20 items from 2012
For decades, French actress Catherine Deneuve has been a muse to such heralded and visionary directors as Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), Roman Polanski (Repulsion), Luis Buñuel (Bell de Jour), and Lars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark). She has carved out a reputation as a living legend with countless fearless portrayals where she's bared body and soul, and now she's set to team up with one of the few men who can say the same, Harvey Keitel. While Stateside, Keitel is typically known as a tough guy in films in Reservoir Dogs and Taxi Driver, he tempered his intimidating demeanor with a profound tenderness in Jane Campion's challenging love story The Piano. There, Keitel proved himself a surprisingly compelling romantic lead, and so his pairing with the oft-glorious Deneuve for a currently untitled romance is already incredibly enticing. Variety reports Robert Cantarella, an established playwright, actor and »
A La Cart: Satrapi’s Latest a Visual, Fairy Tale Buffet
Directors Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud prove they are as visually adept with live action cinema as they are with animation, unveiling Chicken With Plums, their follow-up to their much hailed 2007 debut, Persepolis, as an extravagant adaptation of Satrapi’s own graphic novel. As sumptuously gratifying as their film is, there’s a definite inadequacy in its naïve considerations of love and commitment that casts a hollow pallor over the proceedings. But that’s not to say you won’t be enchanted by the tragic melancholy buoyed by vibrant imagery and delightful, though distracting, multiple asides.
Set in 1950’s Tehran, we meet a famed and downtrodden violinist, Nasser Ali (Mathieu Amalric), desperately searching to replace his beloved instrument, recently broken beyond repair. Alas, he’s unable to find an instrument that compares, and decides that he will simply lie »
- Nicholas Bell
After much media hoopla about "Vertigo" toppling "Citizen Kane" in its poll, Sight and Sound magazine have now released the full version of its once a decade 'Top 250 greatest films of all time' poll results via its website. The site also includes full on links showcasing Top Tens of the hundreds of film industry professionals who participated in the project.
For those who don't want to bother with the individual lists and to save you a bunch of clicking, below is a copy of the full 250 films that made the lists and how many votes they got to be considered for their positions:
1 - Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958) [191 votes]
2 - Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941) [157 votes]
3 - Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953) [107 votes]
5 - Sunrise: a Song for Two Humans (Murnau, 1927) [93 votes]
6 - 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968) [90 votes]
7 - The Searchers (Ford, 1956) [78 votes]
8 - Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929) [68 votes]
9 - The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, »
- Garth Franklin
Beloved, the latest film from French writer/director Christophe Honoré, uses the history of the late 20th century as a framework for exploring the difficult love affairs of a mother, Madeleine (played as a young woman by Ludivine Sagnier and as an older woman by Catherine Deneuve) and her daughter, Vera (Chiarra Mastroianni). Like much of Honoré’s work, the movie is rich with allusions not only to literary and theatrical forms, but to the history of the cinema itself; opening in a Parisian shoe store in 1964, it takes Honoré only a few moments to reference The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Cléo From 5 To 7 and Les Bonnes Femmes before, in a single beat, spinning directly into a nod to Belle Du Jour. »
- Tom Hall
Directed by Jacques Demy
Written by Jacques Demy
There’s a bloke from Germany that can run the 100-metre dash in 13.6 seconds. He can also run the 200-metre in 31.56 seconds. There’s another lad who can run the 400-metre in 69.56 seconds. He’s also German.
The main concern regarding the two aforementioned tidbits is not the fact that they share common citizenship. No, the point of interest is their running time in the three events.
Although a tad underwhelming at first glance, and a bit unimpressive when compared to Olympic and world records, further context would render their achievements much more admirable.
For you see, they sprinted backwards.
One might ask the inevitable question of ‘why’. Running backwards is a contrived act of difficulty, is largely a gimmick with no substantial improvement to the form, and is generally overlooked as both. But despite all that, »
- Justin Li
Back in November, after having written Movie Poster of the Week for almost three years, I decided to start a Tumblr as a place to display all those orphan posters I loved: the ones I couldn’t find all that much to say about, that didn’t fit any current trend or personal train of thought but which needed to be seen. It seemed natural to call it Movie Poster of the Day and so I decided I would try to post just one single poster a day, ideally something unfamiliar yet worthy of attention. In February, Flavorpill declared Movie Poster of the Day one of the “Essential Tumblrs for film fans” which persuaded me it was worth continuing and over the past eight months I have somehow managed to post something every single day. In the process I seem to have amassed over 15,000 followers on Tumblr.
I have a »
Starting July 13th and running through September 2nd, prepare yourself to be transported to a summer vacation in France. All you have to do is check in at Tiff Cinematheque (350 King Street West, Toronto).
The 41-film sabbatical will make take you to popular and renowned destinations that include Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou (1965), Luis Buñuel’s Belle de Jour (1967), François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959), and Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion (1937).
Remember to pack lightly, re-schedule accordingly, and prepare for the ultimate staycation. Bon voyage!
La Grand Illusion (1937)
Friday July 13 at 6:00 Pm
Sunday July 22 at 7:30 Pm
Heralded as “one of the fifty best films in the history of cinema” by Time Out Film Guide, Jean Renoir »
- Justin Li
Like his Les Chansons d'Amour, Christophe Honoré's Beloved (aka Les Bien-Aimés) is a homage to the French new wave and especially to Jacques Demy's musicals Les Parapluies de Cherbourg and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort. But the film lacks Demy's lightness and charm, as its well-heeled, beautifully dressed characters dance and sing themselves from the 1960s to 2007. They fall in love, practise a little stylish prostitution and, as the action moves from Prague to Paris to London to Montreal, they're affected by, but do not genuinely experience, the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Aids crisis in the 80s, and the horrors of 9/11. Catherine Deneuve is as wonderful as she was in her early films with Demy, and her screen daughter is played by her real life daughter, the enchanting Chiara Mastroianni, who like Ludivine Sagnier and Louis Garrel, starred in Les Chansons d'Amour. Those who like Beloved will file it under guilty pleasures. »
- Philip French
This review originally ran in November when The Fairy played as part of the St. Louis International Film Festival
What if you met a real life fairy? How would you know? What would you do? American audiences had a similar proposition presented through cinema in 1984′s Splash, replacing a fairy with a mermaid, with whom Tom Hanks fell deeply in love with. The 2011 French film La Fee (The Fairy) is also a romantic fantasy, co-written and co-directed by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy.
The Fairy is about a man named Dom, played by Dominique Abel. He works as the front desk clerk in a small hotel. He’s friendly, quiet, and perhaps more than a little naive. In the beginning of the film, Dom is hoping to settle down for the evening with some television and a sandwich. Unfortunately, business chooses otherwise.
After first handling an odd customer and his scurrying bag, »
- Travis Keune
Meet the four young actors who will be playing the Pevensie children in Rupert Goold's new stage adaptation of Cs Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Rehearsals are currently underway with performances to start on May 8th, prior to an official opening on May 29th, at a specially created venue in the grounds of London's Kensington Gardens.
Philip Labey (represented by Cole Kitchenn), a graduate of Guildford School of Acting (2009), will play the eldest of the Pevensie siblings, Peter.
Carly Bawden (represented by Shepherd Management) originally from Somerset, and also a graduate of Guildford School of Acting will play Susan. Carly recently played Catherine in the revival of Pippin at the Menier Chocolate Factory and previously starred in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and the Evita tour.
- email@example.com (ScreenTerrier)
Her father, Marcello Mastroianni, was Italy's biggest film star, while her mother, Catherine Deneuve, was the queen of French cinema. As her latest film is released, Chiara Mastroianni reveals the artistic secrets she inherited from Europe's golden couple
When you've grown up as the daughter of not one but two screen icons, you might be fed up with talking about how great your parents are. Especially when you're in the same business. Not so with Chiara Mastroianni. "I hate talking about myself," the actor tells me very early into our interview. "So, you know, I can just bury all that quite easily. If someone wants to know about my mother and father, I tell them – everyone thinks they know them better than I do anyway."
In mainland Europe that may be true, though they are perhaps less revered in modern-day Britain. Mastroianni's parents are Catherine Deneuve, still the grande dame of the French screen, »
- Jason Solomons
Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni Screen legend Catherine Deneuve was honored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center at a gala ceremony held this evening in New York City. Deneuve is the 39th recipient of the Film Society's Chaplin Award. In the above photo, she is seen with her daughter Chiara Mastroianni. (Needless to say, Marcello Mastroianni was the father.) [Full list of Chaplin Award Honorees.] Catherine Deneuve's career spans more than five decades. Among her dozens of notable movies are Jacques Demy's Palme d'Or-winning musical Les Parapluies de Cherbourg / The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964); Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965); Demy’s Les Demoiselles de Rochefort / The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), in which Deneuve co-starred with her sister Françoise Dorleác, in addition to Danielle Darrieux, Gene Kelly, Jacques Perrin, and George Chakiris; Luis Buñuel’s Belle de Jour (1967) and Tristana (1970); François Truffaut's Le Dernier Métro / The Last Metro (1980), with Gérard Depardieu; Tony Scott’s The Hunger »
- Andre Soares
One of the pleasures of digging around for movie posters is coming across great designs for films that have otherwise been forgotten, that have not become part of the pantheon—or even any of its foothills—but which nevertheless are fascinating reminders of areas of cinema history that are usually ignored. The other day I posted a lovely Russian poster on Movie Poster of the Day for an adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s White Nights that I wasn’t familiar with but which, I then discovered, was directed by a man described as “the high priest of Stalinist Cinema.” You can read more about that here.
When this terrific poster for Le passe-muraille caught my eye I knew absolutely nothing about the film, and, with the exception of English actress Joan Greenwood (Kind Hearts and Coronets), nearly every name on the poster, from star Bourvil to director Jean Boyer to author Marcel Aymé, »
The first feature to be directed by Mélanie Laurent, best known in the English-speaking world for her playing the French heroine of Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, is a soft-centred, romantic movie of love and family life in provincial France. In its whimsical, bittersweet way it's very like Les parapluies de Cherbourg and Les demoiselles de Rochefort without the music.
In this case the pretty young women are two sisters living in Lyon, one adopted, the other a single mother with a delightful little son, both close to their tough handsome mother. The adopted girl, Marine, manages a bookshop specialising in Anglo-Saxon literature. The first time she appears, she and her boyfriend, Alex, a restaurant critic, re-enact a French version of the bookshop encounter between Bogart and Dorothy Malone from the film version of The Big Sleep, which rather sets the general tone. The single mother, Lisa (played by Laurent herself), writes »
- Philip French
Go to composer Michel Legrand's site and you'll be greeted by Barbra Streisand's newish rendition of one of his greatest hits, "The Windmills of Your Mind," originally composed for The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) — it won Legrand his first Oscar. This version opens Streisand's last album, What Matters Most, which, if you throw in the Deluxe Edition Bonus Disc, features eight more Legrand tunes. She's a fan. While Legrand won his second Oscar for his score for Summer of '42 (1971), it was Yentl (1983) that scored him his third win, plus two more nominations, one each for two songs Streisand sings in the film.
Les Films du Losange notes that Legrand turns 80 today, a fine occasion to remind ourselves that, before the "Windmills" years, Legrand worked with Godard (A Woman Is a Woman, Vivre sa vie, Band of Outsiders) and appeared in Agnès Varda's Cléo From 5 to 7 (1961) before he »
Whose Film Is It Anyway? Contemporary Japanese Auteurs, On tour
The Japanese movie scene moves faster than we can keep up with over here, so consider this a catch-up on names you might want to remember. Best known might be Yôji "Twilight Samurai" Yamada, whose family drama About Her Brother has been compared to Mike Leigh and Ozu, and Masayuki "Shall We Dance?" Suo, whose I Just Didn't Do It tackles a subway groping incident. As for the younger talents, Kenji Uchida weaves a Pulp Fictionesque web in A Stranger Of Mine; Miwa Nishikawa has scooped awards with her Dear Doctor, about a rural impostor, while Takatsugu Naitô's The Dark Harbour has been described as "a Wes Anderson social comedy set in a small Japanese fishing village." The programme tours seven cities, finishing in Nottingham on 28 Mar.
Ica, SW1, Fri to 16 Feb
Glasgow Film Festival
Think of it more as a season of festivals, »
- Steve Rose
For over a century, theatre has been inspired by the movies, and vice versa. If only musicals would keep their relationship with Hollywood to a Brief Encounter
What, you may wonder, is a section on film doing in a study of modern theatre? The fact is that film and theatre have been getting into bed together virtually since the invention of movies. Cinema has always fed off theatrical talent; modern theatre has been shaped by the techniques of cinema. But while it's natural the two forms should interact, I worry that theatre today is becoming lazily dependent on cinematic content.
The first thing to say is that, for over a century, theatre has been enthralled by the movies. In 1911 a Hamburg revue showed a film of Neptune touring the city's streets and entering the theatre door only to appear in three dimensions on the actual stage: exactly the kind of »
- Michael Billington
From today through February 1, we're partnering with the My French Film Festival to show you ten recently released French features (first and second films) and ten French shorts. Presented by Unifrance, the festival invites you to award points to the films you like at the main site — and these points count, as six prizes will be awarded (three for features, three for shorts): the Internet Users Prize, Social Networks Prize and International Press Prize.
Outside of both competitions, we've also got a few extra presentations. The online festival was a hit around the world last year and you won't want to miss this second edition.
A few quick notes on the films, starting with the features:
Rebecca Zlotowski's Belle épine (Dear Prudence), winner of the prestigious Prix Louis Delluc for Best First Film, is "closer to a sobering character study than a classical youth film," finds Chris Cabin in Slant. »
Catherine Deneuve Catherine Deneuve, 68, will be the recipient of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's 39th Chaplin Award. The annual fundraising gala benefiting Lincoln Center programs will be held on Monday, April 2, at the Alice Tully Hall in New York. The evening will include films clips and a party. [Full list of Film Society of Lincoln Center (Fslc) Chaplin Award Honorees.] Catherine Deneuve's career spans more than five decades, from André Hunebelle's Les collégiennes / The Schoolgirls (1957), Jacques-Gérard Cornu's L'homme à femmes / Ladies Man (1960), and Michel Fermaud and Jacques Poitrenaud's Les Portes claquent / The Door Slams 1960) to her latest efforts: Christophe Honoré's Les Biens-aimés / The Beloved, shown at last year's Cannes Film Festival; Thierry Klifa's Les Yeux de sa mère / His Mother's Eyes; and Laurent Tirard's upcoming Astérix et Obélix: Au Service de Sa Majesté / Astérix et Obélix: On Her Majesty's Secret Service, as Cordelia, the Queen of England, opposite frequent co-star Gérard Depardieu and Edouard Baer. »
- Andre Soares
Clip joint takes a sip of water and checks its vocal range before selecting the most scintillating microphones scenes in cinema
Microphones are powerful devices. As soon as you step behind one of these silvery beacons of communication, it's suddenly your duty to enlighten and entertain the crowd. Under this kind of pressure most people wilt, but some are able to pull out stunning speeches that connect with everyone in earshot.
Of course, cinema was designed for granstanding scenarios such as this, and for any serious actor it's the perfect opportunity to show off. Centre of attention? Check. Everyone listening? Check. A chance to weep uncontrollably? Double check. Via the microphone, the big screen has offered up a deluge of scenes in which characters have either sung, proclaimed or bawled their way into cinematic folklore.
Below are some of the greatest uses of a microphone in film. If you think »
20 items from 2012
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