5 items from 2011
Criterion releases Kiss Me Deadly on DVD and Blu-ray today and, for the occasion, they're running an essay by J Hoberman adapted from his book, An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War: "Genres collide in the great Hollywood movies of the mid fifties cold-war thaw. With the truce in Korea and the red scare on the wane, ambitious directors seemed freer to mix and match and even ponder the new situation. The western goes south in The Searchers; the cartoon merges with the musical in The Girl Can't Help It. Science fiction becomes pop sociology in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And noir veers into apocalyptic sci-fi in Robert Aldrich's 1955 masterpiece Kiss Me Deadly, which, briefly described, tracks one of the sleaziest, stupidest, most bru tal detectives in American movies through a nocturnal, inexplicably violent labyrinth to a white-hot vision of cosmic annihilation. »
MGM promised moviegoers “more stars than there are in heaven” and occasionally made movies seemingly designed to make good on that boast. Released a year after the similarly star-studded Grand Hotel, 1933’s Night Flight gathers John and Lionel Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, and Robert Montgomery for a film about how one much-needed packet of medicine makes its way from Santiago, Chile to Rio. Produced by David O. Selznick, Night Flight often groans from the effort of packing too many stars into too little story, but that flaw also makes it interesting, as does Clarence Brown’s »
Until its recent showing at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, and the unveiling of this DVD, Night Flight hadn’t been shown publicly since the 1930s. It’s been on many film buffs’ wish list for years and years, given its all-star cast and pedigree (based on Antoine de St. Exupéry’s acclaimed novel, directed by Clarence Brown, produced by David O. Selznick, with a screenplay by the solid and prolific Oliver H.P. Garrett). That it isn’t a masterpiece is only a slight disappointment. It’s quite good, and what is more important, it represents a genuine attempt by Selznick and MGM… »
There were a lot of events and happenings on the final day of the TCM Classic Film Festival — including rival final screenings (Fantasia, West Side Story, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) that spread the wealth around to close the fest — but for me, the final event that will stick with me is of the early Sunday screening of Night Flight, a 1933 aviator drama produced by David O. Selznick and starring John Barrymore, Clark Gable, and Helen Hayes. The movie itself wasn’t on par with some of the other rare discoveries and screenings of the fest (that honor would go to Hoop-La, This Is the Night, and The Constant Nymph), but for the energy that pervaded the screening and for its very special guest star and quintessential TCM fan: Drew Barrymore.
The actress hadn’t been slated to appear in any of the advance press materials, but once. »
- Mark Englehart
The exhibition More Than That: Films by Kevin Jerome Everson opens today at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and will be on view through September 18. Artforum is rerunning Ed Halter's piece on Everson from its May 2010 issue for the occasion: "For more than a decade, working in numerous film and video formats, Everson has presented images of the lives of African Americans — and other people of African heritage, worldwide — through his own distinctive practice of cinematic portraiture, a blend of fiction and documentary that analyzes minute aspects of individual personality by homing in on everyday gestures of labor and leisure. Whether shot from real life, rediscovered in archival images, or performed according to Everson's direction, these gestures subsist as parallels and cognates for artmaking. His films suggest not records of reality but, rather, recordings of performance."
"The lineup for the third annual BAMcinemaFest, just announced today, »
5 items from 2011
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