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Fritz Lang's Die Nibelungen

At a time when the Lord of the Rings didn't exist as a film or a book trilogy, Fritz Lang created the 5-hour-long film Die Nibelungen (The Nibelungs, 1924), based on the 13th-century poem Die Nibelungenlied (The Song of the Nibelungs). A short clip of Siegfried slaying the dragon was used as a trailer for the restored edition of the film. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Feb 3, 2013 - 28 comments

Bowie: "Get your own pig!"

"There are reasons why this film is obscure. It is, in the most charitable possible evaluation, a mess: Bowie has described it as "my 32 Elvis films rolled into one." And yet life on that ever-dwindling island of not-on-region-one DVD films is a harsh fate for any film and particularly for this one, which is at least as interesting as its cast suggests and a good deal more. You don't need to dig out the VHS player to watch Mick Jagger run an agency of gigolos in The Man From Elysian Fields—you shouldn't have to do so to watch Bowie play one. " David Bowie's Lost 70s-era Weimar Berlin Movie: Just a Gigalo.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 2, 2013 - 17 comments

"My hatred for Japanese cinema includes absolutely all of it."

"Japanese cinema’s preeminent taboo buster, Nagisa Oshima directed, between 1959 and 1999, more than twenty groundbreaking features. For Oshima, film was a form of activism, a way of shaking up the status quo. Uninterested in the traditional Japanese cinema of such popular filmmakers as Kurosawa, Ozu, and Naruse, Oshima focused not on classical themes of good and evil or domesticity but on outcasts, gangsters, murderers, rapists, sexual deviants, and the politically marginalized." The great Japanese director Nagisa Oshima passed away at the age of 80 last week. Appreciations from the Guardian, Slate, Fandor, Telegraph, NY Times, AV Club, and a few in-depth articles over at Senses of Cinema and Film Comment.
posted by HumanComplex on Jan 25, 2013 - 11 comments

One shot is what it's all about

Of the final scene in The Deer Hunter, Ebert wrote: I won't tell you how it arrives at that particular moment (the unfolding of the final passages should occur to you as events in life) but I do want to observe that the lyrics of "God Bless America" have never before seemed to me to contain such an infinity of possible meanings, some tragic, some unspeakably sad, some few still defiantly hopeful.
The song was first written in 1918, and 20 years later it was introduced by Kate Smith as a patriotic “Peace Song”.
Here’s some trivia about the Deer Hunter, and a bio of the amazing Irving Berlin
posted by growabrain on Dec 28, 2012 - 36 comments

Indian Movie Posters

India's hand drawn movie posters are artistic, hilarious, and full of pastel colors.
posted by reenum on Dec 24, 2012 - 10 comments

Regular expressions against IMDb

replace heart with butt
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Dec 20, 2012 - 293 comments

Banquet on wheels

The intro scene to 'Midnight in Paris' (2011. SLYT)
posted by growabrain on Dec 17, 2012 - 70 comments

The Coen Brothers's "Raising Arizona"

Raising Arizona is notable among the Coen Brothers’ filmography for seamlessly fusing the ravishing grimness of their drama with the slapstick antics of their comedy. ... [It] is an intensely bittersweet film. That it is admittedly hilarious distracts from this sorrow, but it doesn’t dampen it. If not the absolute best by the Coens, it’s certainly their most charming. - Michael Nordine [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Dec 11, 2012 - 112 comments

Space Oddity

The Man who Fell to Earth was Nicholas Roeg's Sci-fi classic featuring a fragile cocaine addicted David Bowie, between his Thin White Duke days and his Berlin trilogy, as a homesick alien falling into despair. Years later Duncan Jones - AKA Zowie Bowie, subject of a sentimental song on Hunky Dory - would make a Sci-Fi film of his own with similar themes of isolation.
posted by Artw on Dec 10, 2012 - 28 comments

Peter Jackson's "Braindead"

Between Peter Jackson’s penchant for cartoonish unserious gore and Bob McCarron’s off-screen makeup effects manipulations, Braindead achieves something that approaches inspired genius in the heretofore unknown artform of human carnage. The film is filled with moments of joyous slapstick tableaux... And then there is that moment where Braindead finally breaks through to achieve a transcendentally surreal glory of excess where Tim Balme wades into battle against the zombies armed with a lawnmower, drenching an entire room in showers of blood. (Braindead holds the record for the greatest amount of artificial blood ever used in a film). The film is a work of perverse genius. - Richard Scheib
posted by Egg Shen on Dec 8, 2012 - 41 comments

Behold!

On the screen of the Romantic Motor-Vu drive-in theater on 33rd South in Salt Lake City, Charlton Heston, as Moses in the The Ten Commandments, throws his arms wide before what appears to be a congregation of cars at prayer. Originally published on December 22, 1958 in Life Magazine.
More from J.R. Eyerman: Behind the Scenes of a Stanley Kubrick 's Spartacus'.
(Previously on M-F)
posted by growabrain on Dec 8, 2012 - 5 comments

Put simply, the opening credits to Hostage have no business looking as good as they do.

The Onion AV club looks at 13 movie opening title sequences that are far better than the movies they're attached to.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 26, 2012 - 60 comments

On adapting Cloud Atlas into a film

Author David Mitchell discusses how his "unfilmable" book, Cloud Atlas, was adapted into a movie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 24, 2012 - 56 comments

"You're no longer in the film business—you're in the Fabergé egg business."

With 35mm Film Dead, Will Classic Movies Ever Look the Same Again?
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 23, 2012 - 77 comments

"It felt like a book that shouldn't have been published."

Nobody Hates Twlight As Much As Robert Pattinson Hates Twilight related Robert Pattinson Hates His Life
posted by The Whelk on Nov 16, 2012 - 162 comments

"The phrase 'intergalactically stupid' appeared... and he responded."

The Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Review YouTube channel has a lot of videos of film reviews from the livestream of their BBC radio show and podcast, going back about five years. They are sorted by genre, film rating, geographic origin and one special category, Classic Kermodean Rants, which includes his reviews of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Sex and the City 2, in which he ends up sing-shouting The Internationale, and Angels and Demons, which woke a man from a coma (mp3, story starts at 5:10, and it is followed up here, beginning at 5:30).
posted by Kattullus on Nov 10, 2012 - 32 comments

Dan O'Bannon's "Return of the Living Dead"

Return of the Living Dead (NSFW) is one of the greatest zombie movies ever made. Not only does it have loads of great looking zombies in it, it's one of the few zombie movies, besides its sequel, that has a perfect blend of humor and horror.
posted by Egg Shen on Nov 9, 2012 - 43 comments

In the mood for shove

The Grandmaster (Chinese language trailer) - Wong Kar Wai returns with a martial arts film based on the life of Ip Man.
posted by Artw on Nov 6, 2012 - 34 comments

Every Woody Allen Movie

Every Woody Allen Movie
posted by Egg Shen on Nov 4, 2012 - 75 comments

It's cinema for your ears

Listen to a movie: For the cubicle workers of the world. Discovered via Jonah Ray during Dana Gould's most recent, and always entertaining, podcast. [Earlier MeFi mention]
posted by wensink on Oct 25, 2012 - 29 comments

Menace(s) to Society

During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness (1935), Reefer Madness (1936) and The Cocaine Fiends (1938). [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 15, 2012 - 30 comments

The 50 best films of the ’90s

The Onion's A.V Club has posted their list of the fifty best films of the '90s (part 1)(part 2)(part 3). [via]
posted by SomaSoda on Oct 11, 2012 - 188 comments

I HAVE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THE FUTURE

The mash-up clip music group Electic Method re-mix and paste together sounds from Sci-Fi movies to create THE FUTURE
posted by The Whelk on Oct 8, 2012 - 5 comments

A tough-love scroll through one of modern moviemaking's most depressing IMDb pages.

"At this point his collaboration with Burton post–Ed Wood is such a study in diminishing returns that the only logical next step for them is a 3-D adaptation of Zeno's paradox with Depp as the voice of the arrow." Tim Burton: How Did It All Go Wrong So Fast?
posted by davidjmcgee on Oct 5, 2012 - 163 comments

4K digital restoration of "Lawrence of Arabia" in theaters October 4

On October 4 you will have the cinematic opportunity of a lifetime to see David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen in a new 4K digital restoration.
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 28, 2012 - 123 comments

The Star Wars franchise continuity administrator

His official title is continuity database administrator for the Lucas Licensing arm of Lucasfilm — which means Chee keeps meticulous track of not just the six live-action [Star Wars] movies but also cartoons, TV specials, scores of videogames and reference books, and hundreds of novels and comics.
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 27, 2012 - 65 comments

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH

AAAAAAHHHHHHH (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Sep 26, 2012 - 37 comments

Barbet Schroeder's "Barfly"

Roger Ebert on the set of Barfly. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 14, 2012 - 21 comments

I look forward to seeing this here.

We have talked before on the blue about movie theatre etiquette and the problem of movie talkers. London's Prince Charles Cinema has gone to the next level and hired ninja (volunteers wearing zentai suits) to keep order.
posted by ricochet biscuit on Sep 14, 2012 - 56 comments

But who is this singular other?

Cinema is another life A minor epic of demonology by Raúl Ruiz, from the excellent newish film journal Lola.
posted by Wolof on Sep 11, 2012 - 2 comments

Michelangelo Antonioni's "The Passenger"

[all links may contain SPOILERS] Antonioni's unique style works beautifully in The Passenger. The dream-like long takes, especially the final seven minute one where the dusty town square is seen through the barred window of Locke's hotel room—evokes a world that he is barred from. There is nothing romantic or sentimental about the space that we see, but it conveys a sense of an ongoing life that Locke has chosen to retreat from. There is also Antonioni's eye for aesthetic detail-for whitewashed walls of buildings, and vividly colored backgrounds like yellow doors and red car seats. He is a director of great formal rigor and beauty, whose style effortlessly suits his vision. The slow rhythm of the film may put off some viewers, but it forces them to be more observant, and understand there is nothing accidental in the images that Antonioni constructs. - Leonard Quart [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 9, 2012 - 8 comments

Painters of Fantastic Films

Matte World Digital, the visual effects studio founded in 1988 (as Matte World) by Craig Barron, Mike Pangrazio, and Krys Demkowicz, created fantastic movie environments through matte painting. A victim of the contracting visual effects industry, Matte World Digital announced their demise with a thoughtful post on their web site.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 28, 2012 - 17 comments

Peter Brook's "King Lear"

[Peter] Brook's stripped-back adaptation [of King Lear]... draws from Jan Kott's insight that Lear, like Beckett's Endgame, reveals a world devoid of consolation, morality or universal justice. ... Brook's is a devastating realisation of the play: a pitiless examination of the cruelty and emptiness that lies at the heart of the lust for power. - Alison Croggon [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 27, 2012 - 12 comments

Sergio Leone's "Once Upon A Time In America"

Once Upon A Time In America [auto-play audio] is the last of a string of films about the past and future of a country [Sergio Leone] knew first and best from the B-movies and yellowing paperbacks America sent abroad. For this 1984 swan song, Leone broke a directing hiatus that stretched back a decade, and turned away from Westerns toward another quintessentially American genre. His fantasia of gangland themes and images barely works by the standards of a gangster film, but succeeds brilliantly by those of epic poetry. - Keith Phipps [all links may contain spoilers] [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 25, 2012 - 19 comments

Francis Ford Coppola's "Captain EO"

The untold story of Captain EO.
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 24, 2012 - 27 comments

W.D. Richter's "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension"

... Buckaroo Banzai is paradoxically decades ahead of its time and yet completely of its time; it’s profoundly a movie by, for, and of geeks and nerds at a time before geek/nerd culture was mainstreamed, and a movie whose pre-CG special effects and pre-Computer Age production design were an essential part of its good-natured enthusiasm. What at the time was a hip, modern take on classic SF is now, almost thirty years later, almost indistinguishable from the SF cinema that inspired it in terms of the appeal to modern viewers: the charmingly old-fashioned special effects, and the comparatively innocent earnestness of its tone. - Danny Bowes [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 19, 2012 - 119 comments

Stan Brakhage on birth and death

Stan Brakhage on birth and death*. [graphic childbirth and autopsy footage] (* previously - dead links) [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 16, 2012 - 9 comments

The Business of Bond

Like James Bond movies? And box office grosses? And visualized data? Then today is your lucky day.
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 1, 2012 - 76 comments

The Greatest Films of All Time, 2012

Sight & Sound's prestigious Greatest Films of All Time poll is conducted only once per decade. The latest edition polled 846 film critics (up from 144 in the 2002 edition) and 358 directors. The results were revealed earlier today and, for the first time since 1962, Citizen Kane has not topped either the critics' or the directors' poll. It has been unseated as the Greatest Film of All Time by Vertigo and Tokyo Story. The magazine has also revealed the Critics' Top 50. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Aug 1, 2012 - 109 comments

Peter Cheyney, and the strange adventure of Lemmy Caution

Peter Cheyney was a prolific author of pulp thrillers, whose tin-eared appropriations of American hard-boiled detective fiction were nevertheless wildly popular in Britain and France in his mid-20th-century heyday. Among his creations were the cynical British detective Slim Callaghan; the debonair Belgian assassin Ernest Guelvada (one of the lead characters in the so-called ‘Dark’ series of spy novels), and the oddly-named, trenchcoat-wearing FBI tough-guy Lemmy Caution, played on-screen in a series of French movies by the American-born actor & singer Eddie Constantine, a role he would later reprise to striking effect in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 movie Alphaville.
posted by misteraitch on Aug 1, 2012 - 13 comments

Mort de Chris Marker

Chris Marker, director of La Jetée and Sans Soleil, among many others, and co-writer of 12 Monkeys, has died at age 91. English obit. French obit. Article on Chris Marker in the Guardian from 2002. Another appreciation from 2002. La Jetée on YouTube. Previously. Previouslier.
posted by chavenet on Jul 30, 2012 - 68 comments

Bat Crap.

Anthony Lane cattily encapsulates Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy in a review for the New Yorker
posted by The Whelk on Jul 28, 2012 - 170 comments

writer/director/actor

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]
posted by kliuless on Jul 6, 2012 - 40 comments

He’s documenting history, one Asian movie theater at a time

Three years ago, Phil Jablon (aka The Projectionist) started a concerted effort to start documenting the rapidly-vanishing stand-alone movie theaters and former theaters in Southeast Asia. Today his website, The Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project is a historian and movie-theater lover's dream. Jablon has captured the faded, the lost, the torched, the almost lost, the repurposed, the reborn, and the unbounded. [more inside]
posted by blueberry on Jul 1, 2012 - 6 comments

My God, it's full of squares.

Minimalist Lego reconstructions of classic moments from sci-fi cinema.
posted by gauche on Jun 25, 2012 - 27 comments

Every Hollywood Movie Is A Children's Film

Essayist and cartoonist Tim Kreider is no stranger to film criticism ( previously) but his thoughtful, surprising, detailed analysis of Lynch's The Straight Story and Spielberg/Kubrick's AI deserve special attention.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 23, 2012 - 42 comments

Shooting 2001

Shooting 2001 [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 21, 2012 - 15 comments

Dredd Reckoning

I AM THE LAW!
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 21, 2012 - 102 comments

RIP Andrew Sarris

RIP Andrew Sarris, the legendary film critic who popularized the auteur theory in the United States, sparred with arch-rival Pauline Kael, and helped define American film criticism. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Jun 20, 2012 - 17 comments

Kubrick In The 60s

Stanley Kubrick didn’t like giving long interviews, but he loved playing chess. So when the physicist and writer Jeremy Bernstein paid him a visit to gather material for a piece for The New Yorker about a new film project he was writing with Arthur C. Clarke, Kubrick was intrigued to learn that Bernstein was a fairly serious chess player. The result was an unusually long and candid recorded interview for the New Yorker. (77 min)
posted by The Whelk on Jun 17, 2012 - 8 comments

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