12 items from 2014
Born of the famously turbulent, yet ultimately fruitful collaboration between John Ford and James Stewart, Two Rode Together stands as compromised material. Ford took on the project strictly for cash shortly after the death of his friend and colleague Ward Bond passed away, sending the film into much darker territory than the director had ever or would ever normally work within. The picture was based on Will Cook’s novel “Comanche Captives”, material Ford apparently thought was less than intriguing western revisionism, even after bringing on his frequent collaborator Frank S. Nugent (The Searchers, The Quiet Man, Mister Roberts) to make something of the screenplay. Though certainly not as piercing as some of his work with his male muse John Wayne, the film remains a solid entry into the nihilistic anti-heroic take on the western.
As his most selfishly styled self, Stewart plays Marshal Guthrie McCabe, a public figure perfectly »
- Jordan M. Smith
In five seasons we've never done a Best Picture winner for Hit Me With Your Best Shot . But not intentionally. So, here's the first. I asked all willing participants to watch the chosen film - in this case John Ford's 1941 film How Green Was My Valley - and choose what they think of as the Best Shot. (Next week we're looking at another major Oscar player Zorba the Greek to kick off June's "year of the month" which will be devoted to 1964 so please join us... especially if, like me, you've never seen it. Let's fill those gaps in our Oscar viewing, together!)
How Green Was My Valley is marvelous to look at. Though its reputation has been dulled by beating Citizen Kane to Best Picture that year it's easy to see why it won Best Cinematography for Arthur C Miller (not the playwright) among its 5 Oscars.
- NATHANIEL R
Every few days, we'll be rounding up some of the latest buzz and reviews coming from the Croisette—our favorite takes from trusted sources on the latest films to make their debut at the 67th Festival de Cannes.
Of course there is no bigger premiere than that of Jean-Luc Godard's 3D film in competition, Adieu au langage, which is garnering all sorts of emphatic praise. Our own Daniel Kasman has written an incredible piece on the film—but it has also inspired Peter Labuza, Keith Uhlich, and Manohla Dargis, among many others. Below: Godard in conversation (subtitled in English).
"At this late-autumn stage in his career, of course, no one expects Loach -- who recently scuppered bow-out talk by confirming that he could yet make a "smaller scale, »
- Adam Cook
Nickelodeon gets no love. And yet its place in the popular, Biskind-approved narrative of The Decline and Fall of Everyone in the 1970s New Hollywood is a bit uncertain. It comes after the despised At Long Last Love (1975), which ought to mark the same point in Peter Bogdanovich's career as Sorcerer for Friedkin, Heaven's Gate for Cimino and especially One from the Heart for Coppola. True, critics didn't go for it, except in the sense of savaging it, and the public didn't go to it, in any sense, but it certainly didn't attract the tsunami of opprobrium that P-Bog's Cole Porter musical, sung live, brought down upon the heads of the director and his entire cast.
Like his musical, his comedy about early Hollywood (it climaxes with the premiere of Birth of a Nation) now exists in two versions, as Bogdanovich revisited the film, inserting a few deleted moments »
- David Cairns
Our new contributor Diana D Drumm reporting on the TCM Festival which recently concluded
Even at 93, Maureen O’Hara is still sublime, crossing the threshold of everyday stunning into moment-stopping magnificence. Peering at you, you can’t help but feel wonder. Whether she’s speaking on the beauty of a life well-lived or correcting someone’s Spanglish pronunciation of “Rio Grande” (the actress is fluent in Spanish), she transcends her surroundings, even on the red carpet in front of Grauman’s or in front of a brimmingly packed house at El Capitan Theatre. She may not be as full-bodied as her Wayne-pairing prime (that was over 60 years ago, people), but she continues to exemplify a certain Old Hollywood quality unmatched by any contemporary equivalents and envied by her compatriots at the time (including close friend and fellow famous redhead Lucille Ball »
- Diana D Drumm
John Ford’s The Quiet Man is unquestionably one of Ireland most well-known films. It remains, to this day, a popular Hollywood love story as well as one of the most dominant representations of Ireland in film. A worldwide success, it won audiences over with its majestic landscapes, lighthearted dialogue, and beautiful cast. Despite its enduring appeal, it is also highly criticized by many; its depiction of exceedingly stereotypical stage-Irish characters, almost to the point of condescension, can be seen as problematic, to say the least. It is certainly not an apt portrayal of Ireland, past or present, and this lends to the reading of it being a predominantly American pastoral view of a paradise lost.
- Trish Ferris
“Two women in the house – and one of them a redhead!”
The Quiet Man (1952) is one of Hollywood’s most beloved movies and you’ll have a chance to see it on the big screen at St. Louis’ fabulous Hi-Pointe Theater next weekend as part of their Classic Film Series. It’s Saturday, March 8th at 10:30am at the Hi-Pointe located at 1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117. Admission is only $5.
John Ford’s flamboyant tribute to Irish-Americans, The Quiet Man may be full of all-too-familiar Irish stereotypes, ranging from a fondness for spirits to the love of a good fight, but it’s delivered with great skill and broad humor and at its heart is a good-natured, old-fashioned romance. The action takes place in Sea Verge (Ireland), around 1933 and tells the story of “Sean Thornton” (John Wayne), “a quiet peace loving man come home from America”, He’s a »
- Tom Stockman
One of the most well-known awards for film are the Academy Awards. Better known as the Oscars, the awards have grown in stature over the years, with their choices becoming a point of discussion among many film fans in the lead up to, and following, the event. Previous winners have included Annie Hall for Best Picture, Tom Hanks for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his work in both Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, and John Ford for Best Director for his work on The Informer, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, and The Quiet Man. The latest incarnation of the awards show, honouring the best in Hollywood from 2013, took place on Sunday, March 2nd. Among the winners were:
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto for his role as Rayon in Dallas Buyer’s Club
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o for »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Unless you're prediction-loving, number-crunching wizard Nate Silver, you probably find statistics pretty boring. But stats concerning the Academy Awards have always been fascinating, mostly because the Oscars are just plain weird, and riddled with anomalies.
The ceremony got its start in the late 1920s, when movies were just making their transition into sound, and early nominees and categories reflected the sheer chaos of those halcyon days of what would eventually become Hollywood's golden age. (Though, of course, any film aficionado worth his/her salt would have a strong opinion about the exact dates that that age entailed.)
As the Oscars tradition continued, the awards became a bit more traditional themselves, settling into a predictable pattern of narratives that have stayed relatively consistent to this day. But there are always idiosyncrasies hiding in the woodwork, and the Academy Awards have them in spades. Here, we've collected some of the most distinctive »
- Katie Roberts
The 85-year history of the Academy Awards is rife with statistical oddities, and one that has the potential to play out this Sunday is among the most intriguing: a split between the films that win Best Picture and Best Director.
Though conventional wisdom has long held that only one film will walk away with both prizes on Oscar night, many pundits are predicting that the awards will instead go to two different movies this year, with "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron expected to snag the Best Director statuette, while "12 Years a Slave" (or "American Hustle," depending on where your loyalties lie) is the favorite to win Best Picture.
While such a split has occurred just 22 times since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences started handing out trophies in 1929, four of the first five ceremonies produced a divide between the Best Director and Best Picture prizes. "Wings," dubbed the original »
- Katie Roberts
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has added an exciting roster of screen legends and beloved titles to the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, including appearances by Maureen O’Hara, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien, plus a two-film tribute to Academy Award®-winner Richard Dreyfuss. Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide with TCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.
O’Hara will present the world premiere restoration of John Ford’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture How Green Was My Valley (1941), while Brooks will appear at a screening of his western comedy Blazing Saddles (1974). O’Brien will be on-hand for Vincente Minnelli’s perennial musical favorite Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), starring Judy Garland. The tribute to Dreyfuss will consist of a double feature of two of his most popular roles: his Oscar®-winning performance »
- Melissa Thompson
Ireland, for its tiny size and small population, can boast of a lot of wonderful native films. Whenever people think about Irish cinema – two major themes emerge. First, there is Ireland’s turbulent historical and political past which makes good cinematic fodder, and secondly there are all the films exposing either poverty and drunkenness (Angela’s Ashes being the most famous film of this ilk) or clerical abuse (The Magdalene Sisters).
I have not included films about Ireland as they tend to be very stereotyping – for example, The Quiet Man and Darby O’Gill and the Little People. I have let Irish cinema speak for itself with powerful masterpieces of cinema, quirky contemporary films and some very funny comedies.
Whatever you are after, there is an Irish film to satisfy you.
12. Disco Pigs (2001)
- Clare Simpson
12 items from 2014
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