19 items from 2013
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This deeply moving animated movie from Japan's Studio Ghibli is being rereleased (along with My Neighbour Totoro) to mark its 25th anniversary. It's set in the last year of the second world war in a suburb of Tokyo devastated by American fire bombing, leaving the brave teenage Seita to care for his bewildered little sister Setsuko after their mother's death. She's last seen wrapped in blood-stained bandages like a mummy before being cremated. The stylised images suit the simplicity and gravity of a grim story of love, sacrifice and survival in the face of adult indifference and cruelty. It's an accomplished, affecting, relentless work. But seeing The Bridge on the River Kwai on TV a few hours later, I was reminded that there's another side to this story.
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- Philip French
If you don't have travel plans for Memorial Day weekend, get cozy on the couch (and set your DVR) because there are plenty of fun marathons happening.
Need to catch up on Season 1 of "Longmire" before the Season 2 premiere Monday, May 27? Want to re-live "Veronica Mars" Season 1? How about watching the entire series of "Arrested Development" (and reading our re-watch posts) before the new season is out on Netflix?
Here is all your Memorial Day weekend programming, all times Eastern.
Friday, May 24
A&E: "Storage Wars" marathon, 3 p.m. to 4 a.m. the next day
Animal: "Finding Bigfoot" marathon, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., "Invasion" premiere and new episode, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Chiller: "The Twilight Zone" marathon, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Discovery: "Sons of Guns" marathon, »
When Ray Harryhausen’s The 7th Voyage of Sinbad came out in 1958, it didn’t dominate the box-office as Iron Man 3 did this past weekend. That’s because fantasy and comic-book movies were considered grade-b material and kiddie fare in those days. The biggest hits of that year were films for grown-ups like The Bridge on the River Kwai (released in late ’57) and Peyton Place. Walt Disney’s Old Yeller was a hit but still ran a distant tenth. What Harryhausen and his producer-partner Charles H. Schneer did with films like Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, and The Three Worlds of Gulliver was to plant the seeds of imagination in the next generation of moviemakers: Spielberg, Lucas, Peter...
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- Leonard Maltin
Culver City, Calif. — A few months before the bones of Richard III were discovered below a parking lot in Leicester, England, the infamous British monarch was the focal point of a very different type of reclamation project halfway around the world in Culver City, California. There, Colorworks, Sony Pictures’ digital intermediate facility, applied the finishing touches to an exhaustive 4K restoration of “Richard III,” Laurence Olivier’s 1955 film adaptation of the Shakespeare play.
The project was completed under the auspices of The Film Foundation, a non-profit organization formed in 1990 by Martin Scorsese to preserve endangered films. The group has supported the restoration of over 600 films to date. The restored “Richard III” is being released in April on Blu-ray by Criterion.
“We’re so pleased to have been able to support this stunning restoration thanks to the generosity of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and with the support of our partners: Janus Films, »
- Eric M. Armstrong
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 363 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies, the Up docs and Decalogue) and of those 363, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 362 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies and Decalogue) and of those 362, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
In anticipation of the upcoming 85th Academy Awards, Sasha Stone, put together this wonderful montage, which features footage from all 84 past Best Picture winners. It’s a fine reminder that the best films never win as evidenced by the appearance of such movies as Crash and Shakespeare in Love.
The Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24th on ABC at 8:30 Et.
Here is the list of winners:
2011 - The Artist 2010 - The King’s Speech 2009 - The Hurt Locker 2008 - Slumdog Millionaire 2007 - No Country for Old Men 2006 - The Departed 2005 - Crash 2004 - Million Dollar Baby 2003 - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 2002 - Chicago 2001 - A Beautiful Mind 2000 - Gladiator 1999 - American Beauty 1998 - Shakespeare in Love 1997 - Titanic 1996 - The English Patient 1995 - Braveheart 1994 - Forrest Gump 1993 - Schindler’s List 1992 - Unforgiven 1991 - The Silence of the Lambs 1990 - Dances With Wolves »
Vimeo user Nelson Carvajal created the following 4:09 minute video, which features a brief snippet from every single Best Picture Oscar winner from Wings to The Artists and everything in-between. He even added clips from this year's nominees -- Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Django Unchained and Beasts of the Southern Wild -- at the end in prep for this Sunday's, 2013 Oscar ceremony. I am busy putting together my final predictions for this year's ceremony and at this point I'm not sure there's anything I'd change. I will be posting an article with all my predictions soon enough, but if you'd like to check them out, you can do so right here. I've included a list of all the Best Picture winners directly below the video. 2011 - The Artist 2010 - The King's Speech 2009 - The Hurt Locker 2008 - Slumdog Millionaire 2007 - »
- Brad Brevet
“I grew up reading superheroes where the most important element of that name was ‘hero’ rather than ‘super.’ But, lately, a number of the books from the big two superhero publishers, DC and Marvel, seem to have forgotten the hero part of the name.” My friend and fellow writer Corinna Lawson, the woman some of you may know as the Geek Mom who writes for Wired, wrote those words in her latest piece, entitled “The Cliffs of Insanity: Putting the Hero Back in Superhero.” It struck a deep chord in me. “The Death of Captain America” (Captain America #25, March 2007) scared me and deeply bothered me. It seemed to signal the defeat of American idealism, the loss of belief in this country’s basic precepts of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and freedom for all. And worst of all, it seemed to me that Marvel was telling its readers, most importantly the kids of America, »
- Mindy Newell
The Academy has just revealed 84 different Oscar statuettes inspired by past winners and created by artist Olly Moss for a special edition poster for this year's Oscars. The poster, which collects all 84 images (plus a new one for this year's winner) is on sale now right here. Moss designed the commemorative poster in collaboration with Gallery1988 and the final poster will feature 85 Oscar statuettes once the winner of this year's Oscars is announced on February 24. The press release announcing the project included the following bio on Moss, whose work I'm sure many of you are already familiar with: Moss, a graduate of the University of Birmingham, is best known for such works as the Thor cast poster for Marvel Entertainment, the cover artwork for the "Resistance 3" video game, and his recent book "Silhouettes" from Popular Culture. One of the most sought-after screen print artists working today, Moss has created illustrations »
- Brad Brevet
Makeup artist who created Yoda and Chewbacca for the Star Wars films
If there was a film made in Britain between the early 1940s and early 1980s that required innovations in makeup and prosthetics design, chances are that Stuart Freeborn, who has died aged 98, was involved in it in some capacity. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, David Lean's adaptation of Oliver Twist, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Omen, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back: all these benefited from Freeborn's pioneering approach to makeup. When audiences gaze with wonder upon the apes in the "dawn of man" sequence at the beginning of 2001, or fall under the spell of the 2ft tall guru Yoda and his gnomic proclamations, their response is a testament to Freeborn's persuasive artistry.
He was born in Leytonstone, east London, where it was assumed that he would follow in the footsteps of his father, »
- Ryan Gilbey
Sir Alec Guinness's personal diaries and letters are to be made available to the public in 2014.
The British Library has obtained the personal archive of the late Oscar-winning actor, known for his roles in Star Wars and the Ealing comedies.
The archive will include over 100 volumes of diaries and letters charting his long career as an actor from the late 1930s up to his death in 2000.
It also chronicles his experience at war and the death of Sir Laurence Olivier.
An extract from his diary on July 12, 1989, the day after Sir Laurence's death, reads: "His 'I defy you, stars' in Romeo was memorable. And so was his Poor naked wretches etc in Lear. But his famous howl in Oedipus I thought just tiresome.
"He knew every trick of the trade and used every one, including, when he made his first entrance the lights coming up a few points and »
Archive of theatre knight, famed for Ealing comedies, reveal Pooterish moments and brickbats for Sir Laurence
On July 12 1989, one of the greatest actors of his generation was reflecting in his diary on the death of another. If Sir Alec Guinness's thoughtswords of praise for Sir Laurence Olivier were extracted, as theatre promoters routinely do with critics' write-ups, it could read as a rave review.
The full text, revealed for the first time in the actor's personal archive just acquired by the British Library, tells a different story. In his impeccably neat tiny script, Guinness wrote of Olivier: "I greatly admired his extraordinary courage … as a comedian he was superb … technically brilliant … he was a great actor."
But he also wrote: "Like so many people whose ambition drive them to great eminence, he had a cruel and destructive streak. Side by side with his generosity, he could be unpleasant, possibly even vindictive. »
- Maev Kennedy
With Oscar time coming soon, everyone is talking about movies. So here's a list of Academy Awards facts and trivia to entertain film fans, you know, so you can impress all your other movie buff friends.
* Which films have won the most academy awards?
It was a three-way draw between Ben Hur, Titanic and Lord of Rings: Return of the King at 11 each.
* Which films have the most Oscar nominations?
All About Eve and Titanic are tied for the most nominations, with 14 each.
* What was the most awards ever won by anyone?
Walt Disney won the most with 26 wins. (4 were honorary) (*Visual effects expert Dennis Muren is 2nd with 9 wins.*)
* Who has the most nominations for any single person?
Walt Disney with 59 nominations.
* Which woman had the most ever Oscar nominations?
Costume designer Edith Head with 35 nominations. (She won 8 times.)
* Who had the most Oscar wins in one year? »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
The film world has lost one of the giants of movie makeup and creature design. Stuart Freeborn, whose credits go back to the 1930s, died earlier this week from a combination of ailments due to his age, according to The Guardian. He was 98. He worked for David Lean on 1948's Oliver Twist, setting up Alec Guinness with his prosthetic teeth, and later worked with Guinness and Lean on The Bridge on the River Kwai.Freeborn was brought to my attention thanks to another series of films starring Guinness. As the principal artist behind the creature shop on the first Star Wars film, Freeborn was responsible for the team that created Chewbacca. The costume was designed based upon designs that had been created for Stanley Kubrick's earlier...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
During his six-decade career, he was celebrated for creating characters such as Yoda, the 7ft tall wookie Chewbacca and the slug-like Jabba the Hutt.
He also worked on classic films such as Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey', where he created the apelike human ancestors in the 'Dawn of Man' sequence.
"He brought with him not only decades of experience, but boundless creative energy. His artistry and craftsmanship will live on forever in the characters he created. His 'Star Wars' creatures may be reinterpreted in new forms by new generations, but at their heart, they continue to be what Stuart created for the original films."
- The Huffington Post UK
Stuart Freeborn, the legendary British makeup artist who worked on films for Stanley Kubrick and David Lean and created such creatures as Yoda and Chewbacca for the Star Wars films, died Tuesday in London. He was 98. Freeborn transformed Alec Guinness into Fagin for Lean's 1948 version of Oliver Twist and aged Roger Livesay through the decades in another British film classic, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943). Photos: Hollywood's Notable Deaths of 2013 His other makeup credits include Powell’s The Thief of Bagdad (1940), Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957),
- Mike Barnes
Our countdown continues with part 26 out of 30 in our list of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 50-41.
49) All Quiet On The Western Front (1930) Louis Millstone USA
48) The French Connection (1971) William Freidken USA
44) M.A.S.H. (1970) Robert Altman USA
43) Fantasia (1940) Walt Disney USA Animated
42) Amadeus (1984) Milos Foreman USA
Numbers 40-31 coming next.
film cultureClassicslist300 »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Anybody who has ever been to a high school reunion (and I’ve been to my share) will tell you that the calendar and the clock can be incredibly cruel (particularly when combined with the long-term effects of gravity, but let’s not go there).
Time punishes creative works as well. Some work grows dated, stale, stiff. Time and the evolving form of the given art leaves a once vibrant and exciting work behind looking dead and obsolete.
More cruel, perhaps, is work that is simply…forgotten. Not for any good reason. Good as it was, maybe it was simply not successful enough to lodge very deeply in the popular consciousness; working well enough in its day, but soon lost among the ever-growing detritus of a lot of other pieces of yesterday.
Movie music is particularly vulnerable to the cruelties of time. Outside of the form’s devotees, it rarely »
- Bill Mesce
19 items from 2013
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