15 items from 2013
Directed by Roman Polanski
Written by Robert Towne
Film noir comes full circle in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974). Thirty years before its release, crime dramas saw the birth of a fundamental character – the noir hero. From Dashiell Hammett to Raymond Chandler, The Maltese Falcon (1941) to The Big Sleep (1946), the noir hero inhabits a world of hopelessness and dark tragedy. The Maltese Falcon saw Humphrey Bogart’s inaugural portrayal of this amoral anti-hero and began film noir as we know it. It also happens to have been directed by John Huston who in Chinatown brings to life the character of scheming millionaire Noah Cross. And so, years after spear-heading the genre, Huston returns in what is possibly the best neo-noir to beguile another tortured noir hero, Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson).
Private investigator J.J. “Jake” Gittes finds himself agreeing to take on an adultery case. A woman claiming to »
- Katherine Springer
Written by Shane Black
Directed by Shane Black
It was only a few weeks ago that the Howard Hawks classic The Big Sleep, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, was reviewed for the purpose of this column. Certainly an amusing film, the highlight of which is the pitch perfect acting from each and every cast member. That said, what held the film back to a degree was its insistence on adhering to the spirit of the original source material insofar as it was so complex and filled to the brim with revelations and twists that the screenwriters themselves had trouble sorting it all out. Fast forward some 60 years and writer-director Shane Black, a big fan of detective and noir-inspired stories, made his debut as a director with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a story which owes a lot to the noir of yesteryear while »
- Edgar Chaput
Paul Thomas Anderson's latest, "Inherent Vice" is a major gear shift for the director of the much more opaque and sinister "The Master" and "There Will Be Blood." The filmmaker's talked about making a pure comedy for quite some time, and while we wonder if it'll ever happen (PTA's sensibilities thankfully being a little too askew), perhaps this adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's idler gumshoe novel will be the closest he gets for some time. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, "Inherent Vice" reads something like Raymond Chandler meets the Venice Beach slacker stereotype of that era mixed in with just a smidgen of "Cheech & Chong." The novel, like the film, follows an inept, pot-smoking private detective Doc Sportello (played by Joaquin Phoenix) as he investigates the case of a kidnapped girl, who also happens to be one of his ex-girlfriends. It's very much “The Big Sleep” meets Robert Altman »
- Edward Davis
Directed by Howard Hawks
There are, arguably, two minds when it comes to intricately plotted, complex mystery stories. There may exist other, more nuanced opinions, but it feels safe to assume that most people fall into one of the following categories. First, there are those who simply do not have or, quite frankly, want to award said story their time and patience. Too many names, too many different subplots, made up alibis and in the end it often seems like much ado about, well, not a whole lot. Second are those who either genuinely enjoy trying to wrap their heads around all the large and minute details a protagonist follows in his or her quest to uncover the truth or maybe do not even invest much stock in the minutia yet still discover a level »
- Edgar Chaput
Directed by Howard Hawks
U.S.A., 1946 There are, arguably, two minds when it comes to intricately plotted, complex mystery stories. There may exist other, more nuanced opinions, but it feels safe to assume that most people fall into one of the two following categories. First, there are those who simply do not have or, quite frankly, want to award said story their time and patience. Too many names, too many different subplots, made up alibis and in the end it often seems like much ado about, well, not a whole lot. Second are those who either genuinely enjoy trying to wrap their heads around all the large and minute details a protagonist follows in his or her quest to uncover the truth or maybe do not even invest much stock in the minutia yet »
- Edgar Chaput
The James Bond franchise is a staple. It is the longest running and second most successful film series in British cinema history. Throughout its 50-year run it has featured the work of many different talented directors, and rumours always run rampant when a new Bond film is in the works as to who will be the next man to put his hallmark on the 007 legacy. “Sam Mendes won’t be returning for Bond 24!” we say. “Wouldn’t it amazing if Christopher Nolan took his place?” And so on…
However, I’d like to think back into the past for a moment. Here I will present a list of 10 different legendary directors who would have created amazing James Bond films had they been given a chance while still alive.
10. Howard Hawks
An active director from 1916 until 1970, Howard Hawks continually distinguished himself. He was capable of directing films in many different genres, »
- J.D. Westfall
Director Robert Altman.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the April 1999 issue of Venice Magazine.
It's the Fall of 1977 and I'm a bored and rebellious ten year old in search of a new movie to occupy my underworked and creativity-starved brain, feeling far too mature for previous favorites Wily Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Return of the Pink Panther (1975), and wanting something more up-to-date and edgy than Chaplin's City Lights (1931). I needed a movie to call my favorite that would be symbolic of my own new-found manhood (and something that would really piss off my parents and teachers). Mom and Dad were going out for the evening, leaving me with whatever unfortunate baby-sitter happened to need the $10 badly enough to play mother hen to an obnoxiously precocious only child like myself. I scanned the TV Guide for what »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Written By Warren Ellis
Art and Covers by J.H Williams III
Published by Wildstorm Comics
It’s one of those great mysteries of the ages why UK writers produce some of the best, most creative, most profoundly messed up comics in the biz. Perhaps England, Scotland and Ireland are all over some kind of gigantic natural gas leak like the Oracle at freakin’ Delphi, or maybe the Thatcher Era, The Troubles, and just being Scottish drove every creative mind they have irrevocably insane.
Either way, “Desolation Jones” is a hell of a comic.
It’s written by Warren Ellis, one of the more notorious of the “UK crazies” who also brought us jems like “Transmetropolitan”, “Planetary” and the briefly-lived “Newuniversal”. His one big drawback as a writer is the time he takes to put out new works and his tendency to seemingly abandon projects when he gets bored with them. »
- Thomas O'Connor
Film from the ’40s is perhaps best remembered for all of the dark and moody crime dramas it produced that kicked off the film noir genre. Hundreds of films full of fog, dicks, and dames have been made over the years, but really there are only an elite handful that stand the test of time as the big ones everyone thinks of when they think about noir. 1946’s The Big Sleep is definitely one of those films, and seeing as it was directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, it stars the iconic duo of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, it was adapted from a Raymond Chandler novel, and it features one of the most famous fictional detectives of all time, Philip Marlowe, it’s not hard to understand why that’s the case. This thing has pedigree to spare. Laura, an Otto Preminger-directed film from two years earlier, doesn’t quite share the same reputation. Though »
- Nathan Adams
Death Wish: Michael Winner’s movie vs. original novel [See previous post: "Michael Winner Dies."] "The point of the novel Death Wish," adds author Brian Garfield, "is that vigilantism is an attractive fantasy but it only makes things worse in reality. By the end of the novel, the character (Paul) is gunning down unarmed teenagers because he doesn’t like their looks. The story is about an ordinary guy who descends into madness." (Photo: Death Wish Charles Bronson.) A few years ago, Sylvester Stallone had plans to remake Death Wish, which (probably not coincidentally) has elements in common with Stallone’s (perhaps even more brutal and more pro-vigilantism) Cobra (1985). Stallone’s Death Wish remake, however, never came to fruition. Early in 2012, The Grey‘s director Joe Carnahan stated that he was planning an updated version of Death Wish. Michael Winner’s other ’70s movies: Directing Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, and more Charles Bronson Among Michael Winner »
- Andre Soares
English director and Sunday Times restaurant critic Michael Winner (pictured above with Charles Bronson) has died. In a tragic turn, Winner had been suffering from health problems ever since he contracted a rare infection after eating bad oysters in 2006. He was 77. The name alone may not ring a bell, but Winner has 41 titles to his credit, including famed vigilante actioner Death Wish (as well as parts two and three), the unexpectedly cast horror film The Sentinel, and the 1978 adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel The Big Sleep, starring Robert Mitchum as P.I. Philip Marlowe. Winner saw several iconic faces in the lens of his camera, including friend Marlon Brando, the controversial Oliver Reed, and frequently cast tough-guy actor Charles Bronson. "When I die...
- Alison Nastasi
Play It Cool (1962)
Reading this on mobile? Click here to view video
After a string of short films, Winner broke into features in the early 60s, with low budget thrillers and trendy pop musicals. Quite a few of them had "cool" in the title – including the nudie pic Some Like It Cool. The Billy Fury pic Play It Cool was considerably more commercially viable, no doubt inspired by the success of Cliff Richard's Young Ones film. Fury – in a real stretch – plays an up-and coming rocker called Billy Universe; Anna Palk the heiress who he might or might not get together with, and Dennis Price (!) as her overbearing dad.
The Cool Mikado (1962)
Reading this on mobile? Click here to view video
- Andrew Pulver
We're halfway through our daily countdowns, with part 15 out of 30 in our listing of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 160-151.
157) Pinocchio (1940) Walt Disney USA Animated
155) The King’S Speech (2010) Tom Hooper USA/British
153) The Leopard (1963) Lucianno Visconti France/ Italy
152) Beckett (1964) Peter Glenville USA
151) The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) Orsen Wells USA
Numbers 150-141 coming up next.
film cultureClassicslist300 »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Now that the year has come to an end, and all the top tens have come out of the woodwork, certain films continue to fly under the radar, either due to lack of distribution or a general lack of interest—even with established auteurs like Johnnie To. As with his romantic-comedy (see: not an action film) Don’t Go Breaking My Heart last year, Romancing in Thin Air has dodged critical appreciation, having avoided major festivals, and in the little press it has received, has sometimes been dismissed as a slight effort outside of To’s wheelhouse (i.e. gangster & crime pictures). However, To’s weaving in and out of his action staples and “romantic” comedy/dramas (for the record, all of his films are romantic) is more akin to Howard Hawks alternating between his westerns, crime films, and melodramas—from The Big Sleep to Red River to His Girl Friday »
- Adam Cook
Since I started writing for Sound on Sight during Fantasia 2011, 2012 was my first full year of writing for the site. I started the year by joining Josh on the Mousterpiece Cinema Podcast. During the year I attended Fantasia for the 15th time in 16 festivals and I attended Ridm (Québec’s only Documentary Film Festival) for the first time.
The following is an expanded version of my Sound on Sight ballot for the best feature films of 2012. I should probably explain that I see fewer feature films every year than say Ricky or Josh. On the other side of that, as the Festival Director of the YoungCuts Film Festival, I watch more short films than most (over 1,000 short films per year). It is entirely possible that I didn’t see your favourite feature film this year. On the other hand, I also probably watch some feature films that you never saw. »
- Michael Ryan
15 items from 2013
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners