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Sheffield International Documentary Festival, or – if you’re into the whole brevity thing – DocFest, is 20 years old.
To mark the anniversary of one of the most dynamic and interesting festivals in the world, the organisers have pulled out all the stops. Kicking things off this year are 3 stunning opening night events; The Big Melt – a film celebrating the Sheffield Steel Industry with a live score written by the Steel City’s favourite son Jarvis Cocker and performed by Cocker, Richard Hawley and The Sheffield Brass Band (among others) promises to be quite something; The Summit – a film about the perils of climbing K2 is being screened deep underground in the Peak District’s most evocatively named cave, The Devil’s Arse and finally, a screening of Sundance World Cinema Documentary Award Winner Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, which – tantalisingly – features a Q&A with the non-incarcerated band members.
side from that trio of events, »
Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman star in the new film "Paranoia," a thriller about corporate espionage, masters of industry, Oldman's Michael Caine impersonation and suspension of disbelief (Hemsworth's character says he was born and raised in Brooklyn).
1. "Wall Street"
5. "The Ides of March"
6. "Marathon Man"
7. "Boiler Room"
8. "The Conversation"
10. Luketic's own "21"
- Christopher Rosen
"I don't know what my calling is, but I want to be here for a bigger reason. I strive to be like the greatest people who have ever lived." –Will Smith
Greetings from the apocalypse! It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock n' roll, but if you're Will Smith's kid it ain't that long. The thoroughly Thetan-free father-son gods among us will be exemplars of human perfection on screen this weekend, but that doesn't mean you have to give them your money. There's plenty to see, do, touch, taste, smell, snort and vomit with the fully stocked weekend of entertainment I have lined up for ya, kiddos.
Friday, May 31
Pow! In Theaters
M. Night Shyamalan hasn't exactly been an audience's best friend for the last, oh, decade or so, which is why the studio wasn't generous in name-dropping him as director of "After Earth." Indeed, »
- Max Evry
Feature Np Horton 30 May 2013 - 06:28
Oh Enemy Of The State. Released at the tail end of the 90s, it already seemed an out-of-date high-concept action film so beloved of that decade, and time hasn't been kind to it.
Laugh at the high tech equipment used by the National Security Agency (videotapes) and their undercover spy methods at capturing Will Smith (driving muscle cars the wrong way down a traffic-filled tunnel). Cringe at the subtle and not-so-subtle racial slurs spread throughout the script (numerous references to Smith’s lawyer character being an ‘eggplant’, and a bunch of other racial insults), and finally, enjoy the utter crap out of the sheer ludicrous spectacle of it all. Yep that’s right, I said enjoy. Because while it might not »
Scarecrow and The King of Marvin Gardens – quirky, unstylised films made in the 60s and 70s that refused to smooth their rough edges. This bravery, Adam Mars-Jones argues, is what film-makers are missing today
The label "independent film" doesn't mean what it once did, and the Sundance festival is part of the reason. The moment aspiring film-makers realised there was a potential shortcut to distribution and acclaim, they started smoothing off their rough edges – consciously or without even noticing – or at least they began to stylise themselves. Either way, the overall effect of the festival has not been to promote individuality but to erode it. So it's a mild beneficial shock to watch two American films of the early 1970s on re-release – not because they're masterpieces, exactly, but because they give the flavour of a different set of assumptions.
- Adam Mars-Jones
This one won’t have gangsters. Probably won’t have gangsters. Actually, there’s a higher probability of gangsters than anything else. Anyways, if you’ve forgotten who Francis Ford Coppola is (other than the father of Sofia Coppola), he’s that guy that directed a few small movies under the banner of The Godfather? Yeah? Ok, so we’re all on the same page. Well, he’s planning on directing another saga about an Italian-American family that will not involve Al Pacino killing people in Italian restaurants.
Coppola is reportedly working on a screenplay that will play as a coming-of-age story about a boy and girl in their late teens. Paramount is providing office space, but little else, with no current plans to bankroll or distribute the movie once it gets made. If it gets made.
Forgive me for being skeptical. Coppola has had a bit of tough time »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
Steven Soderbergh recently retired from filmmaking, but not without directing three well-received films in the past two years ("Magic Mike," "Side Effects" and "Behind the Candelabra" (see our review for that last one here.). He also stirred up the film community with a rousing keynote at the San Francisco Film Society, which you can read in full here. And now Soderbergh has launched his new website, Extension765.com, which is billed as a "one-of-a-kind marketplace from Steven Soderbergh." One-of-a-kind, indeed. In an interview with Reuters back in February, Soderbergh explained that the name of the site is a reference to the movie "The Conversation": "Whenever Gene Hackman calls to find out what's going on, Harrison Ford answers the phone and says, 'extension 765.'" There are a number of elements to the site. First, an eBay-like auction site for bits and pieces from Soderbergh's filmmaking past, with proceeds going to »
- Bryce J. Renninger
★★★★☆ Winner of the Palme d'Or prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, American photographer and filmmaker Jerry Schatzberg's seldom-seen odd couple dramedy Scarecrow receives a welcome publicity boost this week thanks to a limited Park Circus theatrical rerelease. Starring Hollywood heavyweights Gene Hackman and Al Pacino - around the time both men first worked with Francis Ford Coppola, the former in The Conversation, the latter in The Godfather - Schatzberg's bromance is a bittersweet ode to life on the open road, bringing together two troubled souls who manage to find solace in each other's passing company.
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
In 1983, Francis Ford Coppola had plenty of greatness under his belt from The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather: Part II and Apocalypse Now, but some may say 1982's One from the Heart was the beginning of the end... at least the end of the Coppola we came to know in the '70s. Sure, The Godfather: Part III saw seven Oscar nominations, but ask anyone and they're sure to point it out as the weakest of the trilogy by a mile. Films such as Peggy Sue Got Married, Dracula and even The Rainmaker aren't half-bad and I'll happily admit to loving 90% of Tetro, but the Coppola star doesn't shine as it once did. Such a situation can result in films being forgotten, overlooked and never revisited again. The lack of appreciation for the last 30 years of Coppola's directorial career has allowed me to easily avoid -- wrongly or not -- »
- Brad Brevet
There’s something inherently lonely and tortured about being a director. Yes, you’re the tyrant of the set and dictator of the vision, but you’re also the man (or woman) behind the curtain, the puppet master who never appears on stage….unless you’re Clint Eastwood or Quentin Tarantino. Or Alfred Hitchcock….or Roman Polanski…Anyway, the point is that you may be the genius behind a film, and celebrated as such, but you’re no superstar. There’s a reason why they are often referred to as voyeurs.
But the upside is that, once you’re an established money-maker, you can afford to be creative in your guises. That is, to put your dream on screen. Most directors have at some stage championed their baby, a cherished passion project which is their love letter to their craft. However, it’s quite galling how this endeavor often falls on deaf ears. »
- Scott Patterson
Will the just-released 42 have the most successful opening weekend for a baseball movie? Writer-director Brian Helgeland's 42, which features Chadwick Boseman as baseball player Jackie Robinson and veteran Harrison Ford, whose credits range from The Conversation and Star Wars in the 1970s to the more recent Cowboys & Aliens, debuted with an estimated $9.1 million at 3,003 locations this past Friday, April 12, as per studio figures found on the web site Box Office Mojo. (Almost) undeboutedly, 42 will end up grossing between $25 million and $26 million by Sunday evening. If that does indeed happen, the film will boast the best debut weekend ever for a movie about baseball -- well, sort of. Pictured above: Ford, looking remarkably different under heavy makeup, plays Brooklyn Dodgers' team executive Branch Rickey in Helgeland's movie. Well, if you dwell on a planet where inflation is as real as the plots of Hollywood films -- including those based on real-life events, »
- Zac Gille
It's been a month since the last conversation in the RopeofSilicon Movie Club and I told you I wasn't going to abandon the feature even though participation wasn't at the level I hoped it would reach. Well, I'm sticking to my word as the next title will be Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders starring Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, Diane Lane and Tom Waits. The discussion will begin on April 24. Yeah, I did another Coppola movie in The Conversation in January, but I've had this one in my queue for a long time and it seemed like a film perfect to get the conversation going considering not only the material, but when it was released and the number of actors involved that are now household names. The film is based on the S.E. Hinton novel (amazon asin="014240733X" text »
- Brad Brevet
As we’ve just posted our essay about Meryl Streep’s Burberry trench coat in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), it seems fitting we have a round up of the best coat related posts in the Clothes on Film archive. This is coats purely as outerwear too. So, even though lounge suit jackets are traditionally referred to as coats, here they stay as jackets. Likewise Victorian frock coats; that is a round up for another day. Click the image to read the article.
The plush fur-trimmed coat worn by Angelina Jolie as Christine Collins in 1920/30s set The Changeling (2008). Jolie referred to her costumes as “dolls’ clothes”, which is more costume designer Deborah Hopper’s unwavering commitment to the period than anything else.
Gwyneth Paltrow as middle class fashion icon Margot Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). That toffee coloured fur coat is by Fendi, real mink and will set you back around $4,000 – if you can find one. »
- Chris Laverty
for discussion & Oscar-break fun
The Tuesday Top Ten will get more article-like soon once we're clear of Oscar-Night Mania but since it was so fun to discuss the 1930s in brief recently, let's talk about the other greatest American cinematic decade for a minute, the 1970s. Like all of you I know I have holes in my viewing but off the top of my head here are my 10 favorites from that much obsessed-over decade.The order is semi random beyond the top three which are always my top three from that decade though the order has occasionally varied.
Manhattan (Woody Allen) Cabaret (Bob Fosse) Nashville (Robert Altman) Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola) Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese) Network (Sidney Lumet) Annie Hall (Woody Allen) All That Jazz (Bob Fosse) Carrie (Brian de Palma) Cries and Whispers (Ingmar Bergman) The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola)
oops i cheated... I forgot Carrie when I was typing it up. »
- NATHANIEL R
Article by Dan Clark
We all have our good years and we all have our bad years. The same can be said for the Oscars. There are certain years that you look at the films chosen for Best Picture and wonder if they should have just cancelled the show. Then there are the years that are so jam packed with all time greats it’s nearly impossible to go wrong when choosing the winner. Those are the years that this blog will focus on. I looked through all the Best Picture Classes to determine the Best of the Best. Overall quality, influence, and longevity were all taken into account when constructing this list of the Top 10 Best Picture Classes of All Time.
10. Class of 1959
Best Picture Winner: Ben Hur »
Tom Jolliffe on the male acting performances criminally overlooked by the Academy for Oscar recognition...
With the Oscars around the corner and awards season in full swing, now is a perfect opportunity to tearfully remember those performances that were completely overlooked by the Academy. Reasons can differ. Sometimes a year is bloated with exceptional performances and competition is high. Sometimes a film's impact doesn’t strike instantly and takes years before it finally clicks with audiences. There are certain film subjects that are Oscar catnip, and others which rub against the grain of what is fashionable amongst the voters. There are almost always head-scratching inclusions and exclusions. It’s hard to know which films of a year, and which performances will live long in the memory and which will fade away.
Here are a few actors I humbly believe gave performances good enough to warrant nominations (lead or supporting) for »
- Flickering Myth
Looking back at my Netflix history, the first time I saw Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation was almost four years ago exactly. For those that have seen my Paused features, this was actually the first film that gave me the idea to do such a feature. In fact, four years ago I took the above screen capture and today was the first time I've used it. Hackman in the shadows and the blue light in the background. I think it's a beautiful shot. While Coppola's first two Godfather films are rightly considering his masterpieces, there is a lot to be said for The Conversation and Gene Hackman's complicated performance. Hackman stars here as Harry Caul, a surveillance expert whom we first meet as he and his team are capturing the audio of a conversation between a young couple as they walk circles around Union Square. The conversation, to our ears, »
- Brad Brevet
I am now on the fourth season of "The West Wing" and I also watched Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation in preparation for Wednesday's (January 30) Movie Club discussion... or at least what I hope will be a minor discussion. In the theater I caught screenings of Side Effects (review coming early next week), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (review here) and Stoker (review coming late February). Outside of movies, this past week has been filled largely with busy work as I finally got my new iMac and have been moving everything from my old PC over to the new Mac and setting things up to improve my workflow. After owning a MacBook Pro for almost four years and the fact it has long outperformed my six-year-old PC, which I spent quite a bit of money on, I have finally gone over to Apple for both the desktop and the laptop. »
- Brad Brevet
Our daily January countdown continues with part 21 out of 30 in our list of the 300 Greatest Films Ever Made. These are numbers 100-91.
100) Gandhi (1982) Richard Attenbourough British/Indian
99) His Gal Friday (1940) Howard Hawks USA
98) The Hidden Fortress (1958) Akira Kurasawa Japan
97) 8 & a Half (1963) Federico Fellini Italy
96) 400 Blows (1959) Francois Truffaut France
94) Bonnie & Clyde (1967) Arthur Penn USA *
Numbers 90-81 coming next.
film cultureClassicslist300 »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation and Brian de Palma's Blow Out are two films in the American cinematic canon that present to their audiences worlds of conspiracy and voyeurism through the provocative role of the audiophile. No less important or enticing, these films are, however, now decades old, taking place well before the digital revolution and our new state of Diy. So what happens when digital brings a new found intimacy to the voyeuristic landscape? J.R. Hughto's second feature Diamond on Vinyl proves to be a most suitable, and thought-provoking playback of these themes, a SoCal-set Noir that effortlessly weaves genre into a naturalistic story of a man who is just trying to gain some semblance of a normal life.The premise goes down like this:...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
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