It’s been reported a cinema collector recently found the lost reel of the famous pie gag scene from Laurel and Hardy’s “The Battle of the Century” (1927) which had thought been lost to the sands of time.
Jon Mirsalis, an avid cinema buff, found it in a collection of old film reels he discovered and announced it at a film scholar convention in Virginia. Read the article here.
GREAT BEAUTY (Le Grande Bellezza), the Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film of 2013, is one of the best films I’ve seen in years. It’s as if Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini awoke in present day Rome, along with all the ubiquity of modern technology (DJs, iPhones, Internet) and made one last great epic ode to Roman life together.
Director Paolo Sorrentino has channeled all the great motifs and references from cinematic past into some modern amalgam of carnal modernity.
It’s an incredible work and deserves to be seen on the big screen.
I’ve been wanting to go to FANTASTIC FEST for years! Now, I’ve finally got the opportunity, it’s all about timing.
It’s also happening at the new Alamo location, just a few minutes from my house, what sweet luck. There are dozens of new films they’re screening, should be an exciting experience.
Beyond all the movies, FF has “special events” like metal karaoke, gun range shooting, tai chi fights and other insanity for film buffs.
Here’s a round-up of some recent film bits which I’ve found interesting: Jerry Lewis’ “The Day The Clown Cried” – this is the never before seen Jerry Lewis “clown in a nazi concentration camp” movie Mr. Lewis directed in 1971. Jerry Lewis literally buried/destroyed all the prints, he was so embarrassed by it. It’s become popular lore among film buffs. Well, somehow, some footage showed up on YouTube recently and it’s as strange as it sounds. Check it out here on YouTube before it goes away.
Woody Allen – What I’ve Learned from Woody Allen. Great nuggets of funny wisdom in Esquire Magazine here.
Paul Schrader’s “The Canyons” – I backed this on Kickstarter as I’m a huge Paul Schrader fan. Among other accomplishments, Paul Schrader wrote “The Transcendental Style in Film” (Ozu, Bresson, Dryer) book while at AFI Film School. This is a book only hard core film theorists read, it’s heady stuff. I read it back in the early 90s and it was brilliant.
It’s rare for a filmmaker to be able to also split apart his brain and write a theory book. It belongs with the works of Sergie Eisenstein as one of the greatest books on insight into film grammar and visual communication.
Here’s Paul Schrader on Reddit talking about his craft, great read.
Finally, a rare Orson Welles film from 1938 (“Too Much Johnson) was recently discovered – made before “Citizen Kane.” Read about it here.
And here’s the latest cover from new Alamo Drafthouse movie magazine, it’s fantastic. Congrats to The Alamo on their new location at Lakeline, right near my house, god bless the Alamo!
SUNDANCE CHANNEL is having some encore screenings of “Sorry, Thanks” in March. Click here for the schedule.
In her directorial debut, independent producer Dia Sokol — collaborator with Joe Swanberg (NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS) and Andrew Bujalski (MUTUAL APPRECIATION) — presents a funny yet refreshingly moral story about thirtysomething slackers. Max (Wiley Wiggins) and newly single Kira (Kenya Miles) impulsively hook up at a party. But their one-night-stand proves difficult to confine to the past, especially when Kira learns of Max’s girlfriend of three years (Ia Hernandez). “True and genuine… a sidelong charmer” — Los Angeles
Morgan Spurlock, the twisted genius behind the documentary “Super Size Me,” offered up this great interview to The Guardian newspaper in the UK. I’ve enjoyed pretty much anything he puts out. His TV documentary series “100 Documentaries You Must See Before You Die” was great stuff.
His last feature film doc, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” was interesting, too, but perhaps went over too many people’s heads.
My favorite quote: “I think the minute you start doubting, that doubt is contagious and everyone starts believing it won’t happen. You have to inspire faith in people, especially when they’re not getting paid. The one thing I never saw my father do in the midst of failure was quit. I don’t ever remember seeing him depressed. I was never allowed to quit anything – once you started, you carried it through to the end. Period.”