5 items from 2014
There is a certain timeslot from days gone by, in your local independent cinema, that Castles In The Sky utterly belongs to. The weekend afternoon matinee slot, designed specifically for families, that I remember from my time working in a cinema as the 'Tired Daddy Doesn't Want to Answer His Five Year Old's Innocent Yet Fiendish Questions' slot. Also it rained popcorn. Now this slot mostly consists of variable animated fare put on at 10.15 in the morning by chain cinemas who don't appreciate the sanctity of the lie-in. This is a shame, as Castles In The Sky evokes the nostalgia of films like Memphis Belle, despite being tonally more similar to movies such as the 2005 Lassie picture.
Nearly seventy years have passed since World War II ended, but it continues to capture the imagination of Hollywood. It is easy to see why--after all, it was one of the biggest conflicts in history, starring quite possibly the nastiest bad guy of all time versus a diverse cast of heroes as big as Winston Churchill and George S. Patton and as seemingly small (but still important) as the enlisted men who stormed the beaches of Normandy and the women who worked in homefront munitions factories. There are numerous powerful and inspirational stories, both fictional and nonfictional, that can be pulled from such rich material. One such story is that of the Memphis Belle, the B-17 flying fortress that was one of the first to complete all 25 of her missions--and successfully, at that.
- Lee Jutton
The two most remarkable film books of last year were both about the ways – mostly craven and temporising – that the American cinema responded to the rise of Nazism: The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact with Hitler by Ben Urwand and Hollywood and Hitler 1933-1939 by Thomas Doherty. By a useful coincidence, the first important movie history so far this year, and likely to prove one of the most memorable, is Mark Harris's Five Came Back. His complementary work picks up Urband's and Doherty's studies at that crucial point where the bombs fall on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and Hollywood rolls up its sleeves and swaps the diplomatic velvet glove for a patriotic steel fist. As in his impressive first book, Scenes from a Revolution, a long, detailed study of five 1967 movies that »
- Philip French
Where others may diagnose death for a failed film, a certain cinematic surgeon endeavors to breathe new life into moribund movies through extreme and invasive procedures. Whether it be rescuing invaluable elements from train wrecks for transplant, identifying cause of symptoms or resurrecting doomed patients with wholesale rewrites, Cinematic Surgery aims to show that even the most tragic or insolvable cases can be saved in the operating/editing room.
Such is the current culture in the filmmaking world that the very notion of suggesting ‘remake’ is considered sacrilege, a soul selling throw down to the cynical moneymakers bleeding dry a stable of beloved movies of the past in pursuit of sales through nostalgia and association, all to the detriment of goodwill and creativity. But the problem isn’t in the concept, it’s in the choices.
On occasion, there has been a film put out that sells itself through the strength of its tantalizing premise, »
- Scott Patterson
There’s been a bits-and-pieces feel to Matthew Modine’s big-screen career of late, with worthy roles in chunky projects like The Dark Knight Rises insufficient to satisfy a fanbase he built up with breakthrough turns in Full Metal Jacket and Memphis Belle. Happily, for anyone craving a dose of pure, uncut Modiness, he's soon be popping up in Steve Jobs biopic Jobs and according to Variety, he’ll be joining Olivia Williams in Altar, a new British horror earmarked for Toronto’s Frightfest in SeptemberThe pair will play an American artist and his English wife and see them fixing up a country pile with a very dark past. There may be shades of The Conjuring, The Woman In Black and other classic haunted house tropes in that back story: a Satanist who sacrificed his wife had been driven to madness by her ghost – a lot of bad feng shui »
5 items from 2014
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