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In politics, a Presidential endorsement can be the magic touch, imbuing a candidate with exposure and voter confidence. Does the same hold true in the Oscar race? The team behind "Boyhood" hopes so. Speaking to People Magazine (via The Huffington Post), President Obama revealed that he fell hard for the Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in-the-making, coming-of-age film. And he was kind of a quote-whore about it. "'Boyhood was a great movie," Obama told the magazine. “That, I think, was my favorite movie this year.” Is it too late to send out guild screeners emblazoned with that quote? Obama is, traditionally, a softy when it comes to movies and television. When People put him on the spot with the same question in 2012, the President named "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Life of Pi" and "Argo" as his favorites. He has told the press that "Modern Family" and "Parks and Recreation" are family favorites. »
- Matt Patches
Each year, the Library of Congress selects 25 films to be named to the National Film Registry, a proclamation of commitment to preserving the chosen pictures for all time. They can be big studio pictures or experimental short films, goofball comedies or poetic meditations on life. The National Film Registery "showcases the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant" and by preserving the films, the Library of Congress hopes to "a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history.” This year’s selections span the period 1913 to 2004 and include a number of films you’re familiar with. Unless you’ve never heard of "Saving Private Ryan," "The Big Lebowski," “Rosemary’s Baby” or "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Highlights from the list include the aforementioned film, Arthur Penn’s Western "Little Big Man," John Lasseter’s 1986 animated film, “Luxo Jr.," 1953’s “House of Wax, »
- Matt Patches
Spanning the years 1913-2004, the 25 films to be added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry for 2014 include Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man, John Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski. The annual selection helps to ensure that the movies will be preserved for all time. This year’s list brings the number of films in the registry to 650.
Also on the list are John Lasseter’s 1986 animated film, Luxo Jr; the original Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder; and Howard Hawks’ classic 1959 Western Rio Bravo. Documentaries and silent films also make up part of the selection which represents titles that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant; they must also each be at least 10 years old. Check out the rundown of all 25 movies below:
2014 National Film Registry »
- Nancy Tartaglione
“The Big Lebowski,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” are among the 25 films saluted by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in the organization’s annual selection of notable works.
The org says selection will help ensure preservation of these films. This year’s choices bring the registry total to 650, a small fraction of the Library’s vast collection of 1.3 million items. As always, the choices are eclectic, including Hollywood films, indies, documentaries, silent movies and student films.
“The National Film Registry showcases the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant,” said the Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “By preserving these films, we protect a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history.”
Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian »
- Tim Gray
A month of bad holiday movies begins! Santa With Muscles (1996) Director: John Murlowski Stars: Hulk Hogan, Mila Kunis, Ed Begley Jr. A Scrooge-y millionaire gets amnesia and thinks he's Santa Claus on a mission to save an orphanage. From Suburban Commando to Mr. Nanny to 3 Ninjas: High Noon At Mega Mountain, you can always count on Hulk Hogan to deliver on Awfully Good. Santa With Muscles is by far the worst movie on his embarrassing filmography and is probably »
- Jason Adams
The second entry in Howard Hawks’ "Rio Bravo" trilogy is a virtual remake, ostensibly more playful and less a riposte to "High Noon" than the (better, let’s face it) original. Still a fun ride with Wayne and Mitchum having an obviously swell time in their only screen pairing, despite the fact that Wayne had Mitchum fired off of "Blood Alley" a decade earlier. Filming began in late 1965 but the film wasn’t released until 1967. On the heels of the flops "Man’s Favorite Sport?" and "Red Line 7000," it was the hit Hawks needed to stay in the game. »
- Trailers From Hell
Directed by Anthony Mann
Written by Reginald Rose
Man of the West was director Anthony Mann’s final Western of the 1950s. As such, it stands as something of a cumulative expression of his generic preoccupations and stylistic preferences, preoccupations and preferences that were consistently integrated in a decade’s worth of some of the finest Westerns ever made. What Mann accomplished in this particular genre during a 10-year period is one of the most impressive chapters in American film history, but Man of the West is more than just a summation of the period; it is as good, if not better in many ways, as the extraordinary pictures that came before it.
Taking over the reigns from James Stewart, who had previously starred in five earlier landmark Mann Westerns, is Gary Cooper, another perennial aw shucks leading man. Like with Stewart, Mann upsets this archetypal Cooper screen persona. »
- Jeremy Carr
The Digital Era: Real-time Films From 2000 To Today
40 years before, in 1960, lighter cameras enabled a cinéma vérité-flavored revolution in street realism. By 2000, new digital cameras suggested a whole new set of promises, including telling stories that would have been unimaginable within minimum budgets for features even ten years before. In 2000, film purists warned that digital still didn’t look as good as celluloid, but that didn’t stop at least three innovative filmmakers from boldly going where no filmmaker had gone before. Mike Figgis’ Timecode (2000) was the first star-supported (Salma Hayek, Stellan Skarsgard, Holly Hunter, among many others) single-shot project since Rope, underlining that earlier film’s timelessness. If Run Lola Run could do one story three times, then Timecode would do three or four stories one time: the movie is four separate ninety-minute shots shown all at the same time, each in one quadrant of the screen. Where do you look? »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
Sidney And The Sixties: Real-time 1957-1966
Throughout the 1950s, Hollywood’s relationship with television was fraught: TV was a hated rival but also a source of cheap talent and material, as in the case of the small-scale Marty (1955), which won the Best Picture Oscar. These contradictions were well represented by the apparently “televisual” 12 Angry Men (1957), which began life as a teleplay concerning a jury with a lone holdout who must, and eventually does, convince his fellow jurors of the defendant’s innocence. Its writer, Reginald Rose, persuaded one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Henry Fonda, to become a first-time producer of the film version. Fonda and Rose took basement-low salaries in favor of future points, and hired a TV director, Sidney Lumet, for next to nothing because Lumet wanted a first feature credit. Technically, there’s an opening bit on the courtroom steps that keeps this from being a true real-time film, »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
What do film directors Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Agnès Varda, Robert Wise, Fred Zinnemann, Luis Buñuel, Alain Resnais, Roman Polanski, Sidney Lumet, Robert Altman, Louis Malle, Richard Linklater, Tom Tykwer, Alexander Sokurov, Paul Greengrass, Song Il-Gon, Alfonso Cuarón, and Alejandro Iñárritu have in common? More specifically, what type of film have they directed, setting them apart from fewer than 50 of their filmmaking peers? Sorry, “comedy” or “drama” isn’t right. If you’ve looked at this article’s headline, you’ve probably already guessed that the answer is that they’ve all made “real-time” films, or films that seemed to take about as long as their running time.
The real-time film has long been a sub-genre without much critical attention, but the time of the real-time film has come. Cuarón’s Gravity (2013), which was shot and edited so as to seem like a real-time film, floated away with the most 2014 Oscars, »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
By Anjelica Oswald
Films have captured the passage of time in a variety of unique ways throughout the years. Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, which premiered at Sundance this year, presents the movement of time in an unprecedented manner. By filming the same cast three to four days per year for 12 years, Linklater was able to capture the real changes the cast went through instead of relying on CGI, makeup or different actors to show the aging process. The seamless way in which the passage of time is presented could garner a best editing nomination at the 87th Academy Awards. Here are 10 other films portraying the passage of time that have been nominated for best editing (in chronological order):
Gone With the Wind (1939)
The film follows the O’Hara family and how they are affected before, during and after the Civil War, particularly through the eyes of Scarlett O »
- Anjelica Oswald
Are you into horror movies? Well, good news for you, it’s October, which means that there’s going to be a horror moving playing on a screen in basically any direction you look for the whole month. But what of the people out there who are too anxious to be in the room as things are going bump in the night, or too squeamish to watch as gore erupts into geysers? There’s no need for them to worry, because plenty of other types of movies are always being added to Netflix, and here we have a list of 20 recent additions that will get them past Halloween and into November. As always, click on the films’ titles to be taken to their Netflix pages. Pick of the Month: High Noon (1952) Old cowboy movies are fun. Generally they’ve got dusty frontier towns, a handful of good guys trying to uphold the law, a »
- Nathan Adams
Shara Worden, aka My Brightest Diamond, wants you to put your hands up -- on social media. The artist is preparing a Sept. 16 release of her next album, "This Is My Hand," and today HitFix exclusively premieres the title track from the set. Like the full-length, "This Is My Hand" is lush and intense, sensual but confrontational, arranged with detail and imploringly original. All songs feed into an effort that Worden says "tortured" her, at least when it came to crafting lyrics. But it's exactly those hard-fought lyrics that My Brightest Diamond wants fans to riff on: launching today, the songwriter invites listeners to ThisIsMyHand.com, to take a picture that matches the lyrics and use Instagram tags to send her way, to help compile a crowdsourced music video entirely from those images. Head to the website to read all the lyrics and get started. Below, I interview Worden on »
“They said you was hung!”
“They was right!”
Blazing Saddles plays this weekend (August 29th and 30th) at The Tivoli at midnight as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli midnight series.
And the perfect movie to show in a city that’s in the middle of a race riot is of course….. Blazing Saddles!
I showed the condensed Super-8 version of Blazing Saddles, appropriately enough, at my Super-8 Politically Incorrect Movie Madness show last year at The Way Out Club and there are enough N-words in the 18-minute edit alone to make Paula Dean blush, but damn, this movie just keeps getting funnier as it ages!
Blazing Saddles is my favorite Mel Brooks comedy. Yes, even more than Young Frankenstein – it’s hard to believe Brooks produced both yuk-fests the same year. I just watched his 1977 follow-up High Anxiety on 16mm last weekend for the first time since it was new and Yikes! »
- Tom Stockman
DirecTV is coming Full Circle again, renewing the relationship drama for a 10-episode second season, TVLine has learned exclusively.
Each season follows a group of adults whose lives are unknowingly intertwined. The series’ first season, which was set at a restaurant and written by Neil Labute, featured a cast of TV vets that included David Boreanaz (Bones), Kate Walsh (Private Practice), Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck), Billy Campbell (The Killing), Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) and Robin Weigert (Deadwood).
John Michael McDonagh's "Calvary" is a gorgeously photographed, exquisitely acted, richly written tale of the underbelly of faith. At the end of a lackluster summer that seemed full of more malnourished product than normal, it's wonderful to sink your teeth into something like this that has so much to say and does so in so efficient a manner. The film debuted at Sundance to mostly positive reviews, but I'd wager they weren't positive enough. McDonagh, along with his brother Martin, are two of the most vital voices we have in movies at the moment and "Calvary" might pack the heftiest punch of either of their filmographies. At at its center is Brendan Gleeson, a lone man of love against a world of hate. The western iconography is impossible to ignore and indeed, both Gleeson and McDonagh flip some of those conventions on their ear in the film. Gleeson recently »
- Kristopher Tapley
Calvary. The place of the skull, wound through Latin into English from the ancient Aramaic name Golgotha. This is the place, outside the walls of Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified. It’s not exactly a light title for a movie, but writer/director John Michael McDonagh isn’t interested in levity. He opens with a quote from St. Augustine: “Do not despair; one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned.” Referring to the two men crucified next to Christ, it’s an ominous declaration of ambiguity. This film does not aim to end on a note of simple closure. That said, this is not a sober and humorless cry of despair from the heart of Catholicism. That St. Augustine quote has cropped up once before in the work of an iconoclastic Irishman, Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot, in its god-killing irreverence, evokes the two thieves as an example of the »
- Daniel Walber
With "summer" blockbuster season becoming increasingly a thing of the past (this year's began in March with Captain America: The Winter Soldier), narrowing down the Best Of shortlist for even half a year's worth of cinema has never been tougher.
Since we're going by UK release dates for this list, we had both the cream of the awards season crop to consider alongside the tentpoles, not to mention a handful of exceptional indie offerings from spring.
Below are Digital Spy's top ten movies of the year so far. Be sure to vote for your favourite in our poll, and leave your own list in the comments!
10. 12 Years a Slave
"Despite the overall lack of McQueen's stamp, the film's physically unflinching treatment of its subject matter is where he does make himself felt. This is a tremendously powerful drama that simultaneously highlights the human capacity for cruelty and for resilience, bolstered by an extraordinary, »
There’s something about the American West that has always inspired creative genius, from the words of Willa Cather and the long-running Gunsmoke to the unfortunate sequels starring the likes of Marty McFly and Fivel. Alright, alright, not all of it is genius. In fact, when the Real Tumbleweeds of Tombstone Pizza Ranch head off to Montana, it was less High Noon and more A Million Ways to Kill Yourself With Boredom in the West. This was certainly the tamest Housewives vacation in recent memory, right? And there were cowboys involved!But because this is a Housewives trip, there are a lot of steps we have to take before they can even get on the plane. Yes, these things have become so ritualized and formulaic that they should take place at Stonehenge on the vernal equinox. Before we can go on the trip, we have to talk about the trip. »
- Brian Moylan
Oldest person in movies? (Photo: Manoel de Oliveira) Following the recent passing of 1931 Dracula actress Carla Laemmle at age 104, there is one less movie centenarian still around. So, in mid-June 2014, who is the oldest person in movies? Manoel de Oliveira Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira will turn 106 next December 11; he’s surely the oldest person — at least the oldest well-known person — in movies today. De Oliveira’s film credits include the autobiographical docudrama Memories and Confessions / Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (1982), with de Oliveira as himself, and reportedly to be screened publicly only after his death; The Cannibals / Os Canibais (1988); The Convent / O Convento (1995); Porto of My Childhood / Porto da Minha Infância (2001); The Fifth Empire / O Quinto Império - Ontem Como Hoje (2004); and, currently in production, O Velho do Restelo ("The Old Man of Restelo"). Among the international stars who have been directed by de Oliveira are Catherine Deneuve, Pilar López de Ayala, »
- Andre Soares
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