13 items from 2015
HitFix's recent spate of "Best Year in Film History" pieces inevitably spurred some furious debate among our readers, with some making compelling arguments for years not included in our pieces (2007 and 1968 were particularly popular choices) and others openly expressing their bewilderment at the inclusion of others (let's just say 2012 took a beating). In the interest of giving voice to your comments, below we've rounded up a few of the most thoughtful, passionate, surprising and occasionally incendiary responses to our pieces, including my own (I advocated for The Year of Our Lynch 2001, which is obviously the best). Here we go... Superstar commenter "A History of Matt," making an argument for 1968: The Graduate. Bullit. The Odd Couple. The Lion in Winter. Planet of the Apes. The Thomas Crown Affair. Funny Girl. Rosemary's Baby. And of course, 2001, A Space Odyssey. And that's only a taste of the greatness of that year. "Lothar the Flatulant, »
- Chris Eggertsen
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
How 'Grey Gardens' Was Restored To its Squalid Glory (And Why You Need To See It) Christmas comes but once a year...but the Criterion Collection adds new titles all the time, which is kind of like Christmas for film lovers. All films are being released on Blu-ray and DVD. See below for the latest additions, synopses courtesy of Criterion, though you'll have to wait until summer to buy them. "The Killers" (1946 and 1964) Ernest Hemingway's simple but gripping short tale "The Killers" is a model of economical storytelling. Two directors adapted it into unforgettably virile features: Robert Siodmak, in a 1946 film that helped define the noir style and launch the acting careers of Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner; and Don Siegel, in a brutal 1964 version, starring Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, and John Cassavetes, that was intended for television but deemed too violent for home audiences and released theatrically instead. »
- Elizabeth Logan
“She’s the Best Thing in It” is an affectionate portrait of Mary Louise Wilson, the Tony-winning actress who’s spent more than a half-century as a highly versatile staple of the stage and screen. An infrequent directorial exercise for veteran scenarist and producer Ron Nyswaner, the docu focuses primarily on Wilson’s late-in-life first stab at teaching an acting class. The result is pleasant enough without revealing as much as probably intended about the subject’s craft or profession — or about her, period. This lightweight portrait will be best suited to broadcasters of the PBS ilk, for whom its modicum of human interest and showbiz lore will suffice.
Wilson is introduced finally winning her Tony in 2007 for the musical “Grey Gardens” — an honor she herself thinks is long overdue, given a diverse career we glimpse in a montage of stills and clips. But she ruefully reports its effect was »
- Dennis Harvey
If the younger Edith Beale in "Grey Gardens" — the insular middle-aged socialite still living at home with her mother — ventured beyond her insular world and pursued romance with a younger man, she might resemble the adorable, melancholic figure played by Sally Field in "Hello, My Name is Doris." Directed by "Wet Hot American Summer" co-writer Michael Showalter, who wrote the script with Laura Terruso, the movie follows the titular 60-year-old Staten Island residen in the wake of her mother's dead as she explores an unlikely courtship with much younger co-worker John (Max Greenfield, "New Girl"). The ensuing bittersweet tale touches on the themes of loneliness and aging that might seem at home in Alexander Payne's universe, and while Showalter's broad comedy approach never burrows that deep, Field's performance is a different story. Read More: The 2015 Indiewire SXSW Bible A world away from her dreary turn as a tortured First Lady in. »
- Eric Kohn
How 'Grey Gardens' Was Restored to Its Squalid Glory (and Why You Need to See It)Published on March 6, 2015 "We didn't remove any of the racoon stuff. We left the smells so you can still use your imagination as to what that home was like," Lee Kline, the Technical Director at The Criterion Collection, told Indiewire. Kline agreed that it's "ironic that you would clean things up in a film like 'Grey Gardens,'" but he said the film's grainy 16mm look remains. "What's nostalgic about the grain is that it lends itself to what that house is about, the grittiness of the house. When you have film grain, it adds an other-worldliness that because it's got a texture to it that video doesn't necessarily have. It takes you into the film." 'TV Commercials Dehumanize Us' and More Bits of Wisdom from Albert MayslesPublished on September 17, 2014 Maysles »
- Shipra Gupta
One of the titans of the documentary world has passed today. There are many filmmakers whose work can be said to have influenced other artists, and certainly one of the ways we weigh the worth of an artistic legacy is by the way it seeps into the larger culture. By that standard, Albert Maysles was enormously important, and the mark he leaves on the definition of a documentary is immeasurable. "Grey Gardens" is perhaps the most famous of his films, and one of the things I realized when I first saw it was that documentaries can be about anything. The point of the process is truth, and Maysles was ferociously dedicated to capturing moments of almost breathtaking truth. One of the first pieces of his work that I saw was "Gimme Shelter," the documentary about the 1969 Altamont concert where Hell's Angels stabbed a concertgoer to death, an event which was recorded on film. »
- Drew McWeeny
The co-director of acclaimed films such as Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens and Salesman passed away Thursday. Maylses died in New York City after suffering from a bout of cancer. Born in Boston on November 26, 1926, Maysles and his brother David made cinema verite documentaries together from the late 1950s until the latter's death in 1987. Albert continued making films on his own and in collaboration with other filmmakers for HBO and others. The brothers were nominated for a… »
Maysles passed away from natural causes on Thursday (March 5), a spokesperson for the Maysles Centre told The Hollywood Reporter.
Albert formed one-half of a filmmaking duo with his late brother David Maysles, and together they released many acclaimed documentaries.
Watch a »
It's ironic that a documentary about faded glamour should be restored to its spiffy former self. But in honor of its upcoming 40th anniversary, the Maysles Brothers' "Grey Gardens" has gotten a new 2K digital restoration courtesy of The Criterion Collection, in collaboration with the Academy Film Archive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Read More: Why the History of 16mm Film Matters The iconic film, which was released to mixed reviews in 1976, developed a cult following over the years. In verite style, the film casts a nonjudgmental eye on former socialites Big and Little Edie Beale, cousins of Jackie Kennedy, a reclusive mother and daughter living in a ramshackle old East Hampton, New York mansion amid raccoons, cats, fleas and other vermin. But, the restored version maintains the original's glorious grain and grime. "We didn't remove any of the racoon stuff. We left the smells so »
- Paula Bernstein
Grey Gardens has been restored for the big screen, and it's absolutely better than ever.
"Falling In Love With a Freshened Up Grey Gardens" was originally published on Film School Rejects for our wonderful readers to enjoy. It is not intended to be reproduced on other websites. If you aren't reading this in your favorite RSS reader or on Film School Rejects, you're being bamboozled. We hope you'll come find us and enjoy the best articles about movies, television and culture right from the source. »
- Kate Erbland
Sinofsky covered a range of topics in his career — from heavy metal to murder cases.
He is best known for the “Paradise Lost” trilogy, a series of films he made with Berlinger about the West Memphis Three, a group of teenagers convicted, despite a lack of evidence, of murdering and sexually mutilating three prepubescent boys. Prosecutors claimed the children were killed as part of a satanic court ritual. Those films helped draw attention to miscarriages of justice associated with their trial and conviction. A number of celebrities including Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins and Johnny Depp also rallied to the cause.
- Brent Lang
2014 turned out to be an exceptional year for feature-length documentaries about artists. A film from 2013, Tim’S Vermeer, opened wide that January and was soon followed by Jodorowsky’S Dune, For No Good Reason, Life, Itself, and Glen Campbell: I’LL Be Me. However, the only art doc to be included in the five nominees for Best Documentary Feature Film at the 87th Academy Awards is the acclaimed Finding Vivian Maier. You can read my review here. Recently Wamg was able to speak to the two men behind the film, producer/writer/directors John Maloof (who also narrates the film) and Charlie Siskel.
Wamg: I suppose we should start with you John, since this journey began back in 2007 with your purchase of a box of Maier’s negatives at an auction. You mention in the film that you’d hoped »
- Jim Batts
13 items from 2015
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