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Some movies, no matter how old they are, never age a day. Their situations and themes remain as relevant now as when they were first released. Watching them today, they reflect and comment on our present in ways they couldn’t possibly have anticipated. Every month we’re going to pick a movie from the past that does just that, and explore what it has to say about the here and now. For sixty years Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window has remained a classic not just because it’s a perfectly crafted thriller, but because it’s one of cinema’s greatest commentaries on our voyeuristic impulses. Those impulses haven’t gone away, which is why it’s not surprising that Rear Window continues to be a potent reflection of society—all the more so since technology has further enabled us to peer in on each other’s lives. Here then are five ways—not all of »
- Alexander Huls
Since its debut in 1989, across 552 episodes and 25 seasons, The Simpsons has become one of the most revered and beloved TV programmes of all time. It’s a true cultural phenomenon that’s influenced not just animation, but all areas of TV comedy and sitcom. For so many of us, its quotes and catchphrases have permeated our everyday vernacular, from single words like “crisitunity” and “embiggen” to phrases “you don’t win friends with salad” and “everything’s coming up Milhouse.”
Personal opinions may vary, but for me the show’s peak years were from season 4 through to 10. They’re consistently funny, all killer and no filler runs with barely a dud episode to be found between 1992-1998. Past this point the standard becomes a little more mixed, and recent seasons have been distinctly average at best. The »
A hi-tech thriller in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Nacho Vigalondo’s Open Windows is played out via webcams, computer screens and phone cameras. The film sees Elijah Wood star Nick Chambers, webmaster of a site devoted to movie star Jill Goddard (Sasha Grey) who is in Austin to promote her new schlocky sci-fi horror flick. Nick is in town as the winner of an online competition to meet and greet Jill while she is in Austin. Unfortunately his prize is a hoax; it’s all an elaborate scam set up by mysterious superfan Chord for him to play a part in an audacious plan to kidnap the actress.
- Phil Wheat
Any Hitchcock fan has no doubt looked carefully while watching one of his movies in order to spot his infamous cameos. Hitchcock’s earlier cameos are especially hard to catch, and so Youtube user Morgan T. Rhys put together this video compiling every cameo Alfred Hitchcock ever made.
Hitchcock made a total of 39 self-referential cameos in his films over a 50 year period. Four of his films featured two cameo appearances (The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog UK), Suspicion, Rope, and Under Capricorn). Two recurring themes featured Hitchcock carrying a musical instrument, and using public transportation.
The films are as follows:
The Lodger (1927), Easy Virtue (1928), Blackmail (1929),Murder! (1930), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The 39 Steps (1935),Sabotage (1936), Young and Innocent (1937), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Rebecca(1940), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941), Suspicion (1941),Saboteur (1942), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945),Notorious (1946), The Paradine Case (1947), Rope (1948), Under Capricorn (1949),Stage Fright (1950), Strangers on a Train »
If you haven’t yet caught a movie outdoors this summer, then you’re missing out! On a nice night, pack your bag with a picnic blanket, snacks, and bug spray, and head out to one of these flicks under the night sky! New York City August 20What: “The Way We Were”Who: Starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, the classic Sydney Pollack-directed romantic drama won two Oscars at the 1974 ceremony.Where: Central Park Conservancy Film Festival What: “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”Who: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, and others. Where: South Street Seaport What: “Captain Phillips”Who: Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi star in the 2013 dramatic thriller that earned six Oscar noms and had everyone saying, “I’m the captain now.”Where: Pier 63 Lawn August 21What: “Coming to America”Who: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, and others.Where: Central Park Conservancy Film Festival What: “The Birds »
Elijah Wood's work ethic shows no signs of faltering. This year alone he's been a part of Set Fire To The Stars, Cooties, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (as producer only), mini-series Over The Garden Wall and TV comedy Wilfred. Somewhere in there he also found time to star in the new film from Timecrimes' Nacho Vigalondo. Open Windows is a loose riff on Hitchcock's Rear Window, where the windows in question are tabs on a computer screen. And look: here's another one containing the new trailer!Wood plays Nick, a fan of actress Jill Goddard (former porn star Sasha Gray). Nick wins a date with his heroine in an online competition, but she pulls out of the arrangement, and Nick is then contacted by someone posing as her publicist, offering him the chance to follow her every movement by web and phone-cam. Turns out, however, »
Colorplan Stone + Bright Red by Gf Smith as Alien
Regardless of what the studios are putting out, the movie poster is a booming art form these days, and a lot of artists call their work minimalist. Some are, some are less so, but it’s an interesting design exercise, paring a movie down to its most basic elements and making a compelling and recognizable image of it. Taking things about 10,000 steps further is Spanish design firm Atipo. Their series of miniature ultra-minimalist movie posters is so stripped down you may not know what film the poster is “advertising” unless you’ve already seen it. The 15 pieces in Papers for Characters consist of a sheet (or two) of paper of varying weight/color/texture that has been manipulated or altered by hand. It was created to promote a “paper gallery” website for minke. Look through and see if you can guess »
- Mily Dunbar
James Garner movies on TCM: ‘Grand Prix,’ ‘Victor Victoria’ among highlights (photo: James Garner ca. 1960) James Garner, whose film and television career spanned more than five decades, died of "natural causes" at age 86 on July 19, 2014, in the Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood. On Monday, July 28, Turner Classic Movies will present an all-day marathon of James Garner movies (see below) as a tribute to the Oscar-nominated star of Murphy’s Romance and Emmy-winning star of the television series The Rockford Files. Among the highlights in TCM’s James Garner film lineup is John Frankenheimer’s Monaco-set Grand Prix (1966), an all-star, race-car drama featuring Garner as a Formula One driver who has an affair with the wife (Jessica Walter) of his former teammate (Brian Bedford). Among the other Grand Prix drivers facing their own personal issues are Yves Montand and Antonio Sabato, while Akira Kurosawa’s (male) muse Toshiro Mifune plays a »
- Andre Soares
Find out what Lucrecia Martel's The Headless Woman, the interior in Ingmar Bergman, Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's, Hitchcock's Rear Window basket and Ernst Jandl's poems have to do with Ramon Zürcher's The Strange Little Cat (Das merkwürdige Kätzchen).
Following a press screening of Jacques Demy's Young Girls Of Rochefort, I met up with Zürcher. In the center of Demy's marvelous and innovative musical which features a pastel clad vision of Gene Kelly, are twins, played by Catherine Deneuve and her late sister Françoise Dorléac. In perfect symmetry, Ramon brought along his twin brother, producer Silvan Zürcher to the office of Criterion Collection, off Union Square, where our conversation took place, arranged by »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
News flash for all you horror lovers out there, Relativity has officially finalized a deal to finance yet another haunted house movie: The Disappointments Room, starring Kate Beckinsale and directed by Disturbia helmer D.J. Caruso.
Inspired by a ‘true’ event – and you should take that with a pinch (no, the whole shaker) of salt – the film centers on a family’s encounter with the paranormal, inexplicable bumps in the night that inevitably go hand-in-hand with this genre, while they unravel the horrifying mysteries that come attached to their idyllic – and characteristically ancient – new home.
If there’s one thing Hollywood has taught us in recent years, it’s that you can never feel particularly safe in your own home. Yes, films like The Purge, The Strangers and Funny Games have turned the security of the family house into a prison of incomprehensible terror… well, the latter two certainly did – Funny Games »
- Dale Barham
The line-up for this year's Film4 FrightFest in London has just been announced – and boy, is it a doozy! Sporting a record-breaking 38 UK/European premieres and 11 world premieres, this August is going to be an exciting time in the genre calendar.
Check it all out right here, including lots of new images!
This year Film4 FrightFest will be moving from its previous home at Leicester Square's Empire Cinema to the nearby Vue Cinema (also on Leicester Square), prompting an ingenious reshuffle of the screening arrangements.
All main screen films will be presented at different times across three different screens, with two extra screens reserved for single-slot screenings of the various films hitting this year's Discovery Screens.
Here's the full list of goodies:
Main Screens (5, 6, 7)
Thursday Aug 21
Opening Night Film - The Guest (UK Premiere)
- Gareth Jones
Film4 FrightFest 2014, returning for its 15th year, unveils its biggest line-up ever. From Thurs 21 August to Monday 25 August, the UK’s leading event for genre fans will be at the Vue West End, Leicester Square, to present sixty-four films plus twenty shorts across five screens. There are sixteen countries representing five continents with a record-breaking thirty-eight UK or European premieres and eleven world premieres.
Are you ready for a monstrous and memorable mayhem of killer claws, cannibalism, cult classics, murderous musicals, chiller thrillers, graphic novel action and sick celluloid masterpieces? Then prepare yourself for the biggest, strongest and most eclectic must-see programme in Film4 FrightFest’s history.
From the opening night turbo-driven thrill-ride The Guest to the UK premiere of the closing night mesmeric sci-fi fantasy The Signal, FrightFest has netted the latest works from genre big-hitters such as Eli Roth (The Green Inferno), Alan Moore and Mitch Jenkins (Show »
- Phil Wheat
While the combination of sunny weather and sporting events like the World Cup tends to be a mood-improver for most, it's bad news for the box office. Most cinemas will be bracing themselves for a lean weekend, but what about those picturehouses that go the extra mile to stand out?
We've rounded up 8 of the world's most unusual movie-viewing venues below...
Guantanamo Bay Lyceum cinemas, Cuba
There's a great sense of irony in the fact that while the self-confessed architect of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, sits in his guarded prison cell in the world's most notorious detention centre, just the other side of the wall, Us soldiers can watch Oliver Stone's World Trade Centre on the big screen.
There are, in fact, two outdoor cinemas within Guantanamo Bay for the 1,000-strong guard force and people who live and work there. They show the latest Us releases on huge grass areas with tiered stadium seats. »
Six years after their last attempt, Empire Magazine has conducted a poll of over 250,000 film fans to come up with a list of the 301 greatest movies ever made. It's the 1980 classic "The Empire Strikes Back" which took the top spot, beating out the 2008 winner "The Godfather" which slipped down to second place. The Top 50 of the list are:
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
2001: A Space Odyssey
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
- Garth Franklin
It’s that time of year again when Somerset House launch their wonderful Summer Screen season and once again, you can’t fail to be impressed. That’s not all either because if you’re quick, as it closes on Thursday, you can vote for the Audience favourite as they’re celebrating their 10th Anniversary!
To mark the milestone season, the Best of 10 vote will relinquish control from the curators for one night and for the first time, let you ladies and gents choose which film you’d like to see again at Somerset House. A list of 10 films, selected from some of the best-sellers since the season first began, are in the link box below for you to vote on!
The winner will then be added to the bill and voters will be invited to an exclusive 24 hour pre-sale, to be given the chance to secure tickets first for this special one-off anniversary night. »
- Dan Bullock
At a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday afternoon for “Grace of Monaco,” the festival’s opening night film, Nicole Kidman addressed objections about her portrayal of Grace Kelly.
Earlier this month, the royal family of Monaco issued a statement that read, “The trailer appears to be a farce and confirms the totally fictional nature of this film.”
“I mean, obviously, I feel sad, because I think the film has no malice toward the family, particularly toward Grace or [Prince] Rainier,” Kidman said. “It’s a fictionalization. You take dramatic license.”
Kidman added that she understood Kelly’s children feeling protective of their mother. “I still have respect, and I want them to know the performance was done with love,” Kidman said, noting if they ever decided to view the film, “they would see affection for both their parents.”
Kidman said that she felt “many similarities” to Princess Grace. »
- Ramin Setoodeh
The offscreen palace intrigue between “Grace of Monaco” director Olivier Dahan and his on-again off-again U.S. distributor Harvey Weinstein turns out to be far livelier than anything on screen in Dahan’s cardboard and frequently cornball melodrama about Grace Kelly’s bumpy transition from Hollywood to actual princess — and her (seemingly single-handed) saving of her embattled sovereign state from French annexation. Handsomely produced but as dramatically inert as star Nicole Kidman’s frigid cheek muscles, Dahan’s strained bid to recapture the critical and commercial success of his smash Edith Piaf biopic “La Vie en rose” is the sort of misbegotten venture no amount of clever re-editing could hope to improve. The decision to release the pic in France and other key Euro territories immediately following its opening-night Cannes berth reps a healthy gamble on Kidman’s drawing power against the summer blockbuster deluge.
Although Dahan and screenwriter Arash Amel »
- Scott Foundas
After admitting the laudable Stephen Toblowsky and much-missed Jt Walsh, we now see whether The Overlooked Hotel can make room for the delightful and versatile Michelle Monaghan.
A recent film magazine review queried why Michelle Monaghan had not hit it big (or at least bigger) off the back of her charming, star-making turn in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It was and is a pertinent question and it is hard to know why she has not become a more established star. Although she has a varied CV, it is hard to pick too many turkeys (Made of Honour and The Heartbreak Kid were pretty middling efforts, but hardly part of a broad trend), nor has she gone so left field as to disassociate herself from more mainstream opportunities.
Monaghan had been knocking around in a variety of TV gigs and supporting turns on the big screen, before catching a break as »
- Dave Roper
Directed by Brian De Palma
It is obvious that Body Double (1984) is a combination of the plots of Vertigo (1958), Rear Window(1954) and Dial M for Murder (1955) by Alfred Hitchcock, and nearly as obvious to say that the film also takes cues from Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (1960) and elements from various slasher films like Abel Ferrara’s The Driller Killer (1979). Unfortunately, a good number of critical pieces on Brian De Palma are obsessed with listing off his influences and coming to the inept conclusion that he is merely a Hitchcock imitator with a couple of clever cinematic tricks up his sleeve. Few writers take De Palma on his own terms, though select critics are finally coming around, and most ignore the way he constructs his complex thriller narratives, creates exquisite images that take advantage of cinema’s unique artistic properties, »
- Cody Lang
Hey everyone! Starting this week, Daily Dead is going to be bringing you a weekly DVD & Blu-ray release recap so that you guys and gals can better keep up on all the great home horror entertainment coming at you each and every week. Considering the amount of titles being announced these days, we figured this would be a handy reminder of just some of the awesome movies you can to add to your own DVD and Blu-ray collections.
Here’s a rundown on what’s coming your way this week including a ton of amazing classic titles in hi-def from Universal Studios, a handful of Godzilla sequels being released on Blu-ray, and more.
None of Hitchcock’s films has ever given a clearer view of his genius for suspense than Rear Window. When professional photographer J.B. »
- Heather Wixson
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