6 items from 2014
Sidney And The Sixties: Real-time 1957-1966
Throughout the 1950s, Hollywood’s relationship with television was fraught: TV was a hated rival but also a source of cheap talent and material, as in the case of the small-scale Marty (1955), which won the Best Picture Oscar. These contradictions were well represented by the apparently “televisual” 12 Angry Men (1957), which began life as a teleplay concerning a jury with a lone holdout who must, and eventually does, convince his fellow jurors of the defendant’s innocence. Its writer, Reginald Rose, persuaded one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Henry Fonda, to become a first-time producer of the film version. Fonda and Rose took basement-low salaries in favor of future points, and hired a TV director, Sidney Lumet, for next to nothing because Lumet wanted a first feature credit. Technically, there’s an opening bit on the courtroom steps that keeps this from being a true real-time film, »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
Directed by Henri Colpi
Written by Marguerite Duras and Gerald Jarlot
The 1960s were an important and innovative time in French film history. Although France has always been the front-runner for the daring, the urbane and the inventive when it comes to cinema (amongst other things), it was during this revolutionary decade in particular that French filmmakers began to personalise their work in ways that changed the filmic landscape permanently. There are many praiseworthy and well-known examples that can be given to further emphasize this statement, such as Jean-Luc Godard’s Le mépris (1963) or Jacques Demy’s Les parapluies de Cherbourg (1964), however, there are also some lesser known films that help to further accentuate what was going on in France post World War II. It is with these less familiar films that perhaps audiences are able to better comprehend the everyday struggles »
- Trish Ferris
Directed by Luis Buñuel
The Cannes Film Festival has long been a venue to court controversy, and filmmaker Luis Buñuel was likewise one who consistently reveled in the divisive. At the 1961 festival, Buñuel brought his latest release, Viridiana, and the results were spectacular, and spectacularly contentious. The film, which shared Palme d’Or honors with Henri Colpi’s The Long Absence, was subsequently met with charges of blasphemy from the Vatican’s newspaper, and it was promptly banned in Buñuel ‘s native Spain.
The Spanish reaction was particularly critical. Viridiana’s production in Buñuel’s place of birth was already a hot topic. Having left for America and Mexico in 1939, Spain’s surrealist native son was back home, the adamantly leftist filmmaker now working amidst Francisco Franco’s fascist dictatorship. What’s the worst that could happen?
Viridiana is what happened, »
- Jeremy Carr
And here we are. The day after Easter and we’ve reached the top of the mountain. While compiling this list, it’s become evident that true religious films just aren’t made anymore (and if they are, they are widely panned). That being said, religious themes exist in more mainstream movies than ever, despite there being no deliberate attempts to dub the films “religious.” Faith, God, whatever you want to call it – it’s influenced the history of nations, of politics, of culture, and of film. And these are the most important films in that wheelhouse. There are only two American films in the top 10, and only one of them is in English.
courtesy of hilobrow.com
10. Andrei Rublev (1966)
Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
A brutally expansive biopic about the Russian iconographer divided into nine chapters. Andrei Rublev (Anatoly Solonitsyn) is portrayed not as a silent monk, but a motivated artist working against social ruin, »
- Joshua Gaul
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 10, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95
The 1962 Italian drama L’eclisse is the concluding chapter of Michelangelo Antonioni’s informal trilogy on contemporary malaise (following L’avventura and La notte).
L’eclisse (The Eclipse) tells the story of a young woman (L’avventura’s Monica Vitti) who leaves one lover (Viridiana’s Francisco Rabal) and drifts into a relationship with another (Purple Noon’s Alain Delon).
Using the architecture of Rome as a backdrop for the doomed affair, Antonioni achieves the apotheosis of his style in this return to the theme that preoccupied him the most: the difficulty of connection in an alienating modern world.
Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo edition of the movie, which is presented in Italian with English subtitles, contains the following features:
• New, restored high-definition digital film transfer, with »
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
6 items from 2014
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