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(Roberto Rossellini, 1950-54; BFI, PG, DVD/Blu-ray)
In 1948 the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman was Hollywood’s greatest star, having appeared in a succession of prestigious box-office hits including Casablanca, For Whom the Bell Tolls and Notorious. But she was deeply dissatisfied with the conventional roles she was offered and unhappy in her marriage to the Swedish dentist (and future neurosurgeon) who managed her career. Meanwhile in Europe, the Italian director Roberto Rossellini had become world-famous as a leading figure in the neorealist movement, making rough, honest movies played by nonprofessional actors on realistic settings. Out of the blue he received a brief, flirtatious fan letter from Bergman: “Dear Mr Rossellini, I saw your films [Rome,] Open City and Paisà and enjoyed them very much. If you need a Swedish actress who speaks English very well, who has not forgotten her German, who is not very understandable in French, and in Italian »
- Philip French
Ingrid Bergman ca. early 1940s. Ingrid Bergman movies on TCM: From the artificial 'Gaslight' to the magisterial 'Autumn Sonata' Two days ago, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series highlighted the film career of Greta Garbo. Today, Aug. 28, '15, TCM is focusing on another Swedish actress, three-time Academy Award winner Ingrid Bergman, who would have turned 100 years old tomorrow. TCM has likely aired most of Bergman's Hollywood films, and at least some of her early Swedish work. As a result, today's only premiere is Fielder Cook's little-seen and little-remembered From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1973), about two bored kids (Sally Prager, Johnny Doran) who run away from home and end up at New York City's Metropolitan Museum. Obviously, this is no A Night at the Museum – and that's a major plus. Bergman plays an elderly art lover who takes an interest in them; her »
- Andre Soares
Pretty Pictures snaps up raft of international rights; Rialto Pictures to release documentary in the Us and Canada.
Pretty Pictures has acquired rights to documentary Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words from TrustNordisk for the Us, Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium - marking a new direction for the Paris-based distributor.
The company has already secured a Us and Canadian theatrical release through New York-based Rialto Pictures, which will release the doc on Nov 13 - making it eligible for the Oscars - following its Us debut at the New York Film Festival.
The French rights were previously picked up by Pretty Pictures ahead of the Cannes Film Festival, where the feature received its world premiere and won the L’Oeil d’Or (Golden Eye) for best documentary. The festival also used the face of the Swedish star for its official poster, marking the centennial of her birth.
James Velaise, president »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Ahead of MoMA’s and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s centennial celebration of Bergman’s career, her daughter reflects on a woman who didn’t care for makeup and who swore by keeping things simple
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is honouring the Swedish film star Ingrid Bergman in a centennial celebration on the Hollywood star’s birthday (29 August). A three-time Academy Award-winning actor, some of her best performances during her 50-year career will screen – such as her lead role in Casablanca – for a 14-film retrospective that sees her three daughters (author and actor Isabella Rossellini, academic Ingrid Rossellini and former film critic Pia Lindström) introducing the films.
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- Nadja Sayej
Few will have missed the fact that centenarian Ingrid Bergman adorned this year’s Cannes Fest poster. At the same festival, Sig Björkman’s iconic and very personal portrait of the Swedish movie star premiered. “Ingrid Bergman — In Her Own Words” was warmly received and won a special mention in Cannes new L’Oeil d’Or docu competition. Soon after Cannes, the film screened at Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, one of Europe’s top two classic film meets. It is now set for the Haugesund Norwegian Film Festival, as the only documentary selected for its Nordic Focus.
The film has already sold to 20 countries, with world sales handled by TrustNordisk, and by NonStop Ent. in Scandinavia. On Aug. 24, a special ceremony will be held at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, where Stig Bjorkman’s film is the main act and where all Ingrid Bergman’s four children will take part, »
- Jon Asp
Rex Ingram in 'The Thief of Bagdad' 1940 with tiny Sabu. Actor Rex Ingram movies on TCM: Early black film performer in 'Cabin in the Sky,' 'Anna Lucasta' It's somewhat unusual for two well-known film celebrities, whether past or present, to share the same name.* One such rarity is – or rather, are – the two movie people known as Rex Ingram;† one an Irish-born white director, the other an Illinois-born black actor. Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” continues today, Aug. 11, '15, with a day dedicated to the latter. Right now, TCM is showing Cabin in the Sky (1943), an all-black musical adaptation of the Faust tale that is notable as the first full-fledged feature film directed by another Illinois-born movie person, Vincente Minnelli. Also worth mentioning, the movie marked Lena Horne's first important appearance in a mainstream motion picture.§ A financial disappointment on the »
- Andre Soares
The Toronto International Film Festival’s prominence on the festival circuit has only grown over the years, with films from numerous different fields having gone on to critical and commercial acclaim. Among the festival’s different categories are Tiff Docs and Vanguard. Tiff Docs allows documentaries to get their own spotlight at the festival, giving acclaimed documentarians such as Michael Moore and Frederick Wiseman a platform for their films. The Vanguard section, on the other hand, showcases films that aren’t easily categorisable into a specific genre. With the Canadian Films lineup announcement having revealed the first set of films playing in each group, Tiff today revealed more of the lineup in each section. The list of newly announced films, with their official synopses, is as follows.
Amazing Grace, directed by Sydney Pollack, making its International Premiere
- Deepayan Sengupta
It’s not easy to play a convincing drunk on screen but Amy Schumer’s turn as a heavy-drinking journalist in this week’s comedy Trainwreck is more than slurring and tripping. How well can you remember some of cinema’s most famously alcohol-fuelled scenes?
“Champagne is a great leveller. It makes you my equal”
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- Benjamin Lee
BBC Culture has this week unveiled a new list of the top 100 American films, as voted for by a pool of international film critics from across the globe. The format of the poll was that any film that would make the list had to have recieved funding from a Us source, and the directors of the films did not need to be from the USA, nor did the films voted for need to be filmed in the Us.
Critics were asked to submit their top 10 lists, which would try to find the top 100 American films that while “not necessarily the most important, but the greatest on an emotional level”. The list, as you may have guessed, is very different to the lists curated by say the BFI or AFI over the years, so there are certainly a few surprises on here, with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (2013), Terrence Malick »
- Scott J. Davis
First off, let's make one thing clear. We're not scratching our heads at Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" making the BBC's 100 greatest American films. That movie, of which an image accompanies this post, not only made the list, but ranked appropriately at no. 25. It's the rest of the selections that have us scratching and, yes, shaking our heads in disbelief. A wonderful page view driver, these sorts of lists make great fodder for passionate movie fans no matter what their age or part of the world they hail from. There is nothing more entertaining than watching two critics from opposite ends of the globe try to debate whether "The Dark Knight" should have been nominated for best picture or make a list like this. Even in this age of short form content where Vines, Shapchats and Instagram videos have captured viewers attention, movies will continue to inspire because »
- Gregory Ellwood
Leave it to the Brits to compile a list of the best American films of all-time. BBC Culture has published a list of what it calls "The 100 Greatest American Films", as selected by 62 international film critics in order to "get a global perspective on American film." As BBC Culture notes, the critics polled represent a combination of broadcasters, book authors and reviewers at various newspapers and magazines across the world. As for what makes an American filmc "Any movie that received funding from a U.S. source," BBC Culture's publication states, which is to say the terminology was quite loose, but the list contains a majority of the staples you'd expect to see. Citizen Kane -- what elsec -- comes in at #1, and in typical fashion The Godfather follows at #2. Vertigo, which in 2012 topped Sight & Sound's list of the greatest films of all-time, comes in at #3 on BBC Culture's list. »
- Jordan Benesh
Every now and then a major publication or news organisation comes up with a top fifty or one hundred films of all time list - a list which always stirs up debate, discussion and often interesting arguments about the justifications of the list's inclusions, ordering and notable exclusions.
Today it's the turn of BBC Culture who consulted sixty-two international film critics including print reviews, bloggers, broadcasters and film academics to come up with what they consider the one-hundred greatest American films of all time. To qualify, the film had to be made by a U.S. studio or mostly funded by American money.
Usually when a list of this type is done it is by institutes or publications within the United States asking American critics their favourites. This time it's non-American critics born outside the culture what they think are the best representations of that culture. Specifically they were asked »
- Garth Franklin
For those of us who still have Humphrey Bogart's indelible half-smile imprinted in our minds, his "Casablanca" counterpart is now getting the attention she deserves in this intimate documentary by Swedish filmmaker Stig Björkman. "Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words" is a collective mash-up of her life on and off the silver screen, providing a powerful look back on her public and private life — expertly weaving personal diaries, never before seen vintage photographs, and interviews with her children (most notably Isabella Rossellini, who suggested making the film). Alicia Vikander of "Ex Machina" fame (also of Swedish descent) provides the late actress' narration, which is unequivocally "in her own words." The film aims to tackle her role in Hollywood as a European transplant, but also examines the much her affair with famed Italian film director Roberto Rossellini (who was also married at the time), a near-catastrophic misstep in »
- Ruben Guevara
The stench of Grace Kelly biopic “Grace Of Monaco,” which opened Cannes in 2014 before ending up as a literal Lifetime Movie, was hard to wash off the Croisette. This year, another film focusing on an iconic female actress (and Hitchcock lead) of classic Hollywood proved far more successful, with the screening in the Cannes Classics sidebar of “Ingrid Bergman In Her Own Words.” A documentary, rather than a biopic (thank Christ) “In Her Own Words,” from filmmaker Stig Björkman, is a Swedish film that looks to do exactly what it sets out to in the title: to tell the story of the star of “Casablanca,” “Notorious” and “Stromboli,” among others. Björkman does so through Bergman's own personal diary, along with home movie footage and personal photographs. The film was made with the blessing of her family, with daughter Isabella Rossellini being the one who initially suggested making the film. As the film’s trailer, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
How do you make a compelling documentary about a deceased subject for whom little archival material exists, without overegging textbook techniques like talking heads and zooming in on old photographs? It’s a challenge Gillian Armstrong has taken on before.
When the veteran film-maker set out to document the colourful life of Florence Broadhurst – a Queensland-born socialite and designer famous for her beautiful hand-printed wallpaper, whose 1977 murder remains a mystery – there wasn’t much pre-existing material to work with.
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- Luke Buckmaster
I like to write silly articles about terrible films, but I prefer to write silly articles that go on about how much I’ve enjoyed a film that most people wouldn’t bother with. Den of Geek will often send me odd films with rotten reputations and it’s always my hope that I’m going to get something like Chuck Norris’ Invasion U.S.A., which is kind of out there but also kind of brilliant. More often, though, I’ll end up with a Santa With Muscles or a Nick Fury: Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
When I read silly film look backs that other people have written around the internet, I’ll sometimes come away with the impression that the person has set out to trash an easy target. »
Olivia de Havilland picture U.S. labor history-making 'Gone with the Wind' star and two-time Best Actress winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 (This Olivia de Havilland article is currently being revised and expanded.) Two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland, the only surviving major Gone with the Wind cast member and oldest surviving Oscar winner, is turning 99 years old today, July 1. Also known for her widely publicized feud with sister Joan Fontaine and for her eight movies with Errol Flynn, de Havilland should be remembered as well for having made Hollywood labor history. This particular history has nothing to do with de Havilland's films, her two Oscars, Gone with the Wind, Joan Fontaine, or Errol Flynn. Instead, history was made as a result of a legal fight: after winning a lawsuit against Warner Bros. in the mid-'40s, Olivia de Havilland put an end to treacherous »
- Andre Soares
Though he’s currently preoccupied giving Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine an appropriate swan song as the actor prepares to hang up his adamantium claws, James Mangold is already eyeing a very different kind of project. Deadline reports that the versatile helmer will tackle an adaptation of Chris Greenhalgh’s Seducing Ingrid Bergman, possibly to be titled Blood and Champagne, about the heated love affair between actress Bergman and war photographer Robert Capa.
Set in 1945 in post-wwii Paris, the pic will focus on a pivotal time in the Casablanca actress’ life; she would subsequently become a tabloid sensation after launching into an affair with director Roberto Rossellini.
- Isaac Feldberg
Filmmaker James Mangold may be busy sharpening up the Wolverine claws at the moment, but he’s got his sights set on another drama in the near future. Deadline reports that the 3:10 to Yuma and Walk the Line director will helm an adaptation of the Chris Greenhalgh book Seducing Ingrid Bergman, which revolves around a torrid love affair between Bergman and war photographer Robert Capa in post-wwii Paris. Set in 1945, the film will trace the beginnings of a turning point in the Casablanca and Notorious actress’ life, as she would subsequently strike up an affair with director Roberto Rossellini in 1950 that turned her into scandal fodder for the U.S. media. The film—which will go by the title Blood and Champagne—was written by Arash Amel (Grace of Monaco), and Mangold will work on the screenplay alongside Amel. The filmmaker was initially set to begin shooting on an »
- Adam Chitwood
'Saint Joan': Constance Cummings as the George Bernard Shaw heroine Constance Cummings on stage: George Bernard Shaw, William Shakespeare and Benn W. Levy (See previous post: "Constance Cummings: Actress Went from Harold Lloyd to Eugene O'Neill.") In the mid-1930s, Constance Cummings landed the title roles in two of husband Benn W. Levy's stage adaptations: Levy and Hubert Griffith's Young Madame Conti (1936), from Bruno Frank's original, which was presented on both sides of the Atlantic. (On Broadway, the play had a brief run in spring 1937 at the Music Box Theatre.) The Theatre Guild-produced Madame Bovary (1937), from the Gustave Flaubert novel, staged in late fall at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre. Referring to the London production of Young Madame Conti, The Sunday Times critic James Agate wrote that the American actress had made "a roaring success out of what in other hands might so easily have been an inarticulate, »
- Andre Soares
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