Like Ficarra and Requa’s 2011 comedy Crazy Stupid Love, Focus begins promisingly and bops along enjoyably for a while, only to run out of steam…
* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.
The ten best films of 2014, as chosen by the film critics of RogerEbert.com.
Ray Harryhausen's creature drawings; How hollywood killed death; Live-coverage of Hateful Eight reading; Masterful noir films; A short movie.
Marie writes: Now this is really neat. It made TIME's top 25 best blogs for 2012 and with good reason. Behold artist and photographer Gustaf Mantel's Tumblr blog "If we don't, remember me" - a collection of animated GIFs based on classic films. Only part of the image moves and in a single loop; they're sometimes called cinemagraphs. The results can be surprisingly moving. They also can't be embedded so you have to watch them on his blog. I already picked my favorite. :-)
Marie writes: The late John Alton is widely regarded as being one of greatest film noir cinematographers to have ever worked in Film. He perfected many of the stylized camera and lighting techniques of the genre, including radical camera angles, wide-angle lenses, deep focus compositions, the baroque use of low-level cameras and a sharp depth of field. His groundbreaking work with director Anthony Mann on films such "TMen" and "Raw Deal" and "He Walked by Night" is considered a benchmark in the genre, with "The Big Combo" directed by Joseph H. Lewis, considered his masterpiece. John Alton also gained fame as the author of the seminal work on cinematography: "Painting with Light".
The Big Combo (1955) [click to enlarge]
Marie writes: And so it begins! A new year and another season of Film Festivals and Award shows. The Golden Globes have come and gone and in advance of quirky SXSW, there's Robert Redford's Sundance 2013...
Marie writes: When I first learned of "Royal de Luxe" I let out a squeal of pure delight and immediately began building giant puppets inside my head, trying to imagine how it would look to see a whale or dragon moving down the street..."Based in Nantes, France, the street theatre company Royal de Luxe performs around the world, primarily using gigantic, elaborate marionettes to tell stories that take place over several days and wind through entire cities. Puppeteers maneuver the huge marionettes - some as tall as 12 meters (40 ft) - through streets, parks, and waterways, performing their story along the way." - the Atlantic
(Click images to enlarge.)
The 65th Cannes Film Festival's eleven days of prediction, wild speculation and gossip, some of it centering on the notoriously cranky personality of this year's jury president Nanni Moretti, came to an end Sunday evening in festival's business-like awards ceremony (or Soiree de Palmares, as the French call it) that traditionally lacks the extended let's-put-on-a-show aspect of the Oscars. The jury was seated onstage in a solemn group, and the awards given with a modest amount of fancy-dress formality, a bit of unrehearsed fumbling, and acceptance speeches that were short, dignified and to the point.
The foul weather that has marred the usually sunny festival continued to the end, and elite guests and movie stars alike walked a red carpet tented by a plastic roof as the rain fell on the multi-colored umbrellas of the surrounding crowds. Festival director Thierry Fremoux personally held an umbrella for Audrey Tautou, star of Claude Miller's closing night film, "Therese Desqueyroux," as she headed up the famous steps in a calf-length ivory lace gown with a bodice heavily embroidered in gold.
Actress Berenice Bejo, an international sensation since her starring role and subsequent Oscar nomination for "The Artist," performed mistress of ceremonies duties in a white, bridal-looking strapless sheath with long train, her only jewel an enormous heart-shaped emerald ring. Just about the only prediction this year that turned out to be accurate was the one that advised that all was unpredictable under the jurisdiction of the pensive and often-scowling Moretti.
Marie writes: many simply know her as the girl with the black helmet. Mary Louise Brooks (1906 - 1985), aka Louise Brooks, an American dancer, model, showgirl and silent film actress famous for her bobbed haircut and sex appeal. To cinefiles, she's best remembered for her three starring roles in Pandora's Box (1929) and Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) directed by G. W. Pabst, and Prix de Beauté (1930) by Augusto Genina. She starred in 17 silent films (many lost) and later authored a memoir, Lulu in Hollywood."She regards us from the screen as if the screen were not there; she casts away the artifice of film and invites us to play with her." - Roger, from his review of the silent classic Pandor's Box.
Marie writes: Behold an extraordinary collection of Steampunk characters, engines and vehicles created by Belgian artist Stephane Halleux. Of all the artists currently working in the genre, I think none surpass the sheer quality and detail to be found in his wonderful, whimsical pieces...
Left to right: Little Flying Civil, Beauty Machine, Le Rouleur de Patin(click images to enlarge)
Marie writes: Some of you may have noticed that I have a soft spot for surfing videos. It's not the sport itself - though I do admire it - so much as the camerawork it inspires, and because I have a translucency fetish; I take great pleasure in seeing light pass through something else. There's an ethereal and other-worldly quality to it which elevates my soul; sunlight pouring through a humble jar of orange marmalade enough to make me think I'm looking at God; smile.And so needless to say, when Club member Lynn McKenzie submitted a link to Paul McCartney's stunning new music video called "Blue Sway" - I was utterly captivated. (click image to enlarge.)
I remember the first time I watched "Bonnie and Clyde" like it was yesterday. I was seventeen years old and eager to broaden my knowledge in film. On weekends, I would go watch classic movies at my paternal uncles' who was a film buff himself. The only way to watch a movie uncut in Egypt was to purchase the video cassette from Europe or the USA and import it.
That is exactly what my uncle would do. His collection of UK video cassettes kept me busy for months. Every week I would visit him and we would watch one of Hollywood's classics together. It was there, at his living room filled with movie posters, that I was first introduced to such memorable characters as Norman Bates, Antoine Doinel, Tommy DeVito, Hal 9000 and of course Bonnie and Clyde.
View image "Reservoir Dogs": Opening credits.
The death of Sherman Torgan, owner and proprietor of the New Beverly Cinema, reminded me of an evening in 1993 when my friend Julia Sweeney and I met up with Quentin Tarantino, Tim Roth, Laurence Tierney, Chris Penn, and Michael Madsen (I think that was the whole crew) at Insomnia (Beverly and Poinsettia, near El Coyote) and did "The Walk" down Beverly Blvd. to the theater, where those guys were going to do a Q&A with the audience after a showing of "Reservoir Dogs." We were a block down the street before I consciously realized we were re-enacting the opening credits of the movie -- in streetclothes. I wondered if anybody on the street had a flash of recognition as they drove by, one of those little "Did I just see that?" moments that happens so often in a moving vehicle, and especially in Los Angeles.
I just had another one of those experiences this evening. Hadn't eaten all day and suddenly I knew I just had to have a club sandwich: crispy bacon, turkey, ham, lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese -- maybe a slice of red onion -- on rye or wheat toast. It became my holy grail, the focal point of my existence. I went to a nearby sports bar-type restaurant near the University of Washington, a place I remembered from college, where I knew I could get just such a sandwich, quickly and painlessly. I was sitting in the bar and just before the waiter appeared, a song started playing and -- again, before I was even aware of it -- I was lifted out of the book I was reading and transported somewhere else.
View imageLast scene of the last episode of "The Sopranos": Best movie of 2007, so far.
It was Journey: "Don't Stop Believin'." And I got goosebumps. How the hell did that happen? Two months ago I wouldn't even have recognized the song. I still don't remember it existing before the last scene of "The Sopranos." But now, it was invested with a power that transformed my awareness completely. I felt a tension, an excitement, a wistfulness that had nothing to do with the song as it had previously existed and everything to do with the context in which I'll now hear it forever. I sat, a little bit dazed, and soaked up the atmosphere, pretending it was a diner in Jersey. When the guy arrived to take my order, I got a club. And onion rings.
Got any stories of moments when you suddenly felt you were in a particular movie? If so, I'd love to hear 'em....
List of winners at the 59th Cannes Film Festival
CANNES, France – It probably won’t happen this way, but wouldn’t everyone be pleased if Gerard Depardieu won the best actor award at Cannes this year. The festival’s awards are given out Sunday night (12:30 p.m. CDT), and Depardieu received a tumultuous ovation Friday as the star of “Quand j’etais Chanteur,” or “The Singer.” Depardieu’s character reminded many audience members of the actor himself: A beefy middle-aged artist still slugging away at a job he loves, smoking too much, adamantly on the wagon, given new hope by his feelings for a much younger woman (Cecile De France). “I’ve been written off a lot of times,” he tells her, “but I always bounce back.”
CANNES, France - On second thought, maybe it was not such a great idea to hold the world premiere of "The Da Vinci Code" at the Cannes Film Festival. The critical reception here was negative, but what would you expect? As someone who enjoyed the film (good, not great, better than the book) I am possibly typical of many of the people who will pay to see it. But when you open at Cannes, those are not the people in your audience.
This is a lightly-edited transcript of an onstage conversation between Werner Herzog and Roger Ebert after the April 2004 screening of Herzog’s “Invincible” at Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The film involves the story of a Jewish strong man hired to appear as an Aryan god in a vaudeville theater in Germany, at the time of the rise of the Nazi Party.
CANNES, France -- Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," a documentary denouncing the presidency of George W. Bush, won the Palme d'Or here Saturday night as the best film in the Cannes Film Festival. It was the first documentary to take the Palme since 1956, and was a popular winner; at its official screening it received what the festival director said was the longest ovation in Cannes history.
It was a year when more movies opened than during any other year in memory. A year when the big Hollywood studios cast their lot with franchises, formulas, sequels, and movies marketed for narrow demographic groups--focusing so much on "product" instead of original work that they seemed likely to be shut out of the Oscars, as they were essentially shut out of the Golden Globes. A year when independent and foreign films showed extraordinary vitality. A wonderful year, that is, for moviegoers who chose carefully, and a mediocre year for those took their chances at the multiplex.
Roger Ebert's Best of the 1990s
PARK CITY, Utah How long has it been since I saw a film that was really scary, instead of just going through the motions of scary? Most horror films are merely exercises in ritualized surprise, but a low-budget film titled "The Blair Witch Project" shook up Sundance Film Festival audiences with its gathering sense of menace.
There has been no more assured and powerful film debut this year than "Eve's Bayou," the first film by Kasi Lemmons. Reviewers have compared it to work by Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers and other Southern Gothic writers; it reminded me of a family drama by Ingmar Bergman. It's made of memories that still have the power to wound. Its shadows contain secrets that will always hurt.
TORONTO -- Kasi Lemmons was Jodie Foster's roommate in "The Silence of the Lambs," and she was the doomed researcher in "Candyman," and one of Nicolas Cage's victims in "Vampire's Kiss." I mention these credits because they are from another, earlier life; Lemmons emerged at this year's Toronto Film Festival as one of today's most gifted young American writer-directors.
PARK CITY, Utah--Europeans tend to view Americans as perpetual teenagers, and maybe they have a point. If you were to judge the world on the basis of the movies at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the typical American is a troubled teenager and the typical European or Japanese is an adult confronting basic questions of life.