Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

14
May

Cannes and Hollywood: a feisty marriage

Written on May 14, 2013 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Film

cannes-film-festival-11In among the ligging and rigging of last year’s Cannes film festival, visitors may have spotted James Toback and Alec Baldwin trudging wearily back and forth along the Croisette. The director and star, it now transpires, were in town to shoot a very meta documentary – a film about their efforts to actually make a film. For a 10-day spell they interviewed everyone from Ryan Gosling to Martin Scorsese, Nicole Kidman to Roman Polanski. Along the way they took the temperature of a festival perched at the intersection between art and commerce. The documentary’s title, Seduced and Abandoned, alludes to Baldwin’s description of the film industry as “the world’s worst girlfriend”. But it might just as easily refer to Cannes’ teasing, tricky relationship with the major US studios. In this case, however, it’s hard to tell just who is seducing who.

On the eve of the 66th Cannes film festival, the romance is clearly in full bloom, with Warner Bros’ star-spangled The Great Gatsby installed as the opening gala, Steven Spielberg booked as jury president, and the schedule awash with studio produce. But is this union as harmonious at it looks? A cynic could argue that all ostensibly happy marriages are really power struggles in disguise. If so, the alliance between Cannes and Hollywood is surely no exception.

“Cannes has always been a useful idiot for Hollywood,” explains Toback, rasping down the line from his apartment in New York. “And the studios, in turn, are a useful tool for Cannes. It’s a symbiotic relationship. But I think it’s more Cannes that courts the studios than the other way around.”

This courtship has not been without its hiccups. As is the way with most romances, the early years proved the most golden. There were eight American films in the inaugural festival of 1946, including Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend, Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious and a Disney cartoon called Make Mine Music. Delbert Mann’s blue-collar Marty lifted the Palme d’Or in 1955, while fragrant Olivia de Havilland was the first American jury president in 1965. Throughout the 1970s, Cannes became a kind of Mecca for the best of US cinema, with MASH, The Conversation, Taxi Driver and Apocalypse Now ascending to the winner’s rostrum. In those halcyon days, it was possible to believe that Cannes and Hollywood were largely singing from the same hymn sheet.

Continue reading in TheGuardian

10
May

“The Great Gatsby” a film by Baz Luhrmann

Written on May 10, 2013 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Film

 

9
May

Bryan Forbes, acclaimed film director, dies aged 86

Written on May 9, 2013 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Film

forbesThe writer and director Bryan Forbes, whose films included Whistle Down the Wind and 1970s horror classic The Stepford Wives, has died aged 86 following a long illness, a family friend has said.

Forbes, who began his career in film as an actor and screenwriter and became one of the most important figures in the British film industry, died surrounded by his family at his home in Virginia Water, Surrey, friend Matthew D’Ancona said.

He was married to actor Nanette Newman, who appeared in several of his films, and with whom he had two daughters – the TV presenter Emma Forbes and the journalist Sarah Standing.

D’Ancona said: “Bryan Forbes was a titan of cinema, known and loved by people around the world in the film and theatre industries and known in other fields including politics. He is simply irreplaceable and it is wholly apt that he died surrounded by his family.”

Forbes, who was made CBE in 2004 for services to the arts and the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, was born John Theobald Clarke in Stratford, London in 1926. He began acting in the late 1940s after changing his professional name, playing a number of supporting roles in notable British films including An Inspector Calls and The Colditz Story. But he soon became better known as a screenwriter and director.

Continue reading inTheGuardian

3
May

“Sons of the Clouds” a film by Alvaro Longoria

Written on May 3, 2013 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Film

 

29
Apr

Luxor-on-Seine

Written on April 29, 2013 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Film

luxorTHE Louxor Palais du Cinema, north-west of the Gare du Nord in Paris, was once one of the jewels of Egyptian-inspired art deco. It opened in 1921 boasting pillars, papyrus motifs and pharaohs’ heads—to say nothing of a hall seating almost 1,200 film-goers. It was the heyday of silent films of the sort that “The Artist” recently brought back to life. Parisians thronged to the Louxor, cigarettes in hand, to see the hair-gelled heart-throbs and hear the live orchestra that accompanied them.

A decade later, as the talkies were taking over, the Pathé group bought the Louxor. They brought in bodice-rippers and American films, eventually replacing the neo-Egyptian décor with neo-Greek. After the second world war the cinema fell on hard times, as did its neighbourhood. Heavy immigration, mostly from the Maghreb and then sub-Saharan Africa, began to change the character of the “carrefour Barbès”, where three central arrondissements touch—the 9th, 10th and 18th. It became overcrowded and crime-ridden. By the 1970s the Louxor was showing Indian and Arab films, often in their original languages. A man who worked there recalls that what went on in the public lavatories was more interesting than the spectacles on screen. Instead of watching the films people were selling all sorts of things, women in particular.

The Louxor screened its last film in 1983 before Pathé sold the building to a retail firm which wanted to build a store. But the firm’s plan did not prosper because the Louxor’s exotic façade had been listed for preservation. The place briefly became an Antilles disco and then the biggest gay club in Paris. From 1987 the building stood empty.

Continue reading in TheEconomist

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