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Shalako (1968)

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#226 July 9, 2014

Sheila writes: I came across a really fun and innovative video from 2011, titled "100 years of style in 100 seconds." Combining dance and fashion (and also a shifting background to show the passage of time), the video brings us through the history of style over the course of a century. It's so well done and a lot of fun!

Ebert Club

#69 June 29, 2011

Marie writes: Allow me to introduce you to Bill and Cheryl. I went to Art school with Bill and met his significant other Cheryl while attending the graduation party; we've been pals ever since. None of which is even remotely interesting until you see where they live and their remarkable and eclectic collection of finds. (click to enlarge images.)

Ebert Club

#61 May 4, 2011

Marie writes: Doug Foster is a filmmaker and artist who produces large scale digital film installations that often play with ideas of symmetry and optical illusion. His piece The Heretics' Gate is currently on view at "Daydreaming with... St. Michael's" - an exhibition taking place at St. Michael's church in Camden, London. Note: Foster's piece first appeared at the Hell's Half Acre exhibition at the Old Vic Tunnels in London in 2010."The Heretics' Gate" draws inspiration from Dante's Inferno, the first part of his epic poem The Divine Comedy. A twenty foot high, arched screen and a thirty foot long reflecting pool, are cleverly combined to deliver a mesmerizing and strangely ethereal vision of hell at the central focus point of the church's imposing gothic architecture. To learn more, visit: Liquid Hell: A Q&A With Doug Foster.NOTE: The exhibition is the latest installment in renowned British music producer James Lavelle's curatorial and collaborative art venture, "DAYDREAMING WITH..." - a unique and visceral new exhibition experience, inspired by the desire to marry music and visual art. The goal is to bring together some of the most acclaimed creative names working in music, art, film, fashion and design.

Far Flungers

"They're young, they're in love, and they kill people"

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.

May contain spoilers


Godard: "It's all showbiz..."

View image Jean-Luc Godard, Pop Star.

Following up on my recent posts about the commercial realities behind mid-century European "art films," and the various ways critics make sales pitches to exclusive audiences: Here's something fun and provocative from a 1964 French TV interview with Jean-Luc Godard, excerpts of which are included on the extras disc for the Criterion edition of "Contempt." (I transcribed the subtitles.) Like famed producer Bruce Dickinson, Godard put his pants on one leg at a time, but once they were on he made hits:

Q: Jean-Luc Godard, with "Contempt" you're once again on everyone's lips....

G: So much the better if it helps the movie.... I wouldn't really care as long as they go to my movies. That's what's important.

Q: What do you think of reviews?

G: I think much more highly of them than most people do. It's probably because I was a critic once, and I said a lot of bad things. I was cruel and mean to a lot of people. And though my opinions haven't changed, when I read bad reviews, the important thing for me is the discussion that's taking place. Whether it's good or bad is not the issue for me....

Q: Do you believe there's such a thing as a fair review?

G: (shrugs) Yes, but criticism isn't an artistic creation. It will always be inferior. Seventy-five percent of critics are only in that line of work temporarily. That's why critics are always bitter and sad towards those they praise and those they disparage.

Q: You became a director after having been a critic. Do you think it's a step up?

G: Yes, being a critic was a good experience. It's good training.

Q: Doesn't it run the risk of stifling the imagination?

G: No. It made me love everything. It taught me not to be narrow-minded, not to ignore Renoir in favor of Billy Wilder, or something like that. I like them both, even though they are extreme opposites. [...]

Q: ... Even with all her clothes on, ["Contempt" star Brigitte Bardot is] still a gold mine. [...] Those who would like to see Miss Bardot undress in a movie made by a bad or vulgar director wouldn't dare go see it. But with you their conscience is clean because it's art --

G: Good for them. They're right. If they find her pretty, as I do, there's no --

Q: Some of your films have been failures. How does that affect you?

G: One of my films in particular, "Les Carabiniers," wasn't even a failure. It was... nothing at all.


Marcello Mastroiani, 1924-1996

In Rome Thursday night, they turned off the water in the Trevi Fountain and draped the monument in black, in memory of Marcello Mastroianni. The Italian actor, who died early Thursday at his Paris home, made about 120 films, but was best remembered for Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" (1960), in which he waded into the fountain in pursuit of an elusive sex goddess played by Anita Ekberg.


Malle's only constant was unpredictability

Louis Malle, who died last week at 63, was a director whose movies caused scandal sometimes for their content, sometimes for their style, sometimes for both. The respected French filmmaker, married since 1980 to actress Candice Bergen, died Thursday at their home in Los Angeles, from lymphoma.

Roger Ebert

Hope Springs From 'Sirens'

Filmgoers should be cheered by the news that an Australian film named "Sirens" is doing strong business at the nation's box offices. It is loosely inspired by the life and times of a colorful painter named Norman Lindsay, who shocked his country in the 1930s with an unconventional lifestyle that included large numbers of beautiful women who were his models, muses and, occasionally, lovers.