After we set eyes on the gorgeous, retro-styled poster for Xan Cassavetes’ Kiss of the Damned, which opens in theaters this weekend, our undying affection for the vampire genre was reawakened. It also helped that Kino Lorber recently released several vampy Blu-rays from erotic horror maestro Jean Rollin. Although the vampire mythos remains an immortal box office draw, the stylization of the legend — from the eerie, monochrome silhouettes of Nosferatu to the soft-focus Euro sleaze of the seventies — has consistently undergone aesthetic resurrections. We wanted to examine other visually sumptuous tales in vampire cinema, so we’ve selected ten of the most striking films for vampire lovers. What are your favorites?
Today would have been Lon Chaney’s 130th birthday (he died relatively young, of lung cancer, in 1930). Despite having been in approximately 160 silent films and earning a reputation as “The Man of a Thousand Faces,” a nickname that was memorialized as the title of a 1957 Chaney biopic, his groundbreaking work in character acting grows more obscure with each passing year. … Read More
There are many shades when it comes to fantasy films — works that cross genres effortlessly. Garden variety sword and sorcery movies don’t appear to have much in common with neo-noir fantasy tales like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, but there are shared mythical elements and phenomena that bond them.
The third season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is right around the corner (March 31), and we wanted to get in the mood for faraway lands, extraordinary creatures, and vivid storytelling by visiting 10 fantasy films you may have missed. There’s something for everyone here — from Amazon women, to trolls, and 20th-century Parisian adventures. Share your underseen favorites in the comments section. … Read More
A box set containing three early works from Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov arrives on Blu-ray (with two films on DVD) today from Cinema Guild. The masterworks include the poetic Whispering Pages (using Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment as its main inspiration), the aural Stone, and a surreal retelling of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, 1990′s Save and Protect. Sokurov has had a prolific career, admired by everyone from Susan Sontag to Darren Aronofsky. Even Vladimir Putin helped to fund Sokurov’s 2011 Cannes Golden Lion winner, Faust, which was surprising considering the director’s history depicting Russian leaders in a less than flattering light. In celebration of this rare Sokurov release, we wanted to explore other essential Russian films. Here are ten from us. Share what movies you would add to the list, below. … Read More
The brilliant Buster Keaton is the subject of a 15-disc Blu-ray box set released by Kino Lorber today. The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection includes an exclusive release of the 1927 film College, along with a 1966 industrial short that was Keaton’s final filmed performance. The iconic movie star’s deadpan delivery earned him the nickname, the “Great Stone Face,” which was an especially amusing contrast during the actor-director’s many stunts and unique brand of physical comedy. Keaton inspired us to explore other great faces in cinema, and we’ve catalogued them in a handy A to Z guide. (We wish the alphabet had more letters.) These thespians aren’t necessarily the most classically or popularly attractive movie stars, but their eccentric and expressive faces are a gateway to a deeply emotional and thrilling experience. It’s our most human connection to the celluloid. Who gives great face? Click through to see a few of our favorites, and tell us yours. … Read More
As you may have noticed, we love a good movie poster here at Flavorpill, so when we spotted these lovely international posters from the silent film era over at 50 Watts, we just had to share. Unlike most film posters nowadays, these feel like art in and of themselves, whether soft and lushly drawn or stark and evocative, perhaps filling in some of the emotional space that we now fill with sound. We don’t know about you, but they sort of make us want to go on a silent film-watching binge at our next opportunity. Click through to see a few of our favorites, and then be sure to head on over to 50 Watts to see the whole collection. … Read More
As Halloween draws near, you’ll undoubtedly see dozens of lists analyzing the scariest, goriest, and even the funniest of horror films. Nostalgia surrounding the spooky holiday conjures a breathless excitement to seek and share the movies that toy with our deep-seated fears. If you’re new to the horror genre, we don’t want you to feel left out of the fun. We’ve created a list of 50 essential films that will educate and entertain you all month long. Each week, we’ll be counting down to number one and exploring a breadth of titles. Whether you’re looking for a creepy tale to watch on Halloween night, or you’re interested in honing your horror knowledge, check out the fourth installment in our must-see movies, below. Then, catch up with parts one, two, and three. Finish the countdown with the top ten. … Read More
“Over eighty percent of silent films are lost. I’ve always considered a lost film as a narrative with no known final resting place — doomed to wander the landscape of film history, sad, miserable and unable to project itself to the people who might love it.” Only Canadian director Guy Maddin can make a filmmaker’s frustrating, unrealized dream project sound like a beautiful, but haunting, reverie. His Spiritismes project at the Centre Pompidou in Paris runs until March 12 and invites visitors to behold the creation of a new film. During séances (yes, communion with the dead) Maddin and a group of actors (including greats like Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, and many more) will become “possessed by the wandering spirits … to bring their movies back to life.” Maddin will be composing one film a day based on the supernatural experiences. If you’re crying, because Paris is far away and no one loves you enough to send you there, take heed of this live streaming website — broadcasting from 11 AM to 9 PM (6 AM to 3 PM ET).
We wanted to examine a few famous films that have been lost to the studio fires, oceans, and mismanaged hands of the past. Click through to see what gems we’ve uncovered. We promise the ectoplasm will be minimal. … Read More
A quick glance at the Walter Reuben Collection of early film lobby cards reminds you of the time-consuming process designers and artists used to go through in order to create their work. The rich collage of beautifully hand-rendered drawings and paintings — which lend a real quirkiness to the imagery — combined with amusing taglines and photographs are the awesome fruits of their labors, however. The first lobby cards — basically a pictorial synopsis of the movie — were black and white film stills. Eventually cards were created with a brown and white rotogravure process (an intaglio printing method). Artists would then hand-paint the cards to bring them to life. By the 1920s, a photogelatin/collotype process (an lithographic printing method) was favored.
Walter Reuben’s collection embodies mainly silent era movies and early talkie films. He explains on his website, “Each studio had a distinctive house style, and, even within a studio, the style could vary from one year to another.” Reuben also likens them to Persian miniatures. Once you take a look at several lobby cards from his unique collection past the break, we think you’ll probably agree with him. … Read More