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12 items from 2010

What's wrong with Hitchcock's women?

21 October 2010 1:30 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Few would disagree that Alfred Hitchcock was a master film-maker, but the female characters in his films range from stupid to cunning to traitorous, complains Bidisha

Alfred Hitchcock, what a ladykiller. There he is, lurking with rotund grandeur at the very forefront of film greatness, like an over-zealous restaurant manager in a PG Wodehouse novel. There are lots of reasons to love Hitchcock, of course: the style, the guile, the pace, the pitch – I realised that afresh when watching a box set of all his films, in preparation for a talk at the Southbank Centre on Sunday. Hitch knows how to frame a shot. But when it comes to the ladies, it's slim pickings. Indeed that is literally what his women do: pick their way slimly through a range of awful experiences and deceitful pathologies so extreme you'd be howling with laughter, were the art of cinema not so very serious. »

- Bidisha

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Geek Gifts: Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection

19 October 2010 8:30 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Amazon’s Gold Box Deal of the Day is Alfred Hitchcock – The Masterpiece Collection.  Included in the box set are 14 classic Hitchock films for $51.00 (almost 60% off).  Included are:

Saboteur (1942), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Rope (1948), Rear Window (1954), The Trouble With Harry (1955), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Vertigo (1958), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964), Torn Curtain (1966), Topaz (1969), Frenzy (1972), Family Plot (1976)

While I always recommend Blu-ray over DVD, if you’ve never seen any of these classic films, this box set is an awesome way to start.  Hit the jump for more details but remember Amazon’s Gold Box Deal’s are only for one day.

–All 14 films are digitally re-mastered.

–Amazing star power spanning over three decades in Hollywood including James Stewart, Paul Newman, Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins, Doris Day, Grace Kelly and many, many more.

–All-new bonus disc showcases Hitchcock’s films, career and legacy.

–Ultra-premium velvet packaging

–36-page collectible book

–14 documentaries and 9 featurettes, »

- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub

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Robert Boyle obituary

10 August 2010 10:21 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Hollywood production designer who worked with Alfred Hitchcock on North By Northwest

Two of the great set pieces in Alfred Hitchcock's oeuvre are the thrilling climax of North By Northwest (1959), in which Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint are chased across the faces of the giant stone-carved presidents on Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, and the bird's-eye view of seagulls as they swoop down on Tippi Hedren, trapped in a phone booth in The Birds (1963). Much of the impact of these scenes was due to the art director Robert Boyle, who has died aged 100. Boyle also worked with Hitchcock on Saboteur (1942), Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and Marnie (1964). "It was a meeting of equals," Boyle stated. "The director who knew exactly what he wanted, and the art director who knew how to get it done."

Simply put, the director conceives scenes, the art director creates them and the cinematographer captures them. »

- Ronald Bergan

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Robert F Boyle, 1909 - 2010

4 August 2010 4:45 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

"Iconic Production Designer Robert F Boyle, who collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock and Norman Jewison, and [was] the recipient of an Honorary Oscar in 2008, died Sunday," reports Andre Soares at the Alt Film Guide. "He was 100. The Hitchcock films on which Boyle worked are: as associate art director, Saboteur (1942) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943); as production designer, The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964), and most notably North by Northwest (1959), which features Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint facing nasty spies atop Mount Rushmore.... In addition to Hitchcock and Jewison, Boyle worked with the likes of Richard Brooks, Michael Gordon, Alexander Hall, Penny Marshall, Budd Boetticher, Joe Dante, Sylvester Stallone, Hal Ashby, Arthur Hiller, Don Siegel and Tom Mankiewicz (who died this past Saturday)."

"Boyle is the subject of Daniel Raim's Oscar-nominated documentary The Man on Lincoln's Nose (2000), which refers to Hitchcock's North by Northwest," notes the Hollywood Reporter. "He also is a prominent subject »

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Robert F Boyle (Rip), Designed Many Classics

3 August 2010 7:28 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Sad news to report. Robert F Boyle, a four time Oscar nominee for Art Direction and Alfred Hitchcock's Production Designer during the Tippi Hedren years, passed away on Sunday at 100 years of age. He nearly made it to 101.

Here he is at the February 2008 Oscars with Nicole Kidman when he was 98.

When I published the list of Oldest Living Oscar Nominees last month, I didn't mean it as a morbid countdown, but as a tribute to these enduring artists and I hope it reads that way, even as they depart. We all must pass on eventually. Boyle had been the oldest of them all. May Luise Rainier, now the oldest at 100, live as long as Methusaleh.

Among Doyle's credits are classics like North by Northwest (Oscar nomination), Fiddler on the Roof (Oscar nomination), In Cold Blood, The Thomas Crown Affair and Cape Fear (the originals). In the last ten »


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Iconic Art Director Robert F. Boyle Dies: Alfred Hitchcock, Norman Jewison Collaborator

2 August 2010 7:23 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, North by Northwest Iconic Production Designer Robert F. Boyle, who collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock and Norman Jewison, and the recipient of an Honorary Oscar in 2008, died Sunday, Aug. 1, of natural causes following a two-day stay at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 100. The Hitchcock films on which Boyle worked are: as associate art director, Saboteur (1942) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943); as production designer, The Birds (1963), Marnie (1964), and most notably North by Northwest (1959), which features Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint facing nasty spies atop Mount Rushmore. Boyle’s other major motion picture credits as a production designer include numerous Universal releases of varying degrees of budgetary size (Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation, East of Sumatra, The Private War of Major Benson), plus Winter Kills, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Portnoy’s Complaint, and Private Benjamin. Also, In Cold [...] »

- Andre Soares

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Tiff Cinematheque To Screen Several Criterion Films This Summer

25 May 2010 9:25 PM, PDT | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

To celebrate its 20th Anniversary, it appears as though the Tiff Cinematheque is set to pull out all the stops.

According to Criterion, the Tiff, formerly known as the Cinematheque Ontario, will be bringing out a rather superb and cartoonishly awesome summer schedule, that will include films ranging from Kurosawa pieces, to films from Pier Paolo Pasolini. Other films include a month long series dedicated to James Mason, Eric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales, a tribute to Robin Wood, and most interesting, a retrospective on the works of one Catherine Breillat.

Personally, while the Kurosawa, Pasolini, and Rohmer collections sound amazing, the Breillat series is ultimately the collective that I am most interested in. Ranging from films like the brilliant Fat Girl, to the superb and underrated Anatomy of Hell, these are some of the most interesting and under seen pieces of cinema of recent memory, and are more than »

- Joshua Brunsting

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Film festival picks of the week

7 May 2010 4:18 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Oddsac, London, Manchester & Leeds

How to follow up one of the best albums of last year? Rather than release another cryptically titled psychedelic odyssey, New York uber-hipsters Animal Collective have gone even further out and made a film. Well, actually it's a "visual album", made with long-time artist collaborator Danny Perez. Four years in the making, featuring completely new music, Oddsac is a narrative-free, head-spinning vortex of abstract kaleidoscopic trippiness that, as one fan puts it, "makes Matthew Barney look like Matthew McConaughey". Confused? Perez and the band will be on hand to explain themselves.

Ica, SE1, Thu; Mint Lounge, Manchester, Fri; Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 15 May,

One Night In Turin, Nationwide

The summer blockbuster season is set to be called off for a few weeks this June while the World Cup hogs the nation's viewing attention instead. But to get us in the mood, and keep us in the cinema, »

- Steve Rose

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Stepping Up To Defend Roman Polanski...And Stepping Back Down Again.

14 April 2010 6:27 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Interview | See recent The Hollywood Interview news »

An Op-Ed

by Jon Zelazny

Critics, artists, and intellectuals the world over took last month’s release of The Ghost Writer as a fresh opportunity to proclaim both Roman Polanski’s genius and bemoan his despicable treatment by Los Angeles County and the Swiss government.

Don’t be fooled. The Ghost Writer is a perfectly capable adaptation of a rather pedestrian political thriller, but one can feel the maestro pouring thought and energy into every tiny nuance while either ignoring or disdaining the fact that the work as a whole is brittle, hollow, and often just plain silly. Ewan McGregor, a trouper, is saddled with playing a protagonist who seems less of a human being than an automaton tasked with carrying the plot; he reminded me of poor Sean Connery in Hitchcock’s Marnie… another case of a dynamic actor left stranded by an old director who didn’t seem »

- The Hollywood

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Martin Scorsese: master of the Hitchcock tribute

10 March 2010 1:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Martin Scorsese's new movie, Shutter Island, is full of references to Alfred Hitchcock. Play this new game and see if you can spot them

It's fair to say Martin Scorsese is king of the film nerds; every movie he has ever made is packed with references and allusions to earlier masterworks, everything from The Red Shoes to King of Kings. He has outdone himself with his new film, Shutter Island: he has taken the Hitchcockian atmosphere of murderous insanity and run with it, shoehorning in one Hitchcock bit after another.

Scorsese has form in this area: a couple of years ago, he shot a promo film for a Spanish cava-maker which took the shape of a very smart fake documentary; in it he claims to have discovered a "lost" Hitchcock script, which he then takes it upon himself to shoot. Have a look at it online at bit. »

- Andrew Pulver

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Tippi Hedren to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from The Humane Society

26 February 2010 2:57 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Melanie Griffith, Tippi Hedren (Photo: Bill Dow) Tippi Hedren, the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at The Humane Society of the United States‘ 2010 Genesis Awards. Hedren, who will be getting her trophy from the hands of daughter Melanie Griffith, will be honored for dedicating more than 40 years to the protection of animals, especially big felines. The Genesis Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 20, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. In 1983, Hedren set up the Roar Foundation’s Shambala Preserve, an 80-acre wildlife refuge in Acton, California, northeast of Los Angeles. Shambala is currently the home of 68 captive-born big cats, cast-offs from private owners, zoos [...] »

- Andre Soares

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Topics/Questions/Exercises Of The Week—27 February 2010

26 February 2010 6:57 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

A New Substantiation Of Auteurism: Sometimes the movies that are making money and the movies that are worth talking about are the same movies. Thanks, I guess, in part to myself, and to my esteemed colleague Jim Emerson, the conversation about Avatar isn't quite over yet. Threads on various sites and blogs, my own included, are all about the current box champ, Shutter Island, with comments covering everything from its plot twist to its putative continuity errors. And while the picture itself is only in a small number of theaters at the moment, The Ghost Writer is being hailed as a welcome adult thriller, and its signer is being considered as a filmmaker first, as opposed to history's greatest monster.

What do these pictures have in common? Well, I reckon you know the answer. Like them or not, all three are what you might call auteur pictures. Films by strong, »

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