19 items from 2011
 George Clooney may be among the most prominent of celebrities, a fabulously wealthy, incredibly successful man at the very top of the A-list. But it seems there's a side of him that isn't so very different from film geeks like us who watch his movies. (Yes, all of that was a long-winded way of saying "Clooney: He's just like us!") For a recent interview about his upcoming Ides of March, which Clooney directed, produced, and starred in, Clooney revealed his top 100 films from 1964 to 1976, which he believes to be "the greatest era in filmmaking by far." The list is definitely cinephile-friendly, if not especially surprising: it includes tons of major classics and a handful of somewhat lesser known gems, all across a very wide variety of genres. Read the top 100 after the jump. Clooney told Parade  magazine that of that 100, his top five favorites are All the President's Men, Network, »
- Angie Han
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is hosting, "Prince of the City: Remembering Sidney Lumet," a memorial retrospective of Sidney Lumet's work, will take place July 19 - 25 at the Walter Reade Theater. Guest appearances include screenwriter Walter Bernstein after the screening of "Fail-safe" on July 20 and Luis Guzman, Paul Calderon and Judge Edwin Torres after the screening of "Q&A" on July 24. Other screenings of his work »
With the passing of iconic filmmaker Sidney Lumet came not only an outpouring of love and respect for the late, legendary New Yorker, but a re-visiting of his filmography.
Now, thanks to the Film Society Of Lincoln Center, it’s time for his surrogate hometown’s turn to share in the showing of respect.
The New York-based Film Society will be honoring Lumet with a new retrospective, entitled Prince Of The City: Remembering Sidney Lumet, and will be running from July 19 until July 25. Including a series of guest speakers including the likes of Lauren Bacall, Walter Bernstein, Bobby Cannavale, Glenn Close, Jonathan Demme, James Gandolfini, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jenny Lumet, David Mamet, Phylilis Newman and Christopher Walken, the retrospective will feature many of his works.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center – Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65 Street, »
- Joshua Brunsting
The big-budget (usually summer) blockbuster is the financial cornerstone of the American motion picture industry, and has been for much of the last 35 years or so. In all its forms – action/adventure, suspense, Western, war story, horror, science fiction, fantasy, et al – the big budget thriller’s earning power is unmatched by any other movie form. Romantic comedies like The Proposal (2009), slapstick and teen comedies like The Hangover (2009) and Little Fockers (2010), are sometimes capable of blockbuster-caliber domestic earnings, but rarely match those of the thriller, nor can they rival its attraction overseas. The performances of more adult-themed dramas and comedies – even those considered financial successes — are often weaker still. The reliance of most major thriller releases today on action-driven plots is a form of cinematic Esperanto, transcending barriers of language and cultural nuance. The blockbuster thriller is as accessible to Asian audiences as it is to Latin American audiences as it is to U. »
- Bill Mesce
One of the true giants passed away this week: filmmaker Sidney Lumet, dead at 86 of lymphoma.
He was one of an incredibly talented class of directors who graduated from the early days of TV; a group which included such august talents as Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde, 1967), George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969), John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, 1962), Arthur Hiller (The Hospital, 1971), Franklin J. Schaffner (Patton, 1970), Norman Jewison (In the Heat of the Night, 1967), Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962), Martin Ritt (Hud, 1963), and Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch, 1969). Only Jewison is left, now, and as each has passed, mainstream American moviemaking has gotten a little louder, a little emptier, and a little dumber.
TV drama in the early days was almost like good theater: it was usually live, smart, provocative, rich with real-world character and sharp dialogue. Very early on, Lumet was considered one of the »
- Bill Mesce
Sidney Lumet, an American film director known for inspiring top-notch performances from actors in a stream of classic films including "12 Angry Men," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Network" and "Fail-Safe," died on Saturday at age 86, his Hollywood talent agency said.Lumet's death at his Manhattan home was confirmed by Michelle Suess, a spokeswoman for International Creative Management in Los Angeles.Lumet was one of the leading film directors of the second half of the 20th century. He was prolific, directing more than 40 movies, and was versatile, dabbling in many different film genres. He shot many of his movies in his native New York.Lumet received an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 2005. He was nominated for Oscars five times without winning: as best director for "12 Angry Men" (1957), "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975), "Network" (1976) and "The Verdict" (1982), and for best screenplay as co-writer of "Prince Of The City" (1981).His films, nominated in a variety »
Sidney Lumet wrote the book on making movies. Literally. His fascinating and wise 1995 career memoir/handbook Making Movies is unlike any other film book I know. He meticulously takes you through the process in a way even the greatest pros can learn from. It’s a must- reference to have but even greater is the remarkably fine filmography he has left behind. Although his movie career actually stretches back to 1939, Hollywood’s greatest year, when as a teen actor he made his film debut in …One Third of a Nation… , his real beginnings were throughout the 50’s as a leading director in TV’s Golden Age and most significantly in 1957 with his feature directorial debut, 12 Angry Men. This penultimate courtroom drama knocked it out of the park. It “explodes like 12 sticks of dynamite” the ads said and it did establishing Lumet’s gritty New York-based style and winning Oscar nominations »
- NIKKI FINKE
Sidney Lumet (1924-2011), one of the last of the great filmmaking giants whose career embodied both the old-Hollywood style of the '50s and the new wave social realism of the '60s and '70s, has passed on at age 86 from lymphoma.
The New York Times states the director died at his home in Manhattan; fitting, since he was known as the consummate New York director, setting the bulk of his over-40 directorial efforts in the city that doesn't sleep. He made an auspicious debut in 1957 at age 33 with the Henry Fonda version of "12 Angry Men," which showed his mastery at building tension by setting the movie almost entirely in a single jury deliberation room.
He went on to do many films with social themes, covering nuclear war ("Fail-Safe"), police corruption ("Serpico"), and the media's corrosive effect on society ("Network"). Lumet also showed that he could abandon the heavy »
- Max Evry
By Lee Pfeiffer
Acclaimed film director Sidney Lumet has died at age 86 from lymphoma. Lumet was nominated four times for Best Director Oscars but never won. However, he did receive an honorary Oscar for his life's work in 2005. Lumet, who started as a child actor, was - along with Woody Allen- the quintessential New York director and preferred working in Gotham whenever possible. He expressed an aversion to Hollywood early in his career. His career boasted a remarkable and diverse number of classic movies including 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, The Pawnbroker, Murder on the Orient Express, The Verdict, The Anderson Tapes, The Hill and Fail Safe. I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Lumet in his New York office and screening room some years ago when we worked on his audio commentary for the Fox DVD of The Verdict. I had met him previously »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
© Paramount / Courtesy: Everett Collection Sidney Lumet in 1983.
In the last scene of Sidney Lumet’s last film, “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” a father and son played by two formidable actors, Albert Finney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, grapple with each other in garish mortal combat that goes beyond Shakespearean into a realm of intensity that’s quintessentially Lumetian. The director, who died this morning at the age of 86, loved actors, loved drama, loved making movies and made a »
- Joe Morgenstern
Few, at this point, would dispute that the 1970s is the single greatest decade in American filmmaking after World War II. If you were to list the landmark movies that were central to the decade’s pop-cultural identity, that list would surely include the following three films: Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and Network (1976). Those three classics — made, bang bang bang, more or less right in a row — were all directed by the same man, Sidney Lumet, who died today at 86. Yet Lumet, one of the most exciting American filmmakers who ever lived, occupies, to this moment, a unique and slightly »
- Owen Gleiberman
Some sad news today; director Sidney Lumet has passed away at age 86. According to his stepdaughter, the cause of death was lymphoma. After receiving his start in television, the prolific director's career spanned over 60 years and included classics like 12 Angry Men, Network, and Dog Day Afternoon, among others. His films often focused on social issues, stating that he wanted to make audiences "examine one facet or another of [their] own conscience. It stimulates thought and sets the mental juices flowing.” Lumet may not be as well known a name as contemporaries like Robert Altman or Stanley Kubrick; most likely due to his workman-like style. In his book Making Movies, he summed up his thoughts on direction by stating, “Good style, to me, is unseen style. It is style that is felt.” Through all his years of hard work, Lumet turned out many impressive films, ranging from courtroom dramas to musicals to »
Legendary director Sidney Lumet, the man behind such classic films as 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, and Network, passed away Saturday morning in his Manhattan home at the age of 86. The cause of death was lymphoma.
Sidney Lumet was a technical genius known for his ability to get Oscar-worthy performances out of his actors. A thick social commentary runs throughout the late director's oeuvre, as he was an artist whose life goal was to examine the consequences of prejudice, corruption, and betrayal. Often compared to his contemporary Martin Scorsese, Sidney directed more than forty movies in his lifetime, most of which were set in New York City.
Lumet began his career as an actor on Broadway at a very young age, appearing alongside such icons as Yul Brynner and Eli Wallach. He made his stage directing debut in 1955, and then went onto direct for CBS, helming numerous episodes of both Danger and You Are There. »
Sidney Lumet, the gifted director of crime and punishment morality tales set in New York, died earlier today of Lymphona. He was 86 years old. Out of the legends we’ve lost these past four weeks (of which have been all too frequent), for me personally this is the hardest to swallow. He was a director I felt connected with, whose movies I shared a bond with, and I can’t believe I won’t get to see him make another.
Most directors get worse with age, even those who dominated the film scene at their peak but it never really happened with Sidney Lumet. Ok – so there was a bit of downtime in the 90′s but unlike John Carpenter or many other former greats, he picked it back up in the 00′s and finished his career on a high. He was a rarity in the business that he never suffered »
- Matt Holmes
The world of filmmaking lost a giant Saturday morning when Sidney Lumet died at the age of 86.Born in 1924, Lumet started out as a theatre actor before moving on to directing (and occasionally performing in) live TV. He segued to film with a stone cold classic – how many people can claim a first movie as great as jury room drama 12 Angry Men?After that successful launch, he’d go on to critical acclaim with the likes of Long Day’s Journey into Night, The Verdict, Fail-Safe, and his two collaborations with Al Pacino, Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon. As well as his work with Pacino, he’ll likely be best remembered for bringing the world the fizzing, prophetic news satire Network, based on Paddy Chayefsky’s script.While his later work, including The Wiz and Gloria, didn’t find quite the same level, he ended strong with Find Me Guilty »
9 April 2011 9:55 AM, PDT | IMDb News
Director Sidney Lumet, whose gritty portraits of New York City earned him four Oscar nominations for Best Director for films such as Dog Day Afternoon and Network, died Saturday of lymphoma at his home in Manhattan; he was 86. Synonymous with the New York filmmaking scene, Lumet prowled the streets of his adopted hometown in a wide variety of films, working in the nascent medium of television in the early 1950s before making his feature film directorial debut in 1957 with the cinematic adaptation of the jury room classic 12 Angry Men, starring Henry Fonda. That film earned Lumet his first Oscar nomination and started a prolific career that would take him through crime dramas, Broadway and literary adaptations, occasional Hollywood films, and lacerating satires.
Born in Philadelphia to parents who were in show business -- his father was an actor and director, his mother a dancer -- he appeared in numerous Broadway plays as a child and young adult before serving three years in the Army during World War II and returning to New York to direct. Lumet's directorial style, described as "lightning quick" in an era when American cinema was still burdened by the limitations of decorative and expensive Hollywood films, earned him a successful career in television, where he adapted numerous plays for such early shows as Playhouse 90 and Studio One, and worked with the young Walter Cronkite on the news series You Are There. He directed a TV version of 12 Angry Men before turning it into a successful 1957 film, starring Henry Fonda as the lone dissenting juror in a murder trial; the film earned three Academy Award nominations (Best Picture, Director and Screenplay) and singlehandedly established Lumet's cinematic directing career.
Lumet alternated film and television work in the late 1950s and early 1960s -- including a television version of The Iceman Cometh starring Jason Robards -- before helming a number of acclaimed cinematic films in the early 1960s: the devastating adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962) starring Katharine Hepburn and Ralph Richardson; the New York drama The Pawnbroker (1964), which earned Rod Steiger a Best Actor Oscar nomination; and the nuclear drama Fail-Safe (also 1964), starring Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau. Through the late 1960s and early 1970s some of Lumet's work was uneven -- adaptations of bestsellers The Group (1966) and The Anderson Tapes (1971) as well as Chekhov's The Sea Gull (1968) are admirable but not entirely successful -- but scored again throughout the 1970s. The crime drama Serpico (1973) helped cement Al Pacino's star status after The Godfather -- and earned the actor his first Best Actor Oscar nomination, and the actor and director paired again in 1975's Dog Day Afternoon, the story of a bank heist gone crazily awry; the film, now considered a modern classic, earned Lumet and Pacino Oscar nominations and some of the best reviews of their careers. In between those films, set in New York, Lumet took a literal and figurative jaunt with the successful adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (1974), an upper-class murder mystery set on a luxury European train that seemed as far from the seamy streets of Manhattan as possible.
In 1976, Lumet explored the themes of media exposure and saturation he delved into with Dog Day Afternoon even further with the scathing television satire and drama Network, starring William Holden, Faye Dunaway and Peter Finch. Lumet, along with screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, pioneered the idea (and condemnation) of what is now commonly thought of as reality TV in his story of a network anchorman (Finch) who suffers a breakdown on live television with the rallying cry "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!", and the television executive (Dunaway) who turns him into a folk hero, TV icon, and tragic figure, ultimately goading him into committing suicide live on television. The film, still potent and more lacerating than most explorations of modern media since, won Finch and Dunaway Oscars; Finch's award was posthumous, as the actor died in early 1977. It remains one of only two films to win three Academy Awards for acting (the third for supporting actress Beatrice Straight, who appeared onscreen for less than six minutes), the other being A Streetcar Named Desire.
After that string of commercial and financial hits, Lumet's career included a wide variety of films: adaptations of Broadway hits Equus (1977, fairly successful), The Wiz (1978, a musical flop but a strangely visionary view of New York), Deathtrap (1982, unexpected fun if not a perfect film); crime drama Prince of the City (1981, one of Lumet's most unheralded fims); courtroom drama The Verdict (1982, a big hit that earned star Paul Newman and Lumet Oscar nominations); Hollywood melodrama (1986's The Morning After, starring Jane Fonda); and indie drama (Running On Empty, the 1988 drama with River Phoenix in his only Oscar-nominated performance). Lumet's last film was the 2007 drama Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, which starred indie stalwarts Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Ethan Hawke, and Amy Ryan.
Lumet was married four times, first to actress Rita Gam, second to socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, and third to Gail Jones, daughter of Lena Horne. He married Mary Gimbel, who survives him, in 1980 and had two daughters with Ms. Jones, Amy Lumet and screenwriter Jenny Lumet, who scripted the drama Rachel Getting Married. Nominated for five Oscars (four for directing, one for screenplay), Lumet was awarded an honorary Academy Award at the 2004 Oscars. »
- Mark Englehart
Sidney Lumet, the director behind an astonishing number of classic films and who boasted the distinction of directing a film in each decade since the 1950s, died today at age 86 after suffering lymphoma. His most recent and final film was Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, the 2007 crime thriller that was named by many critics as one of the year's best, and his resume also includes The Verdict, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Fail-Safe and The Wiz. Many of his most remarkable movies were made within a five-year stretch of the 1970s; it's still incredible to look back and realize that Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, Dog Day Afternoon and Network were made in such a short period of time. Though film nerds can argue for hours about which of Lumet's films is the best, Network often wins out, and it's the one I'll be thinking about today. The »
Director Sidney Lumet, who brought us such classic films as 12 Angry Men , Dog Day Afternoon , Network and Fail-Safe , died on Saturday at the age of 86. Lumet directed more than 40 movies and shot many of his movies in his native New York. Lumet received an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 2005. He previously had been nominated for Oscars five times without winning: as best director for 12 Angry Men (1957), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976) and The Verdict (1982); and for best screenplay as co-writer of Prince of the City (1981). His films were nominated for more than 50 Oscars. From 1964 to 1976, Lumet directed 18 films, including Fail-Safe , The Pawnbroker , The Group , The Anderson Tapes , Serpico , Murder on the Orient Express »
Peter Watkins' The War Game The War Game Review: Part I Given the spate of nuclear Armageddon films made in the 1960s — e.g., Sidney Lumet's Fail Safe, Franklin J. Schaffner's Planet of the Apes — and up through the early 1980s television production The Day After, it’s remarkable how such a low-budget effort like The War Game retains its effectiveness when almost all other films on the topic seem corny. In fact, it’s likely that the timelessness of Watkins' film is the very reason it was banned for nearly two decades. Scenes of British police shooting civilians were probably deemed too disturbing. Worse yet, the film’s realistic feel and unflinching look at the total inability of the U.K. government to protect its citizens from a nuclear attack — or to care for them following one such attack — surely caused waves. When The War Game was delayed for broadcast, »
- Dan Schneider
19 items from 2011
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