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Bavarian Film Studios in Munich

Hitchcock's first in 1925. Kubrick in 1957. Sturges in 1963. Bergman, Huston, Ophüls, and Wilder. Sound of Music in 1965. Willy Wonka in 1971. Also, Monty Python made their Fliegender Zirkus specials there in 1971 and 1972. Film history and all that. Sure. But to my mind, the best part of the Bavarian Film Studios is being able to go inside the actual submarine from Das Boot. Or you can ride on that flying dog thing from Neverending Story... if that's how you roll.
posted by Brosef K on Sep 17, 2009 - 9 comments

William Friedkin's "Sorcerer"

How does a director follow up the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time*? (*adjusted for inflation) He remakes a French classic - taking an international cast to a Caribbean nation ruled by a military dictatorship, where hurricanes, irascibility, other difficulties take him far over a budget already large enough to be shared by two studios. The result is his personal favorite among his films. But deceptive marketing and cute robots contribute to its making back less than half of its costs. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 7, 2009 - 65 comments


A new documentary by a Swedish-based Italian filmmaker examines how media mogul turned two-time president Silvio Berlusconi's 30-year grip on Italian television has shaped the country, its politics, its culture and society. Erik Gandini's Videocracy, which screens at the Venice Film Festival, starts 30 years ago, when Berlusconi introduced a quiz show whose female contestants stripped for the camera, and charts 30 years of showgirls, celebrities, reality TV shows and Berlusconi's rise to political power, and interviews characters of the system, including a talentless but fame-hungry TV contestant, a fascist-sympathising media fixer, and a paparazzo/extortionist turned celebrity. More details here and (with a trailer) here. [more inside]
posted by acb on Sep 5, 2009 - 14 comments

Der ewige Jude

The day after Kristallnacht, Hitler said: "It was necessary not to make propaganda for violence as such, but to explain certain matters of foreign policy to the German people in such a way, that the inner voice of the people all by itself gradually would call for violence." Towards that end, Goebbels commissioned and closely supervised the production of a propaganda documentary titled Der ewige Jude - "The Eternal Jew". Few if any of the inhabitants of the Łódź Ghetto who appear in its footage survived the war. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 1, 2009 - 11 comments

Top 10

Criterion Collection Top Ten Lists as chosen by Jonathan Lethem ll Steve Buscemi ll Patton Oswalt ll Peter Cowie ll Jean-Pierre Gorin ll Diablo Cody ll D. A. Pennebaker ll John Lurie ll Paul Schrader ll Nathan Lee ll Ricky Jay ll and many more.
posted by vronsky on Aug 17, 2009 - 63 comments

Alien Resurrection?

Fox have offocially announced that Ridley Scott has officially signed on to direct the new 'Alien' prequel. He certainly did a great job on the original but can he match his previous truimph? Given the number of projects he has in gestation (heh) maybe any celebration is premature...
posted by Mintyblonde on Jul 31, 2009 - 166 comments

Yasmin Ahmad (1958 - 2009)

Acclaimed Malaysian film and advertising director Yasmin Ahmad has passed away at 11:52pm Saturday night at the age of 51, after collapsing from a stroke at a media presentation the day before. She leaves behind a legacy of film that captures the modern multicultural spirit of Malaysia, winning international festival awards and local hearts while at the mercy of conservative censors. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jul 25, 2009 - 9 comments

Art house films for £3 a pop

Art house films for £3 a pop. Stream them from here
posted by muggsy1079 on Jul 8, 2009 - 17 comments

Michelangelo Antonioni's "Zabriskie Point"

Pauline Kael called it "a huge, jerry-built, crumbling ruin of a movie". Roger Ebert called it "such a silly and stupid movie... our immediate reaction is pity". Few directors of Michelangelo Antonioni's stature have followed a film as acclaimed as Blowup (1966) with one as reviled as Zabriskie Point (1970). [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 25, 2009 - 30 comments

The tiny phantasmagorias of Bernard Gigounon

'It has been said that cinema is in essence a special effect. The video work of Bernard Gigounon reduces that notion to its minimal essence: cinema as an illusion, created by the manipulation of images in time. He does not create this effect with advanced, multi-dimensional digital technologies, but rather through simple, transparent magic...' [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jun 19, 2009 - 31 comments

Left Field Cinema, the best-curated film podcast out there

I've listened to dozens of film podcasts, but Left Field Cinema is the first that devotes its episodes only — or at least primarily — to movies worth discussing. I'm talking about Malick's Badlands. I'm talking about Tarkovsky's Solaris. I'm talking Kieslowski's Dekalog which gets a two-parter. I'm talking about Tarr's Werckmeister Harmonies. I'm talking Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. At long last, I say.
posted by colinmarshall on Jun 12, 2009 - 38 comments

The Anthrax of film, not the disease but the band

Multipart interview with film maker Kevin Smith on his career so far, why he's directing a film he didn't write, the internet and dying an early death. Part 1 - Selling Out And Salty Language, Part 2 - Writing & Film Making, Part 3 - Change, Death, Legacy, Part 4 - The Dark Side Of The Internet, Part 5 - The Curse Of Chasing Amy, Part 6 - Bright Side Of The Internet, Part 7- Talking To People He Wrote, Part 8 - Gretzky, Gratitude & God, Part 9 - Risking His Life & Starting A New One (and more to come apparently...)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 7, 2009 - 67 comments

On the Creepy/Alluring Art of the Follow Shot

"Because the camera is so close to the character(s) being followed, we feel that we're physically attached to those characters, as if by an invisible guide wire, being towed through their world, sometimes keeping pace, other times losing them as they weave through hallways, down staircases or through smoke or fog." A video montage and essay by Matt Zoller Seitz. All shots are identified at the end; you may know more of them than you think. (via)
posted by maudlin on Jun 3, 2009 - 15 comments

"Get up, you scum suckin' pig!"

Cult western classic One-Eyed Jacks (1961) is the only film ever directed by Marlon Brando, who happened to replace the original director, none other than Stanley Kubrick.
posted by ageispolis on May 11, 2009 - 15 comments

Well if you liked Gigli...

Clerkdogs works surprisingly well versus other web-based recommendations, partly because paid enthusiasts are involved, and partly for its intuitive interface. [more inside]
posted by hypersloth on Apr 5, 2009 - 51 comments

Witty Ad Infinitum

...[Change of scene. We are looking out of a car window; it is raining, or has recently rained. Shops go by.] I treated myself to a taxi. I rode home through the city streets! There wasn't a street--there wasn't a building--that wasn't connected to some memory in my mind. There I was buying a suit with my father. There I was having an ice-cream soda after school. When I finally came in, Debby was home from work. And I told her everything about my dinner with André
And here is Sergio Leone and the Inside Fly Rule's meditation on the only possible other candidate for Best.Movie.Ever. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Apr 3, 2009 - 52 comments

Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt

Trailer for Brüno, the upcoming film by Sacha Baron Cohen, formerly known for his characters Ali G and Borat.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 2, 2009 - 140 comments

A Face Like Prison Bread

Warren Mercer Oates was one the greatest character actors to ever appear in American film. A fascinating biography of the actor's life and career was published this week, and is titled Warren Oates: A Wild Life [more inside]
posted by cinemafiend on Apr 1, 2009 - 22 comments

Three Ways of Looking at a Film

Digital Poetics is a film blog with a proposal for an interesting experiment called 10/40/70: write a film review of a DVD with three screen captures taken at arbitrary intervals (10, 40, 70 minutes into the film) and see how it changes the way you look at films. This 10/40/70 approach has led to some interesting interpretations of The Conversation, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Blue Velvet, Godard's Vivre Sa Vie, and 12 Angry Men, as well as a contrarian appreciation of Hudson Hawk. The blog Spectacular Attractions has even upped the ante by using a random number generator to determine where to select screen caps. Results include Jaws Randomised and This Is Spinal Tap Randomised with Two Brains. It's like Dogme 95, but for film bloggers.
posted by jonp72 on Mar 27, 2009 - 20 comments

"R, and G, and B", a well-curated (and seemingly undiscovered) film blog

"R, and G, and B" is a very well-curated — and, seemingly as yet undiscovered — film review blog by the video artist Blake Williams covering pictures by filmmakers like Werner Herzog, Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Carl Dreyer, Michael Haneke, Stanley Kubrick and, best of all, Abbas Kiarostami.
posted by colinmarshall on Mar 15, 2009 - 17 comments

Pleasant Family Shopping and General Cinemas

Vintage photos and a history of General Cinemas. Before the 1960s, concessions were rare at movie theaters, but GCC introduced them widely and even launched their own exclusive drink: Sunkist soda. Also part of the GCC experience was their feature presentation bumper. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Mar 9, 2009 - 15 comments

festival-quality short films collection

The Oscar-nominated "Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello" is an "adventurous tale of a navigator’s journey to save his ailing wife set in a beautiful world of Victorian science-fiction" and one the many fine film shorts and videos available to watch at shortof theweek.com - a site dedicated to "finding those few [video] gems amongst the enormous heap of garbage they're buried in..." [more inside]
posted by taz on Mar 9, 2009 - 7 comments

If a movie only exists on film but no one is around to distribute it, does it still exist?

New Yorker Films, the only US distributor of many of the films of Jean-Luc Godard, Ousmane Sèmbene, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and many others closed operations yesterday. Many of the films they distributed remain unavailable on DVD, and thus completely unavailable to Americans for the foreseeable future. Coming on the heels of the eviction of Film-Maker's Co-Op, New York's venerable distributor and archive of avant-garde film, New Yorker's closing raises questions not only about the symbiotic importance of repertory film exhibition for film preservation efforts, but about the future of film culture and the possible role of the arts in the future economy.
posted by bubukaba on Feb 24, 2009 - 32 comments

SPOILER: everyone on Twitter is actually living in modern times, but they were dead all along.

It's Bad Movie Club night! You have until 9 GMT / 4 ET to procure #1: a Twitter account and #2: a copy of M. Night Shyamalan's critically misunderstood masterpiece, The Happening. Good luck!

Graham Linehan, of Father Ted and IT Crowd fame, will be your master of ceremonies, and there will be a second screening at midnight GMT / 7 ET, hosted by Phill Jupitus. But remember kids, piracy is stealing.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Feb 13, 2009 - 32 comments

The opposite sex

Lille Mand - Eight year old Mathis writes an essay for school entitled, "How to Understand Women." (via Neatorama) (It will be slow to load. Also, there is brief shower nudity so NSFW)
posted by caddis on Feb 13, 2009 - 14 comments

We were very different back then.

How Indian Cinema has changed.
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 11, 2009 - 17 comments

Ray Dennis Steckler, 1939-2009

Here's to Ray Dennis Steckler, the independent filmmaker who wrote, starred (as Cash Flagg) and directed influential films including The Thrill Killers, Rat Pfink a Boo Boo, and his masterpice The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies. A visionary artist whose influnce is clearly seen in contemporary cinema, Steckler was prolific (producing movies from 1963 until last year), economical (his films were self-produced, shot on 16mm film and later Hi-8 video), and brilliant (as clearly evidenced in this dance sequence from Creatures, "The First Monster Musical"). It hasn't been widely reported yet, but fans are mourning his passing. He died in his sleep yesterday, January 7th, aged 70. [more inside]
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jan 8, 2009 - 26 comments

We're going to need a bigger Netflix plan

In a time of top 10 lists, there are those who aim higher: They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? maintains an annually updated list of the 1,000 greatest films ever made, as well as the 250 greatest of the 21st century. Kevin B. Lee wants to see them all. How many have you seen? (via)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 29, 2008 - 55 comments

Rubyfruit in Pixelvision

“The most revolutionary thing is to just love yourself and love what you do. You can't do anything more than that”

A Milwaukee tomboy got a $100 Fisher-Price Pixelvision as a Christmas gift from her dad at age 15. She left high school at age 16, under homophobic pressures, and came out as a lesbian at age 17. Sadie Benning used her kiddiecorder to tell this story, creating a series of intimate short films full of personality, desperation and fantastic hope, and founded on the intimacy of immediacy.

A New Year (1989) - Living Inside (1989) - Me and Rubyfruit (1990)
If Every Girl Had A Diary (1990) - It Wasn't Love 1, 2 (1992)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Dec 14, 2008 - 44 comments

The Short Films of Nacho Vigalondo

The Best Youtube Videos of Spanish Filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo (previously). [more inside]
posted by Staggering Jack on Dec 13, 2008 - 5 comments

Break it down, Martin! Yo, I'm tr-tr-tr-tr-tr-tr-tr-try-try-try-try-tryin' to.

Cinemnesis, filmmaker Martin Arnold's 41 minute compilation of the films of his "compulsive repetition" trilogy, is available to you online. The quality is lacking, small details are missed, but I thought you'd enjoy these nonetheless. Time codes for the three pieces and more inside. [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Dec 4, 2008 - 6 comments

Two "new" sites for film lovers

The Auteurs is a new web site (in beta) for film lovers--and, for those film lovers, Criterion has relaunched their site. Now with the ability to watch (some of) their films online for $5 (good for a week's worth of watching one title). The viewing cost is also applicable to the cost of buying the same title on DVD.
posted by Manhasset on Nov 25, 2008 - 22 comments

Electric Shadows

China Film Journal "a bilingual website dedicated to Chinese-language cinema from around the world."
posted by Abiezer on Nov 11, 2008 - 10 comments

Holmes' and Watson's World

One minute and four seconds in London, 1904. Birkbeck College professor Ian Christie rediscovered this footage in an archive in Canberra, shot for a travelogue by film pioneer Charles Urban.
posted by digaman on Oct 24, 2008 - 67 comments

Grace Chang

In the 1960s and 1970s Hong Kong had a thriving film industry, dominated by studios such as Cathay Studios. One of Cathay's most fabulous stars was Grace Chang (Ge Lan), referred to by some as the Marlene Dietrich of Hong Kong Chinese cinema. Her greatest hit was The Wild Wild Rose (Ye mei gui zhi lian), based on Bizet's Carmen. The showstopper is her version of Habanera (YT). [more inside]
posted by carter on Oct 21, 2008 - 16 comments

Now They Call It Grayscale

Black & white films to be remembered.
posted by exogenous on Sep 15, 2008 - 33 comments

Take a look at the Nigerian film industry

Pieter Hugo photographs the Nigerian film industry, where a digital camera, 2 lights, nine days and $20k translates into a feature film. NSFW. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 12, 2008 - 20 comments

P'ansori: Korea's National Cultural Intangible Treasure

Pansori (aka P'ansori) is a genre of Korean folk music produced by travelling musicians, a singer accompanied by a lone drummer. Rooted in seventeenth century folk tales, by the 1960's, Pansori was in danger of dying out completely, when the director Im Kwon-taek made the film Sopyonje. [more inside]
posted by PeterMcDermott on Jul 3, 2008 - 6 comments

"It's not of this world. It's Sadako's fury. And she's put a curse on us."

RIP Tartan Films. The UK-based film distribution company has gone into administration, laying off it's entire staff. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 28, 2008 - 28 comments

The "dynamic octagenarian duo"

Lorenzo Semple, 84, has been a screenwriter for more than 50 years; his credits include "Papillion," "The Parallax View" and "Three Days of the Condor." Marcia Nasatir, 81, is a longtime agent and production executive, was the first female VP of production at United Artists, and produced films like "The Big Chill" and "Hamburger Hill." Together, they are the "Reel Geezers," offering irresistible film reviews on YouTube. To wit: Superbad, Iron Man, Sex and the City, Lars and the Real Girl, No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Jun 11, 2008 - 27 comments

Sir Norbert Smith - A Life

Sir Norbert Smith - A Life. [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Jun 8, 2008 - 2 comments

Satyajit Ray on Cinema

"In this rare documentary, Satyajit Ray talks about his films. Part 1, 2, 3. Satyajit Ray... is regarded as one of the greatest auteurs of 20th century cinema. Born in the city of Calcutta into a Bengali family prominent in the world of arts and letters, Ray studied at Presidency College and at the Visva-Bharati University. Starting his career as a commercial artist, Ray was drawn into filmmaking after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir and viewing the Italian neorealist film Bicycle Thieves during a visit to London. He directed thirty-seven films, including feature films, documentaries and shorts. Ray's first film, Pather Panchali, won eleven international prizes, including Best Human Document at Cannes film festival"
posted by vronsky on Jun 4, 2008 - 7 comments

Bebe Barron, RIP

Bebe Barron, 82, Pioneer of Electronic Scores, Is Dead. Best known for the soundtrack to the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet -- the first full-length feature to use only electronic music -- she and her husband Louis Barron recorded the film's pre-synthesizer "electronic tonalities" with electronic circuits of their own invention. She never scored another feature film, but remained active in the avant-garde music scene.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on May 8, 2008 - 17 comments

Hollywood Chinese

Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films (official site w/Flash) Filmmaker Arthur Dong covers the good (YT), the bad and the players (link to Flash video clips) in his latest award-winning documentary. Related MeFi post.
posted by LinusMines on May 4, 2008 - 19 comments

We should seek the truth without hesitation!

Why do we spend so many precious hours of our lives watching films? What is it about cinema that it should occupy a place of such prominence in our lives? And why do we even need movies? It is as though we are trying to fill a gap in our lives - a void, an emptiness within ourselves. So to even begin on the path of our Truth Quest, we have to see the broader picture of how film correlates to life, and life to film. To find this higher perspective, it is helpful to look towards the other arts, as well as philosophy.
Cinema Seekers: Searching for truth in cinema and in life. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Apr 21, 2008 - 26 comments

Do not forsake me oh my android

High-Tech Noon. What makes a classic Western even more classic? Blasters and force-fields, that's what. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 21, 2008 - 25 comments

The Makhmalbaf Film House

The Makhmalbafs are an Iranian family of filmmakers, although Samira tends to get the most press. [more inside]
posted by sciurus on Apr 7, 2008 - 13 comments

DW Griffith's Infamous Epic

D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation [previously] is now viewable in its entirety at YouTube. Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Or at Internet Archive, if you prefer.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 6, 2008 - 25 comments

Throwing bones in the air as 2001 turns 40

Throwing bones in the air as 2001 turns 40. Stanley Kubrick's film, 2001: A Space Odyssey turned 40 yesterday and Movie City Indie collated a good selection of links about the film and its maker to commemorate the occasion. [more inside]
posted by slimepuppy on Apr 3, 2008 - 39 comments

Faster Roger! Write! Write!

Roger Ebert to return to writing movie reviews. Love him, hate him, disagree with him, worship him, whatever, but Pulitzer Prize winning movie critic Roger Ebert, after several operations that have left him without the power of speech, will return to writing movie reviews shortly after his 10th Annual movie festival, Ebertfest. Me, personally, I'm happy as heck about this.
posted by willmize on Apr 2, 2008 - 56 comments

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