16 items from 2015
Filmed during the height of the Euro Western craze of the late 60’s, Robert Hossein’s Cemetery Without Crosses is an obscure gem rejuvenated by Arrow Video. A French production, the title was actor/director Hossein’s first Western, obviously influenced by Sergio Leone, whom the film is dedicated to (Leone was in the midst of production on Once Upon a Time in the West when Hossein was underway with his feature). A simplistic and familiar narrative is enhanced by its inspired set designs and notable production value, featuring a winning score. Existing on the bleak end of the Spaghetti Western spectrum (or perhaps more aptly the ‘Baguette Western,” an Alex Cox coined term Ginette Vincendeau discusses in an included insert essay), it’s an entertaining bit of style over substance, and is an uncommon French entry in otherwise familiar climate. However, as much as Hossein pays homage to Leone, »
- Nicholas Bell
The centenary of Orson Welles occurred on May 6 this year, but tributes and celebrations for the legendary filmmaker continue throughout 2015.
The play will continue to run at London's Southwark Playhouse until Saturday (July 25).
His 1949 masterpiece The Third Man was re-released in a new 4K resolution at cinemas on June 26, while a DVD and Blu-ray release comes out today (July 20).
New documentary Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles was also released at selected UK cinemas »
Desire for Beauty
Directed by Miguel Gaudêncio
Desire for Beauty (Gaudêncio, 2013) is a schizophrenic mess of a documentary that also happens to be about an important and deeply complicated topic. Following four Polish people as they pursue plastic surgery solutions to their dilemmas of self-esteem, the subject matter should be more than enough to carry the length of the film, particularly as it’s supplemented with interviews by actress Agata Kulesza (from last year’s Academy Award-winning film Ida) and conversations with a variety of people ranging from therapists to philosophers to models, who all have differing but equally complex perspectives on what it means to be beautiful. However Miguel Gaudêncio also takes time to experiment with the form, taking structural cues from Orson Welles’ F For Fake(1973), blending Kulesza’s interviews and dinner conversations with scripted scenes using actors and the subjects themselves. This homage to Welles’ masterpiece »
- Jae K. Renfrow
Directed by Chuck Workman
A documentary exploring the life and work of Orson Welles…
Vincent van Gogh, famously, sold only one painting in his lifetime. Leonardo Da Vinci struggled to finish many of the commissions he was given – his Last Supper is technically unfinished as he intended to include a roof on the mural. Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles lifts the widely-respected filmmaker to such heights. Akin to van Gogh and Da Vinci, his canon of films includes multiple financial losses, alongside incomplete masterpieces that, even now, are rumoured to be lost in the deepest depths of Southern America. From Citizen Kane to F for Fake, his history is fascinating, and director Chuck Workman, takes us on the bumpy journey through his life.
Split into small, bite size chunks such as ‘The Boy Wonder’ and ‘The »
- Simon Columb
I am a film critic, but almost all of the movies I watch are new releases. That is going to change.
"Remedial Film School: Watching F for Fake with Matt Singer" was originally published on Film School Rejects for our wonderful readers to enjoy. It is not intended to be reproduced on other websites. If you aren't reading this in your favorite RSS reader or on Film School Rejects, you're being bamboozled. We hope you'll come find us and enjoy the best articles about movies, television and culture right from the source. »
- Jeff Bayer
0:00-2:00 – Hello, let’s not waste any time
2:00-17:45 – “Inside Out” review
17:45-29:25 – “Dope” review
29:25-35:50 – “The Overnight” review
35:50-40:10 – “Balls Out” review (Snider only)
40:10-57:40 – Qotw (the times you strongly disagreed with us about a movie)
57:40-1:06:40 – Summer Box Office Challenge update – it’s heating up!
1:12:25-1:14:40 – Wrap-up and goodbye
Qotw: Have you ever dreamt about a movie? Tell us your best or worst movie dream.
Inside Out B+ 8/10 (B.S.-approved!)
Dope B- 7/10
The Overnight B 8/10
Balls Out B- n/a
Go to the Movie B. »
- Jeff Bayer
Orson Welles is celebrated as one of the foremost visionaries in the history of American filmmaking. He’s also renowned as the perennial artist against the system. While both of these factors make Welles perhaps the ideal auteur – someone satisfied with nothing less than a perfect articulation of his individual vision within the collaborative medium of filmmaking – it also presents some unique problems in examining works that were taken away from him.
The classically celebrated auteurs of studio era Hollywood (e.g., Hawks, Ford, Hitchcock) were known for creating individuated worldviews across their body of work either despite or even because of the strictures inherent in Classical Hollywood filmmaking. This was not Welles, who from his rise to infamy with the 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast to his first studio feature made a name by challenging the assumed utilities of a medium. Neither could »
- Drew Morton
Gary Graver, the man who committed himself to serving as Orson Welles' cinematographer for the last fifteen years of his life, learned his trade on the battlefield—literally—as a cameraman in Vietnam. When his tour of duty was over, he took his skills to Los Angeles and landed work shooting a film for notorious cult director Al Adamson called Satan's Sadists (1969), the first of over 200 productions. He shot cheap drive-in films for Roger Corman, Jim Wynorski, Fred Olen Ray and Adamson, second unit work on Enter the Dragon and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and directed horror films, documentaries, family comedies and even adult movies. And he was Welles' cameraman on everything Welles made between 1970 until 1985, from F For Fake and Filming Othello to TV projects and pilots, commercials and unfinished films such as The Other Side of the Wind and The Dreamers.>> - Sean Axmaker »
Orson Welles called his 1965 William Shakespeare epic “Falstaff Chimes of Midnight” his favorite amongst his films. Based on Welles’ play called “Five Kings,” which attempted to squeeze in Shakespeare’s “Henry IV, V, VI”, as well as his “Richard III” into a single play, “Falstaff Chimes of Midnight” is considered by critics and film buffs to be Welles’ final masterpiece (at least until "The Other Side Of The Wind" finally comes out). Well, perhaps his last fictional masterpiece, since his excellent documentary “F For Fake” was made almost a decade later. Read More: Watch: The 10 Trailers To Orson Welles' 10 Favorite Films Up until this year, it was very hard to find a home video copy of the film stateside, but now things are getting slightly easier. Fans of Welles’ epic had to shell out big bucks for a European DVD with an apparently muddy transfer. Fortunately, “Falstaff Chimes of »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
“It’s rare to see a filmmaker displaying, though his actual presence and through the tools of his trade, such an unadulterated delight in expression,” wrote our very own Jeremy Carr when reviewing the recent Criterion release of Orson Welle’s F for Fake. The final directorial project of the legendary filmmaker, F for Fake is less a documentary than an example of cinematic free association on the topic of visual trickery. Video essays are increasing in popular and nobody does it better than Tony Zhou who recently released a video exploring Welle’s masterpiece and how it has influenced his craft over the years, going so far as to claim to use F for Fake as his own personal bible. Watch the video below. Enjoy!
The post Video of the Day: ‘F for Fake’ and how to structure a video essay appeared first on Sound On Sight.
Most cineastes associate Orson Welles with landmark motion pictures like “The Magnificent Ambersons,” “Touch of Evil,” and the granddaddy of them all, “Citizen Kane.” But his 1974 oddity, “F for Fake” — a nifty riff on the notion of deceit and what exactly “artistic license” really means, and also the last picture he would ever direct — is worth seeking out for those who wish to dig into the more obscure corners of the legendary filmmaker’s body of work. A loosely structured, free-form narrative hoax, one that Roger Ebert famously called “fun and engaging [but] minor,” “F for Fake” cannot attest to the almost-unanimous acclaim of Welles’ earlier pictures, but, oddly enough, it plays well today. The film has a prankish, fearless spirit that is as ahead of its time, in its own way, as the films of Jean-Luc Godard (an amusing comparison, if for no other reason than Welles had some not-very-nice »
- Nicholas Laskin
Even though video essayist Tony Zhou criticizes his own work in his latest video essay (a bit of self criticism is never a bad thing), he remains one of the more fascinating video essayists working right now and this latest not only calls to attention a great documentary -- Orson Welles' F for Fake -- but delves into how to structure video essays to keep 'em moving with a bit of snap, crackle and pop. With commentary from John Sturges (The Great Escape) quoting Alfred Hitchcock's story structure utilizing the narrative trick "Meanwhile, back at the ranch" to keep the action moving in parallel with other portions of the story. Items such as Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, F for Fake, "South Park" and even a little Dude, Where's My Carc Everything Zhou is talking about here, however, is actually far more complex than he makes it sound, »
- Brad Brevet
“‘Therefore’ and ‘but;’ ‘meanwhile’ and ‘back at the ranch.'” Those are two storytelling axioms to keep in mind, suggests Tony Zhou, when structuring both a film and a video essay. Drawing on Orson Welles’ F For Fake, as well as the words of Alfred Hitchcock and Trey Parker, Zhou demonstrates how the juggling of parallel ideas and story lines are essential to any convincing film or argument. »
- Sarah Salovaara
The value some people put in memorabilia is interesting. Sure, I like a good signed poster or what-have-you, but I would never spend $500,000 on something due to it possibly having collector's potential, even if they were bottles of wine from Thomas Jefferson's personal collection. Well, that is what billionaire Bill Koch did, and he spent twice as much to investigate whether the bottles were authentic or not. This is the kind of bullsh*t rich people do... Matthew McConaughey is attached to star in The Billionaire's Vinegar, which will be written by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (3:10 to Yuma, Wanted). There seems to be no stopping McConaughey with his role choices, and good for him. He's earned the right to do whatever he wants. I just wish this project sounded more appealing than it does. Here's the plot: Benjamin Wallace's "The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery Of The World's »
- Mike Shutt
“I disappear between these two moments of speech/ self-portrait not autobiography” – Jean-Luc Godard
Never has Godard been so melancholic and comedic in one film. Jlg/Jlg: self-portrait in December (hereafter referred to as Jlg/Jlg) is a portrait of an artist, the artist of cinema, at sixty four. Part documentary, part film essay, Jlg/Jlg is a poignant and tender depiction of Jean-Luc in his apartment in Switzerland. The icy beaches and snowy landscapes depict Jean-Luc entering the winter season, nesting at his desk with pen and notebook, quoting from the history of cinema, literature, and philosophy in the voice-over, intertitles, and the dialogue, pensively ruminating about his place in the history of cinema.
“Self-portrait not autobiography” Jean-Luc tells us and this distinction is important for understanding Jlg/Jlg. Typical documentary-biopics proceed in this manner: begin with subject’s childhood; list their achievements; pad the film with talking head interviews »
- Cody Lang
One of cinema’s preeminent magicians welcomes us with his trademark corpulence and pastiched cigar to the Idfa at Amsterdam in a selection entitled Framing. A self-confessed charlatan making a film about yet another self-contained charlatan, Orson Wells takes immense pleasure in 1973’s F for Fake reminding us that film is by nature trickery whilst hoodwinking us one more time (but gently, a fatherly sort of magician—showing us shot, impossible counter-shot, whilst winking mischievously into the camera). F for Fake is an odd choice for a selection which is, to quote the guide, “investigating the borders between fiction and documentary,” since the film admits no such borders, and for Wells any film base enough to insist on its own reality is the most insupportable form of charlatanry (witness his childlike glee at elbow-jabbing the experts every time forger extraordinaire Elmyr Dehory pulls a fast one on a gallerist).
- Yaron Dahan
16 items from 2015
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