Nils Asther and Barbara Stanwyck in an era-defying story of mixed-race love between a hostage American missionary and a Chinese bandit warlord. Directed by Frank Capra in 1933.
Famed special effects genius Ray Harryhausen, age 92, has died in Britain, where the Los Angeles native had lived since completing Jason and the Argonauts in 1963.
"The effects he achieved inspired the generation of filmmakers who produced the digital-effects-laden blockbuster films of the 1980s and beyond.
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Peter Jackson all cite his films as crucial antecedents for their work, and modern animators often slip homages to him into their films, like the Harryhausen piano in Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride” and Harryhausen’s restaurant in the Pixar feature “Monsters, Inc.”
...His innovations were honored in 1992 with a career Academy Award for technical achievement. At the Oscar ceremony, Tom Hanks told the audience that he thought the greatest movie of all time was not “Citizen Kane” or “Casablanca” but “Jason and the Argonauts.”
Some of his most famous film work are: The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), First Men in the Moon (1964), One Million Years B.C. (1966), The Valley of Gwangi (1969), Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977), Clash of the Titans (1981).
The Cannes Film Festival starts May 15. Vertigo star Kim Novak will be Guest of Honor at the event, and will participate in the presenting of prizes for the event. Hitchcock's Vertigo will be screened as part of the Cannes Classics schedule.
"Just hang on until I ditch this cop..."
Harold Lloyd's best known silent film comedy was shown at the James River Film Festival in Richmond Virginia. The restored film was given it's first screening at the festival, and officials of the festival gave talks before and afterward describing the history of the film and anecdotes about Lloyd based upon interviews with Lloyd's grand-daughter Suzanne Lloyd Hayes.
Also discussed was Lloyd's emergence during the 1960s as one of the "big three" of silent film comediens, joining Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin as the most recognized of the silent era film clowns.
In particular it was noted how Lloyd continued to control the legal ownership of his films over the decades, and his decision regarding not wanting them 'edited for television' meant that while Chaplin and Keaton shorts were appearing throughout America, Lloyd was absent.
The restored print was clear and sharp (with a lot of film grain showing in some segments), and easily surpassed the quality of earlier DVD releases of the film I had seen (And Amazon has it: BluRay Safety Last pre-order).
Showing the movie in the 1928 Byrd Theater movie house in RIchmond was also fitting, as the theater is one of the longest running movie facilities in America, and is a representative structure of the faux-Rococo style of movie house which were built in the hundreds during the 1920s and 30s, but with few remaining today.
Seeing Lloyd's efforts to climb the International Savings Building in Los Angeles was much more impressive on a large screen, and Lloyd's skill at combining his special effects with actual film footage of dangling from a building, which is the main centerpiece of the movie, is unique (and has been copied numerous times, for example Spielberg's Back to the Future and the Martin Scorsese's Hugo both specifically reference Lloyd's 1923 film.)
The attending audience enjoyed the film and laughed quite a bit at the antics of the tale. And, like most Harold Lloyd films, he does win the girl in the end (played by actress Anna Tounsend, in her last film appearance of her career).
The print used 2K digital film restoration, and had an accompanying complete orchestrated soundtrack by Carl Davis.
The new restored print version is coming out from Criterion in June on BluRay (amazon pre-order).
Below: The Uptown Theatre in Washington DC, home of many a 70 MM movie showing.
The only film critic to (yet) win a Pulitzer Prize, Ebert was a movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years, was famous for his TV show with fellow critic Gene Siskel ("Sneak Previews"), and bridged the trend from print film criticism to his own digital mini-kingdom within the online Chicago Sun Times newspaper domain.
Review of the Ernst Lubitsch romantic-comedy film about what happens when a 'mark' threatens the happy relationship between two professional thieves. Starring Kay Francis, Miriam Hopkins and Herbert Marshall. Read the review.
Born Wong Liu Tsong on January 3, 1905, in Los Angeles, California, an interest in movies became a career that spanned silent film up to 1961. Read more Anna May Wong.
Valerie Hobson plays another wife to a madman (she performs the same task in Bride of Frankenstein, also 1935). Hull performs the hairy requirements of his lead role with style, but both he and Hobson are handicapped by a lumbering script. Warner Oland is also on hand as an affective competing wolfman who accepts and hates his condition, something Hull is fighting to get his mind around (without success). Read More Werewolf of London 1935.
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