Way Down East (1920) - News Poster

(1920)

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Journal (6.6.16 - 1.10.17)

  • MUBI
The latest installment in the filmmaker's series of journal-films combining iPhone footage and sounds and images from movies. A diary penned with cinema.Journal (6.6.16 - 1.10.17)feat. additional footage from Masha Tupitsyn and Isiah MedinaMy journal-film series (of which this is the third installment) came to be as a means of resolving the points of convergence and departure amongst the environments I occupy and those which I encounter in cinema. I like to view these films as a method of managing the images that take up my thoughts and memories into a new continuity, one in which the distinction between images seen on-screen and those personally experienced is no longer absolute. In dissolving this partition, these films provide a vector for the animation conceptual concerns through cinema - montage fulfilling that which language can only formally describe and vice versa. The following essay outlines some of the concerns this film attempts
See full article at MUBI »

Notebook's 8th Writers Poll: Fantasy Double Features of 2015

  • MUBI
How would you program this year's newest, most interesting films into double features with movies of the past you saw in 2015?Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2015—in theatres or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2015 to create a unique double feature.All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2015 fantasy double feature. What's more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we'd be lucky to catch
See full article at MUBI »

New book tackles film illiteracy

Antony I. Ginnane has long been concerned about what he regards as a high level of film illiteracy among many writers, producers and directors, both established and emerging.

And the veteran producer/distributor believes that even among those filmmakers who are steeped in screen history, some have little or no knowledge of the countless classic films produced in the decades before the 1970s.

That.s part of the motivation for Ginnane.s new book, The Unusual Suspects: 104 Films That Made World Cinema, which Currency Press is launching next month.

His eclectic choices range from D.W. Griffith.s Way Down East (1920) through to Quentin Tarantino.s Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003).

Omitting any title produced after 2003, he explains, does not suggest that no great films had been made since then, but rather that the grammar of cinema had already been laid down.

He is quick to point out his list, which includes Alfred Hitchcock.s Vertigo,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Movie Poster of the Week: “Modern Times” and the Leader Press Posters

  • MUBI
This Chaplin poster, with its graphic simplicity, its bold approach to typography (two very striking typefaces each bleeding to the edges of the poster) and its brash use of color, has a distinctively contemporary look, as if it was a fan poster screenprinted in a basement in Bushwick to be sold on Etsy. It doesn’t look like the hand-painted posters we recognize from the 1930s at all. But in fact it is a 1936 poster, made to accompany the original release of Charlie Chaplin’s film.The poster is a product of Leader Press, an Oklahoma City printer that came up with a solution to a distribution problem in the early years of sound cinema. In the early 30s, after films had played the major cities, prints were bused to the hinterlands and posters were supposed to be included along with the film print. The prints wouldn’t arrive until
See full article at MUBI »

Film Review: ‘My Man’

Japanese helmer Kazuyoshi Kumakiri ventures into “Lolita” territory with “My Man,” an adaptation of Kazuki Sakuraba’s controversial bestseller about the quasi-incestuous relationship between an orphaned young girl and the distant relative who adopts her. Framed by the snowbound shores of Hokkaido — “the end of the world!” per the heroine’s smilingly cryptic exclamation — the characters seem inseparable from the formidable landscape, their natures and their bond superseding mere psychology. Distanced yet emotionally charged, the film eschews identification in favor of fascination. Winner of the top film prize at the Moscow Film Festival, this obsession-tinged mood piece could flourish on the fest/arthouse circuit.

In a scene made familiar by the recent Fukushima disaster, 10-year-old Hana (Mochika Yamada) is first encountered wandering dazedly through the dark, disorienting maze of an emergency shelter, having lost her family in an earthquake/tsunami. Jungo (Tadanobu Asano), a 26-year-old relative whose relationship with Hana
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Best Movies of Everybody's (Second) Favorite Year: From Caligari to Pollyanna

In Robert Wiene’s 1920 dreamlike horror classic, veteran German actor Werner Krauss plays the mysterious Dr. Caligari, the apparent force behind a creepy somnambulist named Cesare and played by Conrad Veidt, who abducts beautiful Lil Dagover. The finale in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari has inspired tons of movies and television shows, from Fritz Lang's 1944 film noir The Woman in the Window to the last episode of the TV series St. Elsewhere. In addition, the film shares some key elements in common (suppposedly as a result of a mere coincidence) with Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio's 2011 thriller Shutter Island. The 1920 crime melodrama Outside the Law is not in any way related to Rachid Bouchareb's 2010 political drama. Instead, the Tod Browning-directed movie is a well-made entry in the gangster genre (long before the explosion a decade later). Browning, best known for his early '30s efforts Dracula and Freaks,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

New this Week: ‘Hugo,’ ‘The Muppets’ and ‘Super 8 (DVD)’

Hitting movie theaters this weekend:

Arthur Christmas - James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy

Hugo - Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee

The Muppets - Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Chris Cooper

Movie of the Week

Hugo

The Stars: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee

The Plot: Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

The Buzz: Director Martin Scorsese is not known for his family films. Throughout his career Scorsese has stuck to churning out gritty/grisly street films, realistic & vibrant tales about the harshness of life, about the hard-nose battle of good versus evil, of right versus wrong (of moral relativity), and of psychoses versus neuroses. His films are fairly hardcore and as thus are very often hard-r. His latest offering in Hugo, looks to be an
See full article at Scorecard Review »

D.W. Griffith on Blu-ray: The Birth Of A Nation & Way Down East

I'm not going to pretend that I have anything new to add to any scholarly discussion of the works of D.W. Griffith.  Film historians have had nearly 100 years to dissect these films and all of the interesting conversations have been had.  I am, however, going to offer my opinions, which may be less than scholarly, but I feel that these films still warrant talking about.  Thanks to Kino, I've seen more silent films in the last few months than in the entire first thirty years of my life.  Their latest releases are the Griffith films Way Down East and the notorious The Birth of a Nation. Both films share several attributes and lead us to understand something about Griffith's character and beliefs, but they...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Kino bringing the controversial Birth of a Nation to Blu-ray

Racism in HD? Kino Video, the leader in silent films on DVD and now Blu, is bringing the “classic” D.W. Griffith epic Birth of a Nation to Blu-ray. The film has been one of the biggest stains on cinema, arguing that the Kkk helped stabilize America into the country it was back in 1915 when the film was released, featured white actors as black characters (black-facing), as well as its bitter fight with the NAACP.

But can its dark history be looked past for Griffith’s ground-breaking camerawork that changed cinema forever? That’s the immortal question. Either way, Kino will do a superb job on the film, as we can see by its extras:

- The Making of The Birth of a Nation (1992, 24 min. Produced by David Shepard)

- Filmed prologue to The Birth of a Nation (1930, 6 min. Featuring D. W. Griffith and Walter Huston)

- Civil War Shorts directed by D.
See full article at Killer Films »

La Boheme

If Audrey Hepburn was the last virgin goddess of American films, Lillian Gish was the first. Often referred to at the time as "The First Lady of the Silent Screen," she was indeed movies' first truly great actress. From her debut at age 19 in founding father D.W. Griffith's two-reel An Unseen Enemy (1912) in what I calculate as the initial year of film's golden age (plus 25 other Griffith films in less than 24 months), to her final starring masterpiece, at age 35, in Victor Sjostrom's The Wind (1928), Lillian Gish was the central player in many of the enduring treasures of cinema's earliest flowering, that essential cornerstone of the art in its purest form. She is the key figure in most of Griffith's major work, from The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Broken Blossoms (1919) to Way Down East (1920) and Orphans of the Storm (1922), not to mention such beautiful lesser-known gems as Hearts of the World
See full article at Blogdanovich »

Adolfas Mekas obituary

Avant-garde director best known for Hallelujah the Hills

Adolfas Mekas, who has died aged 85, was the director of Hallelujah the Hills (1963), perhaps the most light-hearted, amusing, innovative, allusive and freewheeling film to come out of the New American Cinema Group established in 1962. One of the clauses in its manifesto reads: "We believe that cinema is indivisibly a personal expression. We therefore reject the interference of producers, distributors and investors until our work is ready to be projected on the screen." Mekas, his older brother Jonas, and other avant-garde members of the group, such as Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie, Shirley Clarke and Gregory Markopoulos, lived by this doctrine in all their film-making.

Shot in black and white in 16mm, Hallelujah the Hills, which cost only $75,000 from concept to can, was directed, written and edited by Mekas, with Jonas as assistant; a young friend, David Stone, as first-time producer; Stone's wife, Barbara,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

“Let’s See Some Movies”

Every year on opening day Robert Redford hosts a press kick-off to the Sundance Film Festival in the Egyptian, the old theater in town. They have followed a pretty standard pattern in the past. Redford discusses the difficulties that independent films face, the ones Sundance still tries to remedy, even as they face their own problems.

This year the festival lost one of their more popular screening venues, The Racquet Club, and they continue to deal with the “riff-raff,” as festival director John Cooper calls the ambush marketers that glut the street. But Redford chimed in that the festival had always faced problems. Money, for many years, was a huge concern, he said. There were also misfires in programming. Redford told a funny story about an early effort to present Way Down East, the great D.W. Griffith silent with Lillian Gish, as part of their curation...
See full article at IMDb Blog - All the Latest »

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