Ceiling Zero (1936) - News Poster



The Forgotten: Howard Hawks' "Tiger Shark" (1932)

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The critical consensus about Howard Hawks' themes and talents strikes me as bang on. The Cahiers critics identified him as a classic auteur, continually exploring characters and situations he had an affinity for, and in a consistent style. The surprise is it took so long for style and characters to come together to form the Hawks we know: his best early films are outliers, and only gradually did he come to explore the kind of group dynamics, sexual sparring and codes of professionalism with which he's now justly associated.Early 1930s Hawks just isn't quite all there yet, but you can see lots of Hawksian characters and themes struggling to come together and be their ideal selves.This one has Edward G. Robinson as a "Portagee" fisherman with a Chico Marx accent and an earring. For some reason, Hawks didn't really connect effectively with the urban tough guy actors until Bogart came his way,
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From the missing films of favorite auteurs: "The Wings of Eagles" (Ford, 1957)

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Turner Classic Movies is a boon for auteurists. Who need a local movie theater when you can just scan TCM’s monthly schedule for directors you want to catch up on? (Or, for the more adventurous, directors you’ve never heard of—part of the simultaneous greatness of and frustration with TCM is their seemingly random hodgepodge programming of great films with utter mediocrity.) I’ve been guilty on many occasions of letting a film by a filmmaker I like pass by—it’s too long, it’s otherwise easy to see, the mood isn’t right, the film sounds like a minor work—and one that I let pass more than any other was John Ford’s 1957 film The Wings of Eagles.Made after The Searchers, given a particularly forgettable title (I keep having to double-check if the film is actually The Eagle’s Wings or On The Wings of Eagles
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Nyff 2014. Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice"

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I knew I was going to love Inherent Vice (directed by P.T. Anderson, having its world premiere here at the New York Film Festival) the moment at the tail end of the opening sequence when Joaquin Phoenix, with his Chia Pet forest of sideburns, staggered out into the hippy seaside streets and suddenly the snares and bass of Can’s “Vitamin C” filled the soundtrack as the title—in all its 70s-style outline-font neon splendor—appeared—almost pulsatingly, I’d say—on the screen. The song took me back, as the movie, with its acid-flashback style tends to do—not to the 70s—but to the 90s, when I used to put the krautrock geniuses’ album Ege Bamyasi on the stereo and crank up the volume, and to one afternoon in particular when I was home alone on a Saturday afternoon and I put on Side B, and when the
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Hollywood's finest practitioner of everyday chivalry

Howard Hawks's films – The Big Sleep, His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby – are among the most enjoyable ever made in Hollywood, with sublime performances by Bogart and Grant and Bacall. Just don't call him an 'artist'. By David Bromwich

Howard Hawks took legitimate pride in a certain professionalism, but "artist" and "work of art" were alien terms for him. He appreciated the wit of Faulkner's saying to him the first time they met: "I've seen your name on a check."

Setting it up and putting it together, working with actors and the script: these were his elements of film. Hawks knew what a cameraman should do – Lee Garmes brought to Scarface the desert surface Hawks knew he wanted – but he made no pretence about placing lights or finding angles. He was an experimenter whose greatest successes were happy accidents. The standard genres – comedy, melodrama, western, film noir – he took
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