Archive for March 14th, 2010

Good-Morning… fellow bloggers and Wonders in the Dark readers, this morning I am so happy that the Co-Founder and proprietor of Wonders in the Dark Sam Juliano, took the time out of his very busy schedule to sit down and discuss with me over a cup of coffee and croissant(s) his favorite films and the Oscars@ again this year.

[Editor Note: I have interspersed [some] of last year questions that I asked Sam Juliano, with this year questions…]

Dee Dee:
Welcome… Sam Juliano, what a pleasure it is for me to meet you, again (I reach to shake Sam Juliano, hand) please sit down.
Sam Juliano: Good-Morning… DeeDee…

Dee Dee:
Let me begin by asking you the first question that I asked you last year and that is…
Can you once again please tell me (and your readers,) a little about your blog “Wonders in the Dark” after a year has passed…
…In other words, have Wonders in the Dark format changed…since I asked you this question last year?

…also I noticed that your writing staff have changed…Therefore, can you please tell me a little about your “new” writing staff too?

[Editor’s Note:You can omit me, but of course…because I’ am not on your writing staff.
In addition, it sounds like a “loaded” question now, that my name is listed on your staff blog roll… (I can imagine what your readers are thinking…hint, hint…She is fishing for compliments~Oh! no…never!)

Sam Juliano:
LOL Dee Dee! As you know, the WitD staff has expanded to include several writers who have made significant contributions to the site.

The most prolific of these of course is Joel Bocko a.k.a. “Movie Man,” who is one of the movie blogosphere’s most extraordinarily gifted writers and commenters (he’s either at the top or close to it), and his ‘Best of the 21st Century’ series, which is featured on Tuesdays, is rightly quite popular.

Bob Clark, from over there at  The Aspect Ratio is another who has penned some high-quality reviews for the site, as well as ‘Best Of’ lists, and newcomers Jim Clark and Marc Bauer have also written some superlative pieces.
“Jim” (no relation to Bob) was recruited by that incomparable man from Sydney, Tony d’Ambra, from over there at  Filmsnoir.net
…who after two years, continues to exert a tremendous influence on the decision-making and policies of the site, while navigating the updating of teh site graphics. d’Ambra, is one of my closest friends and allies, and his sometimes onery approach is sorely needed to keep us bleeding-heart liberals in line.

Jamie Uhrer, a talented young man from the Chicago area, has also made some excellent contributions to the site and is a regular poster.

Needless to say my dear friend, you are in a class by yourself, with all your enthusiasm and new ideas, the spectacular navigation of the Oscar series, the utilization of you tube clips, pollings and invaluable links, as well as one great comment after another. Your spirit is the heart and soul of this site.
So we can safely say that Wonders in the Dark has evolved into a melting pot of writers, interviewers and designers, of varying specialties and ages, who all have helped to give the site a multi-faceted approach and appearance.

I am always striving to inject opera, classical music and theatre into the equations, as they are truly my first love, with film pushing very close. With Allan Fish’s countdowns as the central feature (his capsule reviews are second to none)
I am optimistic moving towards our two-year anniversary, and I thank you fair lady for the central role you have played here right along.

If you recall last year I asked Sam Juliano, to list his favorite films…Which I have reposted below and they are:

Au Hasard Balthazar (Bresson)
City Lights (Chaplin)
The Last Picture Show (Bogdonovich)
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi)
Tokyo Story (Ozu)

Vertigo (Hitchcock)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer)
West Side Story (Wise/Robins)
The Fountain (Aronofsky)
Far From Heaven (Haynes)

Cries and Whispers (Bergman)
The General (Keaton)
Cinema Paradiso (Tornatore)
The Grapes of Wrath (Ford)
Citizen Kane (Welles)

Marketa Lazarova (Vlacil)
Empire of the Sun (Spielberg)
A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick)
Jean de Florette (Berri)
It’s A Wonderful Life (Capra)

Wuthering Heights (Wyler)
Psycho (Hitchcock)
Le Journal d’Un Cure de Campagne (Bresson)
Wild Strawberries (Bergman)
Kes (Loach)

The Third Man (Reed)
Double Indemnity (Wilder)
Ben-Hur (Wyler)
Persona (Berman)
Viridiana (Bunuel)

Sunrise (Murnau)
Goodbye Mr. Chips (Wood)
Red (Kieslowski)
Santantango (Tarr)
I Never Sang For My Father (Cates)

Les Miserables (Bernard)
The Ascent (Shepitko)
Un Partie de Campagne (Renoir)
The Red Balloon (Lamorisee)
La Roue (Gance)

Greed (Von Stroheim)
Day of Wrath (Dreyer)
Schindler’s List (Spielberg)
Mon Oncle Antoine (Jutra)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (Weir)

Henry V (Branagh)
Richard III (Olivier)
Ikiru (Kurosawa)
The Burmese Harp (Ichikawa)
Twenty-Four Eyes (Kinoskita)

Sam Juliano, is/are there any additional films that you would like to add to this list?

Sam Juliano:
Dee Dee: Lets add The Wind (Sjostrom), The Crowd (Vidor), L’Argent (l’Herbier) Blue (Kieslowski), Night and the City (Dassin) Late Spring (Ozu), Tokyo Twilight (Ozu), Pickpocket (Bresson), A Man Escaped (Bresson) Fanny and Alexander (Bergman) and The House is Black (Farrokhzad) to the list.

Sam Juliano, now, that you have listed your favorite films…I would like to know do you want to add any additional films to your list of least favorite films?
We know that last year you listed Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation as your least favorite film, but are there any other films that you care to add to your list this year?

Sam Juliano:
You know Dee Dee, I can never satisfactorily explain why I never cared much for Chinatown, The African Queen, Into the Wild, Up in the Air, and some others, and while I don’t hate them, let’s just say I’ve never gone along with the critical majority.
But we’ve been on both sides of the fence so we understand the feeling.

Whom do you consider your favorite director(s)? In addition, why is this person/people your favorite director(s)?

Sam Juliano:
My favorite directors of all-time in no particular order are Bresson, Bergman, Ozu, Dreyer, Chaplin, Murnau, Keaton, Bunuel, S. Ray, Mizoguchi, Gance, Renoir, Fellini, De Sica, Vlacil, Foreman, Wajda, Kinoshita, Kobayashi, Preston Sturges, Lubitsch, Wilder, Capra, Tarkovsky, Powell & Pressburger, Lean, Sirk, N. Ray, Sembene, Scorsese, Spielberg, Allen, Von Trier, Haynes, Lynch, Curtiz, Wyler, Antonioni, Pasolini, Dassin,
…and a number of others.
I favor humanism, the classic clowns, and existential cinema as well as musical films and silents most of all, and my choices I do believe reflect this.

Sam Juliano, with the Oscar@ award show over I would like to know what films do you feel was overlooked during this Oscar@ season that you feel should have received more attention.
In other words,
What film do you feel should have been acknowledged by the Academy of Arts and Sciences, but was “overlooked” this year?

Sam Juliano:
Well Dee Dee, that would have to be Jane Campion’s ravishing period romance about the last years of the poet John Keat’s life, when he courted Fanny Brawne, titled Bright Star.
Sam’s Favorite Film Bright Star
It was my own #1 film of the year, but it received no attention from the Academy, even if critics gave the film much-deserved excellent notices.

[Last Year Question: Sam Juliano, I received an invitation I ‘am quite sure like all the readers that post here on Wonders in the Dark, inviting us to your Oscar @ party and what I would like to know is this can you, please fill those of us who are not in the know ….
We generally get about 35 to 40 people in attendance and run an Oscar “pool” with the winner determined simply by seeing who had the most right of the 23 categories.
Lucille (Sam Juliano’s wife) and I always provide a rather elaborate spread of food and drink (last night we served homemade eggplant rollatini, chicken parmigiana, rigatoni and tomato sauce, meatballs, escarole and beans, and a wide array of cold cuts and salads.
Beer and soda was also served as well as snack foods.
The show is watched on our downstairs plasma television (52 inches) and also on the first floor in the living room. Those in attendance usually move up and down.]

This year question: Sam Juliano, What happened at the Oscar party this year? We (All the readers here at Wonders in the Dark…know what food was served to your guest, …(Thanks, Dennis,) but you can expand on my question if you like…

Sam Juliano:
Dee Dee, we had a great time, and our friend Jason Giampietro again used his video camera to record some of the party on you tube.
Wonders in the Dark readers, here goes a snippet from Sam and Lucille Juliano’s Oscar@ party 2010

Sam Juliano, from over there at Wonders in the Dark I want to thank you, for stopping by and sharing some of your time with me and the readers here at Wonders in the Dark in order to discuss your interests in films, and the Oscars@ again this morning.

Sam Juliano:
Thank You, Dee Dee again for all you have done. It is always a great pleasure to speak to you directly!

[Editor Note:I was going to present Sam Juliano, with a complimentary gift “unopened” this morning for being such a gracious guest…, which was The Bad Girls of Film Noir box set, but Sam Juliano, “opened” his gift earlier this month.
Last year I was going to present Sam Juliano, with (TCM host) Robert Osbourne’s Oscar book, but Sam Juliano said, “He already own  a copy of Osbourne’s book.”]

Sam Juliano:
Your generosity is legendary Dee Dee, and this latest gift is deeply appreciated!

Sam Juliano, you very welcome…and once again thank-you, for taking the time to response to my questions again this year.
Now, I’am placing Allan and the Wonders in the Dark readers in the…spotlight by asking you to share your favorite director(s) and film(s) with Sam Juliano, Allan and the readers here at Wonders in the Dark and why this/these particular director/directors is/are your favorite director(s).

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by Allan Fish

(USA 1928 107m) DVD6 (China only)

A little man the world will hear from

p  King Vidor  d  King Vidor  w  King Vidor, John A.Weaver, Harry Behn  ph  Henry Sharp  ed  Hugh Wynn  Carl Davis  art  Cedric Gibbons, Arnold Gillespie

Eleanor Boardman (Mary Simm), James Murray (John Simm), Bert Roach (Bert), Daniel G.Tomlinson (Jim), Dell Henderson (Dick), Lucy Beaumont (mother), Freddie Burke Frederick (Junior), Alice Mildred Puter (daughter),

One of the last classic silent films of the American cinema, King Vidor’s unquestioned masterpiece is probably the finest insight of its day into the daily rigour of modern urban living, a film whose visual and technical advances were revolutionary to the point of since becoming clichés, but which still stands fresh to this day.

            We begin in 1900 on Independence Day, where John Simm is born to happy parents, but twelve years later his father is killed in an accident and his son is told to be brave, as his father would have wished.  We next see him in 1921, slaving with thousands of others behind an office desk and living only for the five o’clock bell to get home and study.  However, one night he is persuaded by his friend, Bert, to go out with two women friends.  Paired off with Mary, John falls in love with her and, following a night at Coney Island, he proposes and they marry.  At first things are idyllic, with a honeymoon at Niagara Falls and two children, but when their daughter is killed after being run over by a lorry, John cracks up and things begin to enter a downward spiral. 

            There are sentiments (more…)

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