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How David Storey's This Sporting Life created a great working-class film hero

Storey delivered a blast of energy to the dull early 60s with the character of Frank Machin, a rugby player who capitalised on the new magic of celebrity

David Storey, author of This Sporting Life, dies at 83

David Storey, in an unforgettable partnership with the director Lindsay Anderson, provided one of the great energising shocks of the 1960s, a blast of energy, smashing at the dullness, the complacency and hypocrisy of class-ridden Britain. Storey adapted his own 1960 novel This Sporting Life for the screen: Lindsay Anderson directed it, and won from Richard Harris a performance to rival Brando. He is Frank Machin, a gifted sportsman who wants to make it as a professional rugby league player (like Storey himself), but is poignantly in love with his widowed landlady, played by Rachel Roberts. Frank is a superstar on the field; he has money, success with women and a cocksure sense of
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

75 days until Michelle Pfeiffer returns to us...

Important dates in the RePfeiffal of 2017...

Michelle Pfeiffer as Ruth Madoff in "Wizard of Lies"

April 29th Michelle Pfeiffer's birthday. She turns 59

May 20th The HBO premiere of Wizard of Lies starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro in a TV movie about the Madoff scandal

June 19th 25th anniversary of Batman Returns (1992)

And Every Saturday ...new episodes of Pfandom

Sept 17th Emmy Night - will she be a nominee for Wizard of Lies? It premieres just before the Emmy eligibility cutoff

Oct 13th Darren Aronofsky's Mother opens in movie theaters starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, and Domnhall Gleeson

Nov 22nd The all star remake of Murder on the Orient Express opens in movie theaters starring Michelle Pfeiffer (in the Lauren Bacall role), Kenneth Branagh (in the Albert Finney role), Judi Dench (in the Wendy Hiller role), Daisy Ridley (in the Vanessa Redgrave role), Olivia Colman
See full article at FilmExperience »

10 Most Violent Music Videos Of All Time

Roc Nation

Violent music videos have always existed, yet before the internet they weren’t quite as problematic. The point of a music video, of course, is to promote a song or album…yet there was little tolerance for showing any depiction of violence on television stations, meaning it was tough to get the money and approval to make them.

Yet the advent of the internet and the popularity of streaming services like YouTube has breathed new life (and many more gruesome possibilities) into the violent video. Bands and artists no longer have to worry about a lack of promotion… gory videos still make it onto YouTube, and are written about, shared and discussed much more than your standard fare.

For this reason music videos are able to get more unsettling than ever… but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some insanely brutal videos made back in the day,
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

‘Charlie Chan & the Curse of the Dragon Queen’ Blu-ray Review

  • Nerdly
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Lee Grant, Angie Dickinson, Richard Hatch, Brian Keith, Roddy McDowall, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rachel Roberts, Paul Ryan, David Hirokane | Written by Jerry Sherlock, Stan Burns, David Axlerod | Directed by Clive Donner

In Hawaii, master sleuth Charlie Chan unmasks the Dragon Queen as a killer. Before she’s arrested, she places a curse on Chan and his family. Years later in San Francisco, Chan is called out of retirement when the city of San Francisco finds itself in chaos over a series of weird murders. Chan is assisted by his blundering grandson, Lee Chan Jr, who is more of a hindrance than help. Yet the shadow of the Dragon Queen still hangs over the Chan family, when she becomes his number one suspect.

If you’ve never heard of (or seen) Charlie Chan & the Curse of the Dragon Queen before, where have you been? Here in the UK the
See full article at Nerdly »

Which is the greatest British film in history? No one seems to be in agreement

Best British movies of all time? (Image: a young Michael Caine in 'Get Carter') Ten years ago, Get Carter, starring Michael Caine as a dangerous-looking London gangster (see photo above), was selected as the United Kingdom's very best movie of all time according to 25 British film critics polled by Total Film magazine. To say that Mike Hodges' 1971 thriller was a surprising choice would be an understatement. I mean, not a David Lean epic or an early Alfred Hitchcock thriller? What a difference ten years make. On Total Film's 2014 list, published last May, Get Carter was no. 44 among the magazine's Top 50 best British movies of all time. How could that be? Well, first of all, people would be very naive if they took such lists seriously, whether we're talking Total Film, the British Film Institute, or, to keep things British, Sight & Sound magazine. Second, whereas Total Film's 2004 list was the result of a 25-critic consensus,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Blu-ray Review: Criterion Release of Peter Weir’s Mesmerizing ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’

Peter Weir’s “Picnic at Hanging Rock” is a mesmerizing film. Most who go into it know that it tells a tragic (possibly true) story with no resolution. And so it becomes a slow burn, in which the atmosphere and dread of unseen danger hangs thick in every frame.

Weir broke through on the international film scene with this surprise hit, a film that introduced the world to one of the best directors of the ’80s and ’90s. He would go on to give us more traditional and yet masterful works like “Witness,” “Fearless,” “The Truman Show,” and “Master and Commander” and yet when I hear his name, “Picnic at Hanging Rock” is the first film I think of.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

It is a defiantly bizarre, terrifying film that defies easy categorization or even synopsis. On one hand, it’s a mystery, but it’s one without a conclusion (which notoriously
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

The Forgotten: "The Reckoning" (1969)

  • MUBI
Screening at Edinburgh International Film Festival as part of a retrospective on writer John McGrath, Jack Gold’s first two features, The Bofors Gun (1968) and The Reckoning (1969), made for punchy, exciting viewing.

Both films were made fairly fast and cheap—Gold, experienced in TV, keeps them moving with stabs of the zoom lens, an active camera and choppy, rough-hewn cutting. They’re not things of beauty, visually, but take their energy and spleen from Nicol Williamson’s manic performances.

The Bofors Gun takes place at a British army base in Germany, where David Warner has to command the night’s guard of the titular cannon without incident in order to get returned to Blighty the following day. His reluctance to discipline his men leads to horrific consequences, mostly caused by a drunken Irishman played by drunken Scottish actor Williamson (Merlin in Excalibur). Williamson’s capacity for loquacious, frenzied and diabolic grandstanding is exercised thoroughly.
See full article at MUBI »

An Unknowable Evil in ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’

What you don’t see is scarier than what you do. This horror movie philosophy has been used time and again to great success. The Haunting utilizes little more than sound effects to represent the spirits that torment the characters. The camera in Rosemary’s Baby fades out just before revealing the contents of that menacing crib. The Blair Witch Project never shows its titular villain, preferring to rely on the sinister atmosphere of its forest environment. The human imagination can be a breeding ground for fear and paranoia, and filmmakers love to take advantage of it. By tossing their villains into shadows and ambiguity, they can force viewers to conjure up evils far more terrifying than anything they could show on the screen.

One man took this philosophy to the extreme. Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock augments ambiguity to a near maddening level. Not only is the monster never seen,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Blu-ray, DVD Release: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: June 17, 2014

Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95

Studio: Criterion

A group of young woman mysteriously vanish in Picnic at Hanging Rock.

This sensual and striking chronicle of a disappearance and its aftermath in the 1975 drama-mystery Picnic at Hanging Rock put director Peter Weir (The Way Back) on the map and helped usher in a new era of Australian cinema.

Set at the turn of the twentieth century, Picnic at Hanging Rock concerns a small group of students from an all-female college and a chaperone, who vanish while on a St. Valentine’s Day outing.

Less a mystery than a journey into the mystic, as well as an inquiry into issues of class and sexual repression in Australian society, Weir’s gorgeous, disquieting film is a work of poetic horror whose secrets haunt viewers to this day.

Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo Edition of the movie includes the
See full article at Disc Dish »

Top 10 sports movies

Fighting, dying, hoping, hating … great sports films are about far more than sport itself. Here Guardian and Observer critics pick their 10 best

• Top 10 superhero movies

• Top 10 westerns

• Top 10 documentaries

• Top 10 movie adaptations

• Top 10 animated movies

• Top 10 silent movies

• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s

10. This Sporting Life

Lindsay Anderson brought to bear on his adaptation of David Storey's first novel, all the poetic-realist instincts he had been honing for the previous decade as a documentarian in the Humphrey Jennings mould. (Anderson had won the 1953 best doc Oscar for Thursday's Children.) Filmed partly in Halifax and Leeds, but mainly in and around Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Club, one of its incidental attractions is its record of a northern, working-class sports culture that would change out of all recognition over the next couple of decades.

The story of Frank Machin, a miner who becomes a star on the rugby field,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Network Announces New "British Film Line-up" Titles

  • CinemaRetro
Network Distributing is pleased to announce the next batch of titles within “The British Film” range which will be available in the UK later this year. Each feature once again benefits from a new transfer, an instant play facility and will be presented in special slim-line space-saving packaging. Some of the highlights from October are a documentary about the body narrated by Vanessa Redgrave with music from Roger Waters, more gems from the vaults from Ealing Studios, classic horror, British musicals and a courtroom drama starring Richard Attenborough.

7 October

The Body £9.99

Vanessa Redgrave and Frank Finlay narrate an intimate and innovative documentary from the seventies about the human body cut to music from Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters. Commentary by poet and playwright Adrian Mitchell.

The Final Programme £9.99

Cult director Robert Fuest’s dystopian sci-fi thriller. Robert Finch stars as Jerry Cornelius, a Nobel Prize winning physicist and playboy who
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Rex Harrison hat on TCM: ‘My Fair Lady,’ ‘Anna and the King of SiamRex Harrison is Turner Classic Movies’ final "Summer Under the Stars" star today, August 31, 2013. TCM is currently showing George Cukor’s lavish My Fair Lady (1964), an Academy Award-winning musical that has (in my humble opinion) unfairly lost quite a bit of its prestige in the last several decades. Rex Harrison, invariably a major ham whether playing Saladin, the King of Siam, Julius Caesar, the ghost of a dead sea captain, or Richard Burton’s lover, is for once flawlessly cast as Professor Henry Higgins, who on stage transformed Julie Andrews from cockney duckling to diction-master swan and who in the movie version does the same for Audrey Hepburn. Harrison, by the way, was the year’s Best Actor Oscar winner. (See also: "Audrey Hepburn vs. Julie Andrews: Biggest Oscar Snubs.") Following My Fair Lady, Rex Harrison
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Sybil Christopher obituary

Welsh-born actor and Richard Burton's first wife, she moved to the Us after their split and co-founded a famous New York disco

Sybil Christopher, who has died aged 83, was the injured party in Hollywood's most famous on- and off-screen romance, that between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor during the making of Joe Mankiewicz's blockbuster epic Cleopatra (1963). Sybil Williams, as she was born, was the girl from the Welsh valleys whom Burton had married in 1949. Theirs was a tenacious and loving relationship that survived the actor's affairs with Claire Bloom and Susan Strasberg, among many others, and his hell-raising exploits.

Having ditched her own career as an actor to follow his star – and raise their two daughters – she always remained discreetly quiet about the marriage, filing for divorce in 1963 on the grounds of "abandonment and cruel and inhumane treatment". Moving to New York, she made a new career for herself on a tide of goodwill.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

RopeofSilicon Movie Club: 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' (1979)

Welcome to the first "meeting" of the RopeofSilicon Movie Club. The film being discussed is Peter Weir's eerie 1979 feature Picnic at Hanging Rock, a film easily described as a mystery and often referred to as a horror. I had hoped to keep my own thoughts to a reasonable length, but the film got the better of me. Feel free to read my thoughts or simply delve into the conversation in the comments below. This is a free for all discussion were thoughts and opinions are allowed to run free... Please do so... Picnic at Hanging Rock is an adaptation of Joan Lindsay's 1967 novel of the same name and is easily summarized, but not explained, by the film's opening text: On Saturday 14th February 1900 a party of schoolgirls from Appleyard College picnicked at Hanging Rock near Mt. Macedon in the state of Victoria. During the afternoon several members of
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Minds Eye Visits "Avalon: Web of Magic"

Minds Eye Entertainment, Red Sky Entertainment and Moving Pictures Media are all teaming up for a potential live-action film franchise based on the young adult fantasy book series "Avalon: Web Of Magic" reports Screen Daily.

Robert Mandell created and Rachel Roberts penned the series which follows a band of chosen children who are approached by magical animals to help them defeat an evil sorceress.

Donald Petrie ("Miss Congeniality") will direct the first film, Minds Eye hopes to produce several features aimed at the teen market. Isabella Battiston is producing.
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Minds Eye Entertainment Plans Avalon: Web of Magic

Minds Eye Entertainment announced today that they have partnered with Red Sky Entertainment and Moving Pictures Media to produce a live-action, feature-length film adaptation of fantasy-adventure book series Avalon: Web of Magic . Avalon: Web of Magic is a twelve book young adult fantasy series published by Tor/MacMillan Publishing Group that have sold over 2 million copies to date and was recently adapted for eBooks on multiple eReader platforms by Premier Digital Publishing. Created by Robert Mandell and written by Rachel Roberts, the book series features four seemingly ordinary teenagers faced with extraordinary events happening in the woods behind their town. Fantastical animals, the last of their kind, have arrived looking for help to save their world from an evil...
See full article at Comingsoon.net »

A Peter Weir Retrospective

Flickering Myth presents a detailed look at the work of internationally renowned Australian filmmaker Peter Weir...

Articles

Weir Did He Go? Flickering Myth Welcomes Back Peter Weir

Trevor Hogg introduces the Peter Weir Blogathon.

A Weir View: A Peter Weir Profile

Trevor Hogg profiles the career of director Peter Weir in a two-part article from 2009.

Saoirse Ronan, Jim Sturgess and Peter Weir on The Way Back

Actors Saoirse Ronan and Jim Sturgess and director Peter Weir discuss The Way Back.

Master and Commander: Peter Weir Returns with The Way Back

Trevor Hogg discusses the making of The Way Back.

Exclusive Interviews...

Picture Perfect: A conversation with cinematographer Russell Boyd

Cutting Edge: A conversation with film editor Lee Smith

The Weir Way: Russell Boyd and Lee Smith Talk About Peter Weir

Career Retrospective...

The Cars That Ate Paris, 1974.

Starring John Meillon, Terry Camilleri, Kevin Miles, Rick Scully, Max Gillies and Bruce Spence.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Top 10 Greatest British Films of all Time!

Ok, so we’ve had another – albeit much lower key – royal wedding this weekend, as the Queens granddaughter Zara Phillips wed her Rugby captain boyfriend Mike Tindall…so I’m feeling all patriotic again and want to let you know what I believe are the 10 Greatest British films of all time!

Us Brits produce a diverse range of films these days, covering anything from psychological horror to mushy romantic comedies via gripping wartime thrillers and tense emotional dramas. And by George, we do it blooming well at times! So in honour of celebrating all that is spiffing about this glorious nation of ours, here’s what I consider to be the 10 greatest British films of all time…

10. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Combining hilarious madcap comedy with thrills and suspense aplenty, this Ealing film is exactly what comedy is about. One of the films that helped give the studio a name for itself,
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

New Release: Malcolm McDowell in Never Apologize DVD

On May 31, Warner Home Video will release the DVD of the 2007 movie Never Apologize, a film of actor Malcolm McDowell’s (A Clockwork Orange) one-man stage show tribute to his great friend and mentor, British director Lindsay Anderson.

Malcolm McDowell salutes director Lindsay Anderson in Never Apologize.

McDowell worked with Anderson on a number of projects over the years, including the seminal British movies If… (1968), O Lucky Man (1973) and Britannia Hospital (1982), as well as such theatre plays as the West End production of Holiday in 1987.

In Never Apologize, directed by Mike Kaplan, McDowell delivers an oral history of his partnership with Anderson, which gives him an opportunity to flex his acting muscles (included are his amusing impersonations of Anderson as well as fellow actors Rachel Roberts, Arthur’s John Gielgud and even All About Eve’s Bette Davis) and create a ‘live biography’ of one of post-war Britain’s most important directors.
See full article at Disc Dish »

Peter Weir Retrospective: Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Trevor Hogg continues his Peter Weir retrospective with a look at his internationally acclaimed second film...

Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1975.

Directed by Peter Weir.

Starring Rachel Roberts, Vivean Gray, Helen Morse, Kirsty Child, Anne-Louise Lambert, Jacki Weaver and Tony Llewellyn-Jones.

Synopsis:

At the turn of the twentieth century a group of Australian schoolgirls vanish upon entering a mysterious rock formation while picnicking on Valentine’s Day.

In filming the strange period tale based on the novel by author Joan Lindsay, filmmaker Peter Weir had to address a fundamental narrative problem. “With much of Picnic at Hanging Rock it was clearly dangerous ground I was treading on, given the audience’s preconditioning, with a mystery that had no solution. I had to supply an ambience so powerful that it would turn the audience’s attention from following the steps of the police investigation into another kind of film.” To accomplish this for his 1975 movie,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

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