9 items from 2015
An acting titan, man of gargantuan appetites and island-owning maverick, it’ll take more than the umpteen tomes written about him to unmask the real Marlon Brando. Fortunately, there’s a new documentary to help with that. Listen To Me Marlon is a Brando-led trail that, via thus-far unheard audio tapes, leads the viewer through the mind of the great man. The film’s new trailer is online and viewable below.British director Stevan Riley, the man behind West Indies cricket doc Fire In Babylon and 007 history Everything Or Nothing, has used Brando’s own contemplations and utterances to construct a character study of one of Hollywood’s true enigmas. From his early breakthroughs in A Streetcar Named Desire, The Wild One and On The Waterfront to later years in self-imposed exile, the picture that will emerge is one of a restive, enquiring mind always searching for peace, but never finding it. »
Although this article doesn’t explicitly contain any significant spoilers, it is always advisable to watch a film before reading about it too deeply.
In his own words, the intended audience for Russ Meyer’s films was “some guy…in the theatre with semen seeping out of his dick.” His work in the sexploitation subgenre is credited with bringing nudity and sleaze into the American cinematic mainstream and his gravestone declares him ‘King of the Nudies.’ And yet his magnum opus has been reclaimed as a work of female empowerment, a subversive text that has inspired music videos by the Spice Girls and Janet Jackson, lent its name to a New York women’s bar and even been referenced in Xena and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Despite dismissing it after a first viewing in the mid-1970s as “retrograde male-objectification of women’s bodies and desires further embellished by a »
- Jamie Lewis
Hondo (1953), which is set to play June 13 - July 4 at the Museum of Modern Art as part of their "3-D Summer" series, was John Wayne's first Western in three years. It was produced by his own Wayne/Fellows Productions (later named Batjac), founded just the year prior by Wayne and producer Robert Fellows. And James Edward Grant, who had already written several Wayne features and had a particular flair for writing classic John Wayne dialogue, penned the screenplay. All told, one gets the sense that everything about this exemplary return to the genre was a carefully conscious decision by the iconic American star. Hondo is a definitive Western. Moreover, it's a definitive John Wayne Western.When Wayne made Hondo, his masculine persona was already firmly established. After viewing the film at one point, Wayne supposedly declared, "I'll be damned if I'm not the stuff men are made of." Such a comment, »
- Jeremy Carr
Listen To Me Marlon Trailer and Poster. Stevan Riley‘s Listen To Me Marlon (2015) movie trailer, movie poster stars Marlon Brando. Listen To Me Marlon‘s plot synopsis: “With exclusive access to his extraordinary unseen and unheard personal archive including hundreds of hours of audio recorded over the course of his life, this is the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary. Charting his exceptional career as an actor and his extraordinary life away from the stage and screen with Brando himself as your guide, the film will fully explore the complexities of the man by telling the story uniquely from Marlon’s perspective, entirely in his own voice. No talking heads, no interviewees, just Brando on Brando and life.”
- Marco Margaritoff
The origins of band names are often fascinating, and many of them come from movie titles or elements of movies. Some of the best choices, in my opinion, are Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (from The Wild One), Mogwai (from Gremlins), Duran Duran (from Barbarella), Veruca Salt (from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), The Misfits (from The Misfits) and The Dismemberment Plan, which comes from a line in Groundhog Day spoken by actor Stephen Tobolowsky as the character Ned Ryerson. I now have a new favorite band name origin, though, and it also involves Tobolowsky, years before his most memorable turn in that Bill Murray movie. It turns out, according to Tobolowsky himself, that Radiohead is pretty much named for his psychic powers. Dangerous Minds relayed the...
- Christopher Campbell
In honour of The Times’ film critic Kevin Maher’s list of iconic movie rebels, we take a look at what it truly takes to make a tough guy in cinema.
What constitutes a tough guy, as in ‘man’, on film is usually a traditional interpretation of masculinity. There is always room for the sensitive hero in a sweater and slacks, but for those who watch movies as ingrained wish fulfilment, the sexy and sweaty man’s man needs suitable attire to reflect his personality. But it is not just about the garments themselves. A jacket is a jacket, but a leather jacket is a symbol. A wax jacket on the other hand is enlightened – the reformist hero.
Waxed cotton is fantastic stuff. Essentially it is a treated fabric, albeit one that needs regular re-covering to ensure longevity. The result is a lightweight, versatile material that, although not especially warm, »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?
There's probably some conflation of Laslo Benedek's The Wild One (1953)--coming out for the first time on blu-ray--and Nicholas Ray's (superior) Rebel Without a Cause (1955) because of this famous exchange. A young woman, enjoying the antics of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club (B.R.M.C.), asks Johnny (Marlon Brando), the ringleader, what they're rebelling against to which Johnny replies, "Whadya got?" The comparison is an interesting one. While James Dean is the height of 50's cool off screen, in Rebel Without a Cause, he plays a whiney youth in the throws of a terrible case of full-blown angst, having to deal with alienation and social phenomena he's not ready for. Why it was Dean that became the icon, despite making only three major films before he died, isn't obvious. Brando's Johnny, however, is what icons are made of with his black leather jacket, »
- Jason Ratigan
Hollywood, like any place that is more about its lore than the actual sum of its parts, is full of unsung heroes who have given audiences some of their most cherished cinematic moments. Odds are if you’re a movie buff, you’ll remember the car chases in iconic films like Bullitt, The French Connection and The Seven-Ups. Stuntman, stunt driver and later, stunt coordinator Bill Hickman was one of those people who remained virtually anonymous during his lifetime, but is responsible for some of cinema’s most iconic, and hair-raising moments.
The Los Angeles native was born in 1921 and had been working in Hollywood for ten years before landing his first (visible) role in Stanley Kramer’s legendary The Wild One, the 1953 film that cemented star Marlon Brando’s status as an icon of post-war teen rebellion. Hickman can be seen as one of Brando’s »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Having finally found acclaim as a writer/director with critical successes like The Defiant Ones (1958) after a brief period serving as a producer for others at Columbia on films such as Death of a Salesman (1951), The Juggler (1953), and The Wild One (1953), Stanley Kramer took it upon himself to follow-up his politically controversial nuclear war drama On the Beach (1959) with yet another topically contentious production – Inherit The Wind. Based on the stage play of the same name written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, the film fictionalizes the famed 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial, in which a high school teacher named John Scopes was accused of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in any state-funded school. Riding high on the creation/evolution controversy, as well as a genius ploy to exploit the witch hunt narrative to discuss the dangers of McCarthyism, which had previously seen Nedrick Young, »
- Jordan M. Smith
9 items from 2015
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