5 items from 2017
As The Fate of The Furious enters theaters, a ranking of its 1st Assistant Director’s oeuvre.
Friday brings us the release of The Fate of the Furious, the eighth film in The Fast & The Furious series. Thus, there could be no better time to look back and rank the previous works of one of the films most notable craftsmen, a man whose name is legendary. I speak of course of First Assistant Director Frank Capra III.
Capra III is the grandson of director Frank Capra, a Hollywood legend whose work includes It Happened One Night, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and It’s a Wonderful Life. How did that pedigree fare two generations removed? This exhaustive look at Mr. Capra III’s 1st Ad career will tell the tale.
While the film’s director often gets the lion’s share of the credit, the First Ad is one of the most critical positions on set. In »
- The Bitter Script Reader
The retrospective Frank Capra, The American Dreamer is showing April 10 - May 31, 2017 in the United Kingdom.Frank CapraFrank Capra has fallen badly out of fashion in recent decades. While still well-known for the extraordinary Depression-era purple patch that produced It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), the critics have rarely been kind. His work is routinely derided as “Capra-corn” for its perceived sentimentality and “fairy tale” idealism while the man himself is written off in favour of contemporaries Howard Hawks, Preston Sturges and Ernst Lubitsch.Elliot Stein, writing in Sight & Sound in 1972, attacked Capra’s “fantasies of good will, which at no point conflict with middle-class American status quo values”, arguing that his “shrewdly commercial manipulative tracts” consist of little more than “philistine-populist notions and greeting-card sentiments”. Pauline Kael found him “softheaded,” Derek Malcolm a huckster hawking “cosily absurd fables.” To an extent, »
World War II taught the world to be distrustful of propaganda, as the public came to realize just how effectively cinema could be used to spread anti-Semitism and a lock-step, sieg-heil conformity to demagogues. And yet, among the many insights of Mark Harris’ richly researched book “Five Came Back” — which fleshed out an oft-overlooked chapter of Hollywood history while shading a far more over-scrutinized one in the vast military history canon — was director William Wyler’s view that “all film is propaganda.” Like a loaded weapon, the power and world-changing potential of a camera is all in who’s holding it, and where that person chooses to point it.
Now, Harris’ terrific book has inspired a glossy, if somewhat snooze-inducing Netflix miniseries, “Five Came Back,” directed by Laurent Bouzereau. Simultaneously released in New York and Los Angeles theaters for an Oscar-qualifying run (offering fodder for those awards prognosticators looking for »
- Peter Debruge
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch kept his cool for the most part during today's one-part-contentious-one-part-treacly confirmation hearing. Mostly the TV news cameras following the hearing lapped up his Mr. Smith Goes to Washington routine, complete with lengthy explanation to bemused Washingtonians about the fine art of “mutton busting” and the annual stock show parade that makes its way up Denver's 17th Avenue each year. But Gorsuch seemed to drop the Jimmy Stewart… »
The film industry goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, and most experts still maintain that 1939 is the greatest single year in movie history. At no other point in the long chronicle of the film industry has Hollywood had such an ability to draw in and hold and audiences. Cinelinx looks at 1939.
In 1939, Americans bought an incrediblel 80 million movie tickets per week. There were 365 films released by the major studios in the United States during 1939. That’s an average of one film each a day. If you went to the theater every day, you’d never have to see the same movie twice. And the best part is that most of them were good.
The American Film Institute, along with such critics as Pauline Kael, Siskle & Ebert, Leonard Maltin and others have dubbed 1939 as the cinema's best single year ever. Looking back, its hard to argue with that opinion. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
5 items from 2017
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