An essay about the five screen versions of "A Star Is Born," and why George Cukor's 1954 masterpiece still reigns supreme.
A book excerpt from David Greven's book that details the way Brian De Palma doesn't just copy Alfred Hitchcock but uses his work to craft his own cinematic viewpoint.
Barbara Scharres on the first day of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, including Grace of Monaco, Timbuktu, and the opening day press conference with Jane Campion.
The World 3-D Film Expo III, running Sept. 6–15 at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, may be the last chance to see some great 1950s 3-D films projected the way they were intended to be.
"The Girl" premieres on HBO at 9:00pm (8:00pm Central) on Saturday, Oct. 20. It will also be available on HBO GO.
by Jeff Shannon
October, 1961: A New York fashion model on the verge of Hollywood stardom, 31-year-old Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller) is invited to a celebratory lunch with legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock (Toby Jones) and his wife Alma (Imelda Staunton), who's also his long-time collaborator. A divorced single mother (of future actress Melanie Griffith, then four years old), Hedren is plucked from obscurity to star in "The Birds," Hitchcock's highly anticipated follow-up to his phenomenally successful 1960 thriller, "Psycho." After Alma sees her in a TV commercial ("I like her smile," she says to "Hitch"), she arranges a meeting. Secretly smitten, Hitchcock directs Hedren's screen test in his own Bel Air home and, shortly thereafter, offers a toast.
Marie writes: I received the following from intrepid club member Sandy Kahn and my eyes widened at the sight of it. It's not every day you discover a treasure trove of lost Hollywood jewelry!
Grace Kelly is wearing "Joseff of Hollywood"chandelier earrings in the film "High Society" (1965)(click image to enlarge.)
Lesson for the day: How to have fun while wasting time... Marie writes: welcome to DRAW A STICK MAN, a delightful Flash-based site prompting viewers to draw a simple stick figure which then comes to life! Ie: the program animates it. You're given instructions about what to draw and when, which your dude uses to interact with objects onscreen. Thanks go to club member Sandy Kahn who heard about it from her pal Lauren, in Portland Oregon.Note: here's a screen-cap of what I drew; I've named him Pumpkin Head.
T minus one paper to Cannes...
I have one more paper to write before I was going to allow myself to focus on my trip to the Cannes Film Festival. But I am failing miserably at this task and have been for the past couple of months.
Ever since I saw Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief" at Robert Osborne's Classic Film Festival here in Athens, Ga., my mind has been on one thing and one thing only -- Cannes, Cannes, Cannes and all the wonderful luxuries that come with it.
Watching Cary Grant and Grace Kelly walk around the Carlton Hotel and drive along the hillsides of Monaco would make anyone envious of the beautiful Mediterranean scenery.
Once the official line-up was released I couldn't help but indulge myself. At first glance I immediately noticed Jean-Luc Godard's "Film Socialisme," which is in the Un Certain Regard category.
The cast of the Oscar-favorite film, "Home for Purim."
"For Your Consideration" -- Christopher Guest is blessed with the finest comedic stock company since the heyday of Preston Sturges. Guest, Catherine O'Hara (Goddess of Funny), Eugene Levy, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch, John Michael Higgins, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Michael Hitchcock, Paul Dooley, Jim Piddock, Larry Miller... I get a thrill just seeing them share screen space in various combinations (and this time they've added Ricky Gervais and Sandra Oh to the mix). Every few years when they get together (the last time they were together was "A Mighty Wind" in 2003), it's like seeing old friends for whom you will always harbor a deep and abiding affection. Here's hoping they keep reuniting for many movies to come.
In "FYC," the subject isn't so much the movie industry (Guest already made the best American dissection of the contemporary film business back in 1989 with "The Big Picture") as the awards and publicity industry. We join a film in production -- a kind of kosher Tennessee Williams melodrama about a Jewish family in the South during the war, called "Home for Purim." Somebody on the web (or the "World Wide Internet" as the typically clueless HollyLuddites call it) claims the lead actress (played by O'Hara), an '80s sitcom star who's been virtually forgotten by the public and the industry, may be giving an "Oscar-worthy" performance, and a rumor is born that (as in "The Big Picture") takes on a life of its own.
The Van Helsing Quiz at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule.
Some of you thought my "101 102 Movies You Must See Before You Die" list was a little too, well, rigorous. I still think it only covers the basics of what you need to have seen (and appreciated) in order to hold your own in intelligent conversations about movies these days. Maybe that makes me (shudder) an "elitist." Ahem. I think it just means I have standards.
But whether you find my list off-putting or not, you may enjoy "The Van Helsing Quiz" over at one of my favorite personal movie blogs, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, which you will also find in my permanent list of favored links in the column at right.
Owner/proprietor Dennis Cozzalio posted the quiz itself back in April. There, you can see it in its un-filled form. But a month later, Cozzalio himself submitted to the quiz, and his answers are even more entertaining and provocative than the naked quiz.
Director Richard Kelly. (Note motion picture camera.) Not to be confused with suspected terrorist James Kelly. Or soap-operatic rapper (and little girl fancier) R. Kelly. Or "Singin' in the Rain" dancer Gene Kelly. Or former Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly.
One of the things I love about "24" (not just this season, which is the best one ever, but in general) is the way it shows how people never cease being petty and self-centered, even in the midst of potentially catastrophic international crises in which millions of other people's lives are at stake. What it all comes down to is this: In any crisis, office politics are probably more important than global politics. We see it all the time with our politicians' egocentric defenses of indefensible ineptitude and gridlock caused by inter-agency squabbling (which the papers always call "turf wars").
Now, here's another example of bureaucratic bungling in the name of Homeland Security that shows why, as Jon Stewart recently observed, if terrorists have not yet attacked us since 9/11 it can only be because they are even more incompetent than our own so-called "security" apparatus: Director Richard Kelly ("Donnie Darko," "Southland Tales") is being investigated as a possible terrorist and may not be able to attend the premiere of his new movie at the Cannes Film Festival next week, where his film is in competition for the Palm d'Or. Why?
The seventh annual Outdoor Film Festival in Grant Park will open with James Dean as a rebel without a cause, and end with Ferris Bueller as a rebel with one. The series of seven free Tuesday evening screenings, which draw crowds upward of 14,000, unspools starting July 18 at Butler Field, Monroe and South Lake Shore. The schedule of this year's festival, which is presented by the Mayor's Office of Special Events, Commonwealth Edison, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Film Office, was released today.
Nineteen years after his death, he remains as famous as any director in movie history - even Steven Spielberg. Other directors have had their films remade, but only Alfred Hitchcock made one so monumental that another director, a good one, actually tried to duplicate it, shot by shot. Gus Van Sant's "Psycho" (1998) was a bad idea, but it's the thought that counts.
As part of its ongoing national effort to lead the nation to discover and rediscover the classics, the American Film Institute (AFI) today announced the 50 greatest American screen legends - the top 25 women and top 25 men naming Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart the number one legends among the women and men.
DALLAS -- "Oklahoma!" opens with one of the most familiar moments in all of musical comedy, as a cowboy comes singing out of the dawn, declaring "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!" I've seen that moment many times, and it never fails to thrill me, but I've never seen it quite as I saw it here last Monday night, when the movie played during the USA Film Festival.