As you’ve possibly noticed, the holiday season is upon us — as is the holiday gift guide season. We’ve already helpfully offered up suggestions for the music lovers, bookworms, and even cat people on your list; now on to the cinephiles, those grouchy movie-lovers who seldom see daylight, yet will hopefully enjoy something from this assortment of books, discs, and other tree-ready paraphernalia. … Read More
Modern cinema owes a major debt to Robert Altman, whose style and sensibilities are replicated over and over again in contemporary films. His major contribution is the ensemble film, particularly his 1976 masterpiece, Nashville. Following a collection of assorted characters in the country music capitol, Nashville is about a country seemingly on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and its cast, featuring standout performances from Lily Tomlin, Henry Gibson, and Keith Carradine, delivers moments of both dramatic and comedic brilliance. For my money, however, I’ve always been taken with Ronee Blakley, who plays country star Barbara Jean, and who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance. … Read More
Karen Black, the legendary actress at the forefront of the 1970s “New Hollywood” movement, died Thursday from complications due to cancer. She was 74 years old. Few actors were more readily identified with the cinematic upheavals of the ‘70s, when a desperate industry tossed the keys to film school kids and idiosyncratic iconoclasts, and actors who’d have been consigned to character roles in the “Golden Age” (Hoffman, Nicholson, Spacek, Pacino, Burstyn) found themselves in starring roles. Black’s offbeat looks and gonzo acting style made her a perfect fit in the era, and you can basically sum up the period by watching her best films. Many of them aren’t available for streaming (damn you, Trilogy of Terror), but most of the major titles are, so here’s some suggestions for a weekend film festival. … Read More
Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week’s new releases are universally underwhelming (you may be tempted to watch Scream 4, but in the name of all that is Craven, resist that temptation), but we got a look at the titles expiring over the next couple of weeks and were amazed by how many great movies are disappearing — so the theme of this week’s streaming movie guide is, apparently, Watch Them While You Can. Join us after the jump for great stuff from Philip Seymour Hoffman, Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, Ethan Hawke, Robert De Niro, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, James Gandolfini, Marisa Tomei, the Coen Brothers, Mel Brooks, Sidney Lumet, Robert Altman, and Alfonso Cuarón, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
Hey, Game of Thrones/Community/True Blood/Firefly fans: how’d you like to see a major motion picture starring Peter Dinklage, Danny Pudi, Ryan Kwanten, and Summer Glau? So would we! Would you be surprised to learn that such a motion picture not only exists, but has been sitting on a shelf for two years? So would we! Such is the strange tale of The Knights of Badassdom, director Joe Lynch’s horror comedy that’s been the subject of much discussion and confusion this week. Badassdom, which was previewed at the San Diego Comic-Con clear back in 2011, is hardly the first film that sounded like a good bet, only to sputter in post-production and after due to unforeseen difficulties in financing, distribution, or rights. After the jump, we’ll take a look at ten movies that you’d think you would have heard of, and be able to see, based on the personnel involved — but you can’t, for all sorts of strange reasons. … Read More
We make no secret about our fascination with behind-the-scenes photos and footage from our favorite films. So, after spotting a collection of photos from Robert Altman’s surreal dream study 3 Women on Kino Images, we went searching for more beautiful shots from art house films. Most of these stills could be artworks themselves, and several provide a humorous respite from an otherwise serious subject. Click through for more beautiful, fascinating… Read More
Out tomorrow on DVD, and worth checking out, is Silent House, a film most notable not for its haunted-house narrative (which is adequate) nor its leading performance by Elizabeth Olsen (which is quite good), but for its remarkable technique: the entire film is cleverly shot to appear as though it is captured in one unedited, unbroken take. It wasn’t, of course (it’s pieced together seamlessly via several hidden “stitches”), and isn’t the first film to try to put that trickery across; earlier films like Russian Ark, Timecode, and PVC-1 have been executed entirely in a long take, though this is one of the few films to use the technique at the service of a genre story.
These films are part of a long tradition of stylish filmmakers showing off their craft via long, elaborate shots, often incorporating extensive camera movement and busy choreography to create an unending flurry of on-screen activity. After the jump, we’ve assembled ten of our very favorites; agree, disagree, and add your own in the comments. … Read More
Welcome to Flavorpill’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, we’ve got films from Lars von Trier, Terrence Malick, and Werner Herzog; detective movies from our most recent video essays; a Warhol rarity; the first feature from Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol director Brad Bird; and more. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More
Last weekend, two new films opened by famous filmmakers who are, to varying degrees, getting the hell out of the film business. Haywire director Steven Soderbergh has been teasing his early retirement for months now; it’s somewhat comical, actually, the way he keeps adding in projects that he wants to do before his self-imposed exile. George Lucas, who spent decades getting Red Tails made, told The New York Times that he was retiring, at least from the business of making blockbuster films (maybe).
Soderbergh is 49. Lucas is 67. Making movies doesn’t have a mandatory retirement age, like fighting fires or flying planes. But should it? … Read More
Woodstock. McCabe and Mrs. Miller. Klute. Dirty Harry. A Clockwork Orange. What’s Up, Doc? The Candidate. Deliverance. Super Fly. Scarecrow. Enter the Dragon. Mean Streets. Badlands. The Exorcist. Blazing Saddles. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Uptown Saturday Night. Night Moves. Dog Day Afternoon. The Man Who Would Be King. All The President’s Men. The Outlaw Josey Wales. The Late Show. Oh God! The Goodbye Girl. Straight Time. Superman. Going In Style. The Great Santini. That astonishing list of 1970s films — iconic, intelligent, commercial yet daring — is much of the legacy of John Calley, who died Tuesday morning at age 81. … Read More