"It was a miraculous year," film critic David Edelstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. At a time when Hollywood is churning out Blockbusters and superhero movies that are guaranteed to make money at home and overseas, "it's really great when so many interesting movies, somehow or other, manage to bleed through," he says. " ... You really feel as if directors are taking chances in their storytelling. They are creating a new syntax for every story."
If you just look at the box office grosses, rather than the bottom line, you'd swear Hollywood was closing the books this weekend on a sensational summer — more than $4.5 billion in the till, a couple of hundred million dollars higher than any summer on record.
Sunday Bloody Sunday is one of those films that lets you into the lives of believable, complicated characters. A handsome, self-centered young artist played by the actor/rock singer Murray Head is having simultaneous affairs with both an older woman (played with infinitely nuanced self-irony by Glenda Jackson) and an older man, a Jewish doctor (the touching Peter Finch), two intelligent adults who have mutual friends and even know each other slightly.
Godfrey Reggio's groundbreaking trilogy of experimental films, "Koyaanisqatsi" (1983), "Powaaqatsi" (1988), and "Naqoyqatsi" (2002), were released for the first time on Blu-ray this month from the Criterion Collection. In this essay, former New York Times arts critic John Rockwell traces the evolution of Philip Glass's music, and how it works in these wordless films.
The Qatsi Trilogy: Counterpoint and Harmony By John Rockwell At this late date, with Glass having attained the patriarchal age of seventy-five, some of the polemics about minimalism have abated. He's still in some ways boyish, but he is also a father figure for generations of younger composers, some of whose music sounds in no way like his own.
Alfred Hitchock was one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century, but he also had a dark side. A deeper reading of his films reveals some of Hitch’s hidden obsessions, including: murder, sex, and love. Throughout his career, Hitchcock was aided by the unseen hand of his wife, Alma Reville, who often served as the director’s sounding board and sometime editor.
While the Lifetime and Hallmark networks will duke it out for weeks ahead of Christmas, airing competing schmaltzy movies in which divorcees find love under the mistletoe, there has long been a tradition of Christmas movies intended for the kiddies. These movies usually assume that no adult will even attempt to watch the flick, and so all bets are off when it comes to bothering to appeal to anyone with more than two digits to their age.
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” may not have been the first animated film, but as author and film historian J.B. Kaufman points out, Walt Disney “completely redefined the concept of what an animated feature could be” with his 1937 film, celebrating 75 years this December.
The showbiz trade Variety recently polled 40 composers active in the movie industry, asking for their top three film scores of all time. John Williams came out on top with the most mentions, while Ennio Morricone's score for "The Mission" was ranked as Best Score overall. Read the entire article after the jump.
Ennio Morricone's original music for Roland Joffe's 1986 film "The Mission" landed on top of a Variety poll of 40 active composers who were asked to name their top three original movie scores of all time in order of preference.