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Drive-In Dust Offs: Nightmare (1964)

While us horror lovers revelled in the ripped bodices and cobwebbed corridors of another vampire plagued castle, Hammer was busy trying to clear the halls and make their way into the modern world. Take Nightmare (1964), an effective black and white thriller that shows you don’t need fangs to be fearsome.

Released in its native U.K. in April and stateside in June, Nightmare (Aka the amazing Here’s the Knife, Dear: Now Use It) still has a lot of wandering down darkened hallways, but instead of coming up against the undead, our heroine has to do battle with her own brittle mind. Or has the dead come back for her?

Pity poor Janet (Jennie LindenOld Dracula). Our film opens with her hearing a distant voice calling her name. She leaves the comfort of her bed and follows the whispered voice which leads her to a shadowed room where
See full article at DailyDead »

7 Essential Debut Films Directed By Female Filmmakers, From ‘Ratcatcher’ to ‘The Virgin Suicides’

7 Essential Debut Films Directed By Female Filmmakers, From ‘Ratcatcher’ to ‘The Virgin Suicides’
When Greta Gerwig’s already-lauded “Lady Bird” hits limited release later this week, the actress-writer-director will join a long line of other female filmmakers who used their directorial debut (this one is Gerwig’s solo directorial debut, just for clarity’s sake) to not only launch their careers, but make a huge mark while doing it. Gerwig’s Saoirse Ronan-starring coming-of-age tale is an instant classic, and one that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who has enjoyed Gerwig’s charming work as a screenwriter in recent years, bolstered by her ear for dialogue and her love of complicated and complex leading ladies.

While Hollywood still lags when it comes to offering up opportunities to its most talented female filmmakers, many of them have overcome the dismal stats to deliver compelling, interesting, and unique first features. In short, they’re good filmmakers who made good movies,
See full article at Indiewire »

Quote of the Day: Sarah Polley on How Directing Made Her More Aware of Hollywood’s Sexism

Polley on the set of “Take This Waltz”: Magnolia Pictures/IMDb

Actress, writer, and director Sarah Polley is sharing her story about Harvey Weinstein. The producer propositioned Polley, the “Stories We Tell” helmer writes in an opinion piece for the New York Times. Weinstein suggested that a “very close relationship” with him would mean more acting work for her. “I indicated that he was wasting his time,” Polley recalls. “I just didn’t care that much about an acting career. I loved acting, still do, but I knew, after 14 years of working professionally, that it wasn’t worth it to me, and the reasons were not unconnected to the tone of that meeting.”

As she hints, that encounter with Weinstein was not the first time Polley came up against Hollywood’s misogyny. But she didn’t realize how much show business normalizes predatory behavior until she started directing her own projects.

“Shortly afterward, I started writing and directing short films. I had no idea, until then, how little respect I had been shown as an actor. Now there were no assistant directors trying to cajole me into sitting on their laps, no groups of men standing around to assess how I looked in a particular piece of clothing,” Polley details. “I could decide what I felt was important to say, how to film a woman, without her sexuality being a central focus without context.”

After having a positive, collaborative experience with Julie Christie on the set of her directorial debut, “Away From Her,” Polley decided to return to acting. But while she was more confident in her abilities and voice, Hollywood’s treatment of women was the same as ever. “This industry doesn’t tend to attract the most gentle and principled among us,” Polley says of the alpha male directors and producers she’s worked with. “I had two experiences in the same year in which I went into a film as an actor with an open heart and was humiliated, violated, dismissed and then, in one instance, called overly sensitive when I complained.”

“For a long time, I felt that it wasn’t worth it to me to open my heart and make myself so vulnerable in an industry that makes its disdain for women evident everywhere I turn,” Polley emphasizes. Her ambivalence about the craft is understandable: female actors endure an unbelievable amount of shitty treatment and face a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation when they consider speaking out.

Hopefully, as Polley mentions in her piece, the Weinstein case will mark a turning point. “I hope that the ways in which women are degraded, both obvious and subtle, begin to seem like a thing of the past,” she writes. Amen.

Polley received an Oscar nomination in 2008 for writing “Away From Her,” which stars Christie as a woman living with Alzheimer’s. Polley’s other directorial credits include the infidelity drama “Take This Waltz” and “Stories We Tell,” a documentary about her own family and parentage. She also penned the upcoming Netflix miniseries “Alias Grace,” an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel.

Quote of the Day: Sarah Polley on How Directing Made Her More Aware of Hollywood’s Sexism was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Here Are 59 Actors Who Landed Oscar Nominations For Portraying Characters With Disabilities

Here Are 59 Actors Who Landed Oscar Nominations For Portraying Characters With Disabilities
Triumph over adversity is drama defined, and Oscar nominations often go to actors whose characters find victory over physical or mental afflictions. The earliest example goes back to 1947; that was the year that non-pro Harold Russell won Best Supporting Actor and a special award for “The Best Years of Our Lives.” Russell was a WWII veteran who lost both of his hands while making a training film. Of note: Of the 59, 27 of these nominations went on to a win. This year’s roster of stars playing afflicted characters includes Jake Gyllenhaal as bombing victim Jeff Baumer in “Stronger,” Andrew Garfield as polio survivor Robin Cavendish in “Breathe,” Bryan Cranston as a millionaire quadriplegic in “The Upside,” and Sally Hawkins in two roles, as an arthritic painter in “Maudie” and a mute lab worker in “The Shape of Water.”

Check out Oscar’s rather astonishing legacy of afflicted contenders below.

Blind
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Here Are 59 Actors Who Landed Oscar Nominations For Portraying Characters With Disabilities

  • Indiewire
Here Are 59 Actors Who Landed Oscar Nominations For Portraying Characters With Disabilities
Triumph over adversity is drama defined, and Oscar nominations often go to actors whose characters find victory over physical or mental afflictions. The earliest example goes back to 1947; that was the year that non-pro Harold Russell won Best Supporting Actor and a special award for “The Best Years of Our Lives.” Russell was a WWII veteran who lost both of his hands while making a training film. Of note: Of the 59, 27 of these nominations went on to a win. This year’s roster of stars playing afflicted characters includes Jake Gyllenhaal as bombing victim Jeff Baumer in “Stronger,” Andrew Garfield as polio survivor Robin Cavendish in “Breathe,” Bryan Cranston as a millionaire quadriplegic in “The Upside,” and Sally Hawkins in two roles, as an arthritic painter in “Maudie” and a mute lab worker in “The Shape of Water.”

Check out Oscar’s rather astonishing legacy of afflicted contenders below.

Blind
See full article at Indiewire »

How Annette Bening Tamed Hollywood Bachelor Warren Beatty: 'Every Day She Surprises Me'

How Annette Bening Tamed Hollywood Bachelor Warren Beatty: 'Every Day She Surprises Me'
Warren Beatty was once famous for being one of Hollywood’s most legendary bachelors — that was until he met an Oscar nominee who changed his ways.

The actor’s list of ex-girlfriends reads like a who’s who from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Among the stars he romanced: Madonna, Diane Keaton, and Julie Christie. That all changed when Beatty cast Annette Bening in his 1991 film Bugsy.

When they met for lunch in preparation for Bugsy, Beatty knew his life was going to change forever.

“I remember losing interest in the garlic chicken I was eating within 20 seconds,” he previously told People.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Robert Altman Chosen for First-Ever AFI Retrospective

by Ilich Mejía

American director Robert Altman has been selected by the American Film Institute as the focus of AFI Fest's first annual retrospective showcasing the works of an accomplished filmmaker. AFI Fest will run, this year, from November 9 to 16. Each of those days will feature screenings and special discussions of Altman's best work. 

Even though Altman passed over ten years ago, his films are constantly remembered by film fanatics around the globe. His haunting 3 Women recently screened as part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's retrospective of 1977. Other Altman classics include Julie Christie's bursting curls in McCabe & Mrs. Miller, the fiery politics of Nashville, and Downton Abbey predecesor Gosford Park.

What film are you most excited to see as part of this retrospective? Share your favorite Altman scenes and moments!
See full article at FilmExperience »

An education by Anne-Katrin Titze

Anne-Katrin Titze with Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane on the influence of Frederick Wiseman, Da Pennebaker, Kim Longinotto, David Maysles and Albert Maysles: "We're both big, big fans of observational, you know, direct cinema, cinéma vérité." Photo: Marija Silk

"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past," George Orwell logged in his 1984. This quote, as well as an image of the strolling, memorising book people - Julie Christie and Oskar Werner among them - from François Truffaut's film adaptation of Ray Bradbury's science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 came to my mind while watching Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane's remarkable, enchanted documentary School Life (In Loco Parentis) that kidnaps us into a world-building realm of unlimited imagination.

Headfort School in Ireland: "It's an 18th century house and it has all that wonderful flavour of Harry Potter…"

At the Ace
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

David Lynch and the Nightmarish Meanings of his Hollywood Star Casting

In episode four of Twin Peaks: The Return, an older gentleman has an obscure conversation with Gordon Cole (David Lynch) as he escorts him to the office of FBI Chief of Staff, Denise Bryson (David Duchovny). Their scene together is short but just by his brief appearance Richard Chamberlain evokes a mass of associations in the viewers who recognizes him, maybe as Cannon Films’ Allen Quartermain, maybe as the ambitious priest with impure thoughts of Rachel Ward in The Thornbirds, or maybe as Julie Christie’s husband in Petulia. An icon of classic television thanks to his performance in the prime-time […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

New Trailer for Restored Re-Release of James Ivory's 'Heat and Dust'

"If it gets too boring, I'll run away." Cohen Media Group has debuted an official trailer for the upcoming re-release of the classic romantic adventure Heat and Dust, directed by James Ivory, that was originally released in 1983. Set in India in the 1920s, the story looks back at the life of an English woman named Olivia who becomes fascinated by India and enamored by the local ruler, a nawab who combines British distinction with Indian pomp and ruthlessness. The film's international cast stars Greta Scacchi, Shashi Kapoor, Julie Christie, Christopher Cazenove, Julian Glover, Susan Fleetwood, Patrick Godfrey, and Jennifer Kendal. This is a brand new, 4K restoration meaning it will look and sound better than ever. I have not seen this film myself, but I have heard it's certainly worth watching. For now, check out the trailer. Here's the new re-release trailer (+ poster) for James Ivory's Heat and Dust,
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Smackdown 1963: Three from "Tom Jones" and Two Dames

Presenting the Supporting Actresses of '63. Well well, what have we here? This year's statistical uniqueness (the only time one film ever produced three supporting actress nominees) and the character lineup reads juicier than it actually is - your Fab Five are, get this: a saucy wench, a pious auntie, a disgraced lady, a pillpopping royal, and a stubborn nun.

The Nominees 

from left to right: Cilento, Evans, Redman, Rutherford, Skalia

In 1963 Oscar voters went for an all-first-timers nominee list in Supporting Actress. The eldest contenders would soon become Dames (Margaret Rutherford and Edith Evans were both OBEs at the time). Rutherford, the eventual winner, was the only nominee with an extensive film history and she was in the middle of a hot streak with her signature role as Jane Marple which ran across multiple films from through 1961-1965. In fact, Agatha Christie had just dedicated her new book "The
See full article at FilmExperience »

The 80th Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

Here we go again folks! As promised (though perhaps a bit later than initially planned), I’m diving back into the world of previous Oscar ceremonies. This time, I have my sights set on the 80th Academy Awards ceremony. You should know the drill by now. I’m going to state what I would have picked in the major eight categories if I had been lucky enough to have been able to vote. In most cases, it deviates from the actual winner. You’ll see how much that was the case this time around, and sit tight, as I do hope to make this a bit more of a consistent thing (excuse the gap again) and really go back as far as I can go. Until then, just enjoy this new one… Alright then, once again here goes nothing ladies and gentlemen…behold my picks for this particular ceremony: Best
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

No Trains to Ambrosia: Close-Up on John Schlesinger’s "Billy Liar"

Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. John Schlesinger's Billy Liar (1963) is playing July 16 - August 15, 2017 in the United States as part of the series John Schlesinger's First Masterpieces.Billy Fisher, a cheerful twenty-something lad from Yorkshire, is going to have a great future. For now, he only has a small office position in his dull small city, but Billy has already landed a job in London writing for a popular TV comedian. He is also working on a novel that soon enough will bring him fame and fortune. He is also engaged to a girl. Actually, two girls. And he doesn’t really want to marry any of them. Also, the TV star doesn’t really know that Billy exists. And he hasn’t started on the novel. Billy just has a vivid imagination and speaks before he thinks—some people prefer to call it compulsive lying.
See full article at MUBI »

The Forgotten: Helmut Käutner's "The Glass of Water" (1960)

One of the many treats at this year's Il Cinema Ritrovato festival of restored or rediscovered films was a retrospective of the works of Helmut Käutner, who has been known and admired for a few select works but whose larger oeuvre is rarely screened. Curators Olaf Möller and Christoph Huber explained that this was partly because the German director's comedies often deal with German current affairs of the day in a way which makes them seem obscure even to modern German audiences. But one humorous movie proved timeless.Käutner began his career during WWII, but never seems to have been seriously tainted by associations with the Nazi regime. Indeed his great successes shot during wartime, Grosse Freiheit No. 7 (1944) and Under the Bridges (1946) apparently made the authorities uncomfortable: framed in a setting that's not-quite period and not-quite alternate reality, where the war simply does not exist, they seemed...a touch defeatist.
See full article at MUBI »

The Best Movies About the Afterlife — IndieWire Critics Survey

The Best Movies About the Afterlife — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: In honor of David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story,” what is the best movie about the afterlife?

Kate Erbland (@katerbland), IndieWire

It will come as no surprise to anyone that, as a child, I watched a lot of television. A lot. I was mostly obsessed with HBO — our single movie channel, number 2 on the dial; yes, my childhood TV had a dial, don’t ask — with intermittent deviations into mostly inappropriate mini-series (thus explaining my rarely disclosed expertise on “The Thornbirds”), and was pretty much given free range to watch whatever the hell I wanted, whenever I wanted. This is why my favorite
See full article at Indiewire »

Drive-In Dust Offs: He Knows You’Re Alone (1980)

Following the horror juggernaut that was Halloween (1978), major studios were very interested to hop in bed with stalk and slay splatterfests. When the Paramount distributed Friday the 13th (1980) looked to be muy lucrative, the big boys jumped hard on the mattress to see how much coin they could dislodge. MGM was no different, and made their claim with He Knows You’re Alone (1980), a film that ultimately survived the dog pile with winning characterizations over slavish Carpenter imitations.

Filmed in December of ’79 on Staten Island and released at the end of summer, He Knows You’re Alone made nearly $ 5 million for MGM against a meager $ 250,000 budget. A tidy profit to be sure, but it was recognized by most critics (and horror fans alike) as a messy pastiche of everything that worked about Halloween but operating with a lot less wattage. I think that’s only partially true – He Knows actually manages to create memorable characters,
See full article at DailyDead »

More Gay Stars and Directors and Screenwriters on TCM: From psychos and psychiatrists to surfers and stage mamas

On the day a U.S. appeals court lifted an injunction that blocked a Mississippi “religious freedom” law – i.e., giving Christian extremists the right to discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, etc. – not to mention the publication of a Republican-backed health care bill targeting the poor, the sick, the elderly, and those with “pre-existing conditions” – which would include HIV-infected people, a large chunk of whom are gay and bisexual men, so the wealthy in the U.S. can get a massive tax cut, Turner Classic Movies' 2017 Gay Pride or Lgbt Month celebration continues (into tomorrow morning, Thursday & Friday, June 22–23) with the presentation of movies by or featuring an eclectic – though seemingly all male – group: Montgomery Clift, Anthony Perkins, Tab Hunter, Dirk Bogarde, John Schlesinger, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Arthur Laurents, and Jerome Robbins. After all, one assumes that, rumors or no, the presence of Mercedes McCambridge in one
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

‘The Graduate’ at 50: Sex, Alienation and Comedy Made Mike Nichols Film a Classic

‘The Graduate’ at 50: Sex, Alienation and Comedy Made Mike Nichols Film a Classic
June is graduation month, which means a long parade of commencement ceremonies and family parties celebrating the new graduate. And at many of those parties, someone will make a joke about Mrs. Robinson or the word “plastics,” because the 50-year-old film “The Graduate” has become part of modern folklore, even for people who haven’t seen it. That’s an impressive achievement for a movie that nobody wanted to make.

The Graduate” opened nationwide on Dec. 22, 1967, and by the third week, Variety described its box office as sockeroo. Even 42 weeks after its debut, the film was in theaters, still doing “socko” business, as Variety reported on Oct. 9, 1968. It went on to earn $104 million, which roughly translates to $740 million today.

While many films date quickly, this one still works, thanks in part to the stylish direction of Mike Nichols and the script by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham, adapting Charles Webb’s novel.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Lilly Singh joins HBO’s Fahrenheit 451

YouTube star Lilly Singh (Bad Moms) has become the latest addition to the cast of HBO’s Fahrenheit 451, joining a cast that includes Michael B. Jordan, Michael Shannon and Sofia Boutella.

The film, based on the Ray Bradbury novel, is being directed by Ramin Bahrani, and takes place in a dystopian future where books are outlawed and ‘firemen’ burn any that are found.

Deadline reports that Singh is set to play Raven, a tabloid vlogger who works with the fire department to spread the ministry’s propaganda by broadcasting their book-burning raids to fans.

Fahrenheit 451 was previously adapted for the big screen in 1966, with Francois Truffaut directing a cast that included Oskar Werner, Julie Christie and Cyril Cusack.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

‘My Cousin Rachel’ Review: Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin Have an Uneven Affair in Moody Daphne du Maurier Adaptation

‘My Cousin Rachel’ Review: Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin Have an Uneven Affair in Moody Daphne du Maurier Adaptation
Despite its title, “My Cousin Rachel” is not a family comedy set over a Bat Mitzvah weekend in New Jersey, though it might yield similar audience demographics. Rather, it is a moody period romance from “Notting Hill” director Roger Michell starring Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin, and one of a diminishing breed of mid-budget studio dramas.

Of course, the title wouldn’t have been so funny when the novel came out in 1951, written by Daphne du Maurier. The twentieth century British author and playwright’s work has inspired many great films over the years, including Nicholas Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now” (1973), starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie, as well as two from Alfred Hitchcock (“Rebecca” and “The Birds”). Lesser known is 1952 version of “My Cousin Rachel,” starring Richard Burton and Olivia de Havilland. Though classified as a romance novelist, her stories are more about the darker side of love and its obsessive qualities,
See full article at Indiewire »
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