A Century of Film

Editing

The very first films didn’t have editing.  But it didn’t take long for a filmmaker such as George Milies to discover how important editing was – his entire concept of special effects was built around what could be done with editing.  When films started to come out at feature length, it was the D.W. Griffith films that showed how editing could craft a great picture, followed just a few years later by the masterful work in the Sergei Eisenstein films. (more…)

A Century of Film


Orion


The Studio

In 1978, the United Artists heads were tired of being told what to do by parent company Transamerica and the head of Transamerica, Jack Beckett, said “if the people at United Artists don’t like it, they can quit and go off on their own.”  Which is what they did, leaving the next day and forming Orion Pictures, with a financing and distributing affiliation with Warner Brothers. (more…)

Lear: Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow! (III, ii, 1)

My Top 10

  1. Ran
  2. Kiss of the Spider Woman
  3. The Color Purple
  4. Plenty
  5. Prizzi’s Honor
  6. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  7. The Shooting Party
  8. Fletch
  9. The Falcon and the Snowman
  10. A Sunday in the Country

note:  You may notice that this isn’t the same Top 10 that appeared in my Nighthawk Awards.  That’s because I did some thinking about some of the films and the list was considerably altered.  Both Plenty and The Shooting Party were much stronger than I had given them credit for.

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This opening bit might not be in the book but most of what follows is.

My Top 10

  1. That Obscure Object of Desire
  2. King Lear
  3. Equus
  4. Oh God
  5. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  6. The Marquise de O
  7. Dersu Uzala

Note:  That’s it.  That’s all I’ve got.  I had actually placed Jacob the Liar on the list (at #4) but when I looked at it again, I realized that it was a screenplay first, then, when cutbacks in film production in East Germany delayed the film for nearly a decade, it was rewritten as a novel.  But the screenplay had already existed which means, in spite of the credits, it’s not really an adapted script and I can skip having to review a very good film (and book) that are also brutally depressing so Happy New Year (2019) to me. (more…)

This scene isn’t in the original novel even though it comes during the period of time covered by the novel. Nor is it ever mentioned in the novel that the Don’s birthday is December 7. This is pure Coppola.

My Top 10

  1. The Godfather Part II
  2. Young Frankenstein
  3. The Parallax View
  4. Murder on the Orient Express
  5. Lenny
  6. The Front Page
  7. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
  8. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz
  9. Thieves Like Us
  10. Sanshiro Sugata

Note:  If you look at my original Nighthawk Awards you will only see nine films listed.  But, re-watching The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, which I needed to review anyway because it was a WGA nominee, I was reminded that it should have been on my list in the first place because the script really is quite good. (more…)

MARTHA: And it was an accident . . . a real, goddamn accident!
(GEORGE takes from behind his back a short-barreled shotgun, and calmly aims it at the back of MARTHA’s head.)  (p 57)

My Top 10:

  1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
  2. A Man for All Seasons
  3. Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment
  4. The Professionals
  5. The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming
  6. Alfie
  7. Red Beard
  8. You’re a Big Boy Now
  9. The Shop on Main Street
  10. Georgy Girl

Note:  Back up to 12 films on my list this year.  One is reviewed below as a WGA nominee (Harper) and the final one is on a separate list at the bottom.
Note:  No less than five reviews in this year were lost when my computer died and three of them (Morgan, Alfie, Shop) were of sources that had been a pain to get the first time and so I have tried to write them again as best as possible from memory. (more…)

One of film’s most iconic moments and not in the original at all.

My Top 10:

  1. Dr. Strangelove
  2. High and Low
  3. Harakiri
  4. Mary Poppins
  5. The Americanization of Emily
  6. The Best Man
  7. The Night of the Iguana
  8. The Chalk Garden
  9. Goldfinger
  10. My Fair Lady

Note:  There are 20 films on my list.  Only one of the other ten is reviewed below as a WGA nominee (Seven Days in May).  The other nine are all listed towards the bottom of the post. (more…)