14 items from 2013
His first column appeared in April 1963 and he would become the doyen of UK film critics. Having announced he will soon file his last column, he talks about meeting Chaplin, and Hollywood's greatest canine actors
Philip French's international reputation as a film critic is unrivalled. As recently as February, after a career with the Observer that began in 1963, an American film journal rated him as Britain's "greatest living movie analyst". But at the end of August he is to file his last column as this newspaper's film critic. After an illustrious half century, French, who was honoured with an OBE in January, has decided to step down following his 80th birthday the same month.
In his first column for the Observer, he bemoaned the lack of British films offering a believable picture of criminathe underworld. He noted "the tired vignettes of sub-Runyon characters" in The Small World of Sammy Lee starring Anthony Newley. »
- Vanessa Thorpe
This is my second year in a row reviewing The TCM Classic Film Festival, which is quickly becoming one of the largest, most important, and most fun fests in Los Angeles. Like last year, I ran from screening to screening, giddy with excitement and wired from the constant stream of images.
The festival ran from Thursday through Sunday. I was only able to attend the last two days, but over the course of the weekend I managed to watch ten feature films and a 90-minute program of Bugs Bunny cartoons.
Usually, when I go to things like this I try to watch as many film noir and pre-code movies as I can. On Saturday, I was determined to make variety my theme of the day, and TCM made this easy for me. At any given time, there were five or six movies playing — everything from silent films and early classics to musicals, »
- Jonathan Weichsel
Tinseltown is ready to greet film fans from around the world again for the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival.
Beginning this Thursday, April 25 and running through Sunday, April 28 in Hollywood, the festival will open with a gala presentation of the newly restored musical classic Funny Girl (1968).
Over four big days, TCM will welcome legendary stars, award-winning filmmakers and classic movie fans for the cinematic celebration, which this year will center on the theme Cinematic Journeys: Travel in the Movies.
But first on the schedule is Funny Girl!
Legendary superstar Barbra Streisand demonstrates why she’s the greatest star in her Academy Award winning role (Best Actress, 1968) as “Fanny Brice” in the celebrated musical biography Funny Girl. Commemorating its 45th anniversary, the classic film was meticulously restored from the original negative by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 4K at Sony Pictures’ Colorworks.
- Melissa Thompson
Three Takes is a column dedicated to the art of short-form criticism. Each week, three writers—Calum Marsh, Fernando F. Croce, and Joseph Jon Lanthier—offer stylized capsules which engage, in brief, with classic and contemporary films.
My Name Is Julia Ross (1945)
Correspondence is so often destroyed in Joseph L. Lewis' My Name is Julia Ross—by everything from smugly shredding fingers to curling flame—that the film starts to appear contemptuous toward text. The unlucky scrawlings belong to the title character (Nina Foch), an American expat in London who's kidnapped, dragged to the Cornwall coast, and installed as the faux-loony surrogate wife of a burly nobleman named Hughes (George Macready). (Hughes’ wealth is surpassed only by his barbarism; he reenacts his real spouse’s fate by jabbing a couch pillow, not insignificantly, with a letter opener.) Ever resourceful, the captive Julia scribbles Sos's on scraps »
- Joseph Jon Lanthier
Sky1's Got To Dance ended with impressive figures of over 1 million on Sunday night (March 17), overnight data reveals.
The final had an average of 803k (3.6%) from 6pm and the numbers climbed to 1.01 million (4.0%) for the final results at 7.50pm.
BBC Three's new zombie series In The Flesh launched with 668k (3.7%) at 10pm, edging ahead of ITV2's latest Towie episode, which had 664k (3.6%).
On BBC One, Countryfile had 7.51 million (33.2%) at 6.30pm, while The Antiques Roadshow followed at 7.30pm with 6.51 million (26.2%).
The BBC's update of The Lady Vanishes drew 6.71 million (26.3%) at 8.30pm.
On ITV, the documentary Our Queen entertained 5.36 million (20.8%) from 8pm. Earlier, a celeb edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? had 2.89 million (12.1%) at 7pm, while Perspectives had 2.89 million (9.6%) at 10pm.
Channel 4's evening of movies brought in 1.82 million (8.5%) at 9pm for »
It might be March, but it's still feeling a little chilly - which is why we're very glad that BBC One's got a creepy 1930s-set psychological thriller to warm us up with on Sunday night!
The Lady Vanishes is all about a socialite trying to track down a missing woman on a train, but we needed a bit more information than that. So we got on the phone with Tom Hughes - who you might know from Cemetery Junction, Silk or Dancing On The Edge, to name just a few - to find out more about his character, possible romance in the film, why he felt claustrophobic during the shoot and why we might get "sweaty palms" while watching...
"No, no I didn't really, no. »
The 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival continues to expand, with newly added appearances by legendary stars at screenings of some of their most memorable films, including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Marvin Kaplan, Barrie Chase, Polly Bergen,Coleen Gray, Theodore Bikel and Norman Lloyd, as well as producer Stanley Rubin, Clara Bow biographer David Stenn, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) film collections manager Katie Trainor and director Nicholas Ray’s widow, Susan Ray. In addition, TCM’s Essentials Jr. host and Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader will present screenings of Shane (1953) and The Ladykillers(1955).
And The Film Forum’s Bruce Goldstein will present a special screening of Frank Capra’s The Donovan Affair (1929), complete with live voice actors and sound effects to replace the film’s long-lost soundtrack.Mel Brooks is slated to talk about his comedy The Twelve Chairs (1970). Carl Reiner, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Marvin Kaplan »
- Melissa Thompson
What can you expect from the TV schedules this week? Well, there's Prisoners' Wives, celebrities paddling for their lives and much, much more, with the best bits all nicely packaged for you here in Tube Talk's acclaimed (probably) TV Picks.
Don't you forget as well that months of fund-raising fun reaches its peak on Friday, March 15, aka Red Nose Day. Join all the Comic Relief festivities from 7pm on BBC One.
If, like us, you're of the opinion that impression shows got a bit stale the thousandth time Jon Culshaw declared "My fellow Americans" on Dead Ringers, then you might appreciate the new take on the comedy sub-genre offered up by The Mimic.
BBC One has announced an all-star cast for its new drama series The Musketeers.
"I'm thrilled to be working with such a dynamic, talented and attractive ensemble cast on our new version of The Musketeers," said Hodges.
"This series is all about passion, romance, heroism and action, and I can't think of a better group of actors to embody those diverse qualities."
Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama, added: "The ambition of this drama is clearly illustrated with such a world class »
A satisfying finale that pulled together the many threads and themes Borgen has debated this second series. Congratulations, Birgitte!
Spoiler Alert: This blog is for people watching Borgen on BBC4. Don't read on if you haven't seen episodes nine and 10 of the second season – and if you've seen further in the series, please do not leave spoilers
Catch up with Vicky Frost's episodes seven and eight blog
Could there have been a more satisfying ending to this season of Borgen? Birgitte, with her daughter on the mend, standing before parliament: triumphant in her reform plan, resounding in her dismissal of those who suggested her gender was holding Denmark back, and, thanks to Bent, smartly sidestepping Hesselboe's planned tax-cut ambush by calling an election early. No wonder she was doing her lovely nose-crinkle smile. For the greater part of this series, such a result seemed but a pipe dream.
Which is »
- Vicky Frost
Welcome to the first in a whole new year of Film Junk Premium Podcasts! On this episode we decided to mix things up a bit and focus on a director rather than a franchise, so why not start with one of the best? Alfred Hitchcock directed over 60 films, so it was certainly a challenge deciding which ones we would end up discussing. After some discussion we came up with a list that we felt was a pretty well rounded representation of Hitch's prolific career: The Lady Vanishes (1938), Rope (1948), Strangers on a Train (1951), Vertigo (1958), and Psycho (1960). We discuss Hitchcock's liberal use of rear screen projection, Saul Bass' wonderful opening titles, Rope's supposed single shot conceit, and the infamous 'Vertigo Effect' camera technique. Oh, and we also manage to spend some time ruminating on Kim Novak's unfortunate 'clown brows'. Yes, I do say it's a spirited discussion to be sure, »
- Jay C.
Feature James Clayton Jan 25, 2013
With Zero Dark Thirty in UK cinemas, James thinks back to cinema's other great mysteries and manhunts...
Zero Dark Thirty is a film about the real life hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, it dramatises the CIA’s efforts to track down and then take down the infamous al-Qaeda leader responsible for the September 11th terrorist attacks. Put really simplistically, it was a bit like an especially grave intercontinental game of hide-and-seek with religious extremists and a military industrial complex.
If this is all getting a little too serious for your tastes, you can peg it as a fresh thriller film from the woman who made Point Break - except now she’s more interested in waterboarding than surfboarding. Think of it as Where’s Wally? The Movie for the War on Terror era with extra torture scenes. Take the kids and all »
Home Invasion is a weekly post every Tuesday which shows you what is being released on Blu-Ray & DVD today! We scoured through Amazon to bring you everything you might be interested in. Our Picks of the Week are releases that we are looking forward to checking out, have reviewed and/or were are Picks of the Week on the Dtb Podcast. All descriptions are courtesy of Amazon.com.
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I Am Bruce Lee is the amazing story of one of the greatest icons ever to enter the public consciousness, the first film to truly tell Bruce Lee’s story in his own words and actions, as well as through the eyes of the international stars from the worlds of film, television, music and sports.
- Andy Triefenbach
Continuing our daily countdown, here is the second installment out of 30, in the list of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 290-281.
280-271 coming next.
film cultureClassics300list »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
14 items from 2013
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