Alfred Hitchcock

10 Great Movies That Appear In 10 Other Great Movies

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

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

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

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Wickedly Inventive Happy Meal Tie-Ins for Cult Movies

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

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Eva Marie Saint on Kissing Cary Grant

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Drawings of Ominous Objects Found in Hitchcock Murder Scenes

We’ve had a thing for the Hitchcock drawings of Buenos Aires-born artist Martín Sichetti since we first set eyes on them last year. With a background in theater and costume design, Sichetti was fascinated by the visual dynamics in Hitch’s films. He started creating drawings of film stills, centered on the objects often fetishized by the director (handbags, telephones, and more). In a new series of drawings, titled Hitchcock Items for Murder, Sichetti has zeroed in on the objects themselves. These artworks feature items found in various Hitchcock murder scenes, free of accompanying figures (perhaps hinted at in the flesh tones of the paper) and background. The frayed hairs on a piece of rope, the black sheen of a leaden telephone, and the gleam of a knife blade are meticulously rendered so that the details of each object become more ominous the longer we study them. Hitchcock would approve. … Read More

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10 Great Directors and the Composers They Couldn’t Live Without

The Criterion Collection’s must-have box set of the month is The Essential Jacques Demy, but that title may not be entirely accurate — it’s also, in many ways, the Essential Michel Legrand, since all but one of the set’s six films (the weakest one, natch) were made by the French filmmaker in partnership with musical legend Legrand. And Demy and Legrand’s frequent collaborations are far from unusual; throughout Hollywood’s history, distinctive filmmakers have paired with composers who were well matched to their style, and been loathe to work without them. Here are a few of cinema’s most memorable director/composer partnerships: … Read More

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‘Fargo,’ ‘Pulp Fiction,’ and Other Classic R-Rated Movies as Children’s Books

We’ve shared work by Josh Cooley before, but we just can’t resist his illustrations that depict some of the more notorious scenes from R-rated movies as Dick & Jane-style children’s books. When we spotted more of his work — this time featuring scenes from Pulp Fiction, Alien, and Psycho — we knew we had to spread the word. Purchase them via Gallery 1988, but keep in mind that they might not be the best artwork for the nursery. … Read More

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