7 items from 2017
Everyone needs an escape from time to time. A place apart from reality, where the strange whisper with the miraculous, and cheap trinkets are bartered with greasy denizens of the night. What better place to set a horror film than the carnival, where the potential for mystery awaits around every crimson tent and distorted mirror? If you’re so inclined, step right up and buy a ticket to The Funhouse (1981), the late Tobe Hooper’s wonderful tribute to the seedy shadowed world of carnies, caramel apples, and Universal monsters.
Released in March by Universal, The Funhouse underperformed at the box office, but critics (including Gene Siskel) admired it for focusing on suspense and thrills rather than gruesome mayhem. In a landscape littered with severed limbs and phallically inclined urban legends, Mr. Hooper used his genius to once again showcase the underbelly of the American psyche, this time with a major studio’s dollars. »
- Scott Drebit
Review by Roger Carpenter
Made at the height of the creature feature resurgence popularized by films like The Howling, An American Werewolf in London, Wolfen, Humanoids from the Deep, and The Boogens, C.H.U.D. (1984) was a (very) low budget film that was briefly popular upon its release and became a staple of the mid-80’s video stores that seemed to pop up like weeds around that time. We tend to throw around terms like “cult classic” a little too lightly nowadays. I don’t think C.H.U.D. qualifies as a genuine “cult classic,” but the film certainly has legs over three decades plus since its original release.
Perhaps those “legs” have something to do with the coverage from the popular Fangoria magazine during production of the film. Or maybe it had to do with the schlocky but nonetheless horrific rubber monster suits worn for the CHUDs (actually foam latex) to go along »
- Movie Geeks
Author: Stefan Pape
Quietly, Richard Gere is consistently making rather good movies, telling interesting stories and taking on nuanced, intriguing roles. From The Benefactor to Arbitrage (let’s just forget The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for now) – he’s tackling intimate character studies, and his latest, Joseph Cedar’s Norman, is no different.
Gere plays the eponymous protagonist, a professional chancer and over-enthused fixer – only problem is, nobody will actually let him get close enough to fix anything. Until he meets Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi), an Israeli politician spending some time in New York, touched by Norman’s offer to buy him a pair of shoes. Three years pass, and Eshel is now an influential world leader, as the Prime Minister of his native country, and when he returns to the States to meet the President, Norman shows up at a function – and they remember each other well. To have »
- Stefan Pape
It’s more Pastiche du Godard than Histoire(s) du Godard in Michel Hazanavicius’ Redoubtable and that’s not a bad thing. The director’s slight but surprisingly playful account of nouvelle vague maestro Jean-Luc Godard’s marriage to actress Anne Wiazemsky and his re-radicalization in the late 1960s has the potential to infuriate the more devout of Godard followers but there is plenty of good-hearted goading and creative homage to savor for the less pedantic fan.
Honing in on a tumultuous time for Godard and his adoptive France, Hazanavicius charts the relationship between him and Wiazemsky from beginning — on the set of his 1967 film La Chinoise — to end, taking in the 1968 protests and subsequent student movement (“I like the movement, not the students,” he later exclaims) as well as Godard’s own abstract departures from his previous filmmaking methods. It marks a welcome return for the director (Michel that »
- Rory O'Connor
The actor reveals her favourite Parisian hangouts, her love of timeless, authentic places, and the book that’s teaching her to understand cats
Born in Sturmer, Essex, Charlotte Rampling was brought up in Gibraltar, France and Spain. After briefly working as a model she turned to acting, appearing in Georgy Girl (1966), The Damned (1969), The Night Porter (1974), Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories (1980) and several François Ozon films, including Swimming Pool (2003). In 2015 she won a number of awards for her role in Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years. Rampling has been nominated four times for France’s César awards, winning once. She was made an OBE in 2000, and received France’s Légion d’Honneur in 2002. Her TV work includes Dexter, Broadchurch and London Spy. Her new autobiography, Who I Am, is published by Icon and on 27 May she discusses her life and career at the Hay festival.
Continue reading »
- Kathryn Bromwich
“A Long Day’S Journey Into A Little Night Silence”
Woody’s Allen’s first dramatic feature film, Interiors, released in 1978 on the heels of his hugely successful and Oscar-winning masterpiece, Annie Hall, was met with praise by some and head-scratching by others. Most critics, however, acknowledged that the picture was a step the artist needed to take in his evolution as a filmmaker.
Prior to Annie Hall, Allen’s films were zany comedies—the “early funny ones,” as facetiously described in a later work, Stardust Memories. Beginning with Annie, Allen made a quantum leap forward in originality, confidence, and stylistic maturity. He reinvented the romantic comedy. In many ways, Annie Hall is a movie with a European sensibility. It could be argued that Allen’s body of work post-Annie resembles the kind of material made by a director like, say, Francois Truffaut—small, well-written, intimate gems about people, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
By Raymond Benson
If one facetiously counted the number of films Woody Allen made beginning in 1969 and throughout the 70s, there would be eight that he wrote and directed (seven of which he also starred in), plus a movie that he only wrote and starred in—Play It Again, Sam, for which I’ll count as 1/2, making Stardust Memories number 9-1/2. Appropriately, this film seems to intentionally pay homage to Federico Fellini’s own masterwork, 8-1/2 (1963), which was about a filmmaker who didn’t know what movie he wanted to shoot next. Stardust Memories, released in 1980 after the huge successes of Annie Hall and Manhattan (with critically-acclaimed Interiors in-between), is also about a filmmaker in search of the picture he wants to make.
It wasn’t well-received at the time. I recall leaving the theater in anger. How could Woody be so contemptuous of his audience? It was as if his character, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
7 items from 2017
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