19 items from 2013
In honor of the month-long retrospective of the films of the great Barbara Stanwyck starting today at Film Forum in New York, I thought I’d select my favorite Stanwyck posters. Brooklyn-born Ruby Catherine Stevens made 85 films over 37 years in Hollywood so there is an awful lot to choose from. But the remarkable thing about looking back at these posters is how artists seemed to have had a hard time capturing her likeness. The poster for one of her earliest films, Capra’s 1932 Forbidden, above, captures her beautifully, but the poster for Stella Dallas (1937), her first Oscar-nominated role (she never won, shockingly), seems to be of a different actress entirely. As for the sexed-up illustration on the flyer for The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933), in that she looks more like Jean Harlow. Some of my favorite posters for her films are the Swedish and Danish designs, »
- Adrian Curry
You’ve seen smoother, more elegant con movies than “American Hustle,” but probably none quite so big-hearted or so rudely, insistently entertaining. As directed by that master of modern farce, David O. Russell, this sprawling fictionalized account of the notorious Abscam case is less a dramatic FBI procedural than a human comedy writ large, ringing a series of screwball variations on themes of duplicity and paranoia against a dazzling ’70s backdrop. Deliriously funny and brilliantly acted by a cast of Russell returnees, the film is also overlong, undisciplined and absent the sort of emotional payoff that made “Silver Linings Playbook” so satisfying, which could affect its otherwise solid theatrical prospects. Still, this star-studded Sony prestige release is a near-continual pleasure to spend 135 minutes with, repeatedly hitting that comic sweet spot where corruption and buffoonery collide.
After putting his sharp but crowd-pleasing stamp on the boxing drama with 2010’s “The Fighter »
- Justin Chang
Written and directed by Preston Sturges
“You see, Hopsie, you don’t know very much about girls. The best ones aren’t as good as you probably think they are and the bad ones aren’t as bad. Not nearly as bad.”
In Preston Sturges’s The Lady Eve, professional swindlers, Harry Harrington (Charles Coburn), his daughter Jean (Barbara Stanwyck), and friend Gerald (Melville Cooper) set their sights on Charles Pike (Henry Fonda), a socially awkward heir to a prosperous Connecticut brewery. They all meet on a ship, as Charles returns home from studying snakes in the Amazon. They con Charles, by playing cards with him, and losing to gain his trust. It all seems dandy, until Jean falls in love with Charles. When Charles discovers who Jean really is, he leaves her. Angry for revenge, Jean pretends to be British noble, Lady Eve, to gain »
- Karen Bacellar
“A Life of Barbara Stanwyck” by Victoria Wilson ends abruptly in 1940. Still ahead are “The Lady Eve” and “Ball of Fire,” “Meet John Doe” and “Double Indemnity,” not to mention more than 40 other movies and four years as the matriarch of a sprawling 19th century ranch on the television series, “The Big Valley.”Yet the book, which takes Stanwyck from birth in 1907 to the age of 37 and stardom in a town she hated for the “pretense” of its “so self-important” people, is exactly 1000 pages long if you include its meticulous stage, film, radio and television chronologies and notes on sources. And it has a cast of thousands, with each director, actor or owner of a speakeasy Stanwyck encounters given not only his own backstory but the histories of the people with whom he has worked or played. Carole Lombard, for example, tended the “cows, chickens, ducks, pair of mules, goat, »
- Aljean Harmetz
Update! Get all of today's deals right here! Amazon's week long deals for 2013 Black Friday and Cyber Monday started today and I have the schedule of deals for Sunday, November 24 directly below and will be updating throughout the week. As of now I have a few deals outside the scheduled events you may be interested in, but other than that pay attention to the deal start times so you don't miss out. Today's deals include a great price on the complete "Sex and the City" and "The Wire" collections, Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas on Blu-ray and the Godzilla collection seems particularly intriguing at the end of the day. Outside of what's below you can find the current upcoming scheduled deals for the week right here, which I will be updating as more titles and deals are announced. Otherwise, start shopping. Right Now! The Brady Bunch »
- Brad Brevet
Amazon's week long deals for 2013 Black Friday and Cyber Monday started today and I have the schedule of deals for Sunday, November 24 directly below and will be updating throughout the week. As of now I have a few deals outside the scheduled events you may be interested in, but other than that pay attention to the deal start times so you don't miss out. Today's deals include a great price on the complete "Sex and the City" and "The Wire" collections, Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas on Blu-ray and the Godzilla collection seems particularly intriguing at the end of the day. Outside of what's below you can find the current upcoming scheduled deals for the week right here, which I will be updating as more titles and deals are announced. Otherwise, start shopping. Right Now! The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy Blu-ray »
- Brad Brevet
If you missed the critically acclaimed drama Museum Hours last week, the Austin Film Society is bringing you one more chance to catch it on the big screen. You can check it out on Sunday afternoon at the Marchesa. That's also where you'll find a brand-new digital restoration of Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme's 1963 documentary Le Joli Mai on Tuesday evening and the Essential Cinema screening of Ozu's Floating Weeds in 35mm on Thursday night.
The Drafthouse's new "Tough Ladies In Cinema" series delivers To Kill A Mockingbird this weekend. You can spend Saturday and Sunday afternoons with Scout and Atticus Finch at the Alamo Lakeline and Slaughter Lane locations. Slaugher also has an "Afternoon Tea" screening of Elizabeth on Saturday and a Bonnie and Clyde beer dinner on Sunday (also part of the Tough Ladies lineup).
The Alamo Ritz has a special Mondo Veterans Day presentation of Oliver Stone »
- Matt Shiverdecker
The Reader Spotlight series features you, The Film Experience community out there in the dark, watching movies and commenting or silently absorbing the conversation right here. I started this interview series because a) I'm grateful for your patronage and b) you're fascinating! Today we're talking to Angelica Jade Bastién who writes Madwomen and Muses.
Tfe: Hi Angelica, do you remember your first movie?
Angelica: Honestly, I don’t. In my youth (can I say that when I am only 24?) films weren’t that important to me. I was quite a raconteur (which continues to this day) but I told my stories through poetry and painting. It wasn’t until I went to an art high school that I fell in love with film turning to words to tell my stories through scripts, essays and prose. The three films that changed my life and sent me into a heady love affair with cinema, »
- NATHANIEL R
Fans of Mary-Louise Parker could enjoy quite the double-feature this weekend.
In "R.I.P.D." (out Friday), the 48-year-old actress stars as Proctor, superior to a pair of undead law enforcement officials (played by Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds); in "Red 2" (also out Friday), Parker reprises her role of Sarah, the romantic foil to retired CIA operative Frank (played by Bruce Willis). A sequel to the 2010 sleeper hit, "Red 2" puts Parker's character Sarah in the thick of the action, and allows the Emmy- and Tony-award winning actress to get involved in the explosive fun. (Fortunately, there are many explosions in "Red 2.")
Before the film's release, Parker spoke to HuffPost Entertainment about her new career as summer action star, how Hollywood has evolved for actresses, and what she remembers most about "Bullets Over Broadway."
This is the summer of Mary-Louise Parker. You have two blockbusters coming out on Friday.
Isn't that weird? »
- Christopher Rosen
Turner Classic Movies’ (TCM) ultimate movie star showcase – Summer Under the Stars – returns this August for its 11th year as TCM pays tribute to 31 different stars in 31 days.
Sixteen of this year’s stars are being celebrated for the first time duringSummer Under the Stars, including Oscar® winners Joan Fontaine (Aug. 6), Mickey Rooney (Aug. 13), Wallace Beery (Aug. 17), Hattie McDaniel (Aug. 20), Downton Abbey star Maggie Smith (Aug. 22), Charles Coburn (Aug. 24), Martin Balsam(Aug. 27), Shirley Jones (Aug. 28) and Rex Harrison (Aug. 31). Also featured for the first time will be silent heartthrob Ramón Novarro (Aug. 8); legendary French actressCatherine Deneuve (Aug. 12), whose day features six films making their TCM debuts; Ann Blyth (Aug. 16), whose marathon will air on her 85th birthday; and Mary Boland (Aug. 4) and Glenda Farrell (Aug. 29), two outstanding character actresses who never received the recognition they deserved. They will join 15 returning favorites, including Humphrey Bogart (Aug. 1), Doris Day (Aug. 2), Charlton Heston (Aug. »
- Melissa Thompson
We're almost done with these quickie surveys of my favorites and yours from decades past. Herewith the 1940s which I hesitated jotting down as there are more classics from this decade that I haven't seen than in arguably any other. If I keep waiting until I've watched everything it would never be posted. In truth, I need a project which forces me to fully deal with the gaps in my 40s viewing. A pleasurable project it would be, surely. But for now, off the top of my list-manic head....
Black Narcissus (1947)
01 The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
02 Casablanca (1943)
03 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
04 Meet Me in St Louis (1944)
05 Double Indemnity (1944)
06 Black Narcissus (1947)
07 Citizen Kane (1941)
08 Notorious (1946)
09 It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
10 Gilda (1946)
with apologies to other greats
Rope (1948), The Heiress »
- NATHANIEL R
It's a rare film anthology released by a studio that's comprised entirely of excellent films. Whether that's because no director or actor has a perfect record when it comes to choosing projects or due to studios bundling the good with the bad to move the lesser appreciated features off the shelves, it ultimately means that when you buy a "film collection" you're probably doing it for a few films you like mixed in with some you haven't seen and others you're not crazy about. In the case of Fox's Henry Fonda Film Collection, it shouldn't surprise you that hits like 12 Angry Men, The Lady Eve, or Once Upon a Time in the West aren't included due to not being produced by Fox or selling well on their own merit. However, even with those three iconic Fonda films missing, this collection manages to offer seven excellent Fonda films with only three weaker ones. »
- Lex Walker
Time Out has put its heart on its sleeve and shouted its Brief Encounter infatuation from the rooftops. Will you join them in their lovebombing of the 68-year-old classic? Or have your tastes in romantic movies moved on?
Sam played it again, now it's our turn to plug in the turntable and petition you once more for your top romance films of all time. The peg? Time Out's 100 Most Romantic Films of all Time poll, which has been announced today, and which names Brief Encounter as the title most likely to get your heart a-flutter.
But by our reckoning, the Time Out folk are cruising for a bruising; when we came to the same conclusion three years ago, the readers felt we'd done them wrong, and suggested Casablanca was Mr Right when it came to romantic movies.
Do you feel the same? Has your taste for gin joints endured over the past three years? »
The Critics’ Circle, the UK’s only professional association of critics of drama, music, film, dance, and visual arts and the oldest organisation of its kind anywhere in the world, celebrates its centenary this year with high profile events open to the media and public audiences. We’ve got the official announcement over the events, and talks happening for their 100-year celebrations!
27 April – 11am to 4pm: Victoria and Albert Museum (free event in the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre) presents ‘The Art of Criticism’, a public event hosted by two of the UK’s most popular broadcasters, Paul Gambaccini and Mariella Frostrup. ‘The Art of Criticism’ promises to be a day of lively discussion and debate with questions and answers flowing freely between the audience and the day’s guest panels about what makes a critic, what the job entails, what its significance is in the world of music, dance, »
- Dan Bullock
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 363 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies, the Up docs and Decalogue) and of those 363, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 362 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies and Decalogue) and of those 362, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
The man behind Michael Haneke's fake Twitter account revealed at last, plus news of two exciting film seasons
'Haneke' is hidden no more
His tweets fooled Hollywood and stars such as Salman Rushdie, Debra Messing, Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck. But he's also been acclaimed as "the best thing on Twitter" amid the carefully choreographed publicity of studio Oscar campaigns. And today, Trash can solve the mystery puzzling the film world: who is the genius behind the fake Michael Haneke Twitter account? The author of the funniest film gags of the awards season is 28-year-old Londoner Benjamin Lee, a journalist and deputy editor of the highly successful ShortList.com. The director of Amour and The White Ribbon has a reputation for austere seriousness but recently, through Lee's hilarious proxy tweets, he has become more famous for his love of KFC, his cat and the fruity chews Skittles.
"It was »
- Jason Solomons
A 'meet cute' is a plot device enabling the first meeting of a film's romantic lead characters. The rest, dear viewer, is history
Each week one reader offers up five of their favourite film clips on a subject of their choosing – and we ask you to tell us what other movie scenes should have been included. This week's is from john Carvill, who previously wrote a clip joint on taking the train.
If you've got an idea for a future clip joint, email email@example.com.
The 'meet cute' is Hollywood screenwriters' name for a standard plot device in which a couple meet in a way that's charming, ironic, or just generally amusing.
Golden age film-makers such as Billy Wilder used to stockpile ideas for meet cutes, and Wilder was sufficiently adept at dreaming them up that he talked his way out of studio objections to his idea »
- Guardian readers
Looking back at 2012 on what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2012—in theaters or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2012 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were asked to write a paragraph explaining their 2012 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch in that perfect world we know doesn't exist but can keep dreaming of every time we go to the movies.
How would you program some »
- Daniel Kasman
19 items from 2013
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