7 items from 2013
Film-makers have tried sex, murder and intrigue, and yet that most intellectual of spectator sports remains remarkably difficult to depict on screen
• Computer Chess: watch the trailer
Throw a rock at the sports genre and you'll hit a film about baseball or football, or hockey, or racing. Odds are, you won't strike a film about chess. Chess isn't generally considered a stadium filler (although it can be). It's perceived as a game for eccentric intellectuals and elderly historians. It doesn't have the glamour or sex appeal of more sedentary sports, such as pool, as demonstrated by Paul Newman in The Hustler. Chess won't even fit snugly in to other genre films, where the banality of cards, for example, naturally lends itself to a seedy, gambling gangster underworld (Rounders), the exotic highlife of a casino (Casino Royale), or even more piquant, a combo »
Fighting, dying, hoping, hating … great sports films are about far more than sport itself. Here Guardian and Observer critics pick their 10 best
• Top 10 superhero movies
• Top 10 westerns
• Top 10 documentaries
• Top 10 movie adaptations
• Top 10 animated movies
• Top 10 silent movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
Lindsay Anderson brought to bear on his adaptation of David Storey's first novel, all the poetic-realist instincts he had been honing for the previous decade as a documentarian in the Humphrey Jennings mould. (Anderson had won the 1953 best doc Oscar for Thursday's Children.) Filmed partly in Halifax and Leeds, but mainly in and around Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Club, one of its incidental attractions is its record of a northern, working-class sports culture that would change out of all recognition over the next couple of decades.
The story of Frank Machin, a miner who becomes a star on the rugby field, »
Jackson Ball on his five essential underrated Martin Scorsese films....
In terms of auteur directors, there are few who are as revered and as admired as Martin Scorsese. The Academy Award-winning filmmaker has carved out a career spanning over 50 years, filled with some the most influential American movies in history. From his intense psychological character studies, to his notable contribution to the gangster genre, to his politically and religiously charged dramas, Scorsese’s films have rarely been far from either controversy or accolades.
With that in mind, it is easy to neglect some of his lesser appreciated films. We’ve all discussed at great length the intricacies of Taxi Driver or Raging Bull, but when every other film is a masterpiece it means that some other efforts fall by the wayside in comparison.
With such a rich back-catalogue, it’s always possible to overlook the odd cinematic gem. So to right this wrong, »
- Gary Collinson
On a number of past occasions, I’ve written, in various contexts, about what I consider to be that most elusive of on-screen elements: a sense of place. “Sense of place” is the difference between a location serving as mere background, and being a character in its own right. It’s about getting the viewer’s head there, getting us to feel like we know what it’s like to walk that ground, smell those smells, feel the chill or suffocating heat in the air. When I talk “sense of place,” I think of the autumnal Boston of Peter Yates’ The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), the bracing, exhilirating chill of the Rockies in Sydney Pollock’s Jeremiah Johnson (1972), the urban grit I feel on the back of my neck watching John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy (1969), the musty, dusty stale-beer-and-cigarette-smoke feel of Robert Rossen’s The Hustler (1961). It’s a special »
- Bill Mesce
This article is dedicated to Andrew Copp: filmmaker, film writer, artist and close friend who passed away on January 19, 2013. You are loved and missed, brother.
Looking at the Best Actor Academy Award nominations for the film year 2012, the one miss that clearly cries out for more attention is Liam Neeson’s powerful performance in Joe Carnahan’s excellent survival film The Grey, easily one of the best roles of Neeson’s career.
Along with negligence, other factors commonly prevent outstanding lead acting performances from getting the kind of critical attention they deserve. Sometimes it’s that the performance is in a film not considered “Oscar material” or even worthy of any substantial critical attention. »
- Terek Puckett
Our daily countdown continues, with part 17 out of 30 in our list of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 140-131.
138) Dreams (1990) Akira Kurasawa Japan
132) The Man Who Shot Libery Valance (1962) John Ford USA
Numbers 130-121 coming next...
film cultureClassicslist300 »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
DVD Release Date: Jan. 15, 2013
Price: 2-Disc DVD $34.95
King: A Filmed Record…from Montgomery to Memphis is the landmark 1970 documentary film that chronicles the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement in Montgomery to the triumph on the Lincoln Memorial steps to King’s tragic assassination in Memphis in 1968.
Originally screened in theaters for only a single night in 1970, the three-hour King: A Filmed Record has occasionally been circulated since then in a version that was shortened by an hour. The complete version has been newly restored by the Library of Congress in association with Richard Kaplan and utilizes elements from New York’s Museum of Modern. It’s been mastered in HD from the 35mm preservation negative.
7 items from 2013
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