15 items from 2014
Film noir cognoscente Eddie Muller defines noir as "the flip-side of the all-American success story." On his website he has posted the list 25 Noir Films That Will Stand the Test of Time, a drool-worthy selection of classics that also happen to be some of our own favorites. Thus, in spirit, we present our picks below, including such Muller faves as "In a Lonely Place," "Double Indemnity," "Sweet Smell of Success," "Touch of Evil" and "Detour." Also looming in November and of interest for Bay Area cinephiles is a French film noir series at San Francisco's Roxie Theatre, a delicious program of classics from Clouzot, Clement, Duvivier and more. (For those lovers of more contemporary noir, here are our 15 favorite neo-noirs.) Anne Thompson's Top 5: 1. "Touch of Evil" (1958): Orson Welles' bravura noir starts out strong with a delirious sustained single shot, as newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Vargas (Charlton Heston. »
With Antoine Fuqua's The Equalizer hitting theaters this weekend (read Brad's review) and his Jake Gyllenhaal boxing drama Southpaw in post-production, it was only a matter of time before Fuqua chose his next project, and it appears he is re-teaming with The Equalizer star Denzel Washington for a remake of The Magnificent Seven. John Sturges' 1960 western is itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, so it seems we will have a remake of a remake on our hands here. Concerning The Magnificent Seven, the film follows a band of gunfighters hired to protect a small peasant village. It was nominated for one Oscar, a Best Score nod for Elmer Bernstein (Sweet Smell of Success). As for Fuqua's plan of attack, he couldn't give away any details to MovieWeb, but he did offer this up: My biggest influence is Seven Samurai, that's what I really love. The Magnificent Seven »
- Jordan Benesh
Dennis Lehane has had a more charmed run that most authors, watching his superb novels Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island get turned into fine movies. Now he’s adapted one of his short stories into the Fox Searchlight drama The Drop, with Bullhead helmer Michael R. Roskam launching the film at Toronto last night and a cast led by Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace, Bullhead‘s Matthias Schoenarts and John Ortiz. Here, Lehane discusses what it’s like to have his dialogue made better by great actors, and what Hollywood owes authors in turning their books into films.
Deadline: You have this gift for creating memorably desperate tough guy characters on the fringes of the criminal world. Where did the inspiration for Animal Rescue come from?
Lehane: It started just with an image. A guy walking in the snow, down a street, and he hears a noise. »
- Mike Fleming Jr
I'm not sure what the deal is this week, but there are pretty much no new releases to discuss seriously in terms of purchasing. Thankfully, that opens the door for you to use all that money you've saved up for the Barnes & Noble 50% Off Criterion sale. I posted an article yesterday with a bunch of recommendations, which you can check out here, but here were the top eleven suggestions: Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Persona Breathless 8 1/2 Seven Samurai Yojimbo and Sanjuro The Battle of Algiers The Seventh Seal Sweet Smell of Success The Wages of Fear The Night of the Hunter The fact you can now get the Zatoichi collection of 25 films for only $112 when it's regularly $224 is a steal. I own this set and have been watching Zatoichi movies since Christmas and have gone through 23 of them so far and still have the special features to watch. So check out those titles, »
- Brad Brevet
Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and while it's impossible to suggest titles that will suit everyone looking to beef up their collection at this perfect time of year, I will do my best to offer some suggestions. Let's get to it... My Absolute First Pick I am almost done going through this collection and it was a collection I got for Christmas under these exact circumstances. Typically priced at $224.99, you can now get this amazing set of 25 Zatoichi films for only $112. Box sets, in my opinion, are what sales like this were made for. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Next Ten Recommendations It isn't easy so this is a collection of just some of my favorite films (of all-time and within the collection) and a little variety, though pretty much my standard, go to Criterion first picks, especially if you are just starting out. Persona Breathless »
- Brad Brevet
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: July 1, 2014
Price: DVD $19.95, Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Olive Films
Operation Petticoat begins as Commander Matt Sherman (Grant) has his toughest assignment yet – to put a broken sardine can of a submarine back in action. Enter supply officer Nick Holden (Curtis), a master scavenger who has some very shady plans to get the Sea Tiger purring again. Said plans become quite apparent after the crew rescues five stranded beautiful nurses and the grey, battle-scarred sub is suddenly painted a blushingly bold pink, thus transforming into a party-ready hot tub sub for all who come aboard.
One of the earlier movies on director Blake Edward’s (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) filmography, Operation Petticoat »
New York – Few performers have won an acting Tony for work in a show that closed after Tony nominations were announced due to poor ticket sales, as opposed to the expiration of a preordained limited engagement. The most recent exceptions to this rule were Julie White, who won best actress in a play for The Little Dog Laughed (2006), and John Lithgow, who won best actor in a musical for Sweet Smell of Success (2002), the latter of which featured an up-and-coming young actress by the name of Kelli O'Hara. Video: Tonys Actress Roundtable Presents 6 of Broadway's
- Scott Feinberg
Chicago – The Criterion Collection has added “Riot in Cell Block 11” (1954) to their stellar Blu-ray family, and the transfer is absolutely gorgeous, especially if you’re an admirer of the stark cinematography of the late black & white film era. Although dated, it still packs a gritty wallop.
Directed by Don Siegel – best known for “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956) and “Dirty Harry” (1971) – this prison riot film is framed as a cautionary tale regarding the conditions of prisons in the mid-1950s. Packed with noir beauty, the tick-tick-tick of the tensions in the film underscore the use of shadow and light. Shot in Folsom Prison in California, Siegel makes great use of the weird perspectives of long hallways and old timey prison walls. Some of the corny dialogue and hey-you-mugs interplay is silly in the modern era, but I’m sure the adventurous folks who saw this at the time were transfixed. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Blu-ray Release Date: June 10, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Twilight Time
The Train stars Burt Lancaster (Sweet Smell of Success) as a workaday World War II-era French trainman charged with ensuring that a cargo of irreplaceable French art—the pride and heritage of his nation—is not allowed to leave France, despite the machinations of a Nazi officer (Paul Scofield, A Man for All Seasons) determined to steal these great works for Germany.
Sounds a bit Monuments Men-ish, doesn’t it?
Also starring Jeanne Moreau (La Notte) and Michel Simon (L’Atalante), and featuring compelling black-and-white cinematography by Jean Tournier and Walter Wottitz and a thrilling score by Maurice Jarre (Lawrence of Arabia), The Train remains one of the icons of Sixties cinema. »
The third annual Wayne Federman International Film Festival will round up comedy’s best when they present their favorite films over the four-day event.
This year’s line-up combines movies and live commentary featuring Doug Benson and “Boogie Nights,” Kathy Griffin and “The Dead Zone,” Tj Miller and “The Bank Dick,” Jeff Garlin and “The Sweet Smell of Success,” among others.
The comedian presenters will also stick around for post-screening Q&As.
The fest will take place May 1-4 at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles. Tickets to screenings are $12, but free for members.
- Francesca Bacardi
The 3rd Annual Wayne Federman International Film Festival is right around the corner! If you're not familiar with the festival's unique spin, it's as simple as this: repertory films with stand-up comedians. The comics not only select the films which influenced them and their careers in one way or another, they also introduce the film as part of a performance and participate in a post-screening Q&A. This year's featured guests will include Kathy Griffin, Jimmy Pardo, Doug Benson, Jeff Garlin, Taylor Negron and T.J. Miller, with surprise guests to be announced throughout the festival. Hit the jump for more information on the festival and how to purchase tickets. Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for The 3rd Annual Wayne Federman Int’l Film Festival, followed by ticketing information: Buy Tickets ($12/free for members. Showtimes subject to change. More shows Tba): ————————————————————————————————– Thursday, May 1st, 7:30pm: Boogie Nights (hosted by Doug Benson! »
- Dave Trumbore
Directed Alexander Mackendrick
For press agents and important newspaper columnists in the 1950s, Manhattan is the heart of the jungle. With stories floating out and about from Broadway, the visits of senators or even the domain of midlevel musical artists, the Big Apple is the hubbub of gossip and breathtaking opinion pieces, a virtual goldmine for press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis) and widely read columnist J. J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster). The latter’s every written word forms public opinion like that of few other writers, a power he relishes, a power that inflates his already considerable ego. The former is the sewer rat who digs up any bit of information he can on just about anything that sells a newspaper…and a whole lot of gossip can sell a newspaper. His latest assignment, decreed by his dictatorial ally J. »
- Edgar Chaput
Rumours have circulated about the former Bond girl's casting for several months, after she took part in a workshop with director Rupert Goold. Producers have now announced that the run will officially start previewing at the Adelphi theatre from 9 October.
Arterton will play Rita O'Grady, who leads her colleagues at Ford's Dagenham car plant out on strike in 1968. Sally Hawkins played the role in the 2010 film, opposite Daniel Mays as her husband. Arterton's co-star is to be Adrian der Gregorian, who starred in Sweet Smell of Success at the Arcola theatre in 2012.
- Matt Trueman
The veteran performer never considered another profession, yet remained a background fixture in films for years. Now, in her ninth decade, the Nebraska star is up for her first Oscar
"I've met Idris Elba," says June Squibb, an edge of giddiness in her voice. "I've met Lupita [Nyong'o] and now we're friends. She's so sweet, a darling girl. I went up to her at a party and said: 'I'm June Squibb and we're in this together so I thought I should introduce myself.' Julia Roberts came and introduced herself to me – she's up for supporting this time around for Osage County." The day before we meet, Squibb went to the nominees' lunch. "All 270 of us got our picture taken together. I was right by Steve McQueen!"
- John Patterson
I first watched Federico Fellini's 1960 film, La Dolce Vita, just over five years ago and with this week marking what would have been the filmmaker's 94th birthday I've chosen La Dolce Vita as the debut film in my Best Movies feature. Not because I believe it to be his best (though it certainly is one of the best), but largely because I've had the urge to watch it again ever since learning Paramount has finally been granted exclusive rights to the film, prompting me to hope it will finally receive a domestic Blu-ray release sometime soon. Captured in lovely black-and-white, Otello Martelli's cinematography lives up to the literal translation of the film's title -- "the sweet life" -- while the narrative focuses on a character living a life more empty than "sweet". Marking the first time Marcello Mastroianni and Fellini would work together, Mastroianni plays Marcello Rubini, a »
- Brad Brevet
15 items from 2014
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