Thursday, May 26, 2016
"The Hunt," Thomas Vinterburg's stomach-churning examination of the devastating aftermath of a false accusation, plays like a real world adult horror story and a "this-can-easily-happen-to-you" cautionary tale. This is a film that gives us plenty to chew on long after the credits roll, including the question of how to interpret the final scene. Collectively, our CineVerse group took aim at the task of analyzing "The Hunt" and came away with these observations:
Sunday, May 22, 2016
Thursday, May 19, 2016
By the time he made "Notorious" in the mid-1940s, considered by many to be his finest picture to date, Hitchcock had proved to be the ultimate filmmaker--a creative craftsman who took all the truths he learned from silent film, early talkies, and his teeth-cutting years as a popular director of British films in the 1930s and applied them to the Hollywood studio system with an ingenuity and flair that put him at the top of the game. It's all on display in "Notorious": the inventive camera work, the visually expressive narrative style that communicates more with images than words; the tight editing; and the exquisitely lit compositions that showcase Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman as quite possibly the most attractively filmed couple the silver screen had ever seen. And then there's that key to the wine cellar, which figures prominently as a symbol/motif throughout the movie--a prop worthy of one of the most celebrated crane zooms ever attempted to that point. CineVerse had a lot of fun parsing through this content hunting for meaning and merit, both in ample supply. Here is what we concluded:
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Friday, May 13, 2016
As your faithful CineVerse moderator was picking up his son from Indiana University last week to bring him home for the summer, he remembered that the college's Lilly Library is home to one of the largest repositories of Orson Welles artifacts in the world--from film scripts and rare photographs to letters, memos and legal papers. The materials in this collection, in fact, total approximately 20,000 items related to Welles's efforts on radio, stage, and film as well as to his political and personal life. Realizing I had a rare opportunity to investigate some of the items in this collection, I talked my son into delaying our homeward departure for a spell so that I could get my Orson fix. When it was all said and done, we had actually ended up spending two solid hours parsing through a portion of this Welles treasure trove (like a kid in a candy store, I could have stayed for days, believe me).
Highlights of my perusal included browsing through:
Second final draft of "Citizen Kane" Early script with working title "American" "Citizen Kane" original press kit Photos of original storyboards for "Kane" Pre-budget estimates for "Kane"
It was an amazing afternoon this classic film fan will never forget.
John Ford's best director Oscar
for "The Grapes of Wrath"
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" is a departure for the movie maestro away from his trademark murder mystery-intrigue type of suspense picture. But it's no less riveting in the way it tightens the knot and pits its characters against each other in a desperate situation where violence and evil are likely consequences. The film is particularly fascinating as a time capsule study of wartime propaganda--the merits of which, or lack thereof caused "Lifeboat" to endure surprising criticism from some reviewers back in 1944. Here is what our CineVerse group observed about this movie:
Sunday, May 8, 2016
Thursday, May 5, 2016
It's fascinating to watch Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant interplay and parry with comedic banter, verbal wit and facially expressive playfulness. Throw James Stewart into the mix and you've got fireworks amplified to the third power. Such are the undeniable charms of "The Philadelphia Story," one of the grand big star romantic comedies of Hollywood's Golden Age. In dissecting this light drama masquerading as a screwball comedy, here are the conclusions our CineVerse group reached: