Fritz Lang

Metropolis 1927

Looking for any excuse, Landon Palmer and Scott Beggs are using the 2012 Sight & Sound poll results as a reason to take different angles on the best 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 march with the masses to the factory while dreaming of Utopia by exploring the more-than-spectacle magic of Metropolis. In the #36 (tied) movie on the list, a madman fuels a robot with his obsession, but it will lead to his downfall when the people form an uprising. But why is it one of the best movies of all time?

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Contempt

Looking for any excuse, Landon Palmer and Scott Beggs are using the 2012 Sight & Sound poll results as a reason to take different angles on the best 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 explore the illustrious history of directors declaring cinema dead with a New Wave heavyweight doing battle with American financiers for the first (and last) time. There’s a reason Jean-Luc Godard‘s CinemaScope attempt is called Contempt.  In the #21 (tied) movie on the list, an American producer and a film director played by an iconic film director try to make a big budget movie version of Homer’s “Odyssey” while struggling to balance commerce (nude scenes) with art (tasteful nude scenes). But why is it one of the best movies ever?

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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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So you can’t afford the plane ticket (or you’re afraid they’ll show Mr. Popper’s Penguins on your cross-Atlantic flight). So you can’t stand to wait outside in freezing temperatures. So you can’t figure out why an international film festival is showing A Prairie Home Companion in a one-film Robert Altman retrospective. So what? That’s why we here at FSR are going to do all that for you. In 24 hours, I’ll be boarding a train, and 6 hours after that I’ll arrive at the apartment where I’ll sleep on Tim League’s floor for a week, catching all of the strange, the challenging, and the Oscar-worthy films of the future right here in the cold as hell country of Fritz Lang, Werner Herzog and Uwe Boll. That’s right sports fans, it’s the Berlin International Film Festival (also affectionately known as the Berlinale). It’s my first time, so we might all feel a little pinch, but I go undaunted into the morass of venues, celebrity sightings and movies in search of the flicks that demand to be cheered and shared. Coverage starts Thursday and will head on into next week. Berlin! It’s like Cannes except colder and more Prussian! Aren’t you glad you can experience it from home?

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Every year, the National Film Registry announces 25 films that it will toss gently into its vault for safe keeping. This year, they’ve chosen a hell of a list, but (like every year), the movies saved act as a reminder that even in a digital world where it seems unfathomable that we’d lose art, we’re still losing art. The task of actively preserving films is an honorable, laudable one, and it’s in all of our best interests to see movies like these kept safe so that future generations (and those attending Butt-Numb-a-Thon 55) will be able to screen them as they were meant to be seen. So what 25 movies made the cut this year? Let’s explore:

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Upon discussion and deliberation between Landon Palmer and Adam Charles (the two primary authors of the Criterion Files column) it was decided that due to the column’s state of near infancy and a small number of articles to choose from they would not reflect upon each other’s incisive works throughout the year of what was considered, or what they felt to be, the articles each were either most impressed by from the other, or considered the most indicative of what the column represents – and instead opted to choose 10 releases of the Criterion company in 2010 they felt most noteworthy of attention.

Delving into each other’s works even if the output was extended to 26 articles each over the course of a full year to choose the favorites from would actually prove to be a much simpler task than what was done for this year’s Year in Review. Trying to narrow down a list of the most significant Criterion Collection releases of any given year to a list of 10 is like…well, trying to list the 10 best of anything of which everything deserves attention. So, take these not as a slight against any of the other releases by any means (please, see every film they include in the library because they’ve selected it for a reason), these just happen to be a consolidation of releases Landon and Adam considered either significant for the availability on home video, marked a trend of the company’s direction of material to include in the library, personal affections, or were simply just incredible works in presentation of the picture previously not able to be experienced from prior releases.

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The Criterion Collection rebooted two of their early releases these past two weeks, re-releasing Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout on DVD and Blu-ray…and bringing us another amazing restoration of Fritz Lang’s M on Blu-ray. One of these films, I had never seen before. The other film, I have seen…but I have never seen it look or sound so good.

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The re-release of the classic includes almost half an hour more footage and a complete restoration.

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In case you were wondering where all those spy film elements come from, it’s this film – the Grandfather of Modern Spy Thrillers. James Bond owes Fritz Lang his life.

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Metropolis

SXSW gave us the double-edged sword of joy through the heart known as Metropolis with the addition of a live performance of an all-new original score for the film. Plus, we drank beer during it. Only in Austin.

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The movie is 80 years old, so in the remake world that means its roughly 4 times older than it should be before being remade.

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