8 items from 2015
Joan Crawford Movie Star Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and The Taxi Dancer (1927), and check her out in the more easily accessible The Unknown (1927) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928). By the early '30s, Joan Crawford had become a first-rate film actress, far more naturalistic than »
- Andre Soares
Criterion repackages one of its earlier Ingmar Bergman inclusions this month, restoring his brilliant, enigmatic 1972 masterpiece Cries and Whispers for Blu-ray release. Financed with Bergman’s own money, the auteur had difficulty securing an American distributor, eventually finding an unlikely champion in Roger Corman, of all people, who had recently established his own releasing company, New World, and was in search of prestige titles to build artistic merit.
Rushed to theatrical release to qualify for Academy Awards consideration, it would secure five nominations, including for Best Picture and Director, winning Best Cinematography for Sven Nyqvist, before going on to be selected to play out of competition at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival (awarded the Vulcain Prize of the Technical Artist). In Bergman’s illustrious filmography, it’s unnecessary (and incredibly difficult) to endow any one title as his best from a body of work that sports a myriad of celebrated examples spanning seven decades. »
- Nicholas Bell
Developed and penned by Søren Sveistrup, the creator and co-scribe of hit shows like “The Killing,” the 1960s-set ‘The Day Will Come” centers around two young brothers who are locked in a boy’s home forgotten by time and engage in a frightening battle against the tyrannical Headmaster Heck to set themselves free.
“The Day Will Come,” which sales house Trust Nordisk describes as a moving and poetic drama, stars Lars Mikkelsen (“House of Cards,” “The Killing”), Sofie Gråbøl (“The Killing”), Lars Ranthe (“The Hunt”), Sonja Richter (“The Homesman”) and David Dencik (“A Royal Affair”).
Pic is directed by Jesper W. Nielsen, who previously helmed the critically acclaimed Danish bittersweet comedy “Okay,” a Locarno-competiting movie that won the C.I.C.A.E. award (special mention) in 2002 and earned its star, »
- Elsa Keslassy
The Musketeers picks up the slack and delivers a surprising, eventful and engaging episode in A Marriage Of Inconvenience...
This review contains spoilers.
2.7 A Marriage Of Inconvenience
Last week’s Through A Glass Darkly was a slight blip on what has been a strong season for The Musketeers and it is with some relief that A Marriage Of Inconvenience returns the series, if not to its peak, then at least some way to it.
Directed by Edward Bennett (Waking The Dead, Silent Witness) and written by, Steve Bailie (Casualty, Primeval), A Marriage Of Inconvenience is a surprising episode in that it had me raging for the first half hour, but then as the twist became more clear it forced me to see it in a new light. This was an episode that caught me unawares and I liked it the more for it.
So what was going on? Well, in »
Ingmar Bergman leaves his mark the way a nightmare leaves a scar. His films haunt you, they're hard. You confront the difficulty, it mends, and you're stronger for it. He maintained a strict intimacy in his work environment. His cast and crew rarely succeeded more than 30 closely knit members, and even fewer remained while shooting. With this light ensemble he produced classics in surplus that explored grand ideas with minimal means. But when I say classic, I don't mean the way people consider Forrest Gump one. I mean a hard classic, the kind that filmmakers pay their inspirational dues, and critics and historian's sob over with glee.
They're what you'd consider a "Capital-g Great Film", which means the experience can prove grueling for those lacking the trained appetite. And for those initiated, prepared to combat the attrition, there's that hard-earned reward to bask in later. What distinguished films like Persona, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Aaron Hunt)
This review contains spoilers.
2.6 Through A Glass, Darkly.
The Musketeers enters its home stretch with Through A Glass Darkly. If I had to compare it to any previous episode, it bears the most resemblance to The Good Traitor in that both are filled with multiple side plots and overarching story development whilst centring on a single antagonist. However, whereas The Good Traitor included equally substantial side plots, Through A Glass Darkly focuses too much on what unfortunately is a weak and at times nonsensical bad guy. That’s not to say that this week's instalment doesn’t have its moments – it certainly does, but not enough when compared to the rest of this series' offerings.
This week’s plot sees the Musketeers escort the King and his entourage »
Editor's Note: RogerEbert.com is proud to reprint Roger Ebert's 1978 entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica publication "The Great Ideas Today," part of "The Great Books of the Western World." Reprinted with permission from The Great Ideas Today ©1978 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
It's a measure of how completely the Internet has transformed communication that I need to explain, for the benefit of some younger readers, what encyclopedias were: bound editions summing up all available knowledge, delivered to one's home in handsome bound editions. The "Great Books" series zeroed in on books about history, poetry, natural science, math and other fields of study; the "Great Ideas" series was meant to tie all the ideas together, and that was the mission given to Roger when he undertook this piece about film.
Given the venue he was writing for, it's probably wisest to look at Roger's long, wide-ranging piece as a snapshot of the »
- Roger Ebert
Is Pretty Little Liars finally making bold moves and getting back on track? Latest episode, Over A Barrel indicates so...
This review contains spoilers.
5.15 Over A Barrel
The first rule of Pretty Little Liars is that, if the girls are 100 per cent, unequivocally sure of who's behind A's shenanigans, then the person in question is going to be completely innocent. In season 5b, this applies to Allison and Holbrook so, while neither character seems to be completely on the up and up, they aren't the omnipotent tormentors that the Liars are assuming they are.
But it's frustrating to watch, because the audience know this about the show by now, and there's nothing worse than a bunch of protagonists who don't know the rules of their own universe. Previously, it's been characters like Spencer and Caleb – the voices of reason – that balance it out, but even they appear to have taken crazy pills this season. »
8 items from 2015
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