8 items from 2016
The recent box office success of The Boss firmly establishes Melissa McCarthy as the current queen of movie comedies (Amy Schumer could be a new contender after an impressive debut last Summer with Trainwreck), but let us think back about those other funny ladies of filmdom. So while we’re enjoying the female reboot/re-imagining of Ghostbusters and those Bad Moms, here’s a top ten list that will hopefully inspire lots of laughter and cause you to search out some classic comedies. It’s tough to narrow them down to ten, but we’ll do our best, beginning with… 10. Eve Arden The droll Ms. Arden represents the comic sidekicks who will attempt to puncture the pomposity of the leading ladies with a well-placed wisecrack (see also the great Thelma Ritter in Rear Window). Her career began in the early 1930’s with great bit roles in Stage Door and Dancing Lady. »
- Jim Batts
Cox’s adorable grump learns to laugh again in a British film with witty touches from co-writer Gilbert Adair, and only a faint taste of Werther’s Original
Those with unhappy memories of Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet, that sucrose vision of sweet old British thesps in a nursing home, might flinch at this. Brian Cox plays Sir Michael Gifford, an adorably grumpy old Shakespearian actor with the beginnings of Parkinson’s, who makes life hell for his family and nursing staff. But his new home care assistant is Dorottya (Coco König), a cheeky young Hungarian drama student who makes him laugh and reminds him of his younger self. A touching odd-couple friendship commences, which exasperates Sir Michael’s daughter, Sophia (Emilia Fox), and his secretary and former lover, Milly (Anna Chancellor), who are suspicious and maybe a little envious of this new relationship.
This film looks like it’s going »
- Peter Bradshaw
It's in glorious Technicolor Metrocolor, CinemaScope and StereoPhonic Sound! Fred Astaire's final MGM musical gives him Cyd Charisse and a Cole Porter score, plus some nice Hermes Pan choreography. The script and Rouben Mamoulian's direction aren't the best, but the combined magic of the musical and dancing talent saves the day. Silk Stockings Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1957 / Color / 2:40 widescreen / 117 min. / Street Date July 12, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Janis Paige, Peter Lorre, George Tobias, Jules Munshin, Joseph Buloff, Wim Sonneveld Cinematography Robert Bronner Art Direction Randall Duell, William A. Horning Film Editor Harold F. Kress Original Music Cole Porter Written by Abe Burrows, Leonard Gershe, George S. Kaufman, Leueen MacGrath, and Leonard Spigelgass Produced by Arthur Freed Directed by Rouben Mamoulian
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
The word “cinema” can mean a lot of things, but to a great many people (maybe too many), it now means sitting back and watching visually hypnotic, rhythmically energized, in-your-face stuff all happening right before your childishly privileged eyeballs: superheroes flying and morphing and defying death, gun battles and explosions and spectacularly choreographed vehicular mayhem, animated fairy tales that crackle and dazzle with hyperactive wonder. Yet if American popcorn cinema, in all its entertaining glory and bluster, now goes out to every corner of the globe, and with unprecedented dominance, that doesn’t mean that other states of being can’t loom larger than life in the dark. Over the last 20 years, almost every time you saw a movie by the Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami, who died today, you could feel it calming your appetite for sensation, slowing your attention span and maybe even your heartbeat. You could feel lured »
- Owen Gleiberman
This review contains spoilers
8.20: Much Ado About Murder
Much Ado About Murder. The title alone pulled me in simply because, well, I’m a scholar of Shakespeare and the Renaissance and I think Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, in which Nathan Fillion played Dogberry, showed us that the man can legitimately pull off the Bard. Add to that the allure of former Firefly shipmate Jewel Staite showing up, and, boy-howdy, I’m in.
Did the episode actually live up to my hopes? Sorta. But certainly not the way I expected it to.
For starters, it was actually pretty light on the Shakespeare, all things considered. The plot revolves around the murder of an actor, who himself is potentially on the point of murdering Shakespeare. The episode opens with the performer, »
The Notebook is the North American home for Locarno Film Festival Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian's blog. Chatrian has been writing thoughtful blog entries in Italian on Locarno's website since he took over as Director in late 2012, and now you can find the English translations here on the Notebook as they're published. The Locarno Film Festival will be taking place August 3 - 13. Jacques Rivette in Locarno in 1991 when he received the Pardo d’onore. © Festival del film Locarno 1. Writing as a filmmaker “The only true criticism of a film is another film,” wrote Jacques Rivette, commenting on Ingmar Bergman’s Sommarlek (Summer Interlude) in 1958. He was making his intentions quite clear, and indeed his colleagues of the time recall how he was the first to be sure he would be a filmmaker. So a film cannot be explained in words, but Rivette still tried to put into words his own adventures as a spectator. »
- Carlo Chatrian
February can be kind of a pill -- it's dark, it's cold, you have to deal with or avoid Valentine's Day -- but at least it gives you a good excuse to stay home and binge-watch. Amazon just listed its February offerings for Prime Video streaming and Amazon Video purchase. For example, fans of "The Americans" can steam Season 3 (yay!), and you can check out Amazon Studios' first-major film, "Chi-Raq," from director Spike Lee.
It was recently announced that Prime Members can now add Showtime, Starz, and more video subscriptions to their Prime memberships for $8.99 per month. In February, members can use that feature to see the new seasons of "Billions," "Shameless," and "Black Sails," among others.
Here's the February 2016 lineup:
New in February – Available for Streaming on Prime
Girls Season 2
Newsroom Season 3
The Americans Season 3
The New Yorker Presents
- Gina Carbone
Illustrator extraordinaire Caitlin Kuhwald joins us to talk about her artwork and the Criterion Collection. She is a professional artist and has worked extensively with The Criterion Collection, illustrating covers for Amarcord, To Be or Not to Be, The Organizer, and many others. She talks about her film tastes including unveiling a new Criterion Top Ten, talks about how Criterion champions illustration, and weighs in on recent covers.
Episode Links & Notes
Special Guest: Caitlin Kuhwald from Caitlin Kuhwald Illustration. You can find her on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Caitlin Kuhwald’s Criterion Top 10 Erik Skillman blog about Amarcord
Episode Credits Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email
- Aaron West
8 items from 2016
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