8 items from 2015
Editor's Note: We're proud to announce that we are now the North American home for Locarno Film Festival Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian's blog. Chatrian has been writing thoughtful blog entries in Italian on Locarno's website since he took over as Director in late 2012, and now you can find the English translations here on Notebook as they're published. To kick things off, we're posting his piece on Sam Peckinpah, who was recently announced to be the subject of the festival's epic retrospective this year. The Locarno Film Festival will be taking place August 5th to 15th. ***The life of Sam Peckinpah sits like a splendid diamond set between two glorious eras for American cinema, one already on the decline and the other still to come. Retracing his career means looking as much at the great classical tradition that preceded him as at the new directors currently leaving their mark on the imagination. »
- Carlo Chatrian
Ever since the early days of cinema and the 1903 short film The Great Train Robbery, filmmakers have had a fascination with violence. As production codes and the surrounding censorship relaxed over the passing decades, more movies began to emerge which pushed the boundaries of on-screen violence.
Throughout the twentieth century movies have unleashed all manner of carnage on the silver screen: from the slow motion shoot outs of Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch and Arthur Penn’s Bonnie And Clyde through to the horror excesses of the 1970s and onwards – when the term “video nasties” emerged as a perfect summary of an era of gory cinematic oneupmanship – violence at the movies went from one extreme to the next.
The turn of the twenty-first century certainly hasn’t seen an about turn either in the lengths filmmakers will go to shock or the desire for such thrills from movie lovers – indeed, »
- Andrew Dilks
I don’t know when the term revisionist Western came into widespread use, but it’s time we retired it. Even when it meant something, it was a bit of an overstatement; most of the great Westerns bucked convention in one way or another. But starting around the 1960s, it seemed like every entry in the genre pointedly tried to rewrite our collective dream of the West. The unmaking-of-a-myth in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, or the heightened violence in The Wild Bunch, or the anti-romance in McCabe & Mrs. Miller, or the ugliness of justice in Unforgiven — they all told us, “It’s not like you thought it was. It’s not what the movies have told you.”But the movies haven’t been telling us much for some time. And now we’ve finally gone through the looking glass with The Salvation, which is about as conventional and »
- Bilge Ebiri
Cinedigm Corp. has closed a three year deal to acquire domestic rights to 12 films from The Asylum. Cinedigm will handle all film rights including theatrical, digital, video-on-demand, and physical home, and will make the titles available to their growing slate of over-the-top (aka streaming) digital networks, including CONtv, which is targeted to fanboy audiences. The Asylum, led by partners David Michael Latt, Paul Bales and David Rimawi, has been behind such genre, high concept titles such as Syfy’s cult hit Sharknado. Among the titles in the Cinedigm pact that will get The Asylum satiric treatment are: Troy: The Odyssey (Action Fantasy), Little Dead Rotting Hood (Horror),Butch Cassidy and The Wild Bunch (Western) and Fortune Cookie (Horror). Asylum finances, produces and releases 20-25 films a year through its direct distribution to top retailers and foreign partners. The deal was negotiated on behalf of The Asylum by David Garber and Cinedigm’s Yolanda Macias. »
- Anthony D'Alessandro
Now this is a list that could result in a lot of fascinating dissection and thanks to HitFix it comes to our attention almost three years after it was originally released back in 2012, celebrating the Motion Picture Editors Guild's 75th anniversary. Over at HitFix, Kris Tapley asks, "Is this news to anyone elsec" Um, yes, I find it immensely interesting and a perfect starting point for anyone looking to further explore the art of film editing. In an accompanying article we get the particulars concerning what films were eligible and how films were to be considered: In our Jan-feb 12 issue, we asked Guild members to vote on what they consider to be the Best Edited Films of all time. Any feature-length film from any country in the world was eligible. And by "Best Edited," we explained, we didn't just mean picture; sound, music and mixing were to be considered as well. »
- Brad Brevet
A random bit of researching on a Tuesday night led me to something I didn't know existed: The Motion Picture Editors Guild's list of the 75 best-edited films of all time. It was a feature in part celebrating the Guild's 75th anniversary in 2012. Is this news to anyone else? I confess to having missed it entirely. Naturally, I had to dig in. What was immediately striking to me about the list — which was decided upon by the Guild membership and, per instruction, was considered in terms of picture and sound editorial as opposed to just the former — was the most popular decade ranking. Naturally, the 1970s led with 17 mentions, but right on its heels was the 1990s. I wouldn't have expected that but I happen to agree with the assessment. Thelma Schoonmaker's work on "Raging Bull" came out on top, an objectively difficult choice to dispute, really. It was so transformative, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Rome — The Locarno Film Festival will pay tribute to Sam Peckinpah with a complete retrospective of the maverick Hollywood director’s works, which include landmark Western “The Wild Bunch,” once called the “Citizen Kane” of the Vietnam generation, and other groundbreaking films such as “Straw Dogs,” “Ride the High Country” and “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.”
The Swiss festival dedicated to indie cinema will present Peckinpah’s complete filmography – with several films screened in newly restored prints – and a selection of his efforts for television ranging from works he wrote, produced or co-directed to those in which he performed as an actor. The screenings will be accompanied by discussions and a roundtable led by invited critics and filmmakers.
The retro is curated by Italian film programmer and historian Roberto Turigliatto.
Co-organizers are the Cinémathèque suisse in Lausanne, and the Cinémathèque française in Paris, which will host the entire program in September. »
- Nick Vivarelli
Pioneering woman director Lois Weber socially conscious drama 'Shoes' among Library of Congress' Packard Theater movies (photo: Mary MacLaren in 'Shoes') In February 2015, National Film Registry titles will be showcased at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus Theater – aka the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation – in Culpeper, Virginia. These range from pioneering woman director Lois Weber's socially conscious 1916 drama Shoes to Robert Zemeckis' 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future. Another Packard Theater highlight next month is Sam Peckinpah's ultra-violent Western The Wild Bunch (1969), starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine. Also, Howard Hawks' "anti-High Noon" Western Rio Bravo (1959), toplining John Wayne and Dean Martin. And George Cukor's costly remake of A Star Is Born (1954), featuring Academy Award nominees Judy Garland and James Mason in the old Janet Gaynor and Fredric March roles. There's more: Jeff Bridges delivers a colorful performance in »
- Andre Soares
8 items from 2015
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