9 items from 2015
First-time director Richard Wilson's B&W '50s western is different. Robert Mitchum is on-task as a town tamer with believable problems, both in exterminating gunslingers Claude Akins and Leo Gordon, and with making peace with his estranged wife, Jan Sterling. That's not to mention Mitchum's attraction for pacifist Karen Sharpe, and ditzy showgirl Barbara Lawrence. And don't forget an incredibly young Angie Dickinson. Man with the Gun Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1955 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 83 min. / Deadly Peacemaker / Street Date September 25, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Robert Mitchum, Jan Sterling, Karen Sharpe, Henry Hull, Emile Meyer, John Lupton, Barbara Lawrence, Ted de Corsia, Leo Gordon, James Westerfield, Jay Adler, Claude Akins, Joe Barry, Norma Calderón, Angie Dickinson, Mara McAfee, Maidie Norman, Robert Osterloh, Maudie Prickett, Stafford Repp. Cinematography Lee Garmes Film Editor Gene Milford Original Music Alex North Written by N.B. Stone Jr., Richard Wilson Produced by Samuel Goldwyn Jr. »
- Glenn Erickson
By John M. Whalen
When the “hardware widow” (Allyn Ann McClerie) asks Monte Walsh (Lee Marvin) if he’d gotten used to the idea of his long-time partner Chet Rollins (Jack Palance) and her being married, Monte says: “I never had so many things to get used to in my whole life, as now.” That line of dialogue in the middle of William Fraker’s “Monte Walsh” (1970) pretty much sums up this first and best film adaptation of Jack Schaeffer’s novel about the end of the Old West in general and the cowboy life in particular. It’s a true classic and even though it features two of the toughest tough guy actors of the sixties and seventies, it’s not a melodramatic shoot-em-up, full of violence, sound and fury. Rather it’s an elegiac portrait of the way it must have really happened, presented in a style as »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Let's hear it for the great westerns -- not the Ford and Hawks classics, but the fascinating marginal gems that see The West in a different way. Do you like Sam Peckinpah? Robert Parrish's evocation of Texas and Mexico in the 1880s will be pleasantly familiar -- a testing ground of personal codes and shifting loyalties in a treacherous land. The Wonderful Country Savant Blu-ray Review Kl Studio Classics 1959 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 98 min. / Street Date September 29, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Robert Mitchum, Julie London, Pedro Armendariz, Gary Merrill, Jack Oakie, Albert Dekker, Charles McGraw, Leroy "Satchel" Paige. Cinematography Floyd Crosby Film Editor Michael Luciano Production Design Harry Horner Original Music Alex North Written by Robert Ardrey from the book by Tom Lea Produced by Chester Erskine Directed by Robert Parrish
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
This gem is as individual a western as any made in the 1950s, and a »
- Glenn Erickson
Above: Jerzy Flisak’s 1972 poster for The Ballad of Cable Hogue (Sam Peckinpah, USA, 1970)To coincide with the complete retrospective of the films of Sam Peckinpah currently running at the Locarno Film Festival, I thought I might try to select the best posters of one of my favorite directors. But when I looked at all the posters for Peckinpah’s films it was clear that the best Peckinpah posters were made in Poland. There are a couple of great American one sheets from the 1970s—those stark black and white photographs for Straw Dogs and The Getaway—but nothing quite matches these six Polish designs for visual panache. Jerzy Flisak’s typically witty and playful poster for the most light-hearted of Peckinpah Westerns, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, is one of Flisak’s greatest designs and one that beautifully encapsulates the story of an old prospector exploiting a well in the Arizona desert. »
- Adrian Curry
This article by Fernando Ganzo is an excerpt from Capricci's monograph Sam Peckinpah, edited by Ganzo, which accompanies this year's retrospective at the Locarno Film Festival.Warren Oates in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. © Park Circus / MGM“Don’t ever ruin your career as a loser with a shitty success.”—Jorge OteizaThere is only one thing that can be said about a person as erratic, contradictory, mythomaniac, complex and profound as Sam Peckinpah: here is a director who was made in the image of his characters, those men who belong to a different era, born too late, in a world that opposed all freedom and eccentricity. We like to describe Peckinpah as one of the fathers of New Hollywood, of the baroque aesthetic of the 1970s, as someone who had a primordial and often regrettable influence on that particular style. This is not completely false. However, this »
Hong Sang-soo's Right Now, Wrong Then.The lineup for the 2015 festival has been revealed, including new films by Hong Sang-soo, Andrzej Zulawski, Chantal Akerman, Athina Rachel Tsangari, and others, alongside retrospectives and tributes dedicated to Sam Peckinpah, Michael Cimino, Bulle Ogier, and much more.Piazza GRANDERicki and the Flash (Jonathan Demme, USA)La belle saison (Catherine Corsini, France)Le dernier passage (Pascal Magontier, France)Der staat gegen Fritz Bauer (Lars Kraume, Germany)Southpaw (Antoine Fuqua, USA)Trainwreck (Judd Apatow, USA)Jack (Elisabeth Scharang, Austria)Floride (Philippe Le Guay, France)The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino, UK/USA)Erlkönig (Georges Schwizgebel, Switzerland)Guibord s'en va-t-en guerre (Philippe Falardeau, Canada)Bombay Velvet (Anurag Kashyap, India)Pastorale cilentana (Mario Martone, Italy)La vanite (Lionel Baier, Switzerland/France)The Laundryman (Lee Chung, Taiwan)Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, USA) I pugni ni tasca (Marco Bellocchio, Italy)Heliopolis (Sérgio Machado, Brazil)Amnesia (Barbet Schroeder, »
It's fitting that Clint Eastwood and John Wayne both have the same birthday week. (Wayne, who died in 1979, was born May 26, 1907, while Eastwood turns 85 on May 31). After all, these two all-American actors' careers span the history of that most American of movie genres, the western.
Both iconic actors were top box office draws for decades, both seldom stretched from their familiar personas, and both played macho, conservative cowboy heroes who let their firearms do most of the talking. Each represented one of two very different strains of western, the traditional and the revisionist.
As a birthday present to Hollywood's biggest heroes of the Wild West, here are the top 57 westerns you need to see.
57. 'Meek's Cutoff' (2010)
Indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt and her frequent leading lady, Michelle Williams, are the talents behind this sparse, docudrama about an 1845 wagon train whose Oregon Trail journey goes horribly awry. It's an intense »
- Gary Susman
Editor's Note: We're proud to announce that we are now the North American home for Locarno Film Festival Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian's blog. Chatrian has been writing thoughtful blog entries in Italian on Locarno's website since he took over as Director in late 2012, and now you can find the English translations here on Notebook as they're published. To kick things off, we're posting his piece on Sam Peckinpah, who was recently announced to be the subject of the festival's epic retrospective this year. The Locarno Film Festival will be taking place August 5th to 15th. ***The life of Sam Peckinpah sits like a splendid diamond set between two glorious eras for American cinema, one already on the decline and the other still to come. Retracing his career means looking as much at the great classical tradition that preceded him as at the new directors currently leaving their mark on the imagination. »
- Carlo Chatrian
Rome — The Locarno Film Festival will pay tribute to Sam Peckinpah with a complete retrospective of the maverick Hollywood director’s works, which include landmark Western “The Wild Bunch,” once called the “Citizen Kane” of the Vietnam generation, and other groundbreaking films such as “Straw Dogs,” “Ride the High Country” and “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.”
The Swiss festival dedicated to indie cinema will present Peckinpah’s complete filmography – with several films screened in newly restored prints – and a selection of his efforts for television ranging from works he wrote, produced or co-directed to those in which he performed as an actor. The screenings will be accompanied by discussions and a roundtable led by invited critics and filmmakers.
The retro is curated by Italian film programmer and historian Roberto Turigliatto.
Co-organizers are the Cinémathèque suisse in Lausanne, and the Cinémathèque française in Paris, which will host the entire program in September. »
- Nick Vivarelli
9 items from 2015
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