Federico Fellini

Spike Lee’s Timely Diversity Comments Deserve Better Than an Honorary Oscars Ceremony No One Got to See

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Last weekend, Spike Lee finally got an Oscar. Sure, it followed his losses for Best Original Screenplay for Do the Right Thing and Best Documentary for 4 Little Girls (to say nothing of the trophies he deserved and wasn’t even nominated for, for Malcolm X and 25th Hour and so many more); it was an Honorary Award, presented to the filmmaker in recognition of his full body of work. And while it doesn’t negate his previous slights, what the hell, it’s also the only Oscar they gave Hawks, Altman, or Lumet, so he’s in good company. The difference, however, is that we got to see those iconic filmmakers receive their only Academy Award — and that’s no longer the case, which is particularly galling considering the importance of what Lee chose to tell his movie-making peers.
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The 6 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Whiplash,’ ‘Big Hero 6’

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We usually use this space to recommend the week’s five best new releases streaming and on disc, but some weeks that’s just not enough — and this is one of those weeks. Making their debuts are two of last year’s most entertaining flicks, fresh off of big wins on Oscar night; one of 2014’s best documentaries (and a surprising exclusion from that category); and three terrific catalog titles with spiffy new Blu-ray upgrades.
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50 Virtual Vacations on Film That You Can Stream Right Now

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Now that winter is officially upon us, you may be experiencing escapist fantasies of sunny beaches and warm sidewalk cafés on a daily basis. With temperatures dropping, we’d like to interrupt your rising Netflix queue with these 50 films that will surely help you get away from it all while bundled up at home. From stunning cinematography to warmhearted narratives and beyond, these staycation-worthy movies are all streaming on various platforms for your viewing pleasure. Why not take advantage of the long winter nights to let a little light into your life (even if it glows from the television or computer …Read More

10 Terrible American Remakes of Great Foreign Films

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This week, the Criterion Collection unveiled a new Blu-ray edition of The Vanishing, George Sluizer’s critically acclaimed and bluntly effective 1988 Dutch thriller. But it’s also a film with a tainted legacy, as most American moviegoers are far more familiar with the inferior and ill-conceived 1993 remake, starring Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, and Sandra Bullock. Yes, it was another case of the disastrous American remake, and rest assured, for every Departed or Birdcage, there are three or four stinkers like these.
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A Visual History of the Cannes Film Festival Poster

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The unveiling of the official Cannes Film Festival poster has become just as exciting as learning about the selections. The festival poster has always attracted the attention of cineastes everywhere, but the striking 2011 poster featuring an elegant 1970 photo of actress Fay Dunaway set against delicate text seemed to renew interest in the art form. In honor of the first Cannes Film Festival, which took place today back in 1946, we’ve compiled a visual history of the Cannes poster. From surreal illustrations, to memorable film stills, and the original artworks of beloved directors, these posters (and accompanying facts) remind us why the annual celebration on the French Riviera is still the most glamorous, essential, and exciting film festival around.
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Bill Hader Made an Epic List of Essential Movie Comedies; Here’s Where to Stream Them

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We all know Bill Hader’s a funny guy; with the release this month of The Skeleton Twins and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, he’s proving himself a pretty damn fine actor as well. But your film editor was heretofore unaware that Mr. Hader is such a movie geek — at least, that’s the impression I’m left with from his epic list of “200 Essential Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See.” It’s part of the new book Poking a Dead Frog by Mike Sachs, shared in full over at xoJane, and it’s a pretty remarkable (and esoteric) gathering of comedies and seriocomic dramas from the 1920s up to the present day. (And, I might add, there’s a good deal of crossover with our own list of the 50 Funniest Movies Ever Made.) So, with an eye on adding to your holiday weekend viewing queue, we combed through Netflix and Hulu Plus to see how many of Hader’s picks are available for your streaming needs. Links, and a few thoughts on his selections, after the jump.
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10 Great Directors and the Composers They Couldn’t Live Without

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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:
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Essential Art House Road Movies

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A commedia all’italiana classic arrives on Blu-ray via Criterion next week. Dino Risi’s Il sorpasso finds an unlikely duo — the young, shy Roberto (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and the older, freewheeling Bruno (Vittorio Gassman) — on a madcap road trip through Rome, Lazio, and Tuscany. The odd couple’s adventures veer from comedy to tragedy as themes of love, masculinity, repression, and self-discovery are explored. The influential film is a striking portrait of the struggles of modern life in Italy during the 1960s, using the road as a metaphor for discovery and expansion — not only in the case of Roberto and Bruno, but also the national identity. Here are other 10 other art house road films that journey down similar paths.
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15 of the Most Decadent Movies Ever Made

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Leave it to indie auteur Jim Jarmusch to create a vampire “hang-out” movie — one where the gorgeous and cultured undead “spend most of their time in their rooms, devouring books and music and bottled blood.” Jarmusch’s vamps are poetic idols of decadent decay, languid and spellbinding. It’s a seductive world we’ve attempted to hang onto just a little bit longer by exploring a similar decadence in these 15 …Read More