9 items from 2014
Now it’s gettin’ good, right? This section of the list begins to get into the portion where “you’ve heard it before.” A number of the films below have been universally acclaimed for one reason or another, but the focus here is on the writing. Some are innovative, some are unexpected, and some completed changed the way films were written, creating a new style or sub-genre. After all, isn’t that what makes for good writing?
30. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
I don’t wanna kill anybody. But if I gotta get out that door, and you’re standing in my way, one way or the other, you’re gettin’ outta my way.
Before he was one of the more recognizable directors in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino was a screenwriter just trying to make enough money to get the films he wanted to make off the ground. »
- Joshua Gaul
Eddy and Sid after a Master Class at Nyu, 2003. (Photo: Michael Doft)
Sid Caesar’s funeral service was held on Sunday afternoon, February 16 at a private ceremony in Los Angeles. Among the family and friends paying tribute was Sid’s biographer and friend, Cinema Retro’s Eddy Friedfeld, who co-authored Sid’s creative biography, Caesar’s Hours, published by Public Affairs in 2003.
What follows is the eulogy Eddy delivered before Sid's family, friends and colleagues.
Sid said that, like Isaac Newton, he stood on the shoulders of giants, his inspirations- Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and W.C. Fields, who helped him develop his career and craft. Today, Sid, we stand on your shoulders- and celebrate your life, your art, your warmth, character, and friendship. You did things no one else could do and you inspired many others, including people in this room, to take the same artistic risks. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Amazon has two great deals going on right now for a couple of impressive Blu-ray collections. The first is the Bond 50: The Complete 23 Film Collection, which also includes Skyfall along with over 120 hours of extras, including "World of Bond", "Being Bond", "Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style" and "Skyfall Videoblogs" for only $119.99, which is 60% off the $300 list price. This week's deal also includes three HD digital copies of past Bond movies. If you're interested, click here to buy it. Next is the Best of Warner Bros 50 Film Collection, which includes the following 50 titles along with Ultraviolet digital copies of each with the * noting Best Picture winners. Grand Hotel* (1932) Mutiny on the Bounty* (1935) Wizard of Oz (1939) Gone with The Wind* (1939) Maltese Falcon, The (1941) Mrs. Miniver* (1942) Casablanca* (1942) Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948) Streetcar Named Desire, A (1951) American in Paris, An* (1951) Singin' in the Rain (1952) Gigi* (1958) North By Northwest (1959) Ben-Hur »
- Brad Brevet
Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent is exactly the kind of film that benefits from a Criterion Collection release. I don't consider this to be one of Hitch's "best", but at the same time it's got the elements that make his films fascinating, and, most importantly, entertaining. And Criterion always does a great job bringing a focus to some of Hitchcock's less discussed gems. Add to that, Foreign Correspondent carries an additional weight as a result of its place in history as a propaganda film, emphasized most in Joel McCrea's speech at the end of the film amid the bombing of London, warning those back in the U.S. just what exactly Germany was up to. The scene was added after filming had already wrapped, just over a month before the film would actually hit theaters. Following Rebecca, Foreign Correspondent was Hitchcock's second American feature. Both would be nominated for »
- Brad Brevet
Cinema history has a few great double-up years: 12-month periods in which a classic filmmaker had not one but two great films. Mel Brooks may be the most notorious, releasing two of the best comedies of all time in 1974 (“Blazing Saddles” & “Young Frankenstein”) and Steven Spielberg has arguably done it a few times, inarguably in 1993 (“Jurassic Park” & “Schindler’s List”) and he would double-up again in 2002 (“Minority Report” & “Catch Me If You Can”) and 2011 (“Tintin” & “War Horse”).
One of the most-often forgotten double-up years was Alfred Hitchcock’s first year as an American filmmaker — 1940, which saw the premiere of “Rebecca” in April and “Foreign Correspondent” in August. The former has been a Criterion inductee for years and the latter joins the most important club in Blu-ray/DVD history this week in a finely-transferred and wonderfully accompanied release.
“Rebecca” has the higher historical pedigree, largely because it’s less dry »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Entertainment grade: B
History grade: D–
Ron Woodroof was diagnosed as HIV positive in the 1980s. He was part of a buyers club, an organisation distributing sometimes unlicensed drugs among members for the treatment of their condition, in Dallas, Texas.
Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) rides rodeo, drinks beer, parties in his trailer, and has sex with as many women as possible. In real life, he didn't ride rodeo. Apparently this is supposed to be a metaphor. Somebody at the metaphorical rodeo is reading a newspaper article about Rock Hudson suffering from Aids, which would date this to 1985. "Who's Rock Hudson, anyway?" says one guy. "He's an actor, dumbass," another replies. "You never seen North by Northwest?" Rock Hudson was »
- Alex von Tunzelmann
With I, Frankenstein in theatres, The Creature is sure to be on a lot of people's minds; and if you're in the UK, you'll soon get a chance to check out Michael Sarrazin in the role when 1970's TV movie Frankenstein: The True Story finally arrives to your shores.
One of the most acclaimed versions of Mary Shelley’s classic tale, Frankenstein: The True Story, featuring a stellar all-star cast including James Mason and Leonard Whiting, makes its UK DVD debut on 10 March 2014 thanks to Second Sight Films.
Originally airing on NBC in 1973, this much lauded film also stars David McCallum ("The Man From U.N.C.L.E."), Jane Seymour ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), Tom Baker ("Doctor Who"), Ralph Richardson (Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes), John Gielgud (Ghandi), Peter Sallis (Last of the Summer Wine), and Michael Sarrazin (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?; Feardotcom) as The Creature.
In 19th century England, »
- Debi Moore
Memory Of The Camps features disturbing footage, provided by the Allied Forces after liberation in 1945, charting the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. It was intended to be used to shock Germany into acknowledgement, however the film was shelved due to worries about its counter-productivity in German post-war reconstruction.
Hitchcock got involved later in the project, helping produce the footage. According to PBS he acted as consultant and helped shape the footage into a meaningful structure.
After the project’s abandonment, five of the six reels ended up in London’s Imperial War Museum – where they were shown in 1985 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the death camps.
Now the Imperial War Museum has revealed plans to release all six »
- Claire Joanne Huxham
While the iconic director Alfred Hitchcock is primarily known for being the master of suspense with classic films like Vertigo, North by Northwest, The Birds, Psycho and Rear Window in his filmography, many have forgotten one project that was outside of his comfort zone in more ways than one. In 1984, a Hitchcock directed Holocaust documentary called Memory of the Camps was unveiled at the Berlin Film Festival and also on PBS. Now Open Culture (via The Playlist) has found the 53-minute cut of the dark documentary which has footage of Nazi concentration camps as seen by the British Army Film Unit in 1945. Here's the 53-minute version of Hitchcock's Holocaust documentary Memory of the Camps: Back in 1945, when Hitchcock reviewed the footage (at the request of friend Sidney Bernstein) from the British and Soviet units who captured the German forces despicable warfare on film, the director ended up leaving Pinewood Studios »
- Ethan Anderton
9 items from 2014
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