Les quatre cents coups
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The Toronto Film Festival’s Essential 100 Movies

22 December 2010 11:00 AM, PST | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

It seems like only yesterday that the American Film Institute released their 100 Years...100 Movies [1] list. Actually though, it was over 10 years ago when we first got our look at that "definitive" list of the 100 best American movies. They then did a ten year anniversary of it in 2007 with only minor adjustments and both years Citizen Kane held the number one place as the best American movie. Of course, the problem with those lists is that they only list American films. While Hollywood might be considered the epicenter of film, the art form itself spans the globe, way beyond American borders. That's why the Toronto International Film Festival came up with their Essential 100 movies. Created by merging lists made by Toronto Film Festival supporters along with another made by their programmers, these are supposed to be the 100 essential movies every cinephile must see. And it starts off with a bang as Citizen Kane has been toppled. »

- Germain Lussier

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Not In The English Language #2 – Mon Oncle Antoine

22 December 2010 6:00 AM, PST | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Welcome to “Not In The English Language”, a new weekly column from HeyUGuys. Each week a different film not in the English language will come under scrutiny.

This week, with festivities in the air, Adam Batty takes a look at Claude Jutra’s 1971 French Canadian classic, Mon Oncle Antoine.

Jutra’s Christmas-set tale of life in rural Quebec provides a wonderful and unique spin on the festive movie. The story of Benoit, a 15-year old boy who works in his uncle’s general store, Mon Oncle Antoine follows him one Christmas Eve, in which Benoit accompanies the titular character to pick up the dead body of a local teenage boy. Somehow, in spite of this rather gloomy sounding set of events, Mon Oncle Antoine manages to capture the heart and soul of the festive period in a timeless and wholly convincing manner.

Granted, Jutra’s film is a tad macabre »

- Adam Batty

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Not In The English Language #1. – Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud

15 December 2010 6:00 AM, PST | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Welcome to “Not In The English Language”, a new weekly column from HeyUGuys.

Each week a different film not in the English language will come under scrutiny. First up is Louis Malle’s 1958 French crime drama, Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud  (Elevator To The Gallows), one of the key influences behind the Nouvelle Vague.

If the work of Jean-Pierre Melville laid the foundations of the Nouvelle Vague, then it might be fair to say that with Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud Louis Malle concludes with the empty building that would house the movement being fully erected. That Malle would never fully return to the stylistic tone that he helped create is proof, if proof were needed, of the versatile nature of the anti-auteur’s oeuvre.

Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud holds a fairly basic premise, yet this simple set up is contradicted by all manner of narrative flourishes throughout. What begins as the »

- Adam Batty

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Two In the Wave (Deux de la Vague)

3 December 2010 6:00 AM, PST | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

Two In the Wave (Deux de la Vague)

Directed by: Emmanuel Laurent

Cast: Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Léaud

Running Time: 1 hr 35 min

Rating: Unrated

Release Date: December 3, 2010 (limited)

Plot: Using archival footage, filmmaker Laurent tells the story of the rise and dissipation of the French New Wave through it’s two most lauded directors, Godard and Truffaut.

Who’S It For? It helps to know something about the French New Wave or be familiar with some of the films.  But it could work as a primer too.

Expectations: When I was in college, I had a friend who was obsessed with the New Wave and I learned a lot through him and seeing films with him.  So I thought I was reasonably well versed.

Scorecard (0-10)

Talking: The film’s in French with English subtitles.  There’s a good deal of narration that tells the parallel stories of Godard »

- Megan Lehar

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Check Out Tma's 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time List

15 November 2010 10:56 AM, PST | GeekTyrant | See recent GeekTyrant news »

The Moving Arts Film Journal has put together a list of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time.  Check it out below.  Do you agree with this list of films?  Every list is going to be spot on for some and piss others off.  I personally am a fan of the list. Take a look and let us know your thoughts!

#1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Kubrick)

#2. Citizen Kane (1941, Welles)

#3. The Godfather (1972, Coppola)

#4. Andrei Rublev (1966, Tarkovsky)

#5. The Rules of the Game (1939, Renoir)

#6. Casablanca (1942, Curtiz)

#7. Vertigo (1958, Hitchcock)

#8. La Dolce Vita (1960, Fellini)

#9. Seven Samurai (1954, Kurosawa)

#10. The Godfather Pt. II (1974, Coppola)

#11. The Third Man (1949, Reed)

#12. The Wizard of Oz (1939, Fleming)

#13. Dr. Strangelove (1964, Kubrick)

#14. Goodfellas (1990, Scorsese)

#15. Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972, Herzog)

#16. 8½ (1963, Fellini)

#17. Singin’ In The Rain (1952, Donen, Kelly)

#18. Raging Bull (1980, Scorsese)

#19. Lawrence of Arabia (1962, Lean)

#20. Solaris (1972, Tarkovsky)

#21. The Night of the Hunter (1955, Laughton)

#22. On the Waterfront (1954, Kazan)

#23. Intolerance (1916, Griffith)

#24. L’Atalante (1934, Vigo)

#25. Apocalypse Now (1979, Coppola »

- Tiberius

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Tma’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time

13 November 2010 10:27 AM, PST | The Moving Arts Journal | See recent The Moving Arts Journal news »

You will not like something about this list.  In your mind, undeserving inclusions and unthinkable omissions probably abound.  That is as it should be.  Film, for all the scholarship, expertise and pretense that surrounds it, remains, like all art, firmly subjective.  Feel free to tell us what we missed, what we misplaced, or congratulate us on a job well done, if you feel so inclined.  Just remember to keep it clean, civil and respectful.  With that said, these are The Moving Arts Film Journal’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time:

#1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Kubrick)

#2. Citizen Kane (1941, Welles)

#3. The Godfather (1972, Coppola)

#4. Andrei Rublev (1966, Tarkovsky)

#5. The Rules of the Game (1939, Renoir)

#6. Casablanca (1942, Curtiz)

#7. Vertigo (1958, Hitchcock)

#8. La Dolce Vita (1960, Fellini)

#9. Seven Samurai (1954, Kurosawa)

#10. The Godfather Pt. II (1974, Coppola)

#11. The Third Man (1949, Reed)

#12. The Wizard of Oz (1939, Fleming)

#13. Dr. Strangelove (1964, Kubrick)

#14. Goodfellas (1990, Scorsese)

#15. Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972, Herzog)

#16. 8½ (1963, Fellini)

#17. Singin’ In The Rain (1952, Donen, »

- Eric M. Armstrong

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MovieRetriever's 100 Greatest Movies: #74 The 400 Blows

9 November 2010 7:24 AM, PST | CinemaNerdz | See recent CinemaNerdz news »

Nov 09, 2010

The film career of François Truffaut is marked by paradox. As the "enfant terrible" of French film criticism he was barred from attending the Cannes Film Festival of 1958. But in 1959 his first feature-length film, Les quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows), earned him honors as Best Director. Similarly, Truffaut's role as champion of the "politique des auteurs" also involved a species of paradox, in his attacking the French "tradition of quality" while praising American film noir in traditional aesthetic terms, in his praising of individual self-expression while creating a "counter tradition" of ...Read more at MovieRetriever.com »

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Netflix Goes Disc-Free on PS3 Today, Adds Dolby 5.1

18 October 2010 4:04 PM, PDT | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

When Netflix's Watch Instantly library came to the Xbox 360 in 2008, the rental service extended its reach exponentially and helped Microsoft achieve part of their oft-stated goals to have the console be an all-purpose entertainment device.

For more than a year, the 360 was the only gaming console that let you access Netflix's streaming content. Then, last year, partnerships with Sony and Nintendo were announced to bring the same functionality to the Playstation 3 and the Wii. But, the catch with those consoles was that a special disc was needed to stream what you wanted from the Internet.

Now, Netflix is rolling out native support for the PS3 and the Wii with embedded applications that live in the interfaces of the two game machines. And the burlier technology of the PS3 makes this a monster update. As the video below shows, PS3 owners will now also get Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound and full HD 1080p resolution:

Meanwhile, »

- Evan Narcisse

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Online critics pick 100 best film debuts

4 October 2010 5:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

New York -- Orson Welles's "Citizen Kane," David Lynch's "Eraserhead" and George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" are the top three in the Online Film Critics Society's selection of the 100 Best First Feature Films of All Time.

The Ofcs said in a statement Monday that its writers have voted on their choices for "the most provocative, innovative and memorable directing debuts" in cinema history.

The top 10 also include "The Maltese Falcon" by John Huston, "Breathless" by Jean-Luc Godard, Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs," "The Night of the Hunter" from Charles Laughton," the Coen brothers' "Blood Simple," as well as "The 400 Blows" by Francois Truffaut and Sidney Lumet's "12 Angry Men."

The full list is available here »

- By Georg Szalai

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Claude Chabrol, Rip. The death of a master

12 September 2010 11:33 AM, PDT | blogs.suntimes.com/ebert | See recent Roger Ebert's Blog news »

Claude Chabrol, who died Sunday, Sept. 12 at 80, was a founder of the New Wave and a giant of French cinema. This interview, which took place during the 1970 New York Film Festival, shows him at midpoint in his life, just as he had emerged from a period of neglect and was making some of his best films.

Claude Chabrol's "This Man Must Die" is advertised as a thriller, but I found it more of a macabre study of human behavior. There's no doubt as to the villain's identity, and little doubt that he will die (although how he dies is left deliciously ambiguous).

Unlike previous masters of thrillers like Hitchcock, Chabrol goes for mood and tone more than for plot. You get the notion that his killings and revenges are choreographed for a terribly observant camera and an ear that hears the slightest change in human speech.

For this reason, »

- Roger Ebert

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What is the best video game ending ever? My vote: 'Red Dead Redemption'

3 September 2010 7:00 AM, PDT | EW.com - PopWatch | See recent EW.com - PopWatch news »

I finally beat Red Dead Redemption this week after about three months. Much of that time was spent on various side-quests. (I probably killed a few hundred birds, bucks, bears, and buffalo. As someone who hates Dances with Wolves, I really got an evil thrill out of killing buffalo.) However, even besides the sideline stuff, Red Dead’s main storyline is massive. And it’s not perfect – I could’ve done without the Mexican Revolution – but the ending of the game is…well, incredible. And it got me thinking: What are the greatest video game endings? Let me know in »

- Darren Franich

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DVDs. Pialat, von Sternberg, Laloux, More

19 August 2010 4:39 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Updated through 8/19.

In the Los Angeles Times, Dennis Lim writes that Maurice Pialat's first feature film, L'enfance nue (Naked Childhood, 1968), "out on DVD this week from the Criterion Collection, can be seen as a companion piece — or perhaps a response — to François Truffaut's The 400 Blows (1959), the beloved landmark that was synonymous with the New Wave's first flowering. Truffaut was a producer on L'enfance nue and an early champion of Pialat's, but their films, although both focused on the travails of troubled boys, diverge in tone and approach. One critical difference, as the writer and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin put it: 'We are looking at Truffaut's imp. But we are seeing through the eyes of Pialat's.'" »

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Criterion New Release Tuesday: Joshua Reviews Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus [DVD Review]

17 August 2010 9:00 AM, PDT | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

As much as Criterion seems to love their austere period dramas, their extreme genre pushing pieces, and their black and white French coming of age films, every so often, they release, or in the case of Black Orpheus, re-release a film that takes the collection to a completely different place.

When looking at the collection as a whole, very few releases are as stand out as the 1959 Marcel Camus directed love letter to Brazil and it’s then ever growing art scene, Black Orpheus. Based on the legendary Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, takes the story, and plants it in the heart of a favela in Rio de Janeiro, during the then rarely filmed Carnaval, and follows Orfeo, a trolley conductor and aspiring musician, who is engaged to the lively and utterly breathtaking Mira. However, during Carnaval, after being chased from her home by a mysterious stalker dressed in a skeleton costume, »

- Joshua Brunsting

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The new wave of child stars

26 July 2010 1:33 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Once upon a time, child stardom was the road to dysfunction and ruined youth; but Hollywood's new brood of young actors are smart, talented and in complete control

In the last few weeks you can't have failed to be aware of Will Smith's pint-sized 12-year-old son Jaden; he's been unleashed at film premieres from Beijing to Berlin. Sometimes he's even worn a little Michael Jackson outfit. Smith Jr is promoting the remake of The Karate Kid; he stars, mum and dad are producers. To casual observers that might look a lot like the Smith dynasty are simply installing generation 2.0. But it turns out that Jaden Smith is actually pretty good; he plays everykid with as much charm as his dad ever did. And now The Karate Kid is a bona fide international hit, Jaden is likely to join the growing bunch of child actors – scarily professional and highly talented »

- Cath Clarke, Andrew Pulver

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Boston French Film Festival 2010 and "Around a Small Mountain"

12 July 2010 7:17 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Updated through 7/12.

François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard "established the now half-century-old New Wave with two films about social delinquents, The 400 Blows (1959) and Breathless (1960)," and in so doing, argues Peter Keough in the Boston Phoenix, "They set a precedent of transgression that subsequent auteurs have striven to follow. As indicated by some of the films (24 new ones in all) in this year's Boston French Film Festival, their rebelliousness and nonconformity still reign today — in content, if not so much in style." »

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Bronco Bullfrog | Film review

12 June 2010 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The 25-year-old writer-director Barney Platts-Mills made his promising debut with Bronco Bullfrog in 1969 at a time when British cinema, having abandoned realism for the seductive tinsel of Swinging London, was thrashing around in the doldrums following the withdrawal of American finance. Only Ken Loach with Kes and Platts-Mills with Bronco Bullfrog seemed to be looking at Harold Wilson's Britain and the dead-end lives of its teenagers.

Platts-Mills's low-budget, independent monochrome movie arose out of a project for East End kids at Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop and was semi-improvised by non-professional performers. At the centre is the 17-year-old apprentice welder Del, who disrupts the monotony of life with petty theft and fighting and hero-worships the eponymous borstal fugitive (Sam Shepherd). Just as he plans a railyard robbery with Bronco, he enters into a touching relationship with the 15-year-old Irene, whose father is serving time for armed robbery. Her mother »

- Philip French

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50 years of Breathless

9 June 2010 2:25 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Jean‑Luc Godard's masterpiece remains a startling example of the French new wave and marked the arrival of one of cinema's most influential directors

Two trailers bookend my half-a-century of writing professionally about the cinema and bracket the career of the man who is arguably the most influential moviemaker of my lifetime. Fifty years ago this month I dropped into an Oslo cinema while waiting for a midnight train and saw an unforgettable trailer for a French picture. It cut abruptly between a handsome, broken-nosed actor I'd never come across before, giant posters of Humphrey Bogart, and the familiar features of Jean Seberg, whom I knew to be an idol of French cinéastes as the protegee of Otto Preminger. Shot in high contrast monochrome, rapidly edited, interspersed with puzzling statements in white-on-black and black-on-white lettering, it was like no other trailer I'd seen, and I was captivated. Not until my »

- Philip French

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Top Ten: Oscar's Favorite Foreign Filmmakers

31 May 2010 8:04 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

tuesday top ten returns! It's for the list-maker in me and the list-lover in you

The Cannes film festival wrapped this weekend (previous posts) and the most recent Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, The Secret in Their Eyes is still in the midst of a successful Us run. That Oscar winning Argentinian film came to us from director Juan Jose Campanella. It's his second film to be honored by the Academy (Son of the Bride was nominated ten years back). The Academy voters obviously like Campanella and in some ways he's a Hollywood guy. When he's not directing Argentinian Oscar hopefuls he spends time making Us television with episodes of Law & Order, House and 30 Rock under his belt.

So let's talk foreign-language auteurs. Who does Oscar love most?

[The film titles discussed in this article will link to Netflix pages -- if available -- should you be curious to see the films]

Best Director winners Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) and Milos Forman

(Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)

Please Note: »

- NATHANIEL R

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Dennis Hopper (1936-2010)

30 May 2010 7:55 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

His management revealed his battle with cancer just last year and yesterday 74 year-old long-time film star Dennis Hopper passed away. His cultural legacy is most closely fused with the counter culture sensation Easy Rider (1969) which he directed, wrote and starred in. But it stretches back much further than that and was, at least at the start, quite a case of beginner's luck. When three of your first four movies are titles as major or enduring as Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Giant (1956) and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) than things are off to quite a good start no matter how you define such things.

After those promising early years, things got choppy. Addictions and reportedly volatile on set behavior may have derailed major movie stardom but his bad boy reputation, whatever the personal and professional costs, surely added to his iconoclast mystique.

In the end he's left quite a legacy to consider. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Godard and Truffaut: Their spiky, complex friendship is its own great story in 'Two in the Wave'

27 May 2010 4:28 PM, PDT | EW.com - The Movie Critics | See recent EW.com - The Movie Critics news »

In the late ’50s and early ’60s, Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut were the Lennon and McCartney of the French New Wave. Godard, the detached, acerbic one, was eggheaded and vinegary, a playfully acidic intellectual bomb-thrower who, as time wore on, acquired a streak of bitter accusatory leftism. (He became the postmodern Marxist Debbie Downer of cinephilia.) Truffaut, in dramatic contrast, was presentable and bittersweet and more or less harmonious, oriented by nature toward the establishment (though in the beginning, he tossed bombs at it, too), with a latent penchant for bourgeois sentimental craftsmanship that was enchanting at its best, »

- Owen Gleiberman

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