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Over the years there have been many attempts to update treasured movies. Whether it’s the sacrilegious colourisation of nevergreen classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life or the (more interesting) bookending of revered films with sequels and prequels there’s nothing quite as enticing to an eager studio as a well-known and well-loved classic.
Problems arise however when technological and social advances become obstacles to those filmmakers insistent on sticking as closely as possibly to the beloved original. Mobile phones, for example, would save hundreds of those previously in peril, CCTV and Gps tracking would have made a mockery of many a murder mystery; and Google Earth comes to the rescue of those lost in any number of haunted woods.
We’ve taken a look at some classic films and what an update might mean. Let’s begin with a beloved film -
Set in the heaving »
- Michael Walsh
You know when you’ve got so many windows open on your computer that you hit the point where you can’t keep track of them all, forget some are open and also why you opened them in the first place? The same thing happens with the laptop point of view movie Open Windows. Hit the jump for my full review of Open Windows from the SXSW Film Festival. Elijah Wood leads as Nick Chambers, the man behind JillGoddard-Caught.com, a website dedicated to providing you with an endless stream of photos of one of the hottest stars out there, actress Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey). Under the impression that he’s won a fan contest and will get to have dinner with Jill, Nick flies to Austin where she’s promoting her latest movie and preps for his big night out. Trouble is, before he can even leave the hotel, »
- Perri Nemiroff
Grace of Monaco has had some serious highs and lows, just like its central figure Grace Kelly. But as it approaches its world premiere at the illustrious Cannes Film Festival, the biopic about the movie star turned princess has finally unveiled a meaty trailer that gives a sense of its scale as well as its central drama. Penned by Erased scribe Arash Amel, Grace of Monaco focuses on what Grace Kelly's life was like after she left the spotlight and stardom of Hollywood and stepped into the politics of Monaco by marrying Prince Ranier III. The film picks up in 1962. Film roles in Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, Dial M for Murder and To Catch A Thief were long behind her. She and Ranier have been married for six years. But Kelly hasn't made a seamless transition from the mansions of Hollywood to castles of Monaco, and struggles to reconcile »
Every Wednesday, FM writers Simon Columb and Brogan Morris write two short reviews on Woody Allen films ... in the hope of watching all his films over the course of roughly 49 weeks. If you have been watching Woody's films and want to join in, feel free to comment with short reviews yourself! Next up is Interiors and Manhattan Murder Mystery...
Simon Columb on Interiors...
Woody Allen’s first foray into drama is a delicate musing on family, divorce and depression. Daughters Joey (Hurt), Renata (Keaton) and Flyn (Griffith) are coping with the divorce of their parents, Arthur (E.G. Marshall) and Eve (Geraldine Page). Interior-designer Eve desperately hopes Arthur will return to her – but we, and the daughters, suspect this won’t happen. Wild-child Flyn is a TV actress and her sister’s boyfriend obsesses over her. Joey’s high-strung and intense attitude cloaks her fears. Renata, though honest with her mother, »
- Gary Collinson
Original airdate – May 15th, 1990
There’s a reason I don’t usually remember the Tales From the Crypt episodes with no supernatural leanings – it’s because they’re bland. Look, every episode, you’ll find a single certainty: there’s going to be someone getting killed or someone deserving of some major cosmic comeuppance, and then they get their just desserts. It’s how Gaines structured the books. But taking away the supernatural element, makes damn sure that the whole reason for watching the show is gone; because there isn’t a monster that’s going to come back in the last act and take vengeance for the untimely death of the victim or victims in question. So, what you’re left with in the end, is just human cruelty without the comic book retribution that makes the death and gore so much easier to swallow. But the problem with »
- Nathan Smith
Cinema history has a few great double-up years: 12-month periods in which a classic filmmaker had not one but two great films. Mel Brooks may be the most notorious, releasing two of the best comedies of all time in 1974 (“Blazing Saddles” & “Young Frankenstein”) and Steven Spielberg has arguably done it a few times, inarguably in 1993 (“Jurassic Park” & “Schindler’s List”) and he would double-up again in 2002 (“Minority Report” & “Catch Me If You Can”) and 2011 (“Tintin” & “War Horse”).
One of the most-often forgotten double-up years was Alfred Hitchcock’s first year as an American filmmaker — 1940, which saw the premiere of “Rebecca” in April and “Foreign Correspondent” in August. The former has been a Criterion inductee for years and the latter joins the most important club in Blu-ray/DVD history this week in a finely-transferred and wonderfully accompanied release.
“Rebecca” has the higher historical pedigree, largely because it’s less dry »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Happy birthday to the glamorous Kim Novak, who is 81 today. It’s impossible to think of Novak without remembering her shock blonde super-coif in Vertigo (not to mention the way she werrrrrked Edith Head‘s form-sucking pencil skirts), and thus, it’s impossible to think of Novak without remembering the great female roles in Hitchcock movies. Here are my picks for the 10 best.
This is sort of a gonzo first pick, but give it up: The Lady Vanishes rules and Dame May Whitty, with all her grandmotherly charms, is just a subversive ol’ hoot as the bad-ass spy who sets up the intrigue of the story. This is the kind of role Margaret Rutherford would win an Oscar for. You underestimate the depth of how much she kicks ass.
Is it wild? Oh, yes. Is it sometimes a little embarrassing? »
- Louis Virtel
Following the season one home entertainment release of Bates Motel, HeyUGuys had the opportunity to check-in with Max Thieriot who plays Dylan Massett the recently created brother of one of cinema’s most iconic characters: Norman Bates.
During the course of a reflective and riveting conversation Max shared with us his memories of first discovering Psycho and the privilege of stepping into this world, his thoughts on what makes Hitchcock an enduring filmmaker, the challenges of stepping into the shoes of iconic and new characters alike, and the advantages of television to tell the back story of one of cinema’s iconic relationships.
What are your first memories of Psycho?
The first time that I came across Psycho I was very frightened. I first watched it at a young age, and it was the shower scene and the line “Wouldn’t hurt a fly” that resonated with me more so than the other scenes. »
- Paul Risker
Directed by Alain Guiraudie and photographed beautifully by Claire Mathon, Stranger by the Lake has drawn comparisons to the thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock, and rightly so. The atmosphere is one of chilling tension and highly controlled camera work, with point-of-view shots being used to draw attention to the role of both the cruising space and the cinematic space.
For the most part, cruising spots are associated with casual, no-strings-attached sex. They offer a space where the everyday repression of sexuality is ignored; a place where individuals can explore their sexuality without fear of being attacked or shamed by the conservative hetero-normative members of society. Within mainstream cinema, cruising has been vastly underrepresented, with the leather bars of William Friedkin’s Cruising and the problematic space in Shame being two of the better known examples. With Stranger, Guiraudie goes against the darkened interiors of these films, by using picturesque exteriors that display nature and beauty. »
- Griffin Bell
Laurent Durieux has been creating some of the best screenprints over the past few years, and he isn’t slowing down. In fact he is getting better with each and every new design. We recently showcased his Back to the Future 2 poster art, and now The Collider has premiered a few of Durieux’s Mondo screenprints that will go onsale tomorrow night. Check out his posters for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, Vertigo (regular and variant) and Rear Window (regular and variant). Follow @MondoNews for constant updates and further information. The posters will first go on sale at 7 p.m. February 7 at 4115 Guadalupe Street in Austin, TX. The exhibit remains on display through March 1.
Laurent Durieux is starting to piss me off. I was all set to limit how much I wanted to spend at his first solo show at the Mondo gallery in Austin, but everything I've seen has been spectacular. I'm starting to worry that my bank account is going to take a serious hit when the gallery opens tomorrow night. If you're not aware, Durieux has been creating amazing screenprints over the past few years, but his recent work has been on another level. Thanks to our friends at Mondo, we're happy to be able to premiere a few of Durieux's screenprints that will go onsale tomorrow night. We've got his posters for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, Vertigo (regular and variant) and Rear Window (regular and variant). Hit the jump for the images and info. Here's the info on the prints. Remember, follow @MondoNews to keep up to date on »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Netflix Instant is a wonderland of new treasures and old favorites. Here are five titles you’ll want to scoop up during, say, a particularly chilly Tuesday night.
For me, the creepiest thing about Sunset Boulevard isn’t Norma Desmond’s clownish, Dee Snider-like expressions or William Holden‘s descent into some seriously gray gardens. It’s that the characters in the film make such casual references to other movie stars of the time — Barbara Stanwyck, Tyrone Power, Alan Ladd, and Betty Hutton all come up — that you feel like you’re listening to modern-day showbiz types in a 1950 movie. These people sound like tamer Nikki Finkes. It’s weird! I’m not used to people in old movies sounding real and current. What if Grace Kelly just turned to the camera in Rear Window and deadpanned, “I don’t find Hannah sympathetic on Girls“? It’s like that! »
- Louis Virtel
Sundance just ended, and we are already preparing for the next big film festival, South By Southwest. Not too long ago, the festival announced a few of the films premiering this year, but now they’ve announced the main slate. The midnight selections and some inevitable late-breaking additions are still to be announced, but this should be more than enough to get you excited. Along with many World Premieres, and Sundance favorites like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood and Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2, the line up also includes an anniversary screening of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and an extended Q&A screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel with Wes Anderson. SXSW 2014 runs March 7 through 15 in Austin, Texas. Check out the line up after the jump.
Narrative Feature Competition
Eight world premieres, eight unique ways to celebrate the art of storytelling. Selected from 1,324 films submitted to SXSW 2014. Films screening in Narrative »
The 2014 SXSW "Film Features Program" includes 115 titles, and along with the previously announced zombie culture documentary Doc of the Dead, there's a lot for the horror crowd...
...including special screenings of the original Godzilla and Texas Chain Saw Massacre, early looks at upcoming TV shows "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" and "Penny Dreadful," the U.S. premiere of Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Dance of Reality, and new films from the Spierig brothers, Nacho Vigalondo, and Jim Jarmusch.
The genre-heavy "Midnighter" lineup will be announced next week along with the list of short films, but in the meantime here are the horror highlights (or what we assume will be of interest given their descriptions) to be on the lookout for during the fest.
Note that new for 2014, they've introduced the "Episodic" category, created to highlight innovative new work hitting the small screen.
The 2014 SXSW Film Festival runs March 7-15 in awesome Austin, »
- Debi Moore
Today the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival announced a diverse features lineup for this year’s Festival, the 21st edition and running March 7 – 15, 2014 in Austin, Texas. The 2014 program expands on SXSW tradition of embracing a range of genres and span of budgets, featuring a wealth of vision from experienced and developing filmmakers alike.
For more information visit http://sxsw.com/film.
Listed in the announcement are 115 of the features that will screen over the course of nine days at SXSW 2014. The lineup below includes 68 films from first-time filmmakers, and consists of 76 World Premieres, 10 North American Premieres and 7 U.S. Premieres. These films were selected from a record 2,215 feature-length film submissions composed of 1,540 U.S. and 675 international feature-length films. With a record number of 6,482 submissions total, the overall increase was 14% over 2013. The Midnighters feature section and the Short Film program will be announced on February 5, with the complete »
- Movie Geeks
After announcing earlier this month that Jon Favreau’s Chef and the Veronica Mars movie will be making their world debuts at SXSW this year, the festival has revealed its full line-up, including further very promising world premieres, alongside appearances from some of the year’s most high-profile films.
The Midnight programme will be announced early next month, along with the Shorts line-up, and the complete Conference slate a little later as well.
Led by Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, Nicholas Stoller’s anticipated R-rated comedy, Neighbors, will be making its world debut at the festival, notably marked out as a ‘work-in-progress’ ahead of its theatrical release in May.
David Gordon Green’s acclaimed Joe will make its Us premiere, having bowed at Venice and then Toronto last year. Early reviews have Nicolas Cage giving one of the finest performances of his career, with Tye Sheridan (Mud) excellent alongside him. »
- Kenji Lloyd
Not sure if there is a Short Term 12 equivalent in this year’s Narrative Feature Comp, but on paper SXSW programmers are serving up a mean (and the usual lean group of 8 out of a whopping 1,324 film entries) for the upcoming competitiuon of eight which includes notable entries (that we’ve been tracking for a good time now) such as Zachary Wigon’s The Heart Machine, John Magary’s The Mend, Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe in Unicorns and Lawrence Michael Levine’s Wild Canaries. Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated docs of the year, on the non-fiction side we find Margaret Brown’s The Great Invisible. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the other sections (notable world preems in We’ll Never Have Paris and Faults (see Mary Elizabeth Winstead above), some Sundance items with Texan connections and other nuggets.
Narrative Feature Competition
Eight world premieres, eight »
- Eric Lavallee
‘Grace of Monaco’ U.S. March release canceled as biopic starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly to open 2014 Cannes Film Festival (photo: Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly in ‘Grace of Monaco’) Directed by Olivier Dahan, and starring Nicole Kidman as Oscar-winning Hollywood actress-turned-European princess Grace Kelly, Grace of Monaco was to have been a (possibly) strong Oscar 2014 contender — at least in the Best Actress category. After all, Dahan had guided 2007 Best Actress Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose; Nicole Kidman is a respected actress with one Academy Award win (for Stephen Daldry’s The Hours) and two nominations (Moulin Rouge!, Rabbit Hole); and, last but certainly not least, Grace of Monaco was to have been released in North America by the Oscar-savvy The Weinstein Company. However, Harvey Weinstein was reportedly unhappy with Olivier Dahan’s final cut, and demanded that Grace of Monaco be reedited. »
- Anna Robinson
During her brief career, Grace Kelly won major awards (Oscar, Golden Globe, National Board of Review) for four films: "Mogambo," "The Country Girl," "Rear Window" and "Dial M for Murder." Do you know which one resulted in her only Academy Award victory? Take our newest trivia quiz below. And when finished, try more quizzes here and see if you can reign as our ultimate kudos quiz champ. Currently, two of our posters are tied for highest score (99.18% for nailing 122 questions correctly): James Sanchez and aminamini. See the full list of our leading achievers. Are you in the top ranks of our leaderboard? -Break- -Insertquiz- »
In deadly danger...because they saw too much! Another new poster for one of Hitchcock's classics. Mondo has debuted their poster art for Rear Window, Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 thriller classic starring Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. The art is designed by artist Adam Simpson, and features a creative design of the apartment block, with the various tenants that Stewart spies on hidden within. It's a very sleek design, although a bit contemporary and certainly different from the film's real marketing. It's also reminiscent of the recent Home Alone poster, also designed by Adam Simpson. You can see the poster and alternate below. Here's the new Mondo poster for Hitchcock's Rear Window. 24"x36" screen print, on sale on January 23rd. Both of these will be sold by Mondo Tees. $45 for the original design (top), $65 for the alternate (bottom). Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window was first released in 1954 by Paramount Pictures, and later »
- Alex Billington
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