7 items from 2011
Catherine Grant's retweeted an intriguing find from Alternative Takes, the January/February 1980 issue of Radical America (Pdf). From the "Introduction": "Lynn Garafola's article, 'Hollywood and the Myth of the Working Class,' discusses such box office successes as Rocky, The Deer Hunter, Saturday Night Fever and Norma Rae, as well as some commercial productions that didn't do so well, such as Blue Collar and F.I.S.T. John Demeter's article, on the other hand, looks at two examples of a new class of technically advanced non-Hollywood left-wing movies: The Wobblies and Northern Lights. In a curious way, the Hollywood films that Garafola writes about are more political than the left-wing films."
For Bookforum, John Domini reviews Paolo Sorrentino's first novel, Everybody's Right, and finds that "this filmmaker's energetic wallow in prose does seem best appreciated as a cry for the beloved country, resonating off touchstones from »
Canny film producer known for his horror and sci-fi classics
The producer Richard Gordon, who has died aged 85, was involved with several offbeat classics of horror and science-fiction cinema. These included Arthur Crabtree's Fiend Without a Face (1958), which climaxes with a still-astonishing siege of a power station by disembodied, tentacled, malicious human brains, and Antony Balch's Horror Hospital (1973), a lively and perverse mad-scientist satire featuring Michael Gough and Robin Askwith.
It may be that Gordon and his brother, Alex, so closely associated that many reference sources mistakenly say they were twins, were the first people to take the now-common route from movie-crazed kid to industry professional, later the path of film-makers as different as Jean-Luc Godard and Steven Spielberg. As schoolboys, the Gordons founded a film society, then wrote for fan magazines and performed menial roles on low-budget productions, always motivated by a boundless enthusiasm for the films »
- Kim Newman
With The Turin Horse opening in France on November 30 and the Béla Tarr retrospective at the Centre Pompidou running from December 3 through January 2, Capricci will be releasing Jacques Rancière's Béla Tarr, le temps d'après on November 29.
David Lynch's new album, Crazy Clown Time (which, again, you can listen to in full at NPR for the time being), has the Guardian building an annex to its special section on Lynch, "David Lynch's Film&Music," wherein you'll find Xan Brooks's interview, Cath Clarke on the newly rediscovered 50 minutes of never-before-seen footage from Blue Velvet (they'll be "re-edited — supervised by Lynch — into an extra on a new DVD celebrating the film's 25th anniversary (available early next year in the UK)," Michael Hann listening in while Lynch and Zz Top's Billy Gibbons discuss "the beauty and power of industry" and more. Related listening: Lynch and 'Big' Dean Hurley's mixtape at Pitchfork. »
Prolific author and legendary film buff Tom Weaver has been a friend of Tfh since before we existed, and his essential series of book-length interviews with horror/sci fi filmmakers, writers and actors has mirrored what we try to do here at the site, which is disseminate information and opinions on the movies we all love.
Tom’s latest book examines the career of Devil Doll producer Richard Gordon, friend of both Karloff and Lugosi, one of the first fans-turned-pro and whose long career has finally ended. Richard was 85.[More about The Horror Hits of Richard Gordon here.]
As Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog once pointed out, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas (etc.) are called the first people to have grown up movie nuts and then become moviemakers themselves, but Years before them came Alex and Richard Gordon, who loved movies as kids in England, belonged to fan clubs, »
The man who teamed Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee together for the first time in 1958′s Corridors Of Blood and brought us the flying brains in Fiend Without A Face (1958) is gone. A great loss to the Horror Film community, Richard Gordon not only produced a string of beloved horror films in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, but was a staple at conventions and a huge supporter of those who wrote on the subject of film. He produced his last film 30 years ago but his always-informative ‘letters to the editor’ to a variety of publications from small-time fan magazines up to the New York Times, offering corrections, and recollections, remain an enduring legacy for film fans.
Born in England, Gordon moved to the U.S. in 1947, and two years later, at age 23, he set up his own company Gordon Films, distributing imported films in the United States. Joined by writer Tom Weaver, »
- Tom Stockman
Last week this column featured a review from the most recent Eclipse Series release, Silent Naruse. Sharp-eyed, or perhaps somewhat obsessive-compulsive, readers may have taken note that I had not yet made any mention in this space of the Eclipse set that preceded Silent Naruse. There’s a simple reason for that: I was waiting for the late 50s/early 60s films included in Eclipse Series 25: Basil Dearden’s London Underground to come up in the meticulous chronological sequence I use in my main blog, Criterion Reflections, where I’ve just recently advanced to the movies of 1959. (And with that disclosure, those same sharp-eyed readers are now wondering just who I am to call anyone else “somewhat obsessive-compulsive.”) Well, since I’ve moved past the double feature of First Man Into Space and Corridors of Blood, that point in the timeline has been reached. This week, I’m buffing up and polishing Sapphire. »
- David Blakeslee
A couple weeks back, I decided to round up all of the Criterion Collection related blogs that I read on a regular basis, to share with all of you. For one reason or another, I missed last week (mostly because not all of the blogs had updated last week), but I’m back with a whole lot of links to posts that you definitely should add to your Instapaper, RSS Reader, or bookmarks. I want this column to serve as a jumping off point for everyone, to help keep this Criterion community strong.
First up, over at David Blakeslee’s Criterion Reflections blog, he has begun reviewing the epic Monsters and Madmen box set. This week he covered The First Man Into Space (from 1959). This has to be one of my most favorite Criterion covers of all time by Darwyn Cooke (he designed all of the covers in the set »
- Ryan Gallagher
7 items from 2011
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