10 items from 2013
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"Drive was going to feel like really, really good cocaine and Only God Forgives will then be very strong acid," says director Nicolas Winding Refn on the commentary to his latest team-up with Ryan Gosling. While Drive had a solid B-movie plotline to adhere to, Only God Forgives is an untethered beast, with stronger connections to Refn's earlier, obtuse, expressionistic films such as Valhalla Rising.
With Gosling as a drug-dealing, Muay Thai-kickboxing gym owner looking to avenge his brother's death, it certainly starts off conventionally. But it soon becomes apparent, with its unfixed relationship with reality and generally hallucinogenic mood (the acid analogy is dead on) that Refn and Gosling have no interest in going down a well-worn path. It's one »
- Phelim O'Neill
For a legendary monster makeup designer like Rick Baker, it’s no surprise that Halloween is his favorite holiday.
“Designing Halloween makeup looks for friends and family is one of my favorite things to do,” says Baker, who has taken home Oscars for designing the looks of the creatures in seven films, including “An American Werewolf in London,” “Harry and the Hendersons,” “Men In Black,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Wolfman.”
He’s long wanted to design his own makeup kit for Halloween after seeing what’s sold in stores during the season. “Most of the stuff you buy features a design on the package that’s impossible to re-create,” he says. “Even Rick Baker can’t do that makeup with that product.”
Mac Cosmetics gave Baker the chance to give consumers something better this year, by creating a collection that can be used to reproduce three looks – a zombie, »
- Marc Graser
‘The Cat and the Canary’ 1939: Paulette Goddard / Bob Hope haunted house comedy among Halloween 2013 movies at Packard Theater There’s much to recommend among the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus and State Theater screenings in Culpeper, Virginia, in October 2013, including the until recently super-rare Bob Hope / Paulette Goddard haunted house comedy The Cat and the Canary (1939). And that’s one more reason to hope that the Republican Party’s foaming-at-the-mouth extremists (and their voters and supporters), ever bent on destroying the economic and sociopolitical fabric of the United States (and of the rest of the world), will not succeed in shutting down the federal government and thus potentially wreak havoc throughout the U.S. and beyond. (Photo: Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard in The Cat and the Canary.) Screening on Thursday, October 31, at the Packard Theater, Elliott Nugent’s The Cat and the Canary is a remake of Paul Leni »
- Andre Soares
During my years at McGill, I decided to stray from studying the sciences and take my love of cinema more seriously: I turned my mind towards Cultural Studies and spent my early twenties relishing in Canadian cinema, slasher films, the French New Wave, Godard’s wonderfully bizarre oeuvre, and the philosophy of film.
It’s been three years since I decided to take my career down a different path, turning towards my other major in anthropology. Right after obtaining my fancy arts degree and wanting nothing to do with, well, anything anymore, I began looking for alternatives to my film studies courses and Bazin quoting peer community. I was looking to re-ignite my passion for the screen; from the cerebral to the heart and back.
Thus, I began volunteering for film festivals, but found myself wanting and in need of more starch in my film diet. Since I’d turned »
- Pamela Fillion
On this day in 1943 audiences across the country were introduced to the first Universal monster to be remade in full color (Technicolor). The updated phantom in The Phantom of the Opera remake was met with high popularity and critical acclaim as cinemagoers saw wretched red and black scarring instead of shadowy features through grainy photography. Although not as iconic as the makeup Lon Chaney applied to himself in the original it nonetheless startled enough audiences with its more realistic appearance. »
Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival, celebrating its ninth year, runs July 31 through August 4 in Traverse City, Michigan. The running theme of the festival is "Just Great Movies," and this year's program lineup boasts over 150 films, with a record number of industry guests invited. Kicking off the fest is Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," while Brit documentarian Michael Apted will appear in person with "56 Up." Apted's entire "Up" series will screen, which is indicative of the festival's commitment to repertory cinema as well as more recent films. Classics such as saucy Mae West-starrer "She Done Him Wrong," Busby Berkeley-choreographed showstopper "Gold Diggers of 1933" and a special screening of 1925's "The Phantom of the Opera," starring Lon Chaney and live-accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra, screen alongside hits from this past year's international festival circuit, such as Saudi Arabia's first woman filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour's "Wadjda" and Oscar-nominated high-seas. »
- Beth Hanna
The hit sound film The Jazz Singer (1927), starring Al Jolson and directed by Alan Crosland, fueled the mainstream appetite for newfangled "talkies"... and brought on the death throes of the ol' fashioned silent film. Over the next few years, silent motion picture production around the world slowed, withered, and died. Before this era came to a close, however, the horror genre took root, clawed its way into mainstream popularity, and spawned a wealth of atmospheric and unsettling thrillers. These films built the foundation upon which a century of horror movies would be constructed. The art of film was still in its infancy, and this silent era of experimentation gave rise to some of the most striking and fascinating horror movies ever made. While Germany would soon rise to dominate horror of the silent era, Italy helped get the ball rolling with their first feature length film, Dante's Inferno (1911), directed by Giuseppe de Liguoro. »
- Eric Stanze
Even casual horror fans are familiar with the silent Universal classics The Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which starred the legendary “Man of a Thousand Faces” Lon Chaney, Sr. in his two most iconic screen roles. The box-office success of those two films led the studio in 1928 to adapt The Man Who Laughs, a story by Hunchback author Victor Hugo, into one of their first sound productions, with music and sound effects (but no recorded dialog). While Chaney did not return for this one (he was under contract to MGM by that time), the lead role was taken on by another screen legend, Conrad Veidt – best remembered by horror fans as the creepy sleepwalker Cesare in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Just as in Hunchback, the title character here is not technically a “monster,” but a sympathetic figure who happens to be horribly disfigured... but like the grotesque Quasimodo, »
- Gregory Burkart
Review by Sam Moffitt
I love silent films! I have to say that from the beginning I have been fascinated with the silent years of film making. When I was growing up in the St. Louis area in the sixties there was a syndicated show called Who’s The Funnyman? Hosted by Cliff Norton this was a kid’s show which presented silent slapstick comedies, Hal Roach, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, Harold Lloyd, The Keystone Cops. These were short versions, cut to fit a Saturday morning time slot and with voice over by Mr. Norton. He would always introduce the films as a record of his family members, cousins, uncles, brothers, sisters, and describe the predicaments we could see being acted out on camera.
How I loved that show! It made me want to see the complete films, I could tell they had been edited just as Channel »
- Tom Stockman
This is part 20 out of 30 in our daily January countdown of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 110-101.
109) Nosferatu (1922) F. W. Murnau Germany Silent
108) Romeo & Juliet (1968) Franco Zeffirelli British/ Italy
106) Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Irvin G. Kirshner USA
104) The Thin Man (1934) W. S. Van Dyke USA
103) Tokyo Story (1953) Yashujira Uzu Japan
102) M (1931) Fritz Lang German
101) City Of God (2002) Fernendo Meirelles Brazil
Numbers 100-91 coming next.
film cultureClassicslist300 »
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10 items from 2013
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