6 items from 2012
Last October I wrote a post about the illustrator and poster designer Jacques Kapralik. I had stumbled across Kapralik’s name and found a small amount of information about him online. My article generated interest from movie title afficionado Christian Annyas who provided me with some of Kapralik’s title sequence designs for MGM. But I was delighted a few months later to get a message on one of the posts telling me that the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming holds an archive of Jacques Kapralik’s work and papers. Archivist Emily Christopherson told me that the university has the paper dolls that were used in the title sequence for Presenting Lily Mars that I had featured. Since I had previously seen only black and white photos from that sequence it was a treat to see them in color and in so much eye-popping detail (click to »
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
The legendary producer David Selznick was a key figure in Alfred Hitchcock’s career. In an era when the producer was king he was one of the greats, the MGM enlisted executive of Gone With The Wind in 1939 after a period reviving the fortunes of the Rko studio he was always on the hunt for potential talent both behind and in front of the camera, and he finally persuaded Hitchcock to decant to Hollywood to direct his first American film Rebecca just as the second world war was gathering momentum. The romantic tragedy earned Selznick a second consecutive Best Picture Oscar (although famously Hitchcock never won a directing Academy Award during his long career) after Gone With The Wind and this prestige heralded a turbulent relationship between the expatriate director and his guiding muse, »
Everyone knows the classic Hitchcocks: Psycho, The Birds, The Lady Vanishes. But the summer-long retrospective also includes wonderful films you may not have heard much about; here's 10 often-overlooked Hitchcocks you won't want to miss
Born in Leytonstone, east London, but destined to be the toast of Hollywood, Alfred Hitchcock learned the business of film-making in London, not La. The business at that time was silent cinema, and the young Hitchcock had a full apprenticeship.
He spent years at Gainsborough Pictures in Islington, north London (or Famous Players-Lasky as it was when he arrived) crafting caption cards, editing scripts and designing sets before he was given the chance to direct his own films. His early features are far more accomplished, and more personal, than many a director's debut. And if you're familiar with his famous sound movies, you'll find much in them that prefigures his most celebrated suspense-filled sequences.
The British »
- Tony Paley, Pamela Hutchinson
The art of the glass shot or matte painting is one which originated very much in the early ‘teens’ of the silent era. Pioneer film maker, director, cameraman and visual effects inventor Norman Dawn is generally acknowledged as the father of the painted matte composite, with other visionary film makers such as Ferdinand Pinney Earle, Walter Hall and Walter Percy Day being heralded as making vast contributions to the trick process in the early 1920’s.
Boiled down, the matte process is one whereby a limited film set may be extended to whatever, or wherever the director’s imagination dictates with the employment of a matte artist. In it’s most pure form, the artist would set up a large plate of clear glass in front of the motion picture camera upon which he would carefully paint in new scenery an ornate period ceiling, snow capped mountains, a Gothic castle or even an alien world. »
To mark the 50th Anniversary of one of the most successful movie franchises of all time and with filming almost complete on James Bond’s 23rd official outing in Skyfall due for release later this year, I have been tasked with taking a retrospective look at the films that turned author Ian Fleming’s creation into one of the most recognised and iconic characters in film history.
For Octopussy, the thirteenth official James Bond film, 1983 proved to be rather unlucky. After a lengthy court battle with the co-writer of Thunderball, Kevin McClory, Albert R. Broccoli’s Eon Productions had lost the right to use Bond’s nemesis Blofeld and his organisation Spectre in any of their films. McClory had been trying since 1974 to get his own rival Bond film made but due to a lack of financial backing and legal action from United Artists and the Fleming Trustees his project »
- Chris Wright
Toby Jones/Sienna Miller = Alfred Hitchcock/Tippi Hedren? [Photo: Tippi Hedren / The Birds publicity shot.] Tippi Hedren once told The Times of London that Alfred Hitchcock — for whom she starred in The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964), and with whom she had an exclusive contract — "kept me under contract, kept paying me every week for almost two years to do nothing" after she refused his sexual advances. "I admired Hitch tremendously for his great talent and still do," Hedren told London's Daily Mail. "Yet, at the same time, I loathed him for his off-set behavior and the way he came on to me sexually. He was a great director – and he destroyed it all by his behavior when he got me alone." Hedren had no luck after she rid herself of her Hitchcock ties. She had a small supporting role in Charles Chaplin's box-office and critical flop A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), starring Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren, »
- Andre Soares
6 items from 2012
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