The week has is just getting started, and tonight we have links to a number of fun and interesting articles that I came across today while browsing the web and RSS feeds.
Impudent where other films were cautious, fanciful where others embraced verisimilitude, Gainsborough Pictures’ melodramas of the 1940s were inveterate unspoken-rule breakers. The realism and upstandingness for which British cinema has long been variously championed and criticized are conspicuously absent from these racy costume pictures, which ran roughshod over all questions of propriety. Their unbridled devilishness brought out audiences (especially female ones) in droves during World War II. The best of them, visceral tales of class and sexual warfare, rife with betrayals, psychosis, and murder, were thrillingly escapist entertainments.
There are three great brand names in the British cinema ‘” Ealing comedies,Hammer horror and Gainsborough melodrama ‘” but the third group has never achieved much of a reputation in the US. That’s most likely because these racy costume dramas, which starred a rotating cast of Margaret Lockwood (above), James Mason, Phyllis Calvert, Stewart Granger and Patricia Roc ‘” were heavily censored when they were released here (and in the case of ‘The Wicked Lady,’ also above, heavily reshot to impose more decorous necklines on the leading ladies).
Over on The Art Of The Title, Ben Radatz breaks down and analyzes the Saul Bass designed title sequence for Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear
Together, these symbols present an ambiguous portrait of the film’s moral compass, assigning no clear label to any one element. Instead, they are blended as a series of timed cross-fades transitioning from day to night, creating a mélange of conflicting emotional messages, mirroring the motivations of the film’s central characters. Here, the Basses offer no personal bias, only introducing the viewer to the themes in which the film is set and framing the noir-ish undertones of itsÂ presentation.
When an archaic code of justice confines 17-year-old Nik and the male members of his family to their home, his younger sister becomes the breadwinner. But the housebound Nik is so miserable that he’s willing to risk his life to end the confinement.
From PaidContent.org: The BBC will begin including Ultraviolet copies with their disc releases. Now if someone would build a user-friendly front end for Ultraviolet, I might actually start using them. They’re taking it slow though:
But BBC Worldwide’s strategy here appears to be experimental. Just four titles will be UV-enabled in time for Christmas ‘” Doctor Who Series 7 Part 1, comedy show Rollercoaster, a Top Gear title and nature title Attenborough: 60 Years In The Wild. More are coming in 2013.
From GigaOm: You’ll soon be able to license / monetize the audio that you produce on SoundCloud:
The system will be quite straightforward: each user will be able to install a ‘˜license’ button from Getty Images Music on their SoundCloud players, for tracks that they want to monetize. Those who want to license the track just click the button and send a request.
Over at IndieWire, Peter Knegt passes along the press release that Bernardo Bertolucci will receive a lifetime achievement award at the upcoming European Film Awards:
BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI began his career as an assistant director to Pier Paolo Pasolini on ACCATTONE and directed his first feature film at the age of 21. His second film, BEFORE THE REVOLUTION (1964), was released to great acclaim and he has never since then stopped to shape the way we look at cinema. His 1970 film THE CONFORMIST with Jean-Louis Trintignant and Stefania Sandrelli premiered in Berlin, won the Italian David di Donatello for Best Film and received Bertolucci’s first Oscar nomination and his 1972 film LAST TANGO IN PARIS with Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider and Jean-Pierre Léaud received another two Oscar nominations. His fame increased with the epic 1900 (1976) with Robert de Niro, Gérard Depardieu and Burt Lancaster and THE LAST EMPEROR (1987) which won a total of nine Oscars, three BAFTA Awards, the French César, nine David di Donatello awards, and a special jury award at the inaugural European Film Awards in 1988. Among his later films are THE SHELTERING SKY (1990) with Debra Winger and John Malkovich and THE DREAMERS (2003) which was nominated for the EFA Audience Award and the Spanish Goya. Bernardo Bertolucci’s latest film ME AND YOU (2012) premiered in the official selection, out of competition, at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Kenji Fujishima has reviewed Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone In Love, at Slant Magazine.
Kiarostami’s images, lensed by Katsumi Yanagijima, evoke another facet of his broader theme: a sense of theatrical artifice rippling through the real world. Frames within the larger widescreen frame are a hallmark of his visual style in Like Someone In Love, marked off by doorways and windows. Within these frames, characters are free to either continue play-acting or to reveal personal truths. The director is even able to suggest this just within the 1.85:1 widescreen frame itself: The opening scene is a brilliantly dizzying example of using the entirety of his film frame’”foreground and background, on- and off-screen space’”to suggest both character and environment, packing in so much drama and detail that one is forced to roam around the frame to keep track of it all
Variety was purchased by Deadline’s owner, Penske Media. A lot has been written about the sale today, but Dana Harris sums it up:
But the story is more complicated than that, and more instructive. The reason that Variety is now owned by Penske is because Variety fell prey to the same disease that infects much of the industry it covers: They believed their own publicity. And, perhaps because there was no publication as tightly woven into the industry, they also suffered from another shared malady: Variety (and its parent company) refused to believe in the essential need for change.
The LA Times interviewed Jay Penske about the Variety acquisition, and he had this to say in regards to future plans:
The questions I believe are critical and that we must answer immediately are, “How do Variety’s readers want to consume their content, in what forms, and on which platforms?” and, more specifically, “How can we make the Variety content even more essential and valuable to those who work in the industry?”
If the Variety content isn’t absolutely fundamental and indispensable to its readers, then we won’t be meeting the needs of our consumers. And to be clear, this isn’t just marketing [speak] about “influencers” or fans of entertainment, but a precise product and content focus on the professionals who drive the business of entertainment.
io9 has a great poster for John Dies At The End:
In John Dies At The End, it’s all about the Soy Sauce, a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. Users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John (Rob Mayes) and David (Chase Williamson), a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can’t.
POV’s 25th season begins on Thursday, and they’re kicking it off with the excellent documentary: If A Tree Falls: A Story Of The Earth Liberation Front
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front explores two of America’s most pressing issues ‘” environmentalism and terrorism ‘” by lifting the veil on a radical environmental group the FBI calls America’s ‘number one domestic terrorism threat.’ Daniel McGowan, a former member of the Earth Liberation Front, faces life in prison for two multimillion-dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies.
Hulu and Nickelodeon signed a deal, bringing tons of content to the streaming service. I’m hoping this will mean that newer seasons of Yo Gabba Gabba will be available, since my daughter has watched all of the first two on Netflix, and I need to know what happens next!
Starting today, recent episodes of Nickelodeon shows such as “iCarly” and “SpongeBob SquarePants” and its much-anticipated new version of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” will be available to Hulu Plus subscribers. The episodes will be available three weeks after airing on Nickelodeon.
David Hudson gathers the various reactions to last night’s “secret” screening of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, at the New York Film Festival.
But there was a ‘Secret Screening‘ at the New York Film Festival last night, and moments after the credits rolled, it seems, the tweets began flying. Moments later, the tweet collections rolled out. Among the most comprehensive of these are Matt Singer‘˜s at Criticwire, the Guardian‘˜s, and the Hollywood Reporter‘˜s, and to me, of all of the immediate first impressions, three are standouts: @reverse_shot: ”˜Lincoln’: Sophisticated, erudite political procedural from Spielberg and Kushner. Genuinely superb. #nyff’ @BilgeEbiri: ‘Spielberg’s ‘˜Lincoln’ is the best film Roberto Rossellini never made. Also one of the best Spielberg did make. #notareview’ And @eug: ‘Just saw ‘˜Lincoln’ at #NYFF. Swept up by grand Americana theatricality & strong perfs. 1800s West Wing? A bit. Engrossing political melodrama!’
Women And Hollywood sifts through the Foreign Film submissions for the 85th Academy Awards, and highlights the 11 directed by women:
For the 85th Academy Awards, a record-breaking 71 countries have submitted films to compete in the Foreign Language Film category. However, according to our research, only 11 of those 71 films are directed by women. Last year, women directed 10 out of the 63 films submitted. Granted, we don’t know yet which films will end up in the category, but Cate Shortland’s Lore, Rama Burshtein’s Fill the Void and Ursula Meier’s Sister are all garnering some buzz.
Nick Newman has a great interview with Olivier Assayas over on The Film Stage:
Do you find it difficult to maintain that vitality the further your career progresses?
[Pause] No, because I enjoy making films. I have fun making films. So, as long as I’m not bored’¦ [Laughs] And I’ve always kind of refused to get locked in a specific genre, or whatever, so I’ve managed to preserve a situation of complete freedom for myself. I think, now, the message is pretty clear: Just don’t expect from me any coherent follow-up to what I’ve been doing before, [Laughs] or something like that, and that I will be moving on according to my own rules.
Drafthouse Films has picked up Kim Ki-duk’s Pieta:
‘Kim Ki Duk is one of the most daring, provocative and accomplished filmmakers working today, and PietÃ shows him at the top of his form,’ says Drafthouse Films CEO Tim League. ‘We hope this film brings the first, long-deserved nomination to South Korean, one of the greatest contemporary film cultures in the world.’ Drafthouse COO James Emanuel Shapiro adds, ‘with one Foreign Language Academy Award nomination for this year’s stunning breakout film Bullhead, we have high hopes to repeat.’
Salon has an interesting and lengthy interview with David Denby, regarding his thoughts on the end of cinema as he knows it:
While Denby expresses great love for some movies, he also wonders aloud about a decline in both the making and the viewing of serious films. In the days of blockbusters, tent-poles, overwhelming digital effects and aggressive global marketing, he wonders, what happened to movies for grown-ups?
Music Box Films has picked up the distribution rights to Jan Troell’s (Everlasting Moments) new film, The Last Sentence:
“We’ve long admired Jan Troell’s work, and it’s a special privilege to release his 25th film,’ said Music Box managing director Edward Arentz. “‘The Last Sentence’ struck us as nothing short of a masterpiece by a filmmaker working at the top of his form.”
IFC Midnight announced today that they’ve acquired the rights to Justin Dix’s Crawlspace
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: ‘CRAWLSPACE is the best sci-fi action film I’ve seen in a long time, from the great concept to production design that would be the envy of Ridley Scott and James Cameron. Â We are thrilled to be announcing Justin Dix as a new major voice in genre cinema and look forward to distributing the film across all of our platforms.’
Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) will make a state-side appearance later this month:
Anime and manga superstar Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira, Steamboy) will be appearing in person at the PLATFORM International Animation Festival in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 27th at 9:30pm ‘“ and I’m happy to announce I will be moderating a Q & A session with him at the event. Festival director Irene Kotlarz will be presenting him with a Lifetime Achievement Award and we will also be screening his new short, Combustible. Please read the complete press release about this event, here.
Cinema Guild has announced what might be the one December release to rival the incredible line-up from Criterion: “a deluxe box set containing three early masterworks from Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov.”
Never before available on home video anywhere in the world, the set includes Whispering Pages (on Blu-ray and restored from a 35mm negative recently discovered in Germany), Stone (DVD only) and Save and Protect (DVD only) in new director’s cuts, all with new English translations, plus rare bonus material including four documentaries by Alexander Sokurov.
Twitch Film has a trailer for a new, La Jetee-inspired work from Anders Klarlund: The Secret Society Of Fine Arts
A group of underground artists blow up Berlin’s zoological museum and declare it “a work of art”. Their goal is to set beauty free. The unrelenting passion fascinates actress Eva Kovacs, who joins the group. But how do you draw the line between art and terror? The Secret Society of Fine Arts is unparalleled in Danish cinema. Anders RÃ¸nnow Klarlund eliminates the medium’s most vital element — moving images — and tells his story through 3D processed still photos. The intention is to make us sharpen our senses.
And finally, I can’t let you go without sharing a link to the Jurassic Park 4 concept art that went around this afternoon. I found it via io9.