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17 items from 2012


Curio: Hannah on Thanksgiving

20 November 2012 10:00 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Alexa here. Every year on Thanksgiving I make an effort to catch Hannah and Her Sisters, one of Woody's best and certainly my favorite film with a Thanksgiving theme.  Its framing of three Thanksgiving dinners hosted by Mia Farrow's Hannah resembles the three Christmases in Fanny and Alexander (while I'm at it, I may queue that one up for Christmas). Maybe it's the elegance of this structure that makes the film great, as it holds together Woody's wonderful vignettes, especially those amongst Barbara Hershey, Max Von Sydow and Michael Caine. And this scene pretty much summarizes my philosophy of life.

E.E. Cummmings by cartoonist Louie Chin.

I wish I could drag the rest of my family away from the football to watch it with me, but I usually do so as a solitary endeavor in between baking pies. Here, after the jump, are some great little homages and »

- Alexa

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Directors Choose Best Films Ever! Tarantino, Scorsese Make Their Picks!

27 August 2012 2:10 PM, PDT | Manny the Movie Guy | See recent Manny the Movie Guy news »

During the first week of August, Sight & Sound organized a poll that dethroned "Citizen Kane" as the best movie ever made. Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" took the title as the Greatest Film ending "Citizen Kane's" long run. (See Dethroned! "Citizen Kane" No Longer Best Movie Ever! Critics, Directors Pick Top 10 Films of All Time!)

Academians, archivists, critics, directors, and distributors all over the world were among the ones invited to participate in the poll. Now, Sight & Sound has revealed the choices made by our favorite directors (via Collider). Here they are (it's interesting to note that among the list of directors below, only Martin Scorsese, David O'Russell, and Sam Mendes picked "Vertigo"):

Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James, Killing Them Softly)

Apocalypse Now (1979) . Francis Ford Coppola

Badlands (1973) . Terrence Malick

Barry Lyndon (1975) . Stanley Kubrick

Blue Velvet (1986) . David Lynch

Marnie (1964) . Alfred Hitchcock

Mulholland Dr. (2003) . David Lynch

The Night of the Hunter »

- Manny

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Sam Mendes, David O. Russell, Steve McQueen and Martin McDonagh - Your Favourite Filmmakers' Favourite Films Part 4

6 August 2012 3:51 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

This month's Sight and Sound dropped through my letterbox this morning, and in it contained their once-a-decade Top 10 Films of All Time, as voted for by critics and filmmakers. If you've been living as a recluse in your own personal Xanadu, Orson Welles, who's been number one for the past half century, got Citizen Kaned by Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (James Stewart).

In the issue, Sight and Sound also included "100 sample entries" representing "edited highlights of the 358 voting entries we recieved for the 2012 Directors' Poll." The whole bunch will be available online from 22nd August, but until then, here's Part 4 of our own sample of your favourite filmmakers' favourite films:

Martin McDonagh (In Bruges)

Badlands (Malick)

Seven Samurai (Kurosawa)

A Matter of Life and Death (Powell and Pressburger)

Taxi Driver (Scorsese)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone)

The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah)

The Night of the Hunter (Laughton)

Manhattan (Allen »

- Chris Villeneuve

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Venice's Restored Classic Lineup for 80th Fest Includes Welles, Hawks, Bergman, Rosselini and Cimino, In Person with 'Heaven's Gate'

25 July 2012 11:51 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

In celebration of the Venice Film Festival's 80th anniversary, the fest will screen a program of restored classic films, titled "Venezia Classici." Included in the cinephile-dream lineup is Orson Welles' seldom-seen "Chimes at Midnight," Ingmar Bergman's "Fanny and Alexander," Howard Hawks' "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," Roberto Rosselini's "Stromboli" and the restored version of Michael Cimino's "Heaven's Gate," which Cimino will accompany (the epic failure, as described in Steven Bach's must-read "Final Cut," brought down United Artists). The program's mission statement shows an admirable embrace of both the preservation of invaluable film heritage and the new digital age: Although relatively recent, the promotion of access to and appreciation of  the vast heritage represented by classic films is now a phenomenon of international significance. Until the end of the »

- Beth Hanna

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Top 15 Criterion Blu-rays to Buy During the Barnes & Noble 50% Off Sale

11 July 2012 8:30 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

It's that time of year and Barnes and Noble is selling Criterion Collection titles at 50% off (shop here). The problem is, what do you buy? Well, hopefully I can help you with that as I believe there are certain titles from Criterion that are absolute must owns for any cinemaphile and taking into account you are considering buying Criterion Collection titles in the first place, I'm certainly talking to you. So, with that said, let's dive in as I'll give you what I consider to be the top 15 must own Criterion Blu-ray titles as well as a few alternate considerations here and there. 15.) The Thin Red Line Why Should You Buy It? What else is there to expect other than an absolutely gorgeous film from Terrence Malick and that's exactly what you get from The Thin Red Line, but on top of the film you also get a wealth of special features, »

- Brad Brevet

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Wes Anderson’s Career According to The Criterion Collection

7 June 2012 7:00 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

The Criterion Collection’s motto makes explicit its devotion to “important classic and contemporary films,” but it’s also clear that the Collection has dedicated itself to the careers of a select group of important classic and contemporary directors. Several prestigious directors have a prominent portion of their careers represented by the collection. Between the Criterion spine numbers and Eclipse box sets, 21 Ingmar Bergman films are represented (and multiple versions of two of these films), ranging from his 1940s work to Fanny and Alexander (and 3 documentaries about him). 26 Akira Kurosawa films have been given the Criterion/Eclipse treatment, and Yashujiro Ozu has 17 films in the collection. Though many factors go into forming the collection, including the ever-shifting issue of rights and ownership over certain titles, it’s hard to argue against the criticism (or, perhaps more accurately, obvious observation) that the films in the Collection represent certain preferences of taste which makes its omissions suspect and its »

- Landon Palmer

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Erland Josephson, 1923 - 2012

29 February 2012 1:31 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

"Swedish actor Erland Josephson, who collaborated with legendary film director Ingmar Bergman in more than 40 films and plays, has died," reports the AP. He was 88. "Josephson was born in Stockholm in 1923 and met Bergman while training as an amateur actor at 16. He appeared in several Bergman plays and films. He shot to international stardom with the role of Johan in Berman's film Scenes from a Marriage, in 1973. Josephson also starred in Andrey Tarkovskiy's films Nostalghia [1983] and The Sacrifice [1986]."

"It is Josephson's face which makes him so effective on film," reads his entry in the International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, "that bearlike aspect, his ability to look lost and forlorn, to convey a sense of suffering and bewilderment, in spite of his bluff exterior. Were one to repeat Kuleshov's famous experiment of the 1920s and to intercut the same shot of Josephson with images of joy, of sadness, of anger, »

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Obituary: Actor Erland Josephson, 1923-2012

27 February 2012 2:45 PM, PST | Disc Dish | See recent Disc Dish news »

Erland Josephson in 2006.

Erland Josephson, a sturdy and distinguished Swedish actor best known for his frequent collaborations with legendary film and theater director Ingmar Bergman (Smiles of a Summer Night), passed away on Saturday, February 25, at the age of 88.

Josephson, who died at a Stockholm hospital, had long been suffering from Parkinson’s disease, according to a spokeswoman from Sweden’s Royal Dramatic Theatre, where he had been the managing director from 1966 to 1975.

Born in 1923 in Stockhoom to a family deeply involved in the arts (his relatives included composers, painters and a theater director who had worked with playwright August Strinberg), Josephson never had any formal acting education. But that didn’t stop him from embarking on an frequent “dramatic” collaborations with Bergman, which began in the late 1930s when Bergman directed him in a municipal stage production of The Merchant of Venice in Gothenburg. Several years later, Josephson’s »

- Laurence

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Ingmar Bergman vs. the Oscar

27 February 2012 2:28 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Ingmar Bergman Jean Dujardin, Meryl Streep, Christopher Plummer, Michel Hazanavicius, Octavia Spencer, and surely Harvey Weinstein are thrilled they and/or their movies won Academy Awards last night at Hollywood & Highland. Not every Oscar nominee/winner, however, has felt that way. The Criterion Collection has posted (via dizzydentfilms) a May 12, 1960, letter in which Ingmar Bergman scolded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for nominating his 1957 drama Wild Strawberries for a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award in 1960. (Wild Strawberries was shown in Los Angeles in 1959.) Here's the text of Bergman's letter, which was displayed at the 2010 Academy exhibit "Ingmar Bergman: Truth and Lies": As Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) didn't compete for "Oscar" I think it is wrong to nominate the picture and therefor [sic] I want to return the "Certificate Of Nomination". I have found that the "Oscar" nomination is one for the motion picture art humiliating institution and »

- Andre Soares

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Erland Josephson obituary

26 February 2012 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Swedish actor known for his roles in Ingmar Bergman's films and television dramas

Although the actors who comprised Ingmar Bergman's repertory company all went on to make their own prestigious careers, they will for ever be associated with the great Swedish film and stage director. Erland Josephson, who has died aged 88 after suffering from Parkinson's disease, was artistically linked with Bergman even more than Max Von Sydow, Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Thulin. Josephson appeared in more than a dozen of Bergman's films, and played a Bergman surrogate in Ullmann's Faithless (2000).

In middle and old age, he was chosen by directors such as Andrei Tarkovsky and Theo Angelopoulos for the qualities he revealed in the Bergman films – a certain self-centred introspection and a deep melancholy, etched on his lined and grizzled features. Because he became a leading film actor in his 50s, he seems never to have been young. »

- Ronald Bergan

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Erland Josephson obituary

26 February 2012 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Swedish actor known for his roles in Ingmar Bergman's films and television dramas

Although the actors who comprised Ingmar Bergman's repertory company all went on to make their own prestigious careers, they will for ever be associated with the great Swedish film and stage director. Erland Josephson, who has died aged 88 after suffering from Parkinson's disease, was artistically linked with Bergman even more than Max Von Sydow, Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Thulin. Josephson appeared in more than a dozen of Bergman's films, and played a Bergman surrogate in Ullmann's Faithless (2000).

In middle and old age, he was chosen by directors such as Andrei Tarkovsky and Theo Angelopoulos for the qualities he revealed in the Bergman films – a certain self-centred introspection and a deep melancholy, etched on his lined and grizzled features. Because he became a leading film actor in his 50s, he seems never to have been young. »

- Ronald Bergan

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DGA Awards vs. Academy Awards: Odd Men Out Roman Polanski, Kenneth Branagh, David Lynch

10 January 2012 10:35 AM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Bob Hoskins, Jessica Rabbit in Robert Zemeckis' DGA- (but not Oscar-) nominated Who Framed Roger Rabbit (top); Willem Dafoe in Martin Scorsese's Oscar- (but not DGA-) nominated The Last Temptation of Christ (bottom) DGA Awards vs. Academy Awards 1970s: Odd Men Out Bob Fosse, Woody Allen, Ingmar Bergman 1980 DGA Michael Apted, Coal Miner's Daughter AMPAS Roman Polanski, Tess DGA/AMPAS Robert Redford, Ordinary People David Lynch, The Elephant Man Richard Rush, The Stunt Man Martin Scorsese, Raging Bull   1981 DGA/AMPAS Warren Beatty, Reds Hugh Hudson, Chariots of Fire Louis Malle, Atlantic City Mark Rydell, On Golden Pond Steven Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark   1982 DGA Taylor Hackford, An Officer and a Gentleman AMPAS Sidney Lumet, The Verdict DGA/AMPAS Richard Attenborough, Gandhi Wolfgang Petersen, Das Boot Sydney Pollack, Tootsie Steven Spielberg, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial   1983 DGA Lawrence Kasdan, The Big Chill Philip Kaufman, The Right Stuff AMPAS Mike Nichols, »

- Andre Soares

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DGA Awards vs. Academy Awards: Foreign, Small, Controversial Movies Have Better Luck at the Oscars

9 January 2012 3:41 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

The DGA Awards vs. the Academy Awards: Usually But Not Always a Match. [Photo: Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider in Last Tango in Paris.] Since 1970, when the DGA instituted the five-nominee limit, a mere ten directors of (at least mostly) non-English-language films have received DGA nods: Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties, 1976), Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot, 1982), Ingmar Bergman (Fanny and Alexander, 1983), Lasse Hallström (My Life As a Dog, 1987), Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso, 1990), Michael Radford (Il Postino / The Postman, 1995), Robert Benigni (Life Is Beautiful, 1998), Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000), Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), and Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 2009). The above list can be expanded to twelve if you include Bernardo Bertolucci for Last Tango in Paris, which has a sizable amount of English dialogue, and Michel Hazanavicius' French-made but Hollywood-set The Artist. During that same period (excepting 2011, as Oscar nominations will be announced only later this month), 21 directors of non-English-language films received Academy Award nominations. (Twenty-two if you »

- Andre Soares

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The 10 best films of 2011

7 January 2012 9:25 PM, PST | The Moving Arts Journal | See recent The Moving Arts Journal news »

Ryan Gosling in Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive"

It’s that time of year again when we intrepid critics whittle down the hundreds of titles we’ve seen over the last 365 days to the top 10 that made us gasp, chuckle, cringe, hope, feel and think the most. As seems to be the trend, Hollywood left us slim pickings, so the bulk of this list is made up of independent and foreign films, not out of snobbery, but, sadly, by necessity. Here are my picks, in alphabetical order, for the year’s 10 best:

A Separation

An incisive and penetrating portrait of the immovable tenets of reality. Asghar Farhadi unwraps the layers of family life in Tehran with the deftness and care of a master. No other film released this year connects with as much truth or treats its subject with as much keenness or soberness as “A Separation.”

The Artist

I love movies about movies. »

- Eric M. Armstrong

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The Best Blu-ray Discs of 2011

2 January 2012 6:07 PM, PST | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Best Contemporary Titles

Winner: "The Tree of Life"

Runner-up: "Black Swan"

Love it or hate it, Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" is visually the most luscious film of the year and Blu-ray transfer recreates this in perfect detail. No digital artifacts or enhancements are done here, there is a bit of grain but that's expected with the photography on offer, while the IMAX 65mm sequences are true visual wonders.

Coming in second is my favourite film of last year, Darren Aronofsky's psychological thriller "Black Swan". Here is a challenge of a different sort, a film shot on both 16mm film and off the shelf Dslr video cameras. The result is a deliberately soft and grainy handheld-style image which lends a realistic documentary feel to proceedings and could look terrible if the Blu-ray transfer was handled poorly. Full kudos to Fox for a high quality presentation lacking in »

- Garth Franklin

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Zelig; Hannah and Her Sisters – review

31 December 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Woody Allen was back on form in 2011 with Midnight in Paris, and this week sees the welcome return to the big screen (though initially only at BFI South Bank) of two of the five masterpieces he made in consecutive years during the mid-1980s. Zelig (1983) is a brilliant riff on America's permanent identity crisis, the national belief in the ability to reinvent the self, and it takes the form of a wholly fake, but completely convincing documentary of a fictive inter-war celebrity, Leonard Zelig, known as "the human chameleon". Shot in black-and-white except for the commentaries on the Zelig affair by Saul Bellow, Susan Sontag, Irving Howe and Bruno Bettelheim, it's also a brilliant satirical history of America in the 1930s and 40s.

Arguably Allen's wittiest disquisition on life, love and death in Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) is beneficially influenced by Bergman's Fanny and Alexander. One of his most subtly plotted pictures, »

- Philip French

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Zelig/Hannah and Her Sisters – review

31 December 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Woody Allen was back on form in 2011 with Midnight in Paris, and this week sees the welcome return to the big screen (though initially only at BFI South Bank) of two of the five masterpieces he made in consecutive years during the mid-1980s. Zelig (1983) is a brilliant riff on America's permanent identity crisis, the national belief in the ability to re-invent the self, and it takes the form of a wholly fake, but completely convincing documentary of a fictive inter-war celebrity, Leonard Zelig, known as "the human chameleon". Shot in black-and-white except for the commentaries on the Zelig affair by Saul Bellow, Susan Sontag, Irving Howe and Bruno Bettelheim, it's also a brilliant satirical history of America in the 1930s and 40s.

Arguably Allen's wittiest disquisition on life, love and death in Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) is beneficially influenced by Bergman's Fanny and Alexander. One of his most subtly plotted pictures, »

- Philip French

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17 items from 2012


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