13 items from 2015
Following his fall 2014 Le Conversazioni with Zadie Smith (White Teeth) and Patrick McGrath (Asylum and Spider), Antonio Monda invited Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen Sondheim to discuss films that influenced their lives and work.
Le Conversazioni and Rome Film Festival Artistic Director Antonio Monda Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Occasionally, a movie villain will pause for a moment to deliver a brief story or anecdote. And often, these apparently incidental tales tell us a lot about an antagonist's state of mind, experiences or warped worldview.
We've compiled a selection of 20 here. Some of them are blackly funny. Many are disturbing. One or two are even moving. The first one's very strange. All of them bring something unique to each particular film in which they appear, and all of them are laced with a delicious hint of menace.
20. Xander - Enemies Closer (2013)
"When I was a little boy at my grandmama's place, she had a lovely goose. I named her Edith, after the French singer Edith Piaf..."
We begin with a delightfully weird story from Peter Hyams' 2013 thriller, »
This month's film Book Club choice is a study of director William Friedkin that spends as much time on the failures as the successes...
Some films catch your attention for reasons other than being good. Cruising (1980) has stuck in my memory for years. It’s very weird. Al Pacino plays a cop who works undercover in New York’s gay club scene, tracking down a serial killer. Or possibly more than one serial killer; it's difficult to tell in the darkness, the double bluffs, and the uncomfortable and unclear nature of the action. Few critics liked it, even less people went to see it, and William Friedkin wrote and directed it. When I think of Friedkin's work I think of Cruising as much as I think of The Exorcist, or The French Connection. How could the same person have made these films?
Clagett's book embraces the failures as much as the successes, »
Two new analyses of the director’s macabre imagination offer equally compelling explanations for the big-screen nightmares he created
Hitchcock, described by a colleague as “a know-it-all Sob”, was the man who knew too much about us. His films exploited our abiding terrors – beaked raptors assaulting us from the skies, a loose stair opening an abyss beneath our feet, nourishment concealing death in a glass of bedtime milk – and added a new one when he made the shower a last redoubt of quaking vulnerability. Those who write about him have an anthropological conundrum to puzzle over: why are these irrational alarms so inescapable and why do we so enjoy being tormented when we watch The Birds, Shadow of a Doubt, Suspicion, Psycho and the rest?
The newest books on Hitchcock answer the questions in different ways. Peter Ackroyd sees him as a case for Freudian treatment, who assumed that his neuroses were universal. »
- Peter Conrad
Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, and Tom Stockman
The Birds screens at Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Ave.- at Manchester – Maplewood, Mo 63143) Thursday, April 2nd at 7pm. It is a benefit for Helping Kids Together (more details about this event can be found Here)
This gives us a perfect excuse to re-run this top ten list from March of 2012. Alfred Hitchcock directed 54 feature films between 1925 and 1976, and here, according to We Are Movie Geeks, are his ten best:
Frenzy, Hitchcock’s next to last feature film from 1972, represented a homecoming of sorts since it was the first film completely shot in his native England since his silents and early ” talkies ” in the 1930’s. By dipping into the then somewhat new territory of serial killers, he took full advantage of the new cinema freedoms and truly earned his ‘ R ‘ MPAA rating. Perhaps ole’ ” Hitch ” wanted to give those young up-and-coming »
- Movie Geeks
Amazon is selling the Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection Blu-ray edition at a savings of $200.
The set consists of 15 classic movies:
Rope, Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window, The Trouble With Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956 version), Vertigo, North By Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy and Family Plot.
Every film is packed with sensational bonus features.
Click Here To Order And To View Promotional Video For The Set
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Teresa Wright: Later years (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon.") Teresa Wright and Robert Anderson were divorced in 1978. They would remain friends in the ensuing years. Wright spent most of the last decade of her life in Connecticut, making only sporadic public appearances. In 1998, she could be seen with her grandson, film producer Jonah Smith, at New York's Yankee Stadium, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch. Wright also became involved in the Greater New York chapter of the Als Association. (The Pride of the Yankees subject, Lou Gehrig, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1941.) The week she turned 82 in October 2000, Wright attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Somewhere in Time, where she posed for pictures with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In March 2003, she was a guest at the 75th Academy Awards, in the segment showcasing Oscar-winning actors of the past. Two years later, »
- Andre Soares
Teresa Wright and Matt Damon in 'The Rainmaker' Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright vs. Samuel Goldwyn: Nasty Falling Out.") "I'd rather have luck than brains!" Teresa Wright was quoted as saying in the early 1950s. That's understandable, considering her post-Samuel Goldwyn choice of movie roles, some of which may have seemed promising on paper. Wright was Marlon Brando's first Hollywood leading lady, but that didn't help her to bounce back following the very public spat with her former boss. After all, The Men was released before Elia Kazan's film version of A Streetcar Named Desire turned Brando into a major international star. Chances are that good film offers were scarce. After Wright's brief 1950 comeback, for the third time in less than a decade she would be gone from the big screen for more than a year. »
- Andre Soares
Teresa Wright-Samuel Goldwyn association comes to a nasty end (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Film.") Whether or not because she was aware that Enchantment wasn't going to be the hit she needed – or perhaps some other disagreement with Samuel Goldwyn or personal issue with husband Niven Busch – Teresa Wright, claiming illness, refused to go to New York City to promote the film. (Top image: Teresa Wright in a publicity shot for The Men.) Goldwyn had previously announced that Wright, whose contract still had another four and half years to run, was to star in a film version of J.D. Salinger's 1948 short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut." Instead, he unceremoniously – and quite publicly – fired her. The Goldwyn organization issued a statement, explaining that besides refusing the assignment to travel to New York to help generate pre-opening publicity for Enchantment, »
- Andre Soares
Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock heroine (image: Joseph Cotten about to strangle Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt') (See preceding article: "Teresa Wright Movies: Actress Made Oscar History.") After scoring with The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, and The Pride of the Yankees, Teresa Wright was loaned to Universal – once initial choices Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland became unavailable – to play the small-town heroine in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt. (Check out video below: Teresa Wright reminiscing about the making of Shadow of a Doubt.) Co-written by Thornton Wilder, whose Our Town had provided Wright with her first chance on Broadway and who had suggested her to Hitchcock; Meet Me in St. Louis and Junior Miss author Sally Benson; and Hitchcock's wife, Alma Reville, Shadow of a Doubt was based on "Uncle Charlie," a story outline by Gordon McDonell – itself based on actual events. »
- Andre Soares
Teresa Wright movies: Actress made Oscar history Teresa Wright, best remembered for her Oscar-winning performance in the World War II melodrama Mrs. Miniver and for her deceptively fragile, small-town heroine in Alfred Hitchcock's mystery-drama Shadow of a Doubt, died at age 86 ten years ago – on March 6, 2005. Throughout her nearly six-decade show business career, Wright was featured in nearly 30 films, dozens of television series and made-for-tv movies, and a whole array of stage productions. On the big screen, she played opposite some of the most important stars of the '40s and '50s. It's a long list, including Bette Davis, Greer Garson, Gary Cooper, Myrna Loy, Ray Milland, Fredric March, Jean Simmons, Marlon Brando, Dana Andrews, Lew Ayres, Cornel Wilde, Robert Mitchum, Spencer Tracy, Joseph Cotten, and David Niven. Also of note, Teresa Wright made Oscar history in the early '40s, when she was nominated for each of her first three movie roles. »
- Andre Soares
This article contains a spoiler for the ending of Interstellar.
In case you missed it, the Oscars were this past weekend and Birdman was the big winner. The Academy’s choice to award Alejandro González Iñárritu's fever dream was a genuine shock, with Boyhood the running favourite for many months. Nonetheless, some things never change, and in that vein it's certainly a non-surprise the Academy also hardly noticed the most ambitious blockbuster of 2014: the Christopher Nolan space epic, Interstellar. Indeed, I use the phrase "non-surprise", because how could it be a winner when it was only nominated for the bare minimum of five Oscars in technical categories that are reserved as consolation prizes?
This is by all means par for the course with a film that has »
How would you program this year's newest, most interesting films into double features with movies of the past you saw in 2014?
Looking back over the year at 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 2014—in theatres or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2014 to create a unique double feature.
All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2014 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 »
13 items from 2015
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