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Some great actors are contained and reserved. They turn their wattage off and on. Others stay close to their emotions. As I interviewed "Boardwalk Empire" star Michael Stuhlbarg (the gangster Arnold Rothstein) at a Pain Quotidien near his apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side, he was most animated when he accessed a character, their emotions flickering across his face. Suddenly I was looking into the pained, sad eyes of Edward G. Robinson in "Trumbo" or anxious Andy Herzfeld in "Steve Jobs." In a crazily competitive year for supporting actors seeking award recognition (many of them leads, to my mind), I hope voters will remember Stuhlbarg. As the great Warner Bros. star ("Little Caesar," "Double Indemnity") in Jay Roach's "Trumbo" over several decades, we see his tragic role in the Hollywood blacklist. It's where the emotion is in the film. That's why theater star Stuhlbarg is a go-to actor beloved by. »
- Anne Thompson
Ingrid Bergman’s oeuvre contains few performances that aren’t of note. Such is her power that, if a tear rolls down her cheek, you feel it. The release of Stig Björkman‘s new documentary Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words has prompted us to look back through the great actress’s filmography.
In our search for the essential Bergman roles, the performances which cemented her as a legend of cinema, there’s certainly a number of dazzling and iconic pictures to search through. Acclaimed examples such as Elena and Her Men, Joan of Arc, and Anastasia — the lattermost of which earned her a second Academy Award — narrowly and tragically found their way off the list.
Before checking out Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words, take a trip with us back through the career of one of the greatest talents to ever grace the silver screen. Enjoy the »
- Tony Hinds
Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.
The Criterion Collection have revealed their February 2016 line-up (click titles for more information):
On The Cinephiliacs, Peter Labuza talks with Jonathan Rosenbaum about his career and Out 1.
David Bordwell discusses the women crime writers of the 1940s and 1950s:
You might say that Double Indemnity and Out of the Past are quintessentially 1940s-1950s films, and I’d agree. But so too are works based on women writers. The list of Highsmith adaptations, starting with Strangers on a Train (1951), is too long to recite here, but let’s remember that »
- TFS Staff
Top Ten Scream Queens: Barbara Steele, who both emitted screams and made others do same, is in a category of her own. Top Ten Scream Queens Halloween is over until next year, but the equally bewitching Day of the Dead is just around the corner. So, dead or alive, here's my revised and expanded list of cinema's Top Ten Scream Queens. This highly personal compilation is based on how memorable – as opposed to how loud or how frequent – were the screams. That's the key reason you won't find listed below actresses featured in gory slasher films. After all, the screams – and just about everything else in such movies – are as meaningless as their plots. You also won't find any screaming guys (i.e., Scream Kings) on the list below even though I've got absolutely nothing against guys who scream in horror, whether in movies or in life. There are »
- Andre Soares
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
A Pigeon Say On A Branch Reflecting on Existence (Roy Andersson)
The third installment in Roy Andersson’s trilogy looks and operates quite a bit like the two that precede it, thus making A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence an easy sell to the already-converted. But rather than preach to his choir, the Swedish helmer makes enough approaches to constitute an evolution, most notably in its remarkably grim, »
- TFS Staff
Charles Brackett ca. 1945: Hollywood diarist and Billy Wilder's co-screenwriter (1936–1949) and producer (1945–1949). Q&A with 'Charles Brackett Diaries' editor Anthony Slide: Billy Wilder's screenwriter-producer partner in his own words Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He is renowned for classics such as The Major and the Minor, Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Witness for the Prosecution, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. The fact that Wilder was not the sole creator of these movies is all but irrelevant to graduates from the Auteur School of Film History. Wilder directed, co-wrote, and at times produced his films. That should suffice. For auteurists, perhaps. But not for those interested in the whole story. That's one key reason why the Charles Brackett diaries are such a great read. Through Brackett's vantage point, they offer a welcome – and unique – glimpse into the collaborative efforts that resulted in »
- Andre Soares
As far as Hollywood was concerned, hardboiled pulp author Raymond Chandler was big news in 1944 and 1945, working with Billy Wilder on the Production Code breakthrough hit Double Indemnity, and getting two of his popular Philip Marlowe books transposed to the screen -- and not completely shorn of their racy content. Savant Blu-ray Review The Warner Archive Collection Warner Archive Collection 1944 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 95 min. / Street Date September 15, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger, Mike Mazurki. Cinematography Harry J. Wild Art Direction Carroll Clark, Albert S. D'Agostino Film Editor Joseph Noriega Original Music Roy Webb Written by John Paxton from Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler Produced by Sid Rogell, Adrian Scott Directed by Edward Dmytryk
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Many films noirs seem to come from the same stylistic universe, in terms of themes and visuals. But a few of the »
- Glenn Erickson
David Opie sits down with director David Spaltro to talk about his new horror movie In the Dark…
David Opie: Hi David. Thanks for talking to us at Flickering Myth. In the Dark is a great indie horror, something’s that all too rare these days. What inspired you to make a horror film for your third feature?
David Spaltro: It was sort of just fortuitous timing, really. I had been in development on a third feature film Wake Up in New York, and slated to go into production in Spring 2014, but that Winter hit a financing snag that sort of put the breaks on it at the time. I was a little burned out after all that work, and not sure if I should take a break and go back to trying to get that back up again, or look at a different project, when I was contacted »
- David Opie
We’ve all had them; but I dare say not many like this as Joakim and Sam Hutchinson from Cinema Etc talk about Billy Wilders The Lost Weekend.
From Masters of Cinema:
Directed by Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot), this gut-wrenching adaptation of Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend horrified its studio, was rejected by test audiences, and was lobbied by temperance groups, yet went on to huge success and became the awards sensation of its year.
Ray Milland stars as Don Birnam, a New York author struggling with years of alcoholism and writer’s block. Trying to keep him on the path to rehabilitation are his straight-laced brother Wick (Philip Terry) and devoted long-time girlfriend Helen (Jane Wyman). When Don absconds from a country excursion, he embarks on a four-day binge, spiralling towards rock bottom.
Winner of the Grand Prix at the first ever Cannes Film Festival, »
- Tom Jennings
Martin Scorsese is thanked in the opening credits of “Bombay Velvet,” but that’s far from the last time this splashy Bollywood gangster spectacular pays its respects. As it charts the corrupt historical development of Mumbai into a Western-styled megalopolis, Anurag Kashyap’s garish but engrossing film reflects the transition through blatant hat-tips to Hollywood crime cinema, ranging from Jimmy Cagney star vehicles to Scorsese’s own underworld sagas. The result — co-edited, no less, by the latter’s right-hand woman, Thelma Schoonmaker — may lack the charging formal brio of Kashyap’s 2012 Cannes sensation “Gangs of Wasseypur,” but it’s clear why the pic has already achieved substantial international distribution. Its Locarno festival date could usher in a second wave of cinephile appreciation.
“Our love story will be epic; our life, a smash hit,” our hero informs his paramour toward the end of a sprawling narrative that has already seen its »
- Guy Lodge
Long before the lurid "E! True Hollywood Story" series, there was "Sunset Boulevard" -- maybe the darkest, most cynical movie ever made about what Hollywood is really like.
Released 65 years ago this week (on August 10, 1950), director Billy Wilder's classic explored fame from the perspective of those who had it and lost it (like Gloria Swanson and her "waxwork" friends, playing lightly fictionalized versions of themselves) and those who never quite made it, like the struggling young screenwriter (William Holden) and the failed actress-turned-script reader played by Nancy Olson.
Even if you haven't seen "Sunset Boulevard," you may feel like you have, whether because of the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical it spawned, the movies that copied it (particularly "American Beauty," with its narration from beyond the grave), and the countless parodies of Swanson's final "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up" scene. In honor of the film's anniversary, »
- Gary Susman
Top movie villains: 2000 members of the British public respond to being asked ‘who is your favourite film villain?’ Top movie villains – Hannibal Lecter from The SIlence Of The Lambs made the top spot
A recent survey conducted by Best Offers Bingo have revealed the top film villains of all time. The website conducted the poll with 2000 members of the British public to find the country’s favourite movie bad guy in the history of film.
Coming out on top was the cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter who has appeared in no less than five movies (portrayed by Brian Cox, and more famously Sir Anthony Hopkins), and a recent television series, played by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. The character, who got a nod for his terrifying appearance in The Silence Of The Lambs, received nearly a quarter of the votes (416 in all), a clear majority.
The second most popular movie villain of all »
- Paul Heath
"Their Love was a Flame that Destroyed!" BFI recently put together this fantastic infographic highlighting the many features of a "film noir" film. The extensive infographic runs down the various camera/lighting techniques, dialogue, all the key elements of noir, and explores many examples of the genre at its best. They even drill right down into the question of which is the "noirest" of all - and (spoiler!) it's Billy Wilder's 1944 crime thriller Double Indemnity, which makes for a great reference throughout the image. This was just too good to pass up, thanks to a tip from The Av Club, and now I need to feature it so we can keep up some interest in classic film noir. Maybe watch a few of these you haven't seen yet, why not? Explore more below. Click above or head to BFI.org.uk for the full infographic and more details. The »
- Alex Billington
By Lee Pfeiffer
The Warner Archive has released the 1951 comedy Callaway Went Thataway. The film is a low-key but delightful tale that has more than a wisp of Frank Capra in its story line. The movie opens with a montage of scenes showing young boys and girls glued to their television sets as they watch the adventures of singing cowboy Smoky Callaway (Howard Keel). They don't realize they are actually viewing old "B" movies from the 1930s. Not that it matters. Callaway has found a new audience with a younger generation and they have made him America's favorite TV hero in these early days of the medium.(Since so many households did not have televisions in 1951, the film shows a common sight during this era: people crowded around department store windows to watch TV broadcasts). Network brass and sponsors immediately want to keep the gold train rolling by initiating more new films starring Smoky. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Everything in Max Renn’s life is beginning to pulsate. First the Betamax videotape sent to him by one Bianca O’Blivion, which seems to breathe in his hand as he removes it from its beige packaging. Then Max’s television, squatting in the corner of his apartment, appears take on a life of its own: veins twitching, the screen bulging to the sound of a woman’s voice: “Come to me, Max. Come to me...”
David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, released in 1982, is loaded with violent and startling imagery like this. Like Apocalypse Now, its very narrative seems to disintegrate as its morally suspect protagonist Max Renn (James Woods) embarks on a journey into his own heart of darkness: a fascination with the origins of a video signal soon leads him to a world of corruption, »
I didn't have much luck with the movies I saw in theaters this week and that's including skipping Pixels. I caught screenings of Southpaw (read the review here), Paper Towns (read the review here) and Vacation (review coming next week), but at home I had a little better luck, though I only watched one "new" film... new to me that is. In preparation for tomorrow night's screening of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, my wife and I watched Mission: Impossible and Mission: Impossible II, two films I like and yes, that even means I enjoy M:i 2 on some level, mainly on a level that I take enjoyment out of John Woo's ridiculous direction while, at the same time, I'm able to recognize it's a pretty bad movie. We watched Mission: Impossible III rather recently so tonight might be Ghost Protocol... we'll see. readmore postid="54359" The other film I watched »
- Brad Brevet
Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t quite follow this one. In his 1957 review of the film for Cahiers du cinema (reprinted in the booklet accompanying this release), Jean-Luc Godard wrote that Forty Guns “is so rich in invention – despite an incomprehensible plot – and so bursting with daring conceptions that it reminds one of the extravagances of Abel Gance and Stroheim, or purely and simply of Murnau.” For a movie featuring a half-dozen standoffs, at least as many deaths, two musical numbers, and an honest-to-God tornado, nothing much seems to happen in Forty Guns. The tone and tenor of the thing feels as relaxed as Rio Bravo. I’ve seen it twice now, and viewed a few scenes here and there beyond that, and I still can’t quite reconcile the whole. But Godard’s right – it’s a hell of a thing to see. »
- Scott Nye
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
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