6 items from 2014
It started so well; two of Hollywood’s hottest properties making self-deprecating jokes about how they were the perfect age to snare a younger demographic of viewer for a ceremony which had been shedding ratings faster than it added minutes to its running time. For Anne Hathaway and James Franco, that would be as good as it got, the remainder of their hosting duties for the 83rd Academy Awards was made up of unintelligible ramblings and a Western’s worth of tumbleweeds.
They weren’t really to blame, well Hathaway anyway, because this had been one of the few times that the Academy had opted for a non-comedian occupying the Kodak Theatre stage. There was 2009’s soft-focus Hugh Jackman sing-along, and in 1995 David Letterman gave us the cringe-worthy “Oprah. Uma. Uma. Oprah” moment of infamy. Both examples underline that the appeal of the host, and by proxy their laugh quota, »
- Matt Rodgers
This year’s Best Actor race is shaping up to be one of the greatest of all time. And by greatest, I mean both the most competitive and also the most outstanding, in the sense that each nominee is excellent — hypothetical winners in almost any other year. They also reflect the depth of superb male performances in 2013. Consider: Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Robert Redford (All Is Lost), Joaquin Phoneix (Her), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) all missed the cut.
EW’s Owen Gleiberman recently analyzed this year’s Best Actor race, calling it the most “fiercely, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Hitchcock’s War Face
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film Foreign Correspondent is often underrated or forgotten when it comes to lists of the director’s “best” films. In fact, it was nominated for an Oscar Best Picture the same year as Rebecca (which won), and, personally, I think it’s the better movie. It’s certainly more of a “Hitchcock film” than Rebecca, as it is one of those cross-country espionage adventure-thrillers along the lines of The 39 Steps, Saboteur, and North by Northwest.
It was the director’s second Hollywood movie. Although Hitchcock was contracted to David O. Selznick (who produced Rebecca), Hitch’s deal allowed Selznick to “farm out” the director to other studios and producers, for a piece of Hitchcock’s salary, of course. In this case, Foreign Correspondent was produced by Walter Wanger (who had also produced John Ford’s Stagecoach). It’s interesting that »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
This is rather cool! Ireland’s first banned Film Festival is to take place from Feb 9th in The Park Cinema in Clonakilty, Co. Cork in association with the Clonakilty Film Club. Film censorship as it was called back in the day, nowdays its called classification was a very different beast way back in the day, where three passionate and prolonged kisses were one of many cuts that were made to Gone with The Wind. Its a great idea and the full listings are below. The Banned Film Festival 9th-13th February All movies were once banned in Ireland but have been rerated and approved for release. Sunday 9th Gone With The Wind PG 7.00 Monday 10th Life Of Brian 15A 7.00 A Clockwork Orange 18’s 8.45 Tuesday 11th A Streetcar Named Desire PG 6.35 Wednesday 12th Casablanca G 6.35 Natural Born Killers 18’s 8.30 Thursday 13th The Great Dictator PG 7.00 The Night of The Hunter »
- email@example.com (Vic Barry)
In this latest run-down of the most popular posters on my Movie Poster of the Day Tumblr—covering the last four months of daily posts—I’m not leading off with the number one most liked and reblogged poster (the Hitch-centric Rear Window, below) because that was the main poster in my loquacious posters post a couple of months ago. So I’m starting with the second most popular: a superb retro take on Gravity by artist Peter Stults which was one of a number of alternative takes on the film commissioned by the UK magazine ShortList back in October.
The rest of the top 20, shown in descending order, are a pleasingly eclectic grab bag, with posters from nine different countries and seven different decades. Three of my very favorite recent discoveries appear all in a row: that French La notte, »
- Adrian Curry
Though we now have films like Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist which treat silent films like a novelty, at one point they were the height of modern cinema. Even after talkie’s had been introduced, silent films continued on for a while, and as a result one of the best silent film comedies of all time came about: Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. Lighter on social commentary than other Chaplin films like Modern Times or The Great Dictator, City Lights was one hundred percent sentimental whimsy with lots of great visual gags. It’s Charlie Chaplin at the top of his game creating a silent film that could rival any spoken film of the time and entertaining any viewer who sits down to watch it. The film finally receives the HD treatment courtesy of The Criterion Collection, and the result is a crisper release of the film than you’ve ever seen. »
- Lex Walker
6 items from 2014
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