. »
- Mike Everleth
3 items from 2010
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