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The films that weren't even given a shot at winning best picture
• Charles Saatchi: my love affair with Orson Welles
Here, in no particular order, is Charles Saatchi's list of the post-1950 films that should have been nominated for a best film Oscar. Tell us your picks below.
What's Up Doc?
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
2001: A Space Odyssey
Advise and Consent
King of Comedy
- Charles Saatchi
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, »
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, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
"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
Fresh off of directing The Neighbor episode of Dario Argento’s Door Into Darkness, Luigi Cozzi co-wrote and directed, The Killer Must Kill Again. The film was shot in 1973 but released theatrically two years later in 1975.
George Hilton stars as Giorgio Mainardi, the husband of a wealthy socialite (Tere Velasquez) in an unhappy marriage. One night he comes across a man (Michel Antoine), pushing a car with a dead body into a canal.
Seizing upon the opportunity to solve his problem, and inherit a ton of cash in the doing, he blackmails the murderer to murder his wife or else he will go to the police with what he knows. This setup echoes Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, and the killer even has a distinctive lighter, as does Robert Walker’s character in Hitchcock’s film. In this case the lighter is emblazoned with the initials “D.A.” a »
- Derek Botelho
So your boss is a jerk, who yanks your chain and treats you like crap, making you hate your job with a vengeance. You need to check out today’s Blu-ray release of hit comedy Horrible Bosses to realise just how lucky you are! But before you do, read on for our review…
Management candidate Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) has been logging 12-hour days and eating everything his twisted supervisor Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) dishes out, toward the promise of a well-earned promotion. But now he knows that’s never going to happen. Meanwhile, dental assistant Dale Arbus (Charlie Day) has been struggling to maintain his self-respect against the relentless X-rated advances of Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S. (Jennifer Aniston), when she suddenly turns ups the heat. Accountant Kurt Buckman (Jason Sudeikis) has just learned that his company’s corrupt new owner, Bobby Pellit (Colin Farrell), is not only »
- Stuart Cummins
According to ace animation director John Lasseter, the key to Pixar's ever popular brand of magic has always lain in the fact that the company used its revolutionary digital technology to serve the story and characters rather than the other way around. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the Toy Story trilogy, which, I would argue, remains the most consistent three-parter in the history of modern cinema, suffering from neither the longueurs of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, nor the inevitable disappointments of The Godfather Part III.
In each subsequent movie, as the digimation has leapt ever further into the unknown, so the characters of Woody, Buzz et al have embedded themselves even deeper within our hearts, leaving many a parent teary-eyed as the final curtain closed on Andy's now mythical childhood.
What a shame, »
- Mark Kermode
Nicolas Cage makes his second visit to post-hurricane Katrina New Orleans in this efficient, fast-moving thriller. Two years ago he played a deranged cop in Werner Herzog's remake of Bad Lieutenant. Here he's the slightly hyper high-school English teacher Will Gerard whose wife Laura (January Jones) is raped, robbed and severely beaten by an evildoer known to the police but unlikely to get more than a minimum sentence. A sinister, tight-lipped stranger calling himself Simon (Guy Pearce) approaches Gerard, offering to dispose of the rapist in exchange for some future consideration of a minor kind. The distraught Gerard reluctantly accepts, and there follows a brilliantly handled scene in which he signals his acceptance of the invitation by buying two bars of chocolate from a vending machine in the hospital's oncology department. From then on he's hooked by a wide-ranging conspiracy of dedicated vigilantes who exploit his guilt and undermine his natural decency, »
- Philip French
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
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
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Directed by Tobe Hooper
The term “giallo” initially referred to cheap yellow paperbacks (printed American mysteries from writers such as Agatha Christie), that were distributed in post-fascist Italy. Applied to cinema, the genre is comprised of equal parts early pulp thrillers, mystery novels, with a willingness to gleefully explore onscreen sex and violence in provocative, innovative ways. Giallos are strikingly different from American crime films: they value style and plot over characterization, and tend towards unapologetic displays of violence, sexual content, and taboo exploration. The genre is known for stylistic excess, characterized by unnatural yet intriguing lighting techniques, convoluted plots, red herrings, extended murder sequences, excessive bloodletting, stylish camerawork and unusual musical arrangements. Amidst the ‘creative kill’ set-pieces are thematic undercurrents along with a whodunit element, usually some sort of twist ending. Here is my list of the best giallo films – made strictly by Italian directors, so don’t expect Black Swan, Amer or »
Chicago – The summer of the R-rated comedy, which was So clearly inspired by the success of “The Hangover” and its sequel, was an interesting case of the law of diminishing returns. If you over-saturate a market, critics and viewers will turn away. By the time that “The Change-Up” and “30 Minutes or Less” thudded into theaters, we all remembered why they don’t make that many R-rated comedies in a year any more — most of them are dumb. Looking back on the trend, two films stand out as the R-rated comedies of Summer 2011 — the widely-beloved (and a bit overrated) “Bridesmaids” and Seth Gordon’s very-funny and consistently-entertaining “Horrible Bosses,” recently released on Blu-ray and DVD.
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0
As is cleverly referenced within the film, “Horrible Bosses” is basically a riff on Alfred Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train” (or “Throw Momma From the Train” for younger viewers) in the world of modern workplace nightmares. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Principal photography has been completed on Jamie Babbit's new horror-thriller 'Breaking the Girl'. The production from Myriad Pictures and Future Films was penned by Guinevere Turner ('BloodRayne') and Mark Distefano and is being described essentially as a modern-day 'Strangers on a Train' type movie whereby the two leads plan to kill each other's enemies. The sexy duo Madeline Zima ('Heroes') and Agnes Bruckner -below ('Vacancy 2: The First Cut') play the two female leads Alex and Sara respectively. They're joined by the likes of Shawn Ashmore ('Mother's Day'), Kate Levering, Melanie Mayron and John Stockwell. Actress Brit Marling ('Arbitrage') was previously attached to the project to play the role of Sara. Director Babbit previously described the project as 'genre-trashy fun; gratuitous girl-on-girl make-out scenes and three-inch heels'. So everyone's a winner here. »
Myriad Pictures and Future Films have completed principal photography on the thriller Breaking The Girl, starring Madeline Zima ("Californication"), Agnes Bruckner (The Pact, Vacancy 2, The Woods, Blood and Chocolate) and Shawn Ashmore (Frozen, The Day, Mother's Day), and directed by Jamie Babbit (The Quiet). Breaking The Girl is a contemporary thriller akin to the film noir classic Strangers on a Train. "When university student Sara (Bruckner) is slandered by a hostile classmate, she is befriended by the manipulative Alex (Zima) who proposes the perfect, untraceable crime - to kill each others arch enemies. When Alex actually goes through with it, Sara finds herself being framed for murder." The film's cast also includes Kate Levering ("Drop Dead Diva"), Melanie Mayron ("Thirtysomething") and John Stockwell (Top Gun). »
Work long enough in these United States and eventually you’ll have one: a horrible boss. Maybe they dangle a promotion in front of you with no intention of letting you have it or just treated you as subhuman, but no two horrible bosses are the same. To capitalize on this idea, Horrible Bosses mixes elements of Office Space and Strangers on a Train in a comedy with Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis suffering at the hands of Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Farrell. For what seems like an incredibly simple concept, Director Seth Gordon and Writers Michael Markowitz and John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein have managed to milk some pretty rich laughs even as the story runs along a very obvious track.
- Lex Walker
Never have crippling depression and the end of the world looked so appealing. Personal and planetary orbits are fatalistically set on collision course in Von Trier's latest, as two sisters struggle with life, the universe and each other, but despite the grimness, its strange beauty stays with you.
The Debt (15)
A trio of Israeli agents try to abduct a former Nazi, then deal with the fallout decades later in this structurally (over)ambitious spy epic.
Red State (18)
Smith takes aim at Christian fundamentalism in this cultish horror, which doesn't have the firepower it needs.
The Green Wave (Nc)
(Ali Samadi Ahadi, 2010, Ger) 80 mins
Documentary on Iran's 2009 democratic uprising, mixing reportage, animation and tweets and blogs. »
- Steve Rose
Even in its opening moments, you knew Afternoon Play: Strangers on a Film (Radio 4) was going to be a treat. It began with grand, suspenseful music and then slipped straight into a monologue that instantly convinced.
Patrick Stewart, as Raymond Chandler, spoke in a gloomy, disappointed drawl. "By 1950," he began, "I had nearly pulled myself free of the primordial slime that is Hollywood." He bemoaned his ailments, "all of which were settling nicely into becoming chronic conditions", and poured himself the first of many drinks. The play's story, written by Stephen Wyatt, was about when Chandler worked with Alfred Hitchcock (Clive Swift) on the thriller Strangers on a Train.
It was beautifully poised writing and playing. At every level, the men clashed: artistically, temperamentally; even the way they spoke. Chandler »
- Elisabeth Mahoney
In the new trailer for Justice, Nicolas Cage finds himself in a Strangers on a Train-esque quandary. Yes, his wife was assaulted and he wants to settle the score, but as any astute moviegoer knows, never say “yes” to a man offering help if he warns you he’ll be asking for a favor down the road. Never! I won’t spoil what favor Guy Pearce asks of Cage’s character (though the trailer does), but I will tell you it’s not picking up some overdue dry cleaning. See the full promo after the jump.
What do you think? »
- Lanford Beard
The fairly short career of the late Anthony Minghella may be best remembered for The English Patient, but of his short filmography it is The Talented Mr Ripley, a cold, unsettling thriller, that I find myself returning to most often. It is based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel, already filmed as Plein Soleil in 1960 by René Clément (there have been five Ripley movies altogether, all of them completely separate). Minghella’s adaptation portrays him as a fairly sympathetic psychopath; he appals you with his behaviour, and yet you find yourself hoping he gets away with it.
Tom Ripley – played elsewhere by Alain Denon, Dennis Hopper, John Malkovich and Barry Pepper – is embodied here by a pre-Bourne Matt Damon. He isn’t quite as ingenious as he in the novels, but gets by on luck and an amazing ability to ingratiate himself anywhere. He also has an almost automatic way of »
- Adam Whyte
Horrible Bosses, 2011.
Written and Directed by Seth Gordon.
Three friends conspire to murder each of their horrible bosses.
Sometimes a cast can really say it all. You see a comedy with the cast/comedic pedigree of Horrible Bosses and your ticket's often bought before your give the premise any thought whatsoever - Arrested Development, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 30 Rock, SNL to name a few. But fortunately this film has a really simple, but profoundly universal premise; have you had a horrible boss that you perhaps fantasized about murdering? Well maybe not murder, just hurt, cause pain yeah? Just me? Leave me hanging? Jerks.
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