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It's no exaggeration to say that there are few joys greater in life than Buster Keaton's The General. The birth of a child. Dusk in the Serengeti. Slinkies. But that's it. It's a thrill, then, to see the old lady get a 4K spruce and a new date with big screen. To celebrate the occasion, the good folk at Park Circus have come up with this eye-catching new quad poster that we're delighted to share with you. Click on the image for a closer look. Alongside possibly Sherlock Jr. and Steamboat Bill, Jr., The General marks the high point of Keaton's directorial career. First released in 1926, it was initially greeted with indifference by moviegoers and a chorus of disdain from critics. The Civil War adventure left Keaton physically bruised and financially battered, with that old loco left down a gorge and Old Stone Face shackled to MGM and creatively stymied. »
Think silent films reached a high point with The Artist? The pre-sound era produced some of the most beautiful, arresting films ever made. From City Lights to Metropolis, Guardian and Observer critics pick the 10 best
• Top 10 teen movies
• Top 10 superhero movies
• Top 10 westerns
• Top 10 documentaries
• Top 10 movie adaptations
• Top 10 animated movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
10. City Lights
City Lights was arguably the biggest risk of Charlie Chaplin's career: The Jazz Singer, released at the end of 1927, had seen sound take cinema by storm, but Chaplin resisted the change-up, preferring to continue in the silent tradition. In retrospect, this isn't so much the precious behaviour of a purist but the smart reaction of an experienced comedian; Chaplin's films rarely used intertitles anyway, and though it is technically "silent", City Lights is very mindful of it own self-composed score and keenly judged sound effects.
At its heart, »
Looking for any excuse, Landon Palmer and Scott Beggs are using the 2012 Sight & Sound poll results as a reason to take different angles on the best movies of all time. Every week, they’ll discuss another entry in the list, dissecting old favorites from odd angles, discovering movies they haven’t seen before and asking you to join in on the conversation. Of course it helps if you’ve seen the movie because there will be plenty of spoilers. This week, they celebrate Buster Keaton as a superhero who is faster with his locomotive. In the #34 (tied) movie on the list, the union army steals a supply train with a damsel on board, and Johnnie Gray But why is it one of the best movies of all time? Landon: I love me a Buster Keaton movie. There’s nothing quite like his incredible human acrobatics and larger-than-life choreography. So it came to no surprise to me that »
- FSR Staff
Mademoiselle C director Fabien Constant as Buster Keaton in The General Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze Fabien Constant's meticulously dashing portrait of Carine Roitfeld in Mademoiselle C works as a triple treat with style, beauty and grace. We witness the launch of Cr Fashion Book, the new magazine by the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, and watch how dreams are made. We see Kirsten Dunst and Harvey Weinstein applauding in the audience, at Carine Roitfeld's Cannes amfAR gala fashion show, before the documentary whisks you away to a photo shoot with Karl Lagerfeld.
For Cr's inaugural issue 0, classic models transform into French movie stars of the Sixties in front of Lagerfeld's lens: Stephanie Seymour becomes Nathalie Delon, Linda Evangelista becomes Anna Karina, and Carolyn Murphy turns into Mireille Darc.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
It says a lot about Philip French that after 50 years as the Observer's film critic – five decades in which he has watched more than 2,500 movies, written six books on the subject and received an OBE for his services to film – he is nervous enough about this interview to have researched his answers in advance.
When I arrive at his house in Tufnell Park, north London, I find French poring over a thick reference book at the kitchen table. A cup of coffee is left to cool as he thumbs through the relevant footnotes, anxious to get the facts absolutely right. He will turn 80 in a couple of weeks and says that he occasionally struggles to remember names of directors or actors. »
- Elizabeth Day
Joost Schmidt poster designed for 1923 Bauhuas exhibition in Weimar among 100 for sale from Dutch collector
A poster made for an exhibition that was a landmark in design and art history, and which a collector spent a quarter of a century trying to track down, is coming up for auction with a top sale estimate of £200,000.
The poster was designed by the typographer and graphic designer Joost Schmidt for the 1923 Bauhaus exhibition in Weimar, which publicised Walter Gropius' Bauhaus movement, whose influence survives today in minimalism.
The house specially built for the exhibition is now a World Heritage Site but almost all the posters for the show disintegrated, printed on atrocious quality paper at the height of German inflation.
The Bauhaus poster, which bears the words Staatliches Bauhaus, is the rarest in a collection of more than 100 to be auctioned in London by Christie's this October.
The posters in the auction »
- Maev Kennedy
Johnny Depp is terrific as Tonto in an action-packed, if overlong, movie that focuses on the crime-fighting duo's early years
As soon as the western genre was established in the second decade of the last century, comedians headed to the frontier. From Chaplin and Keaton via the Marx Brothers to Abbott and Costello, the comic stars got their laughs by appearing far from home on the range among humourless tough guys riding tall in the saddle. As the B-western developed, its poker-faced, straight-shooting heroes had to be accompanied by comic sidekicks such as the ubiquitous George "Gabby" Hayes or Fuzzy Knight. At the same time there developed the comedy western, a relaxed, easy-going affair – James Stewart as the peaceful new sheriff refusing to carry a gun in Destry Rides Again, for instance, or shy cowpoke Gary Cooper being mistaken for a gunslinger in Along Came Jones.
In the 1960s, the »
- Philip French
There is an exhibition of the great German graphic designer Hans Hillmann currently running at the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany. Devoted entirely to Hillmann’s film posters from 1952 to 1974, the show, called The Title is Continued in the Picture, runs through the 1st of September and I’m sorry that I didn’t know about it sooner. But for those of us who can’t make it to the Ruhr in the next three weeks, the website Kunst + Film has posted a wonderful, almost-as-good-as-being-there video of the show.
The revelation of the video for me is the size of that Seven Samurai poster. Where most of Hillmann’s film posters are 33" x 23" (slightly smaller than a Us one-sheet), and the Cassavetes above is only 16.5" x 23", that glorious Seven Samurai is 93" x 132", or 11 feet wide.
While many of Hillmann’s witty, »
- Adrian Curry
Like a defibrillator cranked up to the highest possible voltage, Rossini's William Tell Overture is slapped on to this film twice – at first briefly, then for a while. It results in something that isn't exactly a gallop, more like the protracted convulsive thrashings of a dead horse with its hoof jammed in the electric socket. Hearing the theme is always enjoyable (specifically, the Overture's fourth "Finale" movement), and maybe it's as well to reassert a wholesome association with the Lone Ranger, his horse, Silver, and his trusty guide, Tonto – and get away from the thought of Malcolm McDowell having sped-up sex with two women in Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. But the energy, brio and brevity of »
- Peter Bradshaw
With anticipation for next year’s Amazing Spider Man 2 growing, director Marc Webb gave an interview to Moviefone, saying that “Every Theory I’ve read is wrong!”
See the Moviefone interview below….
Q. Welcome back to Comic-Con.
Thank you! It's good to be here!
Q. You were here in 2011 to promote the first "Spider-Man." Do you feel more confident this time around?
A. Yeah, you know, last time I had never been here; I didn't know what to expect. But one of the things I learned is that there is such incredible profound and very true uncynical love for these characters here, and it's really fun to be around that energy.
Q. Yeah, uncynical is definitely a good word for it. Actors and filmmakers get a real, unadulterated view of fandom here.
A. It's true, you really get a sense of what people love about these characters.
Q. Were you »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
When we sat down with the Spidey director at this year's Comic-Con, Webb was frank when it came to spoilers about the upcoming sequel. Unfortunately for him, he still has another year before "Spider-Man 2" hits theaters (April 14, 2014), increasing the potential for more bits and pieces to leak their way onto the Internet. Still, the director is trying his best to keep it all under wraps.
Below, read our full conversation with Webb, where he talks about the confidence he had coming into "Spider-Man 2," the lessons he learned from directing the first film, what we can expect from the film's villain, Electro (played by Jamie Foxx), and the unbelievable chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
Welcome back to Comic-Con.
Thank you! It's good to be here! »
- Alex Suskind
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It is a far from traditional proposal. Buster Keaton takes a breath in the midst of being chased by his lumbering boss, Joe Roberts, pops down on one knee, takes hold of Virginia Fox's hand and gazes up at her, and says: "Je ne serai pas toujours forgeron et ce-jour-la me permettrez-vous …" (I won't always be a blacksmith, and today, I would like to ask …) What? He is cruelly cut off as a moment later, her stern-looking father appears and there is no time for an answer, in any language. It's not much of a love scene, perhaps, but this snippet from a recently unearthed French print of Keaton's The Blacksmith offers far more romance than the original.
Film historian Fernando Peña had already impressed his peers and »
- Pamela Hutchinson
The Lone Ranger is not a very good movie, and it’s currently making negative dollars at the box office.
But give credit to the filmmakers: They might not have made a very good western, but they definitely know what good westerns look like. Although nominally based on the radio show and TV series of the same name, the film is draped in references to several eons of movie-western iconography. At times, it almost feels like a greatest hits collection: Now That’s What I Call The Western Genre!, with several different western plots piled on top of each other like ill-fitting Tetris blocks. »
- Darren Franich
Great Silent director-star Buster Keaton is revered by the likes of Jackie Chan and Johnny Depp, who channels him in "The Lone Ranger" and even borrows some of his train stunts from his 1927 classic "The General" (available in full on Hulu and below). Orson Welles once stated that "The General" is "the greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made." One reason, ironically, that Keaton is remembered is that the remarkable string of features that he produced between 1920 and 1929--including other must-sees "The Navigator," "Sherlock, Jr." and "Our Hospitality"-- was out of circulation for decades. When the films, accompanied by brilliant shorts, were suddenly freed from legal restraints and released by the collector Raymond Rohauer, critics were able to evaluate them all at once and delivered enthusiastic praise. Some of the essays compared Keaton favorably to director and rival Charlie Chaplin, »
- Anne Thompson
In "Lone Ranger," director Gore Verbinski reteams with one of his favorite leading men, Johnny Depp, for another comic romp through the past -- only this time they're playing cowboys instead of pirates.
Moviefone chatted with the director about the difficulties of having a super straight-arrow lead (squared-jawed Armie Hammer of "The Social Network" and "J. Edgar") as well as doing justice to the way things really were for Native Americans. Verbinski admitted that keeping a balance is "tricky," and that dealing with Disney executives can be a "bloodbath" but laughed, "It's our job to make executives nervous."
Warning: Mild spoilers ahead
Moviefone: So what made you want to tackle "Lone Ranger?"
Verbinski: I was just fascinated with the concept of this Native American and, basically, this cop handcuffed together on this quest where their worlds collide around them. I thought, there's a story there to be told. The opportunity »
- Sharon Knolle
The Lone Ranger is deathly dull, which is quite a shame as it not only has a decent conceit for a Western, but also has an obvious appreciation for the history of the Western and films in general. The main problem arises in the tonal imbalance resulting in a bloated effort that wants to not only play in the sandbox of history, but also satisfy modern day audiences with massive set pieces, explosions and misfired attempts at comedy. Director Gore Verbinski showed a strong love of Westerns with his 2011 animated feature Rango and its no surprise he shows a similar affinity here, though much of his focus is on the work of Buster Keaton in the 1926 silent classic The General. Unfortunately, when you mix the comedy of a silent classic with the bombast of today's blockbusters, shot in the same tonal wackiness of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, you »
- 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
This is my second year in a row reviewing The TCM Classic Film Festival, which is quickly becoming one of the largest, most important, and most fun fests in Los Angeles. Like last year, I ran from screening to screening, giddy with excitement and wired from the constant stream of images.
The festival ran from Thursday through Sunday. I was only able to attend the last two days, but over the course of the weekend I managed to watch ten feature films and a 90-minute program of Bugs Bunny cartoons.
Usually, when I go to things like this I try to watch as many film noir and pre-code movies as I can. On Saturday, I was determined to make variety my theme of the day, and TCM made this easy for me. At any given time, there were five or six movies playing — everything from silent films and early classics to musicals, »
- Jonathan Weichsel
The 2013 Cannes Film Festival lineup continues to grow, today with the announcement of the films playing in the Cannes Classics selection as well as the titles playing on the beach at night as part of the Cinema de la Plage selection. It was already announced Kim Novak would be in attendance to present the restored version of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, but the restorations that will be screening don't end there. In addition to Vertigo a restored print of Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Cleopatra will screen along with restorations of Billy Wilder's Fedora, Yasujir? Ozu's An Autumn Afternoon, Hal Ashby's The Last Detail starring Jack Nicholson and a 3-D conversion of Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor. Additional notable names include films from Alain Resnais, Marco Ferreri, Chris Marker and Rene Clement. In addition to those titles a special presentation of Jean Cocteau's La Belle et La Bete »
- Brad Brevet
Directed & Written by Gerald Potterton
Tsff festivities came to a comedic crescendo at the Revue Cinema on Tuesday night with a pair of locomotive laugh-getters starring “The Great Stone Face”, Buster Keaton. First on the program was a throwback silent short made by the National Film Board of Canada in 1965, just a year before the comedian’s death. The film was introduced by International Buster Keaton Society “Porkpie” Scholarship recipient R. Edwin Barnett, whose current research project aims to reintegrate The Railrodder into the main body of Keaton criticism (most books/essays on the actor/auteur simply name-check the movie as one of his “industrial” films during the rush to ring down the curtain on Keaton’s career). After seeing the film, Barnett’s point seems manifest. The Railrodder may not be a great film, »
- David Fiore
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