February 2020


If you don’t know what is being said in this scene you are sadly deficient when it comes to the greatest Comedy film ever made.

A Century of Film


Comedies


The Genre

“As America’s principal purveyor of entertainment, Hollywood packaged comedy in many forms.  In 1929, Variety surveyed the major studios and classified production trends into seven categories.  Comedy was divided into two – comedy drama and comedy.  The types subsumed under comedy drama consisted of society, rural, city, mystery, college, and domestic, and the types under comedy consisted of farce and action-adventure.  A quarter of all the films produced by the majors in 1929 could be classified as comedies of one sort or another.  Although comic types metamorphosed into the sophisticated, low-life, anarchistic, sentimental, folksy, screwball, populist, or romantic, the production trend remained a key component of every studio’s roster.”  (Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise, 1930-1939, Tino Balio, p 256) (more…)

“He didn’t move.  Not until the elevator door began to close.  Then raised his hand.  He did – Karen positive now it was Foley – raised his hand to her as the door closed.”  (p 148)

My Top 10

  1. Out of Sight
  2. Gods and Monsters
  3. Primary Colors
  4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  5. Ringu
  6. Live Flesh
  7. A Simple Plan
  8. The Butcher Boy
  9. Character
  10. Apt Pupil

note:  A very strong Top 4 but then it starts to fall off badly.  The full list is long, though, and is listed down at the bottom except for my #16 (Little Voice) which is reviewed because of its BAFTA nomination. (more…)

A Century of Film


DreamWorks


The Studio

It’s not as well known as the UA story but it’s in a similar vein.  In fact, everything I looked at before writing this piece referenced the founding of United Artists and the way four major players in Hollywood came together to form their own studio.  The big difference was that those were three stars and a director.  Here, it was a director, a man who had been mostly running a studio and a man who hadn’t done so well with films but had made himself a billionaire through music. (more…)