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Digital Spy was fortunate enough to score a sizeable amount of time in the company of acclaimed filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn in support of the DVD release of Only God Forgives. A thematically audacious and visually stunning movie, this twisted tale of Ryan Gosling's taciturn drugs dealer becoming embroiled with a vengeance-fuelled policeman called Chang has polarised audiences. But what is it really about? We probed its maker, before delving further into his career to explore the likes of Pusher and Bronson. As for the future, Bond, Beckham and Barbarella are all on the agenda...
Since its release, Only God Forgives has inspired many different interpretations. What's the weirdest one you've encountered so far?
"My favourite one is when a German woman at Cannes came up to me and said, 'I think this movie takes place in the vagina, yes?' I was like, 'Yeah, that's pretty spot on, »
Sergio Leone Week! kicks off at Trailers from Hell, with director Brian Trenchard-Smith introducing 1961's "The Colossus of Rhodes." Seven years before conducting a master class on the art of widescreen composition in Once Upon A Time In The West, Sergio Leone made his credited directorial debut (he had previously stepped in to finish most of The Last Days Of Pompeii when the original director fell ill) with this equally epic sword and sandal film starring American cowboy actor Rory Calhoun. Leone’s dynamic framing of the towering statue at the center of the film combined with the frenetic action scenes set on top of it made sure the Saturday matinee crowd stayed glued to their seats for the film’s excessive 128 min. running time (an uncut German dvd is available with an extra 15 minutes of mayhem and political intrigue). »
- Trailers From Hell
Announcement: Christopher Frayling is speaking at the Leeds Film Festival on 20th November.
At 7:00 Pm on Wednesday the 20th of November, Cinema Retro contributor and Leone biographer Sir Christopher Frayling will present a lecture titled 'Once Upon a Time, the Western' at Leeds Town Hall. The lecture will be followed by an 8:00 Pm screening of Leone's 'Once Upon a Time in the West'.
Click here for more information and to order tickets. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
We previously reported that Sergio Sollima’s The Big Gundown would be released by the good folks at Grindhouse Releasing. Now, we have the fine details. DVDActive reports that Grindhouse Releasing (by the way, it’s great to have them back after a long hiatus) is releasing The Big Gundown starring Lee Van Cleef and Tomas Milian in a 4 disc Blu-Ray & DVD Combo. Read on for the official press release. Can’t wait to see this since it has been a hard film to find.
Sergio Sollima’s Run, Man, Run! has been available on remastered DVD for years, but its superior prequel, The Big Gundown has been missing from the digital home video landscape in the Us…until now. Grindhouse Releasing continues their comeback trail with the first even Us Blu-ray release of this classic film. Alongside Damiano Damiani’s A Bullet for the General, The Big Gundown »
- Andy Triefenbach
It's the most all-American of film genres, filled with he-men and black hats. But the western has given us some great movies: the Guardian and Observer's critics pick the 10 best
• Top 10 crime movies
• Top 10 arthouse movies
• Top 10 family movies
• Top 10 war movies
• Top 10 teen movies
• Top 10 superhero movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
10. Rancho Notorious
Like Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang moved effortlessly between genres; his "western period" scattered throughout his "urban crime" and "film noir" periods. Even now, 60 years on, Rancho Notorious remains one of the strangest westerns ever made, furthering Lang's fascination (obsession?) with retribution, which arguably started with the 1936 lynch-mob drama Fury, his first film as a German émigré in the Us.
Perversely, although the protagonist is the wronged Vern (Arthur Kennedy), whose fiancee has been raped and killed by bandits unknown, Lang's film - which, as we are constantly reminded by its theme song, tells a tale of "hate, »
Chicago – Revered horror director Dario Argento has numerous classics to his name, including “Suspiria” and “Deep Red,” which have cemented him to a designation in which filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, Brian De Palma, and James Wan cite him as an influence. As a writer, he has numerous co-writing credits, including story work on “Once Upon a Time in the West” with Bernardo Bertolucci and the film’s director, Sergio Leone.
Following 2009’s “Giallo,” Argento returns to the horror genre with his latest film, “Argento’s Dracula,” which is currently available to rent on iTunes, and is expanding across the country to limited theaters. Utilizing the same stereoscopic 3D cameras that Martin Scorsese used to make “Hugo,” the film marks a new visual venture for Argento, who previously wanted to remake his film “Deep Red” in 3D, but lost that project when “Giallo” failed commercially.
“Argento’s Dracula” (known also as »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Directed by Jeremy Saulnier
Philadelphia Film Festival
United States, 2013
Jeremy Saulnier’s sophomore work is an impressive display of slow burn revenge.
Dwight (Macon Blair) is an unassuming vagrant who receives startling news: the man who murdered his parents has been released from prison early. Dwight goes on an improbable quest for revenge, throwing his quiet existence into violent disorder.
Blue Ruin features some clever writing in reworking structural genre tropes. Another revenge film would set its sights on a target and go full Death Wish until a bloody denouement. Instead, Blue Ruin snuffs out its major target in the first act, throwing things for a structural loop and forcing Dwight into increasingly dangerous and unpredictable situations.
Macon Blair plays Dwight as monotone and soft. He starts with a ragged beard and the moment when it’s shaved off, revealing Dwight as a baby-faced ‘anyman,’ who seems more »
- Neal Dhand
• Top 10 romantic movies
• Top 10 action movies
• Top 10 comedy movies
• Top 10 horror movies
• Top 10 sci-fi movies
Peter Bradshaw on crime
Controversially, the cinema has always made criminals look cool. The big screen loves bad guys and, to modify Blake's description of Milton, has often been of the devil's party, while knowing it perfectly well. Yet crime and transgression are the stuff of drama and real life, too. Howard Hawks's Scarface in 1932 gave us Paul Muni's criminal sociopath Tony Camonte, brilliantly reinvented by Brian De Palma in 1983 with Al Pacino in the lead role.
The gangster genre showed how criminal networks operated inside their own fiercely moral codes and stood in direct opposition to courtroom dramas such as Twelve Angry Men, with its »
The Abu Dhabi Film Festival is to host sidebar programmes for restored classics and Indian cinema.
Sidebar ‘Pieces of Time: Classic Odysseys. The Art of Preserving and Restoring Cinema’ will include Dial M for Murder, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Red Shoes and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The festival runs from Oct 24 to Nov 2. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
Saddle up on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October for the most rootin' tootin' n' shootin' weekend in the West. Well, on Sky Movies Select anyway. For two days, Sky Movies Select rides the Western range to bring you dust-busters old and new, from all-time classics like Once Upon a Time in the West to the latest gun-slinging epic from Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained. »
The idea of a female actor who usually plays virtuous or recognisably “good” roles on screen going bad for a movie role – whether lured by the higher pay off of nudity, or enticed by the added promise of awards – is nothing new, as we’ve already discussed in our run-down of Good Girls Gone Bad, but the same can’t necessarily be said for the other half of the gender divide.
Actors who play villains – or are born within the borders of the British Isles – seem to be typecast more than any other actor, largely because it takes a certain intangible something to make a truly memorable villain (like a snarling, upper-class British accent for instance,) and the effect of introducing a traditional villain to a heroic role can often be too jarring for the unfortunately limited mental capacity of some audiences.
The converse is also true – if you’re known for playing heroes, »
- Simon Gallagher
Review Paul Martinovic 24 Sep 2013 - 07:20
Breaking Bad's penultimate episode, like the rest of the drama, is stalked by death. Here's Paul's review of Granite State...
This review contains spoilers.
5.15 Granite State
Over the entire course of television history you’ll struggle to find many TV shows that haven’t relied on death as one of the most trusty and reliable weapons in their dramatic arsenal. Need a previously unsympathetic character to win round the audience? Have their pet die and display their softer side. Need a page one rewrite of a show whose cast of characters are growing stale? Have a plane crash into the local pub! Supporting actor caught DUI or yelling slurs at a co-star? Send them to Belize. Hell, even Friends has the episode where the weird neighbour dies. Death in TV and other forms of fiction is ultimately little more than narrative punctuation: it’s necessary. »
Check out this handwritten list of 10 "Greatest Movies" by cinematographer Roger Deakins. Included are titles by Stanley Kubrick ("Dr. Strangelove"), Sergio Leone ("Once Upon a Time in the West"), Michelangelo Antonioni ("The Passenger") and Jean-Pierre Melville ("Le Samourai" and "Army of Shadows"). Deakins' ace camera work is currently on display in this past weekend's box office winner, Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners," starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. He nabbed his tenth Oscar nomination for last year's "Skyfall." Deakins, a long-time Coen brothers collaborator, has Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" up next (with the Coens working on the most recent pass of the script). Hat tip: @LoSceicco1976. For more Top 10 Films lists from a number of great directors (including Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and more), check out our roundup here. »
- Beth Hanna
Neil Brand, whose BBC4 series on the sound of cinema begins tonight, shares some of the most effective film scores – some of which contain no music at all
How far are we supposed to notice soundtrack music? The received wisdom is that the best score is the one you don't notice – the cri de coeur of those deafened by sweeping romantic strings and overly heavenly choirs, for whom soundtrack music lacks subtlety and therefore commits the most grievous sin of all, that of drawing attention to itself.
To be fair, music does enter our consciousness by other doors than our rational senses; it can creep in below the radar of thought and get to work on our emotions before we know it. Take the opening, wordless 20 minutes of Disney/Pixar's Wall-e, which uses a wicked mix of Jerry Herman's Put on Your Sunday Clothes and Thomas Newman's bleakest, »
There's nothing Claudia Cardinale hates more than staying still, but for the past two months she's had to do exactly that. She broke her foot on holiday in Tunisia and has since been holed up in her Paris flat. "It was stupid," she says, in her distinctive Mediterranean rasp. "I was playing volleyball. There was water on the edge of swimming pool, and I slipped. I like to be active, so when I have to sit for two months without going out, it's terrible. I had many places to go and I had to refuse: Venice, Kiev, Osaka. Now it's Ok. Yesterday I went out for the first time, but the weather is ugly."
Cardinale is a survivor from the era when movie giants walked the earth – most of them alongside her. »
- Steve Rose
Son of Once Upon A Time In The West stuntman, John Landis, and writer of found-footage superhero flick Chronicle, Max Landis, wants to take on a DC character. Having his Chronicle 2 script turned down by Fox hasn’t prevented the man from looking for further superheroic material and he’s eyeing up some of the big hitters.
Max Landis was asked on Reddit which superhero character he would like to tackle and the man gave us two from his wishlist:
So it sounds as though Wonder Woman could be a genuine possibility. No doubt Warner Bros. are looking to adapt some of their other heavy-hitters now that Batman and Superman will be teaming up in the same film. »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
I think everyone remembers where they were August 31st, 2003 when they heard that Charles Bronson had died. I was visiting my brother in Atlanta when my nephew knocked on my door and informed me that CNN had announced his death. I collapsed into a sobbing heap. Bronson was my hero, my muse, my role model. Hollywood’s brightest star would shine no more. It’s hard to believe he’s been gone ten years.
Charles Bronson was the unlikeliest of movie stars. Of all the leading men in the history of Hollywood, Charles Bronson had the least range as an actor. He rarely emoted or even changed his expression, and when he did speak, his voice was a reedy whisper. But Charles Bronson could coast on presence, charisma, and silent brooding menace like no one’s business and he wound up the world’s most bankable movie star throughout most of the 1970’s. »
- Tom Stockman
Hugh Hudson is perhaps best known as the director of the critically acclaimed 1981 film Chariots of Fire. Philip French's reassessment of his 1985 film Revolution prompted Hudson to include his review in a booklet accompanying its DVD release in 2008. French stated: "Revolution was misunderstood and unjustly treated on its first appearance 20 years ago. Seeing it again in the director's slightly revised version, it now strikes me as a masterpiece – profound, poetic and original."
The thing about Philip is that he is a very truthful, very fair journalist who considers carefully what he writes, unlike many film critics who are inclined to be very hurried in their assessment, often acting like lobbyists. He never had his pet hates or favourites. I'll never forget Ken Russell on TV whacking Evening Standard critic Alex Walker on the head with his own rolled-up paper, for calling his film The Devils "monstrously indecent"!
Typical of Philip's »
Reprehensible, pedophilic murderers are not usually the brand of character that is the focus of a revenge vendetta. If I am going to be encouraged in the course of a film to root for retribution for the fallen, then give me the opening slaughter of the family in Once Upon a Time in the West or “The Bride’s” wedding day massacre in Kill Bill. Revenge may be a tried and true motivation in the history of action thriller cinema, but few films have a more amoral bent than the ugly/beautiful Only God Forgives – hot director Nicolas Winding Refn’s follow-up to his Michael Mann-ish 1980s-flavored hit Drive. As Drive proved to be a master class in substantive style with enough humor and heart to keep the human stakes raised, interest in Refn’s art house macho approach to weathered crime film tropes was peaked and his next »
- Gregory Fichter
Johnny Depp is terrific as Tonto in an action-packed, if overlong, movie that focuses on the crime-fighting duo's early years
As soon as the western genre was established in the second decade of the last century, comedians headed to the frontier. From Chaplin and Keaton via the Marx Brothers to Abbott and Costello, the comic stars got their laughs by appearing far from home on the range among humourless tough guys riding tall in the saddle. As the B-western developed, its poker-faced, straight-shooting heroes had to be accompanied by comic sidekicks such as the ubiquitous George "Gabby" Hayes or Fuzzy Knight. At the same time there developed the comedy western, a relaxed, easy-going affair – James Stewart as the peaceful new sheriff refusing to carry a gun in Destry Rides Again, for instance, or shy cowpoke Gary Cooper being mistaken for a gunslinger in Along Came Jones.
In the 1960s, the »
- Philip French
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