10 items from 2014
It's that time of year again and it's time to update the list for the second half of 2014 as Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and as impossible a task as it is to cut things down to just a few titles, I have done my best to break Criterion's titles down into a few categories. Hopefully those looking for box sets, specific directors or what I think are absolute musts will find this makes things a little bit easier. Let's get to it... First Picks I was given the Zatoichi collection for Christmas last year and being a collection that holds 25 films and another disc full of supplementary material it is the absolute definition of a must buy when it comes to the Criterion Collection. It is, once again, on sale for $112.49, half off the Msrp of $224.99, and worth every penny. I spent the entire year going through it. »
- Brad Brevet
Throughout the summer, an admin on the r/movies subreddit has been leading Reddit users in a poll of the best movies from every year for the last 100 years called 100 Years of Yearly Cinema. The poll concluded three days ago, and the list of every movie from 1914 to 2013 has been published today.
Users were asked to nominate films from a given year and up-vote their favorite nominees. The full list includes the outright winner along with the first two runners-up from each year. The list is mostly a predictable assortment of IMDb favorites and certified classics, but a few surprise gems have also risen to the top of the crust, including the early experimental documentary Man With a Movie Camera in 1929, Abel Gance’s J’Accuse! in 1919, the Fred Astaire film Top Hat over Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in 1935, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing over John Ford’s »
- Brian Welk
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. »
By Mireille Latil-Le-Dantec. Originally published in Cinématographe, no. 35, February 1978 in an issue with a Chaplin dossier.
Translation by Ted Fendt. Thanks to Marie-Pierre Duhamel.
The Chaplinesque Quest
The overbearing weight of interpretative studies devoted to Chaplin makes any pretension to some "fresh look" at a universe already studied from every angle seem absurd from the outset. At least, on the occasion of the homages currently being made in theaters to the little man who would become so big, a few fragmentary re-viewings more modestly allow for the rediscovery of the thematic unity of this body of work and the inanity of any artificial divide between the "excellent" Charlie films and the "mediocre" Chaplin films – a divide corresponding, of course, to the event which his art was not supposed to have survived: the appearance of those talkies that – in the excellent company of Eisenstein, Pudovkin, René Clair and many others – he »
- Ted Fendt
A large crowd queues impatiently outside the cinema and, when the doors open, rushes in. In an instant, every available seat is taken. Toward the back of the auditorium, a dispute breaks out between two passholders over who was there first. It’s a common enough sight at film festivals the world over: Sundance, Cannes, Telluride, Toronto. Only this time, we are in the serene college town of Bologna and the coveted premiere isn’t the latest work by a prize-winning auteur, but rather an early Hollywood sound film believed to have been unseen in nearly 70 years. The movie is called “Why Be Good?” (pictured above) and it was one of the hottest tickets you could come by at the 28th edition if Il Cinema Ritrovato (June 28-July 5), which screened the 1929 Vitaphone feature in a sterling new restoration.
One of the more than 100 feature films directed by the extremely industrious »
- Scott Foundas
Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and while it's impossible to suggest titles that will suit everyone looking to beef up their collection at this perfect time of year, I will do my best to offer some suggestions. Let's get to it... My Absolute First Pick I am almost done going through this collection and it was a collection I got for Christmas under these exact circumstances. Typically priced at $224.99, you can now get this amazing set of 25 Zatoichi films for only $112. Box sets, in my opinion, are what sales like this were made for. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Next Ten Recommendations It isn't easy so this is a collection of just some of my favorite films (of all-time and within the collection) and a little variety, though pretty much my standard, go to Criterion first picks, especially if you are just starting out. Persona Breathless »
- Brad Brevet
Rock out Thursday June 5th when Sound City screens at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood at 7pm.
I’ve never seen Sound City. I’ve seen hardly any rock docs (unless you count Spinal Tap), not even Scorsese’s The Last Waltz. I did enjoy Anvil! The Story Of Anvil a couple of years ago. I saw the Led Zep film The Song Remains The Same when it was new and recall a midnight show of Black And Blue, a Black Sabbath/Blue Oyster Cult concert film around 1980 that I can’t imagine sitting through today. Anyway, A Film Series is kicking off a new Rockumentary film series with Sound City next Thursday, June 5th, at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood, Missouri 63143). The movie begins at 7pm
Sound City Studios is a recording complex that opened in 1969 in Van Nuys, CA. While the studio looked utilitarian on the outside »
- Tom Stockman
Hi all, it’s Tim, here to celebrate a milestone of particular significance in the history not just of movies, but of pop culture generally. This weekend marks a centennial of one of the most iconic figures of the modern world: silent comedian Charles Chaplin’s legendary Little Tramp, who premiered in a pair of short comedies that released 100 years ago by Keystone Studios. The second to be shot, but the first to be released, was the half-reel comic short Kid Auto Races at Venice, Cal. on February 7, 1914; two days later, it was followed by the single-reel Mabel’s Strange Predicament, during the production of which Chaplin threw together a costume on the fly made of too-large shoes, baggy pants, a tight jacket, and a bowler hat. Within months – if not, indeed, within weeks – the character thus assembled through a quick burst of inspiration had become a sensation with audiences, »
- Tim Brayton
The laugh-per-half-hour quota is guaranteed to stay steady with crooner Michael Ball and one-woman comfort blanket Caroline Quentin trying not to be upstaged by comedy German Henning Wehn. While Quentin attempts to banish control pants into the legendary room, Wehn goes straight for the jugular with fundraising. And don't get him started on the royal family. Ball, meanwhile, can't stand being showered with soft toys. "You want to toughen up your image," suggests Henning as the heart of many a fan breaks. Hannah Verdier
Video Killed the Radio Star: The Artist's View
8.30pm, Sky Arts 1
Another edition of the gossamer-thin show telling the stories behind iconic music vids. Did you know, pop-pickers, that Elton's riotous I'm Still Standing video was improvised on the spot, »
- Hannah Verdier, Ali Catterall, Rachel Aroesti, John Robinson, Julia Raeside, Ben Arnold
Last year I listed ten New Year's movie scenes, this year I give you a selection of scenes compiled by Bernhard Fasenfest that I've been holding onto for just over a year so I could post it today. The list of films featured is directly below the video. Happy New Year! Blackboard Jungle (1955) Boogie Nights (1997) Holiday Inn (1942) Last Night (2010) Little Caesar (1931) Money Train (1995) New Years Eve (2011) Oceans Eleven (1960) Poseidon (2006) Radio Days (1987) Rosemary's Baby (1968) Sleepless in Seattle (1993) Strange Days (1995) Sunset Boulevard (1950) Tabu (2012) The Apartment (1960) The Gold Rush (1925) The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) Trading Places (1983) When Harry Met Sally (1989) While You Were Sleeping (1995) »
- Brad Brevet
10 items from 2014
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