Rebel Without a Cause

easter bunny critters 2

On Easter Sunday, many people watch the old religious film favorites. Just look at today’s TCM schedule to see the epic staples programmed, like King of Kings, The Robe, The Greatest Story Ever Told and Ben-Hur (which Neil highlighted for Scenes We Love last year). They’re also showing the obviously appropriate musical Easter Parade. But there are a lot of other movies that aren’t recognized enough for either being Easter movies or including memorable Easter scenes. Did you know Altman’s Cookies Fortune takes place over Easter weekend? And major events happen on the holiday in such films as Chocolat, Steel Magnolias and Resnais’s The War is Over. Quite suitably, Charlton Heston’s first movie, Dark City, opens with him carrying a gift box with an Easter bunny inside. Six other movies selected here are rarely thought of as Easter movies, if they’re thought of at all. Consider them like hidden eggs ready to be discovered or re-discovered. They’re personal favorites, and we’d like to share them on this holiday to be enjoyed along with your Peeps and jelly beans.

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nicholas ray action

Fans of our regular series highlighting filmmaking tips from great directors ought to be interested in a project that’s in the works called ACTION! Master Class With Nicholas Ray. The legend behind Rebel Without a Cause, Johnny Guitar and In a Lonely Place would have been 100 years old in 2011, and to mark the occasion The Nicholas Ray Foundation has been honoring the man’s legacy through the Nicholas Ray Centenary Project, which consists of a triptych of films focused on the final ten years of his life. The first was a digital restoration of the most complete version of his ultimately unfinished experimental work We Can’t Go Home Again. The second is a documentary companion to that called Don’t Expect Too Much, which was directed by the filmmaker’s widow, Susan Ray. Those are presently available on a disc from Oscilloscope. Susan Ray is also at the helm of this third effort, another documentary, which deals with Nicholas Ray’s later gig as a teacher. The film will feature recordings from class lectures and private conversations along with footage from his films and his video archives. On the Kickstarter page for ACTION!, we’re told of what we will be directly learning from Ray in this “master class”:

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In the new movie Pitch Perfect, a boy (Skylar Astin) introduces a girl (Anna Kendrick) to The Breakfast Club. It’s a believable scene, on it’s own. Even if I don’t necessarily think the 27-year-old John Hughes film, classic status notwithstanding, is a hugely important thing to the generation currently heading into college, I can accept that the guy is a movie soundtrack dork who seemingly loves only titles from before his birth and that she genuinely has never seen it. But it is a bit much that the signature Brat Pack film’s ending, with its iconic Simple Minds tune and Judd Nelson freeze-framed fist thrust, is played over and over, and the film figures so prominently into the romantic plot throughout. It all just feels like something from out of the mind of a thirty-something screenwriter rather than that of these modern-day teen characters. And the movie’s writer, Kay Cannon, is indeed a child of the ’80s and admits that The Breakfast Club is something she loves from her youth. Apparently, though, Say Anything was originally the teen movie of that era to be honored and made fun of in the new a-cappella-based comedy. She also is a big fan of Hughes’s Weird Science but couldn’t make it work. But for kids born around 1995, which is the target audience as well as the roles on screen, aren’t there more relevant films to reference? Maybe Mean Girls, Bring It On, Twilight, Rushmore, Juno, High School Musical, Superbad or — going […]

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The Dark Knight Rises Billboard

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly commitment. We want you to have a rundown of the best articles of the day. Newsworthy, opinionated or otherwise, we count down today’s best because we owe it to you, our beloved reader. We begin this evening with the coolest piece of Dark Knight Rises marketing that you’re likely to see, courtesy of the folks at /Film. Spotted at the intersection of Sunset and La Brea avenues in Hollywood, this billboard is not a graphic, but an actual billboard that appears to have exploded into the shape of the bat symbol. And here, we thought Christopher Nolan wasn’t down with 3D.

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Who doesn’t love watching teenagers fight? These days it’s just nice to see them doing something that gets them outside and moving around – not to mention the wonders it does for team building skills and self esteem issues. Compared to them sitting in a moist den somewhere playing Skyrim and housing six servings of Zesty Salsa Combos, youth violence isn’t the worst fate for our nation’s children. Anyhoo – Here are some of the better films that celebrate the time-honored tradition of kids punching each other to pass the time.

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Over Under: A New Perspective on Films New and Old

Over the course of the second half of the 20th century ,an entire cottage industry sprung up around sticking James Dean’s face on things and selling them. Shirts, posters, coffee mugs, license plates, postage stamps, what have you, they’ve all been sold to James Dean fans. And a lot of the imagery stuck on them comes from Dean’s penultimate film Rebel Without a Cause, which was released just a month after the star’s infamous death. Dean’s portrayal of the angry young man in this film has become iconic, prototypical, and is just about as much of a part of pop culture as the actor himself. After he died, his performance in Rebel got elevated up to a mythic standard, it became something that symbolized not just one of Hollywood’s preeminent figures, but an entire generation of disenfranchised youth. Eight years after Rebel Without a Cause exploded onto the screen in full color and became a cultural phenomenon, another movie about a rebellious young man was released. This one was shot in black and white and looked more like a classic Western than it did a modern, youth-centric tale of teenage rebellion. The film was called Hud, and instead of James Dean it starred Paul Newman as a guy who would rather get drunk and throw a punch than put in a day’s work. Who would rather sleep with a man’s wife than support a family of his own. Who would rather sell a contract for the oil on his family’s […]

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You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers. It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at editors@filmschoolrejects.com. I heard a rumor somewhere that FSR founder and big time publisher-guy Neil Miller had never seen The Empire Strikes Back until recently. First of all, if this is true he should be beaten. Second of all, what movies have some of the rest of you never seen that you’d be embarrassed to tell your movie-loving friends? – David D.

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The world has lost a cinematic rule-breaker. What’s your favorite Dennis Hopper film?

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Compared to the grotesque, disgusting and sometimes even creative celebrity deaths in yesterday’s world of entertainment, death by drug overdose in today’s show business world (real or accidental) seems an almost gentle way to check out.

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