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Daily Briefing. Hitchcock for the Holidays

26 December 2011 4:27 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

A very brief one indeed today, but I did want to help get word out there that the Hitchcock for the Holidays series is running at Chicago's Music Box Theatre through January 4. Ben Sachs in the Reader: "The films have been organized into five thematically-joined double features, making it easier for aspiring scholars to chart the development of key ideas across different periods of Hitchcock's career. The most inspired pairing may be Rope with Strangers on a Train (on December 27 & 28), which contain the strongest gay subtext of any Hitchcock films (Farley Granger, the bisexual star of both films, has interesting things to say about them in his autobiography Include Me Out); though the back-to-back screenings of Rear Window and Rebecca (on December 25 & 26) should bring out the romanticism of the former and the voyeurism of the latter."

Previous entries on Hitchcock; and earlier, in March: Remembering Farley Granger.

Lists. "Once again, »

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Film News: ‘Hitchcock For the Holidays’ to Screen Double Features at Music Box

22 December 2011 5:20 AM, PST | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – The unmistakable silhouette of the Master of Suspense will be cast over the Music Box Theatre during the final days of the holiday season. Ten of Alfred Hitchcock’s most beloved masterworks will be presented on the big screen in inspired double bills that illustrate the startling range and enduring brilliance of the legendary filmmaker.

Even if moviegoers have seen these titles eight dozen times on DVD, they will be amazed at how fresh the films play when screened in a packed theater. No filmmaker knew how to delight and frighten an audience better than Hitchcock. When Robert Osborne held a free screening of “North by Northwest” at the Music Box last year, it felt as if the picture had been made yesterday.

Every punchline scored a belly laugh, every moment of delicious tension caused viewers to lean forward in anticipation, and when the film ended, the packed house broke out into extended, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Top 7 Films in Real Time

21 December 2011 2:32 PM, PST | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.

Real time – in which the plot of the film covers the same amount of time as it takes to watch – can be a blessing or a curse. When a film calls attention to it, real time can become a gimmicky distraction. On the other hand, it can add a real sense of urgency if the film just allows the events to unfold before us. There are a number of different ways filmmakers use it. For example, the action may be primarily set in one location. Other ways it is used involve hostage situations, characters waiting for something, or simply following characters around from place to place. It can be a tricky thing to pull off perfectly. So I’m deciding that as long as the film makes a real attempt, and the majority of the action takes place in real time, it is fair game. »

- Shane T. Nier

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Elizabeth Taylor, Farley Granger, Jane Russell, Peter Falk, Sidney Lumet: TCM Remembers 2011

13 December 2011 4:16 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

"TCM Remembers 2011" is out. Remembered by Turner Classic Movies are many of those in the film world who left us this past year. As always, this latest "TCM Remembers" entry is a classy, immensely moving compilation. The haunting background song is "Before You Go," by Ok Sweetheart.

Among those featured in "TCM Remembers 2011" are Farley Granger, the star of Luchino Visconti's Senso and Alfred Hitchcock's Rope and Strangers on a Train; Oscar-nominated Australian actress Diane Cilento (Tom Jones, Hombre), formerly married to Sean Connery; and two-time Oscar nominee Peter Falk (Murder, Inc., Pocketful of Miracles, The Great Race), best remembered as television's Columbo. Or, for those into arthouse fare, for playing an angel in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire.

Also, Jane Russell, whose cleavage and sensuous lips in Howard Hughes' The Outlaw left the puritans of the Production Code Association apoplectic; another Australian performer, Googie Withers, among »

- Andre Soares

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2012 Grammy nominations: Adele, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and more

30 November 2011 7:56 PM, PST | Pop2it | See recent Pop2it news »

The nominees have been announced for the 54th annual Grammy Awards. Kanye West leads the nominations with seven; Adele, Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars each garner six nods; and Lil Wayne and Skrillex each are up for five awards.  The Grammys air live on CBS Feb. 12, 2012.

Album Of The Year:

21 -- Adele

Wasting Light -- Foo Fighters

Born This Way -- Lady Gaga

Doo-Wops & Hooligans -- Bruno Mars

Loud -- Rihanna

Record Of The Year:

"Rolling In The Deep" -- Adele

"Holocene" -- Bon Iver

"Grenade" -- Bruno Mars

"The Cave" -- Mumford & Sons

"Firework" -- Katy Perry

Best New Artist: (artist/producer)

The Band Perry

Bon Iver

J. Cole

Nicki Minaj

Skrillex

Song Of The Year: (songwriter)

"All Of The Lights" -- Jeff Bhasker, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter and Kanye West, songwriters

(Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi and Fergie)

"The Cave" -- Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford and Country Winston, »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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Christopher Nolan: A 21st Century Alfred Hitchcock

4 November 2011 7:24 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

It came from a throwaway comment made by a friend after the release of Inception (2010) last year: “Nolan’s like a modern-day Hitchcock”. Really? I probably scoffed at the time. Alfred Hitchcock’s name has to be whispered in the kind of hushed, awe-filled tones that a child uses to talk about Santa. Has Nolan already built up that level of admiration? Well, like the chubby, bearded man in red, he does come bearing gifts this Christmas. Has there ever been more anticipation around a trailer – a sneak 6 minute prologue/trailer to be screened at IMAX cinemas before MI4 this December?

Born in London, Christopher Nolan began at the very bottom of the filmmaking ladder. After graduating with a degree in English Literature, he plodded around for years producing corporate videos while working on the script to his first feature film – Following (1998). He shot it over the course of a »

- Robert Munro

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Tracking Shots at the Gates of Dawn

31 October 2011 3:40 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

“The film portrays mortality, with that deep pain which we, who are under sentence of death, all feel.” —Béla Tarr

A voice explains the premise over a black screen: In 1889, Friedrich Nietzsche lost his mind, instigated by a moment when he saw a man whipping a horse in the streets of Turin. We can understand the story in its simplest terms: that his epiphany about his inability to prevent that act of cruelty was the direct cause of his madness. But Béla Tarr imagines the meaning of the incident differently, because no one, he and his screenwriter Laszlo Kraznohorkai tell us, has ever told the story of the horse.

I began to understand Tarr’s conception of the incident’s significance in the middle of the movie, when the man takes the horse out of the barn to go into town, but the horse refuses. The man begins to beat the horse, »

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Fight for Horror Supremacy Week 4

26 October 2011 11:39 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

For the horror buff, Fall is the best time of the year. The air is crisp, the leaves are falling and a feeling of death hangs on the air. Here at Sound on Sight we have some of the biggest horror fans you can find. We are continually showcasing the best of genre cinema, so we’ve decided to put our horror knowledge and passion to the test in a horror watching contest. Each week in October, Ricky D, James Merolla and Justine Smith will post a list of the horror films they have watched. By the end of the month, the person who has seen the most films wins. Prize Tbd.

Justine Smith (9 viewings) Total of 40 viewings

Purchase

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Directed by Tobe Hooper

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the best horror films ever made, in competition with Possession, The Exorcist, The Birds and Suspiria. »

- Ricky

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DVD Deal: Alfred Hitchcock – The Masterpiece Collection

23 October 2011 7:30 AM, PDT | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Amazon's Gold Box Deal of the Day is Alfred Hitchcock - The Masterpiece Collection.  Included in the box set are 14 classic Hitchock films for $52.49 (almost 60% off). Included are: Saboteur (1942), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Rope (1948), Rear Window (1954), The Trouble With Harry (1955), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964), Torn Curtain (1966), Topaz (1969), Frenzy (1972), Family Plot (1976) While I always recommend Blu-ray over DVD, if you've never seen any of these classic films, this box set is an awesome way to start. Hit the jump for more details.  Amazon's Gold Box Deal's are only for one day and you get free shipping when you spend over $25 dollars. --All 14 films are digitally re-mastered. --Amazing star power spanning over three decades in Hollywood including James Stewart, Paul Newman, Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins, Doris Day, Grace Kelly and many, many more. --All-new bonus disc showcases Hitchcock's films, career and legacy. --Ultra-premium velvet packaging »

- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub

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Venice 2011 Review: Roman Polanski’s Carnage

1 September 2011 2:12 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

For a while there the only articles we could write about Roman Polanski were his issues with the law, and the pressures the U.S. Government were putting on the rest of the world to have him arrested and deported back to the States to stand trial for a crime the victim has long since forgiven him for. So it sure is nice to finally be back writing about him for the right reasons – a motion picture he has directed and premiered this morning to the Venice Film Festival crowd.

An adaptation of the play God of Carnage, written by Yasmina Reza, his latest revolves around two Middle-class New York couples who are forced to spend an afternoon together because their children got into a fight at school. So they are trying to do what adults should do: be civilized and solve the issue in a polite manner. »

- Andrea Pasquettin

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Roman Polanski’s Carnage To Open New York Film Festival 2011

30 July 2011 3:33 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Roman Polanski is back in the headlines for the right reasons these days and I was happy to read in my inbox last night that his latest movie Carnage, based on French playwright Yasmina Reza’s dramatic play Gods of Carnage, has been chosen to open the New York Film Festival. The news came just days after the film was included in the Venice Film Festival line-up.

Polanski’s film takes the much lauded spot David Fincher’s The Social Network premiered with last year and then went on to dominate the rest of the year’s Oscar discussion (until The King’s Speech came along… and well the rest is history).

In what will be a dialogue heavy four thesp film, Kate Winslet/Christoph Waltz & John C. Reilly/Jodie Foster star as two middle-class New Yorker parents who meet for dinner after their respective children are involved in a fight and school, »

- Matt Holmes

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Episode Recap: Desperate Housewives - 7.23: "Come on Over for Dinner"

19 July 2011 1:44 PM, PDT | PopStar | See recent PopStar news »

Mary Alice: (Brenda Strong) "One clear moonlit evening there was a dinner party on Wisteria Lane and everyone would agree it was a night to remember. But the most memorable part of the evening wasn't the food." A Db is being dragged and bloody hands are washed. 2 days earlier. Mary Alice: "In the year since she had left the Lane, Susan Delfino (Teri Hatcher) had missed many things...the smell of wisteria in bloom, but what Susan missed the most were her friends." Mike (James Denton) and Susan move back home and Susan is desperate to see her friends before she does anymore unpacking. Anyone would think she hasn't been around here for a whole year. Bree (Marcia Cross) and Chuck (Jonathan cake) have been running together and she suggests a shower, so she doesn't have time for coffee with Susan when she pops round. Chuck is close »

- mhasan@corp.popstar.com (Mila Hasan)

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One Take Wonders

22 June 2011 5:30 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Though I don't recall when it began -- maybe with Rope as just discussed? --  I've been obsessed with one-take scenes for what seems like forever. You know the kind. It's that thrilling moment when the editor seems to go out for a smoke break and the director allows the film and/or performances to fully breathe. That free breathing is probably an illusion since the scenes must be rigidly corseted by the technical and performative choreography required to get it all without "coverage".

When you see a great one take scene or film, even if that "one" take is partly a matter of film trickery (examples: Atonement, Children of Men basically the entirety of Alfred Hitchcock's Rope and Aleksandr Sukorov's Russian Ark and a scene we just discussed from 25 years ago in Peggy Sue Got Married) it can be hard to return to the world of "regular" filmmaking »

- NATHANIEL R

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Personal Canon #100: "Rope"

22 June 2011 2:19 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

This article was originally published in 2006 when I kicked off the Personal Canon Project but I'm trying to get all the articles back online. 'The 100 movies I most think about when I think about the movies.'

Rope (1948)  Directed by Alfred Hitchcock | Screenplay by Arthur Laurents, Hume Cronyn, and Ben Hecht based on the play "Rope's End" by Patrick Hamilton | Starring: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger and Cedric Hardwicke | Production Company Transatlantic Pictures and Warner Bros | Released 08/28/48

Hitchcock and the Continuous Shot

Alfred Hitchcock served as auteur-theory training wheels for me. I doubt I'm alone in this. Perhaps it's the confines of his chosen genre that throw his presence as a director into such unmistakable relief. Or maybe it's his celebrity, cultivated through that famous profile, press-baiting soundbites, celebrated fetishes, and television fame. But what it comes down to is this: when watching a Hitchcock film, even uneducated moviegoers, »

- NATHANIEL R

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Arthur Laurents, 1917 - 2011

9 May 2011 8:23 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

From left to right: Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Hal Prince, Robert Griffith, Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins

Updated through 5/9.

"Arthur Laurents, the playwright, screenwriter and director who wrote and ultimately transformed two of Broadway's landmark shows, Gypsy and West Side Story, and created one of Hollywood's most well-known romances, The Way We Were, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan," reports Robert Berkvist in the New York Times. "He was 93."

Regarding West Side Story, "Mr Laurents's book gave a contemporary spin to the tale of Romeo and Juliet. The Montagues and the Capulets, the families of the doomed young lovers, were now represented by the Jets and the Sharks, warring street gangs in Manhattan. It was a plot device that had been discussed several years earlier by Mr Laurents, the director and choreographer Jerome Robbins and the composer Leonard Bernstein. Initially, Bernstein was to have written both the music and lyrics, »

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Links: Arthur Laurents, Joel Edgerton, Parker Posey, Will Smith

6 May 2011 5:53 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

TV Guide A brilliant suggestion: put Parker Posey in the boss's chair in The Office. Did you see her on Parks & Recreation last night? She's dependable with hilarity, that one.

The Art of Manliness how to jump from rooftop to rooftop, like a frenzied movie hero.

Boobs Radley Imagined conversations between Scarlett Johansson and Sean Penn. Teehee.

My New Plaid Pants a big week for Joel Edgerton. A leading role in the new Kathryn Bigelow flick? Yes please.

Variety Quentin Tarantino wants Will Smith for his Django Unchained movie. In our opinion any actor would be crazy to turn Tarantino down. He nearly always finds something new or untapped in their talent. He's pure magic that way.

The Beats Within new blog on Madonna as a musician (still underappreciated). This is a really interesting interview with Guy Sigsworth who cowrote "What It Feels Like For a Girl"

Movie Morlocksk spends an evening with Terence Stamp. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Arthur Laurents obituary

6 May 2011 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Playwright and screenwriter who wrote the book for West Side Story

The playwright, screenwriter and director Arthur Laurents has died aged 93. If he was not as well known as some of his collaborators, Laurents was nevertheless intrinsic to the success of the stage musicals West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959) and La Cage aux Folles (1983), and the films Rope (1948) and The Way We Were (1973).

Laurents wrote the book for West Side Story, which updated Romeo and Juliet to the streets of New York, with gangs called the Jets and the Sharks replacing the houses of Montague and Capulet. The production was directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. "The book is the shortest on record," said Laurents of his contribution, "yet the last third doesn't have one musical number, neither song nor dance ... The monologue was intended to be an aria sung by Maria. »

- Christopher Hawtree

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West Side Story playwright dies

6 May 2011 1:13 PM, PDT | Monsters and Critics | See recent Monsters and Critics news »

New York - Playwright Arthur Laurent, who wrote some of the greatest hits in the history of Broadway including West Side Story, has died in his Manhattan home at the age of 93. Laurents died Thursday following complications of pneumonia, The New York Times reported. In addition to West Side Story in 1957, Laurent's other notable achievements included the 1959 Broadway musical Gypsy and the screenplay for the romantic movie The Way We Were, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, which was adapted from his novel of the same name. He also wrote the screenplay for the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Rope as well as for Anastasia, for which Ingrid Bergmann won an Oscar in 1956. »

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Writer of stage and screen Arthur Laurents dies

6 May 2011 9:00 AM, PDT | Cineplex | See recent Cineplex news »

Arthur Laurents, the director, playwright and screenwriter who wrote such enduring stage musicals as "West Side Story" and "Gypsy," as well as the movie classics Rope and The Way We Were, died Thursday. He was 93.

Laurents died at his home in Manhattan from complications of pneumonia, said his agent, Jonathan Lomma.

Laurents had an extensive career in radio and in Hollywood, but it was on Broadway where he had his biggest successes - particularly with two musicals many consider to be among the finest ever written. And Laurents provided the book - or story - for both of them: "West Side Story" and "Gypsy." »

- Cineplex.com and contributors

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Arthur Laurents Dies: Gypsy, West Side Story, Rope, The Way We Were

5 May 2011 7:32 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were Playwright-screenwriter Arthur Laurents has died. Laurents, who was 93, died in his sleep. Best known for writing the book for the Broadway smashes West Side Story and Gypsy, the New York-born Laurents (July 14, 1918) also penned several screenplays, among them those for Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948), Otto Preminger's Bonjour Tristesse (1958), and Herbert Ross' The Turning Point (1977). Despite his personal experience as a victim of the anti-Red hysteria that overtook Hollywood in the late '40s and early '50s, Laurents' screenplay for Sydney Pollack's The Way We Were (1973), partly set during that time, was considered by many a disappointing mess. Laurents blamed Streisand and others involved in the production for the final result. Also for the Broadway stage, Laurents wrote The Time of the Cuckoo, which starred Shirley Booth as an American spinster abroad. Katharine Hepburn played — a much-changed version of [...] »

- Andre Soares

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