20 items from 2009
Nathaniel: Once again we apologize for the long delays between episodes. This Best Picture From the Outside In series… it’s a helluva thing.
We continue to pull one movie from either end of Oscar’s chronology, working towards the center of their eighty-plus year history. This match up brings us two of Oscar’s most respected prize-winners: Casablanca (1943) and Unforgiven (1992). Both films essentially begin with a sudden eruption of violence (a shooting and a slashing, respectively) followed by the intervention of local law enforcement (embodied by Claude Rains and Gene Hackman, respectively). World War II era Morocco and Wild West era Wyoming are dangerous and morally ambiguous places. They're also fine places to escape from one's past and start anew. At least that's how Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and William Munny (Clint Eastwood) see it.
- NATHANIEL R
Not sure what to watch? We can help with our comprehensive guide to the best films on TV this Christmas and new year
Choose a date
Saturday 19 December | Sunday 20 December | Monday 21 December | Tuesday 22 December | Wednesday 23 December |Christmas Eve | Christmas Day | Boxing Day | Sunday 27 December | Monday 28 December | Tuesday 29 December | Wednesday 30 December | New Year's Eve | New Year's Day
Saturday 19 December
10am, 8pm, Sky Movies Premiere
Remember Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar, where he forces himself to tell the truth for 24 hours? Well, here Jim Carrey forces himself to answer yes to any request, for a year. Which is upping the ante somewhat, but doesn't make it a better film. This is a return to the manic, gurning, not-very-funny Carrey, as if The Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine etc hadn't happened. Just say no.
11.40am, 8pm, Sky Movies Family
What with Harry Potter, Narnia, Lemony Snicket and all, »
- Paul Howlett
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a friend have been debating about my qualities as a film critic, and they've involved a considerable critic, Dan Schneider, in their discussion. I will say that he has given the question a surprising amount of thought and attention over the years, and may well be correct in some aspects. What his analysis gives me is a renewed respect and curiosity about his own work.
A friend and I would like to have your opinion. It's basically so that we can settle an argument (and small side bet) with a friend over what your opinion would be. My friend and I have carefully co-drafted this email to try to eliminate one or the other of our biases. I hope we succeeded!
I have read your columns and watched your tv shows for many years now »
- Roger Ebert
I am surely in a friend & food coma while you're reading this. Happily so! This Thanksgiving I'm grateful for all of you. You keep coming back daily to read the latest cinematic musings here at The Film Experience. Obsessing on the movies is really meant to be a team sport so I appreciate the fine company. They don't make movie theaters with one seat in them.
So thank you for being here daily from all over the world -- not just the States -- with an especially amorphous shout out to readers in Canada, the UK, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Spain, France, Mexico and The Philippines. You've always been supportive. And a big hug to my magical elves contributors who've really helped keep the blog going during a difficult year.
Normal programming resumes tomorrow but I must give thanks to the following sources of cinematic happiness at the moment: ambiguous endings, »
- NATHANIEL R
Penélope Cruz became an actor because of Pedro Almodóvar—twice. The first time was in 1990, when Cruz was a young girl growing up in Alcobendas, just outside of Madrid, and happened upon the director's "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!," a wacky love story about a former porn star and her kidnapper. She was already a fan of Almodóvar's offbeat sensibilities, but this one had a profound effect on her. "That was the day I decided to look for an agent," Cruz reveals.Her Reign in SpainCruz was only 14 when she attended a cattle call held by agent Katrina Bayonas and found herself armed with sides from "Casablanca," along with 300 other people. Bayonas wouldn't even see her. "She sent me away. She said, 'You are too young. Come back next year,' " Cruz recalls. "I came back three days later, and she said it again. I said, 'I am not too young. »
Today's Birthdays 11/09
1869 Marie Dressler is awesome. She gave one of the most aggressive Best Actress winning performances evah. If you haven't seen Min & Bill (1933), you must. You must, you must, you must.
1883 Edna May Oliver feisty character actress
1922 Dorothy Dandridge first black woman to be nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars (Carmen Jones) and what a neat coincidence that she was portrayed by the first black actress to eventually win the Best Actress Oscar (Halle Berry) in the bio Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
- NATHANIEL R
AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie QuotesGone with the Wind (1939)
The Godfather (1972)
“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” —Marlon Brando as Don Corleone.
On the Waterfront (1954)
“You don’t understand! »
Strange, but true: Ingrid Bergman wasn't nominated for best actress in "Casablanca," which won best picture of 1943. It's one of many shocking snubs in Oscar history. See who else Golden Boy slapped in the past — check out this forum thread where our posters are sighing, fuming and scratching their noggins over other snubs like Audrey Hepburn ("My Fair Lady"), Richard Gere ("Chicago") and one that, personally speaking, really ticks me off: Jim Carrey ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"). When you get to the first forums page, remember to click the page numbers at top and bottom to continue reading. Photo: Warner Bros. Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group »
I'm surprised there's been little media reaction to the casual comment President Obama made the other day about Where the Wild Things Are: The president was visiting a local public school, he's known to be a big fan of Maurice Sendak's book, he's screened the movie, and, as reported in The Washington Post, he told his kid constituency, "it's worth seeing." Given the dust stirred up by adults when Obama made a speech to schoolchildren last month on the apolitical subject of studying hard and doing one's homework, it's easy to imagine a grown-up anti-Wild Things faction criticizing »
- Lisa Schwarzbaum
Jose here to commemorate Ingrid Bergman who would've turned 94 today. The Swedish acting goddess starred in dozens of films, won three Academy Awards, two Emmys and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a career that spawned over four decades.
She is best known for her iconic role in Casablanca though she wasn't Oscar nominated for it. Her history with the Academy is rather bizarre. She was nominated seven times and even if she only lost on four of those occasions, it's still fair to say she was a bit underrated by them. Hollywood neglected some of her best work. Even the actress herself thought she was overrated at one point.
When she created chaos after engaging in an extra-marital affair with Italian neorrealist master Roberto Rossellini she also delivered some of her greatest work. Obviously the film industry ignored this and only accused her of immorality. But is it »
“Luke, I am your father” is a famous line from The Empire Strikes Back, one of the best Sci-Fi films of all time, right? Wrong. The line, which tops a list from the site I love film and is highlighted over at The Guardian, is actually “No, I am your father.” Its a line Vader says in response to Luke who told him Obi-Wan Kenobi said Vader killed his father. Oh well, it was pretty close.
Some of the other famous misquotes include a classic from Casablanca where Ingrid Bergman’s character supposedly utters the line “Play it again Sam.” Like the line from The Empire Strikes Back, this one isn’t in the movie either. What’s actually said is “Play it Sam. Play As Time Goes By”, which is close, but not correct. Also not correct is Dirty Harry’s famous “Do you feel lucky punk?” line form »
- Chris Ullrich
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently made a visit to the United States to sit down and chat with President Barack Obama. As with most such visits, the two leaders exchange gifts. Brown gave Obama an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian ship Hms Gannet, which was used in anti-slavery patrols alongside its sister ship the Hms Resolute. The desk currently used by Obama in the White House Oval office is built from the timbers of the Hms Resolute and is called the "Resolute desk." Clearly, much thought went into this unique gift, which points out how far America and African-Americans have come and shows the signifance of Obama's jorney to the White House. So what did Obama give to Brown? A box of 25 DVDs. Not only is Brown not a big fan of movies, but apparently the DVDs are not even for the right region. »
To reciprocate a recent gift by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President Obama handed over a collection of 25 classic films, assembled for him by the American Film Institute. It's quite a collection, containing Citizen Kane, The Godfather, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, E.T., Star Wars, The Graduate, and more.
Brown's gift couldn't even come close: A stupid old pen holder. Blah. (Actually, the pen holder was made out of wood from the Hms Gannet, an anti-slave ship that was a sister vessel to the Resolute. The Resolute's wood later was used to make the Oval Office desk. Now that's a gift.)
Although I think it would be cooler to give Brown a collection of films that highlight British aggression through the ages - Zulu, Gandhi, Braveheart, The Patriot, In the Name of the Father - the Obama collection is still a pretty sweet haul. Take a look: »
- Colin Boyd
Barack Obama has renewed the Us's special relationship with the UK by giving Prime Minister Gordon Brown 25 classic American films on DVD. On a recent visit to Washington, Brown handed Obama a pen holder made of wood from the Hms Gannet, an anti-slave ship that was a sister vessel to Hms Resolute. Wood from the Resolute was later used to construct the desk in the Oval Office. According to the Daily Mail, Obama's gift was a collection of 25 movies prepared by the American Film Institute. The titles include Citizen Kane, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Graduate, The Godfather and Casablanca. The latter two are listed as favourite films of Obama (more) »
- By Simon Reynolds
In 1943, there was such fierce disagreement over the year's best picture that the four top film awards went to four pictures: the Oscars ("Casablanca"), National Board of Review ("The Ox-Bow Incident"), New York Film Critics Circle ("Watch on the Rhine") and the brand-new Golden Globe ("The Song of Bernadette"). The latter award was so fledging and low-key that it didn't have a statuette to hand out. Winners were given scrolls on the studio lot.
Variety declared "Watch on the Rhine" even better than Lillian Hellman's Broadway production, which had won best play from the New York Drama Critics Circle, but it had a hard time prevailing as best picture within the New York Film Critics Circle. On the first ballot, it tied director Clarence Brown's "The Human Comedy" and didn't amass enough votes to break away to win until the sixth ballot. "Casablanca" was not a significant contender. »
Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling melted our souls when they took on the role of tortured lovers in The Notebook, Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan taught us about friends with benefits in When Harry Met Sally, and Patrick Swayze taught us that we are never to put Jennifer Grey in the corner in Dirty Dancing! Back in 1942, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman set the standard for romantic movies when Rich Blaine had to sacrifice his love for IIsa Lund in order to keep her safe in the classic Casablanca. It is that time of year again where florists are at their busiest making beautiful floral arrangements, chocolatiers are feverishly working to create masterpieces, and movie stores are selling out of the hottest romantic movies. Valentine's Day is upon us and it is time to honor the classic romantic movies. Grab your bon bon's, your box of tissues, and get ready »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Colleen Joyce)
Love is in the air and one way to spend Valentine's day with the love of your life is to stay home and watch a really good romantic film. Need ideas? Here's my Top 10 list of the Best Romantic Films.
9. Love Story -- The film's popular tagline "love means never having to say you're sorry" is still relevant to this day.
8. The Notebook -- Based on the book by nicholas sparks, the film shows how love can withstand the test of time. In short, love is endless.
6. Annie Hall -- The love affair between Diane Keaton's unforgettable character, Annie Hall, and »
It is a tradition at Noir City, Eddie Muller reminded his audience, that they screen one film at each festival that is utterly incomprehensible. “Tonight,” Muller grinned, “is the night.” The Unsuspected claims the honor, which is not to say that the film isn’t fantastic, but no one will be asked to recapitulate the plot on their way home on Muni. To attempt so would mean possibly riding to the end of the line (“which ends up in, like, Hell”). The Unsuspected is based on the novel by Charlotte Armstrong. Armstrong is a terrific writer also responsible for the Marilyn Monroe noir Don’t Bother to Knock, based on Armstrong’s novel Mischief.
Muller conceded his program notes for The Unsuspected were slightly incorrect. He billed the film as “lustrous studio filmmaking at its finest”; but, the film is actually an independent Michael Curtiz production distributed by Warner Brothers. »
- Michael Guillen
From this Sunday, February 1 through Tuesday, March 3 Turner Classic Movies (TCM) begins their annual 31 Days of Oscar, which brings you night after night of Oscar winning and nominated films uncut and commercial free on TCM and I have put together for you a mini guide for films to look for each day so you can either sit down and enjoy them as they play or set your DVR to record them for later. Either way, this is a great way to knock off so many of those classic films from your must see list. First, how about the TCM video montage preview. Can you name the films?
Now, for the full schedule you can click here to download the Pdf or you can browse TCM's online calendar at the 31 Days of Oscar official site. Because one thing is for sure, even though I list films for every single day below »
- Brad Brevet
For me, the only part of the Oscars worth watching every year is their tribute video, highlighting those in the movie industry that passed away in the previous year. It always puts a lump in my throat and often surprises me due to the passing of people I hadn’t heard about. And with the actors who were popular decades ago, it gives me a sense of melancholy nostalgia.
TCM (Turner Classic Movies) has put together their version of a tribute video which you can watch below, and it gave me the same feelings I just mentioned (I wasn’t aware they do one every year). It’s a beautiful video and very classy. They did miss a couple of people which I mention below.
I would suggest you watch the video before moving on to the list of names below it. It includes actors, directors, composers, screenwriters, animators, etc. »
- Vic Holtreman
20 items from 2009
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