The Woman on the Beach (1947) - News Poster

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Criterion Collection: The River | Blu-ray Review

Criterion repackages Jean Renoir’s 1951 classic The River for Blu-ray, one of the master filmmaker’s several titles in the collection (fans may recall that Renoir’s Grand Illusion was the very first Criterion title). A title significant in many respects, being the first Technicolor film in India and Renoir’s first color feature, it’s simplistic beauty has gone on to influence future generations of filmmakers, including its prominently vocal champion Martin Scorsese. It also served as a launching pad for Satyajit Ray, who worked as an assistant on the film, and who would go on to create his own stunning debut four years later with the first chapter of his Apu trilogy, Pather Panchali (1955).

We experience the childhood of Harriet (Patricia Walters) in retrospect, her off-screen adult voice recounting one particular stretch of time while growing up in India with her mother (Nora Swinburne) and father (Esmond Knight
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Felicity Conditions: Seek and Hide

  • MUBI
During the editing (which is when I really start to see the film), I saw that it was Hitchcock who had guided us through the writing and Lang who guided us through the shooting: especially his last films, the ones where he leads the spectator in one direction before he pushes them in another completely different direction, in a very brutal, abrupt way.

Jacques Rivette on his Secret défense (1998), fro http://www.jacques-rivette.com/

Long before the much-vaunted, high-concept ‘mind-game movies’ like Memento (2000), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) or Inception (2010), there was Fritz Lang’s Secret Beyond the Door… (1947). The film is like a broken puzzle at every level, virtually begging us to rearrange its pieces and find its key. Indeed, one almost needs to formulate a ‘hypothesis of the stolen film,’ Ruiz-style, since the movie we have before us is not quite the one Lang and his talented writer Silvia Richards (Possessed,
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Light emerging from the shadows: Sos staff members share their thoughts on noir

Film noir. What is it? What are its defining characteristics? What films best express its qualities? Sex appeal, violence, cynicism, anti-heroes, femmes fatales, bleak commentary on modern society, maddening twists of fate that perpetuate one’s misery, running away from danger yet never making any ground…noir is and represents a wide variety of things, so much so that film experts do not even agree on whether it is a genre unto itself. (Two of the leading voices, James Ursini and Alain Silver, agree that it represents a movement rather than a definable genre.) For well over two years now, Sound on Sight has hosted the Friday Noir column which, on a near-weekly basis, has covered a great many noir entries of the commonly recognized classic period (1941 to 1959) as well as sizable portion of neo-noirs. Slowly and steadily, the column has explored the extremely exhaustive catalogue of titles with still many to come.
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The Noteworthy: Savides & Szeto & De Gregario, Fincher's Kickstarter, Pre-Code Sirens

  • MUBI
News.

Above: Harris Savides. Photo by Brigette Lancombe for Interview magazine.

We were saddened and shocked to hear of the passing of one of film's great cinematographers, Harris Savides. Our brief note includes an indelible clip from Gerry, one of his collaborations with Gus Van Sant. David Hudson has rounded up commentary at Fandor.

One of Savides' chief collaborators, director David Fincher, is also in the news with an animated film project that's appealing to Kickstarter to get funded.

Two big trailer debuts have sprung on us over the last week. One's the second trailer for Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained:

...and the other is the first full trailer for Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty:

Filmmaker Jon Jost has started a petition calling for Ray Carney to return underground director Mark Rappaport's film materials. As the petition explains:

"In 2005, when Mark Rappaport moved to France, Ray Carney,
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Daily Briefing. Karina Longworth on Elvis Mitchell @Lacma

  • MUBI
The La Weekly's Karina Longworth has turned a lunch with Elvis Mitchell, a lot of research and several phone calls into today's must-read. "One of the best known, and definitely most controversial, living film critics in America, Mitchell is both irresistibly charming and legendarily incapable of playing by the rules, or perhaps simply oblivious to them." And now: "He's been brought to Lacma as the embodiment of a major break from business as usual at the museum's film department." In one of the best pieces of film-related reporting I've seen in a long while, Karina outlines two histories, first, that of Lacma's evolution from "one of the city's premier destinations for cinephiles" to an institution with a "strategy to plumb the film industry for patrons," and second, that of the "former New York Times film critic who lunches at swank restaurants with movie stars and drives off in a cherry-red convertible.
See full article at MUBI »

Lonelyheart

  • MUBI
"It's all in the eyes," Robert Ryan once said of film acting. "That's where you do most of your work."

But was it true of Ryan himself? His own narrow and heavily lidded brown eyes often registered as black disks in the lighting schemes of the late 40s and early 50s—that is, when they weren't overwhelmed by his massive forehead and his thick tangle of dark hair, or a pair of tragic eyebrows that threatened to merge with the numerous crags in his face as he entered middle age. Not to mention his lanky, extremely powerful physique. Take a close look at Ryan in The Set-Up or On Dangerous Ground and you'll get a sense of the relative frailty and delicacy of most male movie stars. In the post-war era, only Burt Lancaster was as physically imposing (Kirk Douglas was always fit but he was self-contained and self-motivated, even
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Noir City, San Francisco’S Annual Film Noir Festival, Returns For Its 9th Annual Celebration Of Hard-boiled Classics At The Castro Theatre, January 21-30th, 2011

  • CinemaRetro
By David Savage

One of the most anticipated genre film festivals on the North American circuit is Noir City, the annual San Francisco Film Noir Festival, hosted at the glorious Castro Theatre – itself a cinematic landmark and “character” in countless movies filmed in the City by the Bay. This year’s edition, with the theme of “Who’s crazy now?” kicks off January 21st and runs through the 30th, 2011. Over the 10 day span, a tantalizing lineup of twenty-four films will be screened – including three brand new 35mm prints funded by the Film Noir Foundation, High Wall (1947); Loophole (1954) and The Hunted (1948).

“We show films you can’t see anywhere else,” said Noir City co-founder and noted film historian Eddie Muller over the phone from his Bay Area home. “We are the only festival that goes out of its way to preserve rare titles, then uses those proceeds to restore other rare titles.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

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