French clown, actor, writer, sleight-of-hand expert, and director Pierre Étaix has passed away at age 87. With all the scary clown talk of late, let us pay tribute to a gentler, more thoughtful form of clowning. His 1962 short Happy Anniversary won the 1963 Best Short Subject Academy Award, and he is most well-known for his 1965 feature-length comedy Yo Yo, about a wealthy heir who just wants to be a clown. [more inside]
Victoria Wood - comedian, actress, singer and songwriter, screenwriter and director - has passed away at 62 on 20 April 2016, after a short battle with cancer. [more inside]
Creed's star, Michael B. Jordan, and director, Ryan Coogler, talk about film and race. [more inside]
Despite the mass appeal of music videos and the awesome amount of talent it takes to create them, IMDb has never cataloged these works like they do other short films. Now along to fill this niche is the Internet Music Video Database (IMVDb), a similar website for seeking and contributing information about music videos. Highlights include new releases, popular videos, upcoming videos, crew commentary tracks, and awards info. The website also has a podcast, a twitter, and a blog, where the editors have recently discussed the most popular music videos of 2014, listed their own year end favorites, and explained why the 2010s are a new Golden Age of music videos. (Extensive geekery inside!) [more inside]
Lois Weber was an important early American film-maker who pushed the boundaries of film-making so she could better tell the stories she wanted to tell. Several of her early silent films are on youtube: Suspense (1913; ~10 minutes) (she directs herself, experiments with the split-screen view and unusual and effective camera angles including shots from above and using the car's side mirror); Hypocrites (1915; ~4 minutes) (featuring dual roles, nudity, and a strong use of techniques like multiple exposures and complex editing - as well as a strong moral message); and Where Are My Children (1916, ~1 hour, 10 minutes) (a complex and controversial film even then about birth control (pro) and abortion (anti)). [more inside]
Every Thursday, Film School Rejects posts things "learned from the commentary tracks of an iconic movie": Commentary Commentary [more inside]
Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
Louis C.K. on eating pressure and providing an alternative to The Man - "I ask him to think about what he really needs; when he tells me, I give him a little more. It buys me goodwill with this person; I feel good about what I'm paying them. I like to give people a little more than they want, and I like to ask people for a little less than they're willing to give." [more inside]
SI has written an oral history about the making of the movie "Major League". Charlie Sheen was also interviewed for this piece.
The American Theatre Wing hosts MP3 interviews with actors, directors, playwrights and other artists. e.g. Stephen Sondheim and Anna Deavere Smith and F. Murray Abraham and Eric Bogosian and John Patrick Shanley and Edward Albee and Venessa Redgrave and Alan Ayckbourn and...