5 items from 2013
By Mark Pinkert
If David O. Russell gets nominated for Best Director this year, he will have accomplished something that Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and many other great directors have not–that is, to earn three Best Director nominations in the span of only four years. In fact, only eleven other directors have been on comparable hot streaks in Academy Award history, and only one of those streaks (by Clint Eastwood) has occurred after 1960. (See below for reference.)
This is not a comparison of overall quality or career prolificity (not many can bout with Scorsese, Allen, Hitchcock and Coppola in those categories), but merely a tribute to Russell’s ultra-concentrated efforts in the past four years and a recognition of the difficulty of this feat. It’s also a relevant because it might shed some light on previous Oscar trends and on what we »
- Mark Pinkert
I just returned from Austin, Texas, where I had the pleasure of presenting Frank Capra’s Lady for a Day (1933) to an enthusiastic audience at the historic Paramount Theatre, as part of its annual Summer Film Classics series. The evening was made even nicer for me by my old friend Louis Black, editor and co-publisher of the Austin Chronicle, who brought me onstage with a beautiful introduction. Then film programmer Stephen Jannise, who interviewed me after the picture, as we both fought back tears from watching the final scene of Capra’s beautiful movie. What impressed me most was how perfectly Capra’s finely-tuned picture still worked with an audience, eliciting every laugh that ...
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- Leonard Maltin
Tickets are currently on sale for a special screening of Frank Capra's 1933 film Lady for a Day at the Paramount. On hand to introduce the movie, and to talk more about classic films in general, will be film critic and historian Leonard Maltin. Maltin was one of the proponents for making this movie available on Blu-ray, and the event will include a rare 35mm projection of the classic, thanks to a loan from the Capra estate.
Lady for a Day is early Capra, made before he really burst on the scene with his big hit It Happened One Night. It's adapted from a Damon Runyon story by Robert Riskin, who continued to team up with Capra on many other movies in the 1930s and early 1940s.
- Elizabeth Stoddard
As any New York cinephile knows, Film Forum is in the middle of a four-week, 66-film retrospective devoted to what Dave Kehr in The New York Times called “the last full year of unbridled Hollywood filmmaking before the Code,” or what Film Forum is trumpeting as “Hollywood’s Naughtiest, Bawdiest Year.”
I’ve written about pre-Code posters before, but 1933 as a whole offers more than just silk robes and daringly revealed flesh. I’ve gathered as many posters, inserts and window cards as I could for the films programmed in the series, sticking with American posters (though there are some stunning European variations on these, like this Swedish Hold Your Man) and American films (though Bruce Goldstein has also programmed a handful of foreign titles). The quality of draughtsmanship varies wildly, with the poster for Frank Capra’s Lady for a Day, above, among the finest. But for me the »
- Adrian Curry
By Joey Magidson
We’ve been paying a lot of attention to Argo of late in regard to the Oscars, but there are some big races that don’t involve Ben Affleck’s film. Most notably, there’s a competitive Best Actress race going on.
Many pundits have made it out to be a competition between Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence, with the latter far out in the lead. While I agree that the Silver Linings Playbook actress is certainly ahead of her Zero Dark Thirty competitor, I do think she has to watch out for Emmanuelle Riva in her rear-view mirror. The sleeper candidate from Amour may just wake everyone up on Oscar night and steal the trophy.
Riva is immensely deserving of her nomination, but up until recently, it didn’t seem like many thought she had a legitimate shot at a win. I’ll confess »
- Joey Magidson
5 items from 2013
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