15 items from 2014
It's that time of year again and it's time to update the list for the second half of 2014 as Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and as impossible a task as it is to cut things down to just a few titles, I have done my best to break Criterion's titles down into a few categories. Hopefully those looking for box sets, specific directors or what I think are absolute musts will find this makes things a little bit easier. Let's get to it... First Picks I was given the Zatoichi collection for Christmas last year and being a collection that holds 25 films and another disc full of supplementary material it is the absolute definition of a must buy when it comes to the Criterion Collection. It is, once again, on sale for $112.49, half off the Msrp of $224.99, and worth every penny. I spent the entire year going through it. »
- Brad Brevet
Feeling down? Lackluster? Uninspired? You need a pick-me-up from some of Hollywood’s most talented movie stars. Here are 12 stirring speeches from films that double as both examples of superbly committed acting and rip-roaring energizers! Charlie Chaplin, “The Great Dictator”Charlie Chaplin’s first true talking picture, “The Great Dictator,” ended up taking Hollywood by storm in 1940 for its spot-on satire and parody of Adolf Hitler in the midst of WWII. Chaplin, who wrote, directed, and starred as both the film’s protagonist and antagonist, here gives one of the most rousing speeches in cinematic history, decrying greed and false promise, emboldening his audience—within the movie and around the world—to “fight to free the world!” Viggo Mortensen, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”If you were faced by a sea of approaching orcs, you might back away, too. But if you were inspired by your king, »
Throughout the summer, an admin on the r/movies subreddit has been leading Reddit users in a poll of the best movies from every year for the last 100 years called 100 Years of Yearly Cinema. The poll concluded three days ago, and the list of every movie from 1914 to 2013 has been published today.
Users were asked to nominate films from a given year and up-vote their favorite nominees. The full list includes the outright winner along with the first two runners-up from each year. The list is mostly a predictable assortment of IMDb favorites and certified classics, but a few surprise gems have also risen to the top of the crust, including the early experimental documentary Man With a Movie Camera in 1929, Abel Gance’s J’Accuse! in 1919, the Fred Astaire film Top Hat over Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in 1935, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing over John Ford’s »
- Brian Welk
The Austin Film Society kicks off a brand new series featuring classic films from Roger Corman (Jette's preview) with a related documentary called That Guy Dick Miller, about the famed character actor. Tonight's screening will feature a post-film Q&A with Mr. Miller via Skype. It will be followed by a 35mm screening of Corman's 1959 feature A Bucket Of Blood, which features a great lead performance by Dick Miller. The film will also play again on Sunday afternoon.
On Wednesday, Whitey: The United States Of America V. James J. Bulger (from Joe Berlinger, the director of Paradise Lost) will be featured for Doc Nights (Elizabeth's preview), and this month's Essential Cinema series with the incredible Barbara Stanwyck (Elizabeth's preview) finds her on Thursday night starring in a 1937 drama called Internes Can't Take Money, screening in a rare 35mm print.
At the Paramount's Summer Classic Film Series, you can catch a »
- Matt Shiverdecker
By Mireille Latil-Le-Dantec. Originally published in Cinématographe, no. 35, February 1978 in an issue with a Chaplin dossier.
Translation by Ted Fendt. Thanks to Marie-Pierre Duhamel.
The Chaplinesque Quest
The overbearing weight of interpretative studies devoted to Chaplin makes any pretension to some "fresh look" at a universe already studied from every angle seem absurd from the outset. At least, on the occasion of the homages currently being made in theaters to the little man who would become so big, a few fragmentary re-viewings more modestly allow for the rediscovery of the thematic unity of this body of work and the inanity of any artificial divide between the "excellent" Charlie films and the "mediocre" Chaplin films – a divide corresponding, of course, to the event which his art was not supposed to have survived: the appearance of those talkies that – in the excellent company of Eisenstein, Pudovkin, René Clair and many others – he »
- Ted Fendt
Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and while it's impossible to suggest titles that will suit everyone looking to beef up their collection at this perfect time of year, I will do my best to offer some suggestions. Let's get to it... My Absolute First Pick I am almost done going through this collection and it was a collection I got for Christmas under these exact circumstances. Typically priced at $224.99, you can now get this amazing set of 25 Zatoichi films for only $112. Box sets, in my opinion, are what sales like this were made for. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Next Ten Recommendations It isn't easy so this is a collection of just some of my favorite films (of all-time and within the collection) and a little variety, though pretty much my standard, go to Criterion first picks, especially if you are just starting out. Persona Breathless »
- Brad Brevet
Korean director Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother) tackles his first English film with Snowpiercer, a unique film that takes place several years after global warming has turned the entire world into a frozen tundra, leaving only a few remaining survivors aboard a train with an immortal engine. While aboard the vessel, a class system develops, causing those in the back of the train to revolt, and fight for their say in the construction of their lives. I was lucky enough to catch up with director Bong, as well as the star of his movie, Tilda Swinton, for a quick interview. Together, we discussed the inspiration behind Swinton’s wacky Minister Mason character, the construction of the impeccable train, and the process of intertwining cultures.
So where do you begin when you create a character, especially one as outrageous as this one?
Tilda Swinton: Well this was really good fun »
- Kalyn Corrigan
Toni Servillo as Senator Enrico Oliveri in Long Live Freedom
The morning before Roberto Andò's Long Live Freedom (Viva La Libertà), starring Toni Servillo, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Valerio Mastandrea, screened at Open Roads: New Italian Cinema in New York, I spoke with the director at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. We discussed Federico Fellini mixing religion with cinema, the genius of Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, Wong Kar-wai's style, what moves Marco Bellocchio and the masquerade of politics.
Long Live Freedom, where leaving a message is "perfectly useless" and new lives begin in the middle of old ones, unfolds smartly as part farce, part political commentary, part soul-searching device. Cinema and politics happen to be twin worlds here. The film is based on Andò's novel Il Trono Vuoto.
Giovanni as Senator Enrico Oliveri in the map room: "The prototype I'm thinking of is also from »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The film has sold to Italy (Good Films), Benelux (De Filmfreak), Germany (Nfp), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Hong Kong (Golden Scene), Korea (Tcast), Portugal (Leopardo Filmes), and ex-Yugoslavia (Continental Film).
It has also been acquired for the Middle East (Falcon), Turkey (Yeni Bir) and airlines (Encore). As previously announced IFC Films has taken Us rights. Les Films du Losange will release the film in France at the end of August.
“We’re in talks on a lot of other territories, notably Latin America, Scandinavia, Russia and the UK,” said MK2’s sales chief Juliette Schrameck.
Set in the Swiss alpine lake district of Sils Maria, the picture »
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
15 items from 2014
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