Alfred Hitchcock

grace-of-monaco1

From Cannes to Lifetime: A ‘Grace of Monaco’ Disaster Timeline

By

Dozing off on the couch Memorial Day evening with a belly full of improperly cooked-out burgers and cheap beer is a bit of a holiday tradition (in our house, anyway), but this year, there’s a particularly fascinating bit of television programming for you to nod off to: Grace of Monaco, in which Oscar winner Nicole Kidman plays iconic movie-star-turned-princess Grace Kelly. This was supposed to be a giant movie: opening the Cannes Film Festival, awards season push by the Weinstein Company, Oscar glory. Instead, it’s quietly making its stateside debut on Lifetime, a network better known for cringe-worthy original biopics and tales of women in jeopardy. So how did such a prestige project end up on a punchline network? Let’s roll the tape.
… Read More

dumaurier

Daphne du Maurier Updated the Brontës, Inspired Hitchcock, Was a Gender-Fluid Iconoclast

By

Daphne du Maurier, born on this day in 1907, is a difficult author to categorize. While British literature was heading into the realm of complex modernism, her gothic mysteries and twisted love stories were a deliberate throwback to the motifs and concerns of writers like Anne Radcliffe and the Brontës, particularly Jane Eyre. Yet her storytelling was so eerie and compelling, so full of twists on the uncanny, that she inspired a few of Alfred Hitchcock’s most memorable screen efforts.
… Read More

mulhollanddrive

5 Noir Classics That Inspired ‘Dark Rooms’ Author Lili Anolik

By

Dark Rooms, the debut novel by Lili Anolik, is the sort of mystery that you will rip through in a night. Early on, narrator Grace Baker quotes Edgar Allen Poe: “The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.” For Grace, however, it’s not so poetic — her beautiful younger sister, Nica, was murdered on the grounds of their prep school, upending Grace’s life. In the aftermath of the killing, Grace is seeing things through a haze of prescription drugs, a college dropout obsessed with solving the crime.
… Read More

David Fincher and Alfred Hitchcock

David Fincher, ‘Strangers on a Train,’ and the Tricky Business of Remaking Hitchcock

By

It’s a classic good news/bad news scenario: the good news is that director David Fincher, screenwriter Gillian Flynn, and star Ben Affleck are looking to reteam after the critical and popular success of last fall’s Gone Girl. The bad news? It’s for a remake (or, as Variety inexplicably dubs it, a reboot) of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1951 adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train. The news is getting a pretty mixed reception among film buffs, even Fincher diehards, and for good reason: remaking Hitch is not, traditionally, a feat wisely attempted or successfully accomplished.
… Read More

Image by Federico Babina

Cool Illustrations Pair Hollywood Icons with Famous Architects

By

Illustrator Federico Babina has carved out an impressive niche documenting and interpreting popular culture through the lens of architecture, fusing building design with music, modern art, and film. Now, he’s used his unique sensibility to combine iconic architects and celebrities with the series Archilife, with each illustration placing a Hollywood star in a home designed by the appropriate draftsman. Check out the entire series on his website; our favorites are collected after the jump.
… Read More

Alfred Hitchcock Reading, February 16, 1965

The 35 Best Books by Cinema’s Greatest Auteurs

By

It’s an old standby that if a person is truly a master at one thing, he’s probably not great at much else. But when it comes to cinema, the auteur’s role is to be good at everything — sound, writing, camerawork, etc. — while also maintaining an overarching vision. So it isn’t surprising that there are so many great books written by cinema’s most famous (and infamous)… Read More

Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins in "The Shawshank Redemption"

10 Great Movies That Appear In 10 Other Great Movies

By

There are all sorts of reasons to see Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (debuting this week on Blu-ray, via The Criterion Collection), but here’s the one that finally clinched it for me: when they go see it in Middle of Nowhere. By inserting the earlier film into a later one, Nowhere’s director, Ava DuVernay, isn’t just telling us something about the kind of people who inhabit her story; she’s also savvily commenting on the kind of story she’s telling. And she’s not the only filmmaker to employ this very clever trick.
… Read More

Cover of "Hollywood Frame by Frame"

Fascinating, Unseen Publicity and Behind-the-Scenes Photos From Classic Movies

By

Leave it to Karina Longworth — host of the indispensable movie-buff podcast “You Must Remember This” and author of two of the best books in Cahiers du Cinema’s “Anatomy of an Actor” series — to cook up a whole new angle for looking at old movies. Her new book Hollywood Frame by Frame: The Unseen Silver Screen in Contact Sheets, 1951-1997 collects those direct prints that photographers used for selection and editing purposes in the pre-digital age, assembling unused and previously unseen behind-the-scenes photos and publicity shots for such iconic films as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Giant, Taxi Driver, Rear Window, and Some Like It Hot. They’re the cinematic equivalent of bootleg recordings — the almost-final versions, in which you see the elements slowly drifting together — as well as a fascinating document of Hollywood’s always-delicate process of packaging and presenting its product. We were lucky enough to get a look at a few pages from the book; check them out after the jump.
… Read More

Artist Credit: Newt Clements

Wickedly Inventive Happy Meal Tie-Ins for Cult Movies

By

The movie tie-in McDonald’s Happy Meal is one of our most venerable cultural barometers, a big “get” for family movies hoping to market directly to their most vocal consumers. Starting with Star Trek: The Motion Picture back in 1979 (the same year the Happy Meal rolled out), Disney hits, superhero smashes, and other family favorites have used the cardboard panels of the Happy Meal and the toy inside to hawk their cinematic wares. But what if Happy Meals were used to market slightly more adult fare? This is the question asked by Pinterest artist Newt Clements, who’s made an extensive collection of imaginary Happy Meals that we really, really wish existed.
… Read More