17 items from 2014
★★★★☆A landmark work in the lexicon of 1970s art film, Federico Fellini's highly venerated opus Roma (1972) arrives in a pristine restoration as part of Eureka's Masters of Cinema series, giving it the Blu-ray treatment it deserves. Coming after perhaps his most notable works La Dolce Vita (1960) and 8 ½ (1963), and ushering him into the highly impressionistic - and prolific - fugue of seventies Italian cinema, Roma is, like Fellini's Satyricon (1969) before it, a work of meticulously non-specific memory-cinema and a semi-autobiographical perusal through a Rome in a state of continuous flux.
- CineVue UK
Guess what unforgettable movie about people wanting to forget is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary?
Have you ever thought about what your favorite shot from it is? Or which shot best represents the movie as a whole? Have you ever wondered how it can possibly be that the cinematographer Ellen Kuras has only done 4 narrative features in the ten years since?
You know where this is going right?!
Break out the bubbly because "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" returns on March 18th (We're moving it to Tuesdays at 9 Pm to give people the weekend to screen the movies and be ready!). If you're new to the blog or haven't yet experimented with actually participating, I guarantee a good time. Everyone who has participating religiously has said that they've gotten a ton out of it. Plus it proves the point 'the more the merrier' because the best episodes offer »
- NATHANIEL R
Rome (AP) — Italy celebrated Monday after "The Great Beauty" ended the country's 15-year hiatus and won the Oscar for best foreign-language film. But even the film's muse lamented the fallen Rome it portrays and critics including the Vatican said it was just a cheap Fellini knockoff. Paolo Sorrentino's homage to Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" and Rome's seductive decadence has divided Italians, with many critics uncomfortable with its indirect reflection of Italy's political and economic stagnation. But after Sorrentino cemented Italy's place as the country with the most foreign-language Oscars, everyone from the president on down hailed the film as a win for a country struggling through its own existential malaise. "At this time we have to be thinking about other things, and we're doing so," Premier Matteo Renzi tweeted. "But everyone is part of this Italian moment of pride for Sorrentino and 'The Great Beauty.'" The film »
- Nicole Winfield (AP)
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
Rome – Italy is ecstatic about Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty” scooping the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, which marks its eleventh foreign Oscar and consolidates the country’s status as the world’s winner of the most foreign film statuettes.
France has won nine Oscars in the foreign language category. Italy and France have both additionally won three special/honorary Oscars.
“It’s ‘Great Beauty’ in Hollywood. Paolo Sorrentino Wins The Oscar,” trumpeted the website for leading Italian daily “Corriere della Sera.”
Italy’s Culture Czar Dario Franceschini tweeted his joy calling the Oscar win a “self confidence booster” for the country, while Roberto Cicutto, head of Italy’s film entity and promotional org. Istituto Luce Cinecittà, enthused that “this must be a point of no return,” for the international visibility of Italian movies.
The foreign Oscar for Sorrentino’s tribute to Rome’s decadence and magnificence »
- Nick Vivarelli
3 Notes. Oh don't click away you have time to read them. And yes I'll be live tweeting and a little light blogging tonight
01. Like The Film Experience on Facebook. Follow Nathaniel on Twitter, Pinterest? Why am I so needy? It's like this: Once Oscar night wraps up I experience something like a free fall; help me pull that parachute string.
02. We're here all year -- it's not just an Oscar site so don't abandon us if you're exhausted by Oscar shenanigans. There's only one more week of it, recapping this year's Oscars, filmbitching, and we'll close out the annual festivities with that Supporting Actress Smackdown we promised (yes, the one I flubbed that you've been impatient for). After that one eye returns to brand new movies and pinch of tv and the other to occasional trips back to favored oldies in A Year With Kate, Seasons of Bette, and Hit Me. »
- NATHANIEL R
A Criterion Royal Flush! concludes at Trailers from Hell, with screenwriter Larry Karaszewski introducing Luchino Visconti's Italian cinema classic "The Leopard," starring Burt Lancaster.Classical movie making of the highest order, Visconti’s sweeping 1963 epic set during the Italian revolution plants Lancaster (forced on the director by nervous producers, but ultimately a valued working partner) at the center of a long form feast for the senses, photographed by the great Giuseppe Rotunno (Amarcord, Satyricon) and with music by Nino Rota (La Dolce Vita, The Godfather). Surely a major influence on Bernardo Bertolucci’s grandiose epic 1900, also featuring Lancaster. Various versions exist, ranging from 205 minutes to 151. One of Martin Scorsese’s favorites. »
- Trailers From Hell
There are a number of exceptional films nominated for this year's Foreign Language Oscar, but none swept us up quite like "The Great Beauty." The film, directed by Paolo Sorrentino, follows an aging journalist (played by Sorrentino regular Toni Servillo), as he makes his way through modern day Rome and deals with his own mortality. It's a giant, sumptuous, glittery delight, with party sequences that make the overblown excess of "The Great Gatsby" seem paltry by comparison, and has an unexpectedly melancholic and spiritual core. We were lucky enough to sit down with Sorrentino, on the eve of the Oscars, to talk about the film, how "La Dolce Vita" inspired the production, the music in his movies, why he wants to do an L.A.-set noir at some point and much more. First, though, a note about the location of the interview: it was held in the offices of the Criterion Collection, »
- Drew Taylor
With a sprawling and often dreamlike narrative that examines grand themes of life, death and art, The Great Beauty (La grande bellezza) is novelistic in its storytelling and enthrallingly ambitious.
Directed and written by Paolo Sorrentino, The Great Beauty was Italy's submission for this year's Best Foreign Film Academy Award and it has made the cut to compete for the Oscar alongside four other films. Mirroring the scope of other lofty Italian films (Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita certainly come to mind) as well as the work of revered writers like Marcel Proust, Sorrentino is passionate and audacious in his approach to a story that is classically familiar in its basic framework and often surprising as well.
At the story's center is Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo). He wrote a moderately successful novel as a young man, and following that chose to veer into a life of partying, carousing »
- Caitlin Moore
Since its premiere at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty has enjoyed much critical and theatrical success — alongside the more unwanted La Dolce Vita comparisons and projected criticism of the Berlusconi era. In speaking with the filmmaker behind this alternately bombastic and meditative examination of a writer adrift in the eternal and ostentatious city, however, one senses that Sorrentino’s intentions were not nearly as biting as some have gathered. Yes, there is a Bishop more infatuated with food than God, a woman who strips for the love of the profession, a child who earns millions by having […] »
- Sarah Salovaara
Nana, whose real name was Kiash Nanah, died on Wednesday night at a hospital in Rome.
She shot to fame when she performed a striptease at a restaurant in Rome in 1958. The sequence was shot by Tazio Secchiaroli, the street photographer who was the model for the character Paparazzo in the 1960 film that starred Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni.
Police raided the Rugantino restaurant while the party was still in progress and closed it for offending public morality, but Secchiaroli managed to get out with a roll of pictures of Nana stripping to her underwear. The photos »
Federico Fellini’s shadow still looms large over Italian cinema. Over 21st-century Italy, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi enjoys a similarly imposing presence. Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty surveys the legacy of both figures, who each typified a kind of existential malaise in their time—Fellini in his most famous film, La Dolce Vita, a sybaritic fantasy of the upper crust with a bitter aftertaste, and Berlusconi in a seventeen year one-man show that flouted conventions of ministerial appropriateness, and that some believe prioritized self-interest over concern for the country. »
It was pretty much an average week for me in the movie watching department as I managed to get four films under my belt over the last few days and I hope to watch something tonight since there isn't any football this weekend (no, the Pro Bowl doesn't count) to give me five movies in total. At home I watched La Dolce Vita (which was the topic of discussion in my first ever Best Movies feature), Zatoichi's Cane Sword (my 15th Zatoichi film so far) and a screener of Big Bad Wolves (which I then reviewed right here). Then, in theaters, I saw Draft Day, which won't be released until April so I'm not sure how much I can say about it. It stars Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner and they are clearly hoping to use the May 8-10 NFL Draft as a catalyst to get more butts in the seats. »
- Brad Brevet
I first watched Federico Fellini's 1960 film, La Dolce Vita, just over five years ago and with this week marking what would have been the filmmaker's 94th birthday I've chosen La Dolce Vita as the debut film in my Best Movies feature. Not because I believe it to be his best (though it certainly is one of the best), but largely because I've had the urge to watch it again ever since learning Paramount has finally been granted exclusive rights to the film, prompting me to hope it will finally receive a domestic Blu-ray release sometime soon. Captured in lovely black-and-white, Otello Martelli's cinematography lives up to the literal translation of the film's title -- "the sweet life" -- while the narrative focuses on a character living a life more empty than "sweet". Marking the first time Marcello Mastroianni and Fellini would work together, Mastroianni plays Marcello Rubini, a »
- Brad Brevet
A dazzling, dizzying and entrancing cinematic tour-de-force built around a stunning central performance from Toni Servillo, The Great Beauty (2013) is a sumptuously-shot satire on Berlusconi's Italy that has drawn comparisons with Italian classics such as La Dolce Vita and La Notte. To celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray release of Paulo Sorrentino's best film to date this coming Monday (13 January), we have Three DVD copies of The Great Beauty to give away to our readers, courtesy of distributors Artificial Eye. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
- CineVue UK
Luise Rainer today: As of last Sunday, the two-time Best Actress Oscar winner is 104 years old Inevitably, the Transformers movies’ director Michael Bay (who recently had an on-camera "meltdown" after a teleprompter stopped working at the Consumer Electronics Show) and the Transformers movies’ star Shia Labeouf (who was recently accused of plagiarism) were mentioned — or rather, blasted, in current media parlance — at the 2014 Golden Globe awards show, held this past Sunday, January 12, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. Left unmentioned, however, was London resident and two-time Best Actress Oscar winner Luise Rainer (The Great Ziegfeld, The Good Earth) — who just happened to turn 104 years old on the day of the Golden Globes ceremony. (Photo: Luise Rainer in the mid-1930s.) Luise Rainer movies Of course, quite possibly none of the people attending the Golden Globes had ever heard of — let alone seen a movie featuring — Luise Rainer (or »
- Andre Soares
Rome - The Italian film industry is predictably elated about Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty” scooping the Golden Globe for best foreign film, which comes twenty-five years after Italy won its last Golden Globe, for Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso,” in 1989, which that year went on to score the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
“I got the news very early this morning in a message from Paolo, and I rejoiced with him and, I think, with the entire Italian film community,” enthused “Beauty” protag Toni Servillo to Italo news agency Adnkronos.
“Now, whatever happens, we should not forget that the Golden Globes are an important prize. Let’s not have the usual Italian attitude and think that if we don’t win the Oscar, this doesn’t mean anything. Let’s simply savor the great joy for this very important prize. We are all very happy,” Servillo added. »
- Nick Vivarelli
17 items from 2014
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