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Having recently enthralled many film fans on TV with his exhaustive 15-part look into the history of cinema, The Story of Film: An Odyssey, documentarian and cinematic scholar Mark Cousins travels to a remote Iraqi village of Goptapa (population 700) to engage with and enlighten the area’s impoverished children in The First Movie.
Visiting an area which is itself highly cinematic (the dusty, green and arid mix of truly stunning landscapes and the City of God-esque feral kids in their slum-like environment) Cousins brings a strong visual and lyrical sensibility to the footage he shoots, drawing parallels between his younger self in a volatile Ulster decades back and the children here, and how war and cinema sometimes share a dreamlike quality, particularly through the eyes of an innocent child.
Coming across as a real-life mini-Cinema Paradiso, Cousins and his crew begin by constructing a makeshift outdoor screening area »
- Adam Lowes
The mark of a truly classic film is that its themes and subject matter are timeless, relatable to each successive generation even if the direct circumstances have passed. Cinema Paradiso falls perfectly into that mold. I had often heard that Cinema Paradiso was cinema’s greatest ode to motion pictures, and such could not be more accurate. Hit the jump for our review of Cinema Paradiso on Blu-ray. The film follows Salvatore “Toto” Di Vita as he grows from a young boy (Salvatore Cascio) to a teenager (Marco Leonardi) under the tutelage of the projectionist at the local movie theatre, Alfredo (Philippe Noiret). As a young boy Salvatore would sneak into the movies until Alfredo agreed to teach him the trade. When a projector fire burns down the Cinema Paradiso and takes Alfredo’s sight, a local lottery winner builds a new theater for which Salvatore becomes the new projectionist. »
DVD Playhouse—November 2011
By Allen Gardner
Tree Of Life (20th Century Fox) Terrence Malick’s latest effort is both the best film of 2011 and the finest work of his (arguably) mixed, but often masterly canon. A series of vignettes, mostly set in 1950s Texas, capture the memory of a man (Sean Penn) in present-day New York who looks back on his life, and his parents’ (Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain) troubled marriage, when word of his younger brother’s suicide reaches him. Almost indescribable beyond that, except to say no other film in history so perfectly evokes the magic and mystery of the human memory, which both crystalizes (and sometimes idealizes) the past. Like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, this is a challenging, polarizing work that you must let wash over you. If you go along for the ride, you’re in for a unique, rewarding cinematic experience. Also available on Blu-ray disc. »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Directed by Martin Scorsese
What are the odds that two of the best films of the year would be films about the history of Paris by veteran filmmakers identified strongly – almost chained – to the history of another city: New York?
Both Scorsese’s Hugo and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris are in a sense time travel stories. Midnight in Paris is a time travel story – full stop – with writer Gil Pender starting in present-day Paris and travelling back to the Paris of the 1920s and 1890s with a secondary character ending up in Versailles of the time of Louis Xiv (late 17th Century). By contrast, Hugo takes place in the Paris of the late 1920s or early 1930s and “travels” back in time to Paris from the late 1890′s to 1914 using »
- Michael Ryan
Within the last year, movie equipment manufacturers Arri, Panavision, and Aaton have quietly ceased production on the 35mm film camera, effectively driving another nail in the coffin of celluloid and signaling the end of an era in cinema that has spanned 123 years.
Seeing this callous digital revolution coming in 1990, Martin Scorsese founded The Film Foundation with other titans of modern filmmaking (Spielberg, Allen, Redford, Coppola, etc.) to preserve and protect reels of motion picture history. It’s this personal passion that drives Scorsese’s Hugo, a movie ostensibly about the obsolescence of traditional film sadly shot on digital cameras and projected in stereoscopic 3D.
The story is a PG adaptation of Brian Selznick’s Caldecott-winning children’s book about a scamp named Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) who lives in the walls of a Parisian train station circa 1930. The orphaned son of a late clockmaker (Jude Law, briefly), Hugo is gifted »
- Jeff Leins
George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) has had it with the movies in "The Artist"Over at Fandor's Keyframe blog I'll be musing about the Oscar race on a biweekly basis. This week's topic is the unusual abundance of movies about movies in this year's Oscar race from Marilyn Monroe (My Week With Marilyn) to George Melies (Hugo) to Hollywood's seismic sound shift in the late 20s (The Artist). But one thing I didn't dwell on too much in the article (which I hope you'll go and read!) is the lack of Oscars won for movies about movies.
Everyone predicting a win for The Artist (2011) before the nominations are even announced should consider the following list and sobering fact: No movie about movies has ever won Best Picture.
Movies About Movies: How Do They Do With Oscar?
(Best Picture Nominees are in red)
Janet Gaynor (already an Oscar winner) was nominated again »
- NATHANIEL R
Starting In Early 2012, Netflix Members In The UK And Ireland
Beginning in early 2012, Miramax titles will be available for Netflix members to watch instantly in the UK and Ireland streamed over the Internet to connected TVs, tablets, game consoles, computers and mobile phones.
Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Netflix announced in October that it would launch its service in the UK and Ireland early in 2012.
.Netflix is proud to be able to offer the unmatched mix of award-winning, independent and commercially successful films Miramax is known for,. said Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer. .Miramax »
- Michelle McCue
Whether a film runs for 90 minutes or 180, whether it’s animated or live-action, for an on-screen romance to work, the writer and director have to build a relationship between two characters that resonates deeply with the audience and, when executed properly in the tradition of classic cinema, climaxes in that romantic kiss where the music swells as the picture fades to black. Moments such as these have become iconic and yet more often than not they’re treated as just another scene in the ever-expanding world of film. It only seems appropriate then that a director, like Giuseppe Tornatore, would come along and create a grand tribute to cinematic romance, both narratively and literally. Cinema Paradiso has love as its focus in more ways than one. It’s a love letter both to the medium of film itself, the romances it’s brought to life, as well as a bittersweet story of love deferred, »
- Lex Walker
I have it on good authority that Amélie turned Montmartre into a "tourist shithole". The Café des 2 Moulins, the film's key location, was flooded with sightseers, and sold on. Someone put a banner over Rue Lepic reading "Welcome to the quartier of Amélie Poulain". Megaphones pumped out accordion music in the street, turning the area into some kind of Marcel Marceau wet dream. Amélie has that kind of effect. Watching it for the second time on the eve of its 10th-anniversary re-release, I still find Audrey Tautou's boulevard busybody simpering to the point of psychosis. (As our own Peter Bradshaw said of her flat-rearranging antics: "Does the director know that this is precisely what Charles Manson claimed to love doing? »
- Phil Hoad
The Italian film Cinema Paradiso won the the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar at the 1989 Academy Awards. It traces the life of famed Italian director Salvatore Di Vita back to his childhood years via flashbacks.
Cinema Paradiso is now available on Blu-ray, and we're going it award two lucky readers who win this contest. For a chance to win, please fill out and submit the contest entry form below. You can optionally return any or every day the contest is open to enter again to increase the odds of winning with each additional entry.
For the first time in high-definition, Cinema Paradiso has been fully restored and digitally remastered. Haunted by memories of his first love - film - a now-famous Italian filmmaker (Jacques Perrin, The Chorus), returns to his hometown after a 30-year absence. Finally home, he reconnects with his community and recalls the highlights and tragedies of his past. »
Chicago International Film Festival 2011
The Kid with a Bike
Running Time: 1 hr 28 mins
Release Date: Tbd
Click Here for complete coverage of the Chicago International Film Festival (Ciff 2011)
Plot: A conflicted young boy (Doret) is put under the weekend foster care of a hairdresser (De France) after his father declares he never wants to see him again.
Who’S It For?: Fans of patient dramas; those who liked De France in Hereafter, and are curious to see what else she can do. Those particularly interested in stories about youth, and youth being in danger.
Placed into the film footsteps of now classic movies like Cinema Paradiso and Oldboy,The Kid with a Bike was awarded the “Grand Prix” (Aka second place) at the most recent Cannes Film Festival. While The Kid »
- Nick Allen
DVD Links: DVD News | Release Dates | New Dvds | Reviews | RSS Feed
The Lion King (Diamond Edition) The Lion King domination now moves over to home video and as you can see from the image to the left you have plenty of buying options. You can get the four-disc version with the 3D edition of the film, the two-disc version in either DVD or Blu-ray packaging or the eight disc version with the complete trilogy of films -- The Lion King, The Lion King 1.5 and The Lion King 2.
As for my suggestion, I will have a brief review later today, but the two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo should be enough to satisfy, but then again I don't think I've ever watched The Lion King 1.5 of The Lion King 2, are they any good?
Beauty and the Beast (Five Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy) What, you didn't know the 3D version »
- Brad Brevet
Your Weekly Source for the Newest Releases to Blu-Ray Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
Synopsis: For some unexplained reason, letters to Santa Claus are being returned to the children of Junctionville. It seems some resident has angered St. Nick by calling him “a fraudulent myth!” Skeptical Albert Mouse has to be brought to his senses “and let up a little on the wonder why.” How Albert is persuaded to change his tune paves the way for Santa’s jolly return to town – and the joyous finale of the animated fable inspired by Clement Moore’s poem and produced by the merrymaking conjures of Rankin/bass studios. The voice talents of Joel grey, Tammy Grimes, John McGiver and George Gobel make this festive fable even more fun. (highdefdigest.com)
The 12 Dogs Of Christmas (2005)
Synopsis: A girl who uses dogs to »
- Travis Keune
Some people will do anything for a good cause -- even watch 100 hours of TV, straight.
That's the sacrifice that three stouthearted people in Los Angeles are making this weekend to help The San Gennaro Foundation, a nonprofit created by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel that helps underpriviliged children in Los Angeles and promotes Italian culture. (San Gennaro is the patron saint of Naples, Italy.)
As part of the foundation's 10th Annual Precious Cheese Feast of San Gennaro Los Angeles, three couch potatoes are attempting to break the current world record for most consecutive hours spent watching TV.
But couch potatoes Greg Durfee, 48, Jackie Haigh, 42, and Raymond Garcia, 28, hope to set a new record by watching 100 hours straight of Italian-themed movies and TV shows, »
- David Moye
One of the major selling points of the Red State screenings scheduled in advance of the full theatrical release has been Kevin Smith himself. For the past few months he's been touring with the film and doing live question and answer sessions after each screening. If you aren't in a major city, however, you've been shut out of the Red State tour. This past week the film opened On Demand, but even then it's the movie sans Smith. On September 25 Smith is hoping to bring that unique Red State experience to as many people as possible. Theaters all across the country will be screening  the film simultaneously and audience members will be able to participate in and watch a live Q&A via Twitter and satellite. Then Smith will cap off the evening with an exclusive, live podcast, originating from the  New Beverly in Los Angeles. Curious if there's a »
- Germain Lussier
Deal Marks Miramax.s First International Digital Agreement;
Offers Instant Viewing of Celebrated Miramax Titles such as
Santa Monica, CA - September 6, 2011 - Miramax announced today that hundreds of its film titles will become available digitally in international markets for the first time under a multi-year agreement with Netflix. The announcement was made by Miramax CEO Mike Lang.
Beginning this month, Netflix members in Latin American territories including Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina will be able to instantly watch more than 140 Miramax movies, with dozens of titles being added on a rotating basis. The movies can be watched on multiple platforms, including TV, tablet, PC and mobile phones. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
- Michelle McCue
Release Date: Oct. 4, 2011
Price: Blu-ray $14.99
Cinema Paradiso, the Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 1989, has been on Blu-ray overseas, and for its high-definition debut in the U.S., the movie has been fully restored and digitally remastered.
Written and directed by Italy’s Giuseppe Tornatore (Everybody’s Fine), the drama unabashedly sentimental story revolves around a famous Italian filmmaker, Salvatore “Toto” Di Vita (Jacques Perrin, The Chorus). Haunted by the memories of his childhood, Salvatore returns to his small hometown after a 30-year absence and reconnects with his community, recalling the highlights and tragedies of his past. The most important place in Salvatore’s head and heart is the village’s beloved movie theater, where he is reminded of the deep friendship that he forged with the projectionist (Philippe Noiret, ‘Round Midnight).
Presented in Italian with English subtitles, the Blu-ray edition of Cinema Paradiso contains »
It looks like The King's Speech won't be the only Weinstein Company film headed to Broadway in the near future. The New York Post reports that Harvey and Bob Weinstein are planning to "mine the Miramax and Weinstein Co. vaults for material for eight to 10 projects." Already on deck is Finding Neverland, with Chocolat and perhaps Cinema Paradiso on the way. Maybe this could be a way for the notoriously sequel-averse Harvey Weinstein to continue Rounders? "Pay That Man His Money" could be a show-stopper! [Nyp] »
BBC Proms 2011: Film Music Night
It's film music night at the Proms, an act of arrant populist bone-throwing which is nonetheless terrific fun. Keith Lockhart leads the BBC Concert Orchestra through a riotously varied programme including the lament of Cinema Paradiso, the stately anthem from Star Wars and the chilling screech of the shower scene from Psycho – guest solo violinist Chloë Hanslip must be looking forward to this one, especially. Quite rightly there is also a tribute to prolific Bond theme composer John Barry, who died in January.
Sex, Lies and Parkinson's
7.35pm, Channel 4
On Valentine's Day, 2007, paediatric nurse Vicki discovered that she had young-onset Parkinson's disease. It's a cruel condition: not only is it degenerative, but the drugs that »
- Andrew Mueller, Jonathan Wright, Ben Arnold, Phelim O'Neill
Lionsgate is on a roll when it comes to releasing great films on Blu-ray. This fall they've already lined up Trainspotting, Pulp Fiction, Amelie, Life is Beautiful, Cinema Paradiso, Jackie Brown, and The Crow; now they are adding Francis Ford Coppola's classic paranoid thriller, The Conversation. Here are the details from Lionsgate:"An intelligent thriller"- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-TmesFrancis Ford Coppola's Oscar® Nominated Mystery Looms Large in Hi-DefTHE Conversation Street Date: 10/25/11Blu-ray Disc Srp: $24.99Program DESCRIPTIONFrancis Ford Coppola's celebrated thriller The Conversation makes its first appearance on Blu-ray Disc and Digital Download from Lionsgate. The three-time Academy Award® nominated film, (Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound, 1974) features an outstanding all-star cast including Academy Award® winners Gene Hackman (Best Actor in a Leading Role, The »
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