8 items from 2016
Christmas, unbelievably, is almost upon us, and with it an annual playlist of endlessly watched, endlessly renewable films – an entirely personal matter of curation, whether it covers It’s a Wonderful Life, The Shop Around the Corner or The Muppet Christmas Carol. (I, meanwhile, am looking forward to my first year of being able to savour the yuletide melancholy of Todd Haynes’s Carol in my own living room: bring on the jingling bells and the mournfully yearning strings.)
Over at the BFI Player, however, I recently made the acquaintance of a film that deserves as much December ubiquity as any of the above, yet remains oddly neglected in the archives. Blessed with a characteristically brut champagne script by Preston Sturges, Mitchell Leisen’s Remember the Night is special »
- Guy Lodge
Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.
Film Society of Lincoln Center
The great Portuguese filmmaker Raúl Ruiz is finally being given the retrospective treatment – and this is only the first part.
Museum of the Moving Image
“Pushing the Envelope: »
- Nick Newman
Pretty much everybody who was alive in 1998 fondly recalls You’ve Got Mail, both the email notification noise and the Nora Ephron film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. We’re specifically talking about the movie, though, which updated the classic star-crossed romance of The Shop Around The Corner for the go-go ‘90s by introducing then-modern concepts like “AOL” and “unstoppable corporate bookstore chains”—neither of which are really around anymore. One thing that is still around these days, though, is the official You’ve Got Mail website, which is just as much of a relic now as Meg Ryan’s beloved, independent book store was in the movie.
The website, which is tucked away at youvegotmail.warnerbros.com, has an animated introduction, information about the main characters, and an array of downloadable screensavers, desktop patterns, and webcards. You can even download AOL Instant Messenger and use it to ...
- Sam Barsanti
Though nobody foresaw it at the time, 1948 was a major turning point in what would be Judy Garland’s last few years at MGM. After the one-two Freed Unit punch of Easter Parade and Words and Music at the beginning of 1948, Judy was supposed to head straight into her third Arthur Freed film,The Barkleys of Broadway. With Fred Astaire coaxed out of retirement, the duo of Astaire and Garland looked to be a new box office guarantee. Unfortunately, what wasn’t a guarantee was Judy’s health. After two months of rehearsal, Judy backed out of The Barkleys of Broadway, to be replaced by Ginger Rogers. This decision sounded the death knell for her partnership with Arthur Freed, the producer who had created the Judy Garland formula. Judy was too tired, too thin, and too weak to go on filming, until another producer from her past swooped back into the picture: Joe Pasternak. »
- Anne Marie
“It kind of freed me from a lot of criticisms people have from my other films,” Whit Stillman told us at Sundance earlier this year, speaking about adapting Jane Austen‘s epistolary novel Lady Susan, which became Love & Friendship. “Things can work really well and not be entirely realistic and often they can be better than realism. We love the old James Bond films. They weren’t realistic, but they’re delightful. And the great 30s films. The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. It’s not realistic; it’s just perfect.”
To celebrate Stillman’s latest feature becoming his most successful yet at the box office, we’re highlighting his 10 favorite films, from a ballot submitted for the most recent Sight & Sound poll. Along with the aforementioned Leo McCarey classic, he includes romantic touchstones from Preston Sturges, Ernst Lubitsh, and François Truffaut. As for his favorite Alfred Hitchcock, he fittingly picks perhaps one of the best scripts he directed, and one not mentioned often enough.
We’ve covered many directors’ favorites, but this is one that perhaps best reflects the style and tone of an artist’s filmography. Check it out below, followed by our discussion of his latest film, if you missed it.
Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (Preston Sturges)
See more directors’ favorite films.
- Jordan Raup
Overheard whilst exiting Broadway's She Loves Me this weekend:
[surprised] That was just like 'You've Got Mail'!
Bingo, tourist ladies, bingo. She Loves Me, the 1963 musical, currently in the middle of its second Broadway revival, is adapted from the 1937 Hungarian play Parfumerie by Miklós László. It's inspired so many riffs so often you'd think it was a Shakespeare comedy. The play has already resulted in three well-known movies in the form of the touching Jimmy Stewart clasic (The Shop Around the Corner, 1940), an undervalued Judy Garland romance (In the Good Old Summertime, 1949), and the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks rom-com You've Got Mail (1998). The shop changes as does the mode by which the anonymous lovers correspond without realizing they know and hate each other in real life. Expect an internet catfishing riff on the story in 3...2...1... Anyway, in 1963 the play was adapted into She Loves Me for the musical stage. »
- NATHANIEL R
We all have predisposed notions about the infamous “romantic comedy.” As with other genres, there’s a large subsection of offerings, giving it a bad name. But, for every tired, cliché-driven comedy, there is another impressive offering that redefines the genre, garners plenty of laughs, and tells an honest story about love and relationships, however warped they may be. In the coming weeks, we’ll take a look at the fifty romantic comedy films that should be seen. These may not all be classic films, but they certainly put a stamp on the industry and the genre we affectionately call “rom-coms.”
#50. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Most of Wes Anderson’s films could be described as romantic comedies, but his 2012 effort stands out, as its central story focuses on young love and the need to find acceptance. In Anderson’s world, while quirks abound, true connections between characters are commonplace. With Moonrise Kingdom, »
- Joshua Gaul
“She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up!”
The Big Sleep screens this Saturday morning, January 9th at The Hi-Pointe Theater (1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117) as part of their Classic Film Series.
Director Howard Hawks’ The Big Sleep (1946) is one of the best Humphrey Bogart movies, one with more twists and turns than a pretzel factory. As Philip Marlowe, Bogie gives one of his best performances as the honest Private Eye up against the corruption and deceit of the Sternwood family and their “acquaintances”. Lauren Bacall is charming and sexy as Vivian, Bogies main love interest. But whose side is she on? Martha Vickers effectively plays Bacall’s younger spoiled sister whom Marlowe frequently encounters in his quest for the truth.
- Tom Stockman
8 items from 2016
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