11 items from 2010
Cahiers du cinema should need no introduction and this new series of books come to us under their banner from Phaidon Press; ten books, ten directors named Masters of cinema and a more perfect Christmas present for the cinephile in your life I could not imagine.
I’m familiar with each of the ten directors here (for a full list see the front covers to the right of the article) and I’ve seen almost every film discussed in the ten books but there was a tangible thrill on starting each one, it was the same sensation I felt when I discovered each director years ago and while I’m not a fan of all I am more than happy to read and discuss the merits, or lack thereof, of the films they produce.
These are beautiful books, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Present in each are some »
- Jon Lyus
By 1933, Universal Studios had become a veritable fear factory, thanks to the efforts of production head Carl Laemmle Jr. After the amazing profits earned from Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy, he was eager to find Universal's next horror property, and fast.
Carl Junior had been trying to get a Frankenstein sequel off the ground, but director James Whale, who had been so instrumental to the original film's success, had been resistant to the idea. Whale was a true artist who did not like to repeat himself, so the idea of a sequel was distasteful at best, even if it was guaranteed to be a hit.
In an effort to mollify Carl Junior and satisfy his desire for something in the realm of the fantastic, Whale expressed interest in filming The Invisible Man, based on H. G. Wells' 1897 sci-fi novella. It presented some special challenges and was just different enough from »
Flix Picks  is a new semi-regular feature that explores the depths of my Netflix queue and allows me the chance to catch up with some older films that I’ve not yet seen. You can count me as one of the many cinephiles in the Alfred Hitchcock fan club. I’ve seen a wide array of his films, although mainly the more well-known titles. So, in an attempt to widen my knowledge on the Master of Suspense, I recently caught up with Foreign Correspondent, a slightly less talked-about film in his canon. As usual, thanks to my handy-dandy Netflix account, it was an easy find. Set during the days leading up to WWII, Foreign Correspondent tells the story of Johnny Jones, a crime reporter who’s editor assigns him to Europe after becoming fed up with vague reports from other correspondents. Despite a lack of experience in foreign affairs, Johnny »
Gary Collinson presents Five Essential British Film Directors…
With his latest film Inception grossing over $271m to date in North America, director Christopher Nolan has officially overtaken fellow countryman Ridley Scott to become the most financially successful British filmmaker of all time. This is a marvellous achievement when you consider the fact he's made just seven features and banked a hefty $1.156b overall compared to Scott’s cumulative gross of $1.124b from eighteen movies (while The Dark Knight accounts for $533m of Nolan’s figure, debut feature Following grossed just $48k from a limited release).
Nolan currently stands at number fourteen in the list of highest-grossing filmmakers and with much of his career - not to mention a third Batman picture - still to come, it's surely just a matter of time before he breaks into the top ten. But where does he rank in terms of Britain’s best ever directors? »
Salt opened this past weekend to middling reviews and middling box office; the consensus appears to be that people are more or less in the middle on it. But it does do one thing well; it features a female secret agent who can handle herself. She's not used to seduce male bad guys, nor is she made to slip behind enemy lines. And she definitely, definitely does not need to be rescued by a male spy. (This is probably because the project was originally conceived for a male star, but nonetheless, it's a step in the right direction.) Here are seven of the best female spies and secret agents before Salt.
Alicia is a reluctant spy. After her father is accused of being a traitor and commits suicide, Alicia is called in to help make up for this smudge on the family name. She »
- Jeffrey M. Anderson
One way to get attention is to break a record. The new lesbian romance Elena Undone is grabbing internet hits for its 3:24 minute clip purporting to show the longest screen kiss on record. I'll take Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious. Check clip below. No contest. (Update: There's debate on who has the longest screen kiss--does it require lip-lock?) The clip below shows two erotically-charged women making out: this, as we all know, also tends to play well for men. Which reminds me: one of the amusing bits in the upcoming The Kids Are All Right is long-time lesbian partners (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) using gay male porn as inspiration in the bedroom. More Lesbian Entertainment & Video »
I shall have many young kings with round, strong arms.
And when I am tired of them, I shall whip them to death.
Last week, controversy developed over reports that Angelina Jolie has been cast to take the lead role in a biopic about Cleopatra, the historical Queen of Egypt whose reputation over the centuries has developed to nearly legendary proportions. While I think Ms. Jolie has the perfect blend of beauty, attitude and screen presence to pull off a job that’s served as a platform for silver screen goddesses of decades past, critics take issue with the fact that a Caucasian woman is once again being awarded the opportunity to play one of history’s most noteworthy African female characters. Despite the legitimate argument that Cleopatra’s lineage included European ancestors, I understand the sensitivity of their concern. Similar objections have been voiced about the upcoming The Last Airbender, »
- David Blakeslee
The IMDb250. A list of the top 250 films, as ranked by the users of the biggest movie Internet site on the web. It is based upon the ratings provided by the users of The Internet Movie Database, which number into the millions. As such, it’s a perfect representation of the opinions of the movie masses, and arguably the most comprehensive ranking system on the Internet.
It’s because of this that we at HeyUGuys (and in this case, we, is myself and Gary) have decided to set ourselves a project. To watch and review all 250 movies on the list! We’ve frozen the list as of 1st January this year. It’s not as simple as it sounds, as we’ll be watching them in one year, 125 each.
This is our nineteenth update, a rundown of my next five movies watched for the project.
(You can find last week’s update here)
Notorious (1946) – 8.2 No. »
- Barry Steele
It's fair to say Martin Scorsese is king of the film nerds; every movie he has ever made is packed with references and allusions to earlier masterworks, everything from The Red Shoes to King of Kings. He has outdone himself with his new film, Shutter Island: he has taken the Hitchcockian atmosphere of murderous insanity and run with it, shoehorning in one Hitchcock bit after another.
Scorsese has form in this area: a couple of years ago, he shot a promo film for a Spanish cava-maker which took the shape of a very smart fake documentary; in it he claims to have discovered a "lost" Hitchcock script, which he then takes it upon himself to shoot. Have a look at it online at bit. »
- Andrew Pulver
While you’re already getting your big Academy Awards party ready in time for the telecast on March 7th, we’ve got something for even bigger movie fans to enjoy. Of course, we’re talking about a movie marathon!
All month long, Turner Classic Movies will be running over 360 Academy Award nominated and winning films, back to back, with an interesting twist. In the vain of the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” each film will have a common actor or actress from the previous film.
For example, tomorrow night’s schedule consists of The Graduate with Anne Bancroft and William Daniels, which goes into Reds which stars Daniels and Jack Nicholson, into Chinatown with Nicholson and John Huston. Though we’re already about two weeks into the marathon, there are still plenty of great films to look forward to, including some TCM firsts like Gladiator, Titanic, Alien, and Trading Places. »
- Matt Raub
"Master of suspense" filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock has inspired any number of directors ... and it turns out he's inspired some artists too. Over on Flickr, you can find a set of photos of dioramas based on Hitchcock movies. The dioramas were created for an auction at Bird Dog Video, an independent video store in Calgary, last year ... not recent, but Hitchcock art doesn't grow stale.
The Flickr set is called "Frenzy" but a number of Hitchcock's films are represented by the dioramas. The one for North by Northwest is fairly straightforward. The Birds was a popular choice -- this one is my favorite representation of the film. Of course the Bates family home is represented, from Psycho, as shown on the right (look in the windows!). But the diorama I like best is the one that re-creates part of the Salvador Dali-designed dream sequence in Spellbound, it's quite striking. I'm »
- Jette Kernion
11 items from 2010
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