9 items from 2015
Orson Welles was just 27 when he wrote, starred, and directed in the film still regarded by most as the greatest motion picture ever made, Citizen Kane. The young genius was a Hollywood transplant, lured in from the prestigious New York City theatre community, where, in 1936, he had co-founded the Mercury Theatre. To this day, many know of Welles’s infamous broadcast of H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds on Halloween Eve in 1938. The naturalism of the Mercury ensemble’s performances, led by the unrivaled coldness of Welles’s own velvet voice, convinced a nation that ordinary folks were being interviewed live as an extraterrestrial invasion unfolded. The broadcast incited its fair shares of panic and landed Welles in the national spotlight defending his work. He would find himself on the wrong side of critical sentiment throughout his career, adding only more fire and brimstone to a legacy of confrontation and innovation. »
- Kyle North
Park Circus has acquired the Woodfall Library of classic British films.
“We will now represent internationally for theatrical licensing the Woodfall Films Library,” said Park Circus exec Jack Bell. “We will be working to make the films available to cinemas and film festivals.”
Most of the titles are expected to be re-released in a new digital format.
“That is one of the key things Park Circus has been behind, making films available digitally. That has allows cinemas to show classic films more. Woodfall Films will be a part of that now.”
- email@example.com (Geoffrey Macnab)
In 1963, Film Quarterly published an essay entitled “Circles and Squares.” It addressed the French auteur theory, introduced to America by The Village Voice’s Andrew Sarris. Auteurism holds that a film’s primary creator is its director; Sarris’s “Notes on the Auteur Theory” further distinguished auteurs as filmmakers with distinct, recurring styles. Challenging him was a California-based writer named Pauline Kael.
Kael attacked Sarris’s obsession with trivial links between filmmaker’s movies, whether repeated shots or thematic preoccupations. This led critics to overpraise directors’ lesser films, as when Jacques Rivette declared Howard Hawks’ Monkey Business a masterpiece. “It is an insult to an artist to praise his bad work along with his good; it indicates that you are incapable of judging either,” Kael wrote.
She criticized auteurist preoccupation with Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock, claiming critics “work embarrassingly hard trying to give some semblance of intellectual respectability to mindless, »
- Christopher Saunders
Costa-Gavras has been named guest of honour at this year’s Cannes Classics section of the Cannes Film Festival (May 13-24).
The Greek-French film director and producer won the Palme d’or with Missing in 1982, was member of the jury in 1976 that crowned Taxi Driver and picked up the award for best director with Section spéciale in 1975.
The filmmaker will be present for a screening of Z, which won the jury prize in 1969, and has had the original negative scanned in 4k and restored frame by frame in 2K, supervised by Costa-Gavras.
Marking 100 years since the birth of Orson Welles, Cannes will screen restorations of films from the legendary Us actor, director, writer and producer, who died in 1985.
The titles include his staggering debut Citizen Kane (1941), which has received a 4k restoration completed »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Why not join the merriest movie club? You only have to 1) watch the movie, 2) take a screengrab of your favorite image and 3) post it somewhere online saying why you chose it. It's that easy!
Here's what's coming right up...
Wed, April 22nd 9 To 5 (1981)
With the new series Grace and Frankie premiering in May on Netflix, let's revisit the first comic pairing of the legendary Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, this time as an Unofficial Office Manager and Mousy New Secretary who have the world's worst boss. Also starring Dolly Parton and one of the great movie theme songs. The one thing we've never really considered about this movie is how it looks. So let's look. Invite a friend to play because who doesn't love this movie?
[Amazon Instant | Netflix Instant | iTunes]
Wed, April 29th Bright Star (2009)
We're joining Anne Marie's "Women's Pictures" series for a Jane Campion (she's the topic this month). Drown in the »
- NATHANIEL R
There’s a light touch to much of Dave Boyle’s modern-noir Man from Reno, eschewing the usual aesthetic trappings of the genre, lulling the viewer into a false sense of comfort before inevitably pulling the rug out from under. The movie opens in the fog and climaxes on a sunny dock, rendering the so-called ambience of film-noir moot. The notion here that a noir doesn’t have to be set in run down alleys and shadowy high-contrast rooms and smoky bars to suggest something corrupt and malicious; a sunny dock and a warmly-lit hotel-room hold just as much, if not more, sinister intent. There’s something downright transgressive about using San Francisco in such a manner, the city that gave birth to the quintessential noirs The Lady From Shanghai & The Maltese Falcon now repurposed as their aesthetic counterpart. Two entwining storylines compete for attention. In the first, a successful »
- Tommy Cook
Written and directed by Orson Welles
The Lady from Shanghai (1947) didn’t come easily for Orson Welles. No film ever really did after his breakthrough, the great Citizen Kane (1941), the movie that put him on the map and in the crosshairs of the Hollywood establishment. They wanted little to do with this iconoclastic hotshot from New York, and for the rest of his days, Welles struggled to achieve an autonomous artistic vision. That so many astonishing films came out of this struggle, like The Lady from Shanghai, surely says something about his cinematic gift, an inherent talent that could not be restrained or denied.
It took considerable wheeling and dealing for Welles to convince Harry Cohn to back the film. Welles had three features on his directorial résumé, and though Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) were not financially successful, his third film, The Stranger (1946), was. »
- Jeremy Carr
The Miami International Film Festival (March 6-15) launches this weekend in balmy Florida with a full-bodied slate of international cinema. With its special focus on Ibero-American and Cuban films, the 32nd edition presents many North American premieres alongside hot circuit titles from Sundance, Cannes and beyond. From Sundance, acclaimed docs "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck," Brett Morgan's portrait of the haunted Nirvana frontman, and "Best of Enemies," Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville's account of the televised sparring wars between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal, touch down in Miami. Read More: Toronto Critics Go Crazy for Christian Petzold's "Phoenix" Cinephiles should know that the Miami Beach Cinematheque has partnered with the festival to present an Orson Welles retrospective featuring "Citizen Kane," "The Stranger," "The Lady From Shanghai," "Touch of Evil" and "Othello." Read More: Venice »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (photo: Jean Gabin and Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine') (See previous post: "'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.") In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century-Fox from another French import, Annabella (later Tyrone Power's wife), Simone Simon returned to France. Once there, she reestablished herself as an actress to be reckoned with in Jean Renoir's La Bête Humaine. An updated version of Émile Zola's 1890 novel, La Bête Humaine is enveloped in a dark, brooding atmosphere not uncommon in pre-World War II French films. Known for their "poetic realism," examples from that era include Renoir's own The Lower Depths (1936), Julien Duvivier's La Belle Équipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937), and particularly Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938) and Daybreak (1939). This thematic and »
- Andre Soares
9 items from 2015
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