9 items from 2014
Bill Hader has come a long way since his stint on Saturday Night Live, creating many popular characters and impersonations such as Stefon, Vincent Price and CNN’s Jack Cafferty. He is one of the highlights in such films as Adventureland, Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express, and so it is easy to see why author Mike Sacks interviewed him for his new book Poking A Dead Frog. In it, Hader talks about his career and he also lists 200 essential movies every comedy writer should see. Xo Jane recently published the list for those of us who haven’t had a chance to read the book yet. There are a ton of great recommendations and plenty I haven’t yet seen, but sadly my favourite comedy of all time isn’t mentioned. That would be Some Like It Hot. Still, it really is a great list with a mix of old and new. »
Over at The Telegraph, Robbie Collin has chosen to take on the impossible, he's set out to create a list of films that tells the story of Hollywood "in terms of how one picture or director led to the next." It's a daunting task that creates an interesting narrative and he prefaces his ten selections saying: ...none of the individual works is "great" or "important" enough to drown out the others. I've avoided films such as Citizen Kane, Vertigo, Singin' in the Rain, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia and The Godfather, not just because we already know they're great, but because their greatness might throw the story off-balance - although I wouldn't hesitate to describe any of the films that are on this list as a masterpiece. So how does his list shape outc Have a look: One Week (1920) - dir. Buster Keaton It Happened One Night (1934) - dir. »
- Brad Brevet
The Los Angeles Film Festival has announced several free community screenings to take place in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the festival.
Screenings include including Amy Heckerling’s Clueless (pictured), Luis Valdez’s La Bamba, Dave Lamattina and Chad Walker’s I Am Big Bird, Buster Keaton’s Cops and Sherlock Jr. and Thomas Miller‘s Limited Partnership.
The festival is set to run from June 11-19. »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
"Required Reading: Dudesels in Distress and An MST3K Oral History" was originally published on Film School Rejects for our wonderful readers to enjoy. It is not intended to be reproduced on other websites. If you aren't reading this in your favorite RSS reader or on Film School Rejects, you're being bamboozled. We hope you'll come find us and enjoy the best articles about movies, television and culture right from the source.
The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “7 Dudes in Distress Who Needed Saving By Damsels” — Rob Bracken at io9 lists a bunch of bros who were in dire straits until the right woman came along to ensure they didn’t die a horrible, horrible death. “Five of our favorites movies in movies” — Noel Murray and Matt Singer at The Dissolve get meta in honor of Sherlock Jr., but »
- Scott Beggs
"For 90 Years, Moviegoers Have Avoided Meta Depictions of Cinematic Escapism" was originally published on Film School Rejects for our wonderful readers to enjoy. It is not intended to be reproduced on other websites. If you aren't reading this in your favorite RSS reader or on Film School Rejects, you're being bamboozled. We hope you'll come find us and enjoy the best articles about movies, television and culture right from the source.
Many people watch movies as a form of escapism, and it makes sense that those people wouldn’t like movies that involve reflexive techniques that address this fantasy element. For at least 90 years, as of today’s anniversary of the release of Buster Keaton‘s Sherlock Jr., there has been a lot of evidence to indicate that such meta cinema is not popular with American audiences. At the start of 1924, Keaton was riding a wave of success following his two hits of the previous year, Three Ages »
- Christopher Campbell
Our earliest memories of films we love usually come from a trip to the cinema. The strange, silent communion to which we are drawn again and again to live other lives, walk in other worlds and be changed forever. Well, that’s the plan at least…
A cinema trip is a ritual. Precious to some, holy to others. And whether you have your favourite seat picked out in advance, your preferred confection (except Revels – no-one really likes those do they?), go alone or with friends, flip out your phone with the Cinime app or sit in silent anticipation of the BBFC advisory, there is nothing quite like enjoying a film as it was meant to be seen.
Here are our choice moments from five films to feature scenes of our favourite pastime. Down at the front, phones off. The show is about to begin.
Dir: Joe Dante
Taking a »
- Michael Walsh
There’s a clip on YouTube in which an elderly Buster Keaton grabs a train as it pulls into the station, making it look as if the veteran silent film actor is physically forcing the train to stop. After a brief moment he grabs the train again and throws it back along the track in the other direction. In this split second, Keaton perfectly demonstrates what made him such a master of his trade. Intensely curious, Keaton had an understanding of his surroundings and a sense of comic timing that few actors have come close to matching over the last century. ’The great stone face’ could make a joke out of seemingly anything, and this was never more evident than in The General, now widely regarded as Keaton’s greatest film, which is rereleased this week following a stunning 4K restoration.
It wasn’t always so highly praised, on its »
- Matt Seton
The British Film Institute’s decision to pair Three Ages (1923) and Sherlock Jr. (1924) proved a wise one, as these two films serve as a great introduction to Buster Keaton. By 1923, Keaton was already famous for his short films, but Third Ages was the first feature film he directed, wrote and starred in. Sherlock Jr., produced a year later, cemented his reputation as a talented film-maker and was the first in a string of critically acclaimed and highly popular films, many of which are currently being shown as part of the BFI’s Keaton season.
Another added pleasure to this screening was the use of live music. An improvisational piano player performed throughout the film, similar to how silent films were originally watched. This created an authentic and enjoyable experience.
Three Ages, 1923.
Framed as a parable »
- Gary Collinson
Simon Columb kicks off our Buster Keaton month with a short introduction...
In his definitive book on Silent Comedy, Paul Merton, 88-pages in, titles a chapter “Enter Buster - and Others”. Many would imagine Buster Keaton, with Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, are front a centre in a guide on the era. Indeed, while Chaplin is an icon, it is Keaton who holds critical favour. The end of his life was marred by financial struggle and yet now, many consider Keaton superior to Chaplin in his intelligent direction, innovative techniques and everlasting tone of comedy. In 1917, when Charlie Chaplin was well-known, Buster Keaton made his screen debut in the Roscoe Arbuckle short “The Butcher Boy”, hence his late introduction in Merton’s book. If Keaton was told in 1917 that he would be known in the same capacity as Chaplin, he would surely laugh it off as simply ludicrous. Or he’d stare at you blankly. »
- Gary Collinson
9 items from 2014
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