10 items from 2017
Everyone notices the eyes first, languid, those of a somnambulist. Robert Mitchum, calm and observant, is a presence that, through passivity, enamors a viewer. His face is as effulgent as moonlight. The man smolders, with that boozy, baritone voice, seductive and soporific, a cigarette perched between wispy lips below which is a chin cleft like a geological fault. He’s slithery with innuendo. There’s an effortless allure to it all, a mix of malaise and braggadocio, a cocksure machismo and a hint of fragility. He’s ever-cool, a paradox, “radiating heat without warmth,” as Richard Brody said. A poet, a prodigious lover and drinker, a bad boy; his penchant for marijuana landed him in jail, and in the photographs from his two-month stay he looks like a natural fit. He sits, wrapped in denim, legs spread wide, hair shiny and slick, holding a cup of coffee. His mouth is »
The six-part Netflix miniseries defies easy categorization. It is equal parts documentary and narrative drama — a dazzlingly original dive into the mysterious death of Frank Olson, a CIA employee who plunged out of a New York City hotel window in 1953 after unwittingly being dosed with LSD. The binge-able series follows Olson’s son, Eric, as he tries to piece together what happened to his father, interspersing interviews with dramatic scenes acted out by the likes of Peter Sarsgaard and Molly Parker. It makes a compelling case that the spy agency, which later apologized for drugging Olson, also had him murdered and spent decades covering up its crime.
“Wormwood” debuted Friday at the Telluride Film Festival. Before touching down in Colorado, Morris spoke with Variety about his passion for truth-finding, the »
- Brent Lang
Olivier Assayas. Photo by Locarno Festival / Massimo PedrazziniAt this year’s edition of the Locarno Festival, French filmmaker Olivier Assayas was the head of the main competition jury. As the festival drew to a close, we caught up with Assayas in the lobby of his hotel for an informal chat about viewing habits, mobile phones in cinema, and his upcoming project Ebook.Notebook: Have you seen any of the Jacques Tourneur movies from the festival's retrospective? Olivier Assayas: I’ve seen Out of the Past (1947) and Berlin Express (1948). Out of the Past I saw ages ago and Berlin Express I thought I had seen but no, this was the first time.Notebook: Do you like him?Assayas: I love Tourneur. I think he’s a genius—a great filmmaker. Well, I don’t know about a genius. Certainly a great filmmaker [laughs]. Notebook: I really like Berlin Express. It’s »
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)
A recent article (based on a very unscientific poll) argued that millennials don’t really care about old movies. Maybe that’s true, and maybe it isn’t, but the fact remains that many people disregard classic cinema on principle. These people are missing out, but it only takes one film — the right film — to change their minds and forever alter their viewing habits.
This week’s question: What is one classic film you would recommend to someone who doesn’t watch them?
Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker), Hello Beautiful, /Film, Thrillist, etc
“Rebel Without a Cause.” I’ll out myself by saying that I’ve only recently seen this film »
- David Ehrlich
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.NEWSWe are devastated by the death of performer and director Jerry Lewis this week at the age of 91, one of the 20th century's greatest—and most inspiring—artists. Dave Kehr for The New York Times has penned an excellent obituary, and it's worth revisiting Christoph Huber's 2013 coverage of the Viennale's epic retrospective of Lewis's work as an actor and a filmmaker. Last year, Adrian Curry published a selection of the international poster designs for Lewis's films.The Locarno Festival wrapped last week, with the top prize going to Chinese documentarian Wang Bing's Mrs. Fang. We were at the festival covering it day by day, including its retrospective of Hollywood genre director Jacques Tourneur (Cat People, Out of the Past). See all the awards and read our coverage from the Swiss film festival.Recommended VIEWINGThe »
In the peak American film noir years from 1940 to 1960, an astonishing number of these movies took place in the scenic west coast city of San Francisco. Fandor’s new video, “Shadows In The Fog: Classic San Francisco Film Noir” points out that as many as 70 of these films were set in the city by the bay, including classics like John Huston’s version of the The Maltese Falcon, which kicked off the genre in 1941. Orson Welles followed in 1947 with The Lady From Shanghai, which featured scenes in the city’s famous aquarium and a suspenseful footrace through Chinatown.
That same year saw Humphrey Bogart’s return to San Fran to hide out after an escape from San Quentin in Dark Passage, highlighted by director Delmer Daves’ native knowledge of the city, as well as Robert Mitchum’s noir classic Out Of The Past. All of »
- Gwen Ihnat
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
This French disc release of the Jacques Tourneur classic gets everything right — including both versions in picture perfect transfers. Devil debunker Dana Andrews locks horns with Niall MacGinnis, a necromancer “who has decoded the Old Book” and can summon a fire & brimstone monster from Hell, no election fraud necessary. Even fans that hate ghost stories love this one — it’s a truly creepy, intelligent highlight of the horror genre.
Region A + B Blu-ray + Pal DVD
Wild Side (Fr)
1957 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 95 & 82 min. / Street Date November 27, 2013 / Curse of the Demon, Rendez-vous avec la peur / Available from Amazon UK or Foreign Exchange Blu-ray
Cinematography: Ted Scaife
Production Designer: Ken Adam
Film Editor Michael Gordon
Original Music: Clifton Parker
from the »
- Glenn Erickson
Director Steve Sekely’s hardboiled film noir leans heavily on the talents of star-producer Paul Henreid and camera ace John Alton — the three of them whip up the best gimmick-driven noir thriller of the late ‘forties. Strained coincidences and unlikely events mean nothing when this much talent is concentrated in one movie. It’s also a terrific show for star Joan Bennett, who expresses all the disappointment, despair and angst of a noir femme who knows she’s in for more misery.
Kl Studio Classics
1948 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 83 min. / Street Date April 18, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95
Starring: Paul Henreid, Joan Bennett, Eduard Franz, Leslie Brooks, John Qualen, Mabel Paige, Herbert Rudley, George Chandler, Robert Bice, Henry Brandon, Franklyn Farnum, Thomas Browne Henry, Norma Varden, Jack Webb.
Cinematography: John Alton
Film Editor: Fred Allen
Original Music: Sol Kaplan
Written by Daniel Fuchs from a »
- Glenn Erickson
A release date, cover art, and special features for The Sprial Staircase Blu-ray and DVD have not yet been revealed, but we'll keep Daily Dead readers updated on this release. In the meantime, you can check out the official announcement from Kino Lorber below, as well as the film's trailer.
From Kino Lorber: "Coming Soon on DVD and Blu-ray!
Oscar Nominee: Best Supporting Actress (Barrymore)
The Spiral Staircase (1946) Starring Dorothy McGuire, George Brent, Ethel Barrymore, Kent Smith, Rhonda Fleming, Elsa Lachester and Sara Allgood - Based on a Novel by Ethel Lina White (The Lady Vanishes) - Shot by Nicholas Musuraca (Out of the Past, Cat People) - Directed by Robert Siodmak (Criss Cross, Cry of the City)"
Synopsis (via Blu-ray. »
- Derek Anderson
10 items from 2017
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