That Hamilton Woman (1941) - News Poster

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The Furniture Index

Can we have a random break for applause for Daniel Walber's The Furniture column. It was Daniel's birthday this weekend so he has the day off. He's already 69 episodes in to this incredible series which has been filled with sharp insights, a keen eye, and rich Hollywood anecdotes. Here's everything he's covered thus far. Please show your love in the comments if you look forward to these each Monday.

The Forties and Fifties

Hold Back the Dawn (1941) Bored at the border

How Green Was My Valley (1941) Designing dignity

That Hamilton Woman (1941) High ceilings

• Captain of the Clouds (1942) A Canadian air show

• The Magnificent Andersons (1942) Victorian Palace / Manifest Destiny

My Gal Sal (1942) Nonsense Gay Nineties

The Shanghai Gesture (1942) Appropriating Chinese design

Black Narcissus (1947) Mad for matte paintings

David and Bathsheba (1951) A humble palace of moral struggle

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Decorative madness

My Cousin Rachel (1952) Ghosts of property

Lust for Life
See full article at FilmExperience »

Monday’s best TV: The Halcyon; The Trouble With Dad; Storyville: Life, Animated

  • The Guardian - TV News
Downton-style drama ends on a high, David Baddiel documents his father’s dementia, and how Disney classics helped an autistic child to speak again

The Downton-esque hotel drama wraps up with a final shot of wartime glamour. It’s the Halcyon’s 50th anniversary and, as celebrations are planned, even toffee-nosed Lady Hamilton is getting into the spirit of things. Receptionist Emma is still juggling chaps, and swing band members Betsey and Sonny start the party. But with sirens blaring, who’s in danger? It’s sad to see this romp go: its period costumes, strong ensemble cast and pithy one-liners have been a treat. Hannah Verdier

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Halcyon episode four recap – there's life in the old hotel yet!

From Joe O’Hara’s super-cheesy charm to Lady Hamilton’s terrifying snobbery, this episode grated far less than last week. More of this, please

“Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.” Such was the mentality of wartime London in this episode. And of viewers who have sat patiently through this series thus far, waiting for it to take off.

Tonight was to be The Joe O’Hara Show. I came close to not buying this storyline, but by the winning monologue at the end – and thanks to some twinkly charm from Matt Ryan as O’Hara – it just about worked out. “These people are nuts!” Yes, but they’re becoming his people … And who better to make the Americans understand why they must help the war effort than martini-downing Joe? See how he pays testament to the unwavering loyalty of the Polish airman! Vodka condolence toasts all round.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Mipcom: Sony Pictures Television World Premieres ‘The Halcyon’ at Cannes

Cannes, France — Set in the lap of luxury at the Halcyon Hotel in World War II-era London, Sony Pictures Television’s “The Halcyon” may prove catnip to some of the same audiences that warmed to “Downton Abbey” or, longer ago, “Upstairs, Downstairs.”

But if the early stretches of the first episode are anything to go by, “The Halcyon,” which world premiered Sunday evening at Cannes Mipcom trade fair, is faster-paced, music-laced and more multi-stranded than either of the series with which it will inevitably be compared.

Moreover, rather than showing how aristos adapt to changing times, “The Halcyon” looks set to chronicle how the occupants of a hotel — from the imperious owner, Lord Hamilton, to the minions toiling downstairs — get through the Blitz, just five months away when Episode 1 kicks in. Olivia Williams (“Anna Karenina”), who plays the cheated-on Lady Hamilton, said at a Q & A before Sunday’s screening that “The Halcyon” shows the intensity of
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Icymi: The Furniture

Our new contributor Daniel Walber is taking the 4th of July off but I wanted to take this wee break from his column "The Furniture," to sing its praises. When he first pitched the series I requested only that it be really focused, not solely Oscar-nominated specific (so much brilliant work isn't honored each year, after all), and that we alternate contemporary and classic cinema so there's something for everyone. But the series is all him. It's been a joy to read each week and the exact type of thing I've long wanted to do for my favorite craft category costume design. He beat me to it but I find it inspiring and am looking forward anew to our coverage of the below-the-line Oscar categories this year. 

If you haven't yet read any of these episodes, I think you'll learn something about the cinema and the power of production design to enhance a theme,
See full article at FilmExperience »

The Furniture: That Hamilton Woman's High Ceilings

It's another episode of "The Furniture," Daniel Walber's new series

75 years ago, the United Kingdom was standing nearly alone against the growing might of Nazi Germany. It remained unclear whether the United States would enter the war. And so, from within Hollywood, Alexander Korda set out to help sway American public opinion toward the Union Jack.

That Hamilton Woman was released on April 30th, 1941. Its propagandistic portrayal of Lord Horatio Nelson and his victory over Napoleon’s navy nearly got Korda into very real legal trouble as a foreign agent. His appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was scheduled for December 12th, but the attack on Pearl Harbor saved the director’s skin. Three quarters of a century later, its reputation rests not on its patriotism, but on its lush melodrama. It continues to enchant as a ravishing portrait of adulterous romance, art imitating the lives of stars Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Q&A: Actressexual Longings & Carol Gender-Flipped

It's another Q & A. Ask it and it shall be er... might be answered. When I started typing this week I couldn't stop and before I know it there were thousands and thousands of words. So that takes care of two Q&As .

Here's the first half of the mad scribblings typings then.

What is your favorite non-nominated performance from each of the five titans of the acting nominations? (Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Jack Nicholson, Bette Davis and Laurence Olivier) - Sean

Nathaniel: Oh this is a tough one since those people were Oscared for breathing. Okay. Let's take them in reverse order of preference as actors...

Sir Laurence Olivier. Weirdly I was just watching As You Like It (1936) just the other day. I wasn't all that impressed though he definitely had an easier time with the material and the medium than the other stagebound performers. I have seen several of his non-nominated films,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Foxtel’s unusual deal with Oz actor

When Foxtel executives first saw Deadline Gallipoli, they were so impressed with the performance of Joel Jackson they made a highly unusual deal with the young actor and his agent.

A 2013 Nida graduate, Jackson makes his screen debut as Charles Bean, one of the three war correspondents at the centre of the miniseries.

Foxtel executive director of television Brian Walsh and head of drama Penny Win wanted to ensure Deadline Gallipoli will be the first time Australians see the 24-year-old Jackson on screen.

So they made a financial arrangement with the actor.s agent Mark Morrissey of Morrissey Management that if he took jobs in other shows, none would go to air before Deadline Gallipoli premieres on showcase in April.

.It.s very unusual to do that kind of holding deal, especially for a young man who was straight out of Nida,. Morrissey tells If.

Morrissey signed Jackson after admiring his work at Nida,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Screen Legend Leigh Photo Exhibit, Screenings, and Bio Among Cetennial Celebrations; and Olivier's Son Remembers His Stepmother

Vivien Leigh biography, movies, and photo exhibit among centenary celebrations (photo: Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier as Emma Hamilton and Lord Nelson in ‘That Hamilton Woman’) [See previous post: "Vivien Leigh Turns 100: Centenary of One of the Greatest Movie Stars."] From November 30, 2013, to July 20, 2014, London’s National Portrait Gallery will be hosting a Vivien Leigh photo exhibit, tracing her life and career. The exhibit will be a joint celebration of both Leigh’s centenary and the 75th anniversary of Gone with the Wind. (Scroll down to check out a classy Vivien Leigh video homage. See also: “‘Gone with the Wind’ article.”) Additionally, the British Film Institute is hosting a lengthy Vivien Leigh and Gone with the Wind celebration, screening all of Leigh’s post-1936 movies, from Fire Over England to Ship of Fools — and including The Deep Blue Sea ("a digital copy of the only surviving 35mm print we were able to locate; the condition is variable"). I should add that Terence Davies recently
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Gwtw Screen Legend Would Have Turned 100 Years Old Today

Vivien Leigh: Legendary ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ star would have turned 100 today Vivien Leigh was perhaps the greatest film star that hardly ever was. What I mean is that following her starring role in the 1939 Civil War blockbuster Gone with the Wind, Leigh was featured in a mere eight* movies over the course of the next 25 years. The theater world’s gain — she was kept busy on the London stage — was the film world’s loss. But even if Leigh had starred in only two movies — Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire — that would have been enough to make her a screen legend; one who would have turned 100 years old today, November 5, 2013. (Photo: Vivien Leigh ca. 1940.) Vivien Leigh (born Vivian Mary Hartley to British parents in Darjeeling, India) began her film career in the mid-’30s, playing bit roles in British
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Vivien Leigh picture with Olivier kicks off centenary celebrations

Previously unpublished image of power couple is curtain-raiser for National Portrait Gallery's exhibition of her life and career

A previously unpublished image of one of the most glamorous couples of British theatre, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, captured at the height of their fame at a charity garden party in 1949, is to go on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The photograph, by the British photo-journalist Larry Burrows, launches a series of events marking the centenary of Leigh's birth and later this month the Npg will open an exhibition tracing her life and career, which will include many other previously unseen images.

Terence Pepper, curator of photographs at the Npg, described Leigh as "one of the most extraordinary British talents and beauties in the film and theatre world of the second half of the 20th century".

In 1949 the couple, who had starred in a sell-out tour of Australia
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Nelson biopic sets sail in Hollywood

Battle of Trafalgar victor to become subject of Warner Bros project, with projected title Love and Glory

Hollywood is planning a movie about Britain's greatest naval war hero, Horatio Nelson, reports Variety.

Studio Warner Bros hopes to deliver a biopic titled Love and Glory based on John Sugden's biographies Nelson: A Dream of Glory and Nelson: The Sword of Albion. It will be written by Peter Woodward, an actor-turned-screenwriter who recently completed work on the upcoming independent thriller Signal Hill.

Nelson is best known for his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, in which he used unorthodox strategies to defeat a combined French and Spanish fleet of superior numbers in decisive fashion. The commander-in-chief of Britain's Mediterranean fleet, he was killed during the battle, but the victory forced Napoleon to abandon his plans to invade and surrender control of the seas.

In the BBC's 100 Greatest Britons programme in 2002, Nelson was
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Warner Bros. Plans Nelson Film

Lord Horatio Nelson, eh? What has he ever done to deserve the biopic treatment except stand stock still on a column in Trafalgar Square as though he’s made of stone and provide a place for pigeons to poo? Still, apparently Warner Bros. thinks he’s worthy of a film called Love And Glory.The man behind the monument will indeed be the focus of the film, which will source its material from John Sugden’s books Nelson: A Dream Of Glory and Nelson: The Sword Of Albion.Peter Woodward (actor and screenwriter, son of Edward) is set to write the script, detailing Nelson’s naval service, his victories against Napoleon and his scandalous, passionate love affair with Emma, Lady Hamilton, with whom he had a child despite both remaining in their respective marriages. His role as leader of Britain's Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars and genius for sea
See full article at EmpireOnline »

Vivien Leigh correspondence archived at V&A

Victoria and Albert Museum acquires diaries, scripts and photographs of British Oscar-winning actor

Although the world may remember her as the ravishing beauty who was once married to Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles knew the real worth of Vivien Leigh. When in 1951 she won the Oscar for her performance as Blanche DuBois in the film of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, the legendary actor and director immediately sent a telegram from Monte Carlo: "Of course they gave it to you they had to love and kisses from Orson".

His telegram is preserved as part of an archive acquired by the V&A museum covering her life and work, from her teen years to her death from tuberculosis in 1967 aged just 53. It includes diaries, scrap books, heavily annotated scripts, photographs including hundreds of rare early colour photographs she took herself while on tour, and thousands of letters to an extraordinarily
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Sfsff Starts on Thursday with Movie Icon Brooks' Final Starring Role

Louise Brooks in Prix de Beauté: 2013 San Francisco Silent Film Festival Louise Brooks will kick off the 2013 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 17, the Sfsff will screen Augusto Genina’s Prix de Beauté aka Beauty Prize at the Castro Theater. Released in 1930 — when talkies had already become established in much of the moviemaking world — the French-made Prix de Beauté came out in both sound and silent versions, a widely common practice in those days as many theaters had yet to get wired for sound. Needless to say, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s Prix de Beauté print is the silent version, recently restored by the Cineteca di Bologna. (Photo: Louise Brooks in Prix de Beauté.) Prix de Beauté, which marked the last time Louise Brooks starred in a feature film, tells the story of a typist who enters a beauty contest — much to her
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Criterion Collection: The Life of Oharu | Blu-ray Review

After remastering Mizoguchi’s Sansho the Bailiff earlier this year for Blu-ray, Criterion unleashes another of the auteur’s trio of early 50’s Venice prize winners with 1952’s The Life of Oharu, a classic tragedy exemplifying the director’s favorite theme, the plight of woman in a world cruelly controlled by men. While Sansho has enjoyed a considerable reputation in the annals of cinema, Mizoguchi openly criticized the studio interference that hobbled his original intentions, instead he often citing this earlier title as his greatest achievement. Considering it was made without sufficient funding and filmed in a warehouse instead of sound stage that necessitated filming be halted frequently due to passing trains, it’s fascinating to see the auteur, infamous for his meticulous, uninterrupted takes, succeed so gloriously in form and content here.

Opening on a dark, rainy night, we meet the aged Oharu (Kinuyo Tanaka), a prostitute commiserating with
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

TCM Offers Ultimate Studio Tour With 2013 Edition Of 31 Days Of Oscar; The Academy Awards February 24th

As the Academy celebrates 85 years of great films at the Oscars on February 24th, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is set to take movie fans on the ultimate studio tour with the 2013 edition of 31 Days Of Oscar®. Under the theme Oscar by Studio, the network will present a slate of more than 350 movies grouped according to the studios that produced or released them. And as always, every film presented during 31 Days Of Oscar is an Academy Award® nominee or winner, making this annual event one of the most anticipated on any movie lover’s calendar.

As part of the network’s month-long celebration, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has graciously provided the original Academy Awards® radio broadcasts from 1930-1952. Specially chosen clips from the radio archives will be featured throughout TCM’s 31 Days Of Oscar website.

Hollywood was built upon the studio system, which saw nearly ever aspect
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Movie Poster of the Week: Abel Gance’s “Napoleon”

  • MUBI
After the first screening of the restored Napoleon, Abel Gance’s beleaguered 1927 masterwork, at the Empire Leicester Square, London, on November 30th, 1980, the director of the British Film Institute Anthony Smith was quoted as saying “After Sunday the world will be divided into those who have seen Napoleon and those who haven’t.” The world of the haves over the have-nots expanded to the Us the following year when Francis Ford Coppola famously brought Napoleon to Radio City Music Hall to be performed with his father’s score, but in the intervening three decades the film has not been seen again in the Us. Come March 24th, however, thanks to the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the world will once again be divided between those who have and those who haven’t when the film returns to the Us for four screenings of Kevin Brownlow’s complete restoration—accompanied by
See full article at MUBI »

A Journey Through the Eclipse Series: Alexander Korda’s Rembrandt

This coming Friday, July 15, marks the birthday of the greatest of all Dutch painters, Rembrandt van Rijn. Born 505 years ago, I figured now was as suitable an occasion as I’d ever have to review Rembrandt, this fine biopic from 1936 starring Charles Laughton, part of Eclipse Series 16: Alexander Korda’s Private Lives.

Korda is one of the most influential and dynamic figures in the history of UK cinema, founder of London Films and the first man ever granted knighthood for his work in the English film industry. Along with his brothers Zoltan and Vincent, he played a major part in creating some of the most fondly remembered British films of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, including The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Four Feathers, That Hamilton Woman, The Thief of Bagdad, The Third Man and Laurence Olivier’s version of Richard III.

As anyone who’s paid even the slightest attention
See full article at CriterionCast »

The 10 Greatest On/Off Film Screen Lovers!

With love well and truly in the air recently with Prince William tying the knot with the rather lovely Kate Middleton a few days ago, it seems an appropriate time to take a look at some of the most legendary on/off screen couples that have fascinated us film lovers over the years. Chemistry sparks when a real romance lies behind the scenes and when a new relationship begins the tabloids go crazy!

So to celebrate the union of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge – and to appease my wife’s (yes, we just beat the Royals by getting married on 24th April!) constant requests to chronicle the following – here are the top ten on/off screen lovers the past century has immortalised…

10. Kim Basinger & Alec Baldwin

Back in the early 90s, Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin were one of the more popular on and off screen couples in Hollywood. Meeting
See full article at Obsessed with Film »
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