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10 items from 2012

Not Available on DVD: Drum Beat

10 October 2012 8:26 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Drum Beat from 1953 starred Alan Ladd and Charles Bronson and was based on a true story about a violent Indian uprising in the 187os. It’s an impressive and exciting outdoor adventure but Hollywood studios were churning out hundreds of westerns in the early 50′s so it’s not too surprising that Drum Beat, though so superior to many, hasn’t received its due. The most notable thing about Drum Beat is that it provided Charles Bronson with his real break-through role as an actor. Bronson’s scene-stealing performance as an Indian chief received a lot of attention and paved the way for his long and successful career, but Drum Beat is Not available on DVD.

Drum Beat was based on a little-known occurrence in 1873 where (for the only time) an American Army General was killed during the wars against the Indians. The Modoc tribe, lead by their chief, Captain »

- Tom Stockman

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Tim Robbins

21 September 2012 9:30 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The actor-director talks about his new sex-addiction film, his political activism and why doesn't watch TV any more

Hi Tim! Is sex addiction (1) more common these days, or do we just hear more about it?

Hopefully we're evolving as a species. We don't have Vikings any more, invading countries and stealing the pretty women.

But sexually we may not have evolved that much.

I think we have less repression now. That's changed since I was a kid. There are places still where repressed people beat up homosexuals, but we certainly have evolved tremendously so far as the idea that women's sexuality is appropriate and a good thing. They used to perform hysterectomies on women who were sexual.

Is there a tendency towards oversharing?

I think we fetishise sexuality. It's kind of nauseating the use of it in selling products; and the sexualisation of children is an obscene tendency in the media. »

- Catherine Shoard

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Even Batman must play by the rules

23 August 2012 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Dark Knight Rises does what any good action film does and teases its audience. So why must it ruin it all with a puzzling and unsatisfactory ending?

People who have not seen The Dark Knight Rises should read no further, for this column concerns the film's puzzling, and in my view, unsatisfactory conclusion. For the first two hours of the film, Batman and a self-styled anarchist/revolutionary/terrorist/crypto-fascist/pig named Bane are slowly gravitating toward a fight-to-the-finish, a top-of-the-marquee death match. In this epic confrontation between good and evil, one will triumph and one will perish. For thus has it always been, yea, since David slew Goliath. It is written in the scrolls. Everybody knows that.

For most of the movie, Bane clearly has the upper hand. He is bigger and stronger than Batman; he has been working out; and the Dark Knight has a gimpy knee. This »

- Joe Queenan

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Edinburgh Film Festival – Best and Worst

3 July 2012 6:56 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

After the borderline-disastrous 2011 Festival, the 66th Edinburgh Film Festival seems to have found its feet again – to a degree. The awards were reinstated, the guests lent a touch of class, there were a broader range of venues and, in terms of the films I saw at least, the quality of the programme improved. These adjustments (last year, the phrase ‘This was always our intention’ was repeated like a mantra) gave the sense – absent last year – that a proper film festival was taking place.

That doesn’t mean the Festival was perfect; improving over last year wasn’t going to be terribly difficult, but generally things took a step in the right direction. I do not know to what extent this was down to the appointment of a new artistic director, Chris Fujiwara, but he brought to the Festival a depth of film knowledge coupled with a hands-on enthusiasm. There is, »

- Adam Whyte

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Edinburgh Film Festival: Killer Joe Review

19 June 2012 3:40 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Here is a movie that will not bore you. It may offend you, it may irritate and confuse you; it may make you laugh, it may make you squirm; it may seem like an intelligent satire or a tasteless comedy, or it may do none of the above. But if it makes you fall asleep, you may want to seek therapy.

It is directed by a man who knows how to get an audience’s attention: William Friedkin, the man behind iconic ’70s movies The Exorcist and The French Connection. The story centres on a hired killer who moonlights as a cop and comes across as a Southern Patrick Bateman. He is played, in a performance as good as any he’s given, by Matthew McConaughey, who gives a quiet, (sometimes) polite disposition to a vicious, twisted psychopath. His performance here is brilliantly controlled; although it »

- Adam Whyte

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Filming the Camps: From Hollywood to Nuremberg

1 May 2012 8:30 AM, PDT | | See recent Tribeca Film news »

Samuel Fuller's Bell and Howell Camera / © Courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Beverly Hills, California, Coll. Christa Fuller John Ford, George Stevens, and Samuel Fuller entertained audiences with American cinema classics like The Grapes of Wrath, Shane, and The Big Red One. But their most important contribution to history was their work in the U.S. Armed Forces and Secret Services. The Museum of Jewish Heritage's new exhibition, Filming the Camps: John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens: From Hollywood to Nuremberg, presents rare footage of the liberation of Dachau with detailed directors' notes and the documentary produced as evidence for the Nuremberg trials. One fascinating thing about the exhibit is that it enables us to view the footage in its historical context and read the accompanying narratives written by the cameramen and writers, practically in real-time, as soon as they finished shooting for the day. »

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Jean Arthur Movies/TCM: The More The Merrier

6 March 2012 5:43 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Joel McCrea, Jean Arthur, The More the Merrier The delightful actress Jean Arthur is Turner Classic Movies' star of the evening tonight. Beginning at 5 p.m. Pt, TCM will show five Jean Arthur movies: The Talk of the Town (1942), History Is Made at Night (1937), The Public Menace (1935), The More the Merrier (1943), and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936). Directed by George Stevens, The Talk of the Town received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and two for its story and screenplay. (Back in those days there were three Best Writing categories.) Arthur is outstanding as a schoolteacher — this is perhaps my favorite among her performances — torn between a law professor (an equally outstanding Ronald Colman) and an escaped convict (Cary Grant). As a plus, former Warner Bros. contract player Glenda Farrell is excellent in a supporting role. The Talk of the Town is not to be missed. Though much less »

- Andre Soares

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Strangest & Most Controversial Moments In the History of the Academy Awards

23 February 2012 5:49 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The saying goes: If Hollywood is really the movie capital of the world, then Oscar night is the world’s biggest wrap party, and like all parties, each event comes with unwelcome guests, embarrassing situations, strange fashions and controversial moments. In fact, controversy and the Oscars seem to go hand in hand and despite the fact that the Academy Awards are, for the most part, an elegant and tightly controlled affair, some very strange things do occur. Let’s take a look back through the history of the Academy Awards, and some of it’s strangest and more controversial moments – which sadly were also the most memorable.

Shadow Dancers

For the 2007 ceremony, producers hired the dance troop Pilobolus to recreate famous images from that year’s most popular films.

Political Rants

Richard Gere was last asked to present in 1993 when he interrupted the ceremony to give a long speech attacking »

- Kyle Reese

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'Woman Of The Year': 25 Things You Didn't Know About The Katharine Hepburn And Spencer Tracy-Led Classic

19 January 2012 7:06 AM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

Fans of classic movies know that "Woman of the Year" marks the beginning of the 25-year partnership, on- and off-screen, between one of film's most beloved and enduring couples: Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Released 70 years ago today (on January 19, 1942), "Woman of the Year" came to define combustible romantic chemistry, thanks to the two fiery, evenly-matched leads. It launched a partnership that lasted until Tracy's death in 1967, a quarter-century union that resulted in nine films and an extramarital affair that was Hollywood's worst kept secret. What fans may not know is how the partnership came to be, who the real-life inspirations were for Hepburn's high-minded columnist and Tracy's earthy sportswriter, or the forgotten screen pairing of the two stars that came four years earlier. Read on for the untold story of "Woman of the Year" and its long afterlife in the realms of Broadway, TV, and magazines. 1. "Woman of the Year »

- Gary Susman

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From the archive, 5 January 1957: Strength - and weakness - of an outsize flick [Giant]

5 January 2012 6:18 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 5 January 1957

From Our London Film Critic

The film of the week is called "Giant," and gigantic it is. It goes on for three hours and eighteen minutes – or only a little less than the film time of the recent "War and Peace". It was taken from a novel by Edna Ferber about three generations of Texans. It cost some £1,750,000 to make – incurred by the building of a life-size working facsimile of an oilfield, among other devices of scarcely less expensiveness. It was, however, made by George Stevens, who made "Shane"; so, because or in spite of its elephantiasis, it is quite a film.

Mr Stevens is adept at creating or capturing an authentic seeming atmosphere of the great open American spaces. It is a matter, partly no doubt, of excellent work by his cameraman – there are landscapes with figures in "Giant" which are breathtaking, »

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