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Charlie Parker, gunslinger

Thomas Sutpen is one of Faulkner's most complex and intriguing characters. His blog, If Charlie Parker was a gunslinger, there’d be a whole lot of dead copycats includes nostalgic collections of rare photographs in serial form. Samples: They Were Collaborators (298) Great Con Artists of the 20th Century (14) Vietnam - Dramatis Personae (7) A is for Arbus (37) Collect 'em All (26) The Golden Age of Prurience (37) Poets are both clean and warm (18). Many wonderful others on the sidebar.
posted by growabrain on Apr 21, 2007 - 13 comments

Roscoe Lee Browne. RIP, Mr. Nightlinger.

Roscoe Lee Browne, class act from beginning to end. The first time I ever noticed him was in The Cowboys, a western I've watched many times just to hear him speak.
posted by loosemouth on Apr 13, 2007 - 18 comments

Surreality

The most effective Surreality is that which is entirely Unintentional (15-minute Google video). A delightful balance between amusing & disturbing. Harvested from Doctor Macro's MGM Shorts page. Previously.
posted by squalor on Apr 1, 2007 - 19 comments

Cannibal Holocaust.

Gang rape. Animal cruelty. Exploitation. Cannibalism. Put these elements together and you have Cannibal Holocaust, arguably one of the most well known exploitation films ever made. [Some of the following links are arguably NSFW]. Released in 1980, Cannibal Holocaust was a film so shockingly violent that it saw director Ruggero Deodato arrested by Italian authorities on the mistaken belief that he had made a snuff film and saw it being banned in almost every western country in the world for the actual deaths of several animals in the film. Although Deodato now regrets the introduction of the animals and although this ban has now been lifted in many of the countries that originally censored it, the horror of this landmark film is still as powerful as it ever was, a point evidenced by the often visceral reviews the film has garnered in its time. Whilst an official sequel has never been made (there have been at least two unofficial sequels), following his cameo appearance in Grindhouse movie Hostel II, Deodato has said an official sequel is in the works with an expected release date of 2009.
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 18, 2007 - 59 comments

RIP Larkin.

Ryan Larkin [1943-2007]
posted by docgonzo on Feb 17, 2007 - 32 comments

Love, Bollywood style

It seems apropos today to post about Bollywood and its style of romance and love. Songs are often the equivalent of a bedroom scene, a fact I didn't believe until it was pointed out to me that there were numerous instances of extremely suggestive songs followed by pregnancy. Bollywood also uses songs to arouse patriotic fervour, a trait that master music director A.R. Rahman takes to new heights with his release of the classics Vande Mataram [Motherland, I salute thee] and Jana Gana Mana [India's national anthem]. But even before him, there were classics of public service advertising such as "Mile sur tera hamara..." a fuzzy video but inspiring nonetheless of the myriads of voices and languages spoken in India. Other loves that hindi cinema celebrates through its songs is that of a mother for a child, god, love across cultural boundaries and what is politely termed as "conjugal love".
posted by infini on Feb 14, 2007 - 31 comments

Mad, Risky Ventures

A short history of Richard Foreman's Ontological-Hysteric Theatre. // "[Richard Foreman's] 'Strong Medicine' (Quicktime) is the kind of mad, risky venture one hesitates to interrupt." // A recent interview with Richard Foreman. (Youtube) // "This website contains hundreds of pages of unedited text which Richard Foreman is making available freely for use by theatrical authors/directors from which to create plays of their own." (Richard Foreman Previously)
posted by jrb223 on Jan 29, 2007 - 7 comments

Hindi cinema

Bollywood Dreams. Bollywood in a nutshell: Bollywood is the name given to the Bombay (Mumbai)-based Hindi-language film industry in India. Bollywood films are colorful, crammed with singing, dancing, loads of costume changes. In the past there were often absurd and hilarious take-offs on Western films or superstars, such as the Beatles, Michael Jackson , Elvis,70's music and hair styles. Spectacular collection of Bollywood posters and vintage original poster art for sale and t-shirts. Stats and faqs. The history of Bollywood, brief chronology [pdf]. The main actors, images. The main actresses, images. Some of the renowned songs and the singers who sang them. Bollywood song lyrics and audio at the excellent Music India Online. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jan 27, 2007 - 74 comments

Atlas Shrugged the movie

Atlas Shrugged is again in the pipeline to be made into a movie. BACK in the 1970s Albert S. Ruddy, the producer of “The Godfather,” first approached Ayn Rand to make a movie of her novel “Atlas Shrugged.” But Rand, who had fled the Soviet Union and gone on to inspire capitalists and egoists everywhere, worried aloud, apparently in all seriousness, that the Soviets might try to take over Paramount to block the project.
posted by Brian B. on Jan 20, 2007 - 142 comments

Anders als die Andern

Anders als die Andern ("Different From the Others") [IMDB|Wikipedia] was one of a series of films on sexual issues directed by Richard Oswald in the late 1910s and sponsored by Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexual Science. The 1919 movie (photo reconstruction), "the first major gay-themed film ever made," and "the world's first homosexual emancipation film," was made in part to protest against Paragraph 175, which was added to Germany's Reich Penal Code in 1871 and prohibited sex acts "between persons of male sex." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Dec 15, 2006 - 11 comments

It's A Wonderful Life. It's A Subversive Film

The most inspirational film ever has an underexamined dark side, including a 1947 FBI memo that branded the film as subversive and "a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers." The film's script was influenced by the liberal populism of the 1930s, used suicide as a plot point, and was criticized by a Christian Right website for "lax attitudes on alcohol and drunkenness." The film also inspired a feminist art project on "bad girl" Violet Bick and a dead-on parody of a right-wing Christian movie review. Meanwhile, Jimmy Stewart paid back Frank Capra for reviving his post-WWII career by spying on him for the FBI. The hidden backstory behind It's A Wonderful Life.
posted by jonp72 on Dec 15, 2006 - 66 comments

The Summer Has Ended!

Starting January 1st, the so-called 'Godfather' of avant-garde cinema, Jonas Mekas will podcast one short film per day, for a full year. If you can't wait till January here are 2 of Mekas's films to tide you over: Zefiro Torna and Hare Krishna. Or see the 40 short films being shown at a gallery in New York. [Via this NPR report, which, if you're already familiar with Mekas and his work, is likely the most interesting link here.]
posted by jrb223 on Nov 6, 2006 - 2 comments

Peter Greenaway speaks

Peter Greenaway speaks (what follows are short Youtube excerpts of a lecture by Greenaway): on the tyranny of celebrities; on Martin Scorcese; on airport bookshops and culture; on notions of media; on his belief that Bill Viola is worth ten Scorceses; on why he goes on making films; on the notion of the frame in theater and cinema; on Dutch producer Kees Kasander; on why we have to get rid of the camera: "There's a way in which a camera is essentially a mimetic tool which tells us how the world exists, and what it tells us is always going to be less interesting than what's really happening out there. Also: interview about 8 1/2 Women.
posted by jayder on Oct 30, 2006 - 48 comments

Snakes on Film

Snakes on Film — at last, a definitive resource for moving-picture snake identification and serpentine fact-checking! Care of our very own mcwetboy! [via mefi projects]
posted by cortex on Sep 27, 2006 - 9 comments

“Yes, but in my film time is shattered.”

"I would like to do better, to be better than I am". He's the French New Wave maverick and Academy Award winner (at 26, for his first short) who, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz -- with considerable personal pain and the admission that "no description, no picture can reveal the true dimension" of what happened in the camps -- made what François Truffaut called "the greatest film ever made", duly censored by French authorities. Four years later he baffled audiences with "the first modern film of sound cinema", shattering the rules of chronology to describe the “anguish of the future”: even if all he ever wanted was "to stop death in its tracks" (French language link), only for one minute. But he is also the unabashed lover of la bande dessinée who learnt English by reading comic books and in the Seventies dreamed (French language link) of making "Spider-Man" into a movie (the Hollywood studios were not convinced), the MGM old-school musical and operetta nut so in love with design that "half of the fashion photography of the past 40 years owes a debt" to him. Now, Alain Resnais' new work, just shown at the Venice Film Festival where his buddy David Lynch was awarded a lifetime achievement Golden Lion, is a French film inspired by an English play with 54 short scenes, music by the X-Files's Mark Snow. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Sep 8, 2006 - 20 comments

Begone Dull Care

Norman McLaren's Masterpiece with music by Oscar Peterson. Each frame of this short was scratched directly onto the film in order to be in perfect synch with the pre-recorded soundtrack. This has been discussed before here and more generally here but I haven't seen this online until now. More on Norman McLaren.
posted by ob on Sep 6, 2006 - 34 comments

I Think There Should Be Real War Against Bonanza

Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980)
posted by StopMakingSense on Aug 27, 2006 - 30 comments

Citizen Kane, or: I've Wasted My Life

Too Wong Foo: There's Mixed-Up Surf Nazis Invading A Plane! In honor of Snakes On A Plane slithering into theaters this coming weekend, Boston.com offers eleven perfectly descriptive, or overly cryptic, but all memorable movie titles. How would you retitle your favorite movie to be as descriptive as Snakes On A Plane? For example, The Bus That Couldn't Slow Down?
posted by Lord Kinbote on Aug 14, 2006 - 119 comments

Cool Film Blog: Your Humble Viewer

Perfection and Eraserhead. Discussing Singing in the Rain and Goodfellas with prisoners. The link between Pasolini, Blind Willie Johnson and Carl Sagan. If you like hanging out at the corner of Film and Word, you might enjoy spending time in the archives at Your Humble Viewer, a wide-ranging, well-written, funny and literate film blog.
posted by mediareport on Jul 31, 2006 - 10 comments

Pa pa pa pa!

BBC News: UK Iconic cinema music gets a makeover (real video) A 30-piece orchestra has recorded a new version of the Pearl and Dean's iconic cinema music (aka Asteroid) at Abbey Road Studios in London. The tune, famous for its "pa pa pa pas", has been made more than a minute and a half longer. David Sillito reports for BBC News.
posted by badlydubbedboy on Jun 29, 2006 - 23 comments

Mobile cinema hits the road

Mobile Cinema: From the little to the big; DIY to HOLY (pics) COW (pics)! Coming attractions has never seemed so literal.
posted by bjork24 on Jun 13, 2006 - 6 comments

The Roads of Kiarostami

Shifting between motion and stasis, he shows a man on a horse, a scarecrow, a dog, another dog seen closer, then even closer as it faces the still camera in the last shot. Superimposed over this still photo is the orange red blast of an atomic bomb and its mushroom cloud—the first appearance of color in the film. The photo catches fire, and the image of the dog is slowly devoured by flames. As the photo turns into ashes, a prayer from the Shiite text Nahjulbalagha appears alongside it in English: “Dear Lord, give us rain from tame, obedient clouds and not from dense and fiery clouds which summon death. Amen.”
In "The Roads of Kiarostami", his latest short film (.pdf), Iranian maestro Abbas Kiarostami begins with his landscape photographs and ends with apocalypse. more inside
posted by matteo on Jun 9, 2006 - 16 comments

Tulse Luper knew that without a God, the Universe could be considered to be even more amazing.

Tulse Luper Update: Twice before we’ve discussed Peter Greenaway’s “upcoming” multimedia project The Tulse Luper Suitcases: three movies, two books, a VJ tour (.wmv interview about a similar project, Nightwatching, to give you some idea of what a VJ tour is), and more. With the recent launch of the online multiplayer game, The Tulse Luper Journey , perhaps the project is no longer upcoming at all. The story centers on 92 suitcases related to the life of Greenaway’s alter ego Tulse Luper. Discovered in various locations around the globe, the suitcases illustrate the history of Uranium (and by extension the history of the 20th century). Read Greenaway’s lecture on the project here, hear an interview focused on the VJ performance here, or read stories attributed to Tulse Luper here. [More Inside]
posted by jrb223 on Jun 6, 2006 - 12 comments

The Room: Best/Worst/Best Vanity Project Ever

The Room: The Movie. Triple-threat (actor/writer/director) Tommy Wiseau made his cinematic debut in 2003 with the The Room (see trailer and various scenes), "a blend between a softcore porn flick and a Tennessee Williams stageplay." Wiseau ("who's not just one of the most unusual looking and sounding-with an unidentifiable Eastern European accent-leading men ever to grace the screen, but a narcissist nonpareil whose movie makes Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny" seem the apotheosis of cinematic self-restraint...may be something of a first: A movie that prompts most of its viewers to ask for their money back-before even 30 minutes have passed." - Variety), allegedly raised $6 million outside Hollywood to cover production and marketing costs of the self-described "black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies" (see various rough dress rehersals). Audience members, including comedian David Cross, have been "marveling at the bizarre editing, bad bluescreen, uncomfortably explicit sex scenes and, of course, the enigma of Wiseau himself" as the film played monthly for years in Los Angeles. Available on DVD, diehard "roomies" swear by the theatrical experience, shout out their own commentary, hurl spoons at the screen and singalong to the soundtrack. Some call it "The Rocky Horror of the New Millenium" and stage "Room" parties. If you look at the marketing campaign or survived a screening you might see The Room as "a seminar on how NOT to make a movie." [Inspired by Boing Boing]
posted by boost ventilator on Jun 1, 2006 - 28 comments

«The silent queen of all that is snowy and pure» (.pdf)

«The silent queen of all that is snowy and pure» (.pdf) I will never forget the first time I saw Giovanni Pastrone’s extraordinary Cabiria... I wasn’t quite prepared for the sheer scope and beauty of this film. And I was completely unprepared for having my sense of film history re-aligned. There are so many elements that we took for granted as American inventions – the long-form historical epic, the moving camera, diffused light. Suddenly, here they were in a picture made two years before Griffith’s Birth of a Nation. -- Martin Scorsese
It was the first film to be over three hours long, the first to use a moving camera, the first to cost 20 times the average cost of a motion picture; Pastrone took several elephants and hundreds of extras to the Alps, in the dead of winter, to film scenes that only lasted a couple of minutes onscreen. He hired an ex-dockworker and turned him into one of the first action movie heroes, Maciste. And, he also created the first international marketing campaign of the history of cinema. The Americans were so impressed that Cabiria became the first film to be ever shown on White House grounds. Last week, at the Cannes Film Festival, a beautiful, painstakingly restored version of this forgotten masterpiece has just been shown to the public.
posted by matteo on May 29, 2006 - 13 comments

Face to Face

The Ingmar Bergman site is now available in English. I find the 'Universe' section (examining repeated themes) is particularly interesting.
posted by tellurian on May 22, 2006 - 6 comments

I don't know, I guess it makes me feel comfortable...

Deviation (embedded video); a Machinima film hits the mainstream festival circuit. (previous forays into Machinima)
posted by jrb223 on May 14, 2006 - 16 comments

The Epistemologist of Despair

Drama is impossible today. I don't know of any. Drama used to be the belief in guilt, and in a higher order. This absolutely cruel didactic is impossible, unacceptable for us moderns. But melodrama has kept it. You are caged. In melodrama you have human, earthly prisons rather than godly creations. Every Greek tragedy ends with the chorus — "those are strange happenings. Those are the ways of the gods". And so it always is in melodrama.
His career as a film director lasted more than 40 years, but Douglas Sirk (1900-1987) is remembered for the melodramas he made for Universal in Hollywood between 1954 and 1959, his "divine wallow": Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows (1955), Written on the Wind (1956), The Tarnished Angels (1958, William Faulkner considered it the best screen adaptation of one of his novels), Imitation of Life (1959) -- all considered for decades little more than a camp oddity. Now audiences are beginning to look deeper at the films of Douglas Sirk, at how, in megafan Todd Haynes' words, they are "almost spookily accurate about the emotional truths". Now, lucky Chicagoans can enjoy "Douglas Sirk at Universal", matinees at the Music Box. More inside.
posted by matteo on Apr 29, 2006 - 14 comments

"Ten Favorite Offbeat Musicals"

"Ten Favorite Offbeat Musicals" by Jonathan Rosenbaum
posted by matteo on Apr 4, 2006 - 30 comments

short films goodness

Never ever borrow a friend's mobile, trust hitch hikers or strangers in furry costumes, never get distracted, worry about the first time or about your young son not being manly enough, and most of all never, ever forget stuff. Also, remember to always be nice to your enemies, your granny and policemen, but don't be too nice to your neighbours, and don't forget to get the car washed. Lots more brilliant short films viewable online from UK's Channel 4 Film (Real/WM streams).
posted by funambulist on Mar 31, 2006 - 4 comments

best sex scenes?

Filmsite.org's "Sex in Cinema: The Greatest and Most Influential Erotic / Sexual Films and Scenes" (NSFW). Filmsite.org's been mentioned a few times on MeFi, and I've come across them again looking up information about Natalie Wood. She's on page 12 (NSFW) for Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.
posted by taumeson on Mar 30, 2006 - 10 comments

Small screen vs. big screen

It's still about the means of production, you see — but in the overdeveloped world, at least, it's not about the production of goods and services anymore. Today's virtual revolutionary is happy to leave all that to capitalists. The virtual revolutionary wants to control the production of meaning — representations of herself and her world as she wants them to seem. Or be. Or whatever. That's all she asks.
Or, rather, takes.
Thomas de Zengotita welcomes the big world of the small screen. Peter Bogdanovich, instead, still mourns that last picture show.
posted by matteo on Mar 26, 2006 - 22 comments

Ontology=Zen, Material Reality=Nothingness, Jurgen Reble=Film Alchemist

“It was only natural that one day I should decide to toss my film into a dank corner of my garden. After a hot, humid summer, I came to gather up the film(Embedded Quicktime), which over the course of the summer I'd entirely forgotten. The colors remained very pure and intense, but had departed from their previous form. Indeed, they were laying themselves down upon the old action film to form veritable mosaics of color, remarkably like the stained glass of church windows. This was a really pleasurable experience.” – Jurgen Reble, on his art
posted by jrb223 on Mar 22, 2006 - 7 comments

"I genuflect before Jack Smith..." - John Waters

The Tribeca Film Festival announced its 2006 lineup last week. Among the films in competition is the documentary Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis. Filmmaker Jack Smith (a major influence on later filmmakers, from Warhol to Waters(NSFW)) is perhaps best known for his 1963 film Flaming Creatures, was shot on expired army surplus film, and banned soon after its release (with some help from Strom Thurmond). New controversies surround his work. See also Smith’s Scotch Tape (YouTube), from the same year.
posted by jrb223 on Mar 21, 2006 - 8 comments

Two or Three Things About David Cronenberg

Three new ways of thinking about David Cronenberg (director of Videodrome, Dead Ringers, etc.). A documentary filmmaker, an avant-garde filmmaker, or maybe just a guy who looks at couples and probably wonders what they look like having sex. Kind of par for the course.
posted by Joe Hutch on Mar 20, 2006 - 45 comments

How I got my groove back

Crippled Dick Hot Wax!...has reissued "Vampyros Lesbos: Sexadelic Dance Party", a compilation of skewed gogogirlloungefuzzfunk tracks from the films of schlock master Jesus (Jess) Franco. Much props to Mondo Macabre, Synapse Films, and Something Weird Video for ressurecting "classic" fringe cinema. (links are slightly NSFW)
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! on Mar 18, 2006 - 12 comments

earthquake and fire!

The first clip (QuickTime movie, 15 MB) from The Science of Sleep, Michel Gondry's new film, starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Charlotte Gainsbourg (set photos), out later this year and hailed by reviewers at Sundance as a "a glorious mess", "loaded with gags and gimmicks and spectacularly beautiful and memorable images", a "wild visual phantasmagoria... and a lot of fun".
posted by funambulist on Mar 16, 2006 - 33 comments

Jerry Lewis at 80

Jerry Lewis at 80 (more inside)
posted by matteo on Mar 13, 2006 - 46 comments

Through All the Lousy Luck

I first read "Ask the Dust" in 1971 when I was doing research for "Chinatown". I was concerned about the way people really sounded when they talked, and I was dissatisfied with everything else I had read that was written during the '30s. I wanted the real thing, as Henry James would say. When I picked up Fante's "Ask the Dust," I just knew that was the way those kids talked to each other—the rhythms, cadences, racism.
Robert Towne on adapting John Fante's novel for the big screen. More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 4, 2006 - 17 comments

MetaFilter Goes Nudist

She made movies. They were cheap, They were shot in her apartment. She didn't film in sound, and so, when characters spoke, rather than sync the sound, she often cut away to objects in the room, or the feet of those who were speaking.

Her films had titles like Nude on the Moon, Bad Girls Go to Hell, and Blaze Starr Goes Nudist.

She was Doris Wishman
posted by Astro Zombie on Mar 1, 2006 - 30 comments

"And therefore I forbid my tears"

Hamlet on the Ramparts is a public website designed and maintained by the MIT Shakespeare Project in collaboration with the Folger Shakespeare Library and other institutions. It aims to provide free access to an evolving collection of texts, images, and film relevant to Hamlet’s first encounter with the Ghost. More inside.
posted by matteo on Feb 28, 2006 - 11 comments

Piero Scaruffi is a normal person.

Piero Scaruffi is a normal person. Like so many others, he ponders knowledge, language, and art from time to time. When he travels, he takes pictures. Just like everyone else. Sure, he has his thoughts about politics and world affairs, who doesn't? And when he's done with all of this he just wants to rock. Exactly like you. See?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Feb 23, 2006 - 12 comments

Pauline Kael on mp3

"This recording of Pauline Kael delivering a talk at San Fernando Valley State College sometime in 1963 does closely follow her essay Circles and Squares. But even if you're familiar with the work in question, her tone of voice and formal delivery make these 55-minutes a genuinely nasty, invective-laden eye-opener". (via flickhead)
posted by PenguinBukkake on Feb 23, 2006 - 31 comments

Pornographic internet game draws angers parents

The promotional game for an upcoming movie has drawn the ire of the National Institute on Media and the Family and some Twin Cities parents for having graphic sex scenes (in which "You literally engage in oral sex as a player of the game") that are easily accessibly to children by lying about your age.
posted by charmston on Feb 22, 2006 - 44 comments

Release the nasty (please!)

Say "cheese" — stinky, expensive, overprocessed American cheese. The venerable Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed its set design for the Seventy-Eighth Academy Awards® Telecast. This year's edition is described as "an homage to old movie theaters" by designer Roy Christopher. "It's a no-holds-barred return to classic Hollywood glamour." Others may beg to differ.
posted by rob511 on Feb 22, 2006 - 56 comments

Lon Chaney's power to terrify

"He was someone who acted out our psyches ... He somehow got into the shadows inside our bodies; he was able to nail down some of our secret fears and put them on-screen... the history of Lon Chaney is the history of unrequited loves. He brings that part of you out into the open, because you fear that you are not loved, you fear that you never will be loved, you fear there is some part of you that's grotesque, that the world will turn away from."
A Valentine for Lon Chaney, the Man of a Thousand Faces. (BugMeNot for the first link; more inside)
posted by matteo on Feb 18, 2006 - 14 comments

Irie Takako: Establishing Oneself and Entering the World

In the Twilight of Modernity and the Silent Film (.pdf) Irie Takako was the most popular actress in 1930s Japan: film scholar Tanaka Masasumi locates the turning point of Japanese modernity in 1933, the year Kenji Mizoguchi's The Water Magician was made, arguing that Irie's transformation from radiant embodiment of moga(modern girl, the Japanese version of the flapper)-hood to suffering beauty in a kimono (.pdf) epitomized modernism's (modanizumu) defeat by nationalism in 1930's Japan. (via Camera Obscura; more inside)
posted by matteo on Feb 15, 2006 - 5 comments

Brownlow's and Mollo's Nazi Britain

"The German invasion of Britain took place in July 1940, after the British retreat from Dunkirk". We see, documentary-style, members of the Wehrmacht trooping past Big Ben and St Paul's Cathedral, lounging in the parks, having their jackboots shined by old cockneys, and appreciatively visiting the shrine of that good German, Prince Albert, in Kensington Gardens. Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's film "It Happened Here", with its cast of hundreds (.pdf), imagines what a Nazi occupation might have been like — complete with underground resistance, civilian massacres, civil strife, torch-lit rallies, Jewish ghettos, and organized euthanasia. Shot on weekends, eight years in production, made for about $20,000 with nonactors and borrowed equipment and Stanley Kubrick's help, "It Happened Here" was originally envisioned by Brownlow as a sort of Hammer horror flick about a Nazi Britain. Thanks in part to Mollo's fanatical concern with historical accuracy, however, it became something else. The most remarkable thing about this account of everyday fascism is that it has no period footage. Brownlow's 1968 book about the film's production, "How It Happened Here", has recently been republished. More inside.
posted by matteo on Feb 12, 2006 - 16 comments

Jean-Luc Godard's 'Histoire(s) du Cinéma'

The Man With The Magnétoscope.
"How marvelous to be able to look at what you cannot see... cinema, like Christianity, is not founded on historical truth. It supplies us with a story and says: Believe — believe come what may."
Jean Luc Godard's 'Histoire(s) du Cinéma' at UCLA.
posted by matteo on Feb 7, 2006 - 8 comments

"Myrna Loy, Luminous Activist"

“Wouldn’t you know, the kid they pick to play tramps is the only good girl in Hollywood.”
Before Myrna Loy rose to stardom with Manhattan Melodrama and The Thin Man (both 1934), she was often relegated to playing vamps, mistresses, and other assorted flavors of wicked women. Then, after 80 movies playing mostly bad girls, Montana native Loy became “the perfect wife.” “Men Must Marry Myrna Loy” clubs were formed around the country. She and Clark Gable, in a poll conducted by Ed Sullivan, were voted by 20 million of the nation’s moviegoers as The King and Queen of Hollywood. She was FDR's favorite actress, and John Dillinger died just to see her new movie. A staunch anti-Nazi since the mid-Thirties (to MGM's dismay, Hitler promptly banned her films from the lucrative German market), wondered aloud in the press why blacks were always given servants' roles, and was the first major star to buck the studios in a contract dispute (the issue: equal pay for equal work. She was making half what William Powell was, didn't like it and quit work for nearly a year until MGM capitulated). When WWII broke out she quit Hollywood and worked full time for the Red Cross, and helped run a Naval Auxilary Canteen. More inside.
posted by matteo on Feb 3, 2006 - 27 comments

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