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An Invader discovers cinema’s present encroaching on its past (and vice versa) at the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival.

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Fans of classic cinema will have a good excuse to stay inside during the dog days of August as Turner Classic Movies launches the newest edition of “Summer Under the Stars,” a month-long salute to 31 legendary actors and actresses.  Every day, TCM will honor one performer with a 24-hour

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Film Festivals

The Black Cat is remarkable by being the very first on-screen collaboration of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. I find it only appropriate that the biggest stars of 1930s American horror were both immigrants. If you wonder just how connected they were to the history not just of the genre, but of Hollywood itself, the remark of Sara Karloff (the actor’s daughter) that her father’s car was numbered 9, is illuminating.

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Part One of my TCM Classic Film Festival can be read here, and Part Two here. The last and final day of the TCM Classic Film Festival did not disappoint.  Review time! THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940) – Leonard Maltin again came out to introduce The Grapes of Wrath, the

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Read part one of my TCM Festival experience here! Saturday was my busiest day at the festival, but also my favorite.  All four movies I viewed were ones I had never seen before, and they were all great! On to the mini-reviews: THE LONGEST DAY (1962) –  I almost skipped

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I had originally intended on writing a singular in-depth review for each of the movies I saw at the TCM Classic Film Festival over the course of its four days, but when the point came to sit down and begin writing, I realized just how daunting a task this turned

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The rare 35mm print is in possession of The Museum of Modern Art, and the opportunities to attend a screening are scattered, the gaps between them spanning decades. The film is the equivalent of tabloid print and its values (or lack thereof to be precise) on the big screen. While it is quite imperative to judge any type of work (and I am reluctant to preface this word by “art” here) within its historical context, there is nothing naïve about the film that would warrant perceiving it merely as a “product of its time.” The movie is quite obviously exploitative, even vile, the dialogue often unnatural, the acting theatrical, and yet I would encourage people to see it – if they get a chance, that is.

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Fairbanks definitely transformed every adult in attendance of the screening into a child. The audience was awed, joyous, clapping, laughing with relief as the hero miraculously overcame obstacles and got his princess, defeating schemers and monsters alike, and even resisting temptation, always self-assured, brave, with no option but victory. That is perhaps the achievement of the film: nearly a century after it was created, it charms the audiences just the same. It allows all age categories to simply enjoy themselves; so lighthearted, it feels like a Christmas present.

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The TCM Classic Film Festival settles in at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theater
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It’s fitting that the third iteration of the TCM Classic Film Festival – a four-day extravaganza for fans of classic cinema – marked the 18th anniversary of the Turner Classic Movies cable channel.  Both revel in recounting the hidden history of the movies, establishing an oral record of great artists

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Glamorization of flappers has its merits and its drawbacks, very much like the movement itself. Our Dancing Daughters manages to capture some of the contradictions inherent in the subculture. It is fun to watch, and the film was designed to be a visual pleasure. The glittering dresses, the crazy eyebrows, Crawford’s rouged lips in the pale face, leg-baring attires – all of this makes it a feast, for the mankind never tires of its simplest, perpetual, and universal sport of people watching.

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Wings is notable as the very first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, or as the category was then titled: “most outstanding production.” Also recognized for Engineering Effects, the aerial fights and battleground scenes were unparalleled at the time. Some think of Wings as the film that launched Gary Cooper’s career, albeit his appearance was very brief.

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