Midweek Matinee

A BLACK LOOK AT SNOW WHITE

 Blancanieves3

The Artist was never going to revive the silent film industry, but it has made it easier for other film-makers to get their silent films made. None of these has scaled the commercial heights of Hazanavicius’ film, but at least one shows a comparable artistry.

 BlancanievesBlancanieves Poster

Blancanieves was Spain’s offering for the Best Foreign Film Oscar this year. It is a fervid retelling of the story of Snow White, but this is not a movie to babysit kids with. Not unless you want to explain what the nice lady in stockings was doing with the riding crop.

Pablo BergerPablo Berger

Director Pablo Berger is steeped in silent cinema, particular the work of the Frenchman Abel Gance. But in some ways his film is an anthology of prototypical Spanish concerns. There is flamenco, there is Francoist repression, and most of all there is bullfighting. The heroine ‘Blancanieves’ is the lost daughter of a dashing torero. Raised by a cruel stepmother, she blossoms into her father’s trade as the companion to seven dwarf matadors in a traveling show.

 Snow_White_ZombieSnow White Zombie

The fairy-tale outlines are clear, but what Berger catches most breathtakingly is the cruel and sinister edges of the fairy-tale world. This is more Grimm than Disney, more Gorey than Perrault.

 Blancanieves1

It is easy to see why Berger spent nearly ten years searching for funding, and only the unexpected success of The Artist could have convinced his investors to take the risk. Whether they recouped their money or not, they can at least be proud of their choice. The film is a revelation. At once sophisticated and brutal, romantic and filled with dread, Blancanieves manages to be both familiar and utterly unpredictable. Silent cinema has a new masterpiece, and it’s out now on DVD.

Posted by Kevin McGee

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A Laugh on Tuesday

You’re welcome back again to ‘A Laugh on Tuesday”. I’ve included a clip of Laurel & Hardy taken from Way Out West. A talkie I know, but how else could we hear the hilarity of the two lads in their comical version of ‘The Trail of the Lonesome Pine‘. So tune in and enjoy.

Gene Wilder

FallingTower

Charlie Chaplin

South Park

Ted

Snatch

Psycho

Bitching

Hot Babes

Cinema Staff

Scum Utd

See y’all next week then when I’ll have some more funny memes and I’ll find another Youtube clip for you to enjoy! 😀

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee

A Quote on Thursday

 

 

Stan Laurel

Quoted by Stan Laurel:

If any of you cry at my funeral, I’ll never speak to you again.

Oliver Hardy

Quoted by Oliver Hardy:

Well, if she was dumb enough to marry you, she’ll believe anything.

Buster Keaton

Quoted by Buster Keaton:

Silence is of the gods; only monkeys chatter.

Greta Garbo

Quoted by Greta Garbo:

Why haven’t I got a husband and children?” mused Greta Garbo to the Duchess of Windsor, “I never met a man I could marry.

Marisha Pessl

Quote by Marisha Pessl in Special Topics in Calamity Physics:

If all histories have a period known as The Golden Age, somewhere between The Beginning and The End, I suppose those Sundays during Fall Semester at Hannah’s were just that, or, to quote one of Dad’s treasured characters of cinema, the illustrious Norma Desmond as she recalled the lost era of silent film: “We didn’t need dialogue. We had faces.”

Leonard Maltin

Quoted by Leonard Maltin:

When it comes to the selections, I heard several observers claim that the Academy was embracing “nostalgia” by honoring The Artist and Hugo. Give me a break! Hugo represents cutting-edge storytelling by a world-class director—in 3-D, no less. The Artist dares to revisit a form of cinema that was abandoned in the late 1920s. The Academy members admired these films for making the past seem immediate and relevant. That has nothing to do with nostalgia; it has everything to do with great moviemaking, which is what the Academy Awards are all about.

A Quote on Thursday

Catherine Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve:

“I  like some of the early silent films because I love to watch how actors had to play then. What would interest me today is to do a silent film.”

Helena Christensen

Helena Christensen:

“When you are modeling, you are creating a picture, a still life, perhaps something like a silent film. You convey emotion but you are only using your body.” 

Walter Murch

Walter Murch:

“When I’m actually assembling a scene, I assemble it as a silent movie. Even if it’s a dialog scene, I lip read what people are saying.”

Michel Hazanavicius

Michel Hazanavicius:
“I always loved silent movies. I was not a specialist, but I loved them. And when I started directing, I became really fascinated by the format – how it works, the device of the silent movie.”

Leonard Maltin

Leonard Maltin:

“When it comes to the selections, I heard several observers claim that the Academy was embracing “nostalgia” by honoring The Artist and Hugo. Give me a break! Hugo represents cutting-edge storytelling by a world-class director—in 3-D, no less. The Artist dares to revisit a form of cinema that was abandoned in the late 1920s. The Academy members admired these films for making the past seem immediate and relevant. That has nothing to do with nostalgia; it has everything to do with great moviemaking, which is what the Academy Awards are all about.”

 

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee

 

A Quote on Thursday

Kevin Brownlow

Kevin Brownlow:

“The silent film was not only a vigorous popular art; it was a universal language – Esperanto for the eyes!”

Jean Dujardin

Jean Dujardin in The Artist

Geoffrey Parfitt:

“Never take a blind date to a silent film!”

Rudolph Valentino

Rudolph Valentino in Rex Ingram’s The Sheik

Rudolph Valentino:

“To generalize on women is dangerous. To specialize on them is indefinitely worse.”

Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton:

“From the time I was 7 or 8 years old, we were the roughest knockout act that was in the history of the theater, not only in the United States but all over Europe as well. We used to get arrested every other week – that is, the old man would get arrested. The first crack out of the box here in New York state, the Keith office raised my age two years, because the original law said that no child under 5 could even look at the audience, let alone do anything. So they said I was 7. And the law read that a child can’t do acrobatics, can’t walk a wire, can’t juggle – a lot of these things – but there was nothing said in the law that you can’t kick him in the face or throw him through a piece of scenery. On that technicality, we were allowed to work, although we’d get called into a court every other week, see.”

David Lean

David Lean

David Lean:

“Nowadays, if you look up Ingram’s record, you see him described as ‘a great pictorialist’. You know, they accuse me of being pictorial. It probably has to do with Rex Ingram. Anyway, I’m really grateful for it.”

 

Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee