History vs Hollywood fact-checks "based on a true story/inspired by true events" popular movies, and tries to match faces and events with their real-life counterparts.
Top Ten Best Lesbian Movies: 10 Queer Movies That Don’t Suck. | Top Ten Queer Girl Movies That Don’t Suck: Best Lesbian Movies Part #2 (Autostraddle). Previously: "I bind you, Hollywood, from doing harm", Maybe not the warmest color.
Hollywood's reboot-a-palooza continues with the recent release of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.", based on the classic 1960's television series starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. However, this is far from the first time the property has been in theaters. [more inside]
After some recent intriguing revelations concerning Quentin Tarantino's "Hateful Eight" (such as it's wide 70mm release this Christmas and that it will feature the first Ennio Morricone Western score in over four decades), the full trailer has finally arrived.
How did they get those dogs to do that? "Hundreds of dogs rise up against their oppressors in this visually stunning, one-metaphor-fits-all Hungarian drama... a film featuring 274 dogs, no CGI, and a pair of canine protagonists who consistently out-emote their human co-stars."
It starts with one of cinema's most famous paintings (you may have seen it before), but it doesn't end there. Guardian contributor Alex Godfrey does a little investigating into a famous movie prop and discovers the life of its subject, John Weaving.
What was once a series content to celebrate simple boy-racer pleasures, the seventh Fast & Furious fell prey to a recent tentpole-film affliction: ridiculously over-complicated plotting. Iron Man 3 and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation writer Drew Pearce draws an analogy for this blockbuster bloat, responsible for routinely pushing run times over the two-hour mark: “Much as I love a prog-rock album, if it’s a pop song I like it to be short and sweet, and I think it has more impact that way. And summer blockbusters are very proggy right now.” Mission impenetrable: are Hollywood blockbusters losing the plot?
The recent reboot "Vacation" is packed with call backs to the original 1983 film, but one thing that is conspicuously missing is the name "National Lampoon" preceding the title. Vulture recently published a short history of the National Lampoon and how it has gone from it's peak in the 70's and 80's way down to the unfortunate straight-to-DVD output of the last fifteen years. Bonus: The trailer for the upcoming documentary: "Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of National Lampoon".
Shot between 1962 and 1986, Tarkovsky’s seven feature films often grapple with metaphysical and spiritual themes, using a distinctive cinematic style. Long takes, slow pacing and metaphorical imagery – they all figure into the archetypical Tarkovsky film (Note: free versions of these films have been here before, links have sadly died in the old posts). [more inside]
Adam Frost and Melanie Patrick of the British Film Institute take a look at film noir and what makes a film noir-ish.
The British Movietone archive of nearly fifty thousand newsreel films is now on YouTube. Movietone started making newsreels in 1929 and stopped fifty years later. You can find clips about nearly any subject, women's rights, space exploration, and sports. The archive has a number of playlists, including one where archivist Jenny Hammerton presents clips she finds interesting. But, I hear you say, do they have cute cat videos? Yes. Also, a parachuting dog and jokes about Hitler. Also now availabe, the Associated Press Archive of more than 170 thousand video clips. The Guardian has a list of interesting clips from both archives.
Comic book artist Joe Phillips recently presented "Silver Screen Heroes", which places stars from the golden age of Hollywood into modern superhero roles.
Prolific actor Alex Rocco, perhaps best known for his performance as Moe Greene in "The Godfather", has passed away at the age of 79.
Galaxy of Terror, Mutant (NSFW), Contamination and the joy of cheap alien knockoffs. Prefer the sequel? Here's Aliens remade under the name "Terminator 2". Sadly one take on the franchise that will not be seeing the light of day is Alien Identity, a fan film recently shut down by a cease and desist from Fox. Meanwhile the Neil Blomkamp Alien film continues to incubate.
If you're like me, you're still kinda recovering from the abrupt dissolution of The Dissolve earlier this week. This morning over at the AV Club, they posted a new entry in their series "Scenic Routes", which may be the best Movie-centric feature AV Club runs. And at this moment of recovery for dedicated movie geeks, it's a great opportunity to review some of their more memorable entries over the years. [more inside]
On the heels of their recent discussion of "Aliens" in their Movie of the Week series, the folks at the Dissolve have put together an impressive list inspired by the last survivor of the Nostromo: "The 50 Most Daring Film Roles For Women Since Ripley"
United Passions started out as a FIFA vanity project telling the story of the men who helped found the organization. Then one month before the film's release in theaters, Fourteen FIFA officials were arrested on corruption charges (previously) and president Sepp Blatter announced he would step down from his post. Now, in the wake of incredibly dismal box office and rock bottom ratings on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, Both director Frederic Auburtin and star Tim Roth (who portrays Blatter in the film) have publicly come out against the film and apologized for their involvement.
Since April three of the biggest movies in history have opened: Furious 7 (with a worldwide gross of 1.5 billion dollars), Age of Ultron (with a worldwide gross of 1.3 billion dollars) and Jurassic World (with a worldwide gross of half a billion after just one weekend, and heading towards a likely record). With Star Wars down the pike in December, we're looking at a record setting year for the box office, largely on the backs of franchise action/adventure films. Mark Harris writes about the new franchise film economy in Park Effects, and relatedly, Alex Pappademas considers the efforts to create a farm league of indie directors for these new billion dollar movies in Mr. DNA.
‘I shot against Daddy, all men, small men, tall men, big men, fat men, men, my brother, society, the church, the convent, school, my family, my mother, all men, daddy, myself, men. I shot because it was fun and made me feel great. I shot because I was fascinated watching the painting bleed and die…’— Niki de Saint Phalle. [more inside]
Video Essayist Jacob T. Swinney edited 3 dozen supercuts, many of which went viral on Slate and indieWire: Each tackling a single motif from recent movies: The Jonathan Demme Close-Up, Hearing Tarantino (or Paul Thomas Anderson), A Rorschach Test from The Master, Movies’ First and Last Shots, Etc. All 36 videos are on his Vimeo page. Among them is his own 2014 demo reel.
Initially panned by critics and a failure at the box office, Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead has found a second life as a cult favorite.
Lumière and Company was a project realised in 1995 to mark the centenary of the Lumière brothers’ first movies. Forty directors were given the use of a restored Lumière Cinematograph and asked to make a film under 1895-style constraints: (1) the films could be no longer than 52 seconds; (2) no synchronized sound was permitted; (3) no more than three takes were allowed. Any editing had to be done in-camera. Nearly all of the completed shorts have been compiled into a YouTube playlist. Please note that some of the clips contain nudity: treat this post as NSFW. Les Frères Lumière previously: 1, 2. [more inside]
Every Alfred Hitchcock cameo ever in his own films.
hey girl: you can use my shoulder as a rifle stand, as you’re the better shot of the two of us. (feminist mad max tumblr)
Frank Norris and the Invention of Film Editing: "At the heart of American author Frank Norris’ gritty turn-of-the-century fiction lies an essential engagement with the everyday shock and violence of modernity. Henry Giardina explores how this focus, combined with his unique approach to storytelling, helped to pave the way for a truly filmic style."
Just how many Sci-Fi / Action movie references are in Taylor Swift's new video "Bad Blood"? IO9 attempts to make a tally of them all.
So you gotta go for it. Just do me a favor and FUCK SOME SHIT UP. Surprise yourself, wake up your actors, get wild with your performances, try shit, put in that funky dialogue you’re embarrassed of, in fact, rub your fucked-up-ness all over your scripts, add some shame and embarrassment and glee, and then dare yourself to shoot it, SERIOUSLY, go big or go home -- be a creature unlike any other.Transparent creator Jill Soloway gave an amazing speech full of advice for women in filmmaking a few days ago.
Regina Pessoa is a Portuguese animator. «I lived in the countryside in a small village near Coimbra until I was 17 years old. My entire universe was rural. We didn’t have television, which was very boring… but in retrospect, thinking things over, maybe it saved me. We read and listened to our elders telling stories. My uncle used to draw on the walls and on the doors of my grandmother’s home, with pieces of coal. Seeing my uncle drawing on the walls gave us a sense of freedom because we didn’t have paper and pencils but we always had walls and doors – maybe this stayed with me unconsciously because now, much later, it’s already the second film that I’m making in engraving technique…» [more inside]
"When Tony Scott took his own life in 2012, we lost an unquestionably significant filmmaker. Some dwelled on the whys of his demise (thus leading to the rumor that the man was dying of terminal cancer when he jumped from San Pedro’s Vincent Thomas Bridge), but ultimately none of that matters one bit. Scott was a genius behind the camera, leaving behind a filmography that was unified in tone and consistently flat out entertaining. It’s a shame that his pictures have been regularly dismissed as nothing more than hollow diversions; mindless drivel meant for mass consumption and disposal. While their appeal is most certainly broad, there’s nothing vapid about them." - Acid In The Coliseum: The Films Of Tony Scott [more inside]
Tony Zhou has quickly become a favorite here at Metafilter for his video essays on film techniques. His latest work is part editing class / part confessional on the subject of video essays themselves. And it all involves Star Wars, South Park and, most of all, Orson Welles' "F for Fake" (previously and previously).
On the 2nd of April 2015, 106-year old Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira died at his hometown, Porto. Obituaries: The Guardian, Time. [more inside]
Senses of Cinema on two Jean-Pierre Melville classics: Temenuga Trifonova on Le Samouraï and Brian L. Frye on Bob le flambeur
This video plays the opening and closing shots of 55 films side-by-side. Some of the opening shots are strikingly similar to the final shots, while others are vastly different--both serving a purpose in communicating various themes. Some show progress, some show decline, and some are simply impactful images used to begin and end a film. [Obvious spoilers for the final shots of the 55 movies listed in the video's description]
A nice collection of "Five best moments" at The Guardian:
"Each week readers help us pick five highlights from an actor's film career"
"Each week readers help us pick five highlights from an actor's film career"
Character actor Daniel Von Bargen ("Seinfeld", "Lord of Illusions", "Super Troopers") has died at the age of 64. One tragic footnote is his 2012 suicide attempt that led to his long illness. Here are some facts about Diabetes and Depression and, as always, there is help for those who need it. (Post Title Quote here)
“I’m always surprised to see what I do,” Jean-Luc Godard admits at the beginning of a talk delivered, nearly four decades ago, at Concordia University in Montreal. Could the single most influential filmmaker of his generation, who is still a provocateur at age 84, possibly be as baffled as we? [more inside]
"Foregrounding the back of Martin Luther King’s head, Selma’s poster is an act of protest in itself. But as a recent book on black movie poster art shows, many past poster designs have obscured, caricatured or edited out black actors altogether." Isabel Stevens writes on black movie poster art at the British Film Institute (BFI).
Inspired by the recent release of What We Do In The Shadows, the staff over at The Dissolve take a look at one of the more unusual movie sub-genres: Vampire comedies.
Put down the boom box: 28 romantic gestures from Film, Television and Music that are actually creepy (SingleLinkAVClub)
Kubricks' 2001: One Man's Incredible Odyssey - "With today's article I've decided to cover the truly outstanding visual effects and design work from one of the single most influential and remarkable pieces of cinema of the twentieth century - Stanley Kubricks' 2001-A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) - a film that just gets better and better with the passing years"
The Jennifer Lopez vehicle "The Boy Next Door" opened this past weekend and earned a paltry 12% on the Tomatometer. There's nothing terribly unique about this number deep in the cinematic dumping ground that is January, but people are quickly taking notice on how absolutely bonkers the film really is. This starts with the trailer and then moves on to the film itself, which is that rare beast in this era of boring SyFy Channel schlock: A bad movie that never stops being fun. If you need further convincing, witness one moment from the film that was recently singled out by Slate. It's a thing of beauty.
It may have taken him over ten years to do it, but Tommy Wiseau has finally followed up on his cult hit "The Room" (previously). "The Neighbors" originally existed as some rarely seen footage Wiseau shot in 2004 (only the wacky trailer was ever released to the public). Cut to ten years later when a newly shot pilot for a "Neighbors" TV series (Official website and trailer) has been making the rounds in big cities across the country to give Wiseau fans the follow up they have been craving. Both the Gothamist and the AV Club weigh in on the show (with a bonus AV Club interview with Wiseau).
Tony and Emmy winning actor Edward Herrmann, who is perhaps best known for his role as Lorelai's father in "Gilmore Girls", has passed away from brain cancer at the age of 71. His recent role as the voice of Franklin Roosevelt in Ken Burns' documentary "The Roosevelts" ironically brought him full circle to his breakout portrayal of FDR in the miniseries "Eleanor and Franklin" nearly forty years ago.
Given that Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" opens in two days, what a great time to explore... "The Career of Paul Thomas Anderson in Five Shots"