9 items from 2015
Ron Moody as Fagin in 'Oliver!' based on Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist.' Ron Moody as Fagin in Dickens musical 'Oliver!': Box office and critical hit (See previous post: "Ron Moody: 'Oliver!' Actor, Academy Award Nominee Dead at 91.") Although British made, Oliver! turned out to be an elephantine release along the lines of – exclamation point or no – Gypsy, Star!, Hello Dolly!, and other Hollywood mega-musicals from the mid'-50s to the early '70s. But however bloated and conventional the final result, and a cast whose best-known name was that of director Carol Reed's nephew, Oliver Reed, Oliver! found countless fans. The mostly British production became a huge financial and critical success in the U.S. at a time when star-studded mega-musicals had become perilous – at times downright disastrous – ventures. Upon the American release of Oliver! in Dec. 1968, frequently acerbic The »
- Andre Soares
Big news via Blu-ray.com. Carlotta Films and Carlotta Films Us will send a new 2K restoration of Jacques Rivette's Out 1 (1971), with Juliet Berto, Bernadette Lafont, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Michael Lonsdale and Bulle Ogier, out to theaters before releasing a Blu-ray edition in France and the Us later this year. More silver discs under review: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky on Jean Renoir's The River, J. Hoberman on Orson Welles's The Lady of Shanghai and Robert Montgomery's Ride the Pink Horse, Carson Lund and Jeremy Carr on a total of four films by Yasujiro Ozu, Imogen Sara Smith on Carol Reed's Odd Man Out and Howard Hampton on Vincente Minnelli’s The Band Wagon. » - David Hudson »
Directed by Carol Reed
Directed by Carol Reed and presented by the legendary J. Arthur Rank, both of whom were at the height of their careers with still more great films to come, Odd Man Out is one of the pinnacle achievements in post-war British cinema. And with James Mason in the lead, a major British star at the time, the film had everything going for it: superb direction, a solid screenplay, terrific performances, and stunning cinematography by Robert Krasker. The final result was named best film of the year by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and was chosen as one of the ten best films of 1947 by the National Board of Review. Certainly, Odd Man Out was widely seen and well regarded in its time. But now, with a newly released Criterion Blu-ray of the picture, »
- Jeremy Carr
Above: "Boob Tube," the latest issue of cléo has arrived with a focus on television, featuring pieces on Adventure Time, Veronica Mars, Murder She Wrote and more. On the latest episode of "The Cinephiliacs," Peter Labuza chats with Notebook friend and contributor Fernando F. Croce. In Reverse Shot, Nick Pinkerton interviews Tsai Ming-liang:"Rs: In the inverse of the usual career trajectory, you have been making shorts far more proficiently than features lately. Why has that been? What are some advantages of the short format? Tsai: What is a short film? What is a long film? After Face, four years passed until I filmed Stray Dogs. Many people thought I had retired, but I actually never stopped. Because of various opportunities which presented themselves to me, I have made films of different lengths using different formats and techniques, and for different screening platforms. Stray Dogs was shown in galleries in Taiwan. »
"Carol could put a film together like a watchmaker puts together a watch," stated director Michael Powell, himself not exactly notorious for his slapdash approach to filmmaking, speaking of fellow Brit Carol Reed. Though undoubtedly a statement of admiration, this quote also points to the still-standing difficulty in assessing Reed's work in totality: while he may have turned in three more-or-less unassailable classics, one of which, "Odd Man Out" came out on Criterion Blu Ray yesterday, there's a sense today that Reed has not got enough of a personal authorial imprint across his entire output to earn him a real spot in the auteur pantheon. In fact, his name is often unfamiliar even to those who count one or more of his films among their favorites — compare that relative retrospective anonymity with the reputations of contemporaries like Hitchcock or Wilder or Ford. Partly this probably comes down to the fact that Reed himself, »
- Jessica Kiang
The Babadook Along with It Follows, The Babadook is a bit of a re-energizer in the horror genre, delivering mood and atmosphere over jump scares and gore. I will say the little kid played by Noah Wiseman got on my damn nerves early and often, but overall this is an effective little feature. You can read my theatrical review here.
Sullivan's Travels (Criterion Collection) I am woefully behind on my Criterion reviews as I have been inundated with my day-to-day duties and screeners, but I will be catching up soon and Preson Sturges' Sullivan's Travels will be one of the first ones I get to. I have heard plenty about this movie, but never seen it myself. I can't wait to give it a look. Here's the description from Criterion: Tired of churning out lightweight comedies, Hollywood director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) decides to make O Brother, Where Art Thouc--a serious, »
- Brad Brevet
Kristen Stewart, 'Camp X-Ray' star, to join cast of 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' Kristen Stewart to join 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' movie After putting away her Bella Swan wig and red (formerly brown) contact lenses, Kristen Stewart has been making a number of interesting career choices. Here are three examples: Stewart was a U.S. soldier who befriends an inmate (Peyman Moaadi) at the American Gulag, Guantanamo, in Peter Sattler's little-seen (at least in theaters) Camp X-Ray. She was one of Best Actress Oscar winner Julianne Moore's daughters in Wash Westmoreland and the recently deceased Richard Glatzer's Alzheimer's drama Still Alice. She was the personal assistant to troubled, aging actress Juliette Binoche in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria, which earned her a history-making Best Supporting Actress César. (Stewart became the first American actress to take home the French Academy Award. »
- Andre Soares
In The Front Row, Richard Brody writes on Amos Vogel (pictured above), and the ever-influential (yet contrastive) strands of cinephilia born in Paris and New York:
"Vogel’s dream of American independent filmmaking offering a significant artistic counterweight to Hollywood films has been fulfilled: independent films are now better, more original, more forward-looking than ever. The French cinephile stream exemplified by the New Wave filmmakers has won the hearts and minds of these independent filmmakers, and inspires them to this day. But the American cinephilia launched by Vogel, with its emphasis on ideological scrutiny, holds sway over many critics and viewers, perhaps more firmly than ever. That’s why the gap that Vogel lamented—the one dividing the best of independent filmmaking from the critical community and the audience—is also larger than ever."
The Coen brothers will serve as the co-presidents of the jury for the 68th Cannes Film Festival this May. »
Criterion has announced five titles for Blu-ray release in April, which are sure to get film lovers on both sides of the pond excited.
All details of each release, as well as the artworks are below, and all available to pre-order over at Amazon.com.
Tired of churning out lightweight comedies, Hollywood director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) decides to make O Brother, Where Art Thou?—a serious, socially responsible film about human suffering. After his producers point out that he knows nothing of hardship, Sullivan hits the road disguised as a hobo. En route to enlightenment, »
- Scott J. Davis
9 items from 2015
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