20 items from 2013
Top box office movies of 2013: If you make original, quality films… (photo: Sandra Bullock has two movies among the top 15 box office hits of 2013; Bullock is seen here in ‘The Heat,’ with Melissa McCarthy) (See previous post: “2013 Box Office Record? History is Remade If a Few ‘Minor Details’ Ignored.”) As further evidence that moviegoers want original, quality entertainment, below you’ll find a list of the top 15 movies at the domestic box office in 2013 — nine of which are sequels or reboots (ten if you include Oz the Great and Powerful), and more than half of which are 3D releases. Disney and Warner Bros. were the two top studios in 2013. Disney has five movies among the top 15; Warners has three. With the exception of the sleeper blockbuster Gravity, which, however dumbed down, targeted a more mature audience, every single one of the titles below were aimed either at teenagers/very, »
- Zac Gille
‘Gilda,’ ‘Pulp Fiction’: 2013 National Film Registry movies (photo: Rita Hayworth in ‘Gilda’) See previous post: “‘Mary Poppins’ in National Film Registry: Good Timing for Disney’s ‘Saving Mr. Banks.’” Billy Woodberry’s UCLA thesis film Bless Their Little Hearts (1984). Stanton Kaye’s Brandy in the Wilderness (1969). The Film Group’s Cicero March (1966), about a Civil Rights march in an all-white Chicago suburb. Norbert A. Myles’ Daughter of Dawn (1920), with Hunting Horse, Oscar Yellow Wolf, Esther Labarre. Bill Morrison’s Decasia (2002), featuring decomposing archival footage. Alfred E. Green’s Ella Cinders (1926), with Colleen Moore, Lloyd Hughes, Vera Lewis. Fred M. Wilcox’s Forbidden Planet (1956), with Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly, Robby the Robot. Charles Vidor’s Gilda (1946), with Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready. John and Faith Hubley’s Oscar-winning animated short The Hole (1962). Stanley Kramer’s Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), with Best Actor Oscar winner Maximilian Schell, »
- Andre Soares
‘Mary Poppins’ among 25 films chosen for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry (photo: Julie Andrews in ‘Mary Poppins’) The powers-that-be at the United States’ Library of Congress have chosen to give the Walt Disney Studios a little support. Saving Mr. Banks, directed by John Lee Hancock, and starring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, opened to solid — though hardly outstanding — box office numbers at 15 North American venues last Friday, December 13, 2013. The movie, which also features Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, and Rachel Griffiths, opened in wide release in the U.S. and Canada today, Dec. 20. On Wednesday, Dec. 18, the Library of Congress announced that Mary Poppins (1964) had been included among the 25 movies added to the National Film Registry "to be preserved as cinematic treasures for generations to come." Directed by Robert Stevenson, Mary Poppins remains one of the biggest blockbusters ever, »
- Andre Soares
The National Film Registry has selected 25 films to be added to its catalog of titles to be preserved by the Library of Congress. The films selected certainly run the gamut -- Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" was chosen alongside Disney live-action classic "Mary Poppins." Also chosen were Stanley Kramer's courtroom epic "Judgment at Nuremberg"; John Sturges' "The Magnificent Seven," inspired by Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai"; Burton-Taylor showdown classic "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"; Rita Hayworth vehicle "Gilda"; John Ford's Ireland-set "The Quiet Man," starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara; 1956 fantastical sci-fi entry "Forbidden Planet"; and space program epic "The Right Stuff." Michael Moore's "Roger & Me," on the General Motors plant closure in his hometown of Flint, Michigan, was one of the four documentaries to make the list. Moore penned a letter in appreciation, thanking the Library of Congress for the timeliness of its selection:The news comes at. »
- Beth Hanna
“Pulp Fiction,” “Roger & Me,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “Mary Poppins,” “Judgment at Nuremberg” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” are among 25 films selected by the Library of Congress this year to be added to its National Film Registry.
The registry is composed of U.S.-made pics dating from 1912 that are deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” enough to warrant preservation. The list is expanded annually by 25 titles selected by the librarian from suggestions by the facility’s curators, members of the National Film Preservation Board and the public. The 2013 selections bring the number of pics in the Registry to 625.
Eligible films run the gamut of Hollywood classics, silent films, documentaries, independent and experimental motion pictures. This year’s picks are the usual eclectic mix that include MGM’s 1956 sci-fi classic, “Forbidden Planet;” John Wayne’s much-praised turn in John Ford’s 1952 drama “The Quiet Man;” the Charles Vidor- directed film noir classic, »
- Paul Harris
As a sparkling restoration of Orson Welles's delirious 1947 film noir is unveiled at the London film festival, Tony Paley explores the dramatic story behind its production
• More on the London film festival
Citizen Kane may no longer automatically called the greatest film ever made, but a year after Orson Welles's movie was knocked off the top of Sight & Sound's poll on the 50 greatest films of all time, the late director is back in the spotlight with two world premieres.
This week, Too Much Johnson (1938), a forerunner to Citizen Kane, was screened where the director's "lost" silent film was found – in the Italian town of Pordenone. It coincided with the opening night of the London film festival, where the sparkling new restoration of The Lady from Shanghai (1947) will be unveiled.
Welles screened The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) for his cast and crew prior to shooting The Lady from Shanghai. »
- Tony Paley
There's nothing Claudia Cardinale hates more than staying still, but for the past two months she's had to do exactly that. She broke her foot on holiday in Tunisia and has since been holed up in her Paris flat. "It was stupid," she says, in her distinctive Mediterranean rasp. "I was playing volleyball. There was water on the edge of swimming pool, and I slipped. I like to be active, so when I have to sit for two months without going out, it's terrible. I had many places to go and I had to refuse: Venice, Kiev, Osaka. Now it's Ok. Yesterday I went out for the first time, but the weather is ugly."
Cardinale is a survivor from the era when movie giants walked the earth – most of them alongside her. »
- Steve Rose
Floating heads! Photoshop nightmares! Extreme camera mugging! We all know a lousy movie poster when we see one, right? But let’s not focus on the negative. Instead, here’s a collection of some of the most memorable, iconic, audacious, eye-catching, and flat-out gorgeous movie posters ever unleashed.
And so, in a rather stream-of-consciousness order…
(Note: many of the posters here were pulled from the amazing IMPAwards site. Check it out!)
Still one of the most horrifying images ever created. It’s so Big!!
So iconic, that a few short months later it was sent up, to humorous and soon-to-be-legendary effect:
The subtle biting of the lip says all there is to say about the dirty, delicious cult phenomenon.
The beat-up stencil, »
- Brian Juergens
Women in Film: Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, and dozens of movie actresses in curious morphing montage A few dozen top international female movie stars, most of them Hollywood celebrities, are seen in the Women in Film morphing montage below created by Philip Scott Johnson. The faces belong to actresses from the 1910s to the early 21st century. (Image: The ‘Daughter’ of Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner — who sort of looks like a cross between Eleanor Parker and Cyd Charisse as well — in the Women in Film morphing montage.) Just as interesting as trying to identify each of the famous faces is stopping the video while the morphing is going on, so you get Daughter of Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner, or Daughter of Audrey Hepburn and Dorothy Dandridge, or Daughter of Michelle Pfeiffer and Sigourney Weaver. Some of those Daughters are quite pretty; others look like they’ve just landed on this planet. »
- Andre Soares
Louise Brooks in Prix de Beauté: 2013 San Francisco Silent Film Festival Louise Brooks will kick off the 2013 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 17, the Sfsff will screen Augusto Genina’s Prix de Beauté aka Beauty Prize at the Castro Theater. Released in 1930 — when talkies had already become established in much of the moviemaking world — the French-made Prix de Beauté came out in both sound and silent versions, a widely common practice in those days as many theaters had yet to get wired for sound. Needless to say, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival’s Prix de Beauté print is the silent version, recently restored by the Cineteca di Bologna. (Photo: Louise Brooks in Prix de Beauté.) Prix de Beauté, which marked the last time Louise Brooks starred in a feature film, tells the story of a typist who enters a beauty contest — much to her »
- Andre Soares
Simon Columb attends BFI Southbank's Rita Hayworth retrospective...
Two years after Citizen Kane, the genius Orson Welles married Rita Hayworth. This was her second marriage lasting three years before they separated – but not before a brief rekindling of their romance on the set of The Lady from Shanghai. It didn't last long and they divorced in 1948. In that regard, Hayworth and Welles' relationship is an important factor to consider when analysing this strange mess of a film. Detailed by James Steffen and Rob Nixon on Turner Classic Movies, a rough cut of the film was 155 minutes long and was chopped down by editor Viola Lawrence to a mere 87 minutes; David Benedict, introducing the film at the BFI Retrospective, was under no illusion about the distorted and clunky "short" film we were yet to watch. This is not Orson Welles at 100% - indeed, he is barely at 50% - but amongst the awkward accents, »
- Flickering Myth
Simon Columb attends BFI Southbank's Rita Hayworth retrospective...
In The Shawshank Redemption (titled Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption in Stephen King's Different Seasons) there is a moment whereby we see a scene from Gilda. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) attempts to ask Red (Morgan Freeman) to bring him "Rita Hayworth" but before he can ask, Red tells him to wait so that he - and all the prisoners - can fully appreciate her cinematic introduction: "Gilda, are you decent?" She throws back her hair. "Me? Sure. I'm decent".
The prisoners cheer in what may be one of the most iconic moments in Hollywood history - a moment that truly established her as a star from the trailer alone. But Gilda carries more than mere eye-candy for the viewers, it is also considered the "gayest, straight film" according to David Benedict (who introduced the film at the BFI) as the »
- Flickering Myth
Man of Steel weekend box office: Above estimates, but real June record remains beyond the reach of Superman 2013 reboot (image: Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel) Somewhat surprisingly — it’s usually the other way around — Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel grossed more than $3 million above studio estimates released on Sunday, June 16, 2013. Directed by Zack Snyder (300, Sucker Punch), and starring Henry Cavill (The Tudors, possibly the upcoming The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), the 2013 Superman reboot scored $116.61 million from 4,207 North American locations according to weekend box-office actuals found at Box Office Mojo. Once Thursday evening figures are added, the $225 million-budgeted Man of Steel‘s domestic cume reached $128.68 million by Sunday evening. Now, Man of Steel‘s adjusted $116.61 million doesn’t change the June Box-Office Record Chart in any way. The Superman reboot remains ahead of the former official June champ, the Tom Hanks-, Tim Allen-voiced Toy Story 3‘s »
- Zac Gille
Betty Hutton: Personal nadir (image: Betty Hutton interview on the PBS show American Masters) [See previous post: "Betty Hutton: Annie Get Your Gun, Dancing with Fred Astaire."] The year 1967 was Betty Hutton’s personal nadir: her mother died in a fire, she filed for bankruptcy, and her fourth marriage came to an end. Besides the aforementioned Charles O’Curran, Hutton’s husbands were camera manufacturer Theodore S. Briskin, Capitol Records executive Alan Livingston, and jazz trumpet player Pete Candoli. Repeating a line similar to Rita Hayworth’s complaint that her many husbands went to bed with Gilda but woke up with Rita, Hutton once said, "My husbands all fell in love with Betty Hutton. None of them fell in love with me." Following a partial recovery in the early ’70s, she landed a gig performing Annie Get Your Gun at a dinner theater outside of Boston. One night, she collapsed onstage. "I don’t want to go into how I got here, »
- Andre Soares
Most recent film appearances, plus concert and television work Please check out our previous post: "Montiel La Violetera and Pedro Almodóvar Icon." Her last star vehicle of note was Juan Antonio Bardem's Varietés (1971), a melodrama about an aging actress who continues to dream of becoming a bona fide star. [Please scroll down to listen to Montiel's husky rendition of "Amado mío."] The forty-something hopeful eventually gets her chance at stardom, but it all turns out to be a flash in the pan. By then, following a whole array of formulaic romantic musical melodramas, Montiel's box-office allure had waned rather radically. She turned down roles in Spain's cine del destape -- post-Franco softcore comedies -- which eventually meant the demise of her movie career. Her last official star vehicle was Pedro Lazaga's comedy Cinco almohadas para una noche ("Five Cushions for One Night," 1974) -- though she would be seen in Eduardo Manzanos Brochero's That's Entertainment-like compilation feature Canciones de nuestra »
- Andre Soares
Blue Velvet has plenty of the makings of noir: a sultry and dangerous atmosphere, big city fear, femme fatale (Dorothy Vallens/Isabella Rossellini), an intrepid detective working outside the police force (Jeffrey Beaumont/Kyle MacLachlan), and, of course, Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper), a psychopath akin to the best of late-period classic American noirs.
By stirring the pot a bit Lynch moves these ingredients closer to something like revisionist noir or satire. The detective and his love interest Sandy Williams (Laura Dern) are more characters from a Nicholas Ray or John Hughes film than anything hard-boiled; the color scheme pushes the pastel-suburbs so far from the darkly saturated nighttime city as to be nearly comical that the two coexist; even Hopper’s Booth takes the psycho-sexual penchants of the worst of Richard Widmark or Ralph Meeker to new extremes.
Blue Velvet’s centerpiece trope is The Slow Club, a dim, sensual »
- Neal Dhand
Directed by David Lynch
Written by David Lynch
I have never seen a David Lynch film. I know very little about him. I doubt that I truly grasped that Lynch was a surrealist filmmaker before now, yet Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive have been on my to-be-watched list for a decade. So when I sat down to watch Mulholland Drive, I knew absolutely nothing about the “plot” or the characters. Depending on how you view Lynch, two and a half hours of total confusion may be the best or worst way to be introduced to his style.
For my own sanity, I will try to summarize the story. The film begins with a series of parallel storylines: a woman (Laura Harring) is riding up Mulholland Dr. in a limo only to have the driver stop and aim a gun at her; an increasingly nervous man describes his nightmare »
- Katherine Springer
Titan Books recently released Max Allan Collins’ Seduction of the Innocent, a hardboiled detective novel inspired by the 1950′s witch-hunt against crime and horror comic books. If the topic piques your interest and you want to learn more, check out our exclusive excerpt from the novel.
Synopsis: ”It’s 1954, and a rabble-rousing social critic has declared war on comic books – especially the scary, gory, bloody sort published by the bad boys of the industry, Ef Comics. But on the way to a Senate hearing on whether these depraved publications should be banned, the would-be censor meets a violent end of his own – leaving his opponents in hot water.
Can Jack Starr, private eye to the funny-book industry, and his beautiful boss Maggie unravel the secret of Dr. Frederick’s gruesome demise? Or will thecrackdown come, falling like an executioner’s axe…?
A hardboiled detective novel inspired by the 1950s witch-hunt »
- Jonathan James
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 14, 2013
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Van Heflin (My Son John) stars as a mild-mannered cattle rancher who takes on the task of shepherding a captured outlaw, played with cucumber-cool charisma by Glenn Ford (Gilda), to the train that will take him to prison. What begins as an apparently simple plan turns into a nerve-racking cat-and-mouse game that will test each man’s particular brand of honor.
Based on a story by Elmore Leonard (Freaky Deaky), the classic 3:10 to Yuma is considered to be one of the most psychologically complex and humane Westerns of its time—and certainly some than the 2007 remake starring Russell Crowe (Robin Hood) and Christian Bale (The Fighter), which is still available on DVD and Blu-ray. »
The Grammy Awards red carpet is absolutely unpredictable, which, of course, makes it the most fun of award shows! While I love actresses to look like movie stars, I think being a musician gives you leeway to dress any way you like. So here are some fun 'styling mash-ups' that serve as inspiration for how I'd like to see some of the ladies look on Grammy evening—or hey, just some great ideas for your next Halloween! Beyoncé: The star would look best with the glitz and glam of Linda Evans circa Dynasty crossed with the smoldering heat from Rita Hayworth in Gilda and then funk it up with a touch of Rick James. Pink: Harness the raw sexual energy of Sharon Stone in Basic »
20 items from 2013
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