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Viennale 2017. Era's End

  • MUBI
The Night I SwamThe Vienna International Film Festival—or the Viennale, for short—has for many years been a kind of respite, perhaps even a bit of a beautiful secret outside of European cinephilia, for those looking to be invigorated by the ever-renewing promise of cinema. First under the direction of Alexander Horwath, who left the festival in 1997 and in 2002 took the lead of the illustrious Austrian Film Museum, and for the last 21 years under the guidance of Hans Hurch, the Viennale has cultivated that rare thing: A cultural institution that has a distinct and idiosyncratic sensibility of taste. It is a yearly event in which you can find the rare gems of the mainstream vividly mixed with expansive retrospectives, the latest films from major auteurs and exciting debutantes alike, with no fear of short or medium length works, a strong love for the avant-garde and an even more fierce
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From Silent Film Icon and His Women to Nazi Era's Frightening 'Common Folk': Lgbt Pride Movie Series (Final)

From Silent Film Icon and His Women to Nazi Era's Frightening 'Common Folk': Lgbt Pride Movie Series (Final)
(See previous post: “Gay Pride Movie Series Comes to a Close: From Heterosexual Angst to Indonesian Coup.”) Ken Russell's Valentino (1977) is notable for starring ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev as silent era icon Rudolph Valentino, whose sexual orientation, despite countless gay rumors, seems to have been, according to the available evidence, heterosexual. (Valentino's supposed affair with fellow “Latin LoverRamon Novarro has no basis in reality.) The female cast is also impressive: Veteran Leslie Caron (Lili, Gigi) as stage and screen star Alla Nazimova, ex-The Mamas & the Papas singer Michelle Phillips as Valentino wife and Nazimova protégée Natacha Rambova, Felicity Kendal as screenwriter/producer June Mathis (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse), and Carol Kane – lately of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fame. Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972) is notable as one of the greatest musicals ever made. As a 1930s Cabaret presenter – and the Spirit of Germany – Joel Grey was the year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner. Liza Minnelli
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

"El Dorado": The Dawn of Caan

It takes a lot to stand out when you’re standing between Robert Mitchum and John Wayne. And it surely isn’t easy when you’re also standing in front of the venerable Howard Hawks. But this was the position 25-year-old James Caan found himself in when he took on the role of Alan Bourdillon Traherne, otherwise known as Mississippi, in Hawks’ 1967 Western, El Dorado. Though Hawks was nearing the end of his filmmaking career (this would be his penultimate movie) and Caan was just at the start of his (following two features and about five years of extensive television work), they were each entering the project under similar circumstances. Indeed, it was their shared experience on the disappointing Red Line 7000 (1965) that left them both wanting. It may have been a personal letdown for Caan, but that film’s poor reception wasn’t a deal-breaker as far as his prospects were likely to continue.
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Review: "The Spikes Gang" (1974) Starring Lee Marvin, Gary Grimes And Ron Howard; Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

  • CinemaRetro
By Doug Oswald

Three teenage boys discover a gunshot outlaw and nurse him back to health in “The Spikes Gang,” a 1974 western directed by Richard Fleischer available for the first time on Blu-ray by Kino Lorber. Lee Marvin plays Harry Spikes, an outlaw who inspires Gary Grimes, Ron Howard and Charles Martin Smith to join him as outlaws. Harry is calm, cool and calculating, endearing himself to the boys who have romanticized his life as an outlaw.

Will (Grimes), Les (Howard) and Tod (Smith) are farm boys seeking excitement and adventure and find it in Harry who recovers from his wounds with the boy’s help. The three boys are bored with the farm life as well as the harsh treatment they receive from their parents. Harry offers the boys a reward for helping him, but they turn him down instead asking to join Harry who declines their offer. The boys,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Mitchum Stars in TCM Movie Premiere Set Among Japanese Gangsters Directed by Future Oscar Winner

Robert Mitchum ca. late 1940s. Robert Mitchum movies 'The Yakuza,' 'Ryan's Daughter' on TCM Today, Aug. 12, '15, Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series is highlighting the career of Robert Mitchum. Two of the films being shown this evening are The Yakuza and Ryan's Daughter. The former is one of the disappointingly few TCM premieres this month. (See TCM's Robert Mitchum movie schedule further below.) Despite his film noir background, Robert Mitchum was a somewhat unusual choice to star in The Yakuza (1975), a crime thriller set in the Japanese underworld. Ryan's Daughter or no, Mitchum hadn't been a box office draw in quite some time; in the mid-'70s, one would have expected a Warner Bros. release directed by Sydney Pollack – who had recently handled the likes of Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, and Robert Redford – to star someone like Jack Nicholson or Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

From 'Traitor' to Screen Legend: Fonda Still Busy on the Big Screen

Jane Fonda: From ‘Vietnam Traitor’ to AFI Award and Screen Legend status (photo: Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda in ‘This Is Where I Leave You’) (See previous post: “Jane Fonda Movies: Anti-Establishment Heroine.”) Turner Classic Movies will also be showing the 2014 AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony honoring Jane Fonda, the former “Vietnam Traitor” and Barbarella-style sex kitten who has become a living American screen legend (and healthy-living guru). Believe it or not, Fonda, who still looks disarmingly great, will be turning 77 years old next December 21; she’s actually older than her father Henry Fonda was while playing Katharine Hepburn’s ailing husband in Mark Rydell’s On Golden Pond. (Henry Fonda died at age 77 in August 1982.) Jane Fonda movies in 2014 and 2015 Following a 15-year absence (mostly during the time she was married to media mogul Ted Turner), Jane Fonda resumed her film acting career in 2005, playing Jennifer Lopez
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

“I’ll Drink to That…”: Top 10 Alcoholic Movie Characters

Alcoholism in the movies have been played for both dramatic and comical effect. In fact some of the binge drinking done on the big screen have garnered considerable praise and pathos resulting in many performers winning Oscars and Oscar nominations based on this very serious addiction.

The alcoholic in cinema is larger in life because it is a societal reflection of the demons and destruction that affect millions of people globally. Film allows for the liberty to use creative licenses to highlight the physical and psychological pain and false feelings of pleasure to convey the true face of alcoholism and its hold on fictional characterizations that are bound by the poisonous allure of the bottle. However heavy-handed or hearty it may seem in portraying the detached drinker or happy drunk one thing is for certain…the depth and dimensional range of the chronic cinema sipper has never disappointed in giving
See full article at SoundOnSight »

New on Video: ‘El Dorado’

El Dorado

Written by Leigh Brackett

Directed by Howard Hawks

USA, 1966

When El Dorado was first shown in 1966, the Western in its classical form was beginning to disappear from American cinema. John Ford, synonymous with the genre, released his last feature that year, and El Dorado would be the second-to-last film by its own legendary director, Howard Hawks. The Western was evolving and its old masters were giving way to modern innovators. The stylishly self-conscious films of Sergio Leone first signaled the shift (the films of his “Dollars Trilogy” came out in 1964-1966), and it was certified by the critical, ominous, and violent The Wild Bunch, directed by Sam Peckinpah in 1969. Hawks decried the slow-motion bloodletting of Peckinpah. He argued that he could kill four men, get them to the morgue, and bury them before this newcomer could get one on the ground.

With this as the context of its gestation,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

On TCM: Larger Than Life Douglas Turns 97 Next December

Kirk Douglas movies: The Theater of Larger Than Life Performances Kirk Douglas, a three-time Best Actor Academy Award nominee and one of the top Hollywood stars of the ’50s, is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" featured star today, August 30, 2013. Although an undeniably strong screen presence, no one could ever accuse Douglas of having been a subtle, believable actor. In fact, even if you were to place side by side all of the widescreen formats ever created, they couldn’t possibly be wide enough to contain his larger-than-life theatrical emoting. (Photo: Kirk Douglas ca. 1950.) Right now, TCM is showing Andrew V. McLaglen’s 1967 Western The Way West, a routine tale about settlers in the Old American Northwest that remains of interest solely due to its name cast. Besides Douglas, The Way West features Robert Mitchum, Richard Widmark, Lola Albright, and 21-year-old Sally Field in her The Flying Nun days.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Beautiful, Lighthearted Fox Star Suffered Many Real-Life Tragedies

Jeanne Crain: Lighthearted movies vs. real life tragedies (photo: Madeleine Carroll and Jeanne Crain in ‘The Fan’) (See also: "Jeanne Crain: From ‘Pinky’ Inanity to ‘MargieMagic.") Unlike her characters in Margie, Home in Indiana, State Fair, Centennial Summer, The Fan, and Cheaper by the Dozen (and its sequel, Belles on Their Toes), or even in the more complex A Letter to Three Wives and People Will Talk, Jeanne Crain didn’t find a romantic Happy Ending in real life. In the mid-’50s, Crain accused her husband, former minor actor Paul Brooks aka Paul Brinkman, of infidelity, of living off her earnings, and of brutally beating her. The couple reportedly were never divorced because of their Catholic faith. (And at least in the ’60s, unlike the humanistic, progressive-thinking Margie, Crain was a “conservative” Republican who supported Richard Nixon.) In the early ’90s, she lost two of her
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Top Western Star: Squared-Jawed Scott

Randolph Scott Westerns, comedies, war dramas: TCM schedule on August 19, 2013 See previous post: “Cary Grant and Randolph Scott Marriages — And ‘Expect the Biographical Worst.’” 3:00 Am Badman’S Territory (1946). Director: Tim Whelan. Cast: Randolph Scott, George ‘Gabby’ Hayes, Ann Richards. Bw-98 mins. 4:45 Am Trail Street (1947). Director: Ray Enright. Cast: Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan, Anne Jeffreys. Bw-84 mins. 6:15 Am Return Of The Badmen (1948). Director: Ray Enright. Cast: Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan, Anne Jeffreys, George ‘Gabby’ Hayes, Jacqueline White, Steve Brodie, Tom Keene aka Richard Powers, Robert Bray, Lex Barker, Walter Reed, Michael Harvey, Dean White, Robert Armstrong, Tom Tyler, Lew Harvey, Gary Gray, Walter Baldwin, Minna Gombell, Warren Jackson, Robert Clarke, Jason Robards Sr., Ernie Adams, Lane Chandler, Dan Foster, John Hamilton, Kenneth MacDonald, Donald Kerr, Ida Moore, ‘Snub’ Pollard, Harry Shannon, Charles Stevens. Bw-90 mins. 8:00 Am Riding Shotgun (1954). Director: André De Toth. Cast: Randolph Scott, Wayne Morris,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Exploring The Twilight Zone, Episode #84: "The Hunt"

Sometimes, you got's to pay attention to your old lady, especially when it comes to coon hunting and hound dogs. Cuz otherwise, you might end up dead and that just ain't no good. Well, unless you got your dog with you. The Twilight Zone, Episode #84: "The Hunt" (original air date January 26, 1962) The Plot: She calls him "Old Man" and he calls her "Old Woman." They are Hyder (Arthur Hunnicutt) and Rachel (Jeanette Nolan) by given name, a loving couple, married for more than 50 years, and sharing a basic but comfortable little house in a rural area. He's determined to go coon hunting one night with his hound dog Rip, despite the old lady's superstitious fears. While hunting, Rip jumps into a...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

DVD Review: "El Dorado" Paramount Centennial Edition

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

Paramount has recently released two major John Wayne titles as two DVD special editions. The releases were tied in with the studio's Centennial line of classics. In fact, El Dorado probably doesn't qualify as a classic, as it represents Howard Hawks' virtual remake of his 1959 film Rio Bravo (which is a genuine classic.) Regarded as a good, run-of-the-mill Western when released in 1967, the film has grown in stature as film scholars grapple with the notion that there simply aren't artists around today as interesting as Wayne, Hawks and Robert Mitchum, the other lead. The film showcases a fine supporting cast including James Caan in one of his first major roles, Charlene Holt, Michele Carey, Ed Asner and old reliable character actors Paul Fix and Arthur Hunnicutt playing a role that seems tailor-made for Walter Brennan. The plot is virtually identical to that of the previous film:
See full article at CinemaRetro »

DVD Round Up, May 27, 2009: ‘Eden Log,’ ‘El Dorado,’ ‘Yonkers Joe’

Chicago – Welcome back to the Round-Up, a safety net to catch the DVD titles that fell off the mainstream tightrope. The titles this week have virtually nothing in common other than coming in two waves from two studios - a pair of classics from Paramount’s Centennial Collection and a trio of indie films from the great Magnolia Pictures.

All five titles were released on May 19th, 2009.

“Centennial Collection #8: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Photo credit: Paramount Synopsis: “”This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” Behind the camera? John Ford, a director whose name is synonymous with “Westerns.” Gathered in front of it? An ideal cast – James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles and Lee Marvin. Now presented on two discs, with all-new special features, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance rides into town as classic entry in the Paramount Centennial Collection.
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

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