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They recall the days turning black, the winds whipping through towns, taking with them the family's livelihoods, the soil on which they farmed. In those natural disasters, thousands died, but no one is sure just how many.
"They used to say no one will watch; no one has the attention span," Burns says of films tackling history's tough subjects.
But he has proved naysayers wrong before. Viewers watched his very long films about the Civil War, jazz and baseball. Four hours, spread over two nights, is practically a short when it comes to Burns' signature films.
And there is a lot here, much of it terrifying, to sustain the four hours.
"It was a man-made catastrophe," Burns says. "It »
There's a really creepy scene, Oscar wise, in "Hitchcock." Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock lies on a therapist's couch and, instead of confessing his perverted obsession with blondes or secret life as a peeping Tom, fumes over what's really bothering him: his failure to win awards in Hollywood. It's clear that the snub gets under his skin as deep as the knife in "Psycho's" shower. Now, this year, will academy members feel the sting, the guilt? Hitch never won an Oscar – even though his "Rebecca" won Best Picture of 1940. He lost Best Director, understandably, to John Ford ("The Grapes of Wrath"). Twenty years later, when he was nominated for helming "Psycho," he lost to Billy Wilder ("The Apartment") and "Psycho" failed to make the Best Picture list, getting bumped by John Wayne's lightweight "The Alamo." All that is enough to make any Oscar contender go, well, psych »
Ramin Bahrani, the best new American director of recent years, has until now focused on outsiders in this country: A pushcart operator from Pakistan, a Hispanic street orphan in New York, a cab driver from Senegal working in Winston-Salem. Nc. His much-awaited new film, "At Any Price," is set in the Iowa heartland and is about two American icons: A family farmer and a race car driver. It plays Sunday and Monday in the Toronto Film Festival. This is a brave, layered film that challenges the wisdom of victory at any price. Both of its central characters would slip easily into conventional plot formulas, but Bahrani looks deeply into their souls and finds so much more. He finds a father and a son who are both challenged to question the assumptions on which they have based their lives. Yet this is not a "message picture," its theme is never spelled out, »
- Roger Ebert
Matt here. Earlier, I wrote about Gregg Toland as Teresa Wright’s accomplice in manufacturing the luminance of William Wyler’s 1946 film, Best Years of Our Lives. If anyone is unfamiliar with Toland’s name, you’ve certainly seen his work. He’s the cinematographer responsible for Citizen Kane, The Best Years of Our Lives, Wuthering Heights, and The Grapes of Wrath. He could be considered as much of an auteur as many of the great directors, leaving a fairly recognizable stamp on anything bearing his name. Orson Welles cemented his legacy when he decided to share his title card with Toland at the end of Kane.
Anyway, Toland came to mind earlier and it made me think about how, among his innumerable virtues, his most important skill was his ability to adapt. It’s fascinating to see how his trademarks (deep focus, risky lighting, etc.) shifted to suit whatever director he worked with. »
- Matt Zurcher
The king is dead. Long live the king. Welles' "Citizen Kane" has been dethroned from the Sight & Sound list of the greatest films of all time, and replaced by Hitchcock's "Vertigo." It's not as if nobody saw this coming. The list first appeared in 1952, and "Vertigo" (1958) made the list for the first time only in 1982. Climbing slowly, it placed five votes behind "Kane" in 2002. Although many moviegoers would probably rank "Psycho" or maybe "North by Northwest" as Hitch's best, for S&S types his film to beat was "Notorious" (1946). That's the one I voted for until I went through "Vertigo" a shot at a time at the University of Virginia, became persuaded of its greatness, and put it on my 2002 list. But let's remember that all movie lists, even this most-respected one, are ultimately meaningless. Their tangible value is to provide movie lovers with viewing ideas. In the era of DVD, »
- Roger Ebert
Judith Crist, a blunt and popular film critic for the Today show, TV Guide and the New York Herald Tribune whose reviews were at times so harsh that director Otto Preminger labeled her “Judas Crist,” has died. She was 90.
Her son, Steven Crist, said his mother died Tuesday at her Manhattan home after a long illness.
Starting in 1963, at the Tribune, Crist wrote about and discussed thousands of movies for millions of readers and viewers, and also covered theater and books.
She was the first woman to become a full-time critic at a major U.S. newspaper and was among »
- Associated Press
John Ford is The Western. Instrumental in elevating the genre and crafting more iconic films than can fit in a saddle bag, the director had a filmmaking career spanning 63 years and managed to make eye patches cool on top of building a legendary resume. Sporting four Oscars (for How Green Was My Valley, The Grapes of Wrath, The Informer and The Quiet Man), Ford saw the work of a filmmaker as a way to make a living, a job not to be seen through romance or puffery. Still, it’s impossible to overstate his influence. If you could ask David Lean, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick and other masters who inspired them, they’d all bring up Ford’s name. The directors we all look up to, look up to him. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the man who made Jimmy Stewart play Wyatt Earp so audiences wouldn »
- Cole Abaius
(Fritz Lang, 1937, Studiocanal, 12)
Fritz Lang is one of the few directors with truly substantial bodies of film in both the silent and the sound era, though he rarely had the budgets or creative freedom during his Hollywood years that he'd enjoyed in 1920s Berlin.
This classic of social-conscience cinema, his third film after fleeing from Nazi Germany, stars Henry Fonda as a three-time loser, unjustly convicted of murder and on the run with his pregnant wife (Sylvia Sidney). It is at once a great prison melodrama, an expression of Lang's fascination with fate and destiny, and a powerful attack on the death penalty and the stigmatisation of ex-convicts. Fonda (here anticipating his Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath) has rarely been better, Sidney is heartbreaking as his devoted wife, and the supporting cast is a gallery of familiar character actors (Margaret Hamilton, Barton MacLane, William Gargan, Ward Bond et »
- Philip French
House of Earth, thought to have languished for years in a closet, is said to be influenced by Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath
A novel by folk singer Woody Guthrie will be published next year, with help from Johnny Depp. House of Earth, which Guthrie finished in 1947 but never released, is being edited by Depp and author Douglas Brinkley.
Depp and Brinkley revealed their plans in a new essay for the New York Times Book Review. House of Earth is Guthrie's only "fully realised" novel, they said, influenced by his experiences in America's Dust Bowl, as well as John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Tracing the story of Tike and Ella May Hamlin, "hardscrabble farmers" in Texas, it is a "searing portrait of the Panhandle and its marginalised Great Depression residents". Despite a slightly esoteric focus on the importance of adobe housing, House of Earth also includes graphic sex, »
- Sean Michaels
Our forum posters have run down the least deserving performers to take home Oscars in debates over Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress and Best Actor. And they have named the worst of the Best Picture winners. Now, they have turned their attention to the best of the best. They have already dished director, leading lady and leading man to determine who was the most deserving of an Academy Award. Below, read just a sample of their thoughts on the ultimate supporting actress champ. Join in with your opinion as to which featured actress stood out the most. Marcelo My top five: 1. Linda Hunt, "The Year of Living Dangerously" 2. Jane Darwell, "The Grapes of Wrath" 3. Ruth Gordon, "Rosemary´s Baby" 4. Kim Hunter, "A Streetcar Named Desire" 5. Dianne Wiest, "Hannah and Her Sisters Carol Channing My top three: 1. Mo'Niq »
Jane Fonda Makes Her Peace
By Alex Simon
Over her more than fifty years on the screen and in the public eye, Jane Fonda has worn more hats than any performer of her generation: daughter of Hollywood royalty (Henry Fonda), Oscar-winning actress, polarizing activist, fitness guru, best-selling author, Broadway star, mother, grandmother and wife, to three of their respective generation’s most influential men (director Roger Vadim, activist/politician Tom Hayden, media titan Ted Turner). Now in her 74th year (she turns 75 in December), Jane Fonda graces the screen again in director Bruce Beresford’s “Peace, Love and Misunderstanding,” a generation gap comedy-drama about an uptight career woman (Catherine Keener) who, after leaving her husband, brings her two kids (Elizabeth Olsen and Nat Wolff) to Woodstock, New York where her estranged mother (Fonda), a former and current hippie, lives on a sprawling farm. Truth, reconciliations and laughter soon follow. The IFC Films release, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Eddie Taylor (Henry Fonda) leaves his third stretch in prison and walks straight into the arms of his wife to be, Joan (Sylvia Sidney). He vows to leave his criminal ways behind him and make a new life with Joan, but it proves hard to go straight. No-one trusts him and when he appears to have become involved in a deadly bank job, no-one will believe in his innocence (apart from the doting Joan). Eventually they go on the run together, but the odds seem stacked against them.
Director Fritz Lang has a nigh-on peerless resumé. Metropolis, M, The Big Heat, Scarlet Street and this, only his second film made following his move to Hollywood from an increasingly problematic 1930′s National Socialist-dominated Germany. Film Noir, Expressionism and big themes of determinism, human nature and destiny – all seemlessly woven through his oeuvre and all very much present in this excellent crime drama. »
- Dave Roper
Filmmakers and film experts prepare to gather in Dublin to honor and celebrate the legacy of John Ford, one of the world’s most respected and influential filmmakers. The inaugural John Ford Ireland Film Symposium takes place 7th – 10th June with a four day focus on film and filmmaking, inspired and informed by the timeless work of legendary Irish-American director John Ford. Ford directed 137 films, worked on about 80 other projects, documentaries, and short films, and still holds the record for winning the most Oscars for his work as director. His parents were born in the west of Ireland. Ford was the first recipient of the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and received the American Presidential Medal of Freedom for his important war documentaries during his World War II American Navy service. His work continues to be much loved by audiences around the world, with favorites including big screen »
Samuel Fuller's Bell and Howell Camera / © Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Beverly Hills, California, Coll. Christa Fuller John Ford, George Stevens, and Samuel Fuller entertained audiences with American cinema classics like The Grapes of Wrath, Shane, and The Big Red One. But their most important contribution to history was their work in the U.S. Armed Forces and Secret Services. The Museum of Jewish Heritage's new exhibition, Filming the Camps: John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens: From Hollywood to Nuremberg, presents rare footage of the liberation of Dachau with detailed directors' notes and the documentary produced as evidence for the Nuremberg trials. One fascinating thing about the exhibit is that it enables us to view the footage in its historical context and read the accompanying narratives written by the cameramen and writers, practically in real-time, as soon as they finished shooting for the day. »
The 2010 film Defcon 2012 has suddenly experienced a bit of a rise in popularity due to its subject matter and the coming 2012 end-of-the-world prophecy. Check out what producers of the film had to say and see the ... unique ... trailer.
You certainly have to give this group points for exuberance. Read the press release below ... actually, watch the trailer first, then read the press release below. After that all you can do is sit back and watch Defcon 2012 take over the world. Give them a like on the official Defcon 2012 Facebook page and maybe they'll spare your life when they rule with an iron fist!
From the Press Release
Producer Carolina Ford Lichtenstein and Brian Shotwell's micro-budget and experimental science fiction film Defcon 2012 has become a smash international hit because of foreign distribution and sales. The story about a film director, his cast and crew vanishing on »
- Doctor Gash
Classic films Zorba the Greek and The Grapes of Wrath are getting the Blu-ray upgrade on June 5th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Cinefiles and collectors can pre-order both films exclusively through Screen Archives to receive the Blu-ray in advance on April 3rd. Featuring unforgettable Oscar-nominated performances by Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn, these stunning masterpieces are a must-have for any film-lover.s library. The Grapes of Wrath: Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel .The Grapes of Wrath. by author John Steinbeck, the eponymous film is directed by four-time Academy Award winner John Ford and stars Henry Fonda, John Carradine, and Jane Darwell. The film won two Academy Awards including Best Director (John Ford) »
- Patrick Luce
Who's the best director in Hollywood history? You could look at who's won the most Best Director Oscars -- that would be legendary John Ford, whose four wins include "The Grapes of Wrath," and "The Quiet Man" -- but perhaps there's another metric with which to judge. Moviefone took another look at Oscar statistics by counting which directors' films have resulted in the most acting nominations. By that count, Ford -- and famous directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, and Clint Eastwood -- don't even make the Top 10. Who's directed the most actors to a nomination? The list might surprise you. Photos: »
- Sharon Knolle
Hollywood has been running out of ideas since filmmakers started making movies in Hollywood. Even the first "official" movie made in Hollywood proper, Cecil B. DeMille's 1914 Western The Squaw Man, wasn't an original story. DeMille's Western was based on Edwin Milton Royle's play. And prior to that, there had been movie shorts with titles such as The Squaw and the Man (1910), Cow-boy and the Squaw (1910), and The Squaw Man's Sweetheart (1912). So, no one should be too surprised that remakes, adaptations, and reboots have been Hollywood staples for decades. And here's another remake in the works: DreamWorks and Working Title Films are to revisit (or reboot, as the case may be) Alfred Hitchcock's 1940 Best Picture Oscar winner Rebecca, which starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. As per Variety, Eastern Promises' screenwriter Steven Knight will use Daphne Du Maurier's novel as the source for the project, sort »
- Andre Soares
To Kill a Mockingbird Blu-ray Contest Giveaway Sweepstakes. This To Kill a Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray contest, giveaway, sweepstakes illustrates To Kill a Mockingbird‘s release by Universal Studios Home Entertainment on Blu-ray and one (1) lucky winner will win it.
To Kill a Mockingbird‘s plot synopsis: “Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against a rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.”
Win a Blu-ray copy of To Kill A Mockingbird
50th Anniversary Edition
To Kill A Mockingbird: Top Ten American Classics of Our Time
Digitally Remastered and Fully Restored with Over Three Hours of Bonus Materials Including Two »
While accepting the award for Best Comedy for Bridesmaids at the 2012 Critics Choice Awards ceremony, Judd Apatow ended his speech with the following: "Jerry Lewis [photo] once said that he didn’t think women were funny. So I’d just like to say, with all respect, fuck you." Jerry Lewis' negative comment about female comedians was made at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen in 1998. During a Q&A session with Martin Short, Lewis said "I don't like any female comedians." What about Lucille Ball, Short asked? "No. A woman doing comedy doesn't offend me but sets me back a bit. I, as a viewer, have trouble with it. I think of her as a producing machine that brings babies in the world." This from the guy who grew up at a time when Carole Lombard, Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, Jean Arthur, Claudette Colbert, Myrna Loy, Marie Dressler, »
- Andre Soares
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