1-20 of 65 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for The Dictator, in which Sacha Baron Cohen plays a ruthless Middle Eastern dictator, something along the lines of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, who is sent to America in exile and must live among the infidels. It’s what one might call a brave move, if this weren’t another Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles joint. It’s safe to assume that Cohen is trying to create this modern generation’s version of Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, but with far more hairy Kardashians jokes. Watch the trailer for yourself below and let us know what you think: The Dictator is due out May 11, 2012. The film will also star Megan Fox, Anna Faris, John C. Reilly, Ben Kingsley, B.J. Novak and J.B. Smoove. The trailer is courtesy of The Huffington Post. »
- Neil Miller
It was less than a few weeks ago that news broke (ever so softly) that the world’s leading film camera manufacturers, Arri, Panavision, and Aaton, have stopped production on all film cameras. While this news may not be surprising — what with the meteoric rise of digital moviemaking – it is disheartening nonetheless if only for romantics with allegiances to cinema as it once was. And so, it may seem only logical that 35mm projection in movie theaters worldwide is in decline. What’s shocking is that the extinction of 35mm projection could come as soon as 2015.
MSNBC (via Gizmodo) cites a report from Ihs Screen Digest Cinema Intelligence Service that declares digital projection has been catching on in a big way over the past few years, and will surpass 35mm projection in popularity (as in the percentage of theaters using it) by 2012. Specifically the report states:
By the end of »
- email@example.com (thefilmstage.com)
We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.
One of my favorite techniques is when an actor gets to tackle more than one role in the same film. There is something about seeing an actor double, triple, or even octuple up on roles that I adore… so long as they are doing more than simply hiding behind makeup and wigs. The one thing my favorite multi-role performances have in common is the way the performer manages to make the characters they are playing all feel different.
The latest actor to try this hand at this is Adam Sandler, who plays twin siblings in Jack and Jill. Something tells me his dual performance isn’t going to be appearing on a list like this anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfect excuse to celebrate the actors who have excelled at doing so. There were loads of possibilities, »
- Shane T. Nier
The Tuesday before Halloween is bound to have a lot of genre titles. There are some good ones too like Attack the Block, Blue Underground releases Fulci in High-Definition with Zombie and The House by the Cemetery, also Criterion releases The Island of Lost Souls on DVD & Blu-Ray and the most talked about film of last year, A Serbian Film finally hits the shelves. Read below, if you dare, for all your DVD and Blu-Ray releases for this week and if you plan on purchasing any films through Amazon, click on the buttons provided as they help us out with paying the bills around here.
Animal Attack Two Pack (Maneaters Are Loose/ Shark Kill)
Two savage and rare TV movies in the 1970s “Animal Attack” genre that have rarely been seen since their initial release, now back in print and together at last on DVD.
Buy the DVD @ Amazon. »
- Andy Triefenbach
Last week, David Bordwell posted "a brief tribute to the volcanic charm of the legend known as Jcc." Brief, maybe, but as always with David Bordwell, necessary in ways you may not have realized until you've read it. Today, as Jean-Claude Carrière — actor, novelist and screenwriter probably best known for his work with Luis Buñuel, though he's also written screenplays for Godard, Oshima, Malle, Forman, Wajda and Jonathan Glazer (and that's just scratching the surface) — turns 80, two paragraphs from this must-read:
Jcc entered cinema under the aegis of Jacques Tati. Tati wanted someone to turn M. Hulot's Holiday and Mon Oncle into novels, and the very young writer seemed the right candidate. But Tati quickly learned that Jcc didn't know how a film was made. So he assigned Pierre Etaix and the editor Suzanne Baron to tutor the lad in the ways of cinema. First lesson: Go through M. Hulot on a flatbed viewer, »
From time to time, major organizations such as the AFI give us lists of the best movies of all time. There's some kind of grand countdown from 100 to 1 and then we debate for a few days over how low this one was ranked or why was another ranked too high. And most of the time, we rarely get a glimpse behind the process. Time Out London has just released their list of the 100 Best Comedies Of All Time but have done it in a fun and uniquely transparent way. They surveyed over 200 people who work in, with, or around comedy and asked them for their top tens. Then they averaged all those lists together to come up with the top 100. The best part, though, is that all the lists are public. So instead of just listing the 100 best comedies of all time, we can also find out which ten comedies »
- Germain Lussier
Film pairings at festivals often appear more happenstance and convenient than inspired, but thankfully Venice has delivered a really stimulating pair with Norbert Pfaffenbichler’s Hitler montage short, Conference, and Romuald Karmaker’s documentary feature on public responses to the death of Pope John Paul II and the choosing of Ratzinger in Die Herde des Herrn (The Flock of the Lord).
Conference, after starting with its credits running backwards, reveals a two-part film made up of 8mm black and white footage of video clips of actors who've played Hitler in the cinema—over 60 of them. Clarity of mise-en-scène in individual clips avoided in favor of a uniform aesthetic across the short, suppressing the ability, and desire, to identify which clip comes from what movie, thus creating what seems a single film of a multitudinous mass of Hitlers. It begins (that is, "ends"), at first, with a series of Hitlers walking »
This week's news in the arts
When President Assad or Colonel Gaddafi watches Star Wars – which surely sometimes happens – whatever do they make of it? Do they tut and nod about the sad necessity of Darth Vader's strong leadership, and the difficulty of finding a good henchman nowadays? I ask because, among the many stories told about dictators (usually by men), very few are on the tyrant's side.
By far the largest group are the biographies and based-ons. George Orwell neither fooled anybody, nor tried to, with his meticulous allegory of Stalin's Russia, Animal Farm. Unusually, the book begins with a dictator's overthrow, when farmer Jones is defeated, then shows Napoleon the pig's slow progress towards becoming his replacement.
- Leo Benedictus
The Devil’s Double
Directed by Lee Tamahori
The idea that there could be someone in the world who resembles us so much that they could pass as our double is a popular meme in literary imaginations, frequently expressed as the confusion between a peasant and a noble who appear physically identical, but whose life experiences are radically different. The only question is how far back do we go to find the original idea first expressed: Moon Over Parador? The Great Dictator? The Prisoner of Zenda? The Prince and the Pauper? A Tale of Two Cities? The Man in the Iron Mask? Twelfth Night?
In fact, the idea of the doppelgänger is such a primal one that it is expressed in the very first piece of recorded literature: The Epic of Gilgamesh. The »
- Michael Ryan
The first thing I noticed after popping this in was the absolutely gorgeous, crisp clear picture. You expect a Criterion release to look good but this was literally the best I have ever seen this film. The second thing I noticed, is what anyone would notice, the muscles of my mouth forming an involuntary smile, which soon gave way to chuckles and finally belly laughs. But beyond it's entertainment value The Great Dictator offers true pathos. Chaplin knows when to turn the humor off but how to turn what could have been the stuff of sappy melodrama into a moving testament to human dignity. This is not a movie that can be explained, but one that should be watched whenever demagogy threatens to devolve into »
With a name like Lebowski, you don’t expect someone with the same name to come along and mess your world up. Heck, The Dude certainly didn’t expect it! Still, he is mistaken for Jeffrey “The Big” Lebowski,” a millionaire with a few problems… and he is more than happy to let The Dude deal with them.
With The Big Lebowski: Limited Edition making it’s way to Blu-ray this week, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at cases of mistaken identity in films… as a tribute to The Dude, of course!
Here are five crazy cases of mistaken identity in film. Enjoy! And remember to let us know what some of your favorites are!!!
Imagine having your neighbors, and even your loved ones, being taken over by aliens. Aliens posing as real people are a »
- Melissa Howland
Paulette Goddard, Modern Times Paulette Goddard on TCM Part I: Modern Times, Reap The Wild Wind I've never watched Alexander Korda's British-made An Ideal Husband, a 1948 adaptation (by Lajos Biro) of Oscar Wilde's play, but it should be at least worth a look. The respectable cast includes Michael Wilding, Diana Wynyard, C. Aubrey Smith, Hugh Williams, Constance Collier, and Glynis Johns. George Cukor's film version of Clare Boothe Luce's hilarious The Women ("officially" adapted by Anita Loos and Jane Murfin) is definitely worth numerous looks; once or twice or even three times isn't/aren't enough to catch the machine-gun dialogue spewed forth by the likes of Goddard, Rosalind Russell, Joan Crawford, Mary Boland, Phyllis Povah, Lucile Watson, et al. A big hit at the time, The Women actually ended up in the red because of its high cost. Norma Shearer, aka The Widow Thalberg, was the nominal star; curiously, »
- Andre Soares
Paulette Goddard wouldn't have a special place in the Pantheon of movie stars if it hadn't been for her close personal and professional association with Charles Chaplin, with whom she co-starred in Modern Times and The Great Dictator. That's not only unfortunate, but downright unfair. After all, besides being beautiful, charming, lively, a former Ziegfeld girl, an Academy Award nominee (in the Best Supporting Actress category) for So Proudly We Hail, and a top contender for the role of Gone with the Wind's Scarlett O'Hara, Paulette Goddard was a major box-office attraction in the 1940s and, in the right role and under the right guidance, could be a remarkably effective actress. And let's not forget her eclectic taste in husbands — Chaplin, Burgess Meredith, Erich Maria Remarque, and millionaire businessman Edgar James; her leaving $20 million to New York University at the time of her death in 1990; and her firm — and »
- Andre Soares
How does a film go from Vincent to Citizen Kane in a mere 13 minutes and still have time detour at The Great Dictator and Dr. Strangelove? Vide Emil Gustafsson Ryderup's Friend of Flies. Worth mentioning that he does this using only three colours, black white and red - there is no shading here - and a crude yet quite stylized animation technique. When a boy is picked on by his peers, or by life in general, he imagines his own personal reign of terror involving a lot of sugar and a lot of insects. Mad scientists, zeppelins and Nazi rallies and death camps are all splashed in an orgy of blood and fascism to make the film audaciously irresponsible, yet it is cloaked in a sad whimsy of »
We are half-way through 2011. This Tuesday marks the release of the last three June titles that Criterion is releasing: Zazie Dans Le Metro, Black Moon, and People On Sunday. We thought that we’d take some time out of our busy lives to reflect upon the past six months of releases (34 releases, not including the Eclipse sets) from the Criterion Collection, and share our thoughts on our favorite releases.
Top Ten lists are usually formed around the end of the year, but it’s a nice exercise to keep those titles that were released in the first half, so we don’t fall prey to our short attention spans and heap praise on those titles that were released closer to the winter.
When I proposed this assignment to the group, I just asked for their “X” favorite titles of 2011 so far, with very little direction given as to how many to choose, »
- Ryan Gallagher
It goes without saying that Charlie Chaplin was a prolific cinematic entity. Be it the films he actually had the chance to shoot, or the ones that he ended up having to scrap, Chaplin was never without a project somewhere in production.
Now, the most famous unfulfilled Chaplin project was the Napolean Bonaparte biopic, but there appears to be yet another one, marking the director’s first attempt at doing a “talkie” feature.
The Guardian is reporting that a manuscript has been discovered, accounting to 50 hand written pages that “outline the dialogue for a satire on colonialism, inspired by the British-born star’s visit to the Indonesian island of Bali in 1932.”
Allegedly a flawed piece of writing, the manuscript revealed that the film, entitled Bali, would satirize the European sense of arrogance, leading to the “the invasion of a people’s idyllic life.” Making fun of various aspects of colonialism, »
- Joshua Brunsting
Handwritten manuscript shows actor's early faltering attempts at dialogue in a satire on colonialism
A manuscript revealing Charlie Chaplin's first shot at a "talkie" has come to light in the family archives.
Fifty handwritten pages outline the dialogue for a satire on colonialism, inspired by the British-born star's visit to the Indonesian island of Bali in 1932.
Chaplin agonised over his future in a new world of film sound, and the manuscript reveals his initial faltering steps in dialogue. He planned a film, titled Bali, lampooning European arrogance on the paradise island and the invasion of a people's idyllic life. He poked fun at colonials taxing natives to build roads they did not need and making them harvest more rice than they could eat.
Chaplin was the comic genius who created the little tramp, society's eternal victim, with derby hat, toothbrush moustache and impossibly large boots – one of entertainment's most universally recognised characters. »
- Dalya Alberge
If you're already excited for Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator, do yourself a favor and check out a film it's sure to be compared to, and one that was made at the same time the dictator that inspired it was still very much in power, Charlie Chaplin's classic The Great Dictator.
The Great Dictator was Chaplin's first talky following the small bit of gibberish that was included at the end of Modern Times, which was coincidentally the first Chaplin feature Criterion issued on Blu-ray as they have only recently started adding the comedy master's films to the collection. And just like Modern Times, Criterion presents The Great Dictator with a flawless transfer and superb audio track and a bevy of features worth digging into.
- Brad Brevet
From clown Everyman to post-colonial crackpot, Baron Cohen has picked a tough act to follow
Vulnerability is not Sacha Baron Cohen's strong suit, but he is at a vulnerable point right now. Too famous to pull off the gonzo-prank format he pioneered with Borat and Brüno, he is forced to make the running jump to proper, 100% dramatised features. And he won't be doing it, like on Ali G Indahouse, as a primarily British concern, but in front of the eyes of the world as a global star on the verge of the A-list. You never could accuse Baron Cohen of lacking boldness in a nervy moment, though, and his new film The Dictator seems calculated to draw comparisons with comedy's highest and holiest. With that title, how can it not bring to mind Charlie Chaplin?
The plot, or what little we know about it, has strong echoes of The Great Dictator »
- Phil Hoad
This is the podcast dedicated to the Criterion Collection. Ryan Gallagher, James McCormick and Travis George discuss Criterion News & Rumors and Criterion New Releases, they also analyze Criterion Collection #565 Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 film, The Great Dictator.
What do you think of the show? Send your feedback to CriterionCast@gmail.com or call their voicemail line @ 209-877-7335 or follow them on twitter @CriterionCast or comment on their blog, http://CriterionCast.com.
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- Ryan Gallagher
1-20 of 65 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
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