Preserving rare old films is crucial, but the National Film Preservation Foundation believes it’s just as important to bring them to the widest possible audience. That’s why its Treasures from American Film Archives series is so valuable. Treasures 5: The West gathers an exceptionally wide range of films from 1898 to 1938, including early documentaries, promotional shorts, home movies, newsreels, cowboy yarns, and Hollywood feature films. Together they give us a compelling look at how the real West was depicted in the early 20th century, and how the mythicized West captured the public’s imagination.
The meticulous care that has gone into this release sets a standard for everyone in the archival community. Each film is thoroughly documented, onscreen and in an informative booklet written by Scott Simmon. You can even learn at precisely what speed the—
As often as not, these days, when someone stops me it’s to say how much they love playing “The Leonard Maltin Game” on Doug Benson’s popular podcast Doug Loves Movies. Doug was playing this challenging trivia game with a variety of fellow standup comics and movie-buff actor friends for several years before I caught onto it. I made my first appearance on the show and had such a good time I’ve been back twice. My most recent episode has just been launched online, and it’s free to download at iTunes or at www.douglovesmovies.com.
I should warn the uninitiated that this is a highly irreverent, sometimes R-rated program that’s half movie talk and half—
It isn’t often that I designate myself a movie’s advocate, but that’s how strongly I feel about an underdog release called Tucker and Dale vs Evil, which begins a limited theatrical engagement on Friday. (It’s already available On Demand, so check your local cable provider.) A film that played to cheering crowds at Sundance and South by Southwest over a year ago shouldn’t have had to wait this long to reach the public, but that’s the bittersweet story I just learned from its co-writer and director, Eli Craig.
An alumni of USC’s graduate cinema program, Eli brought his movie to my USC class last February, fresh from Sundance. My class, which numbers 360 students from all areas of the university, is the natural demographic for a film like this that pokes fun of—
It’s my pleasure to be filling in for Robert Osborne this week on Turner Classic Movies, but the highlight for me is Wednesday’s tribute to films restored by the Library of Congress. My guest for the evening portion of the salute is Dr. Patrick Loughney, chief of the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpepper, Virginia. We have a chance to discuss four movies playing tomorrow night: the long-unseen The Constant Nymph (1943), the uncensored Baby Face (1932), an oddity from 1934 called Two Heads on a Pillow, and a most unusual version of the 1930 Academy Award-winning classic All Quiet on the Western Front.
Bruce Goldstein debuted the so-called silent version of this famous early talkie at Film Forum in New York a year ago, but until I started working on this TCM gig I didn’t have a chance to see it for myself.
In a word, wow!
Veteran film buffs have seen silent versions of early talkies which were prepared for theaters that weren’t yet wired for sound. These often contain long—
The unveiling last week of a nearly nearly ninety-year-old British film on which Alfred Hitchcock served as assistant director, art director, and co-scenarist was another exciting event in the recent parade of major archival discoveries. On Thursday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held the premiere screening of The White Shadow (1924)—or at least, the first half of the feature, which is all that survives. This is just the latest archeological “find” to emerge from a partnership of the New Zealand Film Archive, the American archival community, and the National Film Preservation Foundation that, most notably, unearthed—
Would you like to see one of Charlie Chaplin’s motion picture cameras preserved? How about the cameras that filmed Gone With The Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars, and Planet of the Apes? They are the property of lifelong collector Martin Hill, of Midland, North Carolina, and they are in jeopardy.
Not long ago I received an e-mail from Alex Buchhorn of Emulsion Arts, a small, independent production company based in Charlotte, North Carolina, telling me about an effort to complete a documentary about Hill and his unique collection. The purpose is to draw attention to—
Like many of you, I receive e-mail links almost every day from friends who pass along interesting posts. Some of them turn out to be gems while others are a waste of time. I’ve accumulated a few I definitely want to share, beginning with a charming printed conversation between Paul McCartney and Doris Day that appeared in Britain’s The Telegraph, to promote a new (and long-awaited) CD from the retired singer/actress. I know you’ll enjoy reading this, as I did.
Silent-comedy location specialist John Bengtson has made hay with a wonderful new discovery from film archivist Rick Prelinger. Prelinger has posted some razor-sharp 1940s footage of a—
I don’t often review music when it doesn’t directly relate to movies, but a few years ago I did write about jazz pianist Larry Vuckovich’s film noir-inspired CDs, which I highly recommend. Larry recently sent me his latest CD, Somethin’ Special (Tetrachord Music) and while it isn’t based on a movie theme, it contains such tasty mainstream jazz I want to spread the word about it. Larry’s East Coast-based rhythm section is joined by―
A book? In the Internet age? Yes, the 2012 edition of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide is now available, in two formats: a mass-market paperback (which still retails for $9.99) and a trade paperback edition. Apparently there are plenty of people who still use books—and enjoy consulting this particular one—thank goodness.
And in spite of all the hard work—which never gets easier, believe it or not—I’m not sure what I’d do without this book, which has been part of my life for more than forty years!
As always, we’ve added more than 300 new reviews, and made hundreds of changes and—
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