1-20 of 28 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
Black and white images flicker across absorbed young faces as timeless stories unfold. To the delight of the education charity Filmclub, classic films are captivating children as young as seven.
In the past year, a quarter of all the films watched by its members have been pre-1979 movies and some, such as The Electric Edwardians (1900), date right back to the birth of cinema.
Launched in 2008 by film director Beeban Kidron and educationist Lindsay Mackie, Filmclub (@filmclub) helps schools set up film clubs and supplies a huge range of thoughtfully curated films.
Libby Serdiuk, aged 10, was "pleasantly surprised by The General (1926):
"I had never watched a film without sound or colour. Before I knew it my eyes were glued to the screen! The stunts were exhilarating to watch, Buster Keaton was mind blowing, »
- Judy Friedberg
This week's look at Buster Keaton on Blu-ray will focus on Kino's recent double feature of the Great Stoneface's two films leading up to his landmark The General. First up is 1925's Go West, a rather lackluster outing by Keaton standards, but still a solid comedy, followed by a significantly better outing, his 1926 boxing film, Battling Butler. The two of these films are both very entertaining, but when looking at them in terms of the oeuvre from which they emerge, they are minor works. Kino's double feature of Go West and Battling Butler also feature the least impressive of their restorations I've seen yet, apart from Three Ages. While the films themselves are not my favorite Keatons, Kino makes up some of the difference »
The third, overall, in our continuing series of Buster Keaton Blu-ray reviews is the last of his great independent features, Steamboat Bill, Jr. This film was made in the immediate wake of The General, which failed to find box office success upon its release, but has since been frequently named among the great American films in history. Steamboat Bill, Jr. was another ambitious attempt at getting big laughs from Keaton, who based the story loosely on a popular song about a steamboat captain. Kino's presentation of Steamboat Bill is fantastic and features several substantive extra features that can enhance one's viewing experience, including an entire alternate version made from different camera angles and alternate takes.The last of the independent features made in the prime of »
Kino Lorber has taken on the awesome responsibility of transferring all of Buster Keaton's surviving work to Blu-ray in the next year or so. In honor of this great and noble undertaking, we'll be taking a look at their existing releases in the run up to their late November release of Keaton's Seven Chances. In the past, we've reviewed both their double feature of Sherlock, Jr./Three Ages and their superlative edition of Our Hospitality, today's review takes on Kino's first Buster Keaton Blu-ray and one of the great American films, The General.Consistently ranked among the greatest films ever made, Buster Keaton's The General is so brilliantly conceived and executed that it continues to inspire awe and laughter with every viewing. This Kino Ultimate Disc Edition »
The General, 1926.
He was playing for all that time? You forget that somebody was even playing the piano after a while, being conditioned to pre-recorded music in cinemas. But he was, this Costas Fotopoulos. A full 78 minutes. So good, he was, you forget he was there at all. Until the end, where he hits a few reverberating chords over the screen’s black and white ‘The End’ card. So we all applaud and whoop and whistle. Jeez, 78 minutes. He must be exhausted.
The big "to do" surrounding The Lone Ranger is quite funny really. I mean, a $250 million film based on a classic radio and TV show character battling werewolves? Have werewolves really become so popular to the point anyone thought that was a good idea? Then again, I guess we could ask Universal if the boardgame "Battleship" is popular enough 80+ years after its inception to warrant a $200+ million price tag for the Peter Berg-directed "adaptation"? It's not like it really matters.
If you can make enough lunch boxes and toys to guarantee enough money at the worldwide box-office nowadays, quality doesn't really matter. However, it's strange to think if they were making the exact same movie for $25 million with practical effects I'd be far more intrigued. Frankenstein and the Three Stooges had run-ins with crazy characters... why not the Lone Ranger?
No matter. You can forget it. The Hollywood Repoter »
- Brad Brevet
As promised, here are some more of my favorite posters by the amazing Stenberg brothers.
The enormous 81 inch square poster for Miss Mend (Boris Barnet & Fyodor Otsep, Ussr, 1926) promises the thrills and spills (as well as a fair share of capitalist indifference) of this epic, four hour long adventure serial, which is one of the few films promoted by the Stenbergs that has actually survived. Set partially in an imagined America, the film was based on a serialized detective novel written by Marietta Shaginian under the yankee nom-de-plume "Jim Dollar." The film, which follows three reporters and an American office girl attempting to stop a biological attack by a cabal of western business leaders determined to wipe the Soviet Union off the face of the earth, was one of the most popular Soviet films of the 1920s although it was condemned by the Soviet press of the time as lightweight "Western-style" entertainment. »
There is a terrific exhibition of Soviet Revolutionary Movie Posters currently running, through next Friday, at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York. Of the 95 posters on display (many of which are the sole surviving examples and have never been publicly exhibited before) almost half are by Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg, my choices for the two greatest movie poster designers of all time.
Back in 1997, MoMA mounted a retrospective of the Stenberg Brothers’ work which is what turned me on to them. The catalogue, a must-have for anyone interested in movie posters and graphic design, is out of print but used copies can still be found.
Born in 1899 and 1900 to a Swedish father and a Russian mother, the brothers initially studied engineering and fine arts. Pioneers of Constructivism, they worked as sculptors, architects and designers of everything from railway carriages to theater sets to women’s shoes, always working in collaboration with each other. »
On the heels of one the most acclaimed films in the Cannes Film Festival this year--the silent film The Artist, made in Hollywood by the French, which earned Jean Dujardin the best actor Palme d'Or--the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is presenting a wondrous program, Summer of Silents. The appreciation of the visual dynamics of silent film has grown in recent years, and actors from Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin) to Johnny Depp have spoken of what they learned studying the work of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton (whose The General is a must-see July 20). John Lasseter, too, has credited the visual storytelling of silents as a key inspiration for Pixar films. See the Silent Film trailer and full program below. Summer of »
“Sin Nombre” director Cary Fukunaga has signed up to direct Focus Features’ Civil War-era heist film “No Blood, No Guts, No Glory” from a script by Chase Palmer. The movie is being described as “‘The Dirty Dozen’ set during the Civil War”, which I guess makes sense given the premise. Story follows a spy and 20 Union soldiers in disguise who board a train in Georgia in order to pull off a heist that could bring a quick end to the Civil War. Project is a fictionalized account of America’s first special forces operation, based on the real-life Civil War commando mission that inspired Buster Keaton’s “The General.” Kevin Misher is producing. »
After impressing with "Sin Nombre" and his acclaimed new take on literary classic "Jane Eyre" a few months ago, filmmaker Cary Fukunaga is now set to direct Civil War heist pic "No Blood, No Guts, No Glory" for Focus Features says Variety.
The story follows a spy and twenty Union soldiers in disguise who board a train in Georgia in order to pull off a heist that could bring a quick end to the Civil War.
The project is a fictionalized account of a real-life Civil War commando mission (described as "America's first special forces operation"), the same incident inspired Buster Keaton classic "The General."
- Garth Franklin
Jane Eyre helmer Cary Fukunaga will direct the Civil War heist film No Blood, No Guts, No Glory for Focus Features, reports Variety . Fukunaga is penning the screenplay with Chase Palmer ( Dune ). According to the trade, the "story follows a spy and 20 Union soldiers in disguise who board a train in Georgia in order to pull off a heist that could bring a quick end to the Civil War. Project is a fictionalized account of America's first special forces operation, based on the real-life Civil War commando mission that inspired Buster Keaton's 'The General.'" Kevin Misher ( Public Enemies ) is producing via his Misher Films. »
Previously set up at Paramount, the project is described as The Dirty Dozen set during the Civil War, and follows a spy and 20 Union soldiers in disguise who board a train in Georgia in order to pull off a heist that could bring a quick end to the Civil War. The project is a fictionalized account of America's first special forces operation, based on the real-life Civil War commando mission that inspired Buster Keaton's The General.
No production date has been set. »
The thematic jump that Cary Fukunaga made from debut Sin Nombre to sophomore effort Jane Eyre is one that’s really kind of hard to process. After all, a contemporary tale of Mexican gangs and those trying to flee the country for America isn’t exactly a companion piece to an adaptation of a classic Victorian era novel. He seems intent on subverting expectations when it comes to what he’ll do next, as Variety says that his third film will be a heist film set during the Civil War, being made for Focus Features.
Titled No Blood, No Guts, No Glory, it’s based off a script written by Chase Palmer, which appeared on 2009′s Black List. Described as a “Civil War Dirty Dozen,” the movie follows 20 Union soldiers who team with a spy to board a train in Georgia, “in order to pull off a heist that could »
- Nick Newman
Focus Features has tapped Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre, Sin Hombre ) to direct its Civil War-centered heist film No Blood, No Guts, No Glory. Variety reports that Fukunaga is writing the screenplay with Chase Palmer (“Dune”), whose original script appeared on the 2009 Black List and has been described as “The Dirty Dozen” set during the Civil War. The story is based on the real-life commando mission that inspired the Buster Keaton flick The General.
Fukunaga wrote and directed the short film Victoria para Chino (2004) while at Nyu, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival and received a Student Academy Award in 2005. After making his feature film debut Sin Nombre he was named one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch. »
Following a brutal Spanish-language gangster film and a Charlotte Bronte adaptation, where next for Sin Nombre and Jane Eyre director Cary Fukunaga? Why an American Civil War heist thriller of course: Fukunaga has just signed for No Blood, No Guts, No Glory.The Focus Features project stems from a script by Chase Palmer, which made the buzzy Black List in 2009, and Palmer and Fukunaga will co-write the next draft.The story is based on a real-life Civil War commando mission - the "Great Locomotive Chase" of 1862 - in which a spy and a platoon of union soldiers stole a train and sabotaged railway lines and telegraph wires providing support to a confederate stronghold, whilst being pursued by everybody.Variety describe the film as a Civil War Dirty Dozen, but it also has the potential to be a goofier Kelly's Heroes, particularly since the raid was also the basis for Buster Keaton »
Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre) is directing a Civil War heist pic No Blood, No Guts, No Glory for Focus Features. Fukunaga and Chase Palmer (Dune) will write the script. The original script was part of the 2009 Black List and is descbried as "The Dirty Dozen set during the Civil War."
According to Variety, the story follows "a spy and 20 Union soldiers in disguise who board a train in Georgia in order to pull off a heist that could bring a quick end to the Civil War. Project is a fictionalized account of America's first special forces operation, though it's based on the real-life Civil War commando mission that inspired Buster Keaton's The General."
I first became familiar with Fukanaga was after his direction of Sin nombre, also financed by Focus. I have yet to see Jane Eyre, but I plan on renting it when it arrives on DVD. This sounds like an amazing concept, »
Focus Features has set Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre) to direct its Civil War-centered heist film No Blood, No Guts, No Glory. Variety reports that Fukunaga is writing the screenplay alongside Chase Palmer (Dune). Palmer’s script landed on the 2009 Black List and follows a spy and a group of Union soldiers who board a train to Georgia in disguise in hopes of pulling off a heist that apparently would bring the Civil War to an end. The story has been described as The Dirty Dozen set during the Civil War, and is based on the real-life commando mission that inspired the Buster Keaton flick The General. The report also states that Fukunaga had been eyed as a possible contender to helm Fox’s The Wolverine, but he’s no longer in contention. I was quite impressed with his work in Jane Eyre. He definitely understands story and mood, and seeing »
- Adam Chitwood
"More than fifty years have passed since critics rediscovered Buster Keaton and pronounced him the most 'modern' silent film clown, a title he hasn't shaken since." So begins Jana Prikryl's terrific essay, "The Genius of Buster," in the New York Review of Books:
In his own day he was certainly famous but never commanded the wealth or popularity of Charlie Chaplin or Harold Lloyd, and he suffered most when talkies arrived. It may be that later stars like Cary Grant and Paul Newman and Harrison Ford have made us more susceptible to Keaton's model of offhand stoicism than his own audiences were. Seeking for his ghost is a fruitless business, though; for one thing, film comedy today has swung back toward the sappy, blatant slapstick that Keaton disdained. There's some "irony" in what Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler do, but it's irony that clamors to win the identification of the »
Photo: The Weinstein Co. Filmmakers often attempt to pay homage to filmmaking techniques of a bygone era. Frequent and recent attempts include stabs at grind house and blaxploitation cinema, but those films come with a built-in genre audience which makes them seem like less riskier efforts than what writer/director Michel Hazanavicius (Oss 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies) has attempted to pull off.
Just the mention of silent films can and will turn off movie-going audiences instantly no matter how great you say the film may be. Fritz Lang's Metropolis is considered one of the best sci-fi films ever, but how many Star Wars fanatics have sat down to watch it? Buster Keaton's The General is comedy gold, but I have a hard time believing fans of today's raunchy comedies would give it a try. Then there's Charlie Chaplin, F.W. Murnau, »
- Brad Brevet
1-20 of 28 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners