Monday, May 23, 2022

Archive for the ‘The Roundup’ Category

Okay, these things are supposed to be once a week, not once a month or whatever it keeps being lately. Still getting into the groove. Working it out. In the meantime, this will be a supersized edition – most links are within the last couple of weeks or so, but there are some exceptions where I felt the post warranted it. πŸ™‚

Featured Links

MM: More Than the Silver Witch of Us All by Kim Morgan at Sunset Gun

Several posts popped up celebrating Marilyn Monroe’s birthday on June 1st, and I think this one my Kim Morgan is my wistful favorite – it’s wide-ranging and really gets at the person beneath the myth, something a lot of commentaries on Marilyn Monroe fail to do. See also The Lady Eve of The Lady Eve’s Reel Life discussing Marilyn’s final film The Misfits, a post that fits both Marilyn’s birthday and the Horseathon that was currently underway, sponsored by My Love of Old Hollywood. Also, Bobby Rivers at The Cinementals has a great post about Marilyn’s ability to make dorks and nerds feel loved.

Mary Pickford: The Girl Who Invented Celebrity by Carley Johnson at The Cinementals

The recent Mary Pickford blogathon generated a number of good posts, and I really enjoyed this one from The Cinementals. Yeah, I’m going to be linking The Cinementals a lot from now on, so just get used to it. They generate an awfully lot of high-quality content, and it’s getting to be one of the premier sites for classic movie fans. Anyway. Here Carley talks about Pickford as really the first big Hollywood celebrity – and how that differs from our current definition of the term. Also check out Page‘s picturiffic post about Pickfair at My Love of Old Hollywood, and Brandie‘s exploration of the working relationship between Pickford and writer Frances Marion at True Classics.

The Legendary Wit of Judy Garland by Lara at Backlots

Also celebrating a birthday this month was the wonderful Judy Garland (see my tribute), and Lara goes into Judy’s legendary wit, while also pointing out that it was something of a public front for her. Fascinating commentary, and the section about the candid interviews revealed a side of Judy that I didn’t really know about. See also Aurora‘s tribute to Judy at The Cinementals, and Ryan McNeil‘s perhaps fortuitously-timed Blind Spot review of A Star is Born.

The Latest Whither Criticism Kerfluffle

Seems like there’s a big debate over the “value of criticism” or “what is criticism” or approaches to criticism or what have you that takes over a bunch of the big dog film critic blogs for a while every six months or so, and even as they get repetitive, I always enjoy reading them. The current topic is the common one of film critics vs. mainstream opinions, kicked off immediately by a video podcast from the New York Times featuring film critic A.O. Scott and media commenter David Carr. Appalled by Carr’s lack of logical rigor, Jim Emerson analyzed the crap out of the video, while Glenn Kenny offered his thoughts on criticism itself. Meanwhile, others looking in, like the excellent amateur blogger Velvet Cafe (whose blog is a must for extremely well-written personal experiences with movies) wondered why all the fuss over such a trifling video. I left my own long comment on Velvet Cafe’s blog, but the gist of it is that I agree with Emerson, though I’m not as angered as he was. The video mostly just made me frustrated that the level of discussion it displays is considered adequate in any way. It’s a ridiculous video, and while it might not be worth getting up in arms over, Emerson’s breakdown of it is exactly right. If this is what passes for critical discourse at the New York Times (about criticism or anything else), then we’re in a bad way.

Well, the Roundup kind of took an unplanned hiatus while I recovered from the TCM Film Fest and struggled to get caught back up with the blogosphere. I’m still running a bit behind, but not by much, so let’s go ahead and try to get back into the groove here.

Featured Links

For the Love of Film Blogathon

The For the Love of Film Blogathon, now in its third year, supports film preservation by raising awareness of the need for preserving film and seeking to raise financial support for a specific film preservation cause of project. This year, the project is The White Shadow, the recently rediscovered 1924 film that Alfred Hitchcock worked on as assistant director (and many other things, most likely), currently the oldest film known to exist that Hitchcock played a part in making. In order to make it possible for more people to see the film, the National Film Preservation Foundation wants to put it streaming online, a conversion and delivery system that will cost several thousand dollars. Those of us blogging as part of the For the Love of Film Blogathon this year will be discussing Hitchcock’s work in general, his silent films, or other silent films in light of the importance of preserving this cinematic heritage and making it available to a wider audience. My piece about The White Shadow itself is right here. In the meantime, Marilyn Ferdinand of Ferdy on Films, Farran Smith Neame of The Self-Styled Siren, and Roderick Heath of This Island Rod are collecting the links to other participating blogs as articles get posted. It’s quite a collection already, which I look forward to delving into.

Tales of Hollywood: Preston Sturges’ Wild Ride by The Lady Eve of The Lady Eve’s Reel Life

Preston Sturges is one of my favorite writers and directors, and The Lady Eve (who has taken her pseudonym, of course, from one of his best films) has an excellent biographical piece about him and not only how he became one of a Hollywood’s first writer/directors (paving the way for Billy Wilder and many, many others), but about his other “job” as a restaurateur, starting the famous Players’ Club on Sunset, a popular hangout for many celebrities in the 1940s. She also tells of how the place basically ruined him. It’s a fascinating story that I really didn’t know anything about.

My 11 Favorite Cinematographers by Alex Withrow of And So It Begins

Cinematography is one of my favorite things about the movies, and it’s not uncommon that a movie that looks really beautiful or distinctive will jump up a couple of notches in my estimation no matter what I think about the rest of it (story, acting, etc.). It’s all too easy to fall back on auteurist shorthand and credit a film’s look to the director – which is not always totally wrong, but often when directors have a distinctive and consistent “look” to their films, it’s because they tend to work with same cinematographer over and over again. Alex Withrow jumps straight to the source here and talks about his favorite cinematographers. Then he realized there weren’t any female cinematographers on his list, and went specifically looking for women to feature, resulting in this post. Then he went to find the films that he loved the look of, but weren’t by otherwise known cinematographers, and came up with this post for B&W cinematography and this one for color cinematography. All in all, an excellent set of posts.

Thomas Edison and the Origin of Sound and Color in Films by Lara at Backlots

Quick, film history 101: when did sound come into motion pictures? 1927, with The Jazz Singer. What about color? 1936 with Becky Sharp. Both common answers and not totally incorrect, and yet also…incorrect. As much as I love B&W films and think color is an option, not a necessity, and as much as I’ve grown to love silent cinema and think it was just as high an art form as sound film eventually became, the early pioneers of cinema were no more content with B&W and silence at the dawn of cinema than they were in the late ’20s and early ’30s, and color and sound experiments started way back with Thomas Edison, one of the original developers of cinema. Lara lays out his experiments with both color and sound in a highly informative and interesting post.

The 10 Greatest Movies of All Time (According to the Internet) by Cole Abius at Film School Rejects

If you follow Roger Ebert on his blog or on Twitter, you may have noticed him debating over his votes for this decade’s Sight & Sound poll, which creates a top ten list every decade based on the lists submitted by prominent (and invited) film critics. The poll has a certain cache, but it understandably leans heavily on accepted canon. Not necessarily a bad thing, but FSR decided to hold their own poll, inviting various prominent members of online media and film-related websites to make their own poll, which has some interesting results – about half accepted canon, and about half what I’d consider the canon of 30-year-old men, in other words, well-beloved 1980s favorites. Which is fine, and actually creates a more diverse list that captures something of our zeitgeist. Both lists have their place, and it’s fun to see alternative takes on the “best” movies of all time.

The Future is Female: 2012 is the Year of the Empowered Girl by various writers at Row Three

A group effort by a bunch of Row Three writers, in which I played only a humble part, writing about Katniss Everdeen. Others covered Haywire, Prometheus, The Avengers, The Secret World of Arrietty, Brave, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, A Lonely Place to Die, and more, talking about how this year seems to be something of a watershed in terms of having a large number (and variety) of female leads in the kinds of films that are traditionally centered on male figures. Lots of room for disagreement, additions, or even wondering whether making such a list actually negates its own purpose, so come on over and leave your thoughts.

More Links!

  • Christopher Morris at The Cinementals lists his top five Ginger Rogers films (sans Fred Astaire)
  • Joanna at Man I Love Films acclaims Steve McQueen as the original badass, and she is totally right
  • Dan Heaton of Public Transportation Snob picks out ten of his favorite podcasts; I already listen to and enjoy a few of these, but I’ll definitely be checking out some more!
  • Richard Brody calls for Every Movie Now – can’t say I disagree with him, but restoration/digitization I’m sure is a barrier
  • Where Danger Lives turns up a veritable plethora of Joan Crawford posters
  • Max Steiner is pretty much the father of movie scores, and Lara at Backlots (again!) runs down his career and influence thoroughly and engagingly
  • Seems like everyone I know has been writing about Murnau’s The Last Laugh lately, and now Chris Edwards of Silent Volume joins his voice to the throng – apparently I gotta see this thing, and soon
  • Andrew at Row Three (and other sites, but I saw it here first, regardless of favoritism) highlights some fun facts about Universal Studios as they turn 100

Cool Trailers, Videos, and More

  • Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, etc., in a period neo-noir? Based on that and this trailer, I’m there the day Gangster Squad opens
  • I keep forgetting Safety Not Guaranteed exists, but with Aubrey Plaza in a time-travel-esque film, I gotta quit doing that – here’s the trailer
  • Can Ben Affleck go three for three as a director? Judging from this trailer for Argo, it seems very possible
  • Criterion has Three Reasons for The Gold Rush
  • Classic film fans! Check out this group photo and see how many you can name – I only got 15-20 or so (right click and say “open in new tab” to see it larger)

Noteworthy News

  • The Avengers is just setting records all over the place – $200m first weekend, $100m second, and over $1 billion worldwide
  • Jessica Chastain drops out of Iron Man 3 (boo!), but Rebecca Hall may be her replacement (yay!) – I love Hall almost as much as Chastain, and she definitely deserves more exposure, so I’m stoked
  • The existence of promo posters for Sin City 2 and Machete Kills suggest what Robert Rodriguez is up to lately
  • Edgar Wright‘s next movie may be The World’s End, a third film with Pegg & Frost; he’s still planning Ant-Man, though!
  • Apparently Film Socialisme isn’t to be Jean-Luc Godard‘s last film, after all; he’s prepping Goodbye to Language (which should really be the title of all his movies), and it’s gonna be in 3D – sorry JLG, I gotta *eyeroll* that
  • Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof working on a mysterious sci-fi project? Yeah, I’m there

Featured Links

Remaking Metropolis by David Kalat at Movie Morlocks

Once again, David Kalat blows me away with one of his wide-ranging and highly informative posts. This time, he approaches the Complete Metropolis with some trepidation – not because the restored version of the film isn’t amazing (it is, and he agrees), but because the push to market it as the full version of what we’d only known in part before downgrades the earlier cuts unfairly. After all, that shorter cut is what most people have known and fallen in love with for the past 75 years. On his way to this argument, though, he also details the production and troubled distribution of the film, discussing in detail how the cuts got made in the first place and why, and the seemingly subtle but actually quite significant changes to the story that resulted from them. Probably the best post I read all week.

A Meditation on Mad Men by The Lady Eve at The Lady Eve’s Reel Life

The Lady Eve has been hosting a whole series of excellent posts about Mad Men on her blog (most of which seem to be relatively spoiler-free, discussing the overall aesthetics and appeal of the show rather than specific plot details – which is good for me, since I’m still back in S3 somewhere), and this collection of thoughts from the Lady Eve herself captures a lot of the major themes of the show – the sense of nostalgia that calls us to a show about the ’60s even as Don Draper uses it to hearken to an even earlier time in his ad campaigns, the search for identity that haunts Don and his family and to some degree the ’60s as a whole, and of course, the exquisite detail of the production design and scripts that seem to bring not just the look of the ’60s, but the hopes and fears of that era into startling reality.

The Psychology of Betty Draper Francis by Terry Towles Canote at A Shroud of Thoughts

Yes, another Mad Men-related post. What are you gonna do about it? Just please don’t take this opportunity to spoil me on what was apparently a brilliant episode last night, because I am a season and a half behind. This post pulls some stuff from season 4, I think, but not enough to bother me. Betty is pretty much a shoo-in for least-liked character on the show, and Canote certainly doesn’t whitewash any of her frankly horrible behavior throughout the show, but he does take the opportunity to psychoanalyze her a little bit, in terms of her family background, life with Don, and the social atmosphere of the ’60s. I don’t always agree with psychoanalytical approaches, but this one manages to discuss an awful lot about the show in general, and the way the writers have set Betty up to be the person she is.

Memories of Midnight Movies by Will McKinley at The Cinementals

A simply delightful post, relating Will’s experience with midnight movies on Long Island in the ’70s and ’80s. He discusses the midnight movie phenomenon in general, even though he was too young at the time to really be a part of it, and the first time his dad took him to a midnight movie – not Rocky Horror Picture Show or Eraserhead, though those were two of the films to popularize the concept in the late ’70s – but a midnight screening of classic Three Stooges movies. I guess we know why Will’s a Cinemental!

Pioneers of the Corman Film School by Alex Withrow at And So It Begins

Alex reminds us that without Roger Corman, we’d be unlikely to have the many of the most talented directors of the past few decades, and New Hollywood itself probably would’ve been a very different time. Known for his low budget, quickly shot B movies, Corman used his studio AIP to give young directors a shot at making films the same way he did – quick and dirty. But by giving them the freedom they needed, he ended up launching careers for people like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, and more. Alex runs through a bunch of these directors, talking a bit about the films they made for AIP and what they went on to do later. Thank you, Mr. Corman, for your contribution to American cinema.

Playing by Different Rules: Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray by Marilyn Ferdinand at Ferdy on Films

Classic Hollywood loved to pair the same actors together over and over again, with many costarring teams becoming almost inextricably linked – Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, William Powell and Myrna Loy, Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. Marilyn Ferdinand points out that Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray costarred no fewer than three times together (not quite as often as those other teams, granted, but still a decent amount), and yet all their films are so decidedly different that it’s tough to consider them a “team” in the same way as some of the others. She takes a look at these three films and at Stanwyck and MacMurray’s performances in them.

More Links!

Cool Trailers, Videos, and More

Noteworthy News

  • Nicole Kidman will play Grace Kelly in an upcoming film from Olivier Dahan (La vie en rose) – if you don’t believe that’s great casting, just watch her in The Others and get back to me
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt won’t be in Django Unchained after all; he has a scheduling conflict due to his directorial debut. That’s a good reason, I think, but still.
  • Apparently Greta Gerwig is a director now, with a surprise film headed for festivals this fall
  • David Michôd’s debut Animal Kingdom turned a lot of heads, including in Hollywood, but he’s following it up with another small Australian film – good for him, and I’ll be there to watch it
  • Vincenzo Natali is set to follow the underrated Splice with backwards ghost story Haunters, with Abigail Breslin in the lead

Featured Links

The Golden Age of Inappropriate Behavior in Movie Theatres by Glenn Kenny at Some Came Running

With a recent study coming out suggesting that over 50% of young theater goers would like to be able to text in movie theatres, a bunch of film blogs have offered their opinions on the subject, mostly aghast at the idea. Glenn Kenny doesn’t directly disagree, but offers a very entertaining account of attending rowdy second run theatres in the ’70s as background for why he can’t get very worked up over the whole texting thing. He does bring up an interesting point, insomuch as our tendency to complain about current audiences implicitly suggests that audiences used to be much more polite and respectful, which my research doesn’t bear out any more than Glenn’s experience, but I still think there’s a difference. The audiences he’s describing (besides being at second run theatres) are at least still engaged either with the movie or with each other – it maintains a communal experience that clearly generates memorable stories. Texting on the one hand isolates the texter from the audience around them and imposes the texter’s non-movie, non-communal activity on those around them, and generates nothing memorable in return. Still, Glenn’s point that there is no mythical “golden age” of perfect cinema audiences is well-taken.

The Films of Billy Wilder: A Retrospective by The Playlist

Billy Wilder is one of my favorite filmmakers, and I’m far from alone; as The Playlist mentions in the opening paragraph, The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius thanked only one former filmmaker in his Oscar speech, and that was Billy Wilder. The man made a few mediocre films, but he has an extraordinarily consistent output of great films, and The Playlist goes through them all chronologically, with a well-written and informative paragraph about each one.

The Cinementals Episode 3: Scott McGee by Carley & Will at The Cinementals

I’ve known Carley before thanks to her blog The Kitty Packard Pictorial, and Will on Twitter, and now they’ve joined forces with some other classic movie fans to create The Cinementals, what looks to be an invaluable classic film site. They’re already off to a strong start with one of the best classic film podcasts I’ve heard, and this episode is particularly solid thanks to special guest Scott McGee, a producer at TCM (he produces a lot of the promotional and tribute videos that play between films on the network). With the TCM Classic Film Festival looming, they talk a bunch about that, but also about Scott’s experience seeing the Napoleon restoration in San Francisco, the fight to save Pickfair Studios, and more.

Perils, Pitfalls, and Predicaments Galore: The Silent Serial Queens by Brandie at True Classics

A major stereotype of silent film serials is the damsel in distress threatened by a mustachioed villain – as parodied in Dudley Do-Right, for example. But actually, an awful lot of early serials had female heroines, who were often quite capable of taking care of themselves. Brandie runs down a few of the most prominent (the only one I’d heard of before was The Perils of Pauline) ones. Of course, there were also plenty of male-centric serials in the teens (Les Vampires, etc.) and even more into the 1930s, when comic strip-type adventure heroes took over. But that’s a topic for another time.

Veneration and Its Discontents by Doug Dibbern at MUBI

It’s old news at this point that film studios are planning to go all-digital in the near future, but many cinephiles are still conflicted about the inevitable shift from film to digital. I’m conflicted myself, and Doug Dibbern does a great job of articulating the myriad of feelings we have about this. Taking the occasion of a demo of a DCP film shown side-by-side with its 35mm counterpart, Dibbern points out that part of our concern is an irrational veneration for physical, as if “the film” (in a Platonic sense) exists there more purely than anywhere else, as if different prints and different screenings weren’t already unique due to many different factors. As he says, DCP projection is often excellent, and it’s hard to find rational reasons to complain…but as he finishes in a more elegiac tone: “I know it’s not rational to revere film as a manifestation of a Platonic ideal, but that misplaced reverence, irrational as it is, may be why we were all drawn to art in the first place.”

The New Cinematic Dystopia of The Hunger Games by Landon Palmer at Film School Rejects

Holding Out for a Hero: Katniss and the New (Female) Role Model by Shelagh M. Rowan-Legg at Twitch

I’m putting these two together, both very worthwhile articles about the newest box office blockbuster, The Hunger Games. I finally saw it this weekend, so I got to read all the articles about it. These do both contain spoilers. Palmer points out that while many dystopian stories go from ignorance to knowledge to action, while The Hunger Games eschews the ignorance portion – even with the prevalent and misleading media, Katniss knows that the system is bad, she just needs a call to action and an opportunity to take it. Meanwhile, Rowan-Legg talks about Katniss the character as a hero, specifically in the tradition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, suggesting that it both does and doesn’t matter than she’s female. It’s a good, strong reading of a well-written and well-played character.

More Links!

  • Dan at Public Transportation Snob catches up with In the Mood for Love, and gives it an extremely solid review
  • Ed Howard at Only the Cinema highlights Castaways from Turtle Rock from overlooked New Wave director Jacques Rozier – I admit that I’ve not heard of Rozier, but I’m intrigued now
  • Bilge Ibiri at They Live by Night reprints an article about Jacques Rivette’s notoriously difficult to find 13-hour film Out 1 – and makes me want to seek it out myself
  • Steve at 1001 Plus gets to Magnolia, which is easily my favorite PT Anderson film – Steve liked it too, though his commenters are mixed. πŸ™‚
  • Roderick Heath at Ferdy on Films liked John Carter quite a lot, and writes it up in his usual extremely compelling way – I was already curious, but now I actually really want to see it
  • Tyler at Southern Vision writes up INLAND EMPIRE as one of his all-time favorite films, an estimation I agree with whole-heartedely
  • Emil at A Swede Talks Movies picks 9 Director-Actor Teamups he wants to see – great choices all across the spectrum; who would you want to work together?
  • The Playlist picks out both actors and actresses they think are on the rise in 2012 – lots of these people I haven’t even heard of, but I’ll be looking out for them now!
  • Martin Scorsese recommends these 39 foreign films to an aspiring filmmaker. I’ve seen 23 of them; how about you?
  • Stevee Taylor of Cinematic Paradox bemoans the state of current DVD shops, from an insider’s persective
  • Over at Comic Alliance, Lauren Davis wonders if Batman has a moral obligation to kill the Joker (in the comics) and brings in noted philosophical positions to argue it out

Cool Trailers and Videos And Other Stuff

Noteworthy News

Featured Links

Detour‘s Detour by David Kalat at Movie Morlocks

For my money, you won’t find a more quintessentially noir film than 1945’s Detour – it’s got it all, from low contrast lighting to defeatist narrator to femme fatale, and in many ways, Detour displays the most primal forms of all these noir tropes. A while back I argued that Tom Neal’s desperate narrator is a basically good man pulled inevitably towards tragedy, but David Kalat has a slightly different and pretty convincing take on it as well – that Al is a misanthrope who could quite possibly be guilty of everything that seems fated to happen to him. He also brings in much more about the source novel, its author Martin M. Goldsmith, and director Edgar G. Ulmer than I ever knew, making this a fascinating read – and making me want to rewatch the film again immediately.

Narration, Voiceover, and the Shape of the World by Bilge Ebiri at They Live By Night

Voiceovers are often condemned ipso facto because they’re seen as being clumsy expository devices or ways to tell the audience about an event or character without just showing us. And certainly, they can be used that way, as lazy storytelling devices. But there are lots of other ways to use voiceover as well, and many voiceovers are inextricably part of a given film’s appeal. Try to imagine Badlands without Sissy Spacek’s dreamy, poetic voiceover (or True Romance, for that matter). Bilge Ebiri uses Malick’s early films as examples, as well as several others that use voiceovers either poetically or to actually comment on or counteract the narrative-as-shown. There’s a lot more than could be written about this topic, for sure, but this is good entry on the subject.

Fortress of Solitutude: Jeanne Dielman… by Dennis Cozallio at Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule

Chantal Akerman’s three and a half hour long opus Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai de Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles is something of a test of endurance – it shows three days in the life of the title character, three days of carrying out menial housework, cooking, cleaning, caring for a neighbor’s baby, writing letters, and entertaining a gentleman caller (yes, that’s a euphemism). Dennis Cozallio’s excellent essay points out how effectively the film conveys “the crushing weight of Jeanne’s mundane day-to-day existence,” and he’s totally right. It’s a perfect example of how to make a “boring” film really well – when shifts in her routine do happen, the effect is immense.

In Character: William H. Macy by Alex at And So It Begins…

I’ve shared entries from Alex Withrow’s always-worthwhile series on character actors before, but when he got to William H. Macy, I couldn’t resist. Macy is one of those actors who always perks up a film with his presence, and in fact, I’ll often go see films just because he’s in them. Even so, there are a lot on Alex’s list I haven’t seen, so I’ll have to get on that. I do particularly recommend The Cooler, which actually stars Macy, even though he’s still in a very “character actor” kind of part. And though Alex didn’t mention it, he’s a ton of fun in Mystery Men.

10 Little Known Movies You Need to See Now by Kevyn Knox at Anomalous Material

Kevyn Knox comes up with some pretty awesome lists for his Anomalous Material column, and though this one is largely unthemed, it’s still a really great read. I’ve only seen a couple on here (one of them is Detour; see above for how much I love that film), but I’m definitely planning to move the others higher on my list. I hope Kevyn does more lists like this in the future. As if my to-watch list NEEDED to be any longer πŸ™‚

Film Art: An Introduction Reaches a Milestone With Help from the Criterion Collection by David Bordwell

After pioneering the use of actual film captures instead of production stills for their textbook Film Art: An Introduction, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson are going on step further, partnering with the Criterion Collection to include video clips with commentary for teachers to use along with the textbook. You’d think this kind of thing would be a given by now, but copyright laws are difficult even in an academic context, where you’d assume fair use would reign supreme. So getting Criterion’s cooperation on this is a large step forward, and hopefully will open the door for more distributors and film textbook authors to take advantage of digital media in the classroom. Here’s an example of what they’re doing, with Thompson discussing Eliptical Editing in Varda’s Vagabond. (click link to open in a lightbox)

Help Rescue the Hitchcock 9 at BFI

Hitchcock’s films remain some of the most well-known and best-loved films of the entirety of classic cinema (and I’m not only speaking for myself there, I think), but there are still some of his films in need of preservation and restoration – especially his nine surviving silent films. The fact that only one of his silent films has been lost is amazing in and of itself, but these nine still need our attention. A few of them have been released on DVD, but the video quality is not the best. To rectify this situation, the BFI is undertaking the huge project of restoring all nine of these features to present as a retrospective in London in 2012, and they’re still raising funds to complete the project.

10 Reasons Why 21 Jump Street Exceeded Expectations by Oliver Lyttleton at The Playlist

Oliver Lyttleton was killing it this week over at The Playlist, with at least three or four editorials that I considered featuring. I decided to go with this one because these ten reasons are so solid regardless of the film at hand – if more studio filmmakers would remember these ten things, we’d have such better Hollywood films all around. I haven’t actually seen 21 Jump Street myself, but I’m far likelier to check it out at some point with articles like this floating around.

More Links!

Cool Videos, Trailers, and More

Full Prometheus Trailer – wowsers
Sound of My Voice TrailerAnother Earth‘s Brit Marling as a cult leader/possible time-traveler? I’m in.
David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis Teaser (NSFW)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Trailer #2
Snow White and the Huntsman Trailer #2
Mondo artist Kevin Tong’s Edgar Wright Triple Bill poster – WANT

Noteworthy News

This post was mostly ready last week, but life (and hackers) intervened and delayed me. I spruced it up with some links from this week, but I also had to do a lot of skim reading this week and utilize the dreaded “mark as read” function in GReader, so I’m sure I missed some great posts from people I was following. I’m sorry, I’m really trying to do better. The more I do this, the more I get invested in reading people’s blogs – which is great, but time-consuming. In any case, all these links are well worth your time, even if they are a week or two old at this point.

Featured Links

Past/Not Past: A Tale of Two Cinemas by Adam Cook at The Auteur’s Notebook

It’s difficulty to avoid comparing the two 2011 films that owe a great debt to silent cinema (and cleaned up at the Oscars), but they actually take very different approaches. Hugo is a film ABOUT silent cinema, but set after the silent era, as two kids become acquainted with one of the first motion picture giants, Georges Méliès, and his films. The Artist imitates silent cinema, setting its story in Hollywood in the late 1920s and depicting the transition into sound. I liked both films, but probably enjoyed The Artist a little more – that said, Adam Cook makes a REALLY strong case for why Hugo is actually much more celebratory of silent cinema than The Artist, which subtly undercuts its own nostalgia (probably unintentionally). Really good and thought-provoking piece that made me want to rewatch and re-evaluate both films soon. See also Glenn Kenny discussing Singin’ in the Rain‘s attitude toward silent cinema, in light of the frequent comparisons between it and The Artist.

An Introduction to the Flickchart World of Ranking Films by Emil at A Swede Talks Movies

The movie-ranking website Flickchart has been around for a while, and yet it still seems to fall under the radar a lot of the time. I know a lot of passionate users (disclaimer: I know the founder and a lot of the contributors and once in a while contribute to the Flickchart blog), but I know just as many people who either haven’t heard of it or just checked it out a couple of years ago when it launched and then forgot about it. But they’ve continued innovating, and as of now, I’d say it’s ones of the most useful movie websites I frequent. Fellow Flickcharter Emil has written up a wonderful introduction to it, and though I intend to do a write-up over at Row Three soon (there are a ton of new features since the last time I wrote about the site), I have to defer to Emil for one of the best posts I’ve seen explaining how the site works and what value it has.

John Ford and the Citizen Kane Assumption by Kristen Thompson at Observations on Film Art

Interestingly enough, I just got finished defending How Green Was My Valley‘s Oscar win a week or so ago in my Oscars Rank ‘Em post, and here’s Kristen Thompson doing the same thing, only far more eloquently and in greater detail. She suggests, and I think it’s true, that the film is usually denigrated SOLELY because it beat the apparently untouchable Citizen Kane out for the Oscar. Not only does she point out how unfair that is, but she goes on to discuss exactly why How Green deserved to win the Oscar, and delves a bit into why Citizen Kane gets all the praise and study instead. It’s a really great article on a lot of fronts.

Gone Too Soon Blogathon at Comet Over Hollywood

Comet Over Hollywood hosted a blogathon last weekend devoted to remembering the many classic Hollywood celebrities who passed away far too young. Obvious names like Carole Lombard, Jean Harlow, James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe came up of course, but there are literally dozens of people memoired here, from huge stars to starlets who barely got the chance to make an impression. I haven’t had time to read them all yet, but the ones I have are great. I’d especially point out True Classic’s post on the tragic short adulthood of child star Bobby Driscoll and a two-part piece on Thelma Todd, whose death remains mysterious, from My Love of Old Hollywood.

Travelling Through the Movies by Jessica at The Velvet Cafe

All of Jessica’s posts are simply delightful; basically, if you love film and delightful people and you’re NOT following The Velvet Cafe, you’re doing it wrong. I actually had another one of her posts set for up here (the one on Swedish cinema which is now linked below under “more links”), but this one hit one of my favorite things of all time – traveling. And rather than just do a list of films where people take trips, which would still have come up with a good lot of excellent films, Jessica bases her list around films that explore different aspects of traveling. Everything from road trips to journeys of self to being stuck in airports to feeling lost in an unknown country. It’s a great set of films, and a unique way of looking at them.

Unforgettable Scenes: It’s Still Not Over by Tyler at Southern Vision

I’ve only recently discovered this blog, but I can already tell it’s going to be one of my favorites. Here Tyler takes a scene from Bela Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies (which is probably his most accessible film, from what I can gather – it’s the one everyone told me to try when I failed to make it through his 7.5-hour Satantango) and describes his love for it with great eloquence. Like him, I’m not entirely sure I could say why I found Werckmeister Harmonies magical, but I did, and this scene is definitely the part of it that I found the most memorable.

The Woman in the Window by the Self-Styled Siren

Almost every time I’ve mentioned Fritz Lang’s The Woman in the Window since I saw it last year, I’ve said some combination of “it’s a wonderful little film noir, but the ending is a total cop out.” I’m not alone in thinking that, but the Self-Styled Siren disagrees. She defends the ending as intentional, fitting, and more subversive than it seems on first viewing. I’m not sure I’m totally convinced, but she’s definitely given me second thoughts, and I’ll definitely have her thoughts in the back of my head next time I watch the film.

How John Carter Succeeds Where the Star Wars Prequels Failed by Jack Giroux at Film School Rejects

See, see, I’m not only featuring articles about classic films! This one’s only been out, like, ONE WEEK. I haven’t seen it myself, to be honest, though I am curious based on the source novel, Andrew Stanton’s involvement, and the fact that I like big adventure films. But Film School Rejects is going one step farther and acclaiming the film quite highly (most critics are reservedly favorable at best, from what I’ve read). I found this particular article especially interesting, as Giroux runs down what John Carter does right that George Lucas did wrong with the prequels – that’s not necessarily a high bar for praise, but it’s a really solid article. See also Neil Miller’s 7 Reasons to Go See John Carter.

More Links!

Trailers of Interest (or Not)

Headhunters Trailer – this movie is AWESOME
ParaNorman Trailer – one of the more intriguing animated films of the year
Dark Shadows Trailer – the comedy tone threw me a bit; back to Beetlejuice for Burton?
On the Road Trailer – curious to see what Walter Salles does with this material
Ice Age 3: Continental Drift Trailer – pretty sure these are supposed to make me laugh; didn’t work
Men in Black 3 Trailer 2 – this looks ridiculous; of course, I thought that about the first one

Cool Videos

Short film: The Love Connection – very adorable, plus has music by The Pauses, one of whom is a friend
The History of Television – a few omissions, but by and large, this is AWESOME
Creepy, weird, and kind of awesome video for Florence and the Machine’s “Never Let Me Go”
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah splatter paint all over the place in this video for “Hysterical”

Noteworthy News

Seems like every time I put these together, most of the featured links end up being about silent cinema in some way. That’s totally not intentional, but I guess it does indicate what’s intriguing me the most these days. Certainly classic cinema is a particular love of mine, which you can easily see in the feature links section most every week, but there are links to posts about newer films galore under “other links.” I think part of it is that blogs focused on newer films tend to have mostly news and reviews, which is fine, but I rather like featuring longer-form, more thought-provoking and wider-ranging articles, and I often find the most interesting ones on classic film blogs. Interesting. Sorry, I got caught up in psychoanalyzing my blog reading habits there for a second. My bad. There are also a TON of new trailers for big films and small down in the video section; as always, these will open in a lightbox when you click on the links.

Featured Links

It’s Alive! Guy Maddin and Spiritismes… by Kim Morgan at Sunset Gun

The always mysterious and inventive Guy Maddin is embarking on a typically odd but cool-sounding experiment. He’s holed up in Paris’s Centre Pompidou (the museum of modern art) and is making one short film PER DAY, each inspired by a lost silent film. He’s got some great talent on board, too, including Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Mathieu Amalric, and many others (most of them French). The filming sessions are being termed seances, which doesn’t surprise me coming from Maddin, as he and the actors recreate things unseen by pretty much any living eyes. Kim Gordon has the full scoop, and I urge you to read it, as she’s working on the project as well and has unique insight into Maddin’s thoughts. The ghostly results are being broadcast live here, but they’re at an ungodly hour in California. Stupid time zones. I haven’t located recordings of them, either – hopefully they’ll release them all in some format when the program is complete.

The Second (Annual?) Favorite Classic Actress Tournament at All Good Things (and elsewhere)

I don’t know whether Monty at All Good Things intends to make this Favorite Classic Actress tournament a yearly thing or not, but I kind of hope he does. Last year it was a lot of fun voting through the brackets, celebrating when favorites won and bemoaning when they lost. Irene Dunne powered through the competition last year to upset a lot of higher seeded competition – will she defend her crown as reigning champion this year? It’s going to be tough – the field is much bigger and diverse this year with 128 different actresses. The tournament is taking place over four different blogs – The Mythical Monkey is taking the Silent Era and the 1930s (he’s definitely the right person to handle this area; I’ve linked to his silent cinema articles here many times), Rosalind Russell – Dazzling Star is hosting the 1940s, Dawn’s Chick Flicks and Noir will have the 1950s, and Monty will be doing the 1960s right on All Good Things. Monty’s already been listing out the competition, so check out All Good Things for that, and the Mythical Monkey is providing a bit more a breakdown on all the ladies on his blog (not to mention a boatload of promotional images). Voting starts on Monday, March 5. Don’t miss out! (Of course, I’m pulling for my girl Barbara Stanwyck the whole way, but the competition is brisk.)

The First Annual Flickcharters’ Choice Awards at the Flickchart Blog

It’s not uncommon for movie-obsessed websites to give out alternative Oscars come this time of year, especially when the real Oscars are as yawn-worthy as this year. But I helped with the Flickcharter Awards, so they deserve special mention. I occasionally contribute over there, and when one of the other Flickchart bloggers suggested doing our own awards, it was a pretty easy bandwagon to jump on. There are a few Flickchart-specific categories, which made it more fun than just mimicking the Oscars totally, plus after we came up with the nominations, we opened it up to anyone to vote, and a lot of people did. There were a few upsets, some shoo-ins, and overall, I think a very solid set of nominations and winners.

The History of the History of Silent Comedy by David Kalat at Movie Morlocks

A typically wide-ranging article from David Kalat, looped around the idea that the history of silent comedy is one constructed by Hollywood itself both to separate the silent era from the sound era (preserving the sense of progress and improvement, conveniently ignoring the fact that many silent comedians continued doing much the same slapstick into the sound era) and to inculcate a sense of nostalgia for a bygone era that still survives to this day. He also discusses the way that silent comedy as a concept was reduced to a few outstanding individuals (Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd), creating a sort of circular logic of significance that excises others like Monty Banks, Raymond Griffith, Billy West, Charley Chase, and more.

The White Hell of Pitz PalΓΌ, Sturdy Pre-Hitler Leni Riefenstahl and the Strange and Fascinating Allure of the German Mountain Film by Kevyn Knox at The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World

An extremely long title, but a very interesting piece. Before Leni Riefenstahl became the infamous director of such Nazi propaganda pieces as Triumph of the Will and Olympia, she was an actress best known for a series of “mountain films” she did, such as The White Hell of Pitz Palü, directed by G.W. Pabst and Arnold Fanck. If you’ve seen Inglourious Basterds, you might recall that Pitz Palü was used as a plot point, as Michael Fassbender attempted to convince the suspicious Nazi officer that his accent was strange because he was from the valley of Pitz Palü. Pabst’s mountain films were also playing at Shosanna’s cinema. Kevyn Knox takes us into the original film itself, Riefenstahl’s part in it, and even delves a bit into her later career as a director.

From “We” to “Me” by Scarlett at The Scarlett Olive

The Scarlett Olive draws on two depictions of youth culture in different eras – the Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland musicals of the 1940s and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off from 1985 – to explore the shift in our culture at large from a “we” culture to a “me” culture. Sociologists would likely agree that our culture has gotten more individualistic and self-centered (the current generation is sometimes termed “Generation Me” instead of “Generation Y”), and that seems to be borne out in the way films depict the youth culture, moving from everyone pulling together to achieve a common goal (in Mickey-Judy movies, generally putting on a show, which usually benefits everyone) to teens seeking their own enjoyment above all else. There is more to explore here, though – since both these movies were made by adults, their youth culture is in some ways constructed, and that’s even more true for the Mickey-Judy musicals. Definitely an interesting starting point.

Hey, Pluto! by Brandie at True Classics

The Classic Film and TV Cafe just hosted a Classic Movie Dogathon, focusing on dogs in classic film and getting a lot of really nice posts around the classic film blogosphere. One of my favorite entries (unsurprisingly, as it seems I link to Brandie every one of these posts) was on Mickey’s best friend Pluto, and his history as Disney’s main non-anthropomorphic character. She discusses how Pluto came to be and how he came to be Mickey’s dog, as well as focusing in on the shorts where Pluto is actually the main character. This post also fits in really well with the series she’s been doing anyway on early animators, all of which are worth reading.

The Ballad of Linda Darnell by The Self-Styled Siren

A lovely piece about actress Linda Darnell, who livened up many a 1940s film with her presence, but isn’t particularly well-remembered today (outside of classic cinema aficionados, of course). The Siren talks about how this essentially down-to-earth actress with the bombshell looks unfortunately often ended up in sexed up, objectified roles, then highlights her most notable films, like her central role in John Ford’s My Darling Clementine, her noir turn in Fallen Angel, her breathless support of Rex Harrison’s mania in Unfaithfully Yours, and perhaps her best performance ever in A Letter to Three Wives. Now I feel like going back and rewatching all these movies.

More Links!

David Hudson of Mubi lists the best films he saw at Berlinale
J. Hurtado of Twitch reviews the Blu-ray release of Mandrill, a fun Chilean action spoof, and recommends it; I saw it last year, and I concur, it’s an over-the-top good time
Ivan at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear has a sneak peak of TCM’s April schedule
The Classic Movie Man reviews Pinky, taking into account the social context of its time period
French Toast Sunday picks the top 6 most terrifying movie versions of space – can’t argue with these!
The most recent LAMB Director’s Chair was Dario Argento, which explains all the great reviews I’ve been seeing around of Argento’s works
Outstanding infographic of Hollywood’s relationship with piracy, courtesy of Film School Rejects
Shadows and Satin runs down the top ten reasons for loving Double Indemnity, and I agree with every single one (Ginny at Old Movies Nostalgia adds some more of her own)
Courtney of Big Thoughts from a Small Mind reviews Certified Copy, and pretty much thinks as highly of it as I do
Dan at Public Transportation Snob reviews Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game, a film I saw ages ago and don’t remember at all – time for a rewatch!
Ryan at the Matinee is totally right about We Need to Talk About Kevin, and I love the way he keeps his review focused on Eva while avoiding spoilers
Kevyn Knox counts down his top 10 silent films for Anomalous Material, a great place to start if The Artist and Hugo have whetted your interest
The Oscars are over now, but Chris’s rundown of the ten nominees over at Silent Volume is one of the best analyses I’ve seen
Bob Turnbull finds inspiration from Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff
Kurt at Row Three talks about the recent renovations and upcoming opening of Toronto’s historic Bloor theatre, now the home of Hot Docs
First review of the Japanese film Parade I’ve seen since I saw it almost two years ago – and Twitch’s Niels Matthijs liked it almost as much as I did

Cool Trailers and Videos

Academy Award winner The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Teaser trailer for Frankenweenie – a return to form for Tim Burton?
The first part of the original Frankenweenie (Part II, Part III)
New trailer for The Avengers – too much Bay, not enough Whedon?
Trailer for Richard Linklater’s Bernie – stay to the end, it actually looks funny
Trailer for The Raid – now inexplicably The Raid: Redemption
New trailer for John Carter
Trailer for Deep Blue Sea, starring Rachel Weisz
Trailer for Snabba Cash II (the first will make its US bow in July)
Russian teaser for Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmasters
Extended teaser for Game of Thrones Season 2
What if Episode I were actually good?
Admiral Ackbar interviewed

Noteworthy News

Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days followup picked up by Sundance Selects
More casting news for Bong Joon-ho’s English-language debut, Snow Piercer
Joe Wright is returning to period literature with Anna Karenina; Anomalous Material has the first photos
New service Tugg is working with theatres to let you and your buddies vote on what plays – could definitely be cool if it gains traction
Sofia Coppola taps Emma Watson for her next film
First look at the Coen Bros’ Inside Llewyn Davis
Edgar Wright will direct a Disney reboot of The Night Stalker, with Johnny Depp
Community will be back March 15th! Can Not Wait.
Fassbender’s going to play Irish folk hero Cuchulainn? I’m totally there.

Metric dates new album Synthetica for June 12th
First track from Norah Jones’ upcoming Danger Mouse-produced album
Bioshock: Infinite finally gets a release date – October 16th
Xbox Live gets HBOGo starting April 1
I’m pretty new to comic books, but even I’m finding things to get excited about in Image’s 2012 lineup
Kickstarter may provide more funds this year to creative projects than the National Endowment for the Arts

And another series back from very long hiatus (with a new name), and another well-meaning intention to do a better job of keeping up. I’d really like to do these every week, a task made more challenging and yet more fun by deciding to include more sections of links. The idea being that I can just keep this up as I read blogs and sites thoughout the week and have it all ready to go by the end of the week. Here’s hoping. As usual, most of these are movie-related links, but that won’t necessarily always be the case, and there are some music and gaming links in the subsections. Anything that’s a video will open in a lightbox, so you won’t have to go anywhere else to watch them.

Featured Links

For the Love of Film III: The White Shadow by the Self-Styled Siren

The For the Love of Film Blogathon is now in its third year, with bloggers focusing on a specific aspect of film preservation, with the intent to raise awareness and funds for the National Film Preservation Foundation. This year, the focus is on the recently unearthed early Hitchcock film The White Shadow, one of a few films Hitchcock assistant-directed under director Graham Cutts in the early 1920s. The funds raised will support the costs of the NFPF streaming the film (that is, the four reels of it that still exist) on their website for four months. I’ve actually seen the film – I was at the Academy screening the Siren mentions – and though it certainly isn’t among the best silent films you’ll ever see, it does have more than historical interest, and it has a whole lot of that. The blogathon goes live in May, and I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it then.

Hitchcock’s Most Beautiful Shot Ever by Joel Gunz, guest-posting at The Lady Eve

Speaking of Hitchcock, The Lady Eve has been hosting a whole series on Vertigo, with this close-reading of a single shot of the film one of the highlights. Guest poster Joel Gunz looks at the shot of Madeline standing under the Golden Gate Bridge in terms of composition and cinematography, as well as artistic antecedents and psychological readings. By the end, he’s explicated a lot about Vertigo as a whole, simply by analyzing this one gorgeous still. Makes me want to go watch the film again immediately.

Why Don’t the Critics, Oscar, and Audiences Agree? by Jim Emerson on scanners::blog

It’s almost a cliche at this point to mention that the films the end up on critical best lists (whether print critics or bloggers), the films that end up the year’s box office champions, and the films nominated for Oscars are pretty much three different groups of films. There may be some overlap here and there, of course, but by and large, the goals of each group seem to be irrevocably dissimilar. Jim Emerson invokes an article from Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir to explain a bit about the Academy’s point of view, and then points out that their nominations used to be more actually populist, rather than prestige-y the way it is now.

It’s An Honor to Be Nominated, But These Iconic Films Never Were by Wilde.Dash at Love and Squalor

Lots of Oscar-y type talk this week, and I doubt that’ll stop until after the awards are announced and everyone’s done dissecting them. Here the always entertaining Wilde.Dash highlights a bunch of films that are widely considered top-notch classics yet weren’t even nominated for Academy Awards. Some of these (2001, Psycho) absolutely appalling to me. Just goes to show you, these little statuettes? Not that big a deal in the grand scene of things.

Culture Warrior: The Importance of Honoring Motion Capture Performances by Landon Palmer at Film School Rejects

In a year when the Academy doesn’t nominate Andy Serkis for acing (perhaps because motion capture is too cartoony to go against live action) and doesn’t nominate The Adventures of Tintin for Animated Feature (perhaps because motion capture is too live action to go against animation), Landon Palmer discusses why mocap seems to be such a disdained technology – because the very idea of motion capture, which renders actors unrecognizable behind a veil of CGI, threatens the concept of celebrity upon which Hollywood is built. (To be fair, I wouldn’t necessarily argue that either of the “perhaps” clauses above are correct; but Palmer’s assessment of the threat of mocap is an interesting read.)

Pioneers of Animation: Ub Iwerks – The Early Disney Years by Brandie at True Classics

Everyone knows Walt Disney. But not everyone knows Ub Iwerks, who was with Disney almost every step of the way, from the very beginning when they were partners in Kansas City working on Laugh-o-Gram shorts, through the move to Hollywood and the creation of Oswald the Rabbit and Mickey Mouse. But Iwerks isn’t only Disney stuff – he also had many successful cartoons of his own in the early sound era. Brandie has the full story in two posts (the second part is here, and they’re well worth reading – just as Iwerks’ films are well worth watching.

48 Hidden Images in Black Swan by Sati at the Cinematic Corner

Even a single viewing of Black Swan reveals the constant parallels that Aronofsky is making between Nina and Lily, with their faces often morphing into each other for split seconds here and there. But Sati has gone through the film with a fine-tooth comb and screencapped a TON of trick shots that I certainly never noticed before. As you look through these, some will seem obvious (Nina seeing herself on the subway or the sidewalk, or Lily’s face swapping for Nina’s during the sex scene), but most of the things during the club scene I hadn’t seen at all. Kudos to Aronofsky for his attention to detail, and kudos to Sati for uncovering that detail.

In Character: William Fichtner by Alex Withrow at And So It Begins

One of the most memorable and consistently awesome “hey, it’s that guy!” actors working today, William Fichtner shows up all over the place, and he’s often the best thing in any movie he’s in. Like, oh, say…Drive Angry for example. And many, many others. Alex Withrow runs down Fichtner’s best roles in this entry into his ongoing series highlighting character actors (the whole series is worth reading).

Katie-Bar-the-Door Awards by the Mythical Monkey

Speaking of ongoing series, I’ve been away from the blog-reading long enough I didn’t even notice he was doing this until now, but the Mythical Monkey has been posting entries every day with his alternate Oscars for each year since 1927. The awards (named for his wife) were his original impetus for starting his blog, but he’s since gotten lost in the silent era – lost in the best possible way. But he recently decided to get these posted and out there, and I gotta say, these awards are awesome. I don’t necessarily agree with them all (though mostly in cases where I haven’t seen all the films in question!), but they’re pretty great to read through. He just posted 1970, and is taking a break, but the whole series is worth a peruse.

More links!

Sam Fragoso of Duke and the Movies asks us to choose between Howard Hawks or John Huston. I picked Hawks, but that’s a tough question!
Kim Wilson at the Classic Film and TV Cafe reviews Man in Grey, a little-known British film that sounds rather transgressive for its time!
Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence announces the March in March blogathon – posts about Fredric March, in the month of March.
Hollywood Reporter explains why there are only two Best Song Oscar nominees this year.
Ryan at The Matinee kicks off his Blind Spot series by watching John Carpenter’s The Thing.
Alex Withrow of And So It Begins runs down the entirely of Spike Lee’s career.
Wilde.Dash of Love and Squalor picks her 30 most anticipated movies of 2012. Some great stuff to look forward to, for sure!
Nicolas Winding Refn talks to The Playlist about Drive
Bonjour Tristesse reviews Dario Argento’s The Bird With a Crystal Plumage, and likes it quite a bit. One I definitely want to catch up with.
Monty at All Good Things counts down his favorite actresses – some great picks here! Love the Lombard love.

Trailers of Interest

(videos open in a lightbox)

Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress
Justin Kurzel’s The Snowtown Murders (though I think this one is better; so is the former name)
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Intruders

Max Payne 3
Far Cry 3

Cool videos

(videos open in a lightbox)

The ABCs of Cinema by Evan Seitz
The Knights Who Say Ni! Kinetic Typography by Evan Seitz
Salvador Dali on “What’s My Line”
Music Video: Jack White’s “Love Interruption” (from upcoming album Blunderbuss)
Music Video: YACHT’s “Shangri-La” (from album Shangri-La)
Live Performance: James Mercer singing “September” (from upcoming Shins album Port of Morrow)

News of Interest

Joss Whedon is writing a RomCom. Not my fave genre, but okay.
Netflix is developing an original series with Weeds creator Jenji Kohan
People are planning to remake Hitchcock’s Rebecca and Suspicion. WHY? Although, of all his films, those two are among the least untouchable.
Gina Carano lines up another action film: In the Blood. I’ll watch it.

Bonnaroo lineup is announced

Rockstar is bringing the original Max Payne game to iOS. Cool!
Touch Arcade reviews Beat Sneak Bandit, a new iOS game. I downloaded it; we’ll see what I think.

Copyright ©2010 Jandy Stone.

Theme based on Liberation Theme.

Creative Commons License