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It’s difficult to talk about Brian De Palma without talking about other filmmakers. We talk about Godard, who clearly impacted De Palma’s early politicization and constant interrogation of what it means to watch. We talk about Antonioni and Eisenstein, among the most notable filmmakers that De Palma has quoted whose surnames don’t begin with “H.” We talk about Lucas, Spielberg, Coppola, and Scorsese, the bearded “Movie Brats” whose elusive club De Palma claims membership to. Most of all, we talk about Hitchcock.
Brian De Palma is almost always discussed in terms of Hitchcock. His detractors frame him as a parasitic freeloader sucking away at the master’s suspense-filled tits. De Palma’s movies owe an obvious debt to the so-called Master of Suspense, but it’s a crippling and constricting narrative to apply to his entire body of work, and one that complicates readings of his early output. »
- The Film Stage
A SoCal Rear Window made at the cusp of the sexual revolution is a peculiar but fascinating look at vicious prurience
Determining where trenchant psycho-sexual commentary ends and voyeuristic sleaze begins can be a dicey business, but if all such cases were as energetic and entertaining as Leslie Stevens’s “lost” 1960 independent picture Private Property we’d be better off.
Set in the sun-bleached Los Angeles hills at the cusp of the sexual revolution (and its bloody Manson family nadir), Private Property seems, at first, mere fodder for raincoat-wearing deviants. But there’s too much negative space in the screenplay to leave it at that. Watching in 2016, thanks to an undertaking by the UCLA Film & Television Archive working with Cinelicious Pics, one feels compelled to hurl problematic yellow cards at the screen. Indeed, appealing to a base crowd of perverts may very well have been an original goal from a marketing point of view. »
- Jordan Hoffman
“You yell shark, we’ve got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July!”
Jaws screens this Friday and Saturday nights (July 1st and 2nd) at midnight at the Tivoli Theater as part of their ‘Reel Late at the Tivoli’ Midnight series.
Jaws is the original “summer movie”. It was the first to raise the roof with screams and then subsequently bring it down with applause. But he legacy of Jaws isn’t just that of a great summer movie, but of a great movie period. The popcorn flick formula, one that has been imitated for decades, was begun with this malfunctioning mechanical shark. However, unlike most of its successors, Jaws filled the pit of your stomach with more than just popcorn; you got a nice helping of fear as well. For many, even after 40 years, it’s still the ultimate event movie. Now you can spend your »
- Tom Stockman
“I spent time with bunnies for seven months. I didn’t use my fingers. I hopped everywhere I went — ate nothing but grass,” joked Kevin Hart at “The Secret Life of Pets” premiere Saturday morning at the Lincoln Center in New York City.
The comedian, making his first appearance as an animated character, told Variety that he was excited to voice Snowball, a tyrannical bunny out for revenge against the human race. Hart added, “Probably the funniest thing you can do about putting a small black guy in a small white rabbit’s body is say, ‘Be yourself.'”
Snowball tries to recruit domesticated dogs Max and Duke, voiced by Louis C.K. and Eric Stonestreet, to join his gang of “Flushed Pets” as the pair try to escape Animal Control and find their way back home.
While Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri thought of centering a film around the mysterious lives of our pets, »
- Sade Spence
“Half man, half plant. A goblin’s favorite food!”
Troll 2 plays this weekend (June 24th and 25th) at The Tivoli at midnight as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli midnight series.
Finally, a movie so bad, it has its own separate documentary about just how bad it is! Troll 2 is one of the most unbelievable sequels ever made, and one supposedly shot entirely without the knowledge or consent of the creators of the first Troll film!
At first glance Troll 2 is simply a sub-z-grade continuity abomination, but really it’s a nonstop explosion of genius disguised as ineptitude. Grade-schooler Joshua is visited by the protective ghost of his Grandpa Seth, who warns him that his family’s vacation destination – the town of Nilbog (!) may be worth avoiding. But there’s no changing dad’s mind, and soon the whole family is knee-deep in black magic and nefarious villagers, »
- Tom Stockman
“Deprived of lessons, I decided to run away.”
Fantastic Planet plays this weekend (June 17th and 18th) at The Tivoli at midnight as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli midnight series.
I saw the 1973’s French/Czechoslovakian masterpiece Fantastic Planet at the Kirkwood Cinema when it was new. There was a string of adult animated movies in the early 1970’s, Ralph Bakshi et al, many of which have become perennial cult classics. Rene Laloux is the French director of Fantastic Planet and Roland Topor was the animator. The drawings, which were highly artistic and complex, payed tribute to Terry Gilliam, though not as humorous, the “head” styles of “Yellow Submarine,” and even to Bakshi himself, with the anthropomorphisms and even the occasional nudity.
Fantastic Planet is a story of one human “Om” (French for “man”) named Terr, who loses his mother in the beginning of the movie, is taken care by aliens who become his captors. He then escapes from his alien captor family known as “Traags” to a race of humans. With his device of intellectual “Traag” knowledge in his head, he passes that knowledge to the other Oms and frees them from the captivity of the merciless “Traags.”
But if you like animation that is “different,” you may appreciate Fantastic Planet which was a grand prize winner at the Cannes Film Festival and regularly played on USA’s “Night Flight” program 20 years ago (“Night Flight” program was a late-night cable show that specialized in rock videos and cult films). In age where directors can literally do and put anything on screen achieving the desired ‘wow’ factor has become an increasingly rare thing. Laloux didn’t have 3D or CGI at his disposal in 1971; just some extremely talent cartoon artists a seriously funky score and some extremely crazy ideas and today Fantastic Planet still manages to impress. While it may be easy to dismiss Fantastic Planet as some post Hippy movement nonsense complete with psychedelic imagery barely concealable political allegories and very much a product of its time it remains a compelling and indeed visionary oddity. Check out Fantastic Planet when it plays midnights this weekend at The Tivoli and see how fantastic it is.
Fantastic Planet screens this weekend (June 17th and 18th) at The Tivoli at midnight as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli midnight series.
The Tivoli’s located at 6350 Delmar Blvd., University City, Mo. Admission is a mere $8!
A Facebook invite for the event can be found Here
The Tivoli’s website can be found Here
Here’s the midnight line-up for the next few weeks:
June 24 and 25th: Troll 2
July 1st and 2nd Jaws
July 8th and 9th Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Miyazaki)
July 15th and 16th Rear Window
July 22nd and 23rd Akira
The post Fantastic Planet – Midnights This Weekend at The Tivoli appeared first on We Are Movie Geeks.
- Tom Stockman
The setup to De Palma, Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow's engrossing new documentary about the life and career of controversial filmmaker Brian De Palma (opening in theaters on June 10th), couldn't be simpler: The 75-year-old director dissects most of his films and shares analyses and behind-the-scenes anecdotes in between clips. Forget talking-head testimonials from collaborators, flashy visuals or dramatic reenactments. You just get the man himself, looking back and holding court in all his verbose, insightful glory.
And that is more than enough. Known primarily for his obsession with voyeurism, »
“Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe? ”
The Breakfast Club plays this weekend (June 10th and 11th) at The Tivoli at midnight as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli midnight series.
In 1985, director/writer John Hughes crafted The Breakfast Club, his hilarious and surprisingly thoughtful tale that still seems as fresh as it did 30 years ago. Five teenagers, each representing a different clique in their high school, are forced to spend an entire Saturday in detention together for various infractions each has committed–some of which become central to the plot, as the characters gradually become aware that they share more in common with each other than their stereotypes and preconceived notions would ever allow.
There’s a minimalistic feel to the movie that helps maintain its focus on the characters; there are essentially only two other speaking parts of any significance outside of the five teens–the antagonistic school principal, »
- Tom Stockman
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat!”
Another brilliant lineup of midnight movies for the ‘Reel Late at The Tivoli’ for the Summer of 2016 season. It’s a typically good variety of titles that will draw the late night movie buff crowd with a couple of retro surprises. The Midnight Movie experience has always catered to a college-age crowd and that’s the way it should be. Looks like we have no less than three animes (if you count Fantastic Planet as an anime) which is understandable since they always draw good crowds. The oldest film this time is the Hitchcock classic from 1954 Rear Window and the most recent is Troll 2 from 1990. The late night fun kicks off this weekend with a tribute to the recently departed Prince and his 1984 showcase Purple Rain.
Here’s the line-up:
June 3rd and 4th: Purple Rain
June 10th and 11th: Breakfast Club »
- Tom Stockman
“The Essentials”—A Good Starting Point
Any book that claims to be a collection of the “best” of something—whether it is a listing of movies, music, art, and so forth—has to be taken with a grain of salt. These kinds of things are entirely subjective; although in this case, TCM (Turner Classic Movies) does have a kind of clout and expertise in the matter.
That said, we have this beautifully-designed and illustrated coffee-table trade paperback that contains not 1000, not 100, not 50... but 52 “essential must-see movies.” TCM’s spokesperson, Robert Osborne, explains the criteria in his Foreword—“The Essentials” is a weekly Saturday night event on the television network in which a guest host (the likes of Rob Reiner, Sydney Pollack, Peter Bogdanovich, Drew Barrymore, and more) introduce a picture he or she believes is an Essential. The book is a collection of some of these Essentials, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
By John M. Whalen
Cornell Woolrich is a writer whose work was much loved and cherished by fans of film noir. The Internet Movie Database lists 102 credits for him for both film and TV shows—titles including “Rear Window,” “The Bride Wore Black,” “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes,” “Black Angel,” “Fear in the Night,” and “Phantom Lady,” He didn’t write any screenplays that I know of. The films and TV shows were all adapted from a prolific output of stories written under his Woolrich and William Irish pseudonyms, and under his real name, George Hopley.
While Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and James M. Cain make up the Big Three in noir fiction, Woolrich carved out a special niche for himself. Chandler, and Hammett wrote about tough guy heroes who usually overcame the web of evil they encountered. Cain’s heroes weren’t always so lucky, but at least »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
The film centers on a young man who is taken in by his best friend’s family after his grandmother dies. Life initially seems idyllic, until he stumbles upon proof that his adopted father may be a violent criminal. Tonally, the film is meant to be a mixture of “Disturbia” and “Rear Window.”
“I’m excited to be working with Awesomeness on a script that is a throwback to suspense thrillers I love,” said Grillo.
Grillo has been in a number of high-profile projects, of late. He anchors the acclaimed Mma fighter series “Kingdom” and reprises his role as Crossbones in this summer’s “Captain America: Civil War.” Other upcoming parts include “The Purge: Election Year” and “Beyond Skyline.”
- Brent Lang
With editors and cinematographers chiming in on the best examples of their craft in cinema history, it’s now time for directors to have a say. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Directors Guild of America, they’ve conducted a poll for their members when it comes to the 80 greatest directorial achievements in feature films since the organization’s founding in 1936. With 2,189 members participating, the top pick went to Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather, one of three films from the director making the top 10.
Even with films from nonmembers being eligible, the male-dominated, America-centric choices are a bit shameful (Kathryn Bigelow is the only female director on the list, and the first foreign film doesn’t show up until number 26), but not necessarily surprising when one looks at the make-up of its membership. As with any list, there’s bound to be disagreements (Birdman besting The Bicycle Thief, »
- Jordan Raup
The fact-inspired film Papa: Hemingway In Cuba is a prime example of why a good director matters. As some sage once said, “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
The film is first American film shot in Cuba since Castro’s 1959 revolution, and there is so degree of thrill in seeing Hemingway’s home and the actual locations he frequented. In fact, the story takes place in 1959, with true-story basis loaded with dramatic potential. Sadly, producer-turned -director Bob Yari fails to put to good use to those elements, along with a strong cast. Only the most determined Hemingway devotees will get much out of Yari’s dull, pedestrian film.
Giovanni Ribisi plays young newspaperman Ed Myers (a stand-in for the real journalist Denne Bart Petitclerc, on whose memoir of his friendship with Hemingway the story is based). Ed writes a fan letter of sorts to his idol Hemingway, whom »
- Cate Marquis
The Little Black Dress—From Mourning to Night is a free exhibit currently at The Missouri History Museum (Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri). The exhibit runs through September 5th.
The Little Black Dress – a simple, short cocktail dress—is a sartorial staple for most contemporary women. Prior to the early 20th century, simple, unadorned black garments were limited to mourning, and strict social rules regarding mourning dress were rigidly observed.Featuring over 60 dresses from the Missouri History Museum’s world-renowned textile collection, this fun yet thought-provoking exhibit explores the subject of mourning, as well as the transition of black from a symbol of grief to a symbol of high fashion. You’ll also see fascinating artifacts—from hair jewelry to tear catchers—that were once a regular part of the mourning process. Plus, you’ll have the chance to share your own memories of your favorite »
- Tom Stockman
Filmmaker and self-pronounced cinephile Jacob T. Swinney has a new video essay called 100 Years/100 Shots. The title’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s about the history of Tequila in the 21st century.
Swinney has chosen his most memorable shot from each year in the last 100 and placed them next to each other in chronological sequence. Not only does it fascinatingly chart the evolution of the medium, it also reaffirms why we devote so much of our spare time to the movies. See beneath the video embed below for the full list (in order) used.
100 Years/100 Shots from Jacob T. Swinney on Vimeo.
Birth of a Nation
A Dog’s Life
The Passion of Joan of Arc
- Oli Davis
As one of the biggest Hollywood stars of her era, Princess Grace - before her wedding, she was known around the world as Rear Window star Grace Kelly - wasn't a typical royal bride. And she didn't accessorize like one either. Instead of a tiara, Princess Grace instead wore a beaded Juliet cap with an attached veil for her spectacular wedding to Monaco's Prince Rainier on April 18, 1956. Atop the cap was a layer of lace covered in tiny pearls along with flowers. While it wasn't actually a diamond-covered tiara, the piece was crown-like in appearance, with the pearls and flowers »
- Diana Pearl, @dianapearl_
Girls spent its last couple of episodes letting Marnie, Hannah, and Jessa explore life on their own, but this week the crew reunited for a performance in which only Adam acts, but every character is a player. In its best scenes, Girls provides proof that television can support thoughtful visual storytelling even in the traditional... Girls Recap: Staring Out Of Adam’s Rear Window">Read more » »
- Teo Bugbee
It’s safe to say most filmmakers today have learned something from Alfred Hitchcock, if not been directly influence. The master filmmaker's resumé speaks for itself — “Rear Window,” “Psycho,” “Rebecca,” “Notorious,” “Strangers on a Train,” “Rope,” “The Birds,” “North by Northwest,” “Shadow of a Doubt” and “Dial M for Murder” — and his remarkable grasp on technical prowess in achieving big screen spectacle has been rarely matched. And among the things Hitchcock knew best about filmmaking was how to stage a scene, as broken down and analyzed by Nerdwriter1 in his latest video, “How Alfred Hitchcock Blocks A Scene.” Read More: Watch: 7-Minute Video Essay Explores Ensemble Staging In Bong Joon-Ho's 'Memories Of Murder' Taking a closer look at an early scene in “Vertigo” — the 1958 picture some cinephiles would argue is not only Hitchcock’s greatest work, but also quite possibly the best film of all-time — the nine-minute »
- Will Ashton
Two suburban teenagers use surveillance equipment to torment a disliked elderly neighbor in the suspense drama “The Waiting.” This debut feature for director Kasra Farahani and scenarists Mark Bianculli and Jeff Richard holds interest, though it’s ultimately more depressing than tense or shocking. The lack of real horror content (though the protags try to convince James Caan’s victim that he’s being “haunted”) or box office names makes it a likelier prospect for home-format sales than big-screen exposure.
High schoolers Sean (Keir Gilchrist) and Ethan (Logan Miller) have been besties since Sean recently moved to town, not least because both hail from fatherless broken homes (character basics that could have been made clearer a lot sooner). They spend most of their extracurricular time in Ethan’s bedroom, where they’ve embarked on a project whose pricey required equipment was obliviously bankrolled by Sean’s absentee dad. But its »
- Dennis Harvey
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