Anna Christie (1930) - News Poster

(I) (1930)


HBO’s Lgbt History - Back on Board: Greg Louganis (2015)

Manuel is working his way through all the Lgbt-themed HBO productions.

Last week we looked at Remembering the Artist: Robert de Niro Sr. which looked at the father of the Oscar winning actor who, in case you didn’t know, was a well-regarded visual artist and a gay man. The doc was (sadly) more interested in the former assertion than the latter, despite sexuality having been central to his art—his most curious muse? Greta Garbo in Anna Christie. This week, we’re taking about another doc portrait though one clearly more centered on its subject’s sexuality.

“Who is Greg Louganis? What kind of question is that?!”

Louganis, still considered the greatest Olympic diver in the history of the sport balks at even having to answer such a question for Cheryl Furjanic in the opening minutes of Back on Board: Greg Louganis. But as he mulls over the question
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Lubitsch Pt.II: The Magical Touch with MacDonald, Garbo Sorely Missing from Today's Cinema

'The Merry Widow' with Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald and Minna Gombell under the direction of Ernst Lubitsch. Ernst Lubitsch movies: 'The Merry Widow,' 'Ninotchka' (See previous post: “Ernst Lubitsch Best Films: Passé Subtle 'Touch' in Age of Sledgehammer Filmmaking.”) Initially a project for Ramon Novarro – who for quite some time aspired to become an opera singer and who had a pleasant singing voice – The Merry Widow ultimately starred Maurice Chevalier, the hammiest film performer this side of Bob Hope, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler – the list goes on and on. Generally speaking, “hammy” isn't my idea of effective film acting. For that reason, I usually find Chevalier a major handicap to his movies, especially during the early talkie era; he upsets their dramatic (or comedic) balance much like Jack Nicholson in Martin Scorsese's The Departed or Jerry Lewis in anything (excepting Scorsese's The King of Comedy
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Shelter | Review

A Hard Knock Life: Bettany’s Naive Debut Exudes Good Intentions

Actor Paul Bettany makes his directorial debut with Shelter, meant to be a glimpse into the terrible degradation of the homeless population in New York. Glossy casting and a certain ignorance conveyed in its melodramatic narrative sensationalizes subject matter meant to be sobering, and thus opens up the simple title to all kinds of ironic interpretations of Bettany’s privileged, arguably clueless perspective about a human predicament otherwise passionately presented.

At the end credits, the film is dedicated ‘to the homeless couple who lived outside of my building,’ and there’s something incredibly moving about Bettany’s accomplishment, even if we are aware of a certain naiveté in every single frame and the possibility the director/screenwriter did not engage with his subjects directly for a prolonged period. Bettany uneasily unites sordid realism with tropes we’re accustomed to
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‘The Martian’: Ridley Scott May Buck Losing Trend at Oscars

By Patrick Shanley

Managing Editor

The Martian, which remained in the top three at the box office over the weekend in its sixth week at theaters, is a bonafide hit for legendary director Ridley Scott and will almost certainly earn multiple nominations from the Academy.

Scott is no stranger to nominations, having earned three best directing nods in his career, but the award itself still eludes the English director. 2000’s Gladiator may have earned a best actor Oscar for Russell Crowe and best picture, but Scott lost best director to Steven Soderbergh for Traffic. The very next year saw the same outcome for Scott as his directing nomination for Black Hawk Down lost out to Crowe-starring A Beautiful Mind‘s director, Ron Howard.

This year is shaping up to be different for Scott, however, as The Martian continues to rack up at the box office and resound with critics. A
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Academy Awards Film Series: From Class Distinctions to Incest - Adult Themes in First-Rate, Long-Thought-Lost Drama

'Sorrell and Son' with H.B. Warner and Alice Joyce. 'Sorrell and Son' 1927 movie: Long thought lost, surprisingly effective father-love melodrama stars a superlative H.B. Warner Partially shot on location in England and produced independently by director Herbert Brenon at Joseph M. Schenck's United Artists, the 1927 Sorrell and Son is a skillful melodrama about paternal devotion in the face of both personal and social adversity. This long-thought-lost version of Warwick Deeping's 1925 bestseller benefits greatly from the veteran Brenon's assured direction, deservedly shortlisted in the first year of the Academy Awards.* Crucial to the film's effectiveness, however, is the portrayal of its central character, a war-scarred Englishman who sacrifices it all for the happiness of his son. Luckily, the London-born H.B. Warner, best remembered for playing Jesus Christ in another 1927 release, Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings, is the embodiment of honesty, selflessness, and devotion. Less is
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Early Black Film Actor Has His Day

Rex Ingram in 'The Thief of Bagdad' 1940 with tiny Sabu. Actor Rex Ingram movies on TCM: Early black film performer in 'Cabin in the Sky,' 'Anna Lucasta' It's somewhat unusual for two well-known film celebrities, whether past or present, to share the same name.* One such rarity is – or rather, are – the two movie people known as Rex Ingram;† one an Irish-born white director, the other an Illinois-born black actor. Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” continues today, Aug. 11, '15, with a day dedicated to the latter. Right now, TCM is showing Cabin in the Sky (1943), an all-black musical adaptation of the Faust tale that is notable as the first full-fledged feature film directed by another Illinois-born movie person, Vincente Minnelli. Also worth mentioning, the movie marked Lena Horne's first important appearance in a mainstream motion picture.§ A financial disappointment on the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

New on Video: ‘Ninotchka’ one of the best films from Hollywood’s golden age


Written by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, Walter Reisch

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch

USA, 1939

It’s easy to see why Ninotchka works as well as it does, and why it’s one of the best films from Hollywood’s golden age and of arguably Hollywood’s greatest year. Just look at the talent involved. Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, and Walter Reisch were all seasoned writers, though with their best work admittedly still to come. Ernst Lubitsch had directed a number of excellent silent films in Germany, had hit the ground running once in Hollywood, making his first American film with no less a star than Mary Pickford (Rosita [1923]), and after a series of charming musical comedies, many with Maurice Chevalier, directed the more sublime and sophisticated comedies for which he now best known, films like Trouble in Paradise (1932) and Design for Living (1933). While this was happening, Greta Garbo was working
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Board of Governors Bias: Bacall, Garbo Among Rare Female Winners of Academy's Honorary Award

Honorary Oscars have bypassed women: Angela Lansbury, Lauren Bacall among rare exceptions (photo: 2013 Honorary Oscar winner Angela Lansbury and Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award winner Angelina Jolie) September 4, 2014, Introduction: This four-part article on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Honorary Awards and the dearth of female Honorary Oscar winners was originally posted in February 2007. The article was updated in February 2012 and fully revised before its republication today. All outdated figures regarding the Honorary Oscars and the Academy's other Special Awards have been "scratched out," with the updated numbers and related information inserted below each affected paragraph or text section. See also "Honorary Oscars 2014 addendum" at the bottom of this post. At the 1936 Academy Awards ceremony, groundbreaking film pioneer D.W. Griffith, by then a veteran with more than 500 shorts and features to his credit — among them the epoch-making The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance — became the first individual to
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

A 'Hollywood Hero' Remembered

‘Hollywood Hero’ John Dewar remembered (photo: Anthony Slide wearing Tom Mix’s hat in 1976) Perhaps I have been around too long, but as I grow older I grow despondent that those who contributed so much to film history in the past are forgotten, with others often coming along and taking claim for their achievements. One such Hollywood hero is John Dewar, whom I met when I first came to Los Angeles in 1971. He was a curator in the history department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History and introduced me to the museum’s treasures relating to film history, acquired before the creation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art — at a time when both institutions were housed together simply as the Los Angeles County Museum. Back in the mid-1930s, it was Ransom Matthews, head of industrial technology at the Museum, who had started collecting such materials.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

While Others Were Fading Fast, He Rose to the Top: Beery Day

Wallace Beery movies: TCM offers a glimpse into Beery’s extensive filmography (photo: Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery in ‘Min and Bill’) According to the IMDb, the Wallace Beery Filmography features nearly 240 movie titles, including shorts and features, spanning more than three decades, from 1913 to 1949 — the year of his death at age 64. You’ll be able to catch about a dozen of these Wallace Beery movies on Saturday, August 17, 2013, as Turner Classic Movies continues with its "Summer Under the Stars" series. (See “TCM movie schedule: Wallace Beery from Pancho Villa to Long John Silver.”) Wallace Beery, much like fellow veteran Marie Dressler, with whom he co-starred in Min and Bill and its sequel, Tugboat Annie, was a Hollywood anomaly. At age 45, the ugly, coarse-looking actor became a top box-office draw in the United States after languishing in supporting roles, usually playing villains, throughout most of the silent era. Beery and Dressler,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Jude Law & Michael Gambon to be Honoured at British Independent Film Awards

  • HeyUGuys
The nominees for this year’s Möet British Independent Film Awards were announced earlier this month, celebrating the best and most promising talents in the British film industry over the past year.

The ceremony itself is to be held on 9th December, and the joint directors of the awards, Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, have announced that the recipients of The Richard Harris Award and The Variety Award will be Sir Michael Gambon and Jude Law, respectively.

The Richard Harris Award is held in recognition of an outstanding contribution to British film by an actor, and very much deservedly earned by Gambon, who took over from the late Richard Harris, himself, as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series. He will soon be seen in Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut, Quartet, starring alongside the likes of Dame Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, and Sheridan Smith, which
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Jude Law And Michael Gambon To Be Honoured At Moet British Independent Film Awards

We have received confirmation the acting talents of Michael Gambon and Jude Law are to be honoured at this years’ 15th Moet British Independent Film Awards. The event will be hosted once again by actor James Nesbitt, who returns for his seventh year, on Sunday 9th December at the impressive Old Billingsgate in London. You can find out all those features, actors and filmmakers who are in contention here. In the meantime the press release for this latest news goes as follows: Jude Law And Sir Michael Gambon To Be Honoured At The 15th Moet British Independent Film Awards Recipients of both The Richard Harris Award and The Variety Award were announced today by Johanna von Fischer and Tessa Collinson, joint Directors, The Moet British Independent Film Awards. Sir Michael Gambon will receive the Richard Harris Award and Jude Law The Variety Award at the awards ceremony on Sunday 9th December at Old Billingsgate.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

'Anna Karenina' Through the Film Ages

Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" (November 16) looks to be a highly original take on the Leo Tolstoy classic, but it's certainly not the first time (or even the 10th) that the Russian romance has been adapted for the big screen. Below, a compare-and-contrast of six film versions. "Anna Karenina," 1935: Greta Garbo stars in the title role, with Fredric March as Vronsky. Clarence Brown ("National Velvet" and another Garbo vehicle, "Anna Christie") directs. This was Garbo's second outing as Anna K., with her first go-around in 1927's "Love" (see below). The film's budget is estimated at just north of $1 million, with the domestic take at $865K. The film is 100% Fresh, and Emmanuel Levy writes: "In her 23rd film, Garbo's luminous performance, as the adulterous protag of Tolstoy's novel, is way above the mediocre level of the narrative and direction; the film is a remake of 'Love,' in which.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Oscar's Collection: The Youngest Best Actress Nominees

Another Oscar Trivia Explosion. This time it's the Actresses.

Jennifer Lawrence made quite a film-carrying impression in Winter's Bone this past summer. It was one of the leggiest arthouse hits in some time, playing for months, and wracking up $6+ million without a huge advertising budget or bankable stars and with grim subject matter. Well done. At Christmas Hailee Steinfeld will lead us on a revenge journey in True Grit. While we suspect she's the lead actress as well, people her age are almost always demoted to "Supporting" if they're sharing the screen with a big star as co-lead and she is. Hi, Jeff Bridges! But we're pretending she's an Oscar lead today so as to have double the excuse to make this list. Humour us, won'cha?

Imaginary Movie: Steinfeld. Lawrence. Winter's True Bone.

36 Youngest Best Actress NomineesAnd where Jennifer or Hailee would fit in, were they to be nominated. (Winning performances are in red.
See full article at FilmExperience »

My Top Five: Films from 1939 by Philip French

My sixth birthday was celebrated in August 1939, five days before the outbreak of war. By that time, I'd begun to make weekly visit to the pictures and embarked on what was to be a lifelong obsession with the cinema. I'd also committed to memory all 50 of that year's Wills series of 50 Great Film Stars cigarette cards (God knows how many packets of cigarettes my father smoked to complete my collection) and so could reel off the names and birth places of the leading movie actors and actresses of the English-speaking world.

On my birthday I'd seen Shirley Temple's first Technicolor film, The Little Princess, and that same week I saw my first Technicolor western, Jesse James, both equally unforgettable. I'd also recently seen and loved two earlier films that were still on release, Alfred Hitchcock's two greatest British pictures, The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes, which I have
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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