13 items from 2013
Charlie Chaplin's films have stood the test of time not necessarily because they are funny, at least not in today's terms of what classifies a film as a "comedy", but because the best of them are amusing, clever, witty, smart, emotional and, most of all, simple. But don't let their simplicity deceive you. The level of simplicity a film such as Chaplin's 1931 feature City Lights is not easily achieved. In fact, making something look simple may in fact be the hardest thing to accomplish in cinema. Without sci-fi plotlines, outside forces or even additional characters having an effect on the plot, City Lights is the story of Chaplin's iconic Tramp and the love he finds for a blind woman selling flowers on a street corner. As much as comedy has changed in 80+ years, a story such as this could hardly be told in today's cinemas and garner any kind of attention. »
- Brad Brevet
Written by Charles Chaplin
Directed by Charles Chaplin
As they have with The Gold Rush, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, and Monsieur Verdoux, The Criterion Collection has released another stunning Blu-ray/DVD transfer of a Charlie Chaplin classic, rife with a surplus of features. City Lights (1931), which Criterion itself calls, “the most cherished film by Charlie Chaplin … his ultimate Little Tramp chronicle,” is certainly a film easy to love and admire; it’s The Tramp at his most endearingly hapless, his best of intentions always hilariously undermined, and it’s perhaps the most emotionally affecting Chaplin film.
The Kid has the unforgettable Jackie Coogan desperately reaching out for his newfound father figure, and throughout, the young boy and Chaplin tug at the heartstrings. But City Lights, especially with its transcendent final scene, trumps the more manipulatively straightforward sentiment in the earlier feature. Much has been made of this supremely effective conclusion, »
- Jeremy Carr
To coincide with Criterion’s Blu-ray release of Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights,” new weekly column Cine-List has compiled five essential Chaplin films. For the Chaplin novice, these are indispensable titles to start with. For Chaplin buffs, they are titles to return to again and again.1. “The Gold Rush” (1925). Chaplin’s wonderful silent comedy, re-released in 1942 with a recorded score and narration, transports us to the snow-covered terrain of 1880s Alaska, where we follow the travails of the Lone Prospector (Chaplin), who in appearance is very similar to the comedian’s iconic Tramp, with shabby attire and outsized shoes. Those shoes play a key role (or at least one does), when the Lone Prospector boils one up and serves himself the sole and laces, forgoing the juicier leather top for fellow miner Big Jim (Mack Swain). The pure physical genius of a sequence like this, along with the famous and »
- Beth Hanna
A Palestinian in Brooklyn agrees to bargain his U.S. citizenship into a green-card marriage, never expecting to wed an Israeli, in Ghazi Albuliwi’s amusing indie laffer “Peace After Marriage.” Co-helmed with Bandar Albuliwi, this echt-Gotham ethnic comedy, originally titled “Only in New York,” has obvious origins in Ghazi Albuliwi’s standup roots, and while individual lines are generally punchier than the whole, it’s refreshing to see a lighthearted Muslim-Jewish romantic comedy without a heavy political agenda. The audience award at Montpellier’s Cinemed Fest gives a good indication of the pic’s appeal; targeted bicoastal theatrical play could follow rotation among smaller fests.
Arafat (Ghazi Albuliwi), 30, is a struggling actor living with his parents and suffering from a major case of sexual frustration. With no pickup technique to speak of, he’s stuck with porn and an overfamiliarity with his right hand. Dad (Hany Kamal) keeps proposing »
- Jay Weissberg
★★★★☆ Hot on the heels of Cannes entry As I Lay Dying, James Franco makes his directorial bow on the Venice Lido with Child of God (2013), a Gothic tale of violence, perversion and madness in the hill country of Tennessee, adapted from American writer Cormac McCarthy's celebrated third novel. Scott Haze plays Lester Ballard, a solitary, unhinged individual who feels he has been robbed of his father's land. Ballard roams the woods hunting rabbits, stealing chickens and muttering and cursing to himself. One day he spies on a couple making out in a car and goes on to discover finds a half-naked woman beneath the mottled canopy.
Local lawman Sheriff Fate (Tim Blake Nelson) keeps a watchful eye on Ballard, but when Lester finds a dead couple in a car, his descent into madness - fuelled by a famished loneliness - slips another rung. Following the success of the Coen »
- CineVue UK
13) Title Fights: The King of Pay-tv
In 1977, Jeff Bewkes was an affable 25-year-old Mba graduate out of Stanford, one of a number of similarly young grads in the trainee program of Citibank of New York, doing whatever bank trainees do in a nest of cubicles at Citibank’s training center in a drab Long Island City warehouse across the East River from the gleaming towers of Manhattan. One morning, Tony Wojick, a trainee in Bewkes’ Citibank accounting class, was talking about some movie he’d seen on TV the previous night.
That didn’t make sense to Bewkes; the movie Wojick was talking about hadn’t been in theaters that long ago. It was too soon for it to be on TV. “You saw it on the Monday Night Movie?” he asked Wojick, surprised one of the networks had gotten it for one of their movie slots so early.
- Bill Mesce
Too Much Johnson – which was intended for inclusion in a theatre show – forms an 'intellectual bridge' between the director's theatrical and cinematic careers, says its restorer
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It's hugely exciting discovery – and a bizarre, unexpected one too. An early Orson Welles film, previously thought lost, has been found in a warehouse in northern Italy. Too Much Johnson, the second film Welles ever created, is a silent movie, a slapstick comedy that has never been shown and was thought to have been destroyed in a fire.
"We may never fully understand the mystery of why it was abandoned. What matters now is that it is safe, and that it will be seen," says Dr Paolo Cherchi Usai, senior curator of motion pictures at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, which restored the footage.
The film, says Cherchi Usai, is the "intellectual bridge" between Welles's theatrical and cinematic careers. »
- Pamela Hutchinson
I probably could have waited to post the following graphic on Monday and had more takers, but I never intended to post it in the first place as it merely came out of the result of me working on a new feature for the site. That said, many of you still got in the game and I had a lot of fun on Twitter last night with people guessing some of the more difficult titles. As it turns out, it was numbers 13, 19, 22 and 23 that gave people the most trouble, 13 proving to be the hardest of the lot as only Andre Marques got that right in the comments (as of 9 Am Pst this morning) and one person on Twitter last night finally guessed it after several hints and attempts. I applaud all of you for your efforts! I was astonished how many people got #33 correct and quite honestly, surprised any of you got #22. That said, »
- Brad Brevet
I only casually mentioned the excellent visual effects featurette on Criterion's new Blu-ray for Harold Lloyd's Safety Last! in my review, but it's one of the set's highlights as film writer John Bengtson and visual-effects expert Craig Barron illustrate how Lloyd and his team manipulated the camera to make it look as if Lloyd was several stories high, hanging from the hands of a clock when in fact he was only a few feet from the ground. Yesterday Criterion released a snippet from that feature, which includes the details on how they achieved what has to be the most iconic shot from any of Lloyd's features. Give the brief video a watch below and earn a greater respect for the old school masters. Criterion has done similar looks at the visual effects in classic silents in their collection. Other recent titles include Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush and »
- Brad Brevet
I first saw Harold Lloyd's Safety Last! back in 2009. I'd made a list of the current IMDb Top 250 Films and it was the only one I had not yet seen. Problem was, at the time, it wasn't on Netflix and was only available as part of an $80+ boxset of Lloyd films. Fast forward four years later and you can buy a pristine, restored, feature-filled Blu-ray edition of the 1923 silent classic from Criterion and it's worth every penny. For those that read the site on a regular basis, I wrote up some brief thoughts on the film after seeing it for the first time four years ago in what was then only the third installment in my Sunday morning "What I Watched" column, which has grown considerably since. I mention this because my first time viewing Safety Last! was not on DVD or Blu-ray, but by finding it on TCM's »
- Brad Brevet
Article by Dan Clark
The Academy Awards have a long tradition of awarding the best and the brightest in the world of movies. Hollywood’s biggest night is the ideal time for film legends to be recognized. Unfortunately the Oscars are also well known for dropping the ball on occasion. Some of the best actors to ever have graced the silver screen never hoisted that golden statue. Sure they attempt to remedy that at times by giving out Honorary Awards to make up for their biggest oversights, but to me that’s nothing more than a giant comp out. With that in mind I have compiled a list of the greatest actors to never have won an Oscar. Like the Oscars I’m sure there are many that deserve to be on this list that didn’t make the cut so feel free to honor them in the comment section »
Our daily countdown continues, with part 24 out of 30, in our list of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 70-61.
70) Snow White & the Seven Dwarves (1937) Walt Disney USA Animated
69) Modern Times (1936) Charlie Chaplin USA Silent
66) American Grafetti (1973) George Lucas USA
65) Rocky (1976) John Alvidsen USA
Numbers 60-51 coming next.
film cultureClassicslist300 »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Happy New Year! We survived the Mayan apocalypse and the gods have granted us news of a baby from Kim Kardashian and Kanye West to celebrate. Will it be named Khrist? Konstantinople? Kompassion? Maybe Bluer Ivy? One can only speculate, and the same goes for what wonders 2013 will behold. Considering this is a movie website I figured there would be no better way to ring in the new year with a selection of ten screen captures from movies you're sure to recognize along with the famous lines that accompany them. Many I'm sure you expect, but hopefully a couple are a surprise and perhaps will even provoke you to give one of them a watch. Either way, Happy New Year! The Godfather: Part II John Cazale and Al Pacino in The Godfather: Part IIPhoto: Paramount Pictures Michael Corleone I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart! »
- Brad Brevet
13 items from 2013
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