2 items from 2013
Indian-born actor who brought his ingenuous charm to the hit films of Wes Anderson
Some film-makers have lucky-mascot actors who are occasionally to be spotted in small roles in their movies – for instance Dick Miller in the work of Joe Dante or Jack Nance returning repeatedly to David Lynch. It's a film geeks' in-joke, a cinephiles' game of Where's Wally? For Wes Anderson, one of the most original Us film-makers to emerge in the last 20 years, that position was filled on four occasions by the delightful and guileless Kumar Pallana, who has died aged 94.
Pallana appeared in Anderson's first three, reputation-forging movies. He played the useless safecracker Kumar in the director's 1996 debut, Bottle Rocket ("Man, I blew it," he sighs memorably as the police close in. "I blew it, man.") He was the school caretaker Mr Littlejeans in Rushmore (1998), Anderson's masterpiece. And he took his most prominent role as Pagoda, »
- Ryan Gilbey
The “adult” Western – as it would come to be called – was a long time coming. A Hollywood staple since the days of The Great Train Robbery (1903), the Western offered spectacle and action set against the uniquely American milieu of the Old West – a historical period which, at the dawn of the motion picture industry, was still fresh in the nation’s memory. What the genre rarely offered was dramatic substance.
Early Westerns often adopted the same traditions of the popular Wild West literature and dime novels of the 19th and early 20th centuries producing, as a consequence, highly romantic, almost purely mythic portraits the Old West. Through the early decades of the motion picture industry, the genre went through several creative cycles, alternately tilting from fanciful to realistic and back again. By the early sound era, and despite such serious efforts as The Big Trail (1930) and The Virginian (1929), Hollywood Westerns were, »
- Bill Mesce
2 items from 2013
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