12 items from 2015
The Criterion Collection has recntly announced its line-up of releases for December, which include Ted Wilde’s Speedy, Michael Ritchie’s Downhill Racer, Takashi Murakami’s Jellyfish Eyes and Howard Brookner’s Burroughs: The Movie.
Astonishing Alpine location photography and a young Robert Redford in one of his earliest starring roles are just two of the visual splendors of Downhill Racer, the visceral debut feature by Michael Ritchie. In a beautifully understated performance, Redford is David Chappellet, a ruthlessly ambitious skier competing for Olympic gold with an underdog American team in Europe, and Gene Hackman provides tough support as the coach who tries to temper the upstart’s narcissistic drive for glory. With a subtle screenplay by the acclaimed novelist James Salter, Downhill Racer is a vivid character portrait, buoyed by breathtakingly fast and furious imagery that places the viewer directly in the mind of the competitor.
–High-definition digital restoration, »
- Scott J. Davis
This month on the Newsstand, Ryan is joined by David Blakeslee to discuss the December 2015 Criterion Collection line-up, as well as the latest in Criterion rumors, news, packaging, and more.
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Shownotes Topics William Becker’s passing The December 2015 Criterion Collection Line-up Downhill Racer (December 1st) Jellyfish Eyes (December 8th) Speedy (December 8th) Burroughs: The Movie (December 15th) The August Wacky Drawing What’s coming in 2016? No Wexner talk this year New additions to Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube New rumored titles Episode Links William Becker, Who Transformed Janus Films, Dies at 88 – The New York Times Remembering William Becker – From the Current Flashback: William Becker (1927–2015) – From the Current William Becker, 1927–2015 – From the Current Amazon is having a fantastic sale The Apu Trilogy is currently available to pre-order for $49.99 Wacky New Years Drawing Hints At The Criterion Collection »
- Ryan Gallagher
The Criterion Collection gets in the spirit of the holiday season in December by offering a silent movie by Harold Lloyd. Now that's a holiday I can support! Speedy features Lloyd in his final leading performance in a silent feature, and chances are good that you've seen some, if not all, of the movie because of the fabulous footage shot on location at the Coney Island amusement park. The film itself is a love letter to New York, and a wonderfully comic adventure. December will also see a Blu-ray of Michael Ritchie's Downhill Racer, starring Robert Redford. While the movie revolves around Redford's strong dramatic performance as an arrogant athlete, he's pitted against Gene Hackman as his coach, and it's as much of a showcase...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Read More: What We Learned from Watching (Almost) the Entire Criterion Collection Four new films will be added to the Criterion Collection this December, including both classics and movies released as early as this summer. Each film will be released on both Blu-ray and DVD and will come with plenty of extras, such as interviews with the likes of Robert Redford, Jim Jarmusch and Takashi Murakami. Check out all of the new additions below. Synopses are courtesy of Criterion Collection. "Downhill Racer" (1969) Astonishing Alpine location photography and a young Robert Redford in one of his earliest starring roles are just two of the visual splendors of "Downhill Racer," the visceral debut feature by Michael Ritchie. In a beautifully understated performance, Redford is David Chappellet, a ruthlessly ambitious skier competing for Olympic gold with an underdog American team in Europe, and Gene Hackman provides tough support as the coach who tries to temper the. »
- Ryan Anielski
Lovers of odd and neglected vintage cinema can rejoice in the repackaging of Michael Ritchie’s weird sophomore title, Prime Cut. With all the menace of a Dick Francis novel and a perverse comedic streak akin to the tastes of John Waters, this misbegotten feature hasn’t received the notable following it deserves for one glaring reason—it’s increasingly warped treatment of women, which may have seemed enlightened for the period, but eventually only adds to the problematic misogyny that never abates. As far as its handling of more sensational, exploitational elements, Ritchie and screenwriter Robert Dillon manage to smooth its edges with breakneck pacing, sarcastic repartee, and a handful of impressively orchestrated face-offs.
- Nicholas Bell
James Salter, a critically acclaimed author who also indulged an ultimately unsatisfactory flirtation with Hollywood, has died. He was 90 and lived in Bridgehampton, NY but passed away Friday in Sag Harbor, his widow Kay Eldredge confirmed to the New York Times. Downhill Racer (1969), directed by Michael Ritchie and starring Robert Redford as a member of the U.S. ski team, was his most successful film. It also starred Gene Hackman, Camilla Sparv and Dabney Coleman. His… »
James Salter, the highly acclaimed but never commercially popular writer, has died at 90, the New York Times reports. Salter chronicled the ennui of postwar America and the often toxic nature of masculinity, from his debut novel The Hunters (1956) to his controversial classic A Sport and a Pastime (1967), a sensuous sylph of a novel that Salter’s publishers viewed as being akin to “a pair of dirty socks,” to the Salter-scripted Robert Redford film Downhill Racer (1969) and the Pen/Faulkner-winning collection Dusk and Other Stories.As Pulitzer-winning writer Richard Ford once said, "It is an article of faith among readers of fiction that James Salter writes American sentences better than anyone writing today." Those beautiful, fluid sentences were usually unburdened by ornate flourishes, yet somehow Salter always seemed to dig at truths deep and dark — his writing sharp enough to pierce something unfathomably heavy. His most recent novel, the critically heralded »
- Greg Cwik
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
Has any contemporary movie star more intriguingly chafed at the gilded prison of stardom than Robert Redford? Certainly, he was not the first — or the last — matinee idol who endeavored to show us there was more to him than just a pretty face (or, in Redford’s particular case, that California tan, those blazing baby blues, and that wonderfully, ridiculously tousled hair).
Some actors, so inclined, stretch themselves in their choice of material; others add producing, directing, and even political activism to the mix. But “Bob” did all that and still felt somehow unfulfilled. So, rather like a fussy housewife forever rearranging the living room furniture, he gazed out at a sizable property he owned in the mountains of Utah and thought that an institute devoted to the cultivation and support of American independent filmmakers might look awfully nice over there.
If Sundance now seems nearly as iconic as Redford himself, »
- Scott Foundas
George Lucas offered a bleak assessment of the current state of the film business during a panel discussion with Robert Redford at the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday, saying that the movies are “more and more circus without any substance behind it.”
However, the “Star Wars” director hit back at critics who said his role in kicking off the blockbuster film business has watered down cinematic storytelling.
“If you go into ‘Star Wars’ and see what’s going on there, there’s a lot more substance than circus,” he argued.
In its day, “Star Wars” represented a major breakthrough in technology, and it’s easy to discern a throughline from the galaxy far, far away to the comic book movies and special-effects driven productions that dominate today’s movie screens. The tools he helped popularize were all in the service of plot, he argued.
“All art is technology,” said Lucas. »
- Brent Lang
Young Robert Redford and politics: 'The Candidate' and 'All the President's Men' (photo: Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in 'All the President's Men') A young Robert Redford can be seen The Candidate, All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor, and Downhill Racer as Turner Classic Movies' Redford series comes to a close this evening. The world of politics is the focus of the first three films, each one of them well-regarded box-office hits. The last title, which shows that politics is part of life no matter what, is set in the world of competitive sports. 'The Candidate' In the Michael Ritichie-directed The Candidate (1972), Robert Redford plays idealistic liberal Democrat Bob McKay, who, with no chance of winning, is convinced to run against the Republican incumbent in a fight for a California seat in Congress. See, McKay is too handsome. Too young. Too liberal. »
- Andre Soares
Paul Newman’s salad dressing enterprise is common knowledge, but did you know about these 25 businesses run by Hollywood stars?
What do big-time movie stars get up to in their spare time? While their fictional counterparts might enjoy chopping wood or getting hosed down by friendly females (more on that here), actors themselves have a tendency towards wacky entrepreneurial ideas and hefty industrial investments.
Looking at our findings from some rigorous research (read: Googling), it seems that you can divide famous actors into a handful of groups – those who are trying to do something good for the world, those who are trying to break into internet megabucks and those who like opening restaurants.
Without further chit-chat, here’s a breakdown of which stars are behind which brands which you may or may not know and love…
Here’s a brilliant one to start off with »
12 items from 2015
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