11 items from 2014
When you think of noir, you probably think of darkness: the shadowed alleyways, the mean city at midnight, the gunshots that sound unseen just outside the spill of the street lamp. But there’s a sun-bleached counter-narrative in noir — actually, it’s arguably the main narrative, once you consider that Chandler’s Philip Marlowe stalked the streets of Los Angeles, The Maltese Falcon takes place in San Francisco, and James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice unfolds in rural California. Noir itself was largely a counter-narrative, of course, and not primarily to the starchy history of the tradition-choked East Coast. So much classic noir, instead, is about the underbelly of the American frontier — which, in the 20th century, meant California. It’s the dark side of the sunny side, as it were.So it’s especially thrilling to see that Brooklyn’s Bam Cinematek has collected 21 classic Cali-noir »
- Adam Sternbergh
A few weeks ago, in anticipation of Guardians of the Galaxy's theatrical release, I wrote about the Curse of Tor Johnson, named after the old-school wrestler (and Ed Wood muse) who may have also been responsible for 50 years of terrible performances from professional wrestlers.
Since I wrote for WWE's Monday Night Raw for about six months, I wondered if the presence of Dave Bautista, a former champion, would jinx Guardians' box-office mojo. Three weeks into its theatrical run (and more than $175 million in receipts later), it's safe to say the Curse has been broken. »
Today on Trailers from Hell, Dan Ireland talks Lawrence Kasdan's sweaty, pulpy 1981 Southern gothic "Body Heat," starring Kathleen Turner. Archetypal film noirs like "The Postman Always Rings Twice" were steeped in sex but kept the main event behind closed doors. "Body Heat," Lawrence Kasdan's 1981 noir revival, puts the sex front and center (along with several other positions). Set during a heat wave in a tony Florida suburb, "Body Heat" was an enormous success and much of that can be attributed to Kathleen Turner's breakthrough performance as the sweaty femme fatale plotting her husband’s murder with her lover played by William Hurt. Mickey Rourke has an incendiary cameo as (appropriately) a demolition expert and John Barry provided the laconically sexy soundtrack, heavy on the saxophone. Look out for more psychosexual noirs this week, with "Basic Instinct" and "Eyes Wide Shut" coming up on Tfh! »
- Trailers From Hell
Archetypal film noirs like The Postman Always Rings Twice were steeped in sex but kept the main event behind closed doors. Body Heat, Lawrence Kasdan's 1981 noir revival, puts the sex front and center (along with several other positions). Set during a heat wave in a tony Florida suburb, Body Heat was an enormous success and much of that can be attributed to Kathleen Turner's breakthrough performance as the sweaty femme fatale plotting her husband's murder with her lover played by William Hurt. Mickey Rourke has an incendiary cameo as (appropriately) a demolition expert and John Barry provided the laconically sexy soundtrack, heavy on the saxophone.
The post Body Heat appeared first on Trailers From Hell.
- TFH Team
Film noir tropes have long been explored by film historians who are fascinated with the genre's stylish cinematography, multilayered characters and pessimistic tone. A 2009 BBC documentary on the genre is now online, exploring the world of the American thrillers and teaching us the rules of noir. Host Matthew Sweet explores the grammar of noir, starting with the rule: "Choose a dame with a past and a hero with no future." Films Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice demonstrate how "the blonder and brighter" a woman is on the outside, the more evil she is on the inside. Gotta love a femme fatale. Guests Paul Schrader and Roger Deakins help examine aspects of each film — of which there are many overall. Other rules up for discussion...
- Alison Nastasi
The umpteenth screen version of Thérèse Raquin is lifted by occasional humour and Lange's impressive performance
This latest adaptation (via Neal Bell's stage play) of Émile Zola's 1867 novel Thérèse Raquin is notable largely for the anguished, nuanced performance of Jessica Lange as tortured and torturing mother Madame Raquin, an impressively physical account of seething rage and maddening horror. Elizabeth Olsen is the initially repressed eponymous anti-heroine whose passions are awakened by Oscar Isaac's brooding rake, with deadly results. The story (first filmed in 1915 and reinterpreted endlessly since) is well rehearsed: illicit desires provoke a mortal sin in the shadow of which fleshy pleasures wither. Charlie Stratton, who directed Bell's play on stage in La, paints 19th-century Paris as a torpid dung-hole in which the suffocating air of death (Matt Lucas's bewigged Olivier literally stinks of the morgue) is alleviated only by the spark of lust a »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Don’t be fooled. At first glance, Lana Del Rey’s video for her slinky, retro new single, “West Coast,” looks like it’s the same video as the audio video that came out three weeks ago. To be sure, it opens with Del Rey frolicking on a Santa Monica beach with her boy toy, but then around the 1:30 mark, it takes a darker, creepier turn. It turns out that while she’s playing with her her tattoo love boy, she belongs to another man, a much older sugar daddy. In glamorous footage that recalls vintage movies of the past, we see Del Rey in the back seat of a chauffeured car with a man who is clearly keeping her in a style to which she has become accustomed. He touches her, but she’s thinking of her beach baby, and he knows it. The video, directed by Chris Sweeney and Sophie Muller, »
- Melinda Newman
R, 1 Hr., 47 Mins.
Who knew Émile Zola had so much in common with James M. Cain? In this wicked, The Postman Always Rings Twice-style riff on the 19th-century bodice ripper Thérèse Raquin, Elizabeth Olsen plays a sexually repressed wife who falls for a Parisian charmer (Oscar Isaac) and plots to murder her drip of a husband (Tom Felton). There’s never any doubt that this will end badly for the lovers. But just in case, Jessica Lange as the fire-breathing mother-in-law seals the deal. B —Chris Nashawaty
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
Not Rated, »
- EW staff
Written and directed by Orson Welles
Michael O’Hara (Orson Welles) is an Irish émigré to the United States who earns his income as a sailor. Walking the streets of Manhattan one night, he comes across the carriage of one Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth), whose beauty and charm immediately catch his eye. After rescuing her from a group of thieves in Central Park, he offers to drive her home, during which time they grow fond of one another. Lo and behold, the next day, Mr. Bannister (Everett Sloane), a notorious criminal lawyer and her husband, makes an offer: come sail with them through the Americas on their way to San Francisco. O’Hara, clearly attracted to the man’s wife but trepidatious about potential complications, reluctantly accepts the offer. The trip and its aftermath in San Francisco prove unforgettable, with everyone’s disdain for Mr. »
- Edgar Chaput
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? Cate Blanchett stars as Jasmine, a fancy New Yorker whose late husband was one of those finance scumbags who swindled people. Left high and dry, she heads to Sf to impose upon her sweet sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins), who's got her own problems to deal with.
Why We're In: This Woody Allen flick is getting rave reviews, nominations, and awards out the wazoo, so if you haven't seen it yet, get cracking.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
Why We're In: Because it's winter and you need a laugh, and because this Criterion edition is restored, extended, and spiffed up in all the right ways. »
- Jenni Miller
As a big fan of the noir genre, my ears perked up back in 2010 when it was announced that there was a film in the works called Better Living Through Chemistry. A story of illicit affairs, prescription drug abuse and murder, the movie sounds like a great dark, funny mystery a la The Postman Always Rings Twice, only it only sounds better when you learn that Sam Rockwell, Michelle Monaghan and Olivia Wilde play the three leads. The question that has persisted through the project's development, however, is when we would actually get to see the finished feature. Thanks to Samuel Goldwyn Films we now have an answer. Variety reports that the studio has officially picked up the United States distribution rights for Better Living Through Chemistry, and while it doesn't look like they've nailed down an official release date yet, they are targeting this spring. Filmmakers Geoff Moore and »
11 items from 2014
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