19 items from 2013
F Scott Fitzgerald did more for Hollywood than it has done for him. After his first stint in California he wrote the pitiless story, "Crazy Sunday", about an alcoholic screenwriter. In the late 30s came the series of insightful comic tales about the ageing movie hack Pat Hobby, and finally The Last Tycoon, the best, least patronising of novels about the movie industry, all the more intriguing for being unfinished. In return, Hollywood paid him handsomely for a while but treated him without respect and made mediocre movies of his books.
So what of this 3D fourth screen version of The Great Gatsby? It is, you might say, a story of three eggs. The mysterious central character is the self-made Jay Gatsby, a millionaire bootlegger who in the summer of 1922 lives at West Egg, the »
- Philip French
With Steven Soderbergh's "Behind The Candelabra" premiering at Cannes in the next few days, and hitting HBO a week on Sunday, we're not going to see a new film from him for a long time, if ever. But as he moves into other ventures, we hope he keeps up his habit of collaborating with great filmmakers on commentary tracks. Soderbergh's one of the most articulate and fascinating thinkers on film out there, and from his own films to something like the track with Tony Gilroy on the Criterion edition of "The Third Man," he's a consistently entertaining and informative host on DVD talk-throughs, none more so than when paired with the great Mike Nichols. The two have teamed up a few times and Cinephilia And Beyond have dug up perhaps their finest hour together, on the commentary for Nichols' debut film "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf." If you've never heard it, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
The Cannes film festival is the single most prestigious film festival in the world. Known for fostering and cultivating cinematic auteurs from every region of the globe, it is a festival that commonly rewards films with high aspirations towards what the art of cinema could and should be. The festival’s highest honor, the Palme d’Or, has been bestowed on such lofty films as Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard, Claude Lelouch’s A Man and a Woman, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup, Lars Van Trier’s Dancer in the Dark, and Cristian Mungui’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days.
It may come as no surprise then, given Cannes’ inclination towards high-brow world cinema, that the Oscars and the Croisette don’t often cross paths in terms of which films they consider deserving of awards. In fact, only once has the Academy’s selection for Best Picture coincided with the Palme d’Or winner, »
- Christopher Lominac
Italian director Mario Bava was responsible for some truly great horror movies of the 60s and 70s, including The Mask of Satan, Black Sabbath, Blood and Black Lace, Lisa and the Devil and proto-slasher A Bay of Blood. However some, whilst a success at the time, haven’t aged quite so well… like Baron Blood.
The film is yet another gothic horror from Bava that, like Black Sunday before it, features a witch’s curse – this time placed on Baron Otto von Kleist, Austria’s legendarily murderous ‘Baron Blood’, whose corpse is inadvertently revived when an ancient incantation is read out as a joke by a descendant and his girlfriend. Naturally, the Baron decides to carry on where he originally left off, with the help of an »
- Phil Wheat
★★★☆☆ Spooky, cavernous castles; rolling, all-engulfing perma-mist; a deranged, deformed aristocrat impaling all the serfs to ease his crippling ennui...Giallo master Mario Bava's camp schlockfest has more classic Gothic tropes than you can shake a Brontë sister at. Here given a beautiful restoration for Blu-ray and DVD by Arrow Video, Baron Blood (1972) provides a good bit of fun and a great deal of crash zooms, but maybe not quite enough shocks given his past history. Immaculately coiffured 70s Ken Doll Peter (Antonio Cantafora) has travelled to Austria from the States in an effort to rediscover the family roots.
Taken by his Uncle Karl (Massimo Girotto) to the castle which belonged to ancestor Baron Otto von Kleist, Peter there meets Eva Arnold (Eike Sommer), an architect charged with restoring the building for use as a luxury hotel. But Old Otto had some faults back in the day. The nefarious nobleman's »
- CineVue UK
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 363 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies, the Up docs and Decalogue) and of those 363, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 362 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies and Decalogue) and of those 362, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
Chicago – Slight on special features and not as instantly recognizable as some recent inductions into the Criterion Collection like “On the Waterfront” or “Badlands,” Fritz Lang’s “Ministry of Fear” could easily slip under the radar even for people who know and love the thriller. Lang is one of the most interesting filmmakers of his era, as he found ways to inject his seemingly traditional work with much-more-complex themes. Working in Hollywood during World War II, Lang made thrillers that were more than just thrillers. “Ministry of Fear” is one of his best.
While it’s an entertaining thriller with top-notch production values and a surprisingly great performance from Ray Milland, part of the problem with the legacy of “Ministry of Fear” is the films with which it is easy to compare. Carol Reed’s “The Third Man” would touch on some of the same themes and is a vastly superior film, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Future Cinema and Secret Cinema, like the Bonnie and Clyde of the alternative celluloid experience, are slowly picking off their competition to become the first and last word in the kismet of cinema. Now spawning more events than Kerry Katona spawns children, the past year alone has seen Grease, Bugsy Malone, Prometheus and The Third Man all given the immersive treatment. Now the cinematic superpowers are showing The Shawshank Redemption and Casablanca, but I’m far more of a love ‘n’ fedoras type of gal than a death ‘n’ where’s the soap type of gal… although kudos if that’s your bag, congrats on your soul and sphincter of steel. So safe in the knowledge that some other poor sod was objected to the horrors of death row, I set my curls, slicked on my lippy and donned my best 40s garb (thanks Topshop circa 2010 and Mum’s cardie »
- Charlie Skeoch
Not to long ago we posted a pretty cool video titled Top 20 Cinematic Techniques, made by film student Oscar Feiven. Oscar has followed that montage up with a second video, editing together specific scenes from popular movies to showcase a variety of film techniques set in practice. Enjoy!
Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba)
Cinematic Techniques Featured:
Ben Affleck's acclaimed CIA thriller Argo picked up another award last night as screenwriter Chris Terrio was honoured by the Writer's Guild of America at this year's WGA Awards with Best Adapted Screenplay, while Mark Boal received Best Original Screenplay for Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty and Malik Bendejelloul collected Best Documentary Screenplay for Searching for Sugar Man.
Shifting to the small screen and there was awards success for Breaking Bad (Best Drama Series), Louie (Best Comedy Series) and Girls (Best New Series), along with Mad Men (Episodic Drama), Modern Family (Episodic Comedy), Hatfields & McCoys (Long Form - Original), Game Change (Long Form - Adapted) and The Simpsons (Animation).
Here is the full list of nominees, with the winners highlighted in bold:
- Flickering Myth
The authors wish to acknowledge with gratitude the venues in which some version of this article previously appeared: Cinema Scope 24 (Fall, 2005), Trafic 62 (Summer, 2006), and the late and twice-lamented The New-York Ghost (Dec. 26, 2006).
In the Place of No Place
Every movie contains its alternates, phantom films conjured variously by excess or dearth: textures and movements that carry on their own play apart from the main line of the narrative, an obtruding performance or scene, an unexplained ellipsis or sudden character reversal, the chunk life of an object seizing the frame in an insert whose plastic beauty transcends its context.
Though the extremes of pure narrative economy (in which each detail exists purely for transmission of plot) or utter dispersal (in which no piece connects to any other) can never exist, we can tentatively use the concepts as limit-cases to differentiate films which make room for their phantoms (or, in the worst case, »
- B. Kite and Bill Krohn
Director Robert Altman.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the April 1999 issue of Venice Magazine.
It's the Fall of 1977 and I'm a bored and rebellious ten year old in search of a new movie to occupy my underworked and creativity-starved brain, feeling far too mature for previous favorites Wily Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Return of the Pink Panther (1975), and wanting something more up-to-date and edgy than Chaplin's City Lights (1931). I needed a movie to call my favorite that would be symbolic of my own new-found manhood (and something that would really piss off my parents and teachers). Mom and Dad were going out for the evening, leaving me with whatever unfortunate baby-sitter happened to need the $10 badly enough to play mother hen to an obnoxiously precocious only child like myself. I scanned the TV Guide for what »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
What was Jack doing?!?
In "The Third Man," Jack Lamb lied to his girlfriend, his brother and the Ada. He switched out fingerprints to save himself and seemingly would have let an innocent man go down for murder. Was this really a better scenario than coming forward with what really happened between him and Rizzo?
On the one hand I understood why. Jack loves Mia. If he told her the truth - that he'd killed her father, even in self defense - it would likely end their relationship. Plus, killing a mob boss can't be good for one's long-term health and Jack wouldn't want to implicate his brother or anyone else in this mess.
Unfortunately, the lengths he's had to go to in order to cover it up have been extreme. And does Jack normally wear a t-shirt to bed? How long can he keep the marks from that cattle prod away from Mia? »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Christine Orlando)
In the beginning, when this site was still on Blogspot, The Playlist focused on the intersection of music and film, and while our coverage has expanded it’s still a subject near and dear to our hearts. To that end, here's some news that will be exciting to fans of two classic films. Last week, Milan Records announced the future releases of digitally remastered editions of Anton Karas’ score for the Carol Reed-helmed and Orson Welles-starring noir “The Third Man” and Bernard Herrmann’s score for the classic Alfred Hitchcock film -- and the greatest film of all time per Sight & Sound -- “Vertigo.” Both releases feature great cover art and look to be a great addition to any film score collection. Serious collectors may want to keep a closer eye on Karas’ score as it may soon be as scarce as the now-out-of-print Criterion edition of “The Third Man. »
- Cain Rodriguez
Our countdown continues with part 26 out of 30 in our list of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 50-41.
49) All Quiet On The Western Front (1930) Louis Millstone USA
48) The French Connection (1971) William Freidken USA
44) M.A.S.H. (1970) Robert Altman USA
43) Fantasia (1940) Walt Disney USA Animated
42) Amadeus (1984) Milos Foreman USA
Numbers 40-31 coming next.
film cultureClassicslist300 »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
Feature James Clayton Jan 25, 2013
With Zero Dark Thirty in UK cinemas, James thinks back to cinema's other great mysteries and manhunts...
Zero Dark Thirty is a film about the real life hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, it dramatises the CIA’s efforts to track down and then take down the infamous al-Qaeda leader responsible for the September 11th terrorist attacks. Put really simplistically, it was a bit like an especially grave intercontinental game of hide-and-seek with religious extremists and a military industrial complex.
If this is all getting a little too serious for your tastes, you can peg it as a fresh thriller film from the woman who made Point Break - except now she’s more interested in waterboarding than surfboarding. Think of it as Where’s Wally? The Movie for the War on Terror era with extra torture scenes. Take the kids and all »
Nowhere to Go, 1958.
Directed by Seth Holt.
After breaking out of prison, a thief and conman attempts to flee the country only to end up on the run in the Welsh countryside.
Don’t expect to sympathise with a man like Paul Gregory (George Nader). He’s used up his friends, burned all his bridges and leeched off the goodwill of strangers long enough. Cool indifference and conversational sleight of hand are his professional trademark. He engineers friendships, cultivates sympathy and expects everyone to consider human relations in the same manner.
Paul Gregory is a con man. It’d be more honest to call him a high-functioning sociopath, as the actions that lead him from one disaster to the next all hinge on his inability to truly feel anything for anyone else. He says his friends call him ‘Greg’. What friends? »
Odd List Ryan Lambie Jan 8, 2013
It takes a certain kind of actor to bring a truly great villain to life. They need to be able to reach into the darkest recesses of their psyche, certainly, but they also need to bring a touch of something extra, too. They need to convince us not only that they're cruel, but that they're also human beings - after all, the best movie villains are often seductive and magnetic as well as unspeakably amoral.
While the finest antagonists are usually played by actors, there have been occasions where directors have stepped in front of the camera to indulge their inner demon. The list that follows attempts to deal exclusively with performances from people known primarily as directors first, »
19 items from 2013
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