16 items from 2010
Photo: Paramount Pictures Last week was a big week for Oscar prognosticators. Starting last Sunday we had the Los Angeles and New York film critics weigh in with their best of 2010. Then the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild added their nominations. Then, just last night the Satellite Awards were announced and while they aren't exactly the best indicator of what films are going to do what, they add their own numbers to the formula. Patterns have formed and front-runners have clearly been sorted, but there are still some questions up in the air.
After the dust settled, The Social Network was the clear Best Picture front-runner. This, however, can be attributed to more than just one thing. Obviously, the critics have been all over it, but when predicting Oscar's Best Picture you have to remember »
- Brad Brevet
Literature throughout the decades has often made use of social turmoil and disaster, be it fact or fiction, as a backdrop for dramatic prose. In Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind, the backdrop was the American Civil War. In John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath, it was the Great Depression. In today’s media, it’s…zombies! The undead have not only raided movie theaters the world ’round, they’ve invaded your local bookstore as well—and not those mindless monstrosities you see shuffling from the self-help section to the adjoining café with a hardcover copy of some spineless, Oprah-sponsored MD tucked under one arm. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Compton)
Trevor Hogg profiles the career of legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in the third of a five-part feature... read parts one and two.
“The success of The Godfather  went to my head like a rush of perfume. I thought I couldn’t do anything wrong,” admitted Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola who decided to produce a $23 million romantic fantasy. “One from the Heart  suffered from the perception of me as some wild, egomaniac Donald Trump type of guy, and once they think about you that way, it’s just so many months before you’re brought down.” A middle class couple (Frederic Forrest and Teri Garr) split up and head off to Las Vegas where they encounter fanciful lovers. “I wanted to take a fable-like story and treat it almost the way [Walt] Disney would approach a story in his animated films,” explained the filmmaker. “If we had made the movie in Las Vegas, »
Every month there's a slew of movies released directly to DVD, and rather than let them pass harmlessly under the radar, we're compiling them here in easy to digest capsule reviews. If you're looking for a nice flick to get you through the weekend, then this is the list for you. So sit back, and take a gander at some of the notable independent and direct-to-dvd releases of September.
Doc West is a made-for-tv Western with one immediate advantage over many of the cheap dollar store direct-to-dvd western flicks that come out nowadays: it has enough of a budget to keep things consistent. There are no blatant anachronisms or costume defects that take you out of the feature with a sudden, “Is that guy wearing a Phillies shirt under his vest?” The story is simple and sees Doc West in pursuit of some bandits who stole his money, »
- JPP Staff
The award is named after author John Steinbeck (1902-1968) – famous for The Grapes of Wrath among other works, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 – and is “given to writers and artists whose work captures the spirit of Steinbeck’s empathy, commitment to democratic values, and belief in the dignity of people who by circumstance are pushed to the fringes.”
In the announcement posted on Moore’s website, Steinbeck’s son, Thomas Steinbeck, said “Michael Moore is a courageous man and a great selection for the John Steinbeck Award. My father would have loved him; my father was the Michael Moore of his time.”
Read more »
DVD Playhouse September 2010
The Girl Who Played With Fire (Music Box Films) Follow up to the hit The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo finds Lisabeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) joining forces once again as Blomkvist is about to break a story on Sweden’s sex trade, which leads unexpectedly to a dark secret from Elizabeth’s past. Starts off well, then quickly nose-dives into sensationalism and downright silliness, with a pair of villains who are straight out of a Roger Moore-era James Bond film. A real letdown for those of us who felt Dragon Tattoo had finally breathed life into the cinema’s long-stagnant genre of the thriller. Bonuses: English language track; Trailer. Widescreen. Dolby 5.1 surround.
- The Hollywood Interview.com
The family of Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, Of Mice and Men) and the Center for Steinbeck Studies will give this year's John Steinbeck "In the Souls of the People" Award to documentary filmmaker and political gadfly Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine). Past recipients include Arthur Miller, Bruce Springsteen, John Sayles, Garrison Keillor, Joan Baez and Sean Penn. Thomas Steinbeck, who will present the award to Moore next month at a public ceremony at San Jose State University, stated: Michael Moore is a courageous man and a great selection for the John Steinbeck Award. My father would have loved him; my father was the Michael Moore of his time. Moore responded: I am truly grateful to the »
Set in the backwoods of America, Winter's Bone eschews hillbilly cliche to create a moving drama of love and fortitude
Debra Granik's impressive second movie, Winter's Bone, adapted from a novel by Daniel Woodrell, takes place in President Truman's home state of Missouri and down near the border of Bill Clinton's native Arkansas. But the setting is of one of those pockets of impoverished rural America that have been in the backwoods for centuries in mountains ranges like the Adirondacks, the Appalachians and the Ozarks.
These white, Protestant communities are populated by the descendants of British immigrants who arrived in the 18th century and have retained old manners of speech, music and a tight-lipped clannishness from generation to generation. On occasion, the lives of these poor whites have become the subject of serious political attention. In the New Deal era of the 1930s, the Tennessee Valley Authority sought »
- Philip French
Henry Fonda always makes me think of The Grapes of Wrath, which makes me think of honest, hardworking men, which seems appropriate for Labor Day. He was handsome not-grubby too: A uniform never hurts, either: I’m posting pictures like these every weekday, of a man who is attractive and desirable, because I like to look, dammit -- and because the female gaze doesn’t have to be such serious business. (If you have a suggestion for someone we should female-gaze at, feel free to email me with a name or a link to a particular photo.) »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Henry Fonda, like James Stewart and Gary Cooper, was one of the prototypical "All-American" actors of the studio era. But if you believe that Fonda’s generally one-dimensional characters represented the average American male, then my guess is that you’ve just landed on planet Earth and you’ve never met an American — or any human being, for that matter. Poor Henry Fonda was stuck playing those shy, naive, honest, courageous — and usually quite dull — characters in dozens of movies. But in a handful of his vehicles, e.g., John Ford‘s The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and The Fugitive (1947), Sidney Lumet‘s 12 Angry Men (1957), Franklin J. Schaffner‘s The Best Man (1964), and even Mark Rydell‘s On Golden Pond (1981), you could sense a certain steeliness underneath the Nice Guy facade. Those were his best performances. On Sunday, Aug. 29, Henry Fonda is Turner Classic Movies‘ star of the day, as [...] »
- Andre Soares
Collection of 75 early American films, including several that had been considered lost to history, have been discovered in New Zealand
An extraordinary collection of 75 early American films, including several that had been considered lost to history, have been discovered in New Zealand and are being returned to the Us.
The cache includes the only copy believed to exist of a late silent movie by one of the giants of American film-making, John Ford, as well as several works produced between 1910 and 1920 starring important female actors such as Clara Bow and Mabel Normand.
The collection had been stored at the New Zealand Film Archive but their significance was not fully recognised until last year when they were dug out by a Los Angeles-based film preservationist. A deal has since been struck with the National Film Preservation Foundation based in San Francisco to preserve the reels and return them to the Us. »
- Ed Pilkington
An early silent film directed by legendary moviemaker John Ford has been discovered in a stash of 75 rarities recently uncovered in New Zealand.
The 1927 feature, titled Upstream, tells the story of a romance between a Shakespearean actor and a girl from a knife-throwing act, and was previously thought to have been lost. Only 15 per cent of Ford's early works are believed to have survived into the present day.
The movie was released eight years before Ford won his first Academy Award for The Informer - he went on to land four coveted Best Director trophies, including prizes for The Grapes of Wrath and How Green Was My Valley.
The collection, discovered in a remote storage vault deep in New Zealand's movie archives, also includes 1923 film Maytime starring a young Clara Bow, and Won in a Closet, directed by and starring Mabel Normand.
Executives at the New Zealand Film Archive have struck a deal with America's National Film Preservation Foundation (Nfpf) and several other organisations, including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Museum of Modern Art (Moma), to have the reels returned to the U.S. for preservation, according to Variety.com.
The Nfpf has called the collection "a time capsule of American film production in the 1910s and 1920s", while Jamie Lean, of the New Zealand Film Archive, adds, "We hope that our example will encourage other international partners who have safeguarded 'lost' American films for decades to share their long-unseen treasures with the world community." »
Director John Ford, perhaps one of the greatest directors ever in films was also one of the most complex. He started in career in films during the silent era as an actor and a stuntman, even playing one of the horse riding Klansman in the climax of D.W. Griffith’s Birth of A Nation and directed some 125 movies in his career until his last film Seven Women in 1965. And among those films are many films still today established as genuine classics such as How Green Was My Valley, Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine and The Grapes of Wrath (The Searchers, considered by many as his masterpiece, is to me a boring, rambling, vastly overrated movie.)
But as with many directors of the period, his films definitely have their share of outrageous stereotypes, but during the last decade of his filmmaking career Ford began to make films to sort of atone for his past sins. »
Former child star Shirley Mills Hanson has died at a California hospital, aged 83.
She also worked as a dancer and model. »
To see the answer, click on the "Continue reading" link underneath the photos below.
Answer: John Ford won the most Oscars for directing (four): "The Quiet Man," 1952; "How Green Was My Valley," 1941; "The Grapes of Wrath," 1940; "The Informer," 1935. Frank Capra was a three-time winner: "You Can't Take It with You," 1938; "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," 1936; "It Happened One Night," 1934. William Wyler also triumphed three times: "Ben-Hur," 1959; "The Best Years of Our Lives," 1946; "Mrs. Miniver," 1942). Photos: 20th Century Fox (John Ford), MGM (William Wyler), Columbia Pictures (Frank Capra)
More Gold Derby Quizzes Quiz: How many seat fillers are used at the Oscars? Quiz: Who gave this boastful Oscar acceptance speech? Oscars quiz: Which star did not win best actress for her film debut? Quiz: Can you spot Meryl Streep's Oscar nomination?
Oscars quiz: Who turned down Jodie Foster's role in 'Silence of the Lambs'? Most of our Oscar »
No 82 Henry Fonda 1905-92
The Fondas left Italy for Holland around 1400 and moved to America in the early 17th century, eventually fetching up in Nebraska where Henry was born, his father a jobbing printer and a Christian Scientist. Henry was a keen Boy Scout, a gifted athlete and became a lifelong liberal and fighter for social justice after witnessing at the age of 14 the lynching of a black man accused of rape. After dropping out of journalism school, he developed a passion for the stage at Omaha's community theatre. At 21, this slim, handsome, blue-eyed 6ft 1in westerner went east to become a professional actor.
In a New England rep company, he met his first wife, the actress Margaret Sullavan, and James Stewart, his lifelong friend and political opposite. In 1935, after appearing in various undistinguished plays, he made his first screen appearance as a likable farmer in The Farmer Takes a Wife, »
16 items from 2010
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