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The Promise of Recovery: Close-Up on Robert Aldrich’s "Autumn Leaves"

  • MUBI
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Robert Aldrich's Autumn Leaves (1956) is playing October 22 - November 21, 2017 on Mubi in the United Kingdom. Autumn Leaves is the story of what happens to a Robert Aldrich hero after the Robert Aldrich movie ends. Vicious, cynical, and borderline nihilistic, Aldrich’s movies churned idealistic characters through crucibles of violence and disillusionment. He adored stories of marginalized nobodies forced to face impossible odds: murderers-turned-World War Two commandos in The Dirty Dozen (1967); desperate Chiricahua Apache raiders in Ulzana’s Raid (1972); a football team of prison inmates in The Longest Yard (1974); escaped military prisoners in Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1977). For these men—and they were usually men—death was one of the kindest fates possible. Existential meaninglessness, the pointlessness of moral causes, the uselessness of idealism: these were the fates they truly feared. And for Aldrich, these were the just rewards
See full article at MUBI »

Richard Schickel, Influential Time Magazine Film Critic, Dies at 84

Richard Schickel, Influential Time Magazine Film Critic, Dies at 84
Richard Schickel, the longtime film critic for Time magazine who also wrote 37 books, mostly on film, and directed a number of documentaries on film subjects, died on Saturday in Los Angeles of complications from a series of strokes, his family told the Los Angeles Times. He was 84.

“He was one of the fathers of American film criticism,” his daughter, writer Erika Schickel, told the Times. “He had a singular voice. When he wrote or spoke, he had an old-fashioned way of turning a phrase. He was blunt and succinct both on the page and in life.”

He wrote and/or directed more than 30 documentaries, mostly for television.

Schickel shared a 1977 Emmy nomination for the documentary “Life Goes to the Movies” and received two nominations in 1987 for the documentary “Minnelli on Minnelli: Liza Remembers Vincente,” which he directed.

Schickel wrote film reviews for Life magazine from 1965 until the magazine folded in
See full article at Variety - Film News »

High Noon

Another release of the Kramer-Foreman-Zinnemann classic gives Savant another chance to make his argument that this supposedly 'liberal' movie is too confused to be anything but political quicksand -- if anything, its statement is bitterly hawkish. High Noon Blu-ray Olive Signature 1952 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 85 min. / Street Date September 20, 2016 / available through the Olive Films website / 39.95 Starring Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Grace Kelly, Katy Jurado, Lloyd Bridges, Lon Chaney Jr, Harry Morgan, Otto Kruger, Lee Van Cleef. Cinematography Floyd Crosby Production Designer Rudolph Sternad Film Editor Elmo Williams Original Music Dimitri Tiomkin Written by Carl Foreman Produced by Stanley Kramer Directed by Fred Zinnemann

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

This is my fourth time out with a review of High Noon, starting fourteen years ago with a pretty miserable Artisan DVD, then a Lionsgate 'ultimate edition,' followed by Olive Film's first, quite good Blu-ray. Olive now revisits the 1952 classic as
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Emmy Nonfiction Contenders: Portraits of the Artist, from Nora Ephron to Nina Simone

  • Indiewire
Emmy Nonfiction Contenders: Portraits of the Artist, from Nora Ephron to Nina Simone
Watching “Everything Is Copy” (HBO), on the life of Nora Ephron, it’s clear that the late writer and filmmaker was willing to use, and to massage, the truth. Of the narrator’s hamster-loving first husband, in her 1983 novel “Heartburn,” Ephron’s own ex-, Dan Greenberg, says the strange trait is an invention; of 1989’s “When Harry Met Sally…” the screenwriter admits that Meg Ryan’s cheerful, high-strung co-lead is based “more or less” on herself. As New Yorker editor David Remnick remarks of Ephron’s inimitable essays, “her voice in print really replicated her voice—almost—in life.”

Indeed, in “Everything Is Copy,” as in the other films nominated for Outstanding Documentary/Nonfiction Special at this year’s Emmys, the subject’s work inhabits this space between the dashes, the “almost” and the “more or less.” It’s where the biographical blurs into the fictional, where fact and craft diverge.
See full article at Indiewire »

Extreme weight loss and tooth extraction: when method acting goes too far

Which star didn’t bathe for four months? Who became a cabbie? Our guide to actors who take their art to new levels

Marlon Brando may be the most famous Hollywood exponent of method acting, even if the double Oscar-winning star of On the Waterfront and The Godfather always refused to accept the tag. But even Brando’s efforts to prepare for a part – which once involved him living alongside wounded soldiers in a veteran’s hospital for a full month to play an injured second world war lieutenant in his 1950 film debut, The Men – pale into comparison with those of some of his spiritual successors.

Related: Jai Courtney's Suicide Squad prep: magic mushrooms and cigarette burns

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

39 years ago today: Comic-Con welcomed stormtroopers to the nerd Mecca for the first time

  • Hitfix
39 years ago today: Comic-Con welcomed stormtroopers to the nerd Mecca for the first time
Today, thousands upon thousands of fanboys and fangirls will flock toward Southern California as San Diego Comic-Con kicks off. 39 years ago today, the then-much smaller convention opened for a significant year: The first after the release of Star Wars. Though the con was still focused on comic books at the time and was contained within Sd’s El Cortez Hotel, the 1977 event did feature a “Making of Star Wars” panel. A year prior, Lucasfilm had drummed up a bit of anticipation for the movie at Comic-Con with Mark Hamill in attendance. Other notable July 20 happenings in pop culture history: • 1950: The Men, Marlon Brando’s first film, premiered in New York. • 1965: Bob Dylan’s single “Like a Rolling Stone” was released. • 1969: Broadcast on live TV to a worldwide audience, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, proclaiming the event “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
See full article at Hitfix »

'Sunset Blvd.': 15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About the Hollywood Classic

  • Moviefone
Long before the lurid "E! True Hollywood Story" series, there was "Sunset Boulevard" -- maybe the darkest, most cynical movie ever made about what Hollywood is really like.

Released 65 years ago this week (on August 10, 1950), director Billy Wilder's classic explored fame from the perspective of those who had it and lost it (like Gloria Swanson and her "waxwork" friends, playing lightly fictionalized versions of themselves) and those who never quite made it, like the struggling young screenwriter (William Holden) and the failed actress-turned-script reader played by Nancy Olson.

Even if you haven't seen "Sunset Boulevard," you may feel like you have, whether because of the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical it spawned, the movies that copied it (particularly "American Beauty," with its narration from beyond the grave), and the countless parodies of Swanson's final "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up" scene. In honor of the film's anniversary,
See full article at Moviefone »

Review: 'Listen To Me Marlon' Provides Gripping, Unprecedented Insight Into The Acting Legend

  • The Playlist
“I coulda been a contender! I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.” That classic scene from “On The Waterfront” was part and parcel behind Marlon Brando's release into the stratosphere of supercool. Beginning with his stage debut as Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire” (which he, of course, reprised in the 1951 film adaptation), his film debut in “The Men,” and a string of larger-than-life roles culminating with his Oscar-winning turn as Terry Malloy in 'Waterfront,' Hollywood was Brando's oyster in the 1950s, and a man became a cultural symbol. Through these roles, and future titanic turns in “The Godfather,” “Apocalypse Now,” and “The Last Tango in Paris,” we know and remember Marlon Brando as one of the greatest screen actors of all time. But what of the man behind the actor? This question fuels Stevan Riley's documentary,
See full article at The Playlist »

New Directors/New Films Review: Gripping 'Listen To Me Marlon' Reveals The Man Behind The Myth Of Marlon Brando

  • The Playlist
“I coulda been a contender! I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.” That classic scene from “On The Waterfront” was part and parcel behind Marlon Brando's release into the stratosphere of supercool. Beginning with his stage debut as Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire” (which he, of course, reprised in the 1951 film adaptation), his film debut in “The Men,” and a string of larger-than-life roles culminating with his Oscar-winning turn as Terry Malloy in 'Waterfront,' Hollywood was Brando's oyster in the 1950s, and a man became a cultural symbol. Through these roles, and future titanic turns in “The Godfather,” “Apocalypse Now,” and “The Last Tango in Paris,” we know and remember Marlon Brando as one of the greatest screen actors of all time. But, what of the man behind the actor? This question fuels Stevan Riley's documentary,
See full article at The Playlist »

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 »

Oscar Winner Went All the Way from Wyler to Coppola in Film Career Spanning Half a Century

Teresa Wright and Matt Damon in 'The Rainmaker' Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright vs. Samuel Goldwyn: Nasty Falling Out.") "I'd rather have luck than brains!" Teresa Wright was quoted as saying in the early 1950s. That's understandable, considering her post-Samuel Goldwyn choice of movie roles, some of which may have seemed promising on paper.[1] Wright was Marlon Brando's first Hollywood leading lady, but that didn't help her to bounce back following the very public spat with her former boss. After all, The Men was released before Elia Kazan's film version of A Streetcar Named Desire turned Brando into a major international star. Chances are that good film offers were scarce. After Wright's brief 1950 comeback, for the third time in less than a decade she would be gone from the big screen for more than a year.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Wright and Goldwyn Have an Ugly Parting of the Ways; Brando (More or Less) Comes to the Rescue

Teresa Wright-Samuel Goldwyn association comes to a nasty end (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Film.") Whether or not because she was aware that Enchantment wasn't going to be the hit she needed – or perhaps some other disagreement with Samuel Goldwyn or personal issue with husband Niven BuschTeresa Wright, claiming illness, refused to go to New York City to promote the film. (Top image: Teresa Wright in a publicity shot for The Men.) Goldwyn had previously announced that Wright, whose contract still had another four and half years to run, was to star in a film version of J.D. Salinger's 1948 short story "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut." Instead, he unceremoniously – and quite publicly – fired her.[1] The Goldwyn organization issued a statement, explaining that besides refusing the assignment to travel to New York to help generate pre-opening publicity for Enchantment,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Sopranos Actress Bergen, the Movies' '1st Female President' of the United States, Dead at 84

Sopranos Actress Bergen, the Movies' '1st Female President' of the United States, Dead at 84
Polly Bergen dead at 84: ‘First woman president of the U.S.A.,’ former mistress of Tony Soprano’s father Emmy Award-winning actress Polly Bergen — whose roles ranged from the first U.S.A. woman president in Kisses for My President to the former mistress of both Tony Soprano’s father and John F. Kennedy in the television hit series The Sopranos — died from "natural causes" on September 20, 2014, at her home in Southbury, Connecticut. The 84-year-old Bergen, a heavy smoker for five decades, had been suffering from emphysema and other ailments since the 1990s. "Most people think I was born in a rich Long Island family," she told The Washington Post in 1988, but Polly Bergen was actually born Nellie Paulina Burgin on July 14, 1930, to an impoverished family in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her father was an illiterate construction worker while her mother got only as far as the third grade. The family
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Interview with Kent Jones about Jimmy P: Psychotherapy Of A Plains Indian

Mathieu Amalric as George Devereux Benicio Del Toro as Jimmy P

I met up with Kent Jones during a snowy day, surrounded by New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, to talk about his work on Arnaud Desplechin's Jimmy P: Psychotherapy Of A Plains Indian. The film stars Benicio Del Toro, Mathieu Amalric, Misty Upham, and Gina McKee. The winding paths of our conversation on post-war silences, psychoanalysis, western landscapes and eastern escapes led us from David Lynch's Straight Story to Clint Eastwood's Flags Of Our Fathers to Truffaut and Hitchcock, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Marlon Brando in The Men, across Red River to The Best Years of Our Lives and why the story of a returning World War II veteran has special meaning for him.

When I spoke with Kent in September 2013, he was embarking on his first year as Director of Programming and
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: Cry Danger

  • Disc Dish
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Oct. 15, 2013

Price: DVD $24.95, Blu-ray $29.95

Studio: Olive Films

Dick Powell in on the hunt for revenge and cash in Cry Danger.

Dick Powell (Murder, My Sweet) and Rhonda Fleming (Out of the Past) star in the 1951 film noir crime drama Cry Danger, which makes its DVD and Blu-ray debut with this Olive Films release.

Powell is Rocky, an innocent man just released from prison who’s on the hunt for both the $100,000 bankroll he allegedly stole and the people who framed him. Then there’s Delong (Richard Erdman, The Men), a disabled Marine veteran who produced the evidence that led to Rocky’s release and who now wants part of the stash in exchange for his help. But Rocky has a different plan,…

Directed by Robert Parrish (The Purple Plain) and featuring the glorious black-and-white cinematographer of Joseph F. Biroc (It’s a Wonderful Life), the film
See full article at Disc Dish »

10 Method Actors Who Might Actually Be Insane

Method acting is one of those terms that has multiple descriptions, each varying in terms of the commitment, and indeed, insanity required to pull it off. Though all roads point from Stanislavski’s classical method, actors over the last 80-or-so years have adopted it in different ways; if an actor is playing a mentally disabled character, they might spend a few days hanging out with a mentally disabled person, and if they’re playing an historical or real-life figure, then they might do their best to get acquainted with the person’s mannerisms or study their speech patterns.

These are pretty basic tenets of performance, but actors who immerse themselves fully in the Method do something entirely different; they disappear beneath the character, such that short of their (sometimes) recognisable face, we cannot discern the actor underneath. It’s a frightening – and often frighteningly impressive – practise, one which many actors
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Train Wrecks: My Favorite Stinkers

  • SoundOnSight
As he has before, Edgar Chaput has inspired me with one of his pieces, this one – part of Sos’s recent Bond Fest — concerning the loopy 1967 Casino Royale. As I commented on Edgar’s piece, I didn’t disagree that Royale was a royal mess after having passed through the hands of one director after another (and one screenwriter after another as well). Mess though it was, however, I found it – as I wrote – a “fascinating mess.” Maybe that’s just a holdover from seeing it as a 12-year-old when so much about the movie seemed so dizzyingly novel at the time: it’s casual sexuality, bawdy humor, wink-to-the-audience jokes, hallucinogenic visuals, Burt Bacharach’s poptastic score. In a way, the fact that the movie didn’t make much sense and caromed from one directorial style to another only added to the sensory overload it unloaded on a pre-adolescent.

What
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Fred Zinnemann: Oscar Actors Director

Fred Zinnemann began his career during the studio era, but kept on going, however sporadically, long after most of his contemporaries had retired. Even so, today his name means little to most moviegoers and critics alike. But why? Quite possibly because, like William Wyler, Zinnemann covered just about every film genre there is. His relatively small oeuvre — 21 narrative feature films — encompasses the following: Western (High Noon, The Sundowners [sort of]), romance (From Here to Eternity), socially conscious drama (The Search, The Men, A Hatful of Rain), historical drama (A Man for All Seasons), adventure (The Seventh Cross, Five Days One Summer), religion (The Nun's Story), thriller (The Day of the Jackal), crime (Eyes in the Night, Kid Glove Killer, Act of Violence), war (Behold a Pale Horse), comedy (My Brother Talks to Horses), melodrama (Little Big Jim) psychological drama (Teresa, The Member of the Wedding), musical (Oklahoma), pseudo-"historical" drama (Julia, whose
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

'Viva Zapata!' 60th Anniversary: 25 Things You Didn't Know About the Marlon Brando Classic

  • Moviefone
You'd think a movie starring Marlon Brando at the height of his young-firebrand sex appeal, written by Nobel laureate John Steinbeck, and directed by the great Elia Kazan, would be better remembered today. Yet "Viva Zapata!", released exactly 60 years ago (on Feburary 7, 1952), is all but regarded as a footnote in the careers of Brando, Steinbeck, and Kazan. That's a shame, since it's at once a terrifically exciting action film, a heroic biopic, and a penetrating political study. Of course, even then, it was an odd one -- a movie about legendary figures in Mexican history portrayed by an almost Mexican-free cast; a movie about a pro-peasant revolutionary hero made at a time of anti-Communist hysteria in Hollywood. That it got made at all was remarkable, given the battles over censorship and casting, not to mention the battles between Brando and co-star Anthony Quinn, whose bitter tension often erupted into elaborate pranks and practical jokes.
See full article at Moviefone »

Angelina Jolie/In The Land Of Blood And Honey Angers Some Serbs, Wins Producers Guild Award

Zana Marjanovic, Ermin Sijamija, In the Land of Blood and Honey

Some Serbians may be furious at Angelina Jolie and her first directorial effort, the Bosnian War drama In the Land of Blood and Honey, but the Producers Guild of America feels differently. Jolie's socially conscious film has been named the recipient of this year's Stanley Kramer Award given to "a motion picture, producer or other individual, whose achievement or contribution illuminates provocative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion." In In the Land of Blood and Honey, a Bosnian woman is held captive — and used as a sex slave — at a Serbian prison camp while her former lover is fighting on the side of the Serbs.

As per PGA co-presidents Hawk Koch and Mark Gordon, quoted in a press release, In the Land of Blood and Honey "is an extraordinary film that portrays a complex love story set
See full article at Alt Film Guide »
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