15 items from 2010
It seems like only yesterday that the American Film Institute released their 100 Years...100 Movies  list. Actually though, it was over 10 years ago when we first got our look at that "definitive" list of the 100 best American movies. They then did a ten year anniversary of it in 2007 with only minor adjustments and both years Citizen Kane held the number one place as the best American movie. Of course, the problem with those lists is that they only list American films. While Hollywood might be considered the epicenter of film, the art form itself spans the globe, way beyond American borders. That's why the Toronto International Film Festival came up with their Essential 100 movies. Created by merging lists made by Toronto Film Festival supporters along with another made by their programmers, these are supposed to be the 100 essential movies every cinephile must see. And it starts off with a bang as Citizen Kane has been toppled. »
- Germain Lussier
Best Animated Feature
Directed by Tomm Moore
I realize The Secret Of Kells was nominated for an Academy Award in 2009, but technically the film was only released in 2010 and quite frankly I don’t care much for the Oscars. The Secret of Kells remains a feast for the eyes with its meticulous drawings, a throwback to the more stylized, painterly work of decades past. Steeped in magic, history, religion and Celtic mytholosgy, the subject matter may be a tad obscure for American audiences but at least it offers a refreshing alternative to Hollywood fare. Quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, The Secret Of Kells features a powerful message, appealing characters and a unique visual style.
Special mention: Toy Story 3
Directed by Banksy
Exit Through the Gift Shop initiates a role reversal in which documentarian becomes artist »
Raiders. Manhattan. Suspiria. Jeff looks back at ten of the most distinctive, unforgettable opening sequences in cinema’s history…
In fishing terminology, it’s the hook. In literature, the prologue. In teacher lingo, the ‘mental set.’ Call it what you will, movies also have methods to lure in audiences within the first several minutes.
Some of these set pieces are so meticulously orchestrated and satisfying in and of themselves that they even threaten to outweigh the rest of their respective flicks. Here are ten classic opening sequences you shouldn’t be without.
Did we miss one? Then add your own in the comments below!
The Indy series is more or less Steven Spielberg’s attempt to one-up James Bond (directorially speaking), with each of the movies aping 007’s opening set pieces, while not being explicitly tied to the main narrative.
Temple Of Doom probably wins »
So there's this meme going around that Paolo tagged me with. So why not? The idea is that you list 15 directors, mainly off of the top of your head, that contributed to the way you experience and think about the movies. This is not a list of my all time favorites though half of the list would probably overlap. This is the list I come up with when I think briefly on the formative masterminds and/or the ones that have or had some sort of claim on my soul if you will. Three of them I could definitely live without at this point but I'm trying to be honest about the exercize.
Wise with Wood ~ West Side Story So here goes in no particular order...
Robert Wise (1914-2005)
- NATHANIEL R
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Once again The Criterion Collection digs into master director Ingmar Bergman’s vault and brings us his exquisite, enigmatic film from 1958, The Magician (originally titled The Face in the UK; in fact, the Swedish title, Ansiktet, means “Face”).
Set sometime in the 1800s, the story concerns a traveling magic and medicine show called “Vogler’s Magnetic Health Theater.” The troupe consists of Vogler (Max von Sydow), the mute magician of the picture’s title, his “ward,” Mr. Aman (Ingrid Thulin in disguise, although it’s no surprise that the character is a woman), Tubal (Ake Fridell), who acts as manager/spokesman, and the inscrutable Granny (Naima Wifstrand), an old witch who dabbles in love potions. Picked up along the road is an alcoholic actor, Spegel (Bengt Ekerot, who was memorable as Death in The Seventh Seal).
Before the company »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
One of my most popular articles ever was the one I wrote following the release of Inception titled "Wake Up! Let's Talk about 'Inception' - Here's My Interpretation. It gave me an opportunity to work out my theories on the film and its ending and allowed readers to discuss their personal interpretations. At this moment it has over 440 comments and serves as the most read article on the site for 2010. Why? Not because my interpretation was some whirlwind interpretation, but because people wanted to read not only my opinion, but share their interpretations and read the opinions of others.
This was the beauty of Inception and Christopher Nolan's decision not to end the film with a clear cut answer as to whether the top fell or continued to spin. It's the reason you heard groans in the theater followed by laughter as audience members were waiting to »
- Brad Brevet
Chicago – What truly defines a master of suspense? Is it the skill of keeping an audience’s attention rapt with slick pacing, elaborately designed set-pieces, and a whopper of a twist ending? Or is it simply the ability to viscerally convey the psychological trap of a character until the audience feels confined within it, and every onscreen gasp, scream and shiver becomes the viewer’s own?
Henri-Georges Clouzot is one of the few filmmakers in cinema history who not only warrants comparison to the legendary Master of Suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock, but deserves to be considered his equal (both men were greatly fond of storyboards). Though he only made a quarter as many pictures during his career, which spanned nearly four decades, he made some of the most influential and spellbinding thrillers ever made, including two renowned masterpieces, 1953’s “The Wages of Fear” and 1955’s “Diabolique.” The latter film certainly »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
With Criterion staple, and all around film legend (and my personal favorite filmmaker of all time) Jean Luc-Godard (Breathless, A Woman Is A Woman, Made In The U.S.A, just to name a few) set to receive an honorary Oscar from the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences, it looks like the Academy is set to honor yet another legend in the world of film.
According to the Criterion blog, the Academy is set to play host to the La premiere of a new exhibition, entitled Ingmar Bergman: Truth And Lies, all organized by the Deutsche Kinemathek, along with the Bergman Foundation.
Exhibition Information When September 16 through December 12, 2010 Where The Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery Public viewing hours Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m.*
*Sunday, October 10: 1 to 6 p.m. Admission Free
The show will feature movie clips »
- Joshua Brunsting
Let's talk Sissy Spacek. My friend Matt has been highlighting her something fierce over at Pop Matters, but why should he have the Sissy all to himself?
The great actress, everyone's favorite telekinetic murderess, is finally in a buzzy film again (Get Low opens today). And though I don't much care for the new movie, it's always nice when a frequently absent major actress wins Oscar buzz and praise again.
She's a big name but what does that name mean to today's moviegoers? For people born in the late 80s or 1990s, maybe her stint on TV's Big Love comes immediately to mind (Emmy nominated this year). But I'm guessing if it's not the cross-generational popular Carrie, it's mainly In the Bedroom that takes over the imagination: Sissy breaking plates, Sissy slapping Marisa Tomei, Sissy taking weird drags on her cigarette that manage to be both furious and catatonic simultaneously. »
- NATHANIEL R
Beginning in the mid 1960’s with the inspired psychodrama Persona, Ingmar Bergman began a substantial working relationship with actress Liv Ullman. Over the course of the next decade Bergman and Ullman would team up for nine pictures culminating in this drama about the attempted reconciliation of a musically gifted, yet self-absorbed, mother and the daughter she would continuously abandon physically by leaving and emotionally when present. »
- Adam Charles
Faro Island (Sweden), July 9 – Theirs was one of the most powerful screen partnerships in cinema. Even today actress Liv Ullmann’s grey eyes sparkle as she recalls her days with Swedish legend Ingmar Bergman, saying it is hard to believe that a man known for his dark, brooding films could be so ‘playful and funny’.
‘I had an incredibly creative relationship with him,’ Liv, looking radiant in the summer sun even at 71, told this visiting Ians correspondent here.
Liv acted in many Bergman films starting with ‘Persona’. »
Just days after reviews began coming in from a stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Through A Glass Darkly, it looks as though more stage adaptations of the legendary auteurs work may be on the horizon.
According to a feature penned by Variety, the Bergman estate is slowly becoming more open to stage adaptations, especially after the aforementioned Through A Glass Darkly. The Bergman Foundation has only sanctioned three films for stage adaptations; The Devil’s Eye, The Seventh Seal, and Through A Glass Darkly, within the English speaking world.
Scenes From A Marriage has been done in Russia, which while not being sanctioned for stage performance by the Bergman estate, has since become the most popular adaptation of Bergman’s, along with teleplays of Saraband, From The Life Of The Marionettes and After The Rehearsal. Also quite popular are Persona, Autumn Sonata and Winter Light, all of which haven »
- Joshua Brunsting
Madonna was once both adored and reviled as "The Great Appropriator" so I suppose it's only fair that Lady Gaga borrows from her. When I first heard "Alejandro" I kept thinking 'Oh, Ok. Gaga has to have her own "La Isla Bonita," too.' And then she went and collaborated with frequent Madonna iconographer Steven Klein for the music video.
So even though Klein is shamelessly borrowing from his own past work here, the wonderful thing about Gaga is that, like her spiritual pop empress predecessor, she's her own artist, too. This makes the appropriation palatable as well as fun... until crazed fans start giving her credit for everything. [But that's another funny subject matter entirely.] I mean even Madonna didn't invent the chameleon approach to pop stardom, though her fans, like Gagas, also tried to give her credit for it at the time.
Doesn't that "what on earth will they wear/look like next?" thing go directly back to Bowie? »
- NATHANIEL R
tuesday top ten returns! It's for the list-maker in me and the list-lover in you
The Cannes film festival wrapped this weekend (previous posts) and the most recent Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, The Secret in Their Eyes is still in the midst of a successful Us run. That Oscar winning Argentinian film came to us from director Juan Jose Campanella. It's his second film to be honored by the Academy (Son of the Bride was nominated ten years back). The Academy voters obviously like Campanella and in some ways he's a Hollywood guy. When he's not directing Argentinian Oscar hopefuls he spends time making Us television with episodes of Law & Order, House and 30 Rock under his belt.
So let's talk foreign-language auteurs. Who does Oscar love most?
[The film titles discussed in this article will link to Netflix pages -- if available -- should you be curious to see the films]
(Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
Please Note: »
- NATHANIEL R
A link roundup, actress style
Gawker Susan Sarandon shtupping the ping pong kid?
The Independent Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds is still the top celebrity scent. Talk about staying power. La Liz has been raking in the dough from that single career move for almost 20 years now. How many diamonds has she bought with the haul?
I Need My Fix "Cher (!) Films Burlesque"... though be warned. 'Fix' gets the headline all fucked up and adds several letters inbetween "Ch" and "r"... confusing the true story here: Cher ! Making a movie again.
Style List Catherine Deneuve's 60's era magnificence is still inspiring fashionistas
The Now »
- NATHANIEL R
15 items from 2010
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