Orson Welles

Husbands Movie

This moment has proven opportune for a reflection of what the auteur theory means and has meant for film criticism. La politiques des auteurs, which originated in Cahiers du Cinéma in the 1950s and traveled, distilled but ready, to 1960s popular American film criticism, has irrevocably shaped how we’ve thought about and assessed movies to the point that it’s impossible to talk about cinema outside the claims of auteurism. Not only did the work of André Bazin, Andrew Sarris and their contemporaries, combatants, and students allow for the serious study of film as an art form, but auteurism’s legacy has even entered the film industry itself (film authors are now brands to be advertised) and solidified conventional readings of film history as the story of talented, uncompromising visionaries behind the camera (collect them all!). As Kent Jones’s excellent Film Comment essay points out, our means of loving the cinema owes a great deal to auteurism’s transformative power, particularly its now-common sense claim that “movies are primarily the creation of one governing author behind the camera who thinks in images and sounds rather than words and sentences.” Yet we must also recognize auteurism’s structuring power – its ability to create a framework of recognized artists through which it becomes impossible to see filmmaking, film history, and film themselves otherwise. It is nothing new to challenge the assumptions and associations of auteurism (or whatever fragmented versions of its politic – not theory – we’ve inherited), but it has proven incredibly difficult to ascertain what could […]

read more...

Orson Welles

The morning’s most fascinating articles from around the movie website-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

read more...

26-siberia

Last night, NBC debuted yet another new series with a documentary style structure. The network is no stranger to the format, but this show is apparently more confusing for viewers than, say, The Office and Parks and Recreation. The difference is that this show, Siberia, is not a comedy. It’s a fictional show that plays like a reality game show. Any blurbs calling it “Survivor meets Lost” are unnecessary praise because that is literally what is intended. The premise is a more anarchic take on a Survivor-type show, dropping contestants in the middle of the notorious Russian region, while the pilot is nearly a play-by-play of a crash-less version of the Lost pilot, complete with a male version of Shannon (he even sunbathes while everyone else works together as a team) and an unidentified creature in the woods, a la “The Smoke Monster.” By the time Siberia starts to get deadly, the audience should be fully aware that this is not a real reality show. That is if they aren’t already keen enough to see the impossible camerawork (common to other doc-style fiction series) or haven’t bothered looking up the program on IMDb or NBC’s website. But why would they go looking if they believed it to be just another nonfiction show? There’s not much that indicates otherwise in the opening credits (no writers are listed and the cast is listed by first name only) and while the network isn’t necessarily trying to dupe viewers, its marketing of the show […]

read more...

Citizen Kane

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 discuss the fortitude it took to make Citizen Kane with a still-powerful William Randolph Hearst ready to respond with fire; they imagine a modern equivalent taking on a pre-scandal Rupert Murdoch; and they explore the irony inherent in the movie’s treatment of journalism.

read more...

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.

read more...

Criterion Files

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Moonrise Kingdom. Wes Anderson is known for getting his inspiration from a variety of sources. While Anderson’s signature visual quirks make his films unquestionably his own, the director’s images, themes, and characters also emerge through an amalgamation of materials that inspire him, whether the source be the stories of J.D. Salinger or the pathos of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. But most of Anderson’s references are to other works of cinema, as detailed in this five-part video essay by Matt Zoller Seitz, which details Anderson’s particular influence by auteurs ranging from Orson Welles to Hal Ashby. However, certain films anchor their influence more directly than others. For instance, The Life Aquatic was greatly inspired by Federico Fellini’s post-Dolce Vita work, and The Darjeeling Limited is dedicated to celebrated Indian auteur Stayajit Ray. In the weeks since the Cannes premiere and commercial release of Anderson’s latest, Moonrise Kingdom, several critics have noted that only does the film seem to be directly influenced by a specific director, but one particular film by that director. Pierrot le Fou, Jean-Luc Godard’s colorful, whimsically anarchistic couple-on-the-run film from 1965 seems to bear a great deal of similarity to Moonrise Kingdom, which takes place the year that Godard’s film was originally released in France (Pierrot’s US release was delayed until 1969, where it stood curiously opposite Godard’s polemical late-60s work). Having read several reviews that cite Pierrot‘s influence on Moonrise, I reflected back on both films, and here are some of the […]

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? Like any great franchise that’s been in your heart for many years (or just over one year), it keeps coming back whether you want it to or not. Always with more big questions. Not always with more answers. Maybe we can get Damon Lindelof to write this, too. It could use a good rewrite now and again. We begin this evening with a look at Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo, a film that brings Gondry back to the world of the surreal. It’s got a delightful could car in which Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou ride. Adorable.

read more...

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.

read more...

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.

read more...

In one of the few times that Corrina Belz’s documentary Gerhard Richter Painting breaks its present-tense, fly-on-the-wall approach to its titular subject, an archival black-and-white interview of a much younger Richter is shown. In the interview, Richter states, “To talk about painting is not only difficult but perhaps pointless, too. You can only express in words what words are capable of expressing, what language can communicate. Painting has nothing to do with that.” Belz’s film seeks to meet the artist on his own terms, providing neither a complete, contextualized biography nor a day-in-the-life diary of her subject. Gerhard Richter Painting is as elegantly simple and straightforward as its title suggests: instead of chronicling the artist’s history or delving into his personal life, the film seeks to capture the process by which the most obvious subject that defines the artist’s life is made manifest, his art. Belz’s minimalist approach to her subject is refreshing. In the movie, we are not given a “definitive” non-fiction account of Richter, but Belz attempts instead to let the subject define himself, both in the traditional fashion of verbal address (though this takes the form of impromptu confessionals during work breaks, and doesn’t revert to turning Richter into a “talking head”) and in capturing Richter hard at work constructing his paintings in an incremental fashion.

read more...

Criterion Files

Part of me is in complete disbelief that the release date of Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums will have been a decade ago next month. It doesn’t feel so long ago that I was sixteen years old, seeing it for the first time in a movie theater and spending my subsequent Christmas with The Ramones, Elliot Smith, and Nico playing on repeat in my car (two years later, after hearing of Smith’s death, my friends and I gathered together and watched Richie Tenenbaums’s (Luke Wilson) attempted suicide with new, disturbing poignancy). And ten years on, even after having seen it at least a dozen times, and armed with the annoying ability to know every beat and predict every line, something about Tenenbaums feels ageless and fresh at the same time. But when you look at the movie culture that came after Tenenbaums, the film’s age begins to take on its inevitable weight. Tenenbaums was Anderson’s first (and arguably only) real financial success. Previously, Anderson was perceived as an overlooked critical darling following Rushmore, a promising director that a great deal of Hollywood talent wanted to work with (which explains Tenenbaums’ excellent cast and, probably, its corresponding financial success). With this degree of mass exposure, other filmmakers followed suit, establishing what has since been known as the “Wes Anderson style,” which permeated critical and casual assessment of mainstream indies for the following decade and established a visual approach that’s been echoed in anything from Napoleon Dynamite to Garden State to less […]

read more...

This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we speak with Paranormal Activity 3 star Lauren Bittner, get some minute-by-minute screenwriting tips from “Something Startling Happens: The 120 Story Beats Every Writer Should Know” author Todd Klick, and we present a very special interview with Mr. Orson Welles (as played by an inebriated Geoff LaTulippe). At least 2/3rds of the show is a great idea. The rest is a genius idea that just might burn down the internet. Download This Episode

read more...

Why Watch? Because the combination of animation, experiment, and Welles is a palpable one. In 1977, experimental filmmaker Larry Jordan used work from 19th century French artist Gustave Doré and the thunderous tones of Orson Welles to bring Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s most famous epic poem to life. It’s a potent story of a sea captain who kills an albatross while on the ocean and pays a hefty penalty. But chances are that you already knew that, having had to memorize it for freshman English class in high school. The version here, which is more than a bit different from Raúl daSilva’s 1975 take, is surreal at times but also direct. The engravings are wonderful, but there’s no denying that Welles is the star. What does it cost? Just 40 minutes of your time. Check out The Rime of the Ancient Mariner for yourself:

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column and link collector that is tired of explaining itself to you, quite frankly. Drew McWeeney at HitFix got the scoop this evening on a big story, in which Harry Potter director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves will be re-teaming to do a multi-film version of Stephen King’s epic The Stand. The hope here is that Yates can give it that Deathly Hallows scope, something the work of Stephen King has long deserved, but never really received. With The Dark Tower on the ropes, this could become a new fixation for King fans.

read more...

Criterion Files

As I argued in my introduction to our coverage of the BBS box set, this major Criterion release both celebrates New Hollywood and complicates the master narrative informing the way in which the era is typically remembered. Alongside classics of the era like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces and The Last Picture Show, the set also includes films that were received badly or misunderstood in their time like Head and The King of Marvin Gardens which can now be reassessed with the benefit of hindsight. But perhaps the most interesting juxtaposition to the canonized works of New Hollywood here is the presence of the absolutely obscure, the completely forgotten, the movies that up until now were lost in time and memory. This set marks the first time Jack Nicholson’s Drive, He Said (1970) and Henry Jaglom’s A Safe Place (1971) have been released in any home video format. These films are, in a sense, correlated with New Hollywood because of their themes, narratives, characters, and their temporal and economic contexts, but unlike the three heavy-hitters in this set, watching them now is, by comparison, to see a film with a forty-year-old blank slate – a unique and rare experience when one contrasts watching these films to, say, Easy Rider, a movie inseparable from an ongoing and reiterated forty-year-long conversation about what it meant then and means today. Separately, these are interesting films on their own, but together, Drive, He Said and A Safe Place point to the fact that there’s […]

read more...

How many James Bonds can be stuffed into one movie? Casino Royale, the first Bond spoof, seeks to answer that question with David Niven, Ursula Andress, Peter Sellers, Joanna Pettet, Daliah Lavi, and Woody Allen all playing 007. Plus, Orson Welles playing Le Chiffre. Seriously. Orson Welles. There were a ton of writers and directors (and actors) who worked on this movie, but somehow the love of the spy and the spoof shines through. Even in the trailer, you can see where Austin Powers was born (hint: in a spinning bed with Peter Sellers flashing his giant teeth for pictures). Unrelate sidenote: have you ever noticed that Ursula Andress’s name is one letter away from “Undress”? In fact, her spoonerism name would be Arsula Undress. What are the odds of that?

read more...

Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. Orson Welles is unrecognizable onscreen here, but his directing touch is absolutely all over it. Somehow, Charlton Heston as a Mexican is all over it too. With a stellar cast, this taut noir-ish drama has got everything sizzling in a border town that’s just waiting for a lit match. So why is everyone always smoking? Check out the trailer for yourself:

read more...

Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as OutofFoucault23 and RockRockRockRocknRollHS in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the pair digs deeper into a question plaguing all of mankind: can a studio interfering with the artistic process actually create positive results? What happens when a director’s cut is worse than the initial release? They put their heads together to come up with just about every single example (take “single” literally) of a movie saved by studio intervention.

read more...

A not quite finished film from Orson Welles that was shot in 1972 may very well soon see the light of day, according to The Guardian. The film, titled The Other Side of the Wind, is purportedly about the last days of an aging filmmaker, and was shot by Welles while he happened to be in his last days as an aging filmmaker. How Meta. Welles himself described the picture to its star John Huston as being, “about a bastard director… full of himself, who catches people and creates and destroys them. It’s about us, John.” Could it be that this bit of scripted work acts as a sort of companion piece to Welles’ phenomenal documentary F for Fake, which was made around the same time and centered itself around falsehood in the arts, both literally and figuratively? Regardless, I think that anybody could agree that any chance for the world to see another film made by Welles is an opportunity far too good to pass up. Or, at least, most people could agree. There is a slight dispute as to whether the film should be finished or not. Actor/director Peter Bogdanovich was apparently given extensive notes about the editing from Welles during the production and currently camps are divided as to whether a team including Bogdanovich should be allowed to create a final edit of the film or if they should just release the raw footage as Welles left it. I think experience has shown that in situations like […]

read more...

Criterion Files

Film noir is a much-debated subject amongst cinephiles. It’s often argued to be a genre or an aesthetic, yet any definition designating it as either typically encounters generality and contradiction. Noir takes on many forms. It’s indefinite, but somehow you know it when you see it. In order to pursue a greater understanding of film noir, Adam and I are devoting the next four weeks to examining films noir from various directors, schools of style, and histories from around the globe. So here, an examination of Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949), is the inaugural entry in a month of analysis we’ve decided to call “Noir-vember.”

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3