BUTTERFLY MCQUEEN
Her roles were largely stereotypical, yet her charm and goofiness made her memorable. Here’s a look at her work beyond Gone With the Wind.

DESIGN IN FILM: THE MODERN HOUSEAn eight-minute video montage of modern homes—real and fake—as seen on the silver screen.

KEYE LUKE
An examination of the lengthy career of the Chinese-American character actor, from Charlie Chan to Woody Allen.

70MMThirty visually stunning films that illustrate the grandeur of large-format filmmaking.

CHILL WILLS
Our look at the Texas actor’s 43-year film career, including an ill-advised Oscar campaign. 

MARGARET HAMILTON
A look at the professional life of an actress who proved to be much more than just the Wicked Witch of the West.

NEBRASKANSA look at some of the memorable talentsfrom Astaire to Zanuck—to come from the Cornhusker State.

BEHIND THE SCENES
Twenty-five cool photos reveal what goes on outside of movie camera range.

SILENT SURVIVORS
Our list of at least a dozen silent film performers that are happily still with us.

12 GREAT MOVIE SONGSElvis, The Beatles and The Supremes join our list of favorite movie themes of the 1960s.

WILHELM SCREAMWe trace the history of one of the most famous and beloved sound effects in movies.

LOST HORIZONA dud receives its due as we explore the elements that made this 1973 musical so preposterously memorable.

GREAT CLOSING LINES
One hundred films whose final words of dialogue make indelible lasting impressions.

25 GREAT SILENT MOVIE POSTERSOur selection of artwork from the early days of motion pictures that expertly illustrate the tone and tale of the films they represent.

RAVES AND RASPBERRIES We select some choice bits from reviews by the late Roger Ebert.

ERROL FLYNN GETS WHACKEDThe actor recalls an unforgettable moment with Bette Davis on the set of The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex.

CINEMATIC RIDESTen films where carnival attractions add to the plot and give their protagonists a cheap thrill.

REEFER TRILOGY
Three overwrought cautionary tales from the 1930s examine the perils of smoking marijuana in polite society.

20 DIRECTORS / 20 FILMSSome of the world’s best moviemakers from Hollywood’s Golden Era provide a behind-the-scenes look at their creations.

LOS ANGELES IN THE 1920SVintage clips offer a look at famous boulevards, studios, theaters, eateries and more.

BILLY WILDEROur favorite lines of dialogue from the Oscar-winning writer/director.

WOODY ALLENChoice lines of dialogue, from Take the Money and Run to Midnight in Paris.

KATHARINE HEPBURNTen authoritative moments when Kate's movie character speaks her mind.

UFA MOVIE POSTERSA look at the early one sheets from the longest standing film studio in Germany.

THE LANGUAGE OF NOIRWe celebrate tough talk from the best of Hollywood’s gritty crime dramas.

HELICOPTER OVER HOLLYWOOD

Aerial shots of Hollywood in 1958 includes Griffith Observatory, Grauman’s Chinese Theater and major studios.

AMERICAWe celebrate one of the most exuberant dance numbers committed to film, a thrilling showcase for freakishly talented folks with music in their bones.

HOLLYWOOD POSTCARDSTen vintage postcards revealing the glories of Southern California's movie mecca.

MAJOR FILMS, MINOR GAFFESTwenty-five mistakes in some of the greatest movies ever made.

GEORGE GERSHWINTen classic songs as seen on the silver screen.

GREAT ENDINGSA memorable tussle in Death Valley caps Erich von Stroheim’s broken classic.

10 GREAT POSTERSOur look at striking works of art that just happen to sell movie tickets.

MUST READMGM: Hollywood's Greatest Backlot provides a fascinating look at a lost treasure.

IN THE COOL, COOL, COOL OF THE EVENINGJane Wyman and Bing Crosby charm with the Oscar-winning song from Here Comes the Groom (1951).

PLUNDER ROADFilm noir at its best—and most economical. No backstory, a lean look and just 72 minutes long.

W.C. FIELDSTen of his most memorable character names.

OUTER SPACE HORROR
Aliens and mutants take center stage in twenty-five spectacular movie posters from the 1950s.

INGMAR BERGMAN
Our list of ten must-see films—ten artful depictions of the human condition—by one of the world’s most influential directors.

10 DIRECTORS / 10 FILMS 
Accomplished directors from the past 50 years talk about their triumphs and challenges in bringing a story to the big screen.

JACK CARSON
We single out five films that display the talent and range of the Warner Bros. character actor.

AL HIRSCHFELDWe select our ten favorite movie posters by the famed caricaturist.

BILLIE BURKE
Five films that best represent the fluttery voiced character actress’s charms.

DIAMOND SETTINGSWe take a look at five of our favorite baseball movies of the ‘40s and ‘50s.

BESTSELLERS

A dozen books that became publishing phenomena and, at times, well-made and popular films.


SCREEN TESTSAudition footage from Monroe, Dean, Brando and others.

MOVIE MOMENTS THAT MAKE LIFE WORTH LIVINGOur collection of ten little moments of breathtaking beauty, expert craftsmanship and happy accidents that rank as our favorites.

EDNA MAY OLIVER
A tribute to a character actress who’s made aunts and spinsters her specialty.

STARS ON STARS: 30 CANDID OPINIONSA collection of favorite quotes from movie folk discussing their peers.

CEDRIC GIBBONS
We take a good look at the work of MGM’s legendary art director.

JOHN QUALENFive of our favorite performances from the character actor’s lengthy career.

NOT STARRING DORIS DAY
We select three movie musicals we deeply wish the sunny singer/actress would have made.

MICKEY ROONEY’S BEST
Twelve examples of what made the late actor such an enduring movie star.

PUBLICITY PHOTOS
Ten artful, playful and downright silly shots from some of the most famous movies in existence.

JEFFREY HUNTERWe tip our hat to the underrated (and very pretty) actor best known for going toe-to-toe with John Wayne in The Searchers and hanging on the cross in Nicholas Ray’s King of Kings.

ELVIS PRESLEYFive essential films for the Elvis movie fan.

SPRING SPRING SPRING”
We take a closer look and listen at Johnny Mercer’s witty ditty about the coming of the season.

BILL GOLD’S MOVIE POSTERSOur salute to the legendary graphic artist, including 25 of his posters for some of the most famous movies ever made.

BEAUTIFUL MENFilm giants Cary Grant and his ilk will have to wait. Here we look at ten not-so-obvious choices—actors blessed with incredible good looks, if not legendary status.

BEAUTIFUL WOMENTen of the most physically stunning females to grace the silver screen.

FOOTBALLFive classic films where gridiron shenanigans drive the plot. 

THE 43 FACES OF JOHNNY DEPPWe review the wide variety of characters the actor has played, from early teenager roles to larger-than-life eccentrics.

FRED ASTAIREFive lively numbers from the peerless hoofer.

THE ROAD TO HELEN LAWSONJudy Garland, Susan Hayward and the bumpy road Valley of the Dolls producers experienced in casting an important role in a truly lousy film.

 AMERICAN LANDMARKS ON FILM From the Empire State Building to the Golden Gate Bridge, we take a look at ten famous sights that added drama to the movies.

THE GIRL HUNT BALLETWe revisit the stylish Fred Astaire dream ballet from The Band Wagon (1953).

IOWA FILMS & STARSTen contributions the Hawkeye State has made to motion picture history.

FOX THEATEROur fond look back at one of San Francisco’s grandest movie palaces.

AUTOBIOGRAPHIESTen great titles penned by industry legends.

THE BAND WAGONNanette Fabray recalls a glaring mistake in the 1953 classic musical.

TRIGGERWe celebrate the life and somewhat creepy afterlife of Roy Rogers's favorite mount.

CHARACTERS: AGNES GOOCHPeggy Cass's memorable turn as a plain Jane coaxed into living a little in Auntie Mame (1958).

DESIGNS ON FILMA handsome volume by author and designer Cathy Whitlock chronicles the history of Hollywood set design.

REBECCAFive screen tests for Hitchock’s 1940 classic, with comments by David O. Selznick.

CHARACTERS: BABY ROSALIEIn a daffy send-up of Shirley Temple, June Preisser plays an aging child star in MGM's let's-put-on-a-show musical, Babes in Arms (1939).

PRESTON STURGESSnippets of dialogue from six of the writer/director’s best films.

ANSELMO BALLESTEROur gallery of ten striking one sheets from the Italian poster artist.

GREAT MOVIESCelebrating the cool jazz short, Jammin’ the Blues (1944).

BETTY HUTTONTwelve films that exemplify the charms of this freakishly energetic performer.

JOSEPH L. MANKIEWICZSmart dialogue from the Oscar-winning screenwriter.

DESERT NOIROur report from this year’s Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs.

RED DREAM FACTORYWe profile eight films from a unique Russian-German film studio of the twenties and thirties.


Entries in beginners (4)

Monday
Feb272012

Oscar Winners and Observations

Well, that’s over with. All in all, it was a decent telecast, and if Billy Crystal wasn’t always a scream, the affable host seemed relaxed and earned his fair share of yuks. Here are a few random observations of a rather predictable evening:

  • The ordinarily glum-looking Rooney Mara smiled! And wore white for a change. And I sort of liked her Edith Head hairstyle.
  • Sacha Baron Cohen was in full petty provocateur mode, with some tiresome, dull shtick that claimed Ryan Seacrest as a victim. I’m sure there are those who found it the height of hilarity.
  • The sound was a bit wonky. Was it my TV? Did anyone else experience that?
  • Good speeches by the acting winners: Meryl Streep was funny, Jean Dujardin was charming, Octavia Spencer was touching and Christopher Plummer was all of the above.
  • I’m not really a good judge of fashion, but I liked what Natalie Portman, Octavia Spencer, Stacy Kiebler and Jessica Chastain wore. Not that crazy about the garb donned by the Melissas McCarthy and Leo, however.
  • Cirque du Soleil performed a number that celebrated the movie-going experience...or something. Well, it was busy, anyway. I liked the acrobat who broke the monotony of technical perfection and fell on his ass.

With that said, here’s the complete list of winners:

PICTURE
The Artist

DIRECTOR
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

ACTOR
Jean Dujardin, The Artist

ACTRESS
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Octavia Spencer, The Help

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Rango

ART DIRECTION
Hugo

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Hugo

COSTUME DESIGN
The Artist

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Undefeated

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Saving Face

EDITING
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
A Separation
, Iran

MAKEUP
The Iron Lady

ORIGINAL SCORE
Ludovic Bource, The Artist

SONG
“Man or Muppet,” The Muppets

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
The Shore

SOUND EDITING
Hugo

SOUND MIXING
Hugo

VISUAL EFFECTS
Hugo

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Saturday
Dec032011

National Board of Review

On December 1, the National Board of Review let us know who will receive the honors they hand out on January 10 at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in New York City. The entire list is as follows:

Best Film
Hugo

Best Director
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Best Actor
George Clooney, The Descendants

Best Actress
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Original Screenplay
Will Reiser, 50/50

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants

Best Animated Feature
Rango

Breakthrough Performance
Felicity Jones, Like Crazy

Breakthrough Performance
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Debut Director
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call

Best Ensemble
The Help

Spotlight Award
Michael Fassbender, A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame, X-Men: First Class

NBR Freedom of Expression
Crime After Crime

NBR Freedom of Expression
Pariah

Best Foreign Language Film
A Separation

Best Documentary
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Special Achievement in Filmmaking
The Harry Potter Franchise - A Distinguished Translation from Book to Film

Top Ten Independent Films
50/50
Another Earth
Beginners
A Better Life
Cedar Rapids
Margin Call
Shame
Take Shelter
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Win Win

Top Five Documentaries
Born to be Wild
Buck
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Project Nim
Senna

Top Five Foreign Language Films
13 Assassins
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
Footnote
Le Havre
Point Blank

Top Films
The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Ides of March
J. Edgar
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Wednesday
Nov302011

2011 Independent Spirit Awards

Revealed this week were the nominated films, casts and crews that will be feted at the Independent Spirit Awards Ceremony on February 25.

Best Feature
50/50
Beginners
Drive
Take Shelter
The Artist
The Descendants

Director
Mike Mills, Beginners
Nicholas Winding Refn, Drive
Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants

International Film
A Separation
(Iran)
Melancholia
(Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany)
Shame
(United Kingdom)
The Kid With a Bike
(Belgium, France, Italy)
Tyrannosaur
(United Kingdom)

Male Lead
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Ryan Gosling, Drive
Woody Harrelson, Rampart
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Female Lead
Lauren Ambrose, Think of Me
Rachel Harris, Natural Selection
Adepero Oduye, Pariah
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Supporting Male
Albert Brooks, Drive
John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
John C. Reilly, Cedar Rapids
Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris

Supporting Female
Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter
Anjelica Huston, 50/50
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Harmony Santana, Gun Hill Road
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Documentary
An African Selection
Bill Cunningham New York
The Interrupters
The Redemption of General Butt Naked
We Were Here

Screenplay
Joseph Cedar, Footnote
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Tom McCarthy, Win Win
Mike Mills, Beginners
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants

First Screenplay
Mike Cahill and Brit Marling, Another Earth
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Patrick Dewitt, Terri
Phil Johnston, Cedar Rapids
Will Reiser, 50/50

Cinematography
Joel Hodge, Bellflower
Benjamin Kasulke, The Off Hours
Darius Khondji, Midnight in Paris
Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist
Jeffrey Waldron, The Dynamiter

John Cassavetes Award (films made for under $500,000)
Bellflower
Circumstance
Hello Lonesome
Pariah
The Dynamiter

Best First Feature
Another Earth
In The Family
Margin Call
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Natural Selection

Robert Altman Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Margin Call

Wednesday
Nov302011

2011 Gotham Independent Awards

The 21st Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards were announced in New York City on November 28. Here are the winners.

Best Feature (tie)
Beginners,
 The Tree of Life

Best Documentary
Better This World

Breakthrough Director Award
Dee Rees, Pariah

Breakthrough Actor Award
Felicity Jones, Like Crazy

Best Ensemble Performance Award
Beginners

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award
Scenes of a Crime

Gotham Independent Film Audience Award
Girlfriend

Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ Grant
Lucy Mulloy, Una Noche