Because the film is a period piece, The Godfather actually presents a fascinating record of what 1940s-era New York City locations still existed in the early-1970s. Sadly, many of them are now gone. What still remains? Let’s take a closer look.
Hitflix's 2012 top ten list and discussion of individual film images. [each year's top ten shots are broken into chunks of five, with one page for each five shot group]. [more inside]
The December 16, 1996 issue of Sports Illustrated featured Someone to Lean On, a longform article by Gary Smith [previously]: "We begin way over there, out on the margin. We begin with a dirty, disheveled 18-year-old boy roaring down a hill on a grocery cart, screaming like a banshee, holding a transistor radio to his ear. No one ever plays with him, for he can barely speak and never understands the rules. He can't read or write a word. He needs to be put away in some kind of institution, people keep telling his mother, because anything, anything at all, can happen out there on the margin," begins the article. It's the story of James Robert Kennedy, nicknamed Radio, popularized by Cuba Gooding Jr.'s portrayal in the 2003 movie of the same name. Want to know how Radio and Coach Harold Jones are doing these days? Check our their website for a brief update: Radio is 68 and still attending school and helping out with the athletic teams. [more inside]
Blood Brother (2013) focuses on an American man who, after initially visiting as a tourist, moved to India to volunteer at the Arias Home of HOPE, a home for HIV-positive children in Acharapakkam, near Chennai. He eventually became an Indian citizen by marriage. [more inside]
Paramount has ceased releasing films on 35mm film and will go forward distributing movies exclusively in digital formats. The LA Times' sources said that Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was the last Paramount movie with a celluloid release, and Wolf of Wall Street was the first major motion picture to be distributed entirely digitally.
Over the years, Hollywood has made films that have promoted the U.S. Military and films that have advertised specific products. But fifty years ago, those two tendencies intersected for a curious artifact of cinema and the military industrial complex. Say hello to “The Starfighters”. [more inside]
Don't fight it. It's the year of the oral history. If there hasn't yet been an oral history on your favorite pop culture phenomenon, it won't be long. In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, how about starting with an oral history of Captain Marvel: The Series? Or perhaps you'd rather read about The Telluride Bluegrass Festival? If your taste runs more toward technology, check out an oral history of Apple design. More reading inside! [more inside]
In need of an entertaining cinematic podcast to meet your listening needs? Then tune into Fighting in the War Room! Previously known as Operation Kino, Fighting in the War Room features fascinating discussions between film critics Katey Rich (Vanity Fair), Matt Patches (Hollywood.com / Vulture.com), Da7e Gonzales, and David Ehrlich (Film.com), offering reviews of current films, as well general cinema related topics. [more inside]
How the Golden Globes definition of "musical or comedy" has been stretched to the limit and why that matters
"The rise in popularity of television is credited with inciting the move to the widescreen systems that flourished throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s. This is only partially true. In the early 1950s, studios did begin to compose their movies so that the top and bottom of the picture could be chopped off and a wider screen would show the center of the old 1.37:1 frame. The aspect ratio used by the various studios varied from about 1.5:1 up to the common 1.85:1. But the real reason for the birth of a multitude of widescreen and large format systems was the 1952 opening of a movie made in a process that had its roots in a World War II aerial gunnery trainer. This Is Cinerama (modern YouTube trailer; Wikipedia) shook the industry to the core. The public and reviewers loved it. Its giant screen filled with three oversized 35mm images and an incredible new sound system called Stereophonic were a marvel to behold, and the studios immediately rushed to find something that could do what Cinerama did (Google books preview of the August 1952 issue of Popular Mechanics)." [more inside]
If the sheer number of Leonard adaptations is remarkable, what is more remarkable still is how few of them are any good. No one was more aware of, or blunt about, this disappointing onscreen record than Leonard himself. His first crime novel, The Big Bounce, was twice adapted for film, in 1969 and 2004. Leonard memorably described the earlier effort as the “second-worst movie ever made”; it was not until he saw the 2004 version, he later said, that he knew what movie was the worst.
If you use Netflix, you've probably wondered about the specific genres that it suggests to you. Some of them just seem so specific that it's absurd. Emotional Fight-the-System Documentaries? Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life? Foreign Satanic Stories from the 1980s? ... Through a combination of elbow grease and spam-level repetition, we discovered that Netflix possesses not several hundred genres, or even several thousand, but 76,897 unique ways to describe types of movies.
If it weren't for the 1976 Copyright Act, copyright on work would expire after 56 years - which would have meant that Kerouac's On The Road, the original 12 Angry Men, and Elvis's All Shook Up would be public domain by today.
The Coen Brothers latest film "Inside Llewyn Davis" is fictional, but it aims to portray the very specific time and place of the Greenwich Village Folk scene in the early 60's. Reviewers have already noted the similarities between the movies characters and some real life counterparts, starting with Llewyn Davis himself and legendary folk singer Dave Van Ronk. [more inside]
The Awl presents the article that would've accompanied that Atlantic Monthly cover from Ghostbusters.
Welcome to Cardboard Box Office. "The project began after finding that we had accumulated both a lot of cardboard boxes (due to moving to a new country) and a baby (due to giving birth)."
Best known for creating the nostalgic mash-up REMEMBER series (previously), Youtube user Thepeterson teams up with Slackstory to create another video clip time machine: REMEMBER 1994
Is Saving Mr. Banks, Disney's retelling of the events surrounding the adaptation of Mary Poppins a corporate, borderline-sexist spoonful of lies which throws author P. L. Travers under the bus?
Of course matte art has for a long time played a major part in Hollywood's recreation of the old west, with effects shots ranging from simple top ups of mood enhancing skies right through to entire recreations of frontier settings to often wonderful effect. Todays blog will take a look at some of those marvellous visions - the product of the many often uncredited artists who worked tirelessly in the various studio matte departments.
Mattes Ride The Range: The art of the matte shot in Westerns
Mattes Ride The Range: The art of the matte shot in Westerns
The 2013 Black List has been released. For those unfamiliar, the “Black List” is a list of the most liked unproduced screenplays circulating around Hollywood, as voted on by over 250 film executives, and past Black List scripts include The Social Network, Saving Mr. Banks, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire.
In the mid-1960's, American International Pictures hired director Larry Buchanan to make eight films for television. Their instructions were blunt: "We want cheap color pictures, we want half-assed names in them, we want them eighty minutes long and we want them now." [more inside]
Most of America's silent films are lost forever, according to the newly released Library of Congress report The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912–1929. (You can look up the ones that survive in this handy database). [more inside]
Why is Hollywood so afraid of oral sex? Why is oral sex hard for Hollywood? Evan Rachel Wood slams MPAA for censoring sex scene in her new film.
There are a lot of Christmas movie plots out there; hard to believe some of them haven’t been filmed. Yet. I can't list Brazil as a Christmas movie no matter how great a movie it is. Watch it in January. Some Christmas movies resonate differently for grownups. The Polar Express didn’t make my list because you should read the book aloud every year on Christmas Eve. Highest-grossing Christmas movies, for those so inclined. Inside, my countdown of Christmas movies, one a day from here to Christmas. [more inside]
The perfect thing for the pedant in your life, or for the person in your life who hates the pedant in their life.
Ill conceived ad campaigns seem to be par for the course these days (I personally threw up my hands twenty years ago when Janis Joplin was first used to sell Mercedes Benz), but you have to marvel at the thinking behind Covergirl's recent marketing tie-in with the film "Catching Fire" that assumes people would enjoy looking like the air-headed, blood-thirsty residents of the Capital. The Guardian weighs in.
The Howling Fat Men of the Coen Brothers (slyt & nsfw)
The Eidophusikon, an early form of motion picture, is a theatrical technology developed by fine art painter and theatrical set designer Philip de Loutherbourg using sound, colored filters, mechanical works, light from newly invented Argand lamps, mirrors and more . It was first exhibited at his home in 1781, featuring five scenes of land and seascape. In recent years, recognition of this as an early chapter in cinema history has prompted several institutions to recreate the experience. Among the most successful is the 2005 storm at sea depicted in Eidophusikon Reimagined by the Australian National University.
r/FullMovieGifs is a sub-reddit maintained by user matt01ss which is dedicated to compressing feature length movies to .gif format. The Fifth Element, Up, The Rock and many more. Via The AV Club.
The last remnants of the old LLC are being swept away forever. Nathan Rabin over at The Dissolve offers his own personal requiem to the store. And because moving on is part of the healing process, movie fans should prepare themselves for some final liquidation sales.
BBC Radio 4's 'The Film Programme' talks to George A Romero. 'Forty five years after the release of genre-defining Night of the Living Dead, Francine Stock talks to the director George A Romero about inventing the undead zombie and where he might unearth horror in contemporary society. Plus why he doesn't rate Stanley Kubrick as a horror director.' [SL BBC Radio 4 episode] [more inside]
"The film is like trance music in movie form. It is liquid. Scenes flow in and out of each other. A scene will start and then the imagery will jump to another, sometimes from the past, other times from the future, while the audio from the initial scene continues to play through. Other times repetition is used as a narrative device, most prominently Alien’s southern, sizzurp-inflected drawl, rolling out in languid syllables, so that each is enjoyed to the fullest, reminiscent, although with his own depraved contemporary hip-hop spin, of Humbert Humbert’s delectation over the individuation of his young love’s name: Lo-li-ta,as it trips along the tongue, but for Alien, his long relaxed exhale of Sppprrrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnngggggg Brrrreeeeeeeeaaaaaak again and again, emanates more from the back of the throat, you might say the deep throat, and just to the side, to give it it’s arch southern twang. " James Franco (previously) reviews Spring Breakers (previously) starring James Franco.
The Trouble with "Carrie": Strong Female Characters and Onscreen Violence.
Whether she's volunteering to take her sister's place in the arena or grooming her son to lead the resistance; gunning down the gangsters who sell drugs to the kids in her neighborhood or swinging swords to avenge her daughter, the "strong female character" is often stirred by a maternal concern, a quintessential desire to preserve her community, to protect the weak and vulnerable. Her bad-assery must be in the service of a greater good. Even when she's more ethically complex (like the Bride, who begrudgingly admits that all the people she killed to get to her daughter, "felt good"), she never takes a place at the table of Walter White's grand epiphany: "I did it for me."
Carrie does what Beatrix Kiddo and Ellen Ripley and Katniss Everdeen don't: She does it for herself. Her vengeance, her violence, is in service to no one, no noble good. She doesn't kill because her family and friends have been threatened. There are no friends, no fellow outcasts, to protect from the bullies. No little sister to shield from Mama's wrath. Only her. And she is enough. Carrie kills because she was wronged.
There's a number of things that make 1938's "The Adventures of Robin Hood" so awesome. There's the star power and charisma of Errol Flynn. There's Erich Wolfgang Korngold's great score. There's the glorious three-strip Technicolor process. And then, leaning in the corner there, is Howard Hill. [more inside]
Terry Gilliam fans are patiently waiting for the release of "The Zero Theorem", his first film in four years. In the meantime, let's go back thirty years ago to the moment that Gilliam really found his footing as a director in between the filming of "Time Bandits" and "Brazil". It all concerns a bunch of elderly accountants... [more inside]
Can't get enough of Marion Cotillard's death scene in The Dark Knight Rises? Enjoy People Dying Like Marion Cotillard.