12 items from 2015
Ann-Margret movies: From sex kitten to two-time Oscar nominee. Ann-Margret: 'Carnal Knowledge' and 'Tommy' proved that 'sex symbol' was a remarkable actress Ann-Margret, the '60s star who went from sex kitten to respected actress and two-time Oscar nominee, is Turner Classic Movies' star today, Aug. 13, '15. As part of its “Summer Under the Stars” series, TCM is showing this evening the movies that earned Ann-Margret her Academy Award nods: Mike Nichols' Carnal Knowledge (1971) and Ken Russell's Tommy (1975). Written by Jules Feiffer, and starring Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel, the downbeat – some have found it misogynistic; others have praised it for presenting American men as chauvinistic pigs – Carnal Knowledge is one of the precursors of “adult Hollywood moviemaking,” a rare species that, propelled by the success of disparate arthouse fare such as Vilgot Sjöman's I Am Curious (Yellow) and Costa-Gavras' Z, briefly flourished from »
- Andre Soares
BBC Culture has this week unveiled a new list of the top 100 American films, as voted for by a pool of international film critics from across the globe. The format of the poll was that any film that would make the list had to have recieved funding from a Us source, and the directors of the films did not need to be from the USA, nor did the films voted for need to be filmed in the Us.
Critics were asked to submit their top 10 lists, which would try to find the top 100 American films that while “not necessarily the most important, but the greatest on an emotional level”. The list, as you may have guessed, is very different to the lists curated by say the BFI or AFI over the years, so there are certainly a few surprises on here, with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (2013), Terrence Malick »
- Scott J. Davis
First off, let's make one thing clear. We're not scratching our heads at Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" making the BBC's 100 greatest American films. That movie, of which an image accompanies this post, not only made the list, but ranked appropriately at no. 25. It's the rest of the selections that have us scratching and, yes, shaking our heads in disbelief. A wonderful page view driver, these sorts of lists make great fodder for passionate movie fans no matter what their age or part of the world they hail from. There is nothing more entertaining than watching two critics from opposite ends of the globe try to debate whether "The Dark Knight" should have been nominated for best picture or make a list like this. Even in this age of short form content where Vines, Shapchats and Instagram videos have captured viewers attention, movies will continue to inspire because »
- Gregory Ellwood
Leave it to the Brits to compile a list of the best American films of all-time. BBC Culture has published a list of what it calls "The 100 Greatest American Films", as selected by 62 international film critics in order to "get a global perspective on American film." As BBC Culture notes, the critics polled represent a combination of broadcasters, book authors and reviewers at various newspapers and magazines across the world. As for what makes an American filmc "Any movie that received funding from a U.S. source," BBC Culture's publication states, which is to say the terminology was quite loose, but the list contains a majority of the staples you'd expect to see. Citizen Kane -- what elsec -- comes in at #1, and in typical fashion The Godfather follows at #2. Vertigo, which in 2012 topped Sight & Sound's list of the greatest films of all-time, comes in at #3 on BBC Culture's list. »
- Jordan Benesh
Every now and then a major publication or news organisation comes up with a top fifty or one hundred films of all time list - a list which always stirs up debate, discussion and often interesting arguments about the justifications of the list's inclusions, ordering and notable exclusions.
Today it's the turn of BBC Culture who consulted sixty-two international film critics including print reviews, bloggers, broadcasters and film academics to come up with what they consider the one-hundred greatest American films of all time. To qualify, the film had to be made by a U.S. studio or mostly funded by American money.
Usually when a list of this type is done it is by institutes or publications within the United States asking American critics their favourites. This time it's non-American critics born outside the culture what they think are the best representations of that culture. Specifically they were asked »
- Garth Franklin
The title invokes tragedies already over and done: "From Mayerling to Sarajevo," a range of time spanning from the suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria in Mayerling, a death that eventually made Archduke Franz Ferdinand the next heir to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, to the assassination of the Archduke in the Bosnian capital, precipitating the First World War.The title invokes a range of cities spanning countries. The director of From Mayerling to Sarajevo, a 1940 picture revived in a new print by The Film Desk and opening at New York’s Film Forum on March 27, is Max Ophüls, himself a roving vagabond auteur, born in Germany and making films not only there but in the Netherlands, Italy, Hollywood, and France, where this film was made on the precipice of the Second World War and the beginning of a new kind of German-speaking empire.The films of Max Ophüls survive beautiful and aphoristic, »
- Daniel Kasman
Interweaving two love stories set in Prague, one in the ’40s and one in the present, “Somewhere Only We Know” drowns in the unbearable triteness of cinematic tourism, while indulging the latest fad for boy bands and foreign dates among mainland Chinese women. Although her latest film radiates neither soul nor sincerity, actress-helmer Xu Jinglei demonstrates a shrewd understanding of the marketplace that has certainly paid off: Since its Valentine’s Day opening, the pic has held up impressively against Lunar New Year blockbusters, becoming the highest earner of Xu’s directing career. Notwithstanding an upcoming Stateside bow and select screenings Down Under, however, the film’s prissy tone and risibly quaint images of Europe may elicit giggles from Western audiences.
Xu shows her commercial savvy simply by casting the hugely popular Kris (aka Wu Yifan), a former Chinese member of the Korean boy band Exo, in an effort to »
- Maggie Lee
Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (photo: Marc Allégret) (See previous post: "Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.") Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical and financial success of the 1934 romantic drama Lac aux Dames, directed by her self-appointed mentor – and alleged lover – Marc Allégret. The son of an evangelical missionary, Marc Allégret (born on December 22, 1900, in Basel, Switzerland) was to have become a lawyer. At age 16, his life took a different path as a result of his romantic involvement – and elopement to London – with his mentor and later "adoptive uncle" André Gide (1947 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), more than 30 years his senior and married to Madeleine Rondeaux for more than two decades. In various forms – including a threesome with painter Théo Van Rysselberghe's daughter Elisabeth – the Allégret-Gide relationship remained steady until the late '20s and their trip to »
- Andre Soares
Jourdan was the last of the dashing Continental lovers – sophisticated, rich and elegantly handsome – who delighted movie audiences during Hollywood’s golden age. Like Jourdan, they were usually French, personified by Charles Boyer and Maurice Chevalier. In his most famous screen role, the 1958 MGM musical “Gigi,” he was the nephew of Chevalier, an elderly roué. In the film Jourdan was scheduled to live the same life of rich food, elegant vacations and serial mistresses as his uncle until he fell in love with Gigi (Leslie Caron) who was being groomed to become a courtesan. The movie was a fairy tale that Jourdan carried with an easy charm. After Jourdan had played a dozen or more of such roles – as a playboy in Max Ophul’s classic “Letter From an Unknown Woman” (1948) who cannot remember a woman who was the mother of his child; as one of “Madame Bovary’s” lovers »
- Aljean Harmetz
French actor Louis Jourdan, who enjoyed a long and varied career playing debonair men and a James Bond villain, has died. He was 93.
Jourdan began acting in his native France in the late 1930s, though World War II put many of his early productions in jeopardy. He was invited to be part of his first American film in 1946, when legendary Hollywood producer David O. Selznick cast him in Alfred Hitchcock's 1947 flick "The Paradine Case," alongside his wife, the late Berthe Frederique "Quique" Jourdan.
Louis Jourdan continued to find success in Hollywood throughout the 1940s and '50s in movies such as "Letter From An Unknown Woman," "Three Coins In The Fountain," and two Vincente Minelli features: "Madame Bovary" and "Gigi," the latter of which won nine Oscars including Best Pitcure. He worked steadily over the next few decades, frequently appearing in TV movies and series guest-starring roles, before landing »
- Katie Roberts
Louis Jourdan, who crafted a Hollywood acting career in the footsteps of fellow dapper Frenchmen Maurice Chevalier and Charles Boyer and is best remembered for the musical “Gigi” and as the villain in James Bond pic “Octopussy,” has died at 93. According to his friend and biographer Olivier Minne, he died Saturday at his home in Beverly Hills.
Jourdan offered a certain effortless charm that worked equally well in light heroic roles and more sinister ones.
“He was the last French figure of the Hollywood golden age. And he worked with so many of the greatest actors and directors,” said Minne, who is working on a documentary and a book about Jourdan.
In Vincente Minnelli’s 1958 musical confection “Gigi,” Jourdan starred with Leslie Caron and Chevalier in an effort from the “My Fair Lady” team of Lerner & Loewe, turning the Collette tale into a Frenchified version of “Pygmalion.” The New York Times said, »
- Carmel Dagan
12 items from 2015
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