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(1978)

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Canon Of Film: ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors’

In this week’s edition of Canon Of Film, we take a look at one of Woody Allen‘s most popular films, ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors’. For the story behind the genesis of the Canon, you can click here.

Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989)

Director/Screenwriter: Woody Allen

Part dark tragedy, part dark comedy, or is it all comedy? It’s certainly all dark to say the least. Considered by almost everybody as one of Woody Allen’s very best films (although I’m not sure Woody would agree), ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors’, wasn’t his first dramatic film, that was the Ingmar Bergman-esque ‘Interiors,’ and it certainly wasn’t his last comedy, yet it clearly represents the moment in Allen’s career when he started to abandon comedy in favor of drama and tragedy. Well, maybe “abandon,” is the wrong word, but he certainly began to lose interest in comedy around here.
See full article at Age of the Nerd »

79 Movies to See Before You Die, According to the Dardenne Brothers

  • Indiewire
79 Movies to See Before You Die, According to the Dardenne Brothers
Any list of the greatest foreign directors currently working today has to include Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. The directors first rose to prominence in the mid 1990s with efforts like “The Promise” and “Rosetta,” and they’ve continued to excel in the 21st century with titles such as “The Kid With A Bike” and “Two Days One Night,” which earned Marion Cotillard a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

Read MoreThe Dardenne Brothers’ Next Film Will Be a Terrorism Drama

The directors will be back in U.S. theaters with the release of “The Unknown Girl” on September 8, which is a long time coming considering the film first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. While you continue to wait for their new movie, the brothers have provided their definitive list of 79 movies from the 20th century that you must see. La Cinetek published the list in full and is hosting many
See full article at Indiewire »

5 Lessons For Actresses from Diane Keaton’s AFI Lifetime Achievement Award Tribute

5 Lessons For Actresses from Diane Keaton’s AFI Lifetime Achievement Award Tribute
When Diane Keaton accepted the 45th AFI Life Achievement Award from Woody Allen in Hollywood Thursday night, it was the end of one of the more memorable AFI tributes. And as one actress after another explained why Keaton was such a significant role model — from Oscar-winners Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon (Keaton-directed TV movie “Wildflower”) and Meryl Streep (“Marvin’s Room”) to Rachel McAdams (“The Family Stone”) and comedienne Lisa Kudrow (“Hanging Up”) — it struck me that all actresses should pay attention to why Keaton is so admired and emulated.

Here are some wise lessons to be learned from the star of “Play It Again Sam,” “The First Wives Club,” “Crimes of the Heart,” “Shoot the Moon,” and HBO’s “The Young Pope.”

1. Stay single.

Keaton launched her Hollywood career with the day-long wedding scene in “The Godfather,” at the end of which she and fellow theater outsider Al Pacino proceeded to get royally drunk.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

5 Lessons For Actresses from Diane Keaton’s AFI Lifetime Achievement Award Tribute

  • Indiewire
5 Lessons For Actresses from Diane Keaton’s AFI Lifetime Achievement Award Tribute
When Diane Keaton accepted the 45th AFI Life Achievement Award from Woody Allen in Hollywood Thursday night, it was the end of one of the more memorable AFI tributes. And as one actress after another explained why Keaton was such a significant role model — from Oscar-winners Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon (Keaton-directed TV movie “Wildflower”) and Meryl Streep (“Marvin’s Room”) to Rachel McAdams (“The Family Stone”) and comedienne Lisa Kudrow (“Hanging Up”) — it struck me that all actresses should pay attention to why Keaton is so admired and emulated.

Here are some wise lessons to be learned from the star of “Play It Again Sam,” “The First Wives Club,” “Crimes of the Heart,” “Shoot the Moon,” and HBO’s “The Young Pope.”

1. Stay single.

Keaton launched her Hollywood career with the day-long wedding scene in “The Godfather,” at the end of which she and fellow theater outsider Al Pacino proceeded to get royally drunk.
See full article at Indiewire »

Review: Woody Allen's "Interiors" (1978); Blu-ray Release From Twilight Time

  • CinemaRetro
“A Long Day’S Journey Into A Little Night Silence”

By Raymond Benson

Woody’s Allen’s first dramatic feature film, Interiors, released in 1978 on the heels of his hugely successful and Oscar-winning masterpiece, Annie Hall, was met with praise by some and head-scratching by others. Most critics, however, acknowledged that the picture was a step the artist needed to take in his evolution as a filmmaker.

Prior to Annie Hall, Allen’s films were zany comedies—the “early funny ones,” as facetiously described in a later work, Stardust Memories. Beginning with Annie, Allen made a quantum leap forward in originality, confidence, and stylistic maturity. He reinvented the romantic comedy. In many ways, Annie Hall is a movie with a European sensibility. It could be argued that Allen’s body of work post-Annie resembles the kind of material made by a director like, say, Francois Truffaut—small, well-written, intimate gems about people,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

When Maureen Stapleton Became Our Grandmother Forever

35 years ago, the actress sang the body electric.

The handful of actresses I associate with motherhood include ’80s movie and TV staples Dee Wallace, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon, Joanna Kerns, Judith Light, and Meredith Baxter. They were the ones that comforted me when I was a kid. But when it comes to images of grandmothers, only one woman comes to mind: Maureen Stapleton.

On January 17, 1982, Stapleton was only 55 years old. She had three Academy Award nominations under her belt and was about to receive her fourth. She would win that Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at the end of March for her performance as Emma Goldman in Reds. But on this particular night, she was on television in the title role of The Electric Grandmother.

The Emmy-nominated NBC special, part of the network’s Peacock Theatre, was co-written by Ray Bradbury based on his 1962 Twilight Zone episode “I Sing the Body Electric,” the
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Review: Woody Allen's "Stardust Memories" (1980); Twilight Time Blu-ray Limited Edition

  • CinemaRetro
“Allen’S 9-1/2”

By Raymond Benson

If one facetiously counted the number of films Woody Allen made beginning in 1969 and throughout the 70s, there would be eight that he wrote and directed (seven of which he also starred in), plus a movie that he only wrote and starred in—Play It Again, Sam, for which I’ll count as 1/2, making Stardust Memories number 9-1/2. Appropriately, this film seems to intentionally pay homage to Federico Fellini’s own masterwork, 8-1/2 (1963), which was about a filmmaker who didn’t know what movie he wanted to shoot next. Stardust Memories, released in 1980 after the huge successes of Annie Hall and Manhattan (with critically-acclaimed Interiors in-between), is also about a filmmaker in search of the picture he wants to make.

It wasn’t well-received at the time. I recall leaving the theater in anger. How could Woody be so contemptuous of his audience? It was as if his character,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Links: Nate Parker, Ben-Hur, and Donald Trump as Film Critic

Variety Amber Heard donates her entire divorce settlement from Johnny Depp to charity

Pajiba ... she also apparently passed on receiving residuals from his movies

Monkey See funny talk about the new Ben-Hur and the long shadow of its 1959 Best Picture predecessor

Kenneth in the (212) alerts us to a new webseries on Woody Allen movies. 10 things about Interiors this time 

Olympic play, Nate Parker controversy, and Donald Trump as movie critic after the jump...
See full article at FilmExperience »

Woody Allen: A Career in 20 Hilarious, Brilliant Lines

Woody Allen: A Career in 20 Hilarious, Brilliant Lines
This Friday, Café Society, the latest release from writer/director/comic godhead Woody Allen, waltzes into theaters — the 47th feature Allen has directed over a career spanning 50 years. (Yes, we're counting New York Stories.) He's had box-office successes and outright bombs, Oscar-winning masterpieces and critically panned duds. But regardless of his movies' receptions (and the reoccurring rumors about his personal life), he's managed to pump out a film a year with impressive regularity. Some key elements have stayed the same — once a jazz clarinet slinks onto the soundtrack, audiences know exactly who they're dealing with.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Woody Allen: A Career in 20 Hilarious, Brilliant Lines

Woody Allen: A Career in 20 Hilarious, Brilliant Lines
This Friday, Café Society, the latest release from writer/director/comic godhead Woody Allen, waltzes into theaters — the 47th feature Allen has directed over a career spanning 50 years. (Yes, we're counting New York Stories.) He's had box-office successes and outright bombs, Oscar-winning masterpieces and critically panned duds. But regardless of his movies' receptions (and the reoccurring rumors about his personal life), he's managed to pump out a film a year with impressive regularity. Some key elements have stayed the same — once a jazz clarinet slinks onto the soundtrack, audiences know exactly who they're dealing with.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Michael Cimino & the Best Director Oscar Since

Eric here with thinking about the past 40 years of Oscars Best Director category.

This past Saturday, director Michael Cimino passed away at age 77. Cimino won the Best Director Oscar for 1978’s The Deer Hunter, beating Woody Allen (Interiors), Hal Ashby (Coming Home), Warren Beatty and Buck Henry (Heaven Can Wait), and Alan Parker (Midnight Express). While those five actual films are of varying quality, the names behind them are all heavyweights and it was formidable company.

The Deer Hunter was a divisive film upon its release and remains so today (praised for its leisurely-paced first half and its capture of inexpressive male friendship; criticized for the Russian Roulette melodrama and its depiction of the Vietnamese). With The Deer Hunter, Cimino aimed to make something epic and classically Greek in its storytelling, and watching the film you can actually feel his young talent. Cimino next famously (infamously?) went on to direct 1980’s Heaven’s Gate,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Queen of Earth review – pungent chamber piece of simmering envy

Elisabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston play a pair of friends locked in a dysfunctional relationship poisoned by resentment

Alex Ross Perry’s Queen of Earth drags the fingernails of its emotional pain down the blackboard. The atmosphere crackles with resentment: this film is exclusively and rather bafflingly populated by people who dislike each other intensely – even, or especially, people who are supposed to like each other.

It is a pungent chamber piece, starring Elisabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston, shot almost entirely in closeup, about two women locked in a dysfunctional friendship that has long ago been poisoned by competitive envy and resentment. Like Perry’s previous movie, Listen Up Philip, this is a film about unbearably entitled people, and once again there are Woody Allen influences, but no comedy now. This is the world of Interiors and the late-70s Allen’s interface with Bergman.

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

Will Golden Globes embrace Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ('The Revenant') after spurning him for 'Birdman'?

Nobody has ever won a Golden Globe for directing the year after losing here and then going on to win at the Oscars. Will Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who contends for “The Revenant,” be able to do what even Woody Allen could not? -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions In 1977 Allen was nominated for four Golden Globes for “Annie Hall”: Best Comedy/Musical Picture, Comedy/Musical Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. He did not have a great night losing all four races and having to find solace in Diane Keaton winning Best Comedy/Musical Actress. A couple of months later he would have a great night at the Oscars when “Annie Hall” won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (as well as a trophy for Keaton). In 1978 Allen returned to the Globes with “Interiors.” However, he lost Best Director to Michael Cimino
See full article at Gold Derby »

Review: Alex Ross Perry's Chilling, Intense 'Queen Of Earth' Starring Elisabeth Moss & Katherine Waterston

  • The Playlist
A striking 180 degree turn that demonstrates a sharp versatility and impressive command of multiple forms, filmmaker Alex Ross Perry’s latest effort, “Queen Of Earth,” is a mysterious and moody examination of complex personal dynamics, co-dependency, poisoned perceptions, and the fragile, thin line between friendship and hateship. A marked departure from his last effort, the talky, caustically funny “Listen Up Philip,” Perry’s fourth feature-length effort is a chilly and claustrophobic chamber drama akin to works of Ingmar Bergman, but with paranoid psychodrama notes worthy of Roman Polanski. It’s like Woody Allen following up the amusing “Annie Hall” with the cold and distancing “Interiors.” But the movie’s emotional turbulence, resentful hostilities, and considerations of privilege, self-absorption, and narcissism are also pure Alex Ross Perry. Set completely within the confines of an idyllic lake house upstate, the film centers on the quickly curdling friendship between two...
See full article at The Playlist »

Close-Up on "Two Lovers": James Gray's Extraordinary Average Love Story

  • MUBI
Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Two Lovers is playing on Mubi in the Us through September 15.Little Odessa (1994), The Yards (2000), We Own the Night (2007), The Immigrant (2013): Written and directed by James Gray, these four films are occupied by characters living extraordinary lives. Yet despite their depiction of an exceptional existence—covering cold-blooded killers, cunning gangsters, ruthless hit men, and the perilous plight of early 20th century immigrants—Gray's cinematic worlds are consistently unassuming and relatable. No matter how high the drama or how dire the circumstances, there is a palpable attention to detail, in character and setting, which attains a surprising level of modest believability. Two Lovers (2009), his fourth feature film, likewise achieves this authenticity, but it is also something of an exemption to his body of work. Anchored by Joaquin Phoenix as Leonard Kraditor, in what was the actor's third straight film
See full article at MUBI »

Irrational Man and Vive Le Discount Movie House!

Early on in Irrational Man, Woody Allen’s latest half-narcotized attempt to dramatically grapple with a philosophically tinged moral crisis, a fellow academic tells Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix), “I loved your essay on situational ethics.” Abe, being a newly appointed professor/radical free thinker to the philosophy department of a picturesque Rhode Island college and himself awash in career disillusionment and an existential dilemma involving writer’s block, smiles and nods appreciatively and noncommittally. However, the audience may consider the Big Theme bell well and truly rung. Allen, who would never be so satisfied with a single easy proclamation of achievement, pads the first half of the movie with apparently awe-inspired compliments from fellow professors, administrators and students directed toward Abe’s prodigious intellect—his reputation doth well precede him, and he knows it. And you can bet that every classroom scene will be occasion to name-drop the heavy hitters-- Kant!
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Watch: Rare 33-Minute, 1979 Interview With Woody Allen Shot For French Television

  • The Playlist
The end of the '70s was a transitional time for Woody Allen. After making a name as the master of goofy comedies and satires, he gravitated towards drama at the end of the decade. “Annie Hall” and especially “Manhattan” contained many insightful dramatic moments, even though they were categorized as romantic comedies. Sandwiched in between those two films was the uber-drama “Interiors," Allen’s fittingly dour tribute to his idol Ingmar Bergman. During a rare 30-minute interview filmed as part of a 1979 French TV documentary titled "Question de Temps: Une Heure Avec Woody Allen," unearthed by Eyes on Cinema, Allen’s uncertainty and confusion about where his career will go during the '80s becomes very obvious. Bear in mind that while he gave the interview, Allen was preparing to begin production on "Stardust Memories," his homage to Federico Fellini’s "8 1/2," as well as a film about his recent
See full article at The Playlist »

87th Academy Award Winners: Birdman Tops Boyhood

Oscar 2015 winners (photo: Chris Pratt during Oscar 2015 rehearsals) The complete list of Oscar 2015 winners and nominees can be found below. See also: Oscar 2015 presenters and performers. Now, a little Oscar 2015 trivia. If you know a bit about the history of the Academy Awards, you'll have noticed several little curiosities about this year's nominations. For instance, there are quite a few first-time nominees in the acting and directing categories. In fact, nine of the nominated actors and three of the nominated directors are Oscar newcomers. Here's the list in the acting categories: Eddie Redmayne. Michael Keaton. Steve Carell. Benedict Cumberbatch. Felicity Jones. Rosamund Pike. J.K. Simmons. Emma Stone. Patricia Arquette. The three directors are: Morten Tyldum. Richard Linklater. Wes Anderson. Oscar 2015 comebacks Oscar 2015 also marks the Academy Awards' "comeback" of several performers and directors last nominated years ago. Marion Cotillard and Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress Oscars for, respectively, Olivier Dahan
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Watch: Why Gordon Willis’ Lighting in Interiors is Another Character Element

In conjunction with the Museum of Moving Image’s first ever cinematographer-centric retrospective, Reverse Shot has produced a small tribute to Gordon Willis’ work on Woody Allen’s Interiors. Staging their own recreations of the film’s many portraits, editors Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert examine how Willis’ lighting contributes to the emotional interiority of Diane Keaton’s character, Renata. By casting her in shadows for the majority of the film, Willis reinforces her isolation. It’s an important consideration of how cinematography can not only set the external tone of a film, but also play a necessary role in the characterization of its inhabitants.
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

‘The Walking Dead’ Boldly Ambles Into Existential Phase (Spoilers)

‘The Walking Dead’ Boldly Ambles Into Existential Phase (Spoilers)
The Walking Dead” has returned from its midseason break in an inordinately pensive mood, as if the characters are experiencing an existential crisis beyond the actual threats to their existence. Think of it as Woody Allen’s “Interiors,” if the key players periodically had to jam knives into the heads of slavering zombies.

This is not, by itself, a bad thing, but it speaks to a larger issue about the show over the past couple seasons, which has lurched around in unexpected ways – from focusing on just one or two characters to engaging in lengthy flashbacks to pausing to essentially catch its breath before plowing ahead with major action sequences.

The midseason return and Feb. 15 episode (and needless to say, Spoiler Alert if you haven’t watched) have both been preoccupied, to an extent, by having the will to go on. Last week, the show poignantly dwelt on saying goodbye
See full article at Variety - TV News »
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