The Grapes of Wrath
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2 items from 2007


The Real Dirt on Farmer John

25 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

CAVU Pictures

NEW YORK -- The Real Dirt on Farmer John covers about 50 years in the life of a struggling farmer, but this documentary by Taggart Siegel is not exactly The Grapes of Wrath.

Written and narrated by its eponymous subject, John Peterson, the film is an idiosyncratic portrait of an equally idiosyncratic figure whose personal travails well mirror many of the sociological changes that took place in the country during the past several decades. Hailed at numerous film festivals, the film is playing limited theatrical engagements.

Siegel was a friend of Peterson's for about two decades before he made the film, so his affectionate regard for his subject is more than evident. After inheriting a family farm that achieved great success under his grandfather's ownership, Peterson weathered numerous ups and downs while pursuing the family vocation in his own unique way. This included wearing a feather boa while plowing; pursuing his avant-garde artistic passions; and turning the farm into a sort of hippie commune during the freewheeling 1970s.

More significantly, he helped pioneer the concept of CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, and eventually transformed his farm into a highly successful example of organic agriculture.

Peterson is an undeniably eccentric and compelling figure, and his narration, not to mention the extensive use of family home movies, gives the film a personal quality that will make it of interest even to those not particularly interested in the subject of farming. While it sometimes has a rambling, disjointed quality and moments of self-indulgence, Farmer John, as evidenced by the laudatory quotes from such figures as Al Gore and chef Alice Waters, has no small amount of relevance. »

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'Bull' roars on new AFI list

21 June 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

"Raging Bull" and "Vertigo" are up, and "The Graduate" and "On the Waterfront" are down.

On Wednesday night, the American Film Institute revealed a new list of the 100 greatest movies of all time as part of the CBS broadcast "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Movies --10th Anniversary Edition."

With votes cast by 1,500 filmmakers, critics and historians, the AFI compiled a new list of greatest movies as a mirror to the rankings it unveiled in 1998. The qualifier in the update is that the movies under consideration were narrative films with significant American elements.

Although some tastes may have changed, Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" topped both lists.

But this time around, Martin Scorsese's "Raging Bull" and Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" battled their way into the top 10, at No. 4 and No. 9, respectively. In the original list, "Bull" ranked No. 24 and "Vertigo" was No. 61.

They supplanted "The Graduate", which fell from No. 7 to No. 17, and "On the Waterfront", which sank from No. 8 to No. 19

Of the 43 films from the past decade, 1996-2006, that were on the 400-film ballot, only four made the cut: "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (No. 50), "Saving Private Ryan" (71), "Titanic" (83) and "The Sixth Sense" (89).

New additions to the list from previous decades included "The General" (No. 17), "Intolerance" (49), "Nashville" (59), "Sullivan's Travels" (61), "Cabaret" (63) and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (67).

John Ford's Western "The Searchers" moved up the most of any film, going from No. 96 to No. 12. "City Lights" and "Unforgiven" also improved their standings.

The top 10: "Citizen Kane", "The Godfather", "Casablanca", "Raging Bull", "Singin' in the Rain", "Gone With the Wind", "Lawrence of Arabia", "Schindler's List", "Vertigo" and "The Wizard of Oz".

AFI's  100 Years...100 Movies

1. Citizen Kane, 1941

2.The Godfather, 1972

3. Casablanca, 1942

4. Raging Bull, 1980

5. Singin' in the Rain, 1952

6. Gone With the Wind, 1939

7. Lawrence of Arabia, 1962

8. Schindler's List, 1993

9. Vertigo, 1958

10. The Wizard of Oz, 1939

11. City Lights, 1931

12. The Searchers, 1956

13. Star Wars, 1977

14. Psycho, 1960

15. 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968

16. Sunset Blvd., 1950

17. The Graduate, 1967

18. The General, 1927

19. On the Waterfront, 1954

20. It's a Wonderful Life, 1946

21. Chinatown, 1974

22. Some Like It Hot, 1959

23. The Grapes of Wrath, 1940

24. E.T. »

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2 items from 2007


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