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A Look Back: The American New Wave 1958-1967

In 1983, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with Media Study/Buffalo, created a touring retrospective of avant-garde films, primarily feature-length ones and a few shorts, which they called “The American New Wave 1958-1967.” To accompany the tour, a hefty catalog was produced that included notes on the films, essays by film historians and critics, writings by major underground film figures and more.

The retrospective was created at a time when financially viable independent filmmaking was on the rise, such as films made by John Sayles, Wayne Wang and Susan Seidelman. According to the co-curators of the retrospective, Melinda Ward and Bruce Jenkins, the objective of the tour was to:

provide a more adequate picture than conventional history affords us of a rare period of American cinematic invention and thereby prepare a coherent critical and historical context for the reception of the new work by the current generation of independent filmmakers.
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

From Mad Method Actor to Humankind Advocate: One of the Greatest Film Actors of the 20th Century

From Mad Method Actor to Humankind Advocate: One of the Greatest Film Actors of the 20th Century
Updated: Following a couple of Julie London Westerns*, Turner Classic Movies will return to its July 2017 Star of the Month presentations. On July 27, Ronald Colman can be seen in five films from his later years: A Double Life, Random Harvest (1942), The Talk of the Town (1942), The Late George Apley (1947), and The Story of Mankind (1957). The first three titles are among the most important in Colman's long film career. George Cukor's A Double Life earned him his one and only Best Actor Oscar; Mervyn LeRoy's Random Harvest earned him his second Best Actor Oscar nomination; George Stevens' The Talk of the Town was shortlisted for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. All three feature Ronald Colman at his very best. The early 21st century motto of international trendsetters, from Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro and Turkey's Recep Erdogan to Russia's Vladimir Putin and the United States' Donald Trump, seems to be, The world is reality TV and reality TV
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Film Review: ‘En el Séptimo Día’

Film Review: ‘En el Séptimo Día’
Fernando Cardona, the star of Jim McKay’s supremely confident and captivating independent feature “En el Séptimo Día” (“On the Seventh Day”), has the most hypnotic face I’ve seen on an actor in months. Cardona is handsome — bedroom eyes, chiseled smile — and in the movie his stoically sexy features are set off by a rather extreme fade haircut: shaved all the way up on the sides, but longish and combed on top, like an oil-slicked Mohawk.

In another context, you could see him as a real player, but Cardona’s José, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who works as a delivery guy in Brooklyn, doesn’t speak much English, and the image he presents is quiet, passive, and cautiously controlled. One false move could destroy everything he’s worked for. Cardona uses that stillness to express unspoken currents of fear, hope, and desire; he comes off like a boy in
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Martin Scorsese Reveals Why He Never Made His Movie About Jesus in New York

  • Indiewire
Martin Scorsese Reveals Why He Never Made His Movie About Jesus in New York
Nearly three decades after he first became interested in adapting Shusaku Endo’s novel, Martin Scorsese has finally released “Silence.” It’s far from his first overtly religious film, preceded as it is by both “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Kundun.” In a new interview with Commonweal, the director touches on another spiritual drama he never had the chance to make in which Jesus comes to present-day New York. (via The Playlist)

Read More: ‘Silence’ Featurette: Martin Scorsese and Rodrigo Prieto on the Religious Drama’s Arresting Visuals (Exclusive)

“The popular representation of Jesus in the mind of the average moviegoer was coming out of Cecil B. DeMille. Pretty much all films made on religious subject matter were biblical epics. And the best one, of course, was Pasolini’s ‘Gospel According to St. Matthew,'” explains Scorsese. “My original idea was in the early ‘60s. I had realized you
See full article at Indiewire »

Gena Rowlands on Working With John Cassavetes, Why Everyone Loves ‘The Notebook’

Gena Rowlands on Working With John Cassavetes, Why Everyone Loves ‘The Notebook’
John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands are still considered the king and queen of independent cinema.

Operating outside the studio system, the husband and wife team created indelible portraits of working-class strivers and small-timers in such films as “A Woman Under the Influence,” “Gloria” and “Faces.” Those works, as well as seven others, will screen as part of a retrospective at New York’s Metrograph theater from July 15-25. The career appreciation will include such Cassavetes and Rowlands pairings as “Love Streams” and “Opening Night,” along with films that Cassavetes directed without his wife and muse, such as “A Child is Waiting” and “Husbands.”

Cassavetes died in 1989, but Rowlands has remained active, appearing on the big and small screen in the likes of “The Notebook,” “Hysterical Blindness” and “Unhook the Stars.” She spoke with Variety about Cassavetes’ legacy, how roles improved for actresses and why she loves Bette Davis.

Why do your husband’s films endure?
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Best of Movie Poster of the Day: Part 14

Above: 1929 Swedish poster for The Hound Of The Baskervilles (Richard Oswald, Germany, 1929). Designer uncredited.It’s time once again for my countdown of the most popular (the most “liked” and “reblogged”) posters on my Movie Poster of the Day Tumblr over the past three months. The most popular by far, and deservedly so, was this extraordinary 1920s Swedish poster for an adaptation of Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, which looks like some modern Mondo marvel. I had never seen it before it showed up on Heritage Auctions in March, where it sold for over $5000 (a steal). I’m not sure how Heritage dated the poster or divined which version of Hound of the Baskervilles this was for, since there are no acting or directing credits on the poster. They claim it for Richard Oswald’s 1929 German version though IMDb has a variant of the poster attached to a 1914 German adaptation.
See full article at MUBI »

New film festival Essential Independents to spotlight American indie cinema

Richard Gere in Oren Moverman's.Time Out Of Mind.

Fourteen films will have their Australian premiere as part of the brand new Essential Independents: American Cinema Now festival at Palace Cinemas in May.

The two-week festival will showcase American independent cinema and feature 32 films, including narrative features and documentaries as well as a retrospective of first films from major filmmakers.

They include Kathryn Bigelow, Joel Coen, Sofia Coppola, Jim Jarmusch and Richard Linklater.

The program is curated by artistic director Richard Sowada, the festival director at Perth's Revelation International Film Festival.

"Each film holds hands with the next and so there.s a real sense of cohesiveness and a feeling of discovery", Sowada said.

"What.s so exciting to watch is the sense of energy, urgency and honesty - even in the older films right back to Shadows from John Cassavetes — there.s no holding back and there.s no compromise,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Daily | Welles, Malick, Lewis

opinion from the man who, after all, made the picture." That's Orson Welles in an excerpt from a 58-page memo he wrote in 1957 to Edward Muhl, head of Universal Pictures. Jonathan Rosenbaum introduces an excerpt. Also in today's roundup: Reno Lauro on Terrence Malick, James Longley (Iraq in Fragments) on Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence, Fernando F. Croce on John Cassavetes's Shadows, John Marks on Ava DuVernay's Selma and Clint Eastwood's American Sniper, Daft Punk in the movies—and the day we might see Jerry Lewis's The Day the Clown Cried. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Daily | Welles, Malick, Lewis

opinion from the man who, after all, made the picture." That's Orson Welles in an excerpt from a 58-page memo he wrote in 1957 to Edward Muhl, head of Universal Pictures. Jonathan Rosenbaum introduces an excerpt. Also in today's roundup: Reno Lauro on Terrence Malick, James Longley (Iraq in Fragments) on Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence, Fernando F. Croce on John Cassavetes's Shadows, John Marks on Ava DuVernay's Selma and Clint Eastwood's American Sniper, Daft Punk in the movies—and the day we might see Jerry Lewis's The Day the Clown Cried. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Judd Apatow and John Cassavetes: Two Sides of the Same Crisis

Judd Apatow and John Cassavetes: Two Sides of the Same Crisis
Read More: Interview: Judd Apatow Talks 'Trainwreck,' Working With Amy Schumer, And Why He Should Be In TV Instead Of Movies Judd Apatow has long sung the praises of fellow filmmaker John Cassavetes, but the influence of the dramatic auteur on the raunchy R-rated comedy director isn't as evident as that between, let's say, Stanley Kubrick and Christopher Nolan, Ernst Lubitsch and Wes Anderson and so on. And yet, in exploring the relationship between the icon behind "Shadows" and "A Woman Under the Influence" and the 47-year-old director of "Trainwreck," the latter's filmography becomes more personal, intellectual and independently minded. A popular actor ("The Dirty Dozen," "Rosemary's Baby") turned landmark independent film director, Cassavetes challenged Hollywood by eschewing many of the formative trademarks that had driven the studio system in favor of a performance-driven aesthetic. While the titans of the industry...
See full article at Indiewire »

Gena Rowlands Turns 85: Hear Her Rare Conversation on 'A Woman Under the Influence'

Gena Rowlands Turns 85: Hear Her Rare Conversation on 'A Woman Under the Influence'
Gena Rowlands, who turns 85 today, is a cinema nonpareil who showed many faces in the films of her husband: a broken-down housewife in "A Woman Under the Influence," a washed-up thespian in "Opening Night," a desperate call-girl in "Faces." Cassavetes originally wrote "A Woman Under the Influence," the raw story of a lovably mad housewife who is also a danger to herself, as a play for his muse and partner. But it proved to be too exhausting for a stage production and so the maverick indie director turned to family and friends, including Peter Falk, who co-stars in the film as Rowlands' patient husband, for money and rounded up AFI students to make this volatile film that nabbed them both Oscar nominations. Listen below to a rare 90-minute interview about the film, and filmmaking. This was Rowlands fifth pairing with Cassavetes after "Shadows," "A Child Is Waiting," "Faces" and "Minnie and Moskowitz.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Listen: John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands Give Rare 1975 'Woman Under the Influence' Talk

Listen: John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands Give Rare 1975 'Woman Under the Influence' Talk
Cassavetes originally wrote "A Woman Under the Influence," the raw story of a lovably mad housewife who is also a danger to herself, as a play for his muse and partner Gena Rowlands. But it proved to be too exhausting for a stage production and so the maverick indie director turned to family and friends, including Peter Falk, who co-stars in the film as Rowlands' patient husband, for money and rounded up AFI students to make this volatile film that nabbed them both Oscar nominations. Listen below to a rare 90-minute interview about the film, and filmmaking. This was Rowlands fifth pairing with Cassavetes after "Shadows," "A Child Is Waiting," "Faces" and "Minnie and Moskowitz." Together they would go on to make some of the most startling films of the century, from "Opening Night" to "Love Streams." Watch a Beautiful Tribute Reel to Gena Rowlands
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Angora Sweaters and Scissorhands: Ranking the Films of Tim Burton

Tim Burton is perhaps one of the most unique and exciting filmmakers working today. With a vision inspired by classic horror and a dry wit, his films are often fiercely entertaining and endlessly clever. Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t dark spots on his filmography. Like every filmmaker he’s had his missteps but even when the movies don’t quite work Burton manages to create films that are visually stunning and artistic. With the recent release of Big Eyes and a possible sequel to Beetlejuice in the works, examining Burton’s work and influence is more important than ever.

17. Planet of the Apes (2001): Even when a Burton film has issues there are usually some redeeming factors (see Darks Shadows’ amazing style) but, oh man, one really has to look hard to find something good in this disaster of a movie. Sure, the makeup
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘Right Stuff’ Helmer Philip Kaufman to Tune Into More TV

‘Right Stuff’ Helmer Philip Kaufman to Tune Into More TV
Bydgoszcz, Poland — Philip Kaufman, whose “Hemingway & Gellhorn” marked the veteran helmer/scribe’s entree into both the small-screen world and digital production in 2012, says he’s planning to delve further into the new Golden Age of television.

Kaufman is receiving Camerimage’s lifetime achievement kudo alongside longtime collaborator Caleb Deschanel, whose lensing is feted in a tribute. Their work together on “The Right Stuff,” for which special lighting rigs were created to convey the right look for Ed Harris’ Mercury 7 space capsule, taught Kaufman that a critical quality in a cinematographer is — aside from “that impeccable eye” — inventiveness.

At 76, the visionary behind “The Right Stuff,” “The Wanderers” and “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” has no plans to retire, he explains, adding that he’s looking to launch another project with Clive Owen after witnessing his turn as Ernest Hemingway in the sprawling Spanish Civil War-set HBO film.

“I just finished
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Rosemary’s Baby’ is a classic of unseen dread

Rosemary’s Baby

Directed by Roman Polanski

United States, 1968

Roman Polanski’s first foray into real, genre horror is a classic of mostly unseen dread.

Featuring a closely-coiffed Mia Farrow as the soft-spoken, childlike Rosemary Woodhouse, potential mother to the devil; John Cassavetes, post-Shadows, and just about to truly kick off his great directorial run; and the inimitable Ruth Gordan as a sort of Grace Zabriskie-precursor: the creepy neighbor next door, heavily made-up and eerily meddlesome, Rosemary’s Baby picks up the paranoid thread of 1965’s Repulsion. The film also anticipates the similarly – though more political – claustrophobic suspicion of Alan Pakula’s 1970’s films.

Like Repulsion Polanski puts a slender, nymph-like female at the center of the narrative, though Rosemary is endowed with more power than Catherine Deneuve’s Carol. Unlike his earlier film, Polanski externalizes the baleful forces and makes them realer. The strength of Rosemary’s
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Gena Rowlands To Get the Los Angeles Film Critics Career Achievement Award

Gena Rowlands To Get the Los Angeles Film Critics Career Achievement Award
The stage, TV and screen actress is best known for her stellar work on ten films directed by her husband John Cassavetes which started with “A Child Is Waiting” (1963), “Shadows” (1959) and “Faces” (1968) and continued through two Oscar-nominated performances in "Woman Under the Influence" (pictured, 1975) and "Gloria" (1981); their last film together was “Love Streams” (1984). The Lafca gave Cassavetes the career achievement award in 1986--this is the first husband and wife team to be so rewarded in the group's 40 year history. Rowlands began her career on the New York stage in the mid-1950s and moved to television, marryingCassavetes in 1954 and made 10 films with him, from Rowlands won four Emmys --“The Betty Ford Story” (1987), “Face of a Stranger” (1991), “Hysterical Blindness” (2003) and “The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie” (2004)--and two Golden Globes (“The Betty Ford Story” and “A Woman Under the Influence.")....
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

L.A. Film Critics to Honor Gena Rowlands

L.A. Film Critics to Honor Gena Rowlands
The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. will present Gena Rowlands with its career achievement award, the group announced on Saturday.

An 84-year-old veteran of film, TV and theater, Rowlands is particularly celebrated for helping to usher in a bold new commitment to realism in American screen acting in the 1960s and ’70s, never more so than in her grittily layered, emotionally fearless performances for the writer-director John Cassavetes. Their 10-picture collaboration, which included such films as “Shadows” (1959) and “Faces” (1968), earned Rowlands two Oscar nominations for best actress, in “A Woman Under the Influence” (1975) and “Gloria” (1981).

Cassavetes received the L.A. critics’ career achievement award in 1986, making him and Rowlands the first husband-and-wife duo to be so honored in the group’s nearly 40-year history.

Over her 60-plus years as an actress, Rowlands has won four Emmys, for “The Betty Ford Story” (1987), “Face of a Stranger” (1991), “Hysterical Blindness” (2003) and “The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie
See full article at Variety - Film News »

New on Video: ‘Love Streams’

Love Streams

Directed by John Cassavetes

Written by Ted Allan and John Cassavetes

USA, 1984

Love Streams, John Cassavetes’ final film as an actor and penultimate film as director, is also one of his most unusual features. While his distinctive work can oftentimes be divisive, it’s easy to see how this film more than most others could be rather off-putting to those not appreciative of, or even accustomed to, his filmmaking technique.

Cassavetes adapted the film with Ted Allan, based on the latter’s play, and the film’s structure is one of the more vexing of its attributes. Dropped into two parallel lives, with little to no backstory, only gradually are we able to piece together certain details. First, there is Robert Harmon (a worn and weary Cassavetes, his failing health evident). Harmon is a writer, a drunk, and a womanizer, and he is supposedly working on a book about nightlife,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Cannes 2014 What I Saw #7: Brooklyn

Written about here before Cannes, Brooklyn which screened in Acid, the newest sidebar to the Cannes Film Festival was the first feature by French filmmaker Pascal Tessaud. His films are part of France’s “New Vibe” film movement, films made by those filmmakers living in the “banlieux” or suburbs, that is the Arab, African immigrant neighborhoods of Paris.

The story focuses on Coralie ( Kt Gorique), who runs away from Switzerland. She arrives in Paris to test her luck in Hip Hop music. She’s hired as a cook in a local association of the Parisian suburb Saint-Denis. Coralie meets Issa ( Rafal Uchiwa ), the rising star of the hood.

KT Gorique, the lead character won the world championship of freestyle of the End Of The Weak in New York, she is the first female to have won this competition in its 11 years of existence. Here is a video of her performing, which inspired Pascal to contact her about his film. You can see a clip from that performance Here

Not only is her talent in rap and slam prize-winning, but as an actress, she seems like the grown-up version of Hush-puppy in Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Brooklyn ’s director, Pascal Tessaud, recreates a cooperative vision by which the disenfranchised youth living in Paris’ African and Arab projects is able to transcend the constraints to which society seems to have relegated them. The power of rap and slam brings consciousness to a level of political engagement. How can one succeed? As an individual overcoming the difficulties of substandard living or as part of a larger movement, in a collective achievement?

The film is continuing to create a very French urban genre which in fact might be part of a larger movement. It is a fascinating look at the cross cultures of the 99%. This French subset shows the intelligence and the seriousness of rap a la Francais...it gives the universal music of rap an intellectual spin only the French can create.

The entire film was improvised after a workshop of one month in the city of Saint-Denis (a sort of French Bronx) just outside of Paris. The realism thus portrayed is not enacted. You can see Cassavetes’ influence in this totally modern view of Hip Hop as rappers improvise their parts in the same style that John Cassavetes used in Shadows. In addition the beat-makers Khulibaï and DJ Dusty created original music for the film and helped Pascal produce his first Hip Hop beat, which is included in the film.

Tessaud considers this sort of filmmaking the legacy of a little known but seminal filmmaker he wrote a book about, Paul Carpita who made films in the 1950s in Marseilles and died in 2009. Ken Loach in his preface to a 2009 book of interviews with Carpita, claimed: "Since the censorship of his work, Paul Carpita led a modest existence. Ultimate proof, if necessary, of his integrity. It is finally time for us to recognize him as a hero."

He says, "Rachid Djaïdani (Rengaine akaHold Back) is my first supporter and said that Brooklyn is now part of the brotherhood ofDonoma and Rengaine (Hold Back)!”

In conclusion, each of these seven films is concerned with the power of the individual facing a society whose injustice seems so immense that the very idea of resistance is subversive and yet, when action against the injustice is taken, the strength of the human soul, acting in concert with others, shines.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: Love Streams

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 12, 2014

Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95

Studio: Criterion

John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands star in Cassavetes's Love Streams.

The electric filmmaker John Cassavetes (Shadows, Faces) and his brilliant wife and collaborator Gena Rowlands (A Woman Under the Influence) give luminous, fragile performances as two closely bound, emotionally wounded characters who reunite after years apart in the 1984 drama Love Streams.

Exhilarating and risky, mixing sober realism with surreal flourishes, Love Streams is one of Cassavetes’s most truly personal works. It’s a remarkable film that comes at the viewer in a torrent of beautiful, erratic feeling as it examines the nature of love in all its forms.

Criterion’s new DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo editions of Love Streams contain the following features:

• New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

• New audio commentary featuring writer Michael Ventura

New video essay on actor
See full article at Disc Dish »
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