30 December 2005

Coming attraction: Hidden (Cache)

Reading the notes on IMDB it reminds me of the start of 'Lost Highway'.

29 December 2005

A quick note on Jacques Tati

I can't recommend this site enough, ensure you view it with a high speed connection and sound on your PC.

'Mon Oncle' by Jacques Tati (1958). Reverse of postcard reads 'Collection Cinematheque Suisse'.

28 December 2005

Camera studies # 2: Nan Grey

Nan Grey.

Reverse reads: Nan Grey. Photo, courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Time Out: Critics' choice 2005

It's that time of year for this type of list. Here is the one from this week's Time Out and all of their critics:

Last Days - Dave Calhoun
Saraband / A History of Violence - Geoff Andrew
Tropical Malady - Ben Walters
Million Dollar Baby - Wally Hammond
Crash - Derek Adams
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan - Chris Tilly
2046 - Gareth Evans
Wolf Creek - Nigel Floyd
Head-On - Trevor Johnston
Sideways - Mark Salisbury
My Brother...Nikhil - Anil Sinanan
The Sea Inside - Anna Smith
The Holy Girl - Jessica Winter

No mention of 'The consequences of love', 'Silver City' and 'Maria full of grace' all quite well received upon release and all decent films. Also worthy of a mention should be 'The constant gardener' which was a very pleasant suprise.

I haven't seen the entire Time Out list but '2046' is my favourite from 2005, 'A History of Violence' probably wouldn't make it into my top 10. I'm inclined to agree with Dispatches from Zembla on 'A History of Violence', I thought the film started well but later became more like its source material and didn't fulfill it's early promise.

24 December 2005

Camera studies # 1

Edie Adams.

I found a bunch of cigarette cards in amongst some random postcards I have been posting amongst my own photographs on my other blog. So, I intend this to be a regular series of postings of the actresses featured on these cards, most I admit I have never heard of but a quick look on IMDB proves fruitful.

The first is Edie Adams and the reverse of all reads "Camera Studies", the actresses name and "Issued by the manufacturers of Ardath cigarettes".

Reverse reads: Edie Adams. Photo courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

23 December 2005

'Trafic' by Jacques Tati (1971).

11 December 2005

Dream double bill # 7 'Sweet Smell of Success' and 'Nightmare Alley'

The theme of this weekend's double bill is ambition. It occurred to me whilst watching 'Nightmare Alley' (1947) that Tyrone Power's character; Stanton Carlisle is motivated by success much in the same way as Sidney Falco played by Tony Curtis in 'Sweet Smell of Success' (1957).

'Sweet Smell of Success' (1957) directed by Alexandra Mackendrick.

Sidney and Rita, played by Barabra Nichols.

Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco toasts his success in 'Sweet Smell of Success'.

'Nightmare Alley' (1947) directed by Edmund Goulding.

Tyrone Power moves up from the carny to his own show, billed as 'The Great Stanton'.

Tyrone Power as Stanton Carlisle and Helen Walker as Lilith Ritter in 'Nightmare Alley'.

10 December 2005

Romy Shneider, Paris 1964. Photographed by Larry Shaw.

Postcard to promote re-release of 'Godzilla'. BFI.

Great news for Nicholas Ray fans

Next month Eureka release 'The Savage Innocents' in their Masters of Cinema series. As this link to the official page tells us this film has been totally overlooked on TV for years.

I first saw it as part of the full Ray retrospective at NFT a year or so ago but was lucky enough to pick up a DVD copy in Spain where it is readily available along with '55 Days in Peking' , ' A Woman's Secret' and 'On Dangerous Ground' all of which are not available in US or UK. Let's hope Eureka can also get a hold of the rights to release 'Wind across the Everglades' which reminds me very much of 'The Savage Innocents'.

Spanish DVD release for 'The Savage Innocents' by Nicholas Ray.

William Eggleston at ICA

I recently saw two films on the great photographer William Eggleston. 'By the ways, a journey with William Eggleston' follows Eggleston on his travels. Anyone expecting lots of insight into the photographer's mind will be disappointed, Eggleston is tight lipped throughout. The film is interesting all the same and features interviews with various friends. 'William Eggleston in the real world' offers more of an insight gives us a context and shows us a more revealing side of Eggleston.

ICA put these two new films alongside Eggleston and Robert Gordon's 'Stranded in Canton' as well as other features inspired by his photography. The series included 'Gummo', 'Elephant' and 'The Virgin Suicides', watching the two documentaries made me want to watch these three films again, particularly 'Gummo' which I loved when it came out.

'By the ways, a journey with William Eggleston'.

'William Eggleston in the real world'.

05 December 2005

Dream double bill # 6 'Sullivan's Travels' and 'O Brother, where art thou?'

This weekend's double bill gives us Preston Sturges 'Sullivan's Travels' (1941) in which Hollywood film director John L Lloyd Sullivan played by Joel McCrea sets off to make 'O Brother, where art thou?' but to do so must leave Hollywood behind. Second up; The Coen Brothers bring us their version of Ulysses and pay tribute to Preston Sturges (amongst others) with their film ‘O Brother, where art thou?’ (1990).

'Sullivan's Travels' directed by Preston Sturges.

Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea.

Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake.

'O Brother, where art thou?' directed by Joel Coen.

'O Brother, where art thou?'

29 November 2005

'Europa '51'

Today is the one year anniversary for this my first blog.

I’m pleased with the way it has developed, considering I had no idea with what the possibilities were when I started.
I have taken advice from others and tried to add some structure to it and post more frequently on film related ‘stuff’, for want of a better word. A few other sites are now linking to mine which is good and I have figured out how to link to them too.

The best feedback I have received seems to be on the weekend ‘Dream double bill’ series and going forward I hope to develop more themes.

Thanks to my regular visitors for encouragement and ideas. My very first post was, when I was dipping my toe into the so called ‘Blogosphere’ on ‘Europa ‘51’. So I thought I’d revisit that theme and although the DVD is not available in US or UK it is however available in Europe, this copy I picked up in Spain back in April.

'Europa '51' directed by Roberto Rossellini (1952)

28 November 2005

'The Servant'

'The Servant' directed by Joseph Losey (1963). Read Tom Sutpen's article published in Bright Light's Film Journal on this film here.

The Servant (1963)

The American Friend (Der Amerikanische Freund) from National Film Theatre programme June 1981.

27 November 2005

Dream double bill # 5 ‘Fahrenheit 451’ and ‘Alphaville’

This weekend’s double bill shows us science fiction nouvelle vague style. First up Francios Truffaut gives us Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ followed by Jean Luc Godard’s ‘Alphaville’. What’s great about these films is that they use virtually no special effects and sets prefering current locations to create greatly atmospheric and futuristic looking films that still look great today.

Fahrenheit 451 directed by Francois Truffaut (1966).

Oskar Werner as Montag and Julie Christie as Clarisse.

Alphaville (Alphaville, une etrange aventure de Lemmy Caution) directed by Jean Luc-Godard (1965).

Eddie Constantine as Lemmy Caution.

Anna Karina as Natacha Von Braun.

26 November 2005

Billy Wilder at National Film Theatre 4th November to 30th December 2005.

19 November 2005

The Passenger

In last week’s Time Out (London) Dave Calhoun wrote in defence of The London Film Festival. Interesting to note and something I completely missed in the programme was a screening of ‘The Passenger’ (aka ‘Profession: Reporter). The National Film Theatre earlier this year had a complete Antonioni retrospective, the only film they didn’t show was this one. Apparently as I had noted on this blog at the time was because Antonioni had to be present at any screening and frail as he is he’d already come to London for the opening of the festival and could not come back for ‘The Passenger’.

I’ve also noted on the ‘Dispatches from Zembla’ some excellent thoughts on the film as well as a link to Sony Picture Classics microsite for this film. So I guess it is being re-released but the site doesn’t say when. It does however have a trailer and lots of on set pictures which are worth checking out.

Film page, Time Out magazine, November 9th issue.

8th Festival of German Films

8th Festival of German Films will run from 25th November to 1st December 2005 at Curzon Soho. Includes the latest new German films as well as a special focus on Michael Ballhaus.

8th Festival of German Films.

14 November 2005

Julie Christie

The December issue of Sight and Sound magazine features a great article in their 'Actors' series.

Julie Christie.

12 November 2005

Dream double bill # 4 'The Passenger' and 'Plein Soleil'

This weekend’s double bill focuses on changing identities. Firstly from 1975 we have Michelangelo Antonioni’s ‘The Passenger’ (Profession: Reporter) followed by Rene Clement’s 1960 ‘Plein Soleil’ (Purple Noon).

Whereas Jack Nicholson’s character David Locke adopts the identity of Robertson through his death early on in ‘The Passenger’ Alain Delon’s Tom Ripley murders Maurice Ronet’s Philip Greenleaf on board his yacht.

‘The Passenger’ tells the story of Locke running from all elements of his former life including his wife; ‘Plein Soleil’ gives us on screen for the first time the psychopath Ripley taking on the love, wealth and trappings of his victim.

The Passenger (Profession: Reporter) by Michelangelo Antonioni (1975).

David Locke (Jack Nicholson) considers a change of identity.

'Plein Soleil', a great opening sequence and the first time we see Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley on screen.

Ripley doctors Philip Greenleaf's passport.

Tom, expecting that she will embrace him offers to leave Marge (played by Marie Laforet).

06 November 2005

Films and Filming, July 1975.

Dream double bill # 3 'Harold and Maude' and 'Rushmore'

It occurred to me that there were some similarities between 'Harold and Maude' and 'Rushmore' ; Max and Harold both have relationships with older women and both have over active imaginations.
Oh, and both films have Cat Stevens on their respective soundtracks.

I think this would make an excellent double bill, forget putting 2 Wes Anderson films together, this is his best film. I personally believe that both 'The Royal Tenenbaums' and 'The Life Acquatic with Steve Zissou' have been no where near as good as 'Rushmore'.

'Harold and Maude' directed by Hal Ashby (1971)

'Harold and Maude'

'Harold and Maude'

'Rushmore' directed by Wes Anderson (1998)



04 November 2005