11 items from 2013
On May 24th, New York’s Film Forum will continue their ongoing resuscitation of the French Old Wave with a revival of a 1956 film that has been all but forgotten outside France: a film whose French title translates as The Crossing of Paris, which was originally released in the Us as Four Bags Full, but which is being re-released now with its more alliterative and far more charming UK subtitle A Pig Across Paris.
Set during the Occupation, this black-sausage comedy may not be quite as cute and animal-friendly as Clément Hurel’s brilliant poster suggests. A hilarious, nail-biting companion of sorts to Wages of Fear, which had been released three years earlier, A Pig Across Paris follows two men (Jean Gabin and comic star Bourvil) who must transport not nitroglycerine across South American mountains, but four black-market suitcases of pork across nighttime Paris, under the nose of the Nazis. »
- Adrian Curry
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
I realized after reading the collected articles on René Clément's Forbidden Games that Hit Me With Your Best Shot sometimes works best when you (i.e. the reader) have already seen the film in question. Which presents a problem for me as the host because I love to see pictures I'd never seen (like this one). So I've included the "best" shots, according to our wide-eyed blogging collective, after the jump so you can "see" the best shots after you've watched the movie. Which I urge you to do.
It's available on Instant Watch and it's only 85 minutes long. Well... 95+ because you have to account for the crying and the recovery and such.
After the jump, the film's best shots in linear order. Click on the picture and you'll be staring right at the corresponding article. »
- NATHANIEL R
On the occasion of writer/director René Clément’s centennial I thought we’d take a look back at his award winning 1952 film Forbidden Games. This drama about children and grief during World War II won the Nyfcc foreign film prize, BAFTA’s best film honors and a special Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (before the category was permanently introduced). Though Clement made other important pictures (Purple Noon, The Walls of Malapaga, Is Paris Burning?) let's just say this one comes with a fair amount of prestige baggage.
it's hard to remember prayers when you're hungry
I had never seen the picture but given my long history covering Oscar’s foreign film prize, where World War II and stories about children are both privileged frequently whether or not they’re “special”, my expectations weren’t enormously high. But the film more than lives up to its lauded reputation. »
- NATHANIEL R
With Bates Motel premiering tonight on A&E starring Vera Farmiga as the infamous Norma Bates, let's look back at your choices (and mine) for Psycho's Best Shots. Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece made for one of the most popular editions ever of Hit Me With Your Best Shot (this Wednesday's film is 1952's foreign Oscar winner Forbidden Games so don't miss out)... so let's revisit.
We all go a little mad sometimes. If you feel like escaping click on any of the images, presented in chronological form, play the shrieking violins in your head, and be transported to the article on that shot...
Please to note: I cheated a little since we lost some articles (why do people shut down their free blogs/tumblrs?) and put in all three of my favorite shots in this visual breakdown. 14 more shots after the jump »
- NATHANIEL R
Coming Next on “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” which we're pleased to see off to such a fine communal start with Barbarella and Oz. Join us. The more the merrier. All you need is any sort of webspace wherein to post your image (twitter, tumblr, blogger, etcetera) and eyeballs with which to choose a Best Shot from the chosen films.
Wed March 20th
Forbidden Games (1952). The director René Clement's centennial is this week so why not look back on this Best Foreign Film Oscar Winner which combines two of the Academy's favorite things in that category: Children and World War II (available on Netflix instant watch)
Wed March 27th
Wed April 3rd
I'm thinking a Short Film Special as time will be short. Details Tba but »
- NATHANIEL R
La course du lièvre à travers les champs (The Race of the Hare Across the Fields a.k.a. ...and Hope to Die, 1972) is an interesting late entry in the career of French crime specialist René Clément, a kind of smorgasbord of his favorite stuff: hardboiled crime, knotty sexual triangles, a hero on the run, convoluted crime schemes, with a harkening back to childhood sins that suggests his classic Jeux interdits (Forbidden Games, 1952). This might suggest desperation to recapture past glories, but the film is also stuffed with experimentation and up-to-the-minute influences (a train station confrontation early on suggests Leone) which confirm the filmmaker as alert to new possibilities.
But the film could just as easily be approached through the sensibility of its writer, Sébastien Japrisot, a key figure in French cinema and crime cinema, or even through that of the author of the source novel, David Goodis. »
- David Cairns
Its wide range of contributors and influences make Lore something more than just another tale of post-Nazi Germany
Given its transnational provenance – its Anglo-German source novel adapted by a British-Bengali screenwriter, its Australian director and its bleak Nazi-era subject matter – I'm reluctant to dub Lore a straightforwardly German movie. This might seem counterintuitive given its story: a 14-year-old German daughter of prominent Nazis is left to trek northwards across a ruined Germany in the weeks after the Nazi collapse, her infant siblings and a displaced Jewish boy in tow, and her Nazi assumptions slowly unravelling.
That bald summary might induce one to categorise Lore in the long and honourable line of movies set against the death-seizures of Hitler's regime. That line stretched from Rossellini's Germany Year Zero, shot contemporaneously in 1947 in the actual smoking ruins, to 2008's Anonyma, in which sexual servitude is seen as one woman's only sane response »
- John Patterson
(René Clément, 1952; StudioCanal, 12)
René Clément (1913-96) worked for years on documentaries before making his feature debut immediately after the second world war with La bataille du rail (1946), a celebration of the role of railway workers in the Resistance. It won the international jury prize at the first Cannes film festival, and his most famous movie, Forbidden Games (Les jeux interdits), also about the second world war, won an Oscar as best foreign language movie.
Set in 1940, this delicate, beautifully paced film centres on a middle-class five-year-old (Brigitte Fossey), orphaned by the Luftwaffe while fleeing from Paris, and her new friend, a young peasant lad (Georges Poujouly), who become obsessed with the rituals of burial as the war goes on around them. The film is both deeply moving and darkly comic, and the performances of Poujouly and the infinitely expressive Fossey (both of whom had acting careers as adults) are among »
- Philip French
★★★★☆ This year sees the centenary of the birth of not only one of French cinema's, but also the world's, most celebrated directors. Often referred to as the 'French Alfred Hitchcock', René Clément had a penchant for the macabre and mysterious, as reflected in four films newly released by francophile UK distributor StudioCanal. Starring Brigitte Fossey, Frank Langella, Oscar-winner Faye Dunaway and Mia Farrow's sister Tisa amongst others, Forbidden Games (1952), Gervaise (1956), The Deadly Trap (1971) and And Hope to Die (1972) perfectly reflect the otherworldliness and surreal atmosphere which pervaded much of Clément's work.
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
11 items from 2013
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