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Includes cinema reviews and trailers for upcoming films. A digest of the best and worst interviews on movies and cinema.

Meme: Leonardo DiCaprio unrecognizable in first photos of new Scorsese film

York Post says: ‘Leonardo DiCaprio unrecognizable in first photos of new Scorsese film.”

As you wonder if DiCaprio is playing a woman or a spoon, others take a guess:

Posted: 11th, May 2021 | In: Celebrities, Film, News, Tabloids | Comment


Seth Rogen remembers his time on the Nineties Bar Mitzvah circuit

In the New Yorker an excerpt from Seth Rogen’s new memoir, Yearbook.

At that age, the only way I knew to get a girlfriend was through dancing. Not just any dancing—slow dancing. It was the only way to really gauge how a girl felt about you, since actually talking about your feelings was unheard of. You would slow-dance, and the closeness of your bodies would indicate how likely you were to become a couple. If there was full-body contact, you were dating. If there was grinding, you were essentially engaged.

But, in order to dance to a slow song, you first had to navigate a minefield of not-slow songs. And you did not want to dance to a fast song with a girl. With guys it was fine (funny dancing preferred). Luckily, every single bar or bat mitzvah had the same d.j. play the party, with basically the same playlist, so you could prepare.

Nirvana was popular, and all the boys would mosh wildly to “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” until Austen Bell got a concussion at Stephen Glanzberg’s bar mitzvah and they stopped playing it.

No song, however, would match the controversy incited by “Mony Mony,” originally by Tommy James and the Shondells and later covered by Billy Idol. I’m sure you know it: “Here she come now, say Mo-nay Mo-nay,” followed by three strong beats—Bah! Bah, bah! This pattern essentially continues for the entirety of the five-minute-two-second song.

Now, I couldn’t tell you why, or how, but for some bizarre reason it became a tradition to fill in these bah-bah-bahs with the words “Hey, motherfucker, get laid, get fucked!” over and over, which of course the parents in attendance loved.

billy (singing): Here she come now, say Mony Mony!

room full of twelve-year-old kids: HEY, MOTHERFUCKER, GET LAID, GET FUCKED!

billy: Shoot ’em down, turn around, come on, Mony!

room full of twelve-year-old kids: HEY, MOTHERFUCKER, GET LAID, GET FUCKED!!

Since you asked, the Bar Mitzvah playlist (UK) featured Mr Solitaire (slow dance), the Birdie Dance (always), George Michael (the living god years) and Like A Virgin (unsettling).

Posted: 4th, May 2021 | In: Celebrities, Film | Comment


Rocky Horror Picture Show plays to empty house for 54 weeks

You can watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night at Clinton Street Theater in Portland, Oregon. But for the past 54 weeks, the cinema’s Covid-enforced closure has meant no-one besides staff has been there to see it Nathan Williams, host of the venue’s weekly Rocky Horror nights, has been hitting the ‘play’ on the VT. The Oregonian:

“I watched it alone. I watched it during the snowstorm,” said Williams, who serves as emcee for the theater’s “Rocky” nights. “I was in a position to keep a flame burning, to keep a torch lit.

“I’m just a guy holding a torch for the city of Portland, for all the weirdos, for all the people who don’t have a safe place to call home, we’re home […]

Since 1987, members of the Clinton Street Cabaret have acted out “Rocky” on a stage below the screen at the Clinton Street Theater, mimicking the film in what’s called a shadow cast.

“‘Rocky’ has always been a place for the weird, quiet kid and the loud extrovert and the person who’s just looking for something fun to do and the theater kids and LGBTQ kids,” said Loren Thompson, the current president of the cabaret. “It’s where all the misfits come to find family.”

The Clinton Street Theater has re-opened.

Posted: 12th, April 2021 | In: Film, News, Strange But True | Comment


How to make a great movie poster

James Verdeso designed the poster for Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. In this video he shares a few tips on what goes into making a captivating movie poster.

Buy prints of movie posters here.

Posted: 18th, February 2021 | In: Film | Comment


Watch The Princess Bride Home Movie

The Princess Bride (redux), directed by Jason Reitman, broadcast on Quibi (the now dead streaming service you never heard of), starring Fred Savage, Cary Elwes, Adam Sandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Hamm (Westley), Zoe Saldana (Buttercup), Penelope Cruz (Prince Humperdinck), Pedro Pascal (Inigo Montoya), Shaquille O’Neal (Fezzik), Charlize Theron (Fezzik) and Andy Serkis (Count Rugen).

Why was it made? for charity. Money raised went to José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen.

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 2nd, February 2021 | In: Celebrities, Film, Key Posts | Comment


Prince William needs a German or Greek passport

Prince William Brexit

A new biopic starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana needs a Prince William – and only actors with British-European passport holders can apply. If you’ve only got a post-Brexit British passport, you cannot audition for the tole. Apparently it’s something to do with the film’s financing.

But it doe make me wonder: does the future King William qualify for a German passport?

Posted: 26th, November 2020 | In: Film, Money, News, Politicians, Royal Family, Strange But True | Comment


Snowball Fight (1896) – Lumière Brothers films gets the HD and Colorised treatment

Snowball Fight (1896) - Louis Lumière Colorised

In 1896, the French Lumière Brothers made the film Bataille de boules de neige (Snowball Fight). “The film was shot in Lyons, France using one of the duos’ all-in-one cinématographe creations,” says Petapixel, “which was part camera, part projector, and part developer.” It’s been updated by Joaquim Campa, “who used the AI-powered software DeOldify to upscale the footage to 1080p, interpolate additional frames for a smoother result, and colorize the old footage.” Does it look better than the original, or is it just a technical trick that flattens the past?

Spotter: Flashbak, JoaquimCampa

Posted: 8th, October 2020 | In: Film, Technology | Comment


Everyone Murdered By Teatime – watch a strange Soviet film from 1966

This Soviet film from 1966 presents a series of murders seemingly without end. The perpetrator becomes the next victim. And then… Well, you can watch it and see what occurs:

Spotter: Boing Boing

Posted: 5th, October 2020 | In: Film, Key Posts | Comment


Watch Charlie Chaplin in colour in a new version of A Night at the Show, 1915

Charlie Chaplin was great in black and white but can he cut it in colour? Thanks to YouTube, you can watch Chaplin in a colorised version of his 1915 short movie A Night in the Show.

Chaplin played two roles: one as Mr. Pest and one as Mr. Rowdy. The film was created from Chaplin’s stage work from a play called Mumming Birds (a.k.a. A Night at an English Music Hall in the United States) with the Karno Company from London. Chaplin performed this play during his U.S. tours with Fred Karno company and decided to bring some of this play to his film work. Edna Purviance played a minor role as a lady in the audience.

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 1st, October 2020 | In: Celebrities, Film, Technology | Comment


Those Beastie Boys videos have been remastered in HD

beastie boys

The Beastie Boys’ videos have always been immensely enjoyable. Ever since She’s on It (1985), the band has been cranking out a lively and fun blast of sight and sound. And now they’ve remastered 36 of their videos for the internet age.

Six of the video were directed by Spike Jonze, who also directed the Beastie Boys Story film. The pick of the bunch has to be the video for Sabotage.

The Beastie Boys love the fisheye lens:

Check out the playlist.

Posted: 22nd, May 2020 | In: Film, Music | Comment


A Supercut of Social Distancing in Wes Anderson movies

Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson was right. Social distancing is the way to survive the modern world. Luis Azevedo has created this supercut of characters in Anderson’s movies practicing sound social distancing techniques.

Posted: 30th, April 2020 | In: Film | Comment


Back to The Future’s Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox meet for Parkinson’s poker night

‘All in with Christopher Lloyd at Michael J. Fox Poker Night!’ To help the Michael J. Fox Foundation in its quest to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease, Michael J. Fox met his Back To The Future co-star Christopher Lloyd for a night of charity poker.

Posted: 7th, March 2020 | In: Celebrities, Film, News | Comment


Coronavirus: Mission Impossible filming stopped; Tom Cruise defeated by virus

Coronavirus: Mission Impossible

Time to rewrite the latest Mission: Impossible film. Filming in Italy for the seventh outing for Tom Cruise and Can Do gang has been stopped because it’s impossible to take on the coronavirus and win. Not so much Mission: Impossible, as Mission: Likely to Succeed Pending A Risk Assessment.

“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan for our three-week shoot in Venice,” say Paramount in a statement.

“During this hiatus we want to be mindful of the concerns of the crew and are allowing them to return home until production starts. We will continue to monitor this situation, and work alongside health and government officials as it evolves.”

Plans for the film series’ diminutive lead actor Tom Cruise to take on a coroanvirus is hand-to-hand combat are said to be premature.

short presentational grey line

Posted: 26th, February 2020 | In: Celebrities, Film, News | Comment


Kirk Douglas: what I’ve learned in life and my one big regret

10th May 1969: Ken Kesey (1935 – 2001), American author of ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ and ‘Sometime’s A Great Notion’ – Photo by Roy Jones

In 2001, Kirk Douglas (December 9, 1916 – February 5, 2020) told Esquire what he’d learned in life. The actor summed up: “In order to achieve anything, you must be brave enough to fail.”

I tell my sons they didn’t have my advantages growing up. I came from abject poverty. There was nowhere to go but up.

Give your children lots of rope. Allow them to make their own mistakes. Don’t give them too much advice. Each child is different; you have to respect that. It’s a crapshoot: You roll the dice, and you see what happens.

Noting that “making movies is a form of narcissism” , he harks back to the movie that got away:

One big disappointment in my life was One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I bought the rights to the book, but no one wanted to make it into a movie. So I paid to have it made into a Broadway play. There was one line in there that was so beautiful. McMurphy is trying to help all these people on the ward. There was a sink, and he tried to lift it out of the wall, but he couldn’t. He tried really hard, but it wouldn’t budge. As he was leaving the room, with all the guys watching, he turned around and said, “But I tried, goddammit, I tried!” Sometimes I think I should have that as my epitaph.

Lead image: 10th May 1969: Ken Kesey (1935 – 2001), American author of ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ and ‘Sometime’s A Great Notion’ – Photo by Roy Jones

Posted: 8th, February 2020 | In: Celebrities, Film, News | Comment


The Shining In Gingerbread

Twin brother Aaron and Austin Keeling recreated scenes from The Shining with Gingerbread. They’re pretty tasty:

the shining in gingerbread
the shining in gingerbread
the shining in gingerbread
the shining in gingerbread
the shining gingerbread

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 21st, November 2019 | In: Film, Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Our Hobby is Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Sunshine International/Shutterstock (8290086s) Depeche Mode – Andrew Fletcher, Dave Gahan, Vince Clarke and Martin Gore Depeche Mode

In 2007, artist Jeremy Deller and filmmaker Nicholas Abrahams accepted a commission by Mute Records and Depeche Mode to make a documentary about the band’s No.1 fans. The result is Our Hobby is Depeche Mode.

As Deller explains:

“A friend of mine, Nick Abrahams, told me that Mute Records were looking to make a film about Depeche Mode for an anniversary ‘greatest hits’ package. I thought that could be quite interesting. And either he or I or both of us – I can’t actually remember –suggested that we do something about their fans, as you hear almost mythical stories about their Eastern European fanbase, particularly in the 1980s. We went to Mexico, the US, Germany, Romania, Brazil and
Canada – all in under three weeks.

“In Russia, 60 fans met us at the airport and basically kidnapped us for two days, which was brilliant for the film. As we suspected, the story from Eastern Europe was massive. The effect of Depeche in that region during the 1960s was similar to the effect of the Beatles on the UK during the 1960s.”

Flashbak has a get interview with Deller and Abrahams about their film. you can also see the entire film over therehttps://flashbak.com/our-hobby-is-depeche-mode-419797/.

Spotter: ‘Our Hobby is Depeche Mode’: Watch Jeremy Deller’s & Nicholas Abrahams’ ‘Lost’ Documentary on Depeche Mode Fans

Posted: 3rd, October 2019 | In: Celebrities, Film, Music | Comment


John Waters picks his favourite films and TV shows from ‘the closet ‘

John Waters’ took a look inside the ‘film closet’ at Criterion.

Posted: 20th, September 2019 | In: Film | Comment


Night and The City- the best London film ever?

Night and The City-

Jeremy Smith has compiled a list : ‘The signature film of every major city’. London is the only British city to make the list. And the choice of film? Night and the City, a great London noir film.

A blacklisted American filmmaker in London summoned up his rage and resentment to make one of the nastiest noirs of of the 1950s. Perhaps a non-Englander’s perspective is required to place this film above the numerous classics shot in this prominent world capital, but there is something about Dassin’s lensing of London as a city of granite and steel — a hard place with no give — that leaves you aching once the tawdry tale is finished. Honorable mention: Lean’s “Brief Encounter,” Mackenzie’s “The Long Good Friday,” Crichton’s “The Lavender Hill Mob,” Cammell/Roeg’s “Performance,” Leigh’s “Naked,” Wright’s “Shaun of the Dead” and Boorman’s “Hope and Glory.”

Posted: 19th, September 2019 | In: Film | Comment


Rutger Hauer : ‘I saw the future’

Rutger hauer dies blade runner

Rutger Hauer (23 January 1944 – 19 July 2019) is best known for his starring role in Blade Runner (1982), a take on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. He gave sic-fi movies an ending to rival that of all other genres. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe,” says his character Roy Batty. “Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

Here he is telling us how the ending came about – “At the same time I was doing this film, I saw the future”:

Posted: 26th, July 2019 | In: Celebrities, Film, Key Posts, News | Comment


The 5 best movies of the decade (2010-2019)

Indiewire have listed their 100 best movies of the decade. Any movies released later this year stand not a hope of making the list – because it’s closed. Top of the pile is “Moonlight” (Barry Jenkins, 2016), ahead of:

2: “Under the Skin” (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)

3. “Certified Copy” (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

4. “The Act of Killing”/”The Look of Silence” (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2013/2015)

5. “Inside Llewyn Davis” (Ethan & Joel Coen, 2013)

No – I’ve not seen any of them. But a tip’s a tip so will do…

Posted: 25th, July 2019 | In: Film | Comment


Watch Bruno Ganz as Hitler

Bruno Ganz

Bruno Ganz (22 March 1941 – Died: 15 February 2019) played Hitler in the 2004 film Downfall. “His depiction of Hitler’s final days in an underground bunker as the Third Reich collapsed around him spawned so many memes that maybe you never saw the original. You should”. So says Jerry Dunleavy. He’s right:

Bruno Ganz as Hitler in Downfall (2004)

Bruno Ganz (22 March 1941 – Died: 15 February 2019) played Hitler in the 2004 film 'Downfall'. "His depiction of Hitler’s final days in an underground bunker as the Third Reich collapsed around him spawned so many memes that maybe you never saw the original. You should" – Jerry Dunleavy

Posted by Flashbak on Sunday, 17 February 2019

Posted: 17th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Film, News | Comment


Hugh Grant talks about his movies – like a normal bloke

Hugh Grant will one day be recalled as the best British actor of his generation. He stole the show in Paddington 2 – which is terrific, by the way – and has made moderate British rom-coms watchable, and really good British rom-coms better. Oh, and in About A Boy, Grant played an adult man living alone who befriends a teenager but without coming across as predatory and the bloke they warn you about. No easy thing.

Posted: 12th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Film | Comment


Top-Ho, Jeeves: Happy Public Domain Day 2019 – what you can use for free

public domain day

 

It’s Public Domain Day, the moment when lots of old works become free to use. It’s a biggie this year because for 20 years nothing new has been released. In 1998 Disney and other copyright holders got the State to impose copyright restrictions for an additional 20 years. The 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act is a horror. Works from 1922, including James Joyce’s Ulysses, turned copyright free in 1998 but anything published the following year was protected. But from today music, book, posters, art, films and plays published in 1923 will be free of intellectual property restrictions. Dig in. Go create.

Jennifer Jenkins, director of the Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain, explains:

But now the drought is over. How will people celebrate this trove of cultural material? Google Books will offer the full text of books from that year, instead of showing only snippet views or authorized previews. The Internet Archive will add books, movies, music, and more to its online library. HathiTrust has made over 50,000 titles from 1923 available in its digital library. Community theaters are planning screenings of the films. Students will be free to adapt and publicly perform the music. Because these works are in the public domain, anyone can make them available, where you can rediscover and enjoy them. (Empirical studies have shown that public domain books are less expensive, available in more editions and formats, and more likely to be in print—see herehere, and here.) In addition, the expiration of copyright means that you’re free to use these materials, for education, for research, or for creative endeavors—whether it’s translating the books, making your own versions of the films, or building new music based on old classics.

Here are some samples from the American Public Domain Day List, as compiled by Jennifer Jenkins and Jamie Boyle at the Duke Center for the Public Domain.

Films 

* The Hunchback of Notre Dame starring Lon Chaney
* Short films featuring Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang
* Animated films including Felix the Cat and Koko the Clown
* Safety Last!, directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, featuring Harold Lloyd 
* The Ten Commandments, directed by Cecil B. DeMille 
* The Pilgrim, directed by Charlie Chaplin 
* Our Hospitality, directed by Buster Keaton and John G. Blystone 
* The Covered Wagon, directed by James Cruze 
* Scaramouche, directed by Rex Ingram

Books 

* Joseph Conrad, The Rover
* Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”
* Nikolay Gogol, Dead Souls
* Rudyard Kipling, Land and Sea Tales for Boys and Girls
* Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan and the Golden Lion 
* Agatha Christie, The Murder on the Links 
* Winston S. Churchill, The World Crisis 
* e.e. cummings, Tulips and Chimneys 
* Robert Frost, New Hampshire 
* Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet 
* Aldous Huxley, Antic Hay 
* D.H. Lawrence, Kangaroo 
* Bertrand and Dora Russell, The Prospects of Industrial Civilization 
* Carl Sandberg, Rootabaga Pigeons 
* Edith Wharton, A Son at the Front 
* P.G. Wodehouse, works including The Inimitable Jeeves and Leave it to Psmith 
* Viginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room

Music 
* Yes! We Have No Bananas, w.&m. Frank Silver & Irving Cohn 
* Charleston, w.&m. Cecil Mack & James P. Johnson 
* London Calling! (musical), by Noel Coward 
* Who’s Sorry Now, w. Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby, m. Ted Snyder 
* Songs by “Jelly Roll” Morton including Grandpa’s Spells, The Pearls, and Wolverine Blues (w. Benjamin F. Spikes & John C. Spikes; m. Ferd “Jelly Roll” Morton) 
* Works by Bela Bartok including the Violin Sonata No. 1 and the Violin Sonata No. 2 
* Tin Roof Blues, m. Leon Roppolo, Paul Mares, George Brunies, Mel Stitzel, & Benny Pollack (There were also compositions from 1923 by other well-known artists including Louis Armstrong, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, WC Handy, Oscar Hammerstein, Gustav Holst, Al Jolson, Jerome Kern, and John Phillip Sousa; though their most famous works were from other years.)

Spotter: Aleteia , Boing Boing

Posted: 1st, January 2019 | In: Film, Key Posts, Music, News | Comment


Video: Freddie Mercury’s final days

 

The new biopic about Queen singer Freddie Mercury (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991), tells us how he met the band and pulled his partner, Jim Hutton. The is much artistic licence. In one sun, Freddie Mercury tells the rest of the band about his HIV. It’s during rehearsals for their hymned 1985 Live Aid appearance. But Mercury wasn’t diagnosed until 1987. The rest of Queen did’t know the full extent of his illness illness until 1989.

He had a very responsible attitude to everyone that he was close to and he was a very generous and caring person to all the people that came through his life and more than that you can’t ask,” said May in 1991. “I tell you we do feel absolutely bound to stick up for him,” added Taylor, “because he can’t stick up for himself anymore, you know?”

Spotter: Laughing Squid

Posted: 8th, November 2018 | In: Celebrities, Film, Key Posts, Music | Comment