Here is your daily digest of Criterion-related links.
Network Distributing have announced the January release of three of Alfred Hitchcock’s most celebrated early films as part of ‘The British Film’ collection: The Man Who Knew Too Much, Young and Innocent and The Lady Vanishes.
Safe is brilliant at executing one of my favorite tricks: making the mundane (in this case, the truly terribly mundane) horrific, without changing the basic nature of the mundane.
It’s among Altman’s greatest films because its grandest themes – the end of the Old West, the rise of modern civilization – come through in an intimate story, one that never reduces its characters to symbolic figures. Paired with Leonard Cohen’s mournful songs and Vilmos Zsigmond’s evocative, hazy cinematography, it’s the most emotional movie Altman ever made.
Confused by Fosse’s choice to create such a monstrous portrait in his own image, star Ann Reinking, who plays Gideon’s mistress in the film, asked the director about it. Fosses response was provocative. By amping up the negative aspects of Gideon he would be able to drive home the point of story: narcissism.
There’s a danger in being nostalgic about any era, especially if this leads to deceiving oneself about the past and/or the present. I don’t think that “cinema” was necessarily better understood during the New Wave era, nor was it necessarily better. How could we know such a thing? Grasping what’s right in front of us is never easy, and it wasn’t easier then.
Though not totally historically accurate, the portrayal of the king in this rambunctious 1933 release by Charles Laughton is the culturally definitive version, inspiring countless imitations
I saw The Man Who Fell to Earth and thought it was one of the finest films—not just science-fiction films, but one of the finest films I had ever seen. I thought it was incredibly original, incredibly provocative, rich in ideas, beautiful in texture, glorious in its overall conception. It was enigmatic.
…when Ratner took the stage, he dispelled his bawdy reputation by telling the crowd that he brought his grandmother as his date. The “Hercules” director brought a prop to enrich his acceptance speech: a LaserDisc copy of “The Silence of the Lambs,” the first LaserDisc he ever purchased. Ratner cited Jonathan Demme’s director’s commentary on the disc, which he listened to “a hundred times,” as formative to his career.
For some people in this age of cynicism, it will be easy to disregard Chaplin’s final speech in The Great Dictator as naive and stereotypical. We are so preoccupied with our own little miseries, so disenchanted with so many broken promises, so fat and lazy in our own comfort, so complacent in our view of the tiny world around us, so obsessed gawking through the tiny windows to other people’s worlds, that we—or at least some of us—have forgotten to aspire to something else. A greater good. A better us.
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