It’s a bit of a dodgy week for home movie viewing, new release-wise at least; the calendar is dominated by the likes of that Penguins of Madagascar thing, the ill-advised Annie remake, and the unfortunate Exodus: White Gods and Kings. But there’s good news too, as this week sees the release of one of last year’s best comedies, the Blu-ray debuts of two all-time classics, and a hidden gem from Criterion. Plus, for you Netflixers, we offer a fave from ’98 rendered newly timely. … Read More
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
Idaho-based artist Eli Craven was paging through a photo book about iconic movie couples. “As I looked through them, I really wanted to see them come together, touch lips, make love, whatever comes next, so I started folding them into one another,” he told iGNANT. His sculptural collage series Screen Lovers was born. Cineastes will recognize fragments of famous film stars, like Rita Hayworth. Craven’s manipulation of the publicity stills unites the cinematic pairings in surreal and subtly humorous ways. See more of Craven’s work in our gallery, and feel free to nerd out in the comments by naming the couples you recognize. … Read More
She may have been a punchline to some and sex personified to others, but the life of blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe has become the ultimate tale of tragedy since her premature death at age 36 in 1962. Before she became a titillating screen goddess, Norma Jeane spent her childhood in foster homes, but fame didn’t give her the life she truly desired. Emotional insecurity, failed marriages, and drug dependency are just a few of the many things that took over the fragile woman’s life before her early demise. This week, audiences will get a chance to get a glimpse of Monroe’s inner struggles in the film, My Week with Marilyn. However, there have been many other screen queens before Monroe who suffered similar fates. Click through for a look at some of Hollywood’s fallen film goddesses. … Read More
In the days before the paparazzi was hunting down the famous with telephoto lenses and celebrity blogging empires were built upon up-shots of pantyless Britney Spears, a special breed of photographers thrived. Hollywood’s greatest actors were expertly lit with a sensuous haze and encouraged in their most stunning pose. Then, tens of thousands of prints were sent of to fans and media outlets. That’s how a mass of these vintage movie star portraits ended up in the hands of the collector John Kobal. Now through October 23rd, 70 classics from the 1920s through the 1960s are on view at the London’s National Portrait Gallery exhibit Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits. See Marlin Brando’s brooding mid a seductive slump, Elizabeth Taylor looking smokin’ on the beach, and Jean Harlow’s radiating extreme looks in our gallery. … Read More
On Monday, yet another public smoking law went into effect in New York City, this one banning the consumption of cigarettes in 43 square miles of parks, public plazas, boardwalks, and beaches. While it’s certainly not as shocking as the 2002 prohibition on smoking in restaurants and bars (“No smoking in bars now,” Eddie Izzard memorably warned, “and soon, no drinking and no talking!”), it is yet another sign of the continuing ghettoization of the habit.
I should pause a moment to point out that I am not a smoker — never have been, never will be. I recognize the indisputable health dangers, and the addictive nature of the product, and I’m not making light of them. But here’s the thing: I’m also a movie nut, so my feelings about smoking are, well, complicated. The classic teen impetus for smoking is that it “looks cool,” and countless anti-smoking advocates have done their best to debunk that notion (“Y’know what doesn’t look cool? A voice box,” etc.), but you know what? We’re all adults. We can say it. Smoking does look cool. At least, it often looks cool in movies, when it’s properly lit and framed and done by a movie star. So, in memory of the smoker, that most endangered species, join us after the jump for ten movies that make you feel like lighting one up (plus one that does quite the opposite). … Read More