We get excited whenever something arrives in the office from Drawn and Quarterly, but the latest one held an extra-special surprise: Leanne Shapton’s Sunday Night Movies, a collection of watercolor stills recreating scenes from some of the greatest films ever made. Page after page of monochromatic illustrations make this book a cinephile’s dream — so if you have someone like that in your life, consider it a late addition to our recent list of 2013′s best books to give as gifts. … Read More
Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More
Exciting news for silent comedy fans, movie buffs, and people who generally like things that are awesome: film historian Fernando Pena has discovered an alternate version of the classic Buster Keaton short The Blacksmith, featuring numerous never-before-seen gags and a new ending. The film, buried in a large purchase of European prints from eBay, is the kind of discovery that makes movie lovers’ hearts dance; there are so many great old films either lost entirely or no longer in their original form that these kind of finds in archives, collections, and odd spots make the impossible (the original cuts of Greed or The Magnificent Ambersons, say) seem possible. Here’s a few more exciting moments of cinematic archaeology. … Read More
This was a big week for actors we never thought would venture into the directing pool. Keanu Reeves will debut Man of Tai Chi in China this summer, honoring his Matrix martial arts trainer, Tiger Hu Chen. Michael Cera’s short film Brazzaville Teen-Ager, starring “Milkshake” singer Kelis and Charles Grodin, saw its YouTube premiere. Perhaps Alfred Hitchcock was just a little hasty when he recommended that all actors should be treated like cattle. … Read More
New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center kicks off the fiftieth (that’s right, 5-0) New York Film Festival today, with (as expected) a terrific selection of domestic indies, foreign films, documentaries, and big fall movies on tap. Many of our most anticipated pictures (like David Chase’s Not Fade Away, Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, Leox Carax’s Holy Motors, Olivier Assayas’ Something in the Air, and the opening night selection, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi) have not yet screened for critics, but here are our favorites from what we’ve seen so… Read More
1. The Library of Congress has selected 25 movies to be added to the National Registry in 2011. Among the diverse choices are Bambi, John Cassavetes‘ Faces, Robert Rodriguez‘s El Mariachi, Billy Wilder‘s The Lost Weekend, The Silence of the Lambs, Stand and Deliver… and, um, Forrest Gump. [via LA Times]
2. In a… Read More
We may be over a decade into the new millennium, but counterculture’s golden era of the 1960s and ’70s still captures the imagination of artists and bohemians the world over. It is that spirit of wistfulness that pervades Marc Hundley’s Joan Baez is Alive, a show that opens today at Manhattan’s Team Gallery and runs through October 29th. Appropriating the styles of promotional materials, Hundley personalizes tickets and posters that evoke the past with details from his own relationship with the artists he references: a Joan Baez poster commemorates the time and place where he first heard her album Diamonds and Rust, while A Woman Under the Influence bears the name of the Cassavetes film’s lead actress, Gena Rowlands, along with a date and location. Preview a selection of images that pay homage to everything from Virginia Woolf to free love after the jump. … Read More
At the end of last year, we made a few cultural resolutions for 2011 — including a vow that young, creative types need to be proud of our culture. And as tempting as it is to make fun, we’ve tried to hold ourselves to it, even though a replacement for the word “hipster” doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. So, in that spirit, we think it’s time to celebrate the good things stylish, artsy, often middle-class, young urbanites — from OGs like Patti Smith and John Cassavetes to the Bushwick dwellers of today — have contributed to society. Sure, it’s easy to undermine each and every one of these trends and accomplishments, but we’d rather acknowledge the small and large improvements this much-maligned group has made to our quality of life. … Read More
Well, we’ve all had a week to let the Oscar nominations sink in, and if there’s one thing almost everyone seems to agree on, it’s this: Christopher Nolan wuz robbed. As we noted when running down the snubs, it’s a bit surprising that Nolan’s dizzyingly complicated, masterfully-crafted work on Inception somehow didn’t net him a Best Director nomination, particularly after many felt he should have received that recognition for The Dark Knight two years ago. We know, it’s hard to feel too bad for a fabulously successful studio director; he can always take solace in his rave reviews, piles of money, and the knowledge that he gets to spend several months with a cat-suited Anne Hathaway. But it’s gotta sting just a little.
So take heart, Christopher Nolan: you certainly won’t be the first great filmmaker to get the cold shoulder from the folks at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And keep in mind that, while these folks never won, Best Director Oscars sit in the homes of Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Warren Beatty, Robert Redford (pattern?), Robert Zemeckis, James L. Brooks, and James Cameron. Perspective given? Good. Join us, won’t you, for a look back at some of the fine filmmakers who never won the Best Director honor. … Read More
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams deliver heart-wrenching performances in Blue Valentine, a gritty relationship drama about a crumbling marriage.
Capturing a cinematic realism akin to that of the great John Cassavetes, filmmaker Derek Cianfrance weaves the story of the couple’s impetuous start with its cramped and cheerless present-day reality. Cianfrance shot sequentially and refrained from rehearsing the actors to maximize the element of discovery for the love-found scenes. For the later sequences, which were shot after a month-long hiatus, the filmmaker had Gosling and Williams co-habitating full-time in claustrophobic living quarters. … Read More