Alfred Hitchcock

Game of Thrones Behind the Scenes

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly news column that’s struggling on a slow-news Monday. Luckily there’s plenty of poster art to go around. Our evening begins with a behind the scenes shot from the production of Game of Thrones and its sure to be epic third season. It’s not telling us much, but the official production blog kicking into high gear is enough to whet the whistles of many a fan, including yours truly.

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Toby Jones and Sienna Miller in The Girl

The girl in The Girl  is Tippi Hedren as played by Sienna Miller, and the first teaser trailer for the HBO Films project which premieres on October 20th uses a familiar rhyme scheme in order to haunt. Of course, it helps that the limerick is spoken by Toby Jones deep-voicing his way through Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic drawl. It’s a goose bump machine which hints at Hitch as the villain. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see a real-life story told with a bit of melodrama and framed in the same genre that Hitchcock worked best in. Hedren, like the young girl in the limerick, sounds like she’s knowingly in for some psychological torture, and anyone who knows the history of the production (or Hedren’s views on Hitchcock following it) are probably going to see hell by way of a movie set. Check the teaser trailer out for yourself:

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The Way Way Back

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the ongoing saga of one man’s quest to catalog every great movie and TV-related link the blogosphere has to offer. It happens on weeknights, just before bed time, and you should read it often. Share it with your friends, even. We begin tonight with a first look at The Way, Way Back and its stars Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell, who will get in front of the camera for Jim Rash and Nat Faxon the Oscar winning duo behind The Descendants and two men who have acted their way into your hearts in various other properties. In the case of Rash, it was as the Dean on Community. The NYT has a great piece on the pair and their upcoming film.

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Vertigo - Alfred Hitchcock

Looking for any excuse, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius are using the Sight & Sound poll results as a reason to take different angles on the greatest movies of all time. Every week, they’ll discuss another entry in the list, dissecting old favorites from odd angles, discovering movies they haven’t seen before and asking you to join in on the conversation. Of course it helps if you’ve seen the movie because there will be plenty of spoilers. This week, they attempt to avoid the stigma that comes with being number one while considering the flawed hero of Alfred Hitchcock‘s Vertigo. Is the sleazy way we see Scottie born solely from his introduction? Was the film unique in its time for making the audience feel the main character’s obsessions?

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s working on writing its own epic climax, but it’s still wallowing in a very slow, methodical first act. Luckily, there will be news to report along the way. We begin tonight with a look at the first table read for the upcoming season of Community, which was tweeted out by the show’s official account early this evening. Noticeably absent is show creator Dan Harmon, who has since been let go from the cult sensation he birthed. All the same, it will still be nice to see the Greendale gang back in action.

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Drinking Games

Last week, Sight & Sound released its latest poll on the greatest films of all time. In a surprising upset, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo unseated Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane as the top film since 1962. This news caused a stir in the film community, and thanks to a suspicious and sizeable donation from the Charles Foster Kane Memorial Fund, we have put together a drinking game to drown your film snob sorrows in while you watch Citizen Kane. It may not be considered the best any more, but it’s still pretty damned good.

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Red Lights is a film filled with divisive questions. After the film’s Sundance premiere, many were either wrapping their heads around the grounded supernatural thriller’s final moments or completely scoffing at it. Whether one’s reaction is good or bad towards the questions writer/director Rodrigo Cortés is posing, he still gets a reaction out of you, as shown by the film’s early reviews. For most of its running time, Cortés is not afraid of playing with audience’s expectations and perceptions of the events as they play out on screen. Unlike his previous film, Buried, most of Red Lights can’t be taken literally. The difference between ambiguity and having no answers for your film’s questions can get blurred easily, but, as Cortés told us, he wrote and crafted the film with all of his own answers in mind. Here’s what Rodrigo Cortés had to say about the story’s exploration of duality, his flawed protagonists, and how to question everything we see in Red Lights:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s like a nightly version of American Top 40, but with movies and no Casey Kasem. Actually, it’s nothing like American Top 40. It’s just about movies. We begin tonight with a piece of Drew Struzan’s The Thing poster for Mondo, all part of the Alamo Drafthouse’s Summer of 1982 series. Even though it’s reminiscent of the original poster for the film, it’s still quite cool. Movies.com also has a pretty solid interview with the postering legend, which you should read. And now, the news…

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Editor’s Note: Max Allan Collins has written over 50 novels and 17 movie tie-in books. He’s also the author of the Road to Perdition graphic novel, off which the film was based. With his new Mickey Spillane collaboration “Lady, Go Die” in great bookstores everywhere, we thought it would be fun to ask him for his ten best films noir. In true noir fashion, we bit off more than we could handle… We have to begin with a definition of noir, which is tricky, because nobody agrees on one. The historical roots are in French film criticism, borrowing the term noir (black) from the black-covered paperbacks in publisher Gallimard’s Serie Noire, which in 1945 began reprinting American crime writers such as Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, Chester Himes, Horace McCoy, Jim Thompson, Mickey Spillane, W.R. Burnett and many others. The films the term was first applied to were low-budget American crime thrillers made during the war and not seen in France till after it. The expressionistic lighting techniques of those films had as much to do with hiding low production values as setting mood. In publishing circles, the term has come to replace “hardboiled” because it sounds hipper and not old-fashioned. I tend to look at dark themes and expressionistic cinematography when I’m making such lists, which usually means black-and-white only; but three color films are represented below, all beyond the unofficial cut-off of the first noir cycle (Kiss Me Deadly, 1955). Mystery genre expert Otto Penzler has […]

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This post is probably not what you think. There are no LOLCats, no Rage Comic stick men bellowing about the superiority of The Dark Knight and Inception. It’s not really a love letter to modernity. But it’s also not Sight & Sound‘s decennial Top Ten List. That prestigious publication has done great work since even before polling critics in 1952 to name the best movies of all time. They’ve recreated the experiment every ten years since (with filmmakers included in 1992), and their 2012 list is due out soon. However, there is certainly overlap. The FSR poll includes only 37 critics (and 4 filmmakers), but we’re young and have moxy, and none of us were even asked by Sight & Sound for our considerable opinion. That’s what’s fascinating here. The films nominated by those invited by S&S have the air of critical and social importance to them. They are, almost all, serious works done by serious filmmakers attempting to make serious statements. This list, by contrast, is the temperature of the online movie community in regards to what movies are the “greatest.” The results might be what you expect. But probably not.

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Alfred Hitchcock was born in the 19th century but gave birth in the 20th century to the age of modern filmmaking. Famous for his wit, inventive appreciation of the macabre, and a firm belief that suspense involves bringing a victim out from the shadows into the light he crafted the kinds of movies that made you care about characters even while reaching for your cholesterol medication. He also has a lot to teach. To fellow filmmakers and fans alike. Which is why we’ve chosen him as the first teacher in a new series of weekly articles where master movie-makers share their insights. Throughout his life, Hitchcock was candid about his methods and philosophies (amongst other things he flung around freely). Here’s a bit of free film school from a true visionary.

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Recently, Flavorwire got a kick out of a post from Slacktory where they used that ever-present man behind the curtain called Google to see what our internet age connects with celebrities. Then, we got a kick out of Flavorwire’s answer which involved 25 famous authors and what the search engine had to say. The experiment is simple. Type a name into Google Image Search, and the program automagically suggests more words to narrow down your search. Judging from entries like “white people problems” for J.D. Salinger and “death, oven, daddy” for Sylvia Plath, it seems like Google might be kinder to famous movie directors. Some of the responses fully encapsulate the person’s artistic output while others push toward the fringe, but all are shaped by what we’re searching for. Here’s a few things Google thinks you should add to the names of some of your favorite filmmakers.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? Whoa. Wow. Okay. Calming down just a bit, for fans of Rear Window (and who isn’t? Seriously, find me these people who aren’t so we can send them all to a different planet where they can’t bother us), this short film is a thing of movie geek beauty. Jeff Desom is a true geek, because he thought it would be a great idea to reconstruct the courtyard from the Alfred Hitchcock flick in order to follow the events of the film from a static position. Turns out, it was better than a great idea. The execution here is impeccable. What will it cost? Only 3 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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Anyone who follows the Criterion Collection will note that just about every month of releases is exciting for collectors of classic and important cinema. But some months are just a little bit more special than others. This coming June is going to be even more special. With titles from Alfred Hitchcock, Toshiro Mifune, Charlie Chaplin, Steven Soderbergh (on Spalding Gray) and Danny Boyle, Criterion may have on their hands one of the most exciting months of releases in years. You might as well start saving now. Seriously, just check out the line-up after the jump.

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What is Movie News After Dark? After a whirlwind of SXSW action, it doesn’t even know anymore. Something about movie news. Interesting links, maybe. There may also be some fart jokes, but we’re trying to keep it classy. Hi, Mom! Also, tonight’s edition will prove how much this column’s author has been watching Cougar Town lately. Like Community‘s Abed Nadir, he would like to live in Cougar Town. We begin tonight with a picture of Katee Sackhoff in Riddick 3 (ooh, la la — for the Battlestar Galactica babe, not another Riddick sequel). She will apparently play the baddie in the Vin Diesel-led film, some sort of alien bounty hunter who is more than meets the eye. Random thought: When are Katee Sackoff and Busy Philipps (Cougar Town reference #1) going to get together and do a sexy twins buddy cop movie? Strong female leads, people. Come on, Hollywood!

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Since we first heard about director Sacha Gervasi’s (Anvil!: The Story of Anvil) upcoming look at the life and work of legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, quite a bit of important casting has seemingly gone down. Variety reports that not only are age-old rumblings of Anthony Hopkins being attached to play the title character still holding up, but also that Helen Mirren has signed on to play Hitchcock’s wife, Alma. That’s a lot of pedigree for one movie to have, both in cast and subject matter, but the news doesn’t stop there. Apparently the sweetest role in the pic is that of Janet Leigh, Hitchcock’s Psycho leading lady. Inside sources are saying that this is the sort of role that’s going to be grubbing for awards attention, like Michelle Williams’ turn as Marilyn Monroe did last year, and whoever lands it is bound to see their career get an uptick. So who’s getting the chance to play such a choice part? An actress who already has little trouble getting attention on her own, Scarlett Johansson.

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Let us take this time to bemoan Hollywood’s love affair with unnecessary remakes. DreamWorks and Working Title Films are reportedly set on remaking Alfred Hitchcock‘s Academy Award-winning Rebecca because, oh, who the hell knows why? Hitchcock’s 1940 film garnered him his sole Best Picture Oscar and remains one of his finest and most beloved films. The original starred no less than Laurence Olivier as the rich Maxim de Winter, who marries the innocent Joan Fontaine, and takes her back to his mansion, where she slowly discovers the weird hold the deceased Mrs. de Winter (that’s Rebecca to you) has over the entire household. That’s just the very tip of the iceberg of Rebecca, which is twisty and twisted and smart and evocative and really a story about love. Which is why the guy who wrote Eastern Promises (and a pair of other internationally-tinged thrillers) is going to pen a new version for the screen. Of course.

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Culture Warrior

In a recent article from The Atlantic, business journalist Derek Thompson poses several compelling questions about the business model of contemporary theatrical distribution. Why, he asks, must we pay the same for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol as we do for Young Adult at our local multiplex? Wouldn’t it make more sense if the comparably underperforming film, Young Adult, were distributed with lower ticket prices in order to cultivate greater competition against wintertime blockbusters, and thereby (perhaps) gain a slightly greater audience for a film whose appeal is limited by comparison? After all, movie studios don’t so much “give audiences what they want” as much as they calculate degrees success (if you don’t believe me, go ask your local AMC to bring A Separation or Carnage to your theater), so why don’t ticket prices reflect this already-transcribed fate? It’s an interesting scenario to imagine, but one that becomes more difficult to envision once one parses through the details. As the author points out in his #4 reason why we have “uniform pricing,” varied pricing would likely create an unwarranted stigma against less expensive films, much like straight-to-DVD films have. That said, two other assumptions informing Thompson’s provocative question warrant further exploration: 1) we as consumers already have varied pricing, and we have developed patterns of determining a film’s “worth” in our choosing of where and in what conditions we see a film, and 2) movies would largely benefit if the perceived value of the opening weekend lessened significantly.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a thing that happens every night, bub. And it will deliver unto you the best of the entertainment-related things that happened today. Also, there will be mustaches. We begin tonight’s late late edition of News After Dark with an epic mustache. No, not this column’s author’s epic mustache. It’s an image of what Burt Reynolds looks like in his cameo on Archer, one of the better shows about animated spies to hit cable television since… okay, I ran that into the ground. It’s really good. Burt Reynolds makes it even better.

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

We continue our journey through a month of frightening, bloody and violent films. For more, check out our 31 Days of Horror homepage. Synopsis: A prostitute becomes embroiled in a murder investigation when a psychopath butchers a woman in the building where she is meeting a client. Anxious to clear herself of any involvement, she teams with the murdered woman’s son to pursue the most likely suspect: a mentally-disturbed female patient of the murdered woman’s psychiatrist. But before they can tighten the noose around this maniac’s neck, our heroic duo find themselves being stalked by their own razor-wielding prey.

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published: 11.26.2014
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