Orson Welles

An Orson Welles-Worthy Science Fiction Film Marathon

This year marks the centenary of Orson Welles’ birth, and celebrations are in full swing at New York’s Film Forum through February 3. The influential filmmaker enraptured audiences with his first feature at only 25 years old, 1941’s Citizen Kane — but the movie mogul also achieved tremendous success in theater, television, and radio. In one of his most famous broadcasts, 1938’s The War of the Worlds, Welles simulated an alien invasion on Earth, creating widespread panic, securing his fame one of the finest storytellers of the 20th century. In celebration of Welles’ 100th year, we’re looking to his dramatist roots and have compiled a science fiction movie marathon worthy of his War of the Worlds days. Add these movies to your Netflix and VOD queues. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015

A new year is upon us, and a peek ahead at 2015’s cinematic offerings is… well, kinda depressing. As you peruse the many 2015 preview pieces on movie sites, there’s a noticeable sameness — namely because they’re chock full of sequels. And some of those sequels (The Avengers, Mad Max, The Hunger Games, Pitch Perfect, Magic Mike, Mission: Impossible, and, yes, Star Wars) might be great! But their domination of said lists speaks to the weakness of said lists; we’re banking anticipation almost exclusively on known quantities, from earlier films and filmmakers. And with Sundance and the rest of the spring festivals still on the horizon, we can’t yet guess at the smaller sleepers. BUT, nonetheless, we present this look at a few slightly off-the-grid and out-of-the-box movies that might be worth talking about this… Read More

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How the Death of Mid-Budget Cinema Left a Generation of Iconic Filmmakers MIA

Earlier this year, John Waters — whose last movie, A Dirty Shame, was released a full decade ago — finally got the offer he’d been waiting for all this time. According to his hitchhiking chronicle Carsick, his very first driver was “Harris,” “an art school type” with a sideline in weed dealing who called himself a fan. They talked for a bit about movies before Harris asked the (five) million-dollar question: “How come you aren’t making a movie?” … Read More

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Orson Welles’s Final Film to Screen At Last

Orson Welles’s The Other Side of the Wind is one of the most storied of all unfinished/unreleased movies, a… Read More

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The 35 Best Books by Cinema’s Greatest Auteurs

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

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The 50 Best Documentaries of All Time

This week, The Criterion Collection is giving a welcome Blu-ray upgrade to F for Fake, Orson Welles’ 1973 documentary exploration of hoaxes, fakery, and magic. It was one of his last completed films, and one of his few documentaries — and, in true Welles form, he went and made one of the greatest nonfiction films of all time. How great? Well, its re-release is as good a time as any to spotlight the finest documentaries ever… Read More

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8 Films That Make Fascinating Use of Flashbacks

Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour, written by Marguerite Duras, pioneered the use of flashbacks to mimic flashes of memories. In the 1959 film, this device is used in telling the story of a French actress and Japanese architect as they share their perspectives on war. The flashback technique reminds us of the sometimes painful ways that memories persist within us, despite our best attempts to forget them. Duras, a prolific author, playwright, and filmmaker, is the subject of a current retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center through October 22. In honor of her groundbreaking work, we’re revisiting other films we love that use flashbacks to tell their stories. … Read More

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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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The 10 Best Faithful Shakespeare Adaptations on Film

This week, Roman Polanski’s scorching 1971 adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth makes its Blu-ray debut (thanks, once again, to the fine folks at the Criterion Collection). It’s a terrific movie; and noteworthy as being a Shakespeare adaptation that is mostly done “straight” — i.e., basically as written, rather than relocated to outer space or a high school or the mob underworld or anything crazy like that. In fact, it seems more difficult to just do the play, without all the bells and whistles. Here are a few savvy filmmakers who’ve pulled it off. … Read More

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