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Archive for December 3rd, 2012

by Jim Clark

As we get underway with a new year, and thoughts of exciting new things coming up, let’s pause for once with something quite old that doesn’t look so out of place after all. His Girl Friday (1940), what is widely categorized as a “screwball comedy,” starring the immensely appealing Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, comes to us as a euphoria-tonic antidoting a rough patch of history. Its clearly exceptional performances arise from a dynamite script, and here we must watch our step.

This high-gloss entertainment/profit centre packs a level of peppiness not often to be seen in “comedies,” and, with a little scrutiny, we must realize its “fun” is so reckless as to be constantly spitting in the face of every humanitarian nicety. In the course of delivering a sensational news story, an editor/publisher, “Walter Burns,” phones in a dramatic revamp of the front page, “No. No…Never mind the Chinese earthquake…I don’t care if there’s a million dead!” This is just one of countless indiscretions coming from Grant’s roguish charmer in pursuit of not only a scoop relating to a convicted murderer’s imminent hanging, but scooping back onto his staff and into his bed a crack reporter (“Hildy”) who until very recently was his wife. (more…)

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Magnificent Danish film ‘A Royal Affair’ examines court intrigue and adultery in 17th Century Europe

by Sam Juliano

The long-running comedy countdown is nearing the end, with the final fifteen films posting over the coming three weeks, with the #1 choice due for Friday, December 21.  It has been an remarkable run, and I want to thank all those who have written essays, and have religiously left comments during the weekday project.  It’s been quite a bit of work for everyone, including Maurizio Roca, who has managed the weekly tabulations, and the many who have set aside time during their days to check on the latest entries.  It is hoped and anticipated the countdown will provide for a lasting reference point in the comedy genre for years to come.

The final weeks of the year are also providing quite a bit of excitement for movie buffs, as critics and buffs are hot to trot to see the likes of Amour, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty, Tabu, Berberian Sound Studio and The Hobbit among others.  It that time of the year when some of us in the list making fraternity ponder endlessly to comprise the best of the best, and invariably engage in e mail flame throwing wars.  But it’s all harmless enough.  The New York Film Critics Awards will bve announced later today.  The Gothams will be the first to check in, with both the National Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association due to post their results on Wednesday.  The titles that keep getting named in predictions are Lincoln, The Master, Argo, Les Miserables and Zero Dark Thirty. (more…)

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