20 items from 2013
Director David Lynch turns the true story of a geriatric road trip (on a lawnmower) into a gentle parable – and a classic, if unlikely, American road movie
The Straight Story must be the slowest road movie ever made. And that pace is the point. Somewhere along the way, our world got itself in a damn hurry. And maybe more than any great American road movie – counter-culture trip (Easy Rider), burnt-rubber hellride (Natural Born Killers), wistful wine run (Sideways), feminist freedom trail (Thelma & Louise) – it took an old man on a lawnmower to remind us that life's journey should never be rushed.
The first thing in director David Lynch's strange, tender film is a vast night sky winking with stars; but those stars died long ago. All we see now are fading memories, their light reaching us after a one-way trip along the cosmic interstate.
And so it goes for 73-year-old Alvin Straight. »
It's been ages since I had a moment for a link & news roundup so here you go. If you've already read some of these I apologize for my tardiness. If not, enjoy them.
Huffington Post I have to give Peggy Siegal's Oscar Diary pride of place because if you haven't yet read it -- it debuted a few days ago -- you must. Peggy is fabulous and after which movie stars show at her parties here in NYC the thing I'm always most intrigued to see is what she'll be wearing.
MovieLine a sequel to The Host is now more than a little unlikely and it won't be the next Twilight. That's Ok because we didn't want Saoirse tied up with a franchise for aeons.
NPR Saoirse Ronan loves Clueless. See, she's just a regular teenager. (as if!)
- NATHANIEL R
Alexa here. This Easter/Passover time of year is always replete with biblical references; for me, most are tied to film. For instance, my main understanding of the significance of Passover is through my repeated childhood viewings of The Ten Commandments. As one of the heathen mob, I am more likely to light a candle to mourn the loss of Ryan Gosling from the screen than ask saints for intercession. Religious or not, I thought Tfe readers would enjoy some curios that aid in the practice of film idolatry, like these devotional candles from this etsy shop.
Who would you light a candle for this year?
Saturday, March 30, 2013 ratings -- New episodes: Cops. Sports: Ncaa Men's Basketball Tournament. Specials: The Ten Commandments (rerun). Episode reruns: Cops, The Following, Elementary, Dateline, and Saturday Night Live.
8pm - The Ten Commandments: (movie, rerun) 1.2 in the demo with 5.90 million.
8pm - Ncaa Basketball Tournament: (sports) 3.2 in the demo with 10.51 million.
10pm - Elementary: (rerun) 1.1 in the demo with 4.78 million.
8pm - Cops: 0.7 in the demo (-30% change) with 2.61 million.
8:30pm - Cops: (rerun) 0.7 in the demo with 2.61 million.
9pm - The Following: (rerun) 0.3 in the demo with 1.28 million.
8pm - Dateline: (rerun) 0.7 in the demo with 3.90 million.
10pm - Saturday Night Live: (rerun) »
While I had to skip a press screening of the latest in the G.I. Joe franchise because of this week's "Seder" thing, I ended up paying good money to see The Rock fight some bumblebees (really, it was kind of hard to pay attention to what was going on after a while). While I enjoyed it, especially the protracted Ninjas-on-a-mountain bit, the same could not be said for The Host (which I kind of disliked, as can be seen here). Plus, brief shout-outs about picking fun Passoveaster™ films to watch during this Equinox-ish time period, including Martin Scorsese's stunning Last Temptation of Christ, Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments, and, of course, the sheer magnificence that is Jesus Christ Superstar....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
ABC 7:00 The Ten Commandments CBS 6:55 Ncaa Basketball 9:00 Elementary (repeat) 10:00 48 Hours (repeat) Fox 8:00 Cops (new) 8:30 Cops (repeat) 9:00 The Following (repeat) 11:00 Hell's Kitchen (repeat) 12:00 30 Seconds to Fame (repeat) NBC 8:00 Dateline NBC (new) 10:00 Saturday Night Live (repeat) 11:29 Saturday Night Live (repeat, with host and musical guest Justin Bieber) More TV to watch when you read more. »
- Maggie Pehanick
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 28, 2013
Price: DVD $24.95, Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Olive Films
Directed by Joseph McGrath, the 1969 cult comedy film The Magic Christian starring Peter Sellers (The Pink Panther) and Ringo Starr comes from the pen of the brilliant Terry Southern (Dr. Strangelove, Barbarella), based on his 1959 comic novel of the same name.
In the movie, Sir Guy Grand (Sellers), the richest man in the world, whimsically adopts a young homeless man (Starr) who he happens to meet by chance during a stroll in the park. Together they set off on a series of inspired escapades that comically attack the snobbery and hypocrisy of modern society. Moving from one misadventure to another, they have encounters with characters portrayed by such noteworthy performers as Richard Attenborough (The Great Escape), Laurence Harvey (Summer and Smoke), Raquel Welch (Hannie Caulder), Christopher Lee »
This will be the last top ten off the top of my head whole decade thingies for a bit -- we need to get to real articles but I've been swamped off blog. But these discussions are fun, don't you agree? The 1950s were the first film decade I was obsessed with in that when I was first becoming interested in cinema in the mid 80s, the 50s somehow came to signify Mythic Classic Hollywood to me, though cinema obviously stretched much much further back. So I guess I'll always be kind of attached to this decade when the movies got literally bigger (I do so prefer rectangulars to squares) and the era's stars really defined (at least for me) the concept of "Movie Star". I mean it's hard to argue with Liz, Brando, Clift, Dean, Monroe in all caps.
Which is why Giant is such a perfect 1950s movie »
- NATHANIEL R
The History Channel's highly-rated miniseries "The Bible" stirred up controversy this week when Satan made an appearance, played by Moroccan actor Mehdi Ouzaani. Many viewers took to Twitter and commented on Ouzaani's perceived resemblence to President Barack Obama.
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck tweeted, "Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?" -- with "That Guy" being Beck's preferred term to reference Obama.
The History Channel immediately shut down Beck's statement.
"History channel has the highest respect for President Obama. The series was produced with an international and diverse cast of respected actors. It's unfortunate that anyone made this false connection. History's 'The Bible' is meant to enlighten people on its rich stories and deep history," the network says in a statement.
Executive producer Mark Burnett says, "This is utter nonsense. The actor who played Satan, Mehdi Ouzaani, is a highly acclaimed Moroccan actor. »
Like Night of the Hunter, Tod Browning’s Freaks or Leonard Kastle’s The Honeymoon Killers, The Road to Yesterday can be ranked among the UFOs of cinema. It’s place in the heart of Cecil B. DeMille’s work proves to be in itself very distinctive. We know that, during his entire life, DeMille had virtually only one producer—Paramount (the former Famous Players Lasky)—just like Minnelli was MGM’s man and Corman American International’s. Sixty-three of his films (out of seventy) were produced at Paramount. And, oddly enough, it is among the seven outsiders, situated within a brief period from 1925 to 1931, that his best activity is to be found (I’m thinking of Madam Satan, The Godless Girl, and The Road to Yesterday)–his most audacious undertakings. To top it off, for this uncontested king of the box office, his best films were his biggest commercial failures. »
- Luc Moullet
Dark Knight Rises actor set to take the lead in Scott's forthcoming Old Testament saga, though there is competition to get the story to the screen
Christian Bale is set to play Moses in Ridley Scott's retelling of the story of the biblical hero, according to Deadline. The suggestion follows reports last week that Steven Spielberg has left rival Moses project Gods and Kings, with Oscar-winning Life of Pi director Ang Lee tipped to replace him.
Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox is moving forward apace with its take on Moses, which is titled Exodus, as confusion surrounds the future of rival studio Warner Bros's proposed version. Bale is being lined up to star and Scott's American Gangster screenwriter Steve Zaillian has signed on to do a rewrite. The Us blog says Scott could make it his next project as director after completing work on The Counselor, his forthcoming »
- Ben Child
After a recent fad of fairytale movies swept Hollywood (Snow White and The Huntsman, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Mirror Mirror etc.), the focus seems to have shifted to Biblical epics, with Darren Aronofsky hard at work on Noah, Ang Lee eyeing Gods and Kings and now, Ridley Scott’s Exodus, which has caught the eye of Christian Bale.
The film was originally penned by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage but the new draft was written by Steve Zaillian. Scott is hoping to shoot the film once he finishes up The Counsellor and Fox is hoping to move quickly on this one, seeing as Gods and Kings (also a Moses based film) is starting to shape up.
Bale, of course, has his eye on the lead role, that of Moses. While nothing is confirmed just yet, with the studio hoping to get this into production sooner than later, you »
- Matt Joseph
Are we going through a new sword and sandals period? We are soon to be gifted with Darren Aronofsky’s take on the Noah story, Ridley Scott is in talks to do Exodus at Fox, Paul W.S. Anderson is taking on Pompeii, and for a long while Steven Spielberg was attached to Moses film Gods And Kings. Now we learn that Spielberg is dropping out of the picture in favor of Robopocalypse, because big robots are much more interesting than the Old Testament. What’s more, this year’s Oscar winner Ang Lee has expressed some serious interest in the project.
Gods And Kings will follow baby Moses to full-grown, tablet-carrying Moses to aged Moses, with all the fun times in between. This can only mean that it will incredibly long, because there’s a lot that happens in that man’s lifetime. The film is being scripted by Michael Green »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
One is best known for playing a kind-hearted angel on a hit television drama. The other is the man behind more than a dozen record-breaking reality shows. But husband and wife Roma Downey ("Touched by an Angel") and Mark Burnett ("Survivor," "The Voice") say their biggest achievement is yet to come -- and it offers a stark contrast to the primetime roles that have made them sought-after Hollywood stars.
Called "The Bible" and set to premiere Sunday on the History Channel, their new production is a 10-hour scripted miniseries that aims to take viewers on a dramatic, special effects-filled journey through the world's most popular book, from the story of Noah's Ark to the Exodus and the life of Jesus.
"We're trying to tell the story of God's love for his people," said Downey, who plays the role of Mary in the five-episode series.
She and Burnett were inspired after watching "The Ten Commandments, »
- Jaweed Kaleem
Camille (1921) is directed by some guy called Ray C. Smallwood, whose IMDb profile looks like mash-up of two different guys, but who knows? We come to the film more interested in it as a vehicle for Nazimova and Valentino, but what actually seduces is the production design and costume design, by Valentino's wife and Nazimova's lover, Natacha Rambova.
Some time before art deco conquered Hollywood, this movie exults in deliciously modern, streamlined yet organic design. Some scenes go on for frankly an indecent amount of time, but we don't care if they're unfolding in opulent boudoirs or night clubs shaped by Rambova.
The movie's self-proclaimed approach, to strip Camille of her crinolines and thrust her into modern society, is amusing echoed in Radley Metzger's softcore Camille 2000 (1969), which likewise floats by on silvery clouds of beautiful people in beautiful interiors (in and out of beautiful costumes).
The screenplay is by June Mathis, »
- David Cairns
(Note: This review pertains to the UK Region 2 Pal format release available on www.amazon.co.uk)
By Adrian Smith
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Cecil B. DeMille will always be remembered for his lavish historical epics like The Ten Commandments (1923 and again in 1956), Sign of the Cross (1932) and Samson and Delilah (1949). However, with over one hundred and sixty credits as either director or producer, he also worked in plenty of other genres. Following two flops, This Day and Age (1933) and Four Frightened People (1934), Paramount head Adolph Zukor insisted he try to replicate the success of Sign of the Cross with another visual spectacle. DeMille agreed and cast Claudette Colbert in the lead role of Cleopatra (she had already starred in both Sign of the Cross and Four Frightened People and was about to win the Oscar for It Happened one Night (1934)).
The plot focuses on Cleopatra's »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Here is last week's caption pic winner. This week's caption pic is at the bottom of the page.
Thanks to everyone for participating! The winner is ...
"No one was surprised at the press conference announcing the new head of the republican party"
Thanks to wilmbear for this week's winning caption!
Weekend Birthdays! (Note: Birthday shoutouts are for out entertainers, allies, or for any celeb that seems to have a following on Ae). Jim Verraros (above) is 30, Mary Steenburgen is 60, Seth Green is 39, Jim J. Bullock is 58, Elizabeth Banks is 39, Carole King is 71, and the faboo Judith Light is 64. James Franco Is The Mayor Of Gay Town!In ratings news, Glee was up a bit while NBC's Do Not Harm continues its sub-cw numbers. Dame Shirley Bassey will make her first ever appearance on the Oscars in the tribute to the Bond films.DC Comics has announced that the upcoming series »
Even the severest critics of his films had to concede that he was a great showman
Cecil B. deMille, who was often described as the "founder" of Hollywood, died at his home there yesterday after a short illness. He was 77.
Cecil B. deMille - he was always known by his full name, which a Hollywood wit once said was not a name at all but a "proclamation" - was like a personal symbol of the popular view of Hollywood between the two world wars before the competition of television nibbled away at its self-confidence. The films he produced were invariably "epics," launched with tremendous advertising fervour in which deMille often took a hand.
Even the severest critics of his films had to concede that he was a great showman - typically one of his best films was called "The Greatest Show on Earth " - and that he was not only »
Feature Paul Martinovic Jan 18, 2013
Howard Hawks, one of the most successful Western directors of all time and a key influence on Sergio Leone, once said a great movie can be defined as one with "three great scenes, and no bad ones." There can be few directors who understood the power of great scenes quite as strongly as Leone, the director of the Dollars trilogy and de facto godfather of the spaghetti western.
Some might argue his emphasis on great individual moments was to his detriment, as the MacGuffin-laden plots of his films seem to exist mainly as devices on which he can hang his elaborate setpieces, and were subsequently labeled as exercises in pure style. While the artistic and intellectual merits of the three films are up for debate, »
Marlon Wayans comes from a family that is synonymous with comedy. The actor/writer/director/"model producer" (we'll get to that later) first struck comedic gold when he teamed up with his siblings 13 years ago for "Scary Movie," which laid the groundwork for a lucrative series (#5 drops in April).
"A Haunted House," in theaters Jan. 11, once again gets its kicks from the horror/comedy combo. In the film, Wayans and Essence Atkins play a couple who discover some paranormal activity in their home, and what happens after they set up cameras around the house is ridonkulous.
We find out if Wayans has ever seen a ghost... and whose head he would like to poop on.
You and your family pretty much pioneered successful horror-comedy spoof films. Why do people love them so much?
I think when it's done right, it's a way to enjoy a horror without being scared to death. »
- Joanna Varikos
20 items from 2013
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