I got the below press release in my email in box. I can’t WAIT for this!!!!! I love dark city dames!!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Watch Out for These Dames, They’re Dangerous—
Which Makes Them Oh, So Fun to Watch
BAD GIRLS OF FILM NOIR - VOLUME 1 & VOLUME 2
Volume 1 Includes: The Killer That Stalked New York, Two of a Kind, Bad for Each Other, and The Glass Wall with Special Introduction by Terry Moore
Volume 2 Includes: Night Editor, One Girl’s Confession, Women’s Prison, and Over-Exposed
Eight Classic Film Noirs Available for the First Time on DVD February 9th
CULVER CITY, CALIF. (December 7, 2009) - In the ‘40s and ‘50s, the juiciest roles for actresses in Hollywood were often in B-pictures that explored the dark side of life and offered them starring roles as cool, calculating gals who could stick a knife in a man’s back and make him like it. On February 9, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) opens the doors to the Columbia vault to release two newly restored and remastered collections of classic films when Bad Girls of Film Noir: Volume 1 and Bad Girls of Film Noir: Volume 2 debut on DVD. Volume 1 showcases some of the best femme fatales of the period - Gloria Grahame, Evelyn Keyes, and Lizabeth Scott - displaying plenty of their best bad-girl behavior in The Killer That Stalked New York, Two of a Kind, Bad for Each Other, and The Glass Wall. Bonus materials include an all-new interview with Two of a Kind co-star Terry Moore, the vintage television episode “The Payoff” with Janet Blair and Howard Duff, and original theatrical trailers.
Volume 2 highlights more classic noir gals (Ida Lupino, Jan Sterling, Audrey Totter, Janis Carter, and B-movie Bombshell Cleo Moore in a triple-bill) in four films: One Girl’s Confession, Women’s Prison, Night Editor, and Over-Exposed. Bonus Materials include the original theatrical trailers and the vintage television episode “Remember to Live” with Cleo Moore and Dane Clark. Each two-disc volume will be available separately for $24.96 SRP.
Bad Girls of Film Noir: Volume 1 includes:
The Killer That Stalked New York (1953)
After helping to smuggle diamonds into the country and getting burned by her latest flame (and her sister!), Sheila Bennet (Evelyn Keyes, The Jolson Story, Johnny O’Clock) decides to get even. But she unwittingly puts herself and millions of others at risk, requiring an all-out manhunt for a killer. The deep shadows in Joseph F. Biroc’s cinematography heighten the suspense, with excellent support from actors Charles Korvin (Sangaree), Academy Award(r) winner Dorothy Malone (Best Supporting Actress, Written on the Wind, 1957), Lola Albright (The Tender Trap), and William Bishop (Harriet Craig). The Killer That Stalked New York has a running time of approximately 79 minutes and is not rated.
Two of a Kind (1951)
Brandy Kirby (Lizabeth Scott, Dead Reckoning) is on a manhunt to locate a look-a-like for a missing heir imposter in an inheritance scam. She finds a willing participant in Lefty Farrell (Academy Award winner Edmond O’Brien, Best Supporting Actor, The Barefoot Contessa, 1954): raised in an orphanage and trained in small-time rackets. But will Brandy’s partner (Academy Award nominee Alexander Knox, Best Actor, Wilson, 1944) cut in on Lefty’s piece of the action or will the partners double-cross each other before they get their hands on the loot? Photographed by two-time Academy Award winner and veteran Columbia cinematographer Burnett Guffey (Best Cinematography: From Here to Eternity, 1953; Bonnie and Clyde, 1967), the film co-stars Academy Award nominee Terry Moore (Best Supporting Actress, Come Back, Little Sheba, 1953). Two of a Kind has a running time of 75 minutes and is not rated.
Bad for Each Other (1953)
Academy Award winner Charlton Heston (Best Actor, Ben-Hur, 1959) is a Korean War vet and surgeon whose return to his small coal-mining hometown offers him few possibilities, one of which is the intriguing socialite/divorcee Helen Curtis (Lizabeth Scott, The Racket). Helen’s charms prove to be too much to resist, drawing the young doctor into a social circle and lifestyle that raises concern from the others in his life, including his mother and pretty young nurse (Dianne Foster, The Brothers Rico). Bad for Each Other has a running time of approximately 83 minutes and is not rated.
The Glass Wall (1953)
Desperate to immigrate to America, Peter Kuban (Vittorio Gassman, Bitter Rice) stows away on a ship and jumps quarantine to try to find support for his petition for a visa on human rights grounds. Academy Award winner Gloria Grahame (Best Supporting Actress, The Bad and the Beautiful, 1952) is the down-on-her-luck easy mark who, in helping Kuban, finds more trouble for herself. Joseph Biroc’s great location photography makes New York City the menacing femme fatale in this race-against-the-clock suspense story. The Glass Wall has a running time of approximately 82 minutes and is not rated.
Bad Girls of Film Noir: Volume 2 includes:
Night Editor (1946)
Jill Merrill (Janis Carter, Framed) may just be the coldest gal in town. Her extra-marital affair with a cop (Oscar(r) nominee William Gargan, Best Supporting Actor, They Knew What They Wanted, 1940) forces him to forsake his duty when they witness a murder. Even when an innocent man’s life may be at stake, Jill’s biggest concerns are no different than any other ice-blooded society gal in noirdom. This below-the-radar Columbia treat directed by Henry Levin (Jolson Sings Again) with photography by Burnett Guffey really packs the punches. Night Editor has a running time of approximately 68 minutes and is not rated.
One Girl’s Confession (1953)
People think Mary Adams (Cleo Moore, Bait) is a bad girl because she’s just too sexy to be good. So she decides to even the score, even if it means jail time. After stealing $10,000 and serving her time, Mary’s determined to go straight…she just needs someone to help get the buried cash, and a good investment strategy. This efficient story, written, directed and co-starring Hugo Haas (Pickup), takes up his favorite themes of luck and fate. One Girl’s Confession has a running time of approximately 74 minutes and is not rated.
Women’s Prison (1955)
Where do the bad girls go when the law catches up with them? Some of noir’s notorious femme fatales are locked up in prison with the sadistic Ida Lupino (High Sierra, On Dangerous Ground) as their warden. Strong performances from Lupino, Academy Award nominee Jan Sterling (Best Supporting Actress, The High and the Mighty, 1954), Audrey Totter (Tension), Cleo Moore (Strange Fascination), and Howard Duff (The Naked City, Shakedown) turn what otherwise might have been a melodramatic story into an entertaining twist on an age-old tale of institutionalized redemption. Women’s Prison has a running time of approximately 79 minutes and is not rated.
Lewis Seiler (Women’s Prison) directs Cleo Moore (Bait) and Richard Crenna (Wait Until Dark) in this story of an inexperienced, ambitious girl who, after being caught in a raid at a clip joint, has the chance to learn a trade as a photographer. Her new profession brings her closer to respectability and the opportunity to use her talent to extract blackmail. Moore was often the “bait” in movie publicity campaigns; in Over-Exposed, the exploitation was more explicit. Over-Exposed has a running time of approximately 80 minutes and is not rated.
My Top 10 of the Decade 2000 - 2009
1. City of God (2002) Directed by Fernando Meirelles and K?tia Lund
This searing look into gang life in slums of Rio de Janiero was one of the most powerful and unforgettable films I’ve seen in a long time. If you missed it in theatres, rent it. This film deserves your attention.
2. The Diving Bell and The Butterfly (2007) Directed by Julian Schnabel
Directed by artist Julian Schnabel, this film about a paralyzed writer was beautiful, painterly, heartbreaking and ultimately triumphant. It also features a complex and brilliant performance by French actor Mathieu Amalric.
3. Mulholland Dr. (2001) Directed by David Lynch
This dark twisted brain teaser from David Lynch satisfies on numerous levels. It takes a head trip to the dark side of the Hollywood dream gone terribly awry. This is Lynch at his best.
4. There Will Be Blood (2007) Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
This towering epic unfolds slowly without relying on the rapid fire editing techniques so often used in films today. The film takes its time and reveals a monumental power pulsing through every frame. As an unflinching examination of greed, evil, power and religion, There Will Be Blood is a cinematic achievement that will hopefully stand the test of time and be appreciated and re-discovered for decades to come.
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) Directed by Michele Gondry
This dizzying maze of love and loss is explored with a deft touch by director Michele Gondry. Jim Carey and Kate Winslet are excellent as mismatched lovers with erased memories. The film leaves you with bittersweet feelings that you can’t quite reconcile… and really don’t want to.
6. Far From Heaven (2002) Directed by Todd Haynes
Borrowing heavily from filmmaker Douglas Sirk, Haynes has crafted a beautiful melodrama that involves issues such as interracial romance and homosexuality that were cinematic taboos in Sirk’s era. The film is lush, beautiful and powerful in a quiet way. The facial expressions and small moments add up to a great deal. There are excellent performances all around from Julianne Moore, Dennis Haysbert and Patricia Clarkson. Dennis Quaid also turns in the best work of his career.
7. Borat (2006) Larry Charles
In an age of ultra political correctness, Borat was a much needed explosion onto the comedy scene. Seeing the film, I had a feeling I was seeing something groundbreaking and entirely unique. Sascha Baron Cohen and Ken Davitian give performances that can only be described as fearless. The naked wrestling scene alone earns this film a singular place in comedy history.
8. Memento (2000) Directed by Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan’s non-linear thriller about a man with short term memory loss hunting his wife’s killer still stands out in my mind as his best work. It is a noirish puzzle that compels you to unfold it. With each new viewing you start to notice pieces of it with increasing clarity while still appreciating the labyrinth you are remain lost in.
9. Moulin Rouge! (2001) Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Set in bohemian Paris in the 1900s, this dazzling, dizzying musical was unlike anything I had ever seen before. The film scaled so many heights with a blend of comedy, tragedy, music, dancing with a touch of exotic Bollywood flavor. It is total sensory overload in the best possible way, resulting in cinematic intoxication.
10. Rize (2005) Directed by David LaChapelle
This powerful documentary chronicles a new dance movement out of South Central Los Angeles. It also delves into the lives and problems these youth face while trying to focus on dance instead of the perils of gang life. The photography is simultaneously gritty and stunning and the same could be said of the dancers themselves. This film is ultimately a story of triumph and hope as these kids learn there is a better and higher path for them to take. This film was little seen upon release, but it is a gem well worth discovering.
With alternating emotions, subtle shifts and numerous layers, “An Education” is far more rich and complex and rewarding than one would think. After first viewing the trailer, I assumed it would be a melodrama filled with heartbreak and hand-wringing consequences, but the film is so much more than that…and so much better.
Based on the memoir by British journalist Lynn Barber, “An Education” chronicles her teenage affair with a man nearly 20 years her senior. In the capable hands of Denmark’s Lone Scherfig (“Italian for Beginners”), this film takes flight and becomes a delicate mix of emotions that never feels forced or unreasoned.
The story begins in 1961 with Jenny (Carey Mulligan), a bored teenager growing up in the dull London suburban of Twickenham. Jenny is passionate, curious and eager to burst out of her stilted day to day life. Her parents (Alfred Molina & Cara Seymour) meanwhile have their sights set on her acceptance into Oxford. They drill her constantly about her grades and her future. One day while walking home in the rain with her cello, David (Peter Sarsgaard), an attractive older man in his 30s offers her (or at least her cello) a ride home. He mentions that he is a music lover that she can walk alongside the car if it would make her more comfortable. He has a handsome face and an elegant Bristol sports car. Naturally, she can’t resist and eventually climbs in the car along with her cello. David is smooth, elegant, sophisticated but not in a slimy or creepy way. He is charming and always knows the right thing to say. He strikes up a relationship with Jenny and the seduction eventually becomes a multilayered one on both sides. Jenny’s parents are at first resistant, but David’s sincere way with words, generosity and seductive nature casts a spell on them. Meanwhile Jenny is being seduced not only by David, but his business partner Danny (Dominic Cooper) and Danny’s glamorous, shallow girlfriend Helen (Rosamund Pike).
David takes Jenny to concerts, auctions, drives in the country, shopping, nightclubs, elegant restaurants and even a weekend trip to Paris. Jenny longs for a worldly, sophisticated adult life and her relationship with David provides that and much more. It is an education for sure, just not the one her parents initially had in mind. Unable to keep her juicy affair a secret, she tells her classmates and word eventually reaches the headmistress (Emma Thompson) who gives her several stern lectures.
Carey Mulligan is a revelation in the role of Jenny and is sure to be one of the breakout stories of the year. She only has a few small roles on her resume including Kitty Bennett in the Keira Knightley starring film “Pride & Prejudice”. That will soon change. Her performance shows so many layers and depths and the subtle shifts in between. Her craving, yearning and excitement about life are so strong you can practically feel it radiating off the screen. The ever-reliable indie star Peter Sarsgaard is equally compelling in the role of David. His seemingly effortless charm and allure masks a man who is certainly not all what he seems to be. The script adaptation by Nick Hornby (“High Fidelity”) is also excellent as it navigates the emotional terrain of the story without being at all heavy handed or simplistic.
Ultimately, the heart of the film lies with Carey Mulligan who gives a performance that heralds the arrival of a great new talent. An Education is a well crafted, compelling film and so far one of the year’s best.
When I first heard that LACMA was planning to kill their film program a few weeks ago, I was saddened but I can’t say that I was surprised. In the 7 years I’ve been running FilmRadar, I’ve witnessed the film program face numerous setbacks. The museum has curtailed the film department’s advertising budget to practically nothing and for a long time and getting the word out about their films has often been difficult. The film department appeared to me to have no support financial or otherwise from the museum. Ian Bernie, who heads the film department, has struggled for years and has done his best to keep it going. His passion and film knowledge is incredible.
What frustrates me about the whole thing is the contradictory nature of it all. LACMA director Michael Govan says that the program loses up to $100,000 a year, but I would greatly dispute this. For one thing, the entire film department at LACMA consists of only 2 people who are only paid modest salaries and several additional free interns. Secondly, I have seen numerous screenings that are sold out on a routine basis there. The film department only screens films during the time the museum is open so there are no additional operating costs to keep things going after hours. This $100K figure loss seems impossible. Govan has also stated that he wants to re-imagine the program and show films created by artists. So is this his way of saying that Erich Von Stroheim is not an artist? Is he trying to say that the films of Chang-dong Lee are not art? If he thinks the film program is losing money now, I doubt (with all due respect) that films created by Andy Warhol and Matthew Barney will be packing audiences in the theatre.
This entire incident seems to be LACMA saying that they don’t consider films as art and essentially they are not interested in highlighting them. Why is Martin Scorsese the only major filmmaker to come out and protest what is happening? Why don’t more powerful actors, directors, producers and executives get involved? I hope they do.
I have so many great memories of seeing films and speakers at LACMA over the years. I first saw the 4 1/2 hour reconstruction of Erich Von Stroheim’s GREED at LACMA, which played to a surprisingly crowded and enthusiastic audience. I saw the restoration of HEAVEN’S GATE there and got to see a post film Q&A with the legendary cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. LACMA’s film series marked my introduction to the work of director Chang-dong Lee and his film SECRET SUNSHINE. I could keep going on and on about all of the great films and guests I’ve seen there who have not appeared at other venues around town. LACMA’s film program has been a vital part of the Los Angeles film-going scene and deserves to remain.
Check out all of the below articles about this situation and I would encourage you to sign the petition and join the Facebook page
Click on the link below to follow the saga as it unfolds.
LACMA slaps film in the face The museum’s decision to put its film program on ‘hiatus’ is an affront to the city.
By Kenneth Turan
LACMA’s cruelest cut
By Richard Schickel
The Lost Weekend?
By Richard Lacayo
Details on Michael Govan’s LACMA contract
Martin Scorsese: An open letter to Michael Govan and LACMA
LACMA Abandons Film
By Cari Beauchamp
Los Angeles County Museum of Art cancels its weekend film program
By John Horn and Susan King
This past Saturday, June 13th the Jules Verne Film Festival hosted a Tribute to Tony Curtis. As part of the event there was a screening of SOME LIKE IT HOT on Saturday night. Since I collect vintage clothing, I was asked along with others in the vintage scene to wear one of my gowns and pose in front of the theatre. They even had a big line of vintage cars there too. I feel SO fortunate that this was my 2nd time in the past month to get to see a movie in this theatre!!
Before the film, Tony Curtis was brought out on stage where he received a standing ovation and answered some questions. I found the Q&A to be rather frustrating, as he never really gave a straight answer to any of the questions asked. He sort of rambled and got off topic constantly, but considering that he recently turned 84 years old, it is understandable. It was neat to see him live and in person. I’ve now seen Tony Curtis, Kirk Douglas, Jane Russell and Gloria Stewart up close and in person. Living in Los Angeles certainly has it’s advantages!
The lights went out and SOME LIKE IT HOT was magnificent. Every time I see a familiar film on the big screen, I always notice little things I hadn’t noticed before. That was certainly the case here. The dialogue in this film is so fast and funny. I first saw SOME LIKE IT HOT on TV when I was in high school and my entire focus was on Marilyn Monroe. I was very fascinated with her and she just took 100% of my attention. Everything else was a blur. The real revelation of the film this time around was Jack Lemmon. I think out of everyone in the cast, he seems to have the most fun and greatest sense of abandon. He also makes a great comic sidekick for Tony Curtis, who is clearly imitating Cary Grant through much of the film. What also struck me was how much more is going on below the surface of the story. There are so many observations about love, acceptance and relationships wrapped up in the comic situations.
Billy Wilder was one of the greatest screenwriters who ever lived and his movies always have such a sparkle and sophistication that modern day film is lacking entirely. He was also such a versatile writer/director who could tackle just about any material from comedy to drama to film noir. I was gushing to a fellow cinephile earlier today about Wilder and he said, “Well, SOME LIKE IT HOT is one of Wilder’s lesser films.” I said, “I disagree but in any case I would gladly take a lesser Wilder film over the greatest work from most other directors.” I’ve gone to the Academy library and read through some of Wilder’s telegrams and personal letters and even those are entertaining. Wilder is buried at the Westwood Cemetery which is also where Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon are buried as well. His graves bears the words, “I was a writer, but then again nobody’s perfect.” While that may be true, to me Wilder is as close to perfection as it gets.
If you are a die hard silent film lover (and even if your just discovering it) the annual Silent Film Gala is one of the best events of the year. This year the event had celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary. I have a friend who is just delving into the world of silent film and has shown an amazing amount of interest and enthusiasm. She had never seen a silent film on a big screen with an orchestra before, so I chose her as my guest. I HAD to show her what it is like to see a silent film in the best possible way. Watching it at home on the DVD player just can’t compare. Leonard Maltin (one of my heroes) gave an articulate and insightful introduction. Dustin Hoffman usually does this, but he was away in London on business.
This year’s film was Charlie Chaplin’s THE GOLD RUSH from 1925. In the film the little tramp plays a lone gold prospector who braves the elements to search for love during the Klondike gold rush. This film contains many of Chaplin’s most famous comic bits including eating his shoe and the famous dance of the dinner rolls. Chaplin was quoted as saying, “This is the picture that I want to be remembered by.” Sure enough 84 years after the initial release, the audience gave the film a standing ovation. Where ever he is right now, something tells me that Chaplin is in no way surprised. He knew his work would stand the test of time. The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra also did a magnificent job accompanying the film. I wish they played to silents more often!
I was fortunate enough to get to attend the VIP after party as well where we all feasted on seafood, k-bobs, hot soup and chocolate souffles.
My most favorite moment was when I glanced at my friend sitting there in the dark watching the flickering image….with a big smile on her face enjoying this film the way it was meant to be seen.
There are many annual film events that I look forward to every year and Last Remaining Seats is at the top of that list. I love the old movie palaces in downtown and everything about them. I love the old theatre smell, the architectural details, the lavish design and the enthusiasm of the crowd. Even if I have seen all of the films in the series, I still cannot resist the lure of seeing them on the big screen in a movie palace. Last night I went with some friends and saw BUCK PRIVATES at the Million Dollar Theatre. The Million Dollar was original built in 1918 (which is incredibly old by Los Angeles standards) and was the first local theatre to be run by showman Sid Grauman, who would eventually take over the Egyptian in 1922 and then the Chinese in 1927. Sculptor Joseph Mora designed the elaborate and highly dramatic exterior facade and the auditorium was designed by William L. Woollett. The exterior and interior design form a Spanish Baroque look that is gothic and theatrical. In the late 1940s the Million Dollar became a showcase for Spanish language performers and films. It was eventually closed and re-opened in 2008.
The Last Remaining Seats show was intended to give us the feeling of being back in the 1940s during a live war time radio broadcast. Host Maxwell Demille was on hand along with musician Dean Mora and the Fort McArthur Officers Orchestra. The Satin Dolls also provided some vintage allure by performing two numbers including “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”. Singer Kayre Morrison provided a beautiful rendition of “I’ll Be Seeing You.” That song always gets to me. Then they had a “Salute to the Troops” where everyone stood up and we all sang the national anthem. While it may sound cheesy to some, this was a very moving and sincere tribute. My Dad fought in Vietnam and both of my grandfathers were in WWII, so I grew up with an understanding of what that meant.
After the big tribute they showed a “News of the Day” newsreel about WWII and then the film….Abbott and Costello in BUCK PRIVATES. Made in 1941, this film was actually screened at the time in a theatre right down the street for wartime audiences. The comedy was great, but I was even more excited about seeing The Andrews Sisters, who perform several songs in the film. All in all, last night was a wonderful, old fashioned night at the movies. It is nights like that when I fall in love with Los Angeles all over again and when I remember what made me want to be here in the first place.
The big announcement has come that Warner Home Video is releasing titles for DVD on Demand!! Many of these titles have been hard to find in the past and now I can order them with the click of a mouse! I can’t tell you how excited I am about this!!!!!!!! I really have to salute George Feltenstein at Warner Home Video because he REALLY seems to love film and care about putting these titles out. He and his team do a fantastic job!!!!
Here is the link where you can click to preview the current offerings: www.WarnerArchive.com
I am also thrilled to death to see how many silent films are included! Make sure to log on to the site and vote on which title you’d most like to see come out on DVD!
Some of the gems that I’m going crazy to see include:
Garbo silents!! These include LOVE, THE KISS, THE SINGLE STANDARD, THE TEMPTRESS and WILD ORCHIDS!
Jean Harlow in BEAST OF THE CITY-this early gangster film has some priceless dialogue!!
Joan Crawford CHAINED, DANCE FOOLS DANCE, MANNEQUIN and many more!
Marion Davies in THE RED MILL (a very rare silent!)
Clark Gable and Joan Crawford in POSSESSED (a very juicy pre-code) and LOVE ON THE RUN!
Myrna Loy and Clark Gable in MEN IN WHITE, which is a very pre-code film WAY ahead of its time!
Norma Shearer in IDIOT’S DELIGHT, PRIVATE LIVES and STRANGE INTERLUDE.
Below is the press release, which goes into more detail about everything:
WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT GROUP OPENS THE WORLD’S LARGEST FILM VAULT WITH THE LAUNCH OF
“WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION”
Offers Movies Never Before Available on DVD; 150 Titles at Launch Including “Abe Lincoln in Illinois,” “The Citadel” and “All Fall Down”
Burbank, Calif., March 23, 2009 - Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group (WBHEG), today announced the debut of the “Warner Archive Collection” (www.WarnerArchive.com), a selection of movies spanning more than 60 years of filmmaking never before available on DVD. The world’s largest film and television vault is finally open to consumers who can now purchase authentic DVD and digital downloads of more than 150 classic titles for the first time drawn from Warner Bros. Entertainment’s unparalleled film library consisting of pre-1986 MGM, RKO Radio Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures films. They include Academy Award(r) nominee “Sunrise at Campobello,” “The Citadel,” “Mr. Lucky,” and many others from the Golden Age of Hollywood and beyond.
To order their movies, fans visit WarnerArchive.com, select their titles, and upon purchase, a state-of-the-art manufacturing on demand (MOD) system creates a made-to-order DVD indistinguishable in quality from a standard pressed DVD. The system places the DVD into a hard plastic Amaray case featuring custom artwork; shrink wraps it and ships the finished package to the customer which arrives in approximately five days. The cost per title is $19.95, plus shipping. Alternatively, movie fans can purchase digital downloads of these classic films to enjoy immediately on their PC. The cost for a digital download is $14.95 per title.
Initially the Warner Archive Collection offers 150 sought after titles including “Possessed” starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford; “Once Upon a Honeymoon” starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers; and “All Fall Down” starring Warren Beatty and Eva Marie Saint. Every month approximately 20 classic films and television programs will be added and by year’s end more than 300 titles will be available online. For a complete list of current titles visit WarnerArchive.com.
“With a cinematic legacy as rich and varied as that found within our library, the challenge has been to meet the voracious demand of consumers who are seeking their favorite films on DVD,” said George Feltenstein, senior vice president, Theatrical Catalog Marketing, Warner Home Video. “Whether it’s an Academy Award(r) -winning classic from Hollywood’s Golden Age, a Sci-Fi cult favorite from the ‘70s, or a silent rediscovery from the ‘20s, the Warner Archive Collection has something for everyone. This unprecedented initiative represents a tremendous effort from Warner Home Video and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and is representative of the company’s continued dedication to film preservation.”
As a companion to the Warner Archive Collection, WBHEG will launch an exciting new podcast series titled the “Golden History of Hollywood.” Available in late March on iTunes (www.itunes.com) as well as numerous online sites for free, the “Golden History of Hollywood” features captivating archival recordings from the studio’s vault including behind-the-scenes interviews with stars, radio editions of movies and much more.
Classic movie fans are invited to offer their input on future titles they would like to see in the Warner Archive Collection. Visit WarnerArchive.com and vote for a number of the next 20 titles that will be offered in April.
I have a very good friend who works at the Academy and each year she gets to attend the Academy Awards with a guest. She has been rotating the honor amongst her friends and this year she invited me!!! It was a once in a lifetime chance that I couldn’t pass up. The first major thing I obsessed about was what I was going to wear. I collect vintage gowns from the 1920s - 50s, so I decided to focus on trying to look like a Hollywood star in the 1930s. Myrna Loy was my key fashion inspiration.
I have to give credit where credit is due. Charlotte Del Rose is a fantastic vintage clothing expert, designer and stylist who selected my dress and helped to put the look together. Then the amazing vintage hairstylist Reina Salas did my hair and helped with the make up! If you want to work with either of these brilliant ladies, I will gladly give out their information.
I wore a dark blue velvet bias cut dress that was made in the 1930s that I purchased at Playclothes. It has a gold deco belt buckle with faux diamonds and saphires. I also wore gold t-strap 1930s style high heels and carried a gold beaded clutch purse on loan from a friend. I found a fantastic hair dresser who made my long hair look much shorter, as that was the fashion at the time. The hair and make up took close to 3 hours, but here is the result…..
We drove in my friend’s car and believe me, the process of getting there took a long time! There were a bunch of protesters standing at the corner of Highland and Sunset holding up really hateful, cruel, homophobic signs. One of the signs even read, “Heath in Hell.” That was horribly mean, insensitive and entirely out of line. Those people were just complete fools. We pulled up to the valet area and they had bomb sniffing dogs and numerous security people open up our car. They even had mirrors on sticks that they ran under the car and they opened the trunk and went through everything. After we checked the car in, we had to get our tickets and IDs out and check in for the show. Then the fun part….we got to walk the red carpet. I used to work for a publicity executive at a studio and have been on red carpets before, but it was always as an employee. This was my first time to be there as an actual guest. It was a nice change of pace. The red carpet was very very crowded. They tell everyone to keep moving all the time, but no one really does. Everyone was just walking around very slowly to watch what was going on. The stars of course were constantly stopping for photographs and interviews on the carpet. Somehow, I ended up walking in right behind Robert Downey Jr. and his wife and someone told me I was even visible on the E! Channel.
When we got inside, someone from the Academy took all of our pictures in front of one of the giant Oscar statues. We went upstairs and attempted to get some hors d’?uvres, but that proved to be very difficult. The waiters kept zipping by so fast and by the time I would grab them, the tray would be empty. My friend and I literally hung out by the kitchen so we could pounce on the waiters immediately when they came out with the food. While some people there were intent on gazing at Brad Pitt, I was more focused on eating crab cakes.
Being that my friend and I are not famous, our seats were pretty much in the attic of the theatre. We were waaaaaaaaaaaaay up high at the back of the highest balcony. It was steep, dark and there was not much railing…and I am clumsy by nature and was wearing heels. I was afraid I was going to fall and tumble off the balcony and plummet to my death. During the commercial breaks, tons of people in the balcony kept getting up to get drinks and hang out at the bar on the floor level where the stars all congregate. We decided not to do this. Seeing stars is ok and all, but we just preferred to stay put and enjoy the show.
I’ve read on the internet that most of the critics hated it. Personally, I really enjoyed it!! I think the problem is that people just expect too much!!! It is an awards show and not a work of masterpiece theatre or something. Besides, the critics have hated Chris Rock, Ellen, Jon Stewart and pretty much everyone who has ever hosted in recent memory except Billy Crystal. There is just no pleasing the critics. I thought the show had a great energy, it moved along quickly and I loved having 5 past winners from different eras present the acting awards. I thought that was an excellent new addition to the show. I also loved Hugh Jackman. He was fantastic. I liked how the production designer of the show re-imagined the stage, which was set up to look like a 1930s style cabaret.
I have some friends who watched the show on TV at home and most of them didn’t like it at all. Perhaps it was something that was much better live than on TV.
As for the winners themselves, there were few surprises. The only big upset for me was that WALTZ WITH BASHIR was totally robbed of the Foreign Language Film Award. That really shocked me. Otherwise, everything else was pretty much predictable. I was thrilled that SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE won. I was also thrilled for Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black, the screenwriter for MILK. Those awards were well deserved and their speeches were very moving. I just wish there weren’t so many other award shows leading up to the Oscars, as it makes everything so anti-climatic!
From where I was sitting the stars looked about like the size of ants, so I often had to rely on watching the monitors that were up near the balcony. I was really hoping to see at least one old movie star up close and as I was leaving the show, I got my wish. Jane Russell was standing outside the Kodak theatre all by herself. I’ve seen many of her movies, so I walked up to her and said, “Hello Ms. Russell, I’m so glad to see you here this evening!” She gave me the nastiest “go to hell” look I have ever been on the receiving end of in my entire life. She didn’t say a word. I smiled, shrugged and walked away.
All in all, I had a really great time with my friend and I was grateful to have experienced this 81 year old Hollywood tradition live!!
Meet Writer / Director Oliver Stone for the DVD release of W. at Vidiots on Friday, February 13th at 7:30 p.m.
Oliver Stone is known for taking on controversial political and cultural subjects. His work has won him three Academy Awards. Vidiots will screen scenes from the film W. followed by a Q & A. session.
DVD copies of W. will be available for purchase and signing as well as other Stone films including, SALVADOR, PLATOON, BORN ON THE 4th OF JULY, THE DOORS, WALL STREET., JFK and TALK RADIO.
Vidiots is located at 302 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, California. Admission if FREE. For further info call (310) 392-8508
I’ve always been fascinated by Paris France. For ages I’ve longed to travel the world and Paris was the first place on my list. I have been there twice and I am already longing to go back. I love the historic architecture, the rich history, the excellent food and of course the cinema! The French are major cinephiles and I was delighted to discover a ton of places all over the city where I could see old movies!
Below is a photo of the Cin?math?que Fran?aise, which is an amazing archive of films, research materials and information. I was stunned to find out they are fully funded by the French government!! They have 3 different levels with exhibits and three different sized theatres inside. This building was designed by famed architect Frank Gehry. If you want to learn more about the Cin?math?que, then make sure to rent the documentary film Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque. I went to all three exhibitions including the one about silent film pioneer Georges Melies and another big exhibit about Dennis Hopper. They day of my visit, they were showing a rare Dennis Hopper film called The Trip made by Roger Corman in 1967. In the film Peter Fonda decides to drop acid and experiences visions of sex, death, strobe lights, flowers, dancing girls, witches, hooded riders, a torture chamber, and a dwarf. He also runs naked through part of West Hollywood. It was lovely!
I also stopped by the Cine Tamaris display at Rue Daguerre in Montparnasse. This is the headquarters of filmmaker Agnes Varda’s production company. She directed numerous films (several available from Criterion) including La Pointe Courte, Cl?o from 5 to 7, Le bonheur and Vagabond. Note the Jacques Demy DVD box sets in the window display. They were married and he directed numerous French classics including The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort. I was freezing cold when this photo was taken!
There is a section of Paris called “The Latin Quarter” that I really enjoy visiting. There are tons of small theatres in the area and almost all of them are showing old Hollywood classics! I couldn’t resist coming in from the cold and watching a Hitchcock matinee! The theatre was nice and warm, the seats were very comfortable and the print of Rebecca was stunning!!!!
I took many long walks through the city and saw a great shop that carried old Hollywood posters.
Since I have a huge passion for historic cemeteries, I managed to visit several graves of French film legends including: Henri Georges Clouzot and his wife Vera, Francois Truffaut and American actress Jean Seberg.
Stay tuned for more about my trip to Paris and my recent visit to the cinema offerings in London as well.
Since the Academy Award nominations come out today, here is my $.02 cents on them:
BEST PICTURE: I’m surprised that The Reader made the cut, as I didn’t expect that to happen. I have no problems with the other nominees, but I hope that Slumdog Millionaire will win. That is hands down my favorite and I think the momentum is with it.
BEST ACTRESS: I was thrilled out of my mind that Melissa Leo was nominated!!!! Frozen River was one of my most favorite films of 2008 and she was simply outstanding in it. I was disappointed that Sally Hawkins was left out for Happy Go Lucky, but at least she won the Golden Globe. I was also sorry to see Kristen Scott Thomas not included for I’ve Loved You So Long, but then again there are always people who get left off the list each year. All in all, I hope Kate Winslet wins. She is really great in The Reader and since this is her 6th nomination, she is long overdue.
BEST ACTOR: This is a really tough race. I was so happy that Richard Jenkins got a nod for The Visitor!!!! I always tend to root for the underdog and films like The Visitor don’t tend to have the marketing muscle and huge budgets of something like Benjamin Button. I really hope that his nomination means that more people will see this film. I think that ultimately the race will boil down to a match between Sean Penn in Milk and Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: This is also a great roster of performances. I was glad that Marisa Tomei was nominated. People still joke about her winning the award a long time ago for My Cousin Vinny, but with performances in In the Bedroom and The Wrestler she has more than proven herself worthy. Ultimately, I think that Pen?lope Cruz will take the prize.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: I was super happy that Michael Shannon got a nomination. He is riveting in Revolutionary Road and his nomination is very well deserved. I was also glad to see Josh Brolin included as well. He has been doing a fantastic string of films and is really one of the best actors working right now. I think Heath Ledger is really a lock for this award though.
BEST DIRECTOR: I really hope that Danny Boyle takes this.
With regards to the other categories, I really have to catch up on all of the foreign films, shorts and documentaries before I can issue any sensible predictions.
I enjoy the Academy Awards, but I always have mixed feelings about them. Giving awards for art always feels very strange to me since it is so subjective. There are always so many talented and deserving people who don’t win and often times lesser talents who do. There is also a great deal of hype, marketing/campaign money and glad handling that goes into the whole thing. I saw Meryl Streep in an interview a while back talking about how she hated the “campaign” aspect of the Oscar race. She said that it wasn’t like this in the 70s and 80s and now she feels as though she is running for office or something. Then again Mary Pickford had Academy members to tea at Pickfair and Hearst launched an unsuccessful campaign to win an Oscar for Marion Davies in 1935 for Peg of My Heart. The political aspect is nothing new, it just feels a lot more intense and magnified now than it used to.
Regardless, I will be watching the awards on February 22nd and will have a good time watching it all unfold.