5 items from 2015
Danièle Delorme: 'Gigi' 1949 actress and pioneering female film producer. Danièle Delorme: 'Gigi' 1949 actress was pioneering woman producer, politically minded 'femme engagée' Danièle Delorme, who died on Oct. 17, '15, at the age of 89 in Paris, is best remembered as the first actress to incarnate Colette's teenage courtesan-to-be Gigi and for playing Jean Rochefort's about-to-be-cuckolded wife in the international box office hit Pardon Mon Affaire. Yet few are aware that Delorme was featured in nearly 60 films – three of which, including Gigi, directed by France's sole major woman filmmaker of the '40s and '50s – in addition to more than 20 stage plays and a dozen television productions in a show business career spanning seven decades. Even fewer realize that Delorme was also a pioneering woman film producer, working in that capacity for more than half a century. Or that she was what in French is called a femme engagée »
- Andre Soares
Criterion digitally restores its previous edition of Alain Resnais’ landmark directorial debut, Hiroshima Mon Amour, a jagged cornerstone of the French New Wave, which forever associated the reluctant auteur with one of the most acclaimed cinematic movements to date. Roughly preceding the renowned debut of Jean-Luc Godard and released the same month as Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (they competed against one another at Cannes), Resnais’ contribution changed the way we regarded linear narrative and flashback sequences, and much like those iconic works of his peers, now bears several decades worth of critical acclaim on its shoulders. Tragic, moody and ultimately a poetic exchange of present interludes shattered by ghosts of the recent past, Resnais begins with motifs he would remain fascinated with throughout his career, the nature of remembrance and recollection, instances as shattered as the narrative chronologies in his films.
Fourteen years after the atomic bomb laid waste to Hiroshima, »
- Nicholas Bell
Criterion releases actor turned director Bernhard Wicki’s feature film debut The Bridge for the very first time on Region 1. Though he directed a mid-length film the year before, Why Are They Against Us?, it would be his next project, arriving in 1959, that would come to be known as the first anti-war film to come out of Germany, as well as the nation’s first post-war film to reach international recognition and critical acclaim. It would go on to win the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in the Us, and it secured an Academy Award Nomination in the same category (losing out to Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus).
The title paved the way for a short-lived English language career for Wicki, but more importantly, stood as the platform upon which the burgeoning New German Cinema auteurs would proliferate, precipitating Volker Schlondorff’s own 1966 debut, Young Torless, a much darker »
- Nicholas Bell
Jazz music has long expressed its capacity to borrow from various, sometimes contradictory sources in order to create something which in every sense transcends the original elements. Since the earliest days of jazz as a musical form, it has been inspired by military and funeral marches; has stylishly interpreted popular songs; and even brought the classical intricacies of Wagner into the domain of swinging brasses and reeds. This multiculturalism and eclecticism of jazz likens it to cinema which, in turn, has transformed pop culture motifs into something close to the sublime and mixed ‘high’ and ‘low’ artistic gestures to remarkable effect.In the history of jazz, the evolution from ragtime or traditional tunes, to discovering the treasure trove of Broadway songs was fast and smooth. The latter influence was shared by cinema, as the history of film production quickly marched on. The emergence of ‘talkies’ in the United States meant rediscovering Broadway, »
- Ehsan Khoshbakht
Marc Allégret: From André Gide lover to Simone Simon mentor (photo: Marc Allégret) (See previous post: "Simone Simon Remembered: Sex Kitten and Femme Fatale.") Simone Simon became a film star following the international critical and financial success of the 1934 romantic drama Lac aux Dames, directed by her self-appointed mentor – and alleged lover – Marc Allégret. The son of an evangelical missionary, Marc Allégret (born on December 22, 1900, in Basel, Switzerland) was to have become a lawyer. At age 16, his life took a different path as a result of his romantic involvement – and elopement to London – with his mentor and later "adoptive uncle" André Gide (1947 Nobel Prize winner in Literature), more than 30 years his senior and married to Madeleine Rondeaux for more than two decades. In various forms – including a threesome with painter Théo Van Rysselberghe's daughter Elisabeth – the Allégret-Gide relationship remained steady until the late '20s and their trip to »
- Andre Soares
5 items from 2015
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