The Appointment (1969) - News Poster

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Criterion Collection: Downhill Racer | Blu-ray Review

The Hollywood sports drama has long been an indubitable cinematic staple, albeit a genre trapped in its own particular movements and formulaic flourishes. Tendencies for melodramatic exaggerations are often utilized to enhance and manipulate our emotional investment in these depictions of physical glory, where everyman underdogs are transformed into American heroes due to the very nature of their conquests. But while these dramas prime our tear ducts for a rinse, they inadvertently miss out on the realistic human characteristics which assisted in its subject’s ability to beat all the odds. During Hollywood’s golden era of studio financed auteur projects, a short-lived movement credited to a number of classic titles ranging from the late 60s to the late 70s, director Michael Ritchie inducted two iconic titles into the sports subgenre canon, beginning with his 1969 directorial debut, Downhill Racer (the other being The Bad News Bears in 1976). Written by acclaimed
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Omar Sharif, 'Lawrence of Arabia' Actor, Dead at 83

Omar Sharif, 'Lawrence of Arabia' Actor, Dead at 83
Omar Sharif, the Egyptian-born actor known for his classic roles in Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago, passed away Friday in a Cairo, Egypt hospital after suffering a heart attack. Both the actor's agent Steve Kenis and the head of Egypt's Theatrical Arts Guild Ashraf Zaki confirmed his passing;  Sharif was 83. It was recently revealed that the Golden Globe-winning actor was also suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Variety reports.

After beginning his career as a major star in Middle Eastern cinema, Sharif was cast to play Sherif Ali in 1962's epic Lawrence of Arabia,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

R.I.P. Omar Sharif (1932-2015)

In movies where visual splendor dominated, it says something about the talents of Omar Sharif who made his presence known in pictures like "Lawrence Of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago," and "Genghis Khan." Sadly, however, the actor has passed away today at the age of 83. Sharif got his start on camera in Egypt, where he quickly became a star, and it wasn't long until Hollywood beckoned and he made the most of it. Sharif's performances in "Lawrence Of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago" won him Golden Globe awards for each movie, and an Oscar nomination for 'Arabia.' His handsome features and continental stature allowed Sharif to play a variety of ethnicities and roles, and his skills brought him on the sets of filmmakers like William Wyler ("Funny Girl"), Sidney Lumet ("The Appointment"), Richard Lester ("Juggernaut"), and many more, including, of course, David Lean. Read More: 5 Things You Might Not Know...
See full article at The Playlist »

Novelist and Screenwriter James Salter Ponders Flight 370

In addition to being a novelist (All That Is) and screenwriter (Downhill Racer, The Appointment), James Salter is also a pilot. Over at The New Yorker he, like the rest of the world, is pondering the fate of Flight 370. In particular, he imagines the moment at which sleeping passengers may away during their overseas flight to realize that something is astray…. But the Malaysian airliner was not lost. It was on course on a long, late-night flight to Beijing. I am identifying now with the passengers. An hour after takeoff, some are already asleep. The plane is flying smoothly […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Novelist and Screenwriter James Salter Ponders Flight 370

In addition to being a novelist (All That Is) and screenwriter (Downhill Racer, The Appointment), James Salter is also a pilot. Over at The New Yorker he, like the rest of the world, is pondering the fate of Flight 370. In particular, he imagines the moment at which sleeping passengers may away during their overseas flight to realize that something is astray…. But the Malaysian airliner was not lost. It was on course on a long, late-night flight to Beijing. I am identifying now with the passengers. An hour after takeoff, some are already asleep. The plane is flying smoothly […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

The Lion In Winter Producer Martin Poll Dead

Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, The Lion in Winter Martin Poll, best known for producing Anthony Harvey's 1968 Best Picture Oscar nominee The Lion in Winter, starring Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine and Peter O'Toole as King Henry II, died of "natural causes" on April 14 according to various online sources. Poll was 89. An Avco Embassy release, The Lion in Winter was considered the favorite for the Best Picture and Best Director Oscars. The film had won the Best Film Award from the New York Film Critics Circle, while Harvey was the year's Directors Guild Award winner. However, Carol Reed's Columbia-distributed musical Oliver! turned out to be the winner in both categories. (Curiously, the previous year another Embassy release, Mike Nichols' The Graduate, unexpectedly lost the Best Picture Oscar to Norman Jewison's United Artists-distributed In the Heat of the Night. But at least Nichols came out victorious.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Films Of Sidney Lumet: A Retrospective

It has been a year since Sidney Lumet passed away on April 9, 2011. Here is our retrospective on the legendary filmmaker to honor his memory. Originally published April 15, 2011.

Almost a week after the fact, we, like everyone that loves film, are still mourning the passing of the great American master Sidney Lumet, one of the true titans of cinema.

Lumet was never fancy. He never needed to be, as a master of blocking, economic camera movements and framing that empowered the emotion and or exact punctuation of a particular scene. First and foremost, as you’ve likely heard ad nauseum -- but hell, it’s true -- Lumet was a storyteller, and one that preferred his beloved New York to soundstages (though let's not romanticize it too much, he did his fair share of work on studio film sets too as most TV journeyman and early studio filmmakers did).

His directing career stretched well over 50 years,
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Can American Virginity Be Saved?

Can American Virginity Be Saved?
Everett Omar Sharif and Anouk Aimee in the 1969 movie “The Appointment.” Is the olive oil in this photo chaste?

Big Oil – Big Olive Oil – is pushing the U.S. around in ways that make Opec seem downright benign. Olive oil is a booming business in America: sales top $1.5 billion and are growing at 10% a year, making the U.S. the world’s third-largest consumer of olive oil. American growers and millers are producing a small but steadily growing stream of olive oil,
See full article at Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal »

Music in the movies: the scores of John Barry 1968-1979 part 1

Our detailed look back over the non-Bond scores of John Barry continues with a look at his work between the years 1968 to 1979…

In the third part of our John Barry retrospective, we enter the late 60s and a surge of activity that would typify the composer’s output for nearly two decades. Despite the exacting nature of his commissions, he continued to build on his reputation with a succession of quality scores that stockpiled brilliant and unexpected surprises on top of unprecedented new ground. But all the while, he continued to strive for authenticity of arrangement and sincerity of expression. This phase demonstrates his broadening outlook but also reflects, in a profound way, the diversity of his musical influences.

His early output took inspiration from both the rhythm and blues of The Barry Seven and the popular rhythms of the time, such as Gene Vincent and American guitarist Duane Eddy,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Music in the movies: the scores of John Barry 1968-1979

Our detailed look back over the non-Bond scores of John Barry continues with a look at his work between the years 1968 to 1979…

In the third part of our John Barry retrospective, we enter the late 60s and a surge of activity that would typify the composer’s output for nearly two decades. Despite the exacting nature of his commissions, he continued to build on his reputation with a succession of quality scores that stockpiled brilliant and unexpected surprises on top of unprecedented new ground. But all the while, he continued to strive for authenticity of arrangement and sincerity of expression. This phase demonstrates his broadening outlook but also reflects, in a profound way, the diversity of his musical influences.

His early output took inspiration from both the rhythm and blues of The Barry Seven and the popular rhythms of the time, such as Gene Vincent and American guitarist Duane Eddy,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Sidney Lumet, 1924 - 2011

  • MUBI
"Sidney Lumet, a director who preferred the streets of New York to the back lots of Hollywood and whose stories of conscience — 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, The Verdict, Network — became modern American film classics, died Saturday morning at his home in Manhattan. He was 86." Robert Berkvist in the New York Times: "'While the goal of all movies is to entertain,' Mr Lumet once wrote, 'the kind of film in which I believe goes one step further. It compels the spectator to examine one facet or another of his own conscience. It stimulates thought and sets the mental juices flowing.' Social issues set his own mental juices flowing, and his best films not only probed the consequences of prejudice, corruption and betrayal but also celebrated individual acts of courage."

"Nearly all the characters in Lumet's gallery are driven by obsessions or passions that range from the pursuit of justice,
See full article at MUBI »

See also

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