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Kehr on Keaton

Kehr on Keaton
A required read for any self-respecting cinephile is critic Dave Kehr's weekly DVD column in the NYT. At a time when most new movies don't offer much to digest for the sophisticated film critic, Kehr has the best beat in town: DVDs. Every week, Kehr shares his erudite knowledge and elegant prose style. And he outdoes himself with this week's essay on the greatest silent comedian, Buster Keaton, who like his rival Charlie Chaplin, directed his own films--but for too short a time. (A new DVD of Steamboat Bill, Jr. is hitting stores, as well as Lost Keaton, which includes sixteen Educational Pictures shorts he made in the 30s.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 4, 2010 10:32 AM
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  • 1 Comment

This Means War Casting Saga, WGA vs. IMDb, Boyle directs Olympics, Fairy Tales are New Vampires

- McG can't make up his mind on casting vidgame-to-film This Means War. While Reese Witherspoon is set to play the femme at the center of a dispute between two spies--best friends turned enemies in this action-comedy--the two male leads are up in the air. In-demand Bradley Cooper has bailed on the role originally intended for Martin Lawrence, while Seth Rogen and Chris Pine were both reported as attached at some point. Now Vulture asserts that McG has offered his Terminator Salvation star Sam Worthington the lead. The Playlist, which has been tracking the This Means War casting saga, writes that Justin Timberlake was being considered for the film, and filmmakers may go to Colin Farrell if Worthington is a no-go.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 17, 2010 3:40 AM
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RIP: Cinematographer William Fraker

One of Hollywood's great cinematographers, William Fraker, succumbed to cancer Monday at age 86. While D.P.'s can be cranky, Fraker was known for his affability and exacting standards on sets, from Rosemary's Baby, Bullitt, 1941, Close Encounters and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to Tombstone and Heaven Can Wait. A Naval veteran of World War II, Fraker attended USC's School of Cinema under the G.I. Bill. He grew into one of the defining film talents to emerge in the 60s and worked productively well into his 80s: his last film was 2002's Waking Up in Reno.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • June 2, 2010 8:52 AM
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Dennis Hopper on Natalie Wood, Elvis Presley, Michelle Phillips and Apocalypse Lost

Tim Appelo dug into his Dennis Hopper files and found the late actor talking about Natalie Wood’s orgy error, Elvis Presley's sex and acting lesson, Michelle Phillips’ D.H. Lawrence collaboration, and the lost Apocalypse Now scene he’d most like to see:
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • May 31, 2010 8:14 AM
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Jean Seberg Talks Breathless--Back in 1968

Back in 1968, veteran Hollywood publicist Harry Clein recalls, he visited the set of big-budget musical Paint Your Wagon to interview young actress Jean Seberg (star of Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless, which is being reissued). A transcript follows, including a visit from her co-stars, Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood (with whom Seberg denied having an affair).
  • By Harry Clein
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  • May 28, 2010 8:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Godard Must-See: Breathless Trailer

Run don't walk to see New Wave critic-turned-filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard's 1960 Breathless, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg. I screened this movie for my USC Film Criticism students and they scarfed it up. This black-and-white Godard film, at least, which introduced the disjunctive jump-cut editing that inspired Arthur Penn and Dede Allen's Bonnie and Clyde, is still a breath of fresh air, even 50 years later. (See the trailer below.) On May 28 Rialto is releasing a pristine 35 mm print with new subtitles struck from a restored negative supervised by Godard's director of photography, Raoul Coutard, who used a held-held camera with mostly natural light.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2010 1:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine

Amy Dawes reports on the lost art of the classic Hollywood fan magazine.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • April 30, 2010 6:31 AM
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TCM Classic Film Festival is Hit, and is Coming Back

Last weekend's TCM Classic Film Festival in LA was such a hit that it's coming back in 2011. TCM targeted an aging demo starving for classic movies and created an event feel, with Q & As and panels, from Danny and Anjelica Huston honoring their father and grandfather in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre to Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (which holds up really well, fresh as a daisy) and the Complete Metropolis accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra, which judging from the interest I'm gauging will do some business. (Leonard Maltin covered the fest like a blanket.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 27, 2010 7:29 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Top Ten Holiday Rituals

Forget chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Here are my fave holiday rituals:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2008 9:42 AM
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Women in Film: Journos Pick Top 100

It was Philadelphia Inquirer critic Carrie Rickey's idea. After realizing that the American Film Insititute's nomination ballot for last year's list of 100 best American movies comprised 400 titles, of which 4.5 were directed by women, she suggested that the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is one of 27 members, vote for their own list of best 100 movies of all time. The AWFJ sent in lists of films to create a ballot of their own, and voted for 100. (As a member, I voted too.) The top 100 list will be announced June 25. I have been leaked five, none of which were on the AFI's list of 400 nominees:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 11, 2007 6:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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