4 items from 2011
Reporting on the original 3-D outbreak in 1953, Manny Farber wrote of the technique’s visual potential: “Along with the sharpening of the outline of bodies, there is an effort to clarify the feeling of negative spaces—the spaces in a composition that are more or less unfilled.” Nearly five decades later, Martin Scorsese employs the technique to leave no space unfilled. In Hugo, he introduces the setting—Paris’ Montparnasse train station circa 1931—with an impossibly vertiginous, digitally-lubricated zoom that races past costumed passengers and smoky locomotives until it comes to rest on the retina of the eponymous orphan (Asa Butterfield). As sparrowish Hugo hides between the station’s meshing gears and tends to its many clocks, no chance is missed to endow images with a sense of depth: Diagonals and curves are the preferred forms, snow falls and pages flutter as if inches away from the 3-D glasses, a Doberman »
Before we get further, this article was made for both diehard film fanatics and those just discovering the wonder of early cinema. If you fall into the former category, I suggest bookmarking this and returning after you see Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo. The director has included endless nods to the films that made him who he is and it is a joy to see their inclusion in his adventure film.
If you fall into the latter category, get caught up with my rundown of the classic films most prominently featured in his magical ode to the beginnings of the medium. Check them all out below where they are also free to stream in their entirety, unless otherwise noted.
Safety Last! (Fred C. Newmeyer & Sam Taylor; 1923)
Not only is the homage directly on the theatrical poster and in the actual film, but our lead characters go see this silent classic featuring »
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Paulette Goddard wouldn't have a special place in the Pantheon of movie stars if it hadn't been for her close personal and professional association with Charles Chaplin, with whom she co-starred in Modern Times and The Great Dictator. That's not only unfortunate, but downright unfair. After all, besides being beautiful, charming, lively, a former Ziegfeld girl, an Academy Award nominee (in the Best Supporting Actress category) for So Proudly We Hail, and a top contender for the role of Gone with the Wind's Scarlett O'Hara, Paulette Goddard was a major box-office attraction in the 1940s and, in the right role and under the right guidance, could be a remarkably effective actress. And let's not forget her eclectic taste in husbands — Chaplin, Burgess Meredith, Erich Maria Remarque, and millionaire businessman Edgar James; her leaving $20 million to New York University at the time of her death in 1990; and her firm — and »
- Andre Soares
It’s another week which means another round up of all the titles Criterion has put up on their Hulu Plus page. And it’s a great smorgasbord of releases that will keep your eyes full until the next installment. Also, thanks again to everyone who has signed up for Hulu Plus via our referral page. Please sign up and let us know what you think of the service. Enough of this small talk, let’s get into the nitty gritty.
Last week’s article spoke about Louis Malle’s films being put up and sure enough, only a few days later they finally released Black Moon to their page, showing a film that will be coming out on June 28th. I love that they’re doing that with releases that are coming out, just to give their audience the film itself and if you like it, you’ll want to grab the whole package. »
- James McCormick
4 items from 2011
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