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There is a moment in Aaron Katz’s Gemini when Jill LeBeau (Lola Kirke), who has become the prime suspect in a murder, needs to hide from the police and find a disguise. Out of every possible option, she goes for a blonde wig with bangs, something that makes her look like Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity. She looks perhaps even more conspicuous in her costume than in her daily look, but she manages to slink from law enforcement time and again because Gemini is the kind of film that exists in “movie universe,” a self-referential place where characters, unbeknownst to them, move according to the whims of their creators.
Gemini is also a fantastic neo-noir set in the Thief-inspired Los Angeles of Drive, an upside-down city, as captured in the surrealistic opening credits by cinematographer Andrew Reed, where morals have all but vanished, leaving behind only a group of »
- Jose Solís
Characters like the one that gives its title to My Cousin Rachel are usually played with broad strokes, either to elicit extreme sympathy, or total disdain, and yet what Rachel Weisz does in Roger Michell’s adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier novel is unlike either of those, it’s a performance so layered that it would unfair to say it lies even in between. We are supposed to mistrust Rachel from the moment we first hear her name, after all she is the stranger who has seduced Philip’s (Sam Claflin) saintly cousin, made him renounce his bachelorhood, and abandon his beloved England. Not only that, but according to some suspicions, she might have even been behind his untimely death, meaning there is nothing left for Philip to do but seek revenge.
And yet upon meeting Rachel, Philip discovers something quite unexpected, rather than a severe gorgon, he finds her to be quite sensitive, »
- Jose Solís
Edgar G. Ulmer movies on TCM: 'The Black Cat' & 'Detour' Turner Classic Movies' June 2017 Star of the Month is Audrey Hepburn, but Edgar G. Ulmer is its film personality of the evening on June 6. TCM will be presenting seven Ulmer movies from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, including his two best-known efforts: The Black Cat (1934) and Detour (1945). The Black Cat was released shortly before the officialization of the Christian-inspired Production Code, which would castrate American filmmaking – with a few clever exceptions – for the next quarter of a century. Hence, audiences in spring 1934 were able to witness satanism in action, in addition to other bizarre happenings in an art deco mansion located in an isolated area of Hungary. Sporting a David Bowie hairdo, Boris Karloff is at his sinister best in The Black Cat (“Do you hear that, Vitus? The phone is dead. Even the phone is dead”), ailurophobic (a. »
- Andre Soares
If you’ve come to this recap of the Twin Peaks revival premiere seeking answers about what the heck happens in the series premiere, I’m going to have to make like Cooper in the Black Lodge and say next to nothing.
Because, honestly, Nadine’s drape runners have a better idea of what’s going on in the two-hour huh?-fest than I do. It doesn’t mean I won’t recount the highlights of the long-awaited continuation’s first installments, it just means that this long-time fan found the first few episodes tough to navigate.
A note about »
How did Kiss Me Deadly come to be restored? The real question should be, how did filmdom lose track of its original ending in the first place? Savant uncovers evidence that may explain when, and why, United Artists mutilated the finish of Robert Aldrich’s apocalyptic film noir.
(Note: The images below with text can be enlarged for reading, just click on them.)
Before home video the final home for Hollywood films was Television. Robert Aldrich’s 1955 Kiss Me Deadly never saw a theatrical reissue, and it dropped out of major TV visibility in 1962. I saw the documentation in United Artists’ legal folder on the film. To secure capital to launch more movies, Robert Aldrich sold all of his ‘Associates and Aldrich’ pictures back to UA after their original releases were concluded. More papers showed Kiss Me Deadly being included in at least two TV syndication packages, and then each time pointedly removed. »
- Glenn Erickson
'Indigo Lake' is an Aussie neo-noir written and directed by Martin Simpson, produced by Brian Cobb and starring Andrew Cutcliffe, Miranda O.Hare, Marin Mimica and Pamela Shaw. Cutcliffe ('Home and Away', 'Wonderland') plays Jack, a painter who falls in love with his subject (Miranda O.Hare), to the chagrin of her gangster husband (Marin Mimica)..
Simpson wrote the script in 2011 and brought it to Cobb, who put the budget together via private investors and the Offset. Beyond.s Martin Fabinyi, with whom Cobb worked under a Screen Australia Enterprise attachment, is executive producing. The indie feature made its world premiere in Canberra, the producer.s hometown, on April 23, followed by a screening at Sydney.s Dendy Newtown on April 26, where the stars, director and producer participated in a Q&A session..
International rights are being handled by Ksm, and the filmmakers will head »
- Harry Windsor
We’re knocking on the door of summer, and that means lots of big properties are ready to be unleashed. But it’s not too late to read books exploring some recent films, as well as some new works about Sherry Lansing, film noir, and Steve McQueen. Let’s start with a unique look at David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.
When Twin Peaks debuted on ABC in 1990, there were no message boards in which fans could argue and dissect the latest episodes. Starting in 1992, however, there was Wrapped In Plastic, the immortal Peaks’ fanzine. Just in time for the series return on Showtime is The Essential Wrapped In Plastic: Pathways to Twin Peaks. Here, Wip co-editor John Thorne brings together some of the publication’s most vital, important essays. Every episode is included, but what makes the book »
- Christopher Schobert
“They took the idols and smashed them, the Fairbankses, the Gilberts, the Valentinos! And who’ve we got now? Some nobodies!”
Sunset Boulevard screens Wednesday April 26th at The Tivoli Theater (6350 Delmar in ‘The Loop’) as part of their new ‘Classics in the Loop’ Crime & Noir film series. The movie starts at 7pm and admission is $7. It will be on The Tivoli’s big screen.
Billy Wilder is widely considered as one of the most decorated directors of the golden black and white era with movies such as Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Double Indemnity, etc., but Sunset Boulevard may be his darkest. The movie starts with a man lying dead in a swimming pool of a huge villa located in Sunset Boulevard, a prime location in Hollywood where movie stars dwell. The viewers are then taken into flashback explaining the events that led to his death. The flashback »
- Tom Stockman
On April 24, 1944, Billy Wilder's thriller Double Indemnity, eventually nominated for seven Oscars at the 17th Academy Awards ceremony, was reviewed in The Hollywood Reporter. The original headline was "Double Indemnity Drama of Knockout Proportions."
With his Double Indemnity for Paramount, Billy Wilder has broken open a door hitherto locked to all those connected with the creation of motion pictures. He has made the hero and heroine of his stark drama a pair of murderers. There is no gloss to their wrong-doing, no sugar frosting to make palatable their misdeeds. It is a drama the like of which no »
- THR Staff
“Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money – and a woman – and I didn’t get the money and I didn’t get the woman. Pretty, isn’t it?”
Double Indemnity screens Wednesday April 12th at The Tivoli Theater (6350 Delmar in ‘The Loop’) as the second installment of their new ‘Classics in the Loop’ Crime & Noir film series. The movie starts at 7pm and admission is $7. It will be on The Tivoli’s big screen.
Cold-blooded, brutal, and stylishly directed by Billy Wilder, Double Indemnity is a prime example of The Film Noir genre and remains highly influential in its look, attitude and story. The 1944 crime drama set the pattern for that distinctive post-war genre: a shadowy, nighttime urban world of deception and betrayal usually distinguished by its “hard-boiled” dialogue, corrupt characters and the obligatory femme fatale who preys on the primal urges of an ordinary Joe hungry for sex and easy wealth. »
- Tom Stockman
“The stuff that dreams are made of.”
The Maltese Falcon screens Wednesday April 5th at The Tivoli Theater (6350 Delmar in ‘The Loop’) as the first installment of their new ‘Classics in the Loop’ Crime & Noir film series. The movie starts at 7pm and admission is $7. It will be on The Tivoli’s big screen.
Frequently considered the first – and finest – example of film noir filmmaking in Hollywood, 1941’s classic The Maltese Falcon will cast its mysterious shadows on the silver screen once again at the Tivoli
Here’s the rare chance for movie buffs to see it in on the big screen, while a new generation can discover the secrets of the infamous “black bird” by seeing it for the first time. Originally released on Oct. 3, 1941, as the nation braced itself for the possibility of war, The Maltese Falcon launched John Huston’s directorial career with the story of high-living »
- Tom Stockman
There’s nothing more fun than getting to watch classic movies the way they were intended–on the big screen!
Now, I understand plenty of people don’t want to go to a theater, spend a fortune on tickets, popcorn, and a drink just to see the glow of cell phones and hear people rudely talking while someone kicks your seat from behind, but that’s not the experience you’ll get at Landmark theaters affordable ‘Crime & Noir’ film series. St. Louis movie buffs are in for a treat as Landmark’s The Tivoli Theater will return with it’s ‘Classics on the Loop’ every Wednesday beginning April 5th at 7pm. This season, the Tivoli will screen, on their big screen (which seats 320 btw), eight crime and noir masterpiece that need to be seen in a theater with an audience. Admission is only $7.
One benefits of the big screen is »
- Tom Stockman
At the Academy Awards on Sunday night, Kevin O’Connell just broke the longest streak for Oscar nominations without a win. The 59-year-old New Yorker had been nominated 21 times in total, making 2017 a very good year for him.
Who else among Hollywood’s finest has had to weather a storm of nominations without a win? Well, even just keeping it to over 10 nominations, it’s a healthy list. Let’s take a look.
O’Connell’s win must have been somewhat bittersweet for Russell, who’s directly behind the elder sound mixer in the category of most nominations without wins. »
- Alex Heigl
Martin Scorsese has shared his thoughts on Richard Schickel, the influential film critic who passed away at 84 on Saturday. Schickel wrote dozens of books, most recently his 2015 memoir “Keepers: The Greatest Films — and Personal Favorites — of a Moviegoing Lifetime,” and served as film critic for Time from 1965–2010. Read Scorsese’s statement below.
“Richard Schickel was a very perceptive critic and a wonderful writer and documentary filmmaker,” writes the filmmaker. “As a person he was, to use a once popular term, ‘crusty,’ and he could be brutally funny. But it’s his deep and abiding love of movies that I’ll always remember about him. His early 70s PBS series ‘The Men Who Made the Movies,’ his 2004 restoration of Sam Fuller’s ‘The Big Red One,’ his wonderful little book about ‘Double Indemnity, »
- Michael Nordine
Ellen Ripley in all her butt-kicking glory is kicking off today's Horror Highlights. Funko's Ellen Ripley Rock Candy collectible will hit stores soon! Also: details on Splathouse podcast's Hobgoblins (1988) discussion, Alamo Drafthouse and Kodak's first-ever Reel Film Day, and release details for Bigfoot the Movie.
Funko's Ellen Ripley Rock Candy Collectible: From Funko: "A Pop! and ReAction just aren't enough - Ellen Ripley will be joining the Rock Candy line soon!
Splathouse Podcast Presents a Hobgoblins Discussion: From Splathouse: "For your consideration: Our four panelists (Sarah, Mike, John, and Jim) are joined by a Twitter friend (@parkerandcooley), an Academy Award nominee (Christopher Walken), a quiet coyote, and Rick Sloane (writer/director of The Visitants and Vice Academy). Can the gang survive the chaos or will they be seduced by the evil, mind-altering Hobgoblins? Find out this week!
Plus! All the regular bullshit you love: What Do Ya Know? »
- Tamika Jones
Richard Schickel, the longtime film critic for Time magazine who also wrote 37 books, mostly on film, and directed a number of documentaries on film subjects, died on Saturday in Los Angeles of complications from a series of strokes, his family told the Los Angeles Times. He was 84.
“He was one of the fathers of American film criticism,” his daughter, writer Erika Schickel, told the Times. “He had a singular voice. When he wrote or spoke, he had an old-fashioned way of turning a phrase. He was blunt and succinct both on the page and in life.”
He wrote and/or directed more than 30 documentaries, mostly for television.
Schickel shared a 1977 Emmy nomination for the documentary “Life Goes to the Movies” and received two nominations in 1987 for the documentary “Minnelli on Minnelli: Liza Remembers Vincente,” which he directed.
Schickel wrote film reviews for Life magazine from 1965 until the magazine folded in »
- Carmel Dagan
“Cain, Curtiz, And Crawford”
Mildred Pierce is one curious piece of cinema. As film critics Molly Haskell and Robert Polito point out in their fascinating conversation that is a supplement on this beautifully-presented Blu-ray release from The Criterion Collection, Pierce is a movie that almost doesn’t know what it wants to be. In many ways it is a woman’s picture, that is, a melodrama, but it’s disguised inside a manufactured film noir.
This reasoning is sound, for in spite of novelist James M. Cain being known for terrific pulp crime fiction (Double Indemnity, The Postman Always Rings Twice), his 1941 novel Mildred Pierce is not a crime story, unless you want to say that a young woman having an affair with her stepfather is “criminal.” The book is indeed hardboiled and pulpy, but there is no murder in it.
On the other hand, Michael Curtiz »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
“Have you ever heard somebody say, ‘I can’t watch black-and-white movies?'” asks the creator of the Now You See It YouTube channel in his latest video. Said video essayist takes issue with that mindset, and he’s here to explain why in just four minutes. “Black and white can do just as much as color,” he contends, and for Exhibit A he turns to film noir.
Read More: 8 Essential Film Noir Movies MoMI is Resurrecting From the 1940s
Our intrepid host uses examples of both good and bad parodies to make a point: “Saturday Night Live” got it wrong by using low-contrast black and white in a recent skit inspired by “Casablanca,” while an old “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip mimicked the style much more skillfully. The poor imitation demonstrated by the likes of “SNL,” he argues, is why some consider black and white to be boring — they »
- Michael Nordine
The Criterion Collection 860
1945 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 111 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date , 2017 /
Cinematography: Ernest Haller
Art Direction: Anton Grot
Film Editor: David Weisbart
Original Music: Max Steiner
Directed by Michael Curtiz
James M. Cain’s 1941 novel Mildred Pierce offers a venal and self-destructive view of America not with a story of respectable bourgeois society, not the criminal underworld. A de-classed, suburb-dwelling nobody fights her way onto the social register by using men and by hard work… and then watches as her obsessive goals blow up in her face In Cain’s worldview it’s every woman for herself. He drags in an odd personal theme, »
- Glenn Erickson
Dana Andrews movies: Film noir actor excelled in both major and minor crime dramas. Dana Andrews movies: First-rate film noir actor excelled in both classics & minor fare One of the best-looking and most underrated actors of the studio era, Dana Andrews was a first-rate film noir/crime thriller star. Oftentimes dismissed as no more than a “dependable” or “reliable” leading man, in truth Andrews brought to life complex characters that never quite fit into the mold of Hollywood's standardized heroes – or rather, antiheroes. Unlike the cynical, tough-talking, and (albeit at times self-delusionally) self-confident characters played by the likes of Alan Ladd, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and, however lazily, Robert Mitchum, Andrews created portrayals of tortured men at odds with their social standing, their sense of ethics, and even their romantic yearnings. Not infrequently, there was only a very fine line separating his (anti)heroes from most movie villains. »
- Andre Soares
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