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Costuming Hitchcock: An Extract from Hitchcock’s Heroines by Caroline Young

Author Caroline Young has just released a fascinating new book entitled Hitchcock’s Heroines (published by Insight Editions). It celebrates and studies the women in Hitchcock movies; their influence, semblance and iconography. What’s more, Young also examines the role costume design plays with these women, both the characters and the actresses who played them, and how they can be interpreted as far more than just ‘icy blondes’. Here we have an extract of the book exclusively for Clothes on Film:

Kim Novak’s grey suit the colour of San Francisco fog in Vertigo, Grace Kelly as the too-perfect woman in Rear Window, and Janet Leigh’s black and white sets of underwear to indicate both good and evil in Psycho – these are just some of the classic imagery of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, where the style and elegance of his leading lady was carefully planned.

Hitchcock was meticulous about the visuals,
See full article at Clothes on Film »

The real horror of Hitchcock – archive, 27 September 1986

27 September 1986 A new BBC profile of Alfred Hitchcock shows that the master of horror was also a cruel clown

A ribbing from Hitch was much like a hug from a grisly. He might look roly poly and fun, but you have only to watch the old silent footage of him and a sidekick in an off duty romp with one of his leading ladies to guess what suppressed violence might exist in his personality. Verbally, he could crack your bones.

There’s a famous clip of him putting Anny Ondra through her voice screen test for Blackmail and reducing her, playfully, to humiliated giggles. It crops up again in It’s Only Another Movie, the first chunk of a two part profile of Hitchcock on Omnibus (BBC 2). Or remember the scatty questioner at a BFI lecture a few years ago, saying Mr. Hitchcock, have you ever thought of making a comedy.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Forgotten: E.A. Dupont's "Atlantic" (1929)

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Joop van den Berg's 1929 poster for AtlanticE.A. Dupont achieved early fame for Varieté (1925), a grimly saucy slice of Weimar doom and spiciness, and followed it up with prestigious British productions Moulin Rouge (1928) and Piccadilly (1929), the latter starring Anna May Wong—but just as his career was on the upswing he fell prey to the advent of sound, producing a big-budget version of the Titanic disaster in English and German versions.Atlantic, or Atlantik, became something of a laughing-stock in Britain, owing to Dupont's unfortunate combination of Teutonic tendencies and technical trepidation. The actors were directed to communicate as slowly as possible, perhaps so that Dupont could follow what they were saying. His desire to inflect each syllable with suitable weight and portent robbed the film of any sense of urgency, despite it being set on a ship that starts sinking around twenty minutes in (none of the ninety-minute time-wasting
See full article at MUBI »

Cummings Pt.2: Working with Capra and West, Fighting Columbia in Court

Constance Cummings in 'Night After Night.' Constance Cummings: Working with Frank Capra and Mae West (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Actress Went from Harold Lloyd to Eugene O'Neill.”) Back at Columbia, Harry Cohn didn't do a very good job at making Constance Cummings feel important. By the end of 1932, Columbia and its sweet ingenue found themselves in court, fighting bitterly over stipulations in her contract. According to the actress and lawyer's daughter, Columbia had failed to notify her that they were picking up her option. Therefore, she was a free agent, able to offer her services wherever she pleased. Harry Cohn felt otherwise, claiming that his contract player had waived such a notice. The battle would spill over into 1933. On the positive side, in addition to Movie Crazy 1932 provided Cummings with three other notable Hollywood movies: Washington Merry-Go-Round, American Madness, and Night After Night. 'Washington Merry-Go-Round
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Wright Was Earliest Surviving Best Supporting Actress Oscar Winner

Teresa Wright: Later years (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon.") Teresa Wright and Robert Anderson were divorced in 1978. They would remain friends in the ensuing years.[1] Wright spent most of the last decade of her life in Connecticut, making only sporadic public appearances. In 1998, she could be seen with her grandson, film producer Jonah Smith, at New York's Yankee Stadium, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch.[2] Wright also became involved in the Greater New York chapter of the Als Association. (The Pride of the Yankees subject, Lou Gehrig, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1941.) The week she turned 82 in October 2000, Wright attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Somewhere in Time, where she posed for pictures with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In March 2003, she was a guest at the 75th Academy Awards, in the segment showcasing Oscar-winning actors of the past. Two years later,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Coen Brothers' Movie Tops Nsfc Awards; Last Major Critics' Awards of the Season

Joel and Ethan Coen movie ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ tops 2014 National Society of Film Critics Awards (Oscar Isaac in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’) The National Society of Film Critics is the last major U.S.-based critics’ group to announce their annual winners. This year, their top film was Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, a comedy-drama about a hapless folk singer. Inside Llewyn Davis also earned honors for the directors, star Oscar Isaac, and cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel. Additionally, the Coen brothers’ film was the runner-up in the Best Screenplay category. Inside Llewyn Davis is the first movie directed by Joel and Ethan Coen to win the top prize at the National Society of Film Critics Awards. Back in early 2008, whereas most critics’ groups — and the Academy Awards — went for the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men, the Nsfc selected instead Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Movie Review - Blackmail (1929)

Blackmail, 1929.

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Starring Anny Ondra, John Longden, Sara Allgood, Charles Paton, Cyril Ritchard and Donald Calthrop.

Synopsis:

Grocer's daughter Alice White kills a man in self-defence when he tries to sexually assault her. Her policeman boyfriend covers up for her, but she has been spotted leaving the scene by a petty criminal who tries to blackmail her.

Alfred Hitchcock, prior to his acclaimed Hollywood masterpieces such as Vertigo, Psycho and Strangers on a Train, had his roots within the German and British cinema system. This month the BFI are celebrating his silent films in the aptly titled ‘Hitchcock Silents’ season. Blackmail, particularly, is a milestone in British cinema as it is considered one of the first “all-talkie” films – and yet I viewed the film as a silent. Indeed, Hitchcock created two versions; one loud-and-proud “all-talkie” version and another (for those cinemas not fully-fitted for sound) silent version.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Hitchcock Films Added to British Register of Culturally and Historically Significant Works

Alfred Hitchcock silent movies added to Unesco UK Memory of the World Register (photo: Ivor Novello in The Lodger) The nine Alfred Hitchcock-directed silent films recently restored by the British Film Institute have been added to the Unesco UK Memory of the World Register, "a list of documentary heritage which holds cultural significance specific to the UK." The nine Hitchcock movies are the following: The Pleasure Garden (1925), The Ring (1927), Downhill / When Boys Leave Home (1927), The Lodger (1927), Easy Virtue (1928), Champagne (1928), The Farmer’s Wife (1928), The Manxman (1929), and Blackmail (1929) — also released as a talkie, Britain’s first. Only one Hitchcock-directed silent remains lost, The Mountain Eagle / Fear o’ God (1926). Most of those movies have little in common with the suspense thrillers Hitchcock would crank out in Britain and later in Hollywood from the early ’30s on. But a handful of his silents already featured elements and themes that would recur in
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Forgotten: Start Talkin'

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Liam O'Flaherty's novel The Informer, in which an Ira man rats on a comrade for the reward money and endures a night of agonizing guilt, punishment and redemption, has been filmed thrice, and all three versions are of interest. Jules Dassin's proto-blaxploitation version, Uptight! (1968), is the least impressive, but does boast fine performances by screenwriters Jason Bernard and Ruby Dee, who take lead roles, and the always imposing Raymond St. Jacques and Roscoe Lee Browne. The climax, scored to Booker T. and the M.G.'s "Time is Tight" (a.k.a. The Blues Brothers' theme) is pretty exciting, once you get over the shock.

John Ford's 1935 The Informer is the most faithful and famed, though its reputation is not as high as it once was. At times the Rko production, with its Max Steiner score and hulking performance from Victor McLaglan, recalls King Kong (McLaglan
See full article at MUBI »

Alfred Hitchcock San Francisco: Guided tour through the sites of Hitchcock’s movies The San Francisco Silent Film Festival has arranged for San Francisco City Guides to lead "a special, Sfsff-only edition" of its "Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco" guided walking tour. This particular two-hour Hitchcock tour will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, atop Nob Hill. From there, the tour will visit the sites of three Hitchcock films: Vertigo, The Birds, and Family Plot. (Photo: Alfred Hitchcock ca. 1960.) The San Francisco Silent Film Festival press release adds that Alfred Hitchcock tour participants will "have plenty of time" to go from the tour’s end at Union Square to the Castro Theatre so as to catch the 1:00 pm screening of Hitchcock’s 1928 silent Champagne. Note: Space for this special "Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco" tour is limited. Registration is free — though donations are encouraged — and will be done on a first-come,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Alfred Hitchcock Behind The Scenes Clip

Alfred Hitchcock Behind The Scenes Clip
With two new Hitchcock films arriving soon, there'll be plenty of chance to revisit the great man's finest moments from a behind-the-scenes perspective. But if you can't wait until then, the BFI's The Genius of Hitchcock season is in full swing. There's also a microsite - 39 Steps To Hitchcock - to whet your appetite.As a rarely-seen taster, this spot of clip-based sauciness shows him twisting the melons of one of his earlier leading ladies, Anny Ondra, on the set of Blackmail. Here he's taking the opportunity afforded by a sound test to embarrass the petunias off the Czech actress's blouse with bawdy probings about her love life. brightcove.createExperiences(); Still she got off lightly compared to Tippi Hedren, upon who he unleashed that beaky blitzkrieg in The Birds, and the two also worked together on The Manxman the same year. The Genius of Hitchcock season runs at the BFI until October.
See full article at EmpireOnline »

The Genius of Alfred Hitchcock at the BFI: 10 of his lesser-known gems

Everyone knows the classic Hitchcocks: Psycho, The Birds, The Lady Vanishes. But the summer-long retrospective also includes wonderful films you may not have heard much about; here's 10 often-overlooked Hitchcocks you won't want to miss

Born in Leytonstone, east London, but destined to be the toast of Hollywood, Alfred Hitchcock learned the business of film-making in London, not La. The business at that time was silent cinema, and the young Hitchcock had a full apprenticeship.

He spent years at Gainsborough Pictures in Islington, north London (or Famous Players-Lasky as it was when he arrived) crafting caption cards, editing scripts and designing sets before he was given the chance to direct his own films. His early features are far more accomplished, and more personal, than many a director's debut. And if you're familiar with his famous sound movies, you'll find much in them that prefigures his most celebrated suspense-filled sequences.

The British
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The ‘Blue Velvet’ Project, #50

Second #2350, 39:10

1. Dorothy, the knife dangerously close to Jeffrey’s nose, perhaps unintentionally recalling the infamous nose-slicing moment in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown.

2. Has Jeffrey caused her to act like this, or has Frank? Jeffrey is not Frank, although Dorothy treats him like she might were she to find him hiding, unarmed, in her closet.

3. In the fevered dream of Blue Velvet, what causes what is impossible to untangle, as if concepts like “before” and “after” don’t mean a thing.

4. In Steve Erickson’s novel Zeroville, Vikar—who becomes an editor not just of film but of a version of reality itself—says this:

The scenes of a movie . . . can be shot out of sequence not because it’s more convenient, but because all the scenes of a movie are really happening at the same time. No scene really leads to the next, all scenes lead to each other.
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

DVD Review - Max Schmeling: Fist of the Reich (2010)

Max Schmeling: Fist of the Reich, 2010.

Directed by Uwe Boll.

Starring Henry Maske, Susanne Wuest, Heino Ferch, Vladimir Weigl and Yoan Pablo Hernández.

Synopsis:

A biopic of the German boxer and heavyweight champion Max Schmeling.

Nazi Germany is a historical setting we are all familiar with. Films set within the Third Reich often have similarities; good natured people trying to help persecuted Jewish neighbours, informers, political intimidation, concentration camps and the striking red background of the swastika. Equally there are areas often overlooked. The boxing rings for example.

Max Schmeling is a German film directed by Uwe Boll which tells the story of one of the 20th century’s greatest boxers. He became world champion in the early 1930s, getting his big break by beating the title holder by default after an illegal “low blow” from his opponent. The film begins by following Max as a paratrooper for the German army in Crete,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Netflix Nuggets: Russians Filming G.I. Joe Dolls Fighting Hercules for the Serpent’s Egg

Netflix has revolutionized the home movie experience for fans of film with its instant streaming technology. Netflix Nuggets is my way of spreading the word about independent, classic and foreign films made available by Netflix for instant streaming.

This Week’s New Instant Releases…

Promised Lands (1974)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Documentary

Director: Susan Sontag

Synopsis: Set in Israel during the final days of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, this powerful documentary — initially barred by Israel authorities — from writer-director Susan Sontag examines divergent perceptions of the enduring Arab-Israeli clash. Weighing in on matters related to socialism, anti-Semitism, nation sovereignty and American materialism are The Last Jew writer Yoram Kaniuk and military physicist Yuval Ne’eman.

Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2009)

Streaming Available: 04/19/2011

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Heino Ferch, Hannah Herzsprung, Gerald Alexander Held, Lena Stolze, Sunnyi Melles

Synopsis: Directed by longtime star of independent German cinema Margarethe von Trotta, this reverent
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Ask the Flying Monkey: Is "Glee" Sanitizing "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"?

This week: Where did the phrase “That’s what she said!” come from? Will I Love You Phillip Morris be this year’s Brokeback Mountain?

Have a question about gay male entertainment? Contact me here (and be sure and include your city and state and/or country!

Q: There’s been a lot of on-line chatter about Glee’s upcoming take on The Rocky Horror Picture Show – how it looks like they’re toning the sexuality way down and gutting the transgender element. What do you think? – BrunnHilda, Santa Barbara, California

Ryan Murphy directs Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer

and Harry Shum Jr. in Glee's homage to Rocky Horror.

A: First, let me say upfront that I don’t identify as queer, I don’t see it as my mission or the mission of the entire Glbt community to subvert gender or sexual norms, and I’ve always thought my
See full article at The Backlot »

Early Alfred Hitchcock Movies in Need of Restoration

Two early Alfred Hitchcock efforts: Ivor Novello in The Lodger (top); Anny Ondra in Blackmail (bottom) "Rescue the Hitchcock 9" is the name of a campaign by the British Film Institute to save nine Alfred Hitchcock silent films, among them Blackmail (1929), shot as both a silent and a talkie. "Be part of the challenge to bring these rare films back from the brink and into the digital age to be enjoyed by everyone," urges the BFI website. Also from the BFI website: Curators of the BFI National Archive have identified a collection of films in desperate need of restoration with nine of Alfred Hitchcock’s early silent films being the first to seek rescue through the Support the BFI campaign. Hitchcock’s nine surviving silent films are among the most important in British cinema history. But decades of wear and tear have left them in urgent need of restoration. The nine
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Alfred Hitchcock's "That's What She Said" Joke in 1929

Before The Office, before Wayne's World, and long before "International 'That's What She Said' Day," there was a sound test for the 1929 Alfred Hitchcock movie Blackmail. In this snippet, which is embedded after the jump, Hitchcock teases his leading lady, Anny Ondra, in a rather saucy way. According to Moviefone, Hitchcock's first movie with sound had a small hitch itself, in that its lead actress Anny Ondra had a hard-to-understand accent. In the movie, a different actress actually said Ondra's lines off-camera. So this little sound test featured a most flustered Ms. Ondra, who was embarrassed to be recorded.

Although I feel certain cavemen themselves had a way to express this all-purposes phrase (often shortened to Twss among certain Cinematical staffers), it looks like we have here the first recorded instance of a "That's what she said!" type of joke. Although Hitch doesn't say it outright, it's close enough.
See full article at Cinematical »

Why Hollywood should abolish the ministry of silly accents

Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon make a decent fist of South African accents in Invictus. But they are the latest in a long line of actors trying too hard

As someone who was born and brought up in South Africa, I was particularly interested to discover how Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon managed with the notoriously difficult South African accent in Clint Eastwood's Invictus. Actually, there are many South African accents, so a distinction has to be made between Nelson Mandela (Freeman), an English-speaking Xhosa, and François Pienaar (Damon), an English-speaking Afrikaner. The two Americans had a fairly good shot at it, despite sometimes betraying their origins, and Freeman slipping occasionally into Dalek mode. For most audiences, however, who don't have an ear especially attuned to the nuances of South African accents, Freeman and Damon will sound authentic enough.

This follows worthy but inconsistent efforts by Denzel Washington and
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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