1748 posts categorized "Film"

November 10, 2018

COLE SMITHEY PRESENTS FILMSTRUCK STREAMING — COMPLETE

In 2016, I began producing this video series for Forbes to coincide with the launch of FilmStruck. Over the next two years of FilmStruck's all-too-brief run I continued to produce them even after my own (all-too-brief) run with Forbes. Here is the complete video series (in reverse order) for all of your dining pleasure. Enjoy!



September 12, 2018

CARNEGIE HILL FILM FETE 2018

FilmFeteProgramI'm stoked to be serving on the board of Carnegie Hill Neighbors in celebrating the neighborhood with the first annual CARNEGIE HILL FILM FETE. Join us on Sunday, September 23 at the Church of Heavenly Rest at 2pm for a screening of 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD. After the screening I'm giving a little walking tour!

September 03, 2018

SEPTEMBER PROGRAMMING ON THE CRITERION CHANNEL ON FILMSTRUCK!

 
SEPTEMBER PROGRAMMING ON THE CRITERION CHANNEL ON FILMSTRUCK!
 
Includes Olivier Assayas's Clouds of Sils Maria, 
Adventures in Moviegoing with Paul Feig, and Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man!
 
Saturday, September 1
Cul-de-sac*: Edition #577

This slyly absurd tale of paranoia stars Donald Pleasence and Françoise Dorléac as a withdrawn couple whose isolated house is invaded by a rude, burly American gangster on the run, played by Lionel Stander. The three engage in role-playing games of sexual and emotional humiliation in one of Roman Polanski's most evocative and claustrophobic tales of modern chaos. Supplemental features: a 2003 documentary about the making of the film and more.
*Premiering on the Channel this month. 
Monday, September 3
The Holy Mountain:  
Now playing in Art-House America: Texas Theatre, Dallas, Texas

The Channel-exclusive series Art-House America recently visited the Texas Theatre, a Dallas venue that became infamous as the site where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and now hosts a variety of imaginative repertory screening events. Alongside our documentary profile of the theater, the staff is hosting an ongoing series in which they pick films that reflect their approach to programming. The latest addition is Alejandro Jodorowsky's perennial midnight-movie favorite, a mind-bending satire of religion, colonialism, and consumerism that stars the Chilean director as a mysterious figure called "The Alchemist" who leads a group of initiates on a bizarre esoteric quest. A feast of hallucinatory tableaux and outrageous imagery, The Holy Mountain is one of the most indelible cult classics of its era, and shares its audacious formal approach with the previous entry in the Texas Theatre's series, Chris Marker's entrancing sci-fi fable La Jetée.
 
Tuesday, September 4
Tuesday's Short + Feature: The Cage* and Kes
Boys befriend birds in this week's short and feature pairing. The tensions within a Romanian nuclear family strapped for cash come to a boil in Adrian Sitaru's 2010 short The Cage when the young son adopts an ailing pigeon, to the chagrin of his exasperated father (Graduation's Adrian Titieni) and long-suffering mother. Then, Ken Loach's 1970 Kes, a benchmark of social realism, explores the inner life of a miner's son growing up in Northern England through his bond with a wild kestrel.
*Premiering on the Channel this month. 
 
Wednesday, September 5
Dead Man*: Edition #919

With Dead Man, his first period piece, Jim Jarmusch imagined the nineteenth-century American West as an existential wasteland, delivering a surreal reckoning with the ravages of industrialization, the country's legacy of violence and prejudice, and the natural cycle of life and death. Accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) has hardly arrived in the godforsaken outpost of Machine before he's caught in the middle of a fatal lovers' quarrel. Wounded and on the lam, Blake falls under the watch of the outcast Nobody (Gary Farmer), who guides his companion on a spiritual journey, teaching him to dispense poetic justice along the way. Featuring austerely beautiful black-and-white photography by Robby Müller and a live-wire score by Neil Young, Dead Man is a profound and unique revision of the western genre. Supplemental features: a Q&A in which Jarmusch responds to questions sent in by fans, rarely seen footage of Neil Young composing and performing the film's score, an interview with actor Gary Farmer, deleted scenes, and more.
*Premiering on the Channel this month. 
Thursday, September 6
Adventures in Moviegoing with Paul Feig
In the latest episode of the Channel-exclusive guest-programmer series Adventures in Moviegoing, the director of Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters and creator of Freaks and Geeks sits down with author Sam Wasson to talk about some of his favorite films and the experiences that have shaped his approach to comedy. From childhood viewings of PlayTime and What's Up, Doc? to later discoveries like The Conversation, Feig draws lessons about storytelling and style from the films that have expanded his conception of what a movie can be.
 
Friday, September 7
Friday Night Double Feature: Barry Lyndon and Tom Jones
Stanley Kubrick and Tony Richardson take radically different routes through the past in these picaresque period films about rakish social climbers. Kubrick's magisterial 1975 adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's The Luck of Barry Lyndon adopts a tone of Olympian irony toward its ambitious hero (Ryan O'Neal) and mounts a lavish recreation of the eighteenth-century aristocracy he schemes his way into. Earthier, zippier, and bawdier, Richardson's 1963 Oscar winner Tom Jones injects an irreverent charm into Henry Fielding's classic portrait of an amorous foundling, played by Albert Finney in a star-making performance.
Tuesday, September 11
Tuesday's Short + Feature: Deer Boy* and Antichrist
These darkly atmospheric fairy tales stray into the forest to explore some of the primal anxieties of parents and children. Polish filmmaker Katarzyna Gondek's hauntingly atmospheric Deer Boy (2017) tells the tale of a boy born with antlers, a misfortune that causes his mother and father feelings of shame, and the child to question his true nature-especially when he grows old enough to learn the family trade: deer hunting. Danish provocateur Lars von Trier's psychodrama Antichrist (2009) trails a therapist (Willem Dafoe) and his wife (Charlotte Gainsbourg) into the woods, where they retreat after the accidental death of their infant son. But no respite is to be found, as they encounter all manner of gruesome terrors courtesy of Mother Nature- and, eventually, each other.
*Premiering on the Channel this month. 
Wednesday, September 12
Heaven Can Wait: Edition #291

Deceased playboy Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche) presents himself to the outer offices of Hades, where he asks a bemused Satan for permission to enter through the gates of hell. Though the devil doubts that Henry's sins qualify him for eternal damnation, Henry proceeds to recount a lifetime of wooing and pursuing women, his long, happy marriage to Martha (Gene Tierney) notwithstanding. Ernst Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait, nominated for Academy Awards for best picture and director, is an enduring classic that showcases the filmmaker's trademark blend of wit, urbanity, and grace. Supplemental features: a conversation from 2005 between film critics Molly Haskell and Andrew Sarris, an episode from 1982 of Creativity with Bill Moyers exploring screenwriter Samson Raphaelson's life and career, home recordings of director Ernst Lubitsch playing the piano, and more.
 
Friday, September 14
Friday Night Double Feature: Wife vs. Secretary and The Hudsucker Proxy

The corporate world of midcentury Manhattan invites intrigue and suspicion in these two spins on the screwball. In Clarence Brown's sophisticated romance Wife vs. Secretary (1936), high-rolling Manhattanites Van (Clark Gable) and Linda Stanhope (Myrna Loy) seem to be living the life-until Linda begins to (wrongly) suspect her magazine-publisher husband of having an affair with his secretary (Jean Harlow). Taking its cues from golden-age comedies like Brown's, the Coen brothers' brilliantly stylized corporate satire The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) sets into motion a dizzying plot involving a scheming executive (Paul Newman), the dimwit (Tim Robbins) he installs as the president of his company, and the crusading journalist (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who poses as the new boss's secretary in an effort to figure out why.
Tuesday, September 18
Tuesday's Short + Feature: When We Lived in Miami* and Key Largo

Drama erupts against darkening skies in the Sunshine State. In Amy Seimetz's hypnotic 2012 short When We Lived in Miami, filmed in the city during Hurricane Isaac, a young mother (Seimetz) struggles to raise her daughter after her husband's departure, with the wind and rain beginning to lash the coast. Using hurricane season as a backdrop for a harder-boiled story, John Huston's 1948 noir Key Largo stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (together on-screen for the fourth and final time) as occupants of a run-down Florida Keys. As they hunker down ahead of an approaching storm, they end up being held hostage by an infamous gangster (Edward G. Robinson).
Wednesday, September 19
Clouds of Sils Maria*: Edition #822

This multilayered, immensely entertaining drama from the great contemporary French director Olivier Assayas is a singular look at the intersection of high art and popular culture. The always extraordinary Juliette Binoche is stirring as Maria, a stage and screen icon who is being courted to star in a new production of the play that made her famous-only this time she must assume the role of the older woman. Kristen Stewart matches her punch for punch as her beleaguered assistant, called upon to provide support both professional and emotional for her mercurial boss. And Chloë Grace Moretz is Maria's callow new castmate, a starlet waiting in the wings. An amorphous, soul-searching tale, filled with ethereal images of its Swiss Alps setting, Clouds of Sils Maria brilliantly dramatizes one woman's reckoning with herself and the world. Supplemental features: an interview with Assayas, a program featuring Binoche and Stewart on their roles in the film, and more.
*Premiering on the Channel this month. 
 
Friday, September 21
Friday Night Double FeatureThe Man with the Golden Arm and Pale Flower
The siren call of addiction beckons in these two noirish films with jazz-infused scores. Otto Preminger's 1955 The Man with the Golden Arm, which was controversial at the time of its release for its forthright depiction of heroin addiction, takes a hard look at the life of an aspiring Chicago drummer (Frank Sinatra) who struggles to stay clean after his release from prison. Elmer Bernstein's music, which was nominated for an Oscar (along with Sinatra), gives the movie with its distinctive nervous rhythm. A breakthrough for Japanese New Wave director Masahiro Shinoda, 1964's seductive and impeccably crafted Pale Flower travels deep into Tokyo's underworld, tracking a yakuza as he falls under the sway of a beautiful gambling addict. The percussive score by avant-garde composer Toru Takemitsu, a frequent collaborator of Shinoda's, serves to heighten the seductive yet dangerous atmosphere.
 
Monday, September 24
Observations on Film Art #23: Mutations of Memory-Editing in Hiroshima mon amour
With his 1959 debut feature, Hiroshima mon amour, French editor-turned-director Alain Resnais forever altered the way memory was captured on-screen. Working from a screenplay by Marguerite Duras, Resnais tells the story of a French actress and a Japanese architect who engage in a brief, intense affair against the backdrop of postwar Hiroshima. Through an innovative structure that weaves together past and present, the film navigates the currents of the couple's personal pain and public anguish. For the latest episode of Observations on Film Art, a Channel-exclusive series that offers viewers a monthly ten-minute dose of film school, Professor Jeff Smith examines the ways in which Resnais's puzzle-like masterpiece redefined cinematic language in its use of groundbreaking editing techniques.
Tuesday, September 25
Tuesday's Short + Feature: The Voice Thief* and The Dance of Reality

Two twisted, carnivalesque visions, sprung from the wild minds of cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky and his son Adan. Starring Asia Argento, Adan's 2013 short film The Voice Thief tells the story of an opera singer who loses her voice, prompting her husband to go on a journey into the underworld to recover it. That same year, Alejandro made his semi-autobiographical The Dance of Reality, a fantastical rendering of his childhood growing up in politically turbulent Chile, featuring music composed by Adan.
*Premiering on the Channel this month. 
Wednesday, September 26
McCabe & Mrs. Miller: Edition #827

This unorthodox dream western by Robert Altman may be the most radically beautiful film to come out of the New American Cinema. It stars Warren Beatty and Julie Christie as two newcomers to the raw Pacific Northwest mining town of Presbyterian Church, who join forces to provide the miners with a superior kind of whorehouse experience. The appearance of representatives of a powerful mining company with interests of its own, however, threatens to be the undoing of their plans. With its fascinating flawed characters, evocative cinematography by the great Vilmos Zsigmond, innovative overlapping dialogue, and haunting use of Leonard Cohen songs, McCabe & Mrs. Miller brilliantly deglamorized and revitalized the most American of genres. Supplemental features: an audio commentary featuring Altman and producer David Foster, a making-of documentary, a conversation about the film and Altman's career between film historians Cari Beauchamp and Rick Jewell, a featurette from the film's 1970 production, and more.
 
Friday, September 28
Friday Night Double Feature: Fox and His Friends and Multiple Maniacs

Two of cinema's greatest queer provocateurs take center stage in this double bill, each with his signature troupe of outsider performers. In Fox and His Friends, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's controversial 1975 depiction of gay life in West Germany, the director stars as a working-class innocent who lets himself be taken advantage of by his bourgeois new boyfriend and his circle of materialistic friends. "Seeing a Fassbinder retrospective is better than drugs, liquor and sex put together," said John Waters, whose gloriously grotesque second feature, 1970's Multiple Maniacs, shows a similar taste for no-holds-barred provocation. Overflowing with depravity, Waters' gleeful mockery of the peace-and-love ethos features the Cavalcade of Perversion, a traveling show mounted by a group of misfits whose shocking proclivities are topped only by those of their leader, played by the larger-than-life Divine.
 
Complete list of films premiering on the Criterion Channel this month:
 
September 1
Cul-de-sac, Roman Polanski, 1966
Kes, Ken Loach, 1970
 
September 4
The Cage, Adrian Sitaru, 2010
 
September 5
Dead Man, Jim Jarmusch, 1995
 
September 11
Deer Boy, Katarzyna Gondek, 2017
 
September 18
When We Lived in Miami, Amy Seimetz, 2013
 
September 19
Clouds of Sils Maria, Olivier Assayas, 2014
 
September 25
The Voice Thief, Adan Jodorowsky, 2013
 
ABOUT THE CRITERION CHANNEL ON FILMSTRUCK
 
The Criterion Channel offers the largest streaming collection of Criterion films available, including classic and contemporary films from around the world, interviews and conversations with filmmakers and never-before-seen programming. The channel's weekly calendar features complete Criterion editions, thematic retrospectives, live events, short films, and select contemporary features, along with exclusive original programming that aims to enhance the Criterion experience for the brand's dedicated fans as well as expanding its reach to new audiences. It is presented as part of FilmStruck, a subscription streaming service that is the exclusive home of the Warner Bros. classic film library and the Criterion Collection. FilmStruck was developed by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and is managed by TCM in partnership with Warner Bros. and the Criterion Collection.
 

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