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Archive for February 8th, 2009

1. Revolutionary Road

2. The Wrestler

3. Man on Wire

4. Slumdog Millionaire

5. Doubt

6. Let the Right One In

7. Milk

8. Vicky Cristina Barcelona

9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

10. Rachel Getting Married

 

ALSO RANS:

The Visitor

The Dark Knight

Burn After Reading

The Reader

Synecdoche, New York

WALL-E

Trouble the Water

In Bruges

Iron Man

 

NOT SEEN:

Happy-Go-Lucky

Waltz With Bashir

Up the Yangtze

Encounters at the Edge of the World

My Winnipeg

Wendy and Lucy

Flight of the Red Balloon

Frozen River

Paranoid Park

 

NOT REALLY A 2008 FILM TO ME:

4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days

 

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 all-about-eve-1-copy1

by Allan Fish

(USA 1950 138m) DVD1/2

Fasten your seatbelts

p  Darryl F.Zanuck  d/w  Joseph L.Mankiewicz ph  Milton Krasner  ed  Barbara McLean  m  Alfred Newman  art  Lyle Wheeler, George Davis

Bette Davis (Margo Channing), Anne Baxter (Eve Harrington), George Sanders (Addison de Witt), Gary Merrill (Bill Sampson), Hugh Marlowe (Lloyd Richards), Celeste Holm (Karen Richards), Gregory Ratoff (Max Fabian), Thelma Ritter (Birdie), Marilyn Monroe (Miss Caswell), Barbara Bates (Phoebe), Walter Hampden (Aged Actor),

The Academy Awards have never been shy at throwing up ironies, but one of the most subtle was its choice of best film for 1950.  It was always going to a be a clash of the heavyweights; Mankiewicz’s acerbic look at the New York theatre All About Eve and Wilder’s equally acerbic study of the underbelly of Hollywood Sunset Boulevard.  Both are still, over half a century on, rightly considered masterpieces of the silver screen, but are so different.  Sunset Boulevard is real cinema, with moody noir photography and clever use of studio backlots and exteriors.  Eve is pure theatre, the direction is theatrical, the photography though pleasing has no real imagination to it and one back projection in particular (as Sanders and Baxter walk away from a theatre) is awful.  So why did the Academy not give the award to one of their own?  Maybe because Wilder had already won for The Lost Weekend, maybe because it wanted to be seen to be honouring that fellow artform from the east coast from which it had pilfered so much of its talent.  The cynic in me tends to believe that Hollywood didn’t like seeing its underbelly exposed, the studio system criticised and its history mocked.  After all, when you think back over the best films about Hollywood, from The Bad and the Beautiful to either version of A Star is Born to The Player, none won any of the major Oscars.  But to bemoan Wilder’s loss is to ignore Mankiewicz’s masterpiece, which owes its classic status to its script, one of the most acidic ever written, and its cast.  Never, with the possible exception of Kind Hearts and Coronets, has a film so simply filmed been made so great by its script and actors.  (more…)

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