There’s a Criterion Collection Flash Sale Going On! Here’s What You Should Be Buying

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To save this dreadful Tuesday, the good folks over at The Criterion Collection have graced us with a special treat this afternoon. After announcing their spring releases a few weeks back, now they have graced us with a Flash Sale. Cue: cinephiles everywhere stopping whatever they’re doing, desparately scouring their dwindling bank statements and proclaiming, “But I will literally die without that Rohmer box set!”

So, from now until noon on Wednesday, all in-stock Blu-rays and DVDs are 50% off, and all you have to do is enter their code and voilà! I certainly understand that remembering what you wanted in the first place—let alone making a decision—is hard enough, so I’ve compiled the best Collectors Sets available on the site that you otherwise probably wouldn’t be able to shell out the money for. From American New Wave classics to German melodramas and everything in between, here’s a helpful reminder of what you should be purchasing today.

Eclipse Series 19: Chantal Ackerman in the Seventies

 Over the past four decades, Belgian director Chantal Akerman (Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles) has created one of cinema’s most distinctive bodies of work—formally daring, often autobiographical films about people and places, time and space. In this collection, we present the early films that put her on the map: intensely personal, modernist investigations of cities, history, family, and sexuality, made in the 1970s in the United States and Europe and strongly influenced by the New York experimental film scene. Bold and iconoclastic, these five films pushed boundaries in their day and continue to have a profound influence on filmmakers all over the world.

Three Colors Trilogy

This boldly cinematic trio of stories about love and loss, from Krzysztof Kieślowski was a defining event of the art-house boom of the 1990s. The films are named for the colors of the French flag and stand for the tenets of the French Revolution—liberty, equality, and fraternity—but that hardly begins to explain their enigmatic beauty and rich humanity. Set in Paris, Warsaw, and Geneva, and ranging from tragedy to comedy, Blue, White, and Red(Kieślowski’s final film) examine with artistic clarity a group of ambiguously interconnected people experiencing profound personal disruptions. Marked by intoxicating cinematography and stirring performances by such actors as Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Irène Jacob, and Jean-Louis Trintignant, Kieślowski’s Three Colors is a benchmark of contemporary cinema.

Eclipse Series 12: Aki Kaurismäki’s Proletariat Trilogy

 The poignant, deadpan films of Aki Kaurismäki are pitched somewhere in the wintry nether lands between comedy and tragedy. And rarely in his body of work has the line separating those genres seemed thinner than in what is often identified as his “Proletariat Trilogy,” Shadows in Paradise, Ariel, andThe Match Factory Girl. In these three films, something like social-realist farces, Kaurismäki surveys the working-class outcasts of his native Finland with detached yet disarming amusement. Featuring commanding, off-key visual compositions and delightfully dour performances, the films in this triptych exemplify the talents of a unique and highly influential film artist.

David Lean Directs Noel Coward

 In the 1940s, the wit of playwright Noël Coward and the craft of filmmaker David Lean melded harmoniously in one of cinema’s greatest writer-director collaborations. With the wartime military drama sensation In Which We Serve,Coward and Lean (along with producing partners Ronald Neame and Anthony Havelock-Allan) embarked on a series of literate, socially engaged, and enormously entertaining pictures that ranged from domestic epic (This Happy Breed) to whimsical comedy (Blithe Spirit) to poignant romance (Brief Encounter). These films created a lasting testament to Coward’s artistic legacy and introduced Lean’s visionary talents to the world.

Eclipse Series 2: The Documentaries of Louis Malle

 Over the course of a nearly forty-year career, Louis Malle forged a reputation as one of the world’s most versatile cinematic storytellers, with such widely acclaimed, and wide-ranging, masterpieces as Elevator to the Gallows, My Dinner with Andre, and Au revoir les enfants. At the same time, however, with less fanfare, Malle was creating a parallel, even more personal body of work as a documentary filmmaker. With the discerning eye of a true artist and the investigatory skills of a great journalist, Malle takes us from a street corner in Paris to America’s heartland to the expanses of India in his astonishing epicPhantom India. These are some of the most engaging and fascinating nonfiction films ever made.

The BDR Trilogy

 By the age of thirty-four, German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder had directed already twenty-two feature films. In 1978, he embarked upon a project to trace the history of postwar Germany in a series of films told through the eyes of three remarkable women. Fassbinder’s The Marriage of Maria Braun, Lola, and Veronika Voss—the BRD (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) Trilogy—would garner him the international acclaim he had always yearned for and place his name foremost in the canon of New German Cinema.

Eclipse Seires 3: Late Ozu

 Master filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu directed fifty-three feature films over the course of his long career. Yet it was in the final decade of his life, his “old master” phase, that he entered his artistic prime. Centered more than ever on the modern sensibilities of the younger generation, these delicate family dramas are marked by an exquisite formal elegance and emotional sensitivity about birth and death, love and marriage, and all the accompanying joys and loneliness. Along with such better-known films as Floating Weeds and An Autumn Afternoon, these five works illustrate the worldly wisdom of one of cinema’s great artists at the height of his powers.

3 Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg

 Vienna-born, New York–raised Josef von Sternberg directed some of the most influential, stylish dramas ever to come out of Hollywood. Though best known for his star-making collaborations with Marlene Dietrich, von Sternberg began his career during the final years of the silent era, dazzling audiences and critics with his films’ dark visions and innovative cinematography. The titles in this collection, made on the cusp of the sound age, are three of von Sternberg’s greatest works, gritty evocations of gangster life (Underworld), the Russian Revolution (The Last Command), and working-class desperation (The Docks of New York) made into shadowy movie spectacle. Criterion is proud to present these long unavailable classics of American cinema, each with two musical scores.

Frances Ha

Greta Gerwig is radiant as Frances, a woman in her late twenties in contemporary New York trying to sort out her ambitions, her finances, and, above all, her intimate but shifting bond with her best friend, Sophie (Mickey Sumner). Meticulously directed by Noah Baumbach with a free-and-easy vibe reminiscent of the French New Wave’s most spirited films, and written by Baumbach and Gerwig with an effortless combination of sweetness and wit,Frances Ha gets at both the frustrations and the joys of being young and unsure of where to go next. This wry and sparkling city romance is a testament to the ongoing vitality of independent American cinema.

Eclipse Series 8: Lubitsch Musicals

Renowned as a silent film pioneer and the man who refined Hollywood comedy with such masterpieces as Trouble in Paradise, The Shop Around the Corner, and To Be or Not to Be, Ernst Lubitsch also had another claim to fame: he helped invent the modern movie musical. With the advent of sound and audiences clamoring for “talkies,” Lubitsch combined his love of European operettas and his mastery of film to create this entirely new genre. These elegant, bawdy films, made before strict enforcement of the Hays morality code, feature some of the greatest stars of early Hollywood (Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins), as well as that elusive style of comedy that would thereafter be known as “the Lubitsch touch.”

Pierre Etaix

 A French comedy master whose films went unseen for decades as a result of legal tangles, director-actor Pierre Etaix is a treasure the cinematic world has rediscovered and embraced with relish. His work can be placed on the spectrum of classic physical comedy with that of Jacques Tati and Jerry Lewis, but it also stands alone in its good- natured delicacy. These films, influenced by Etaix’s experiences as a circus acrobat and clown and by the silent film comedies he adored, are elegantly deadpan, but as an on-screen presence, Etaix radiates warmth. This collection includes all of his films, five features, The Suitor,Yoyo, As Long as You’ve Got Your Health, Le grand amour, and Land of Milk and Honey—most of them collaborations with the great screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière—and three shorts, Rupture, the Oscar-winning Happy Anniversary, and Feeling Good. Not one of these is anything less than a bracing and witty delight.

Eclipse Series 17: Nikkatsu Noir

From the late 1950s through the sixties, wild, idiosyncratic crime movies were the brutal and boisterous business of Nikkatsu, the oldest film studio in Japan. In an effort to attract youthful audiences growing increasingly accustomed to American and French big-screen imports, Nikkatsu began producing action potboilers (mukokuseki akushun, or “borderless action”) that incorporated elements of the western, comedy, gangster, and teen-rebel genres. This bruised and bloody collection represents a standout cross section of what Nikkatsu had to offer, from such prominent, stylistically daring directors as Seijun Suzuki, Toshio Masuda, and Takashi Nomura.

The Orphic Trilogy

 Decadent, subversive, and bristling with artistic invention, the myth-born cinema of Jean Cocteau disturbs as much as it charms. Cocteau was the most versatile of artists in prewar Paris. Poet, novelist, playwright, painter, celebrity, and maker of cinema—his many talents converged in bold, dreamlike films that continue to enthrall audiences around the world. In The Blood of a Poet, Orpheus, and Testament of Orpheus, Cocteau utilizes the Orphic myth to explore the complex relationships between the artist and his creations, reality and the imagination. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the DVD premiere of the Orphic Trilogy in a special limited-edition three-disc box set.

Eclipse Series 20: George Bernard Shaw on Film

 The hugely influential, Nobel Prize–winning critic and playwright George Bernard Shaw was notoriously reluctant to allow his writing to be adapted for the cinema. Yet thanks to the persistence of Hungarian producer Gabriel Pascal, Shaw finally agreed to collaborate on a series of screen versions of his witty, socially minded plays, starting with the Oscar-winning Pygmalion.The three other films that resulted from this famed alliance, Major Barbara, Caesar and Cleopatra, and Androcles and the Lion, long overshadowed by the sensation of Pygmalion, are gathered here for the first time on DVD. These clever, handsomely mounted entertainments star such luminaries of the big screen as Vivien Leigh, Claude Rains, Wendy Hiller, and Rex Harrison.

John Cassavetes: Five Films

John Cassavetes was a genius, a visionary, and the progenitor of American independent film, but that doesn’t begin to get at the generosity of his art. A former theater actor fascinated by the power of improvisation, Cassavetes brought his search for truth in performance to the screen. The five films in this collection—all of which the director maintained total control over by financing them himself and making them outside the studio system—are electrifying and compassionate creations, populated by all manner of humanity: beatniks, hippies, businessmen, actors, housewives, strippers, club owners, gangsters, children. Cassavetes has often been called an actor’s director, but this body of work—even greater than the sum of its extraordinary parts—shows him to be an audience’s director.

Six Moral Tales

The multifaceted, deeply personal dramatic universe of Eric Rohmer has had an effect on cinema unlike any other. One of the founding critics of the history-making Cahiers du cinéma, Rohmer began translating his written manifestos to film in the sixties, standing apart from his New Wave contemporaries, like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, with his patented brand of gently existential, hyperarticulate character studies set against vivid seasonal landscapes. This near genre unto itself was established with his audacious and wildly influential series “Six Moral Tales.” A succession of jousts between fragile men and the women who tempt them, the “Six Moral Tales” unleashed onto the film world a new voice, one that was at once sexy, philosophical, modern, daring, nonjudgmental, and liberating.

Eclipse Series 7: Postwar Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa came into his own as a filmmaker directly following World War II, delving into the state of his devastated nation with a series of pensive, topical dramas. Amid Japan’s economic collapse and U.S. occupation, Kurosawa managed to find humor and redemption existing alongside despair and anxiety. In these five early films, which range from political epic to Capraesque whimsy to courtroom potboiler, Kurosawa revealed the artistic range and social acuity that would mark his career and make him the most popular Japanese director in the world.

La Jetée/ Sans Soleil

One of the most influential, radical science-fiction films ever made and a mind-bending free-form travelogue: La Jetée and Sans Soleil couldn’t seem more different—but they’re the twin pillars of an unparalleled and uncompromising career in cinema. A filmmaker, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, and now videographer and digital multimedia artist, Chris Marker has been challenging moviegoers, philosophers, and himself for years with his investigations of time, memory, and the rapid advancement of life on this planet. These two films—a tale of time travel told in still images and a journey to Africa and Japan—remain his best-loved and most widely seen.

By Brakgae: An Anthology, Volumes One and Two

Working outside the mainstream, the wildly prolific, visionary Stan Brakhage made more than 350 films over a half century. Challenging all taboos in his exploration of “birth, sex, death, and the search for God,” he turned his camera on explicit lovemaking, childbirth, even autopsy. Many of his most famous works pursue the nature of vision itself and transcend the act of filming. Some, including the legendary Mothlight, were created without using a camera at all, as he pioneered the art of making images directly on film, by drawing, painting, and scratching. With these two volumes, we present the definitive Brakhage collection—fifty-six of his works, from across his career, in high-definition digital transfers.

Nashville

This cornerstone of 1970s American moviemaking from Robert Altman is a panoramic view of the country’s political and cultural landscapes, set in the nation’s music capital. Nashville weaves the stories of twenty-four characters—from country star to wannabe to reporter to waitress—into a cinematic tapestry that is equal parts comedy, tragedy, and musical. Many members of the astonishing cast wrote their own songs and performed them live on location, which lends another layer to the film’s quirky authenticity. Altman’s ability to get to the heart of American life via its eccentric byways was never put to better use than in this grand, rollicking triumph, which barrels forward to an unforgettable conclusion.

Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project

Established by Martin Scorsese in 2007, the World Cinema Project expands the horizons of moviegoers everywhere. The mission of the WCP is to preserve and present marginalized and infrequently screened films from regions generally ill equipped to preserve their own cinema history. This collector’s set brings together six superb films from countries around the globe, including Senegal (Touki bouki), Mexico (Redes), India and Bangladesh (A River Called Titas), Turkey (Dry Summer), Morocco (Trances), and South Korea (The Housemaid). Each is a cinematic revelation, depicting a culture not often seen by outsiders on-screen.

American Lost and Found: The BBS Story

Like the rest of America, Hollywood was ripe for revolution in the late sixties. Cinema attendance was down; what had once worked seemed broken. Enter Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider, and Steve Blauner, who knew that what Hollywood needed was new audiences—namely, young people—and that meant cultivating new talent and new ideas. Fueled by money from their invention of the superstar TV pop group the Monkees, they set off on a film-industry journey that would lead them to form BBS Productions, a company that was also a community. The innovative films produced by this team between 1968 and 1972 are collected in this box set—works that now range from the iconic (Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, The Last Picture Show) to the acclaimed (The King of Marvin Gardens) to the obscure (Head; Drive, He Said; A Safe Place), all created within the studio system but lifted right out of the countercultural id.

Inside Movies: Daniel Hardy & Fred Berger on Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

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Inside Movies is a series of video conversations hosted by screenwriter Daniel Hardy in conversation with various people from within the film industry. This series looks to offer an insider’s perspective—and an absurdly geeky passion for film —as all manner of current movie-related topics are discussed.

This week’s guest is film producer and self-proclaimed movie nerd Fred Berger. In the segment, Hardy and Berger discuss Martin Scorsese’s wild new Leonardo DiCaprio-led feature The Wolf of Wall Street. Based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name, narratively confident and larger than life tale of excess and its crashing halt seems perfectly fitting for the icon who brought us Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, After Hours, and other classics. So after receiving rave reviews from critics this week, you can take a look at Hardy and Burger dissecting the finer points of the film, their affinity for its thrill, and just how it stacks up in the grand scope of Scorsese’s work.

And in case you’re looking for a little more on the literature that’s inspired Scorsese’s other recent features, we recommend taking a listen to Denis Lahane’s Shutter Island on Audible and cozying up with the psychological nightmare drama. A little mentally unstable DiCaprio before you head down to Wall Street for an even crazier ride.

Sandra Bernhard On Sharing ‘The King of Comedy’ Set With Scorcese & De Niro

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When I was running clubs, I had the pleasure of booking Sandra Bernhard a number of times. Her talent – and the inevitable and often uncomfortably wonderful swirl of controversy that defines her every move – makes her a tone-setting choice for a big night. You always know where she stands, and sometimes you better be sitting down to hear it. I chatted with her last month, and we did a phoner earlier in the week to help promote the 30th anniversary of The King of Comedy – a restored version of the 1982 Martin Scorsese flick, starring Robert De Niro and Sandra – that’s closing the Tribeca Film Festival.

Where did your character Masha from The King of Comedy come from? Is it a combination of your childhood friends and memories, or is it you?
No. It’s totally based on who I was as at the time, which was a very, you know, super-energized person (laughs). I fit the bill, and the kind of crazy, neurotic aspects of the character Masha. are me. And of course, as an actress, I brought other elements to it, but it was not a stretch for me to play that role. 

So Jerry Lewis was actually a second choice to Johnny Carson, who actually had his own talk show. But Jerry did what I thought was one of the best performances of his career in this film. There’s one scene where De Niro started yelling racial epithets at him, trying to get a rise out of him, which really set the tone. What was it like working with Jerry? 
Well, for me it was very intimidating and intense. Everything that kind of felt natural between the two of us as people also worked for the role because, as I’ve often said, I don’t think he’d [Jerry Lewis] ever worked with a woman like me before who was from a post-feminist era. I think every woman he had ever worked with was kind of just there, as a foil. So this is a new experience for him. Of course, I grew up on his work, you know, and looked up to him, so it was a funny relationship but it worked for the characters. 

The incredible scene where you have him duct-taped to the chair, and you’re playing with him – and it’s all sexual — 
Right.

Basically he’s threatened and not enjoying it, and you were just in heaven. Did the two of you talk about it in advance or did it just unfold?
Well, it was a combination. We had rehearsed some of these scenes, but a lot of it was just improvised. Jerry was sort of watching it all unfold the first time, as I was just there in the moment. It was all very new and fresh, so I think all the reactions everybody had were very genuine and organic, since a lot of the stuff was not written. It just kind of came from me, so it was a combination of being truly kind of surprised and engaged in the scene. 

I’ve met a lot comedians in my private life, and a lot of them are just on all the time. You talk to a guy like Gilbert Gottfried, and he’s just non-stop. There’s no difference between the character on stage, and the character himself as a person. Is the Jerry we saw in film natural? More like the real Jerry?
Yeah, yeah, he is. He likes to pontificate and tell people his opinions. He’s a little bit, you know, well, you know – he’s Jerry! He’s been around. He’s an auteur. 

It’s been 30 years – that’s a big chunk of time! When’s the last time you saw the film?
In its entirety?  I can’t even remember. I’ve seen bits and pieces of it, but I have not sat and watched it from stem to stern in quite a long time. 

Are you attending the premiere?
I actually cannot attend the premiere. I booked a performance months ago that’s in association with the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, and I can’t get out of it. I’m doing a lot of press and a few little, surprise things to promote the event that I can’t talk about right now cause they’re surprises!

There was a report that it took De Niro seven years to work with Scorsese again. Since then, they’ve done a number of films together. Both said the set was full of so much tension. Do you recall that kind of tension?
No, I didn’t sense any tension at all. The material was intense and the roles were intense, but I felt like everybody got along really well, and I had an incredible time. I didn’t get caught up in any drama, but I don’t remember any… you know?

That was Wikipedia talking, so…
OH! They don’t know – they’re nobodies! (laughs) Never draw on anything from Wikipedia! 

“Research.” Really though, the film was very uneasy to watch. It was a comedy with some chilling scenes in it. I remember not knowing what to say when I walked out, and every time since.
Right. It hits you from a lot of different levels, which I think is amazing, because that’s what filmmaking should do. 

Follow me on Twitter for all my raunchy musings & controversial rants. 

From Club Man to Actor: Danny A. Works With the Best

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Danny A. Abeckaser has made the transition from hosting boldface names to being one. The longtime club owner/promoter is usually surrounded by the beautiful and famous at the chicest of clubs. He has a piece of Avenue, and I find him there when he’s not out in the world shooting some flick or another. The good clubs aren’t good because the celebrities go there. The celebrities go to the good clubs because the people there allow them to be themselves and they know that what happens in there stays there. Danny A., as we all know him, has been the guy with the table, the mega-star, and the models, going back to when I was doing it well. Early on, I saw him in a club-like flick called Point&Shoot, and found it amusing. His production of and performance in Holy Rollers made me a true believer. Hey…I’m a fan.  He has remained a friend and I enjoy catching up with him and talking about what he is up to.

You have a great role in the new flick The Iceman with Michael Shannon, James Franco, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer, and Winona Ryder. This is big time. Tell me about your part and about the film.
I’m so excited for The Iceman. It’s been two years in the making. I play Dino Lepron, who’s the Iceman’s best friend. He’s the only guy the Iceman really loves and trusts. Acting alongside Michael Shannon was amazing; the guy is so good he makes anyone he’s in a scene with so much better. I’ve known the director Ariel Vromen for years, and when he told me about it I had to be in it. It was just shown in Venice and Toronto. Should be out end of this year.

You just finished some work with Martin Scorsese. Tell me about that and how you hooked up with Marty…er, Mr. Scorsese?
I did three days on The Wolf of Wall Street. Just being on set and working with Scorsese was a dream come true. The roll is very, very small. But it’s Marty. I would have gone to Japan to be an extra, so that was great.

You will be in another film which headlines Woody Allen as an actor. Are you blowing up? Tell me about this film and the path it took you to get here.
Yeah, I just got cast in a small role as a rabbi in Fading Gigolo. Starring Woody Allen. Directed by John Tutoro. Very exciting. I don’t care about the size of the role. I just want to work with the best. So I feel very blessed.

I remember Point&Shoot, and thinking how amazing it is that you’re this club guy, a high-end promoter/owner type, yet you have this movie career.
Point&Shoot. That was fun. That’s when I said, “I like this. I want to keep doing it.” I’ve always wanted to act and produce. I acted in a few small things as a kid. But now I feel it’s what I was meant to do.

I loved Holy Rollers and have seen it many times. I appreciate it more each time. You had a production credit in that flick, as well as your acting performance in the pivotal role of Jackie.
Jackie was a character I felt I wanted to play first, very early in my career cause I felt I know that guy. I needed to feel comfortable with my first big role. Being in the club business, I’ve met lots of guys like him.

Have you been planning this movie career all along? Will your club career be coming to an end?
Nightlife has opened so many doors for me since it’s kept me around amazing people. But only after doing The Iceman did I realize how hard this acting thing is. You have to put in the work and time to do it on a high level. I’m very lucky to have Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss as partners at Avenue and a few other small things. Without the freedom of knowing Noah is there to make sure everything is good, I wouldn’t have been able to go away and shoot for two months at a time.  Like I said, I’m very blessed and excited for the future. Excited to see what happens.

I love that you, Steve Lewis, loved Holy Rollers and always says nice things about it. It made me go out and work harder. So thanks. Peace. 

A Polaroid to Remember: Shots From On Set

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Even if taken yesterday, there’s a certain something about polaroid photos that evokes a sense of stillness—a frozen in time quality with the warm sense of memory. And when it comes to film sets, polaroids run rampant for the sake of continuity with make up and such, but also provide a candid look behind-the-scenes at the making of a moment and what was like to truly inhabit it. There’s simply something lingering in the instant held image that you’re not going to gain so easily from snapping a few shots with your iPhone—or at least, that’s how it feels to me.

But from back in the days of Blade Runner to the most recent of film sets, it’s a pleasure to peruse the polaroids found floating around the feature, giving us insight into the on-set life and providing our favorite actors and scenes with even more character and charm. And thanks to the good folks over at Flavorwire, who have unearthed some of the best polaroid shots from your favorite films, you can get a closer glimpse at a young Johnny Depp, a demure Audrey Hepburn, a resting Gillian Anderson and many more. Take a look at some of our favorites below and see the rest HERE.

 

The X-Files, Gillian Anderson

 

 

Blade Runner, Harrison Ford and Sean Young

 

 

Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

 

 

 

Where The Buffalo Roam, Bill Murray and Hunter S. Thompson

 

 

Winona Ryder, Girl, Interuppted

 

 

New York, New York, Liza Minnelli and Martin Scorsese

 

Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Main Image: Johnny Depp, Benny & Joon

Looking Back on the Tortured Minds Behind ‘Taxi Driver’

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This weekend, NYC’s Landmark Sunshine will screen Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver Friday through Sunday. So in honor of the film’s screening, we’re giving you another look at our Cinematic Panic article from January takes a look inside the mind of Scorsese’s brooding picture.

“This movie is as good as Citizen Kane…no, it’s better than Citizen Kane, it’s got more heart,” said John Cassavetes to Martin Scorsese after watching Who’s That Knocking at My Door for the first time. Scorsese nearly passed out. He worshipped Cassavetes, and from then on Cassavetes looked at him like son. And although both Cassavetes and Scorsese both put out some of the best films of the 1970s, they were from two entirely different schools of filmmaking. The Scorseses of the world inherited what the Cassavetes generation had paved the way for. But Cassavetes was just insular in his world, extremely consumed by his own concerns. It was moreso the Hopper-Beatty-Nicholson generation that filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, stumbled down from. These young filmmakers were now able to operate on the notion that there could be a conversation between them and the audience. “They were the benefactors, the prodigy of New Hollywood battles fought and won for artistic integrity and youth recognition by everyone from Arthur Penn to Stanley Kubrick and Peter Fonda," said Peter Biskind in his book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls that provides perhaps the best written account of this era in Hollywood.

And although he’s one of Hollywood greatest living legends and cinematic minds today, about 40 years ago Scorsese was just a chubby young filmmaker, fresh out of school and clawing at the bit to get his voice heard and his work seen. Sandy Weintraub, who Scorsese collaborated with artistically as well as romantically, said, “Marty was tempestuous, volatile, and passionate about his life…he breathed, ate, and shat movies. I would tell him about my dreams and he would tell me about the movie he had seen on TV the day before.” Coming from a strictly Catholic Italian-American family in New York, Scorsese had grown up a child plagued with physical ailments. His asthma forced him to stay inside while other young kids played outside, thus helping him develop his lifelong obsession with cinema and the escape into other worlds through the screen.

“The period from ’71 to ’76 was the best period because we were just starting out,” Scorcese said. “We couldn’t wait for our friends’ next pictures, Brian [De Palma]’s next picture, Francis [Ford Coppola]’s next picture, to see what they were doing. Dinners in Chinese restaurants midday in L.A. with Spielberg and Lucas.” And Nicholas Beach was where he and Sandy would make the trip up the Pacific Coast Highway each weekend: a secluded spot filled with their group of filmmaking pals "where the only rules were the ones we made." As is told in Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, one day Peter Boyle came to stay at the beach and brought a vile of coke—suddenly, "Eve bit into the apple." It was new to most everyone, not knowing exactly how to do it. But it stuck. Actress Margot Kidder recalled, “Out of the drugs came a lot of swampy ideas but also a lot of creative thinking and most important, breaking down of personal barriers and that ridiculousness of pride of holding oneself and having a phony social persona. If that hadn’t been the case, none of us would have developed our talents. But Spielberg didn’t take drugs, Brian didn’t, Marty didn’t until later when he got into trouble with coke. The directors who ended up successful were very protective of their own brains.”

Scorsese had enough problems. He was filled with a mix of Catholic guilt and anxieties created by his own strenuous mind. Flying was a disaster—he had to grip a crucifix until his knuckles turned white during take off, he was afraid the number eleven (he wouldn’t go anywhere near it or anything that added up to it), and he was also absolutely convinced that he was going to die by age 40. It wasn’t a self-destructive notion, rather just an innate knowledge that he was going to live hard and die young whether it be from his always-uneasy health or a plane crash. So it seems for someone so burdened by neurosis, he would find a companion in a like-minded individual who was also "culturally and emotionally sandbagged by the ’50s"—that person being Paul Schrader, just one of the boys at the beach. But it wasn’t so easy.

Schrader was a very messed up human—"deranged" many would say. He was extremely intelligent but cynical and depressive. He was raised in a strict Dutch Calvinist household with parents that would whip him with electrical chords and poke him in the hand with needles, telling him, “This is what hell will feel like.” Martin Scorsese once said that his entire life was "religion and film, nothing else," and it seems as though Schrader too shared that sentiment. He did not see a movie until he was seventeen, and when he did he began to hallucinate, believing he had committed some great sin and was going to burn in Hell forever. His strict Calvinist upbringing left a paralyzing imprint on his work; film for him will always be dirt—cinema, sex, and sin forever linked in Schrader’s eyes. But he did not shy away from these subjects; he embraced them manically, using them as a way to expose his darkest desires that had always been forbidden. He put his sins on paper as a way to relieve himself of them, as if he will be freed once they are out of his head and onto the page. He exploits the dark side of sex and its industry in his films (his male characters frequently visit pornographic theaters and brothels), but he does so in a way that’s stripped of any ounce of sensuality or desire. The Calvinists believe that if you do these things right in your life, death will be your salvation and you’ll go to Heaven. Schrader, however, had committed enough sin to burn in Hell. These feelings of guilt and fear left him socially and psychologically disturbed, feeling removed from the world around him, like a lonely figure traveling through life.

One day, over a game of chess, Schrader told Brian De Palma that he had written a script called Taxi Driver. De Palma sent it to producer Michael Phillips who loved it but knew finding a director to take on something so bizarre would be a challenge. Scorsese wanted it—bad. But when Schrader saw a cut of Scorcese’s Boxcar Bertha, he just rolled his eyes. He discussed the script with Pauline Kael who “didn’t know if De Niro could carry a film.” At that time, Robert De Niro was a fairly unknown actor who came from a middle-class bohemian upbringing—a stark contrast to that of Schrader and Scorsese, the latter fascinated by the idea of this “paradise” to be raised in a creative environment. De Niro’s rebellion came from “getting into the heavy street thing.” But he was a serious actor and rarely ever spoke, which seems like a far cry to the De Niro we know today. Casting director Nessa Hyams once said, “You couldn’t get De Niro arrested.” He rarely attended parties or hung out; when he did go to a party, he would often be found falling asleep on the couch.

After the release of Mean Streets, Scorsese and De Niro both got the green light, and Taxi Driver came into action. The film is a hard-edged look at the New York City streets told through the lens of an art film. The neon-lit buildings sparkle and melt onto the screen in contrast to the filth and scum that penetrate the sidewalks and, thusly, the collective psyche of the film. Biskind describes the film best as:

…following the nocturnal wanderings of a cabbie, Travis Bickle—a violent, Vietnam vet—through Times Square as he encounters a variety of human offal and rountinely cleans the blood and come off his backseat. He gets a crush on a blonde campaign worker, and his attention wanders between her and Iris, a twelve-year-old hooker. The story climaxes in a bloodbath, as he blows away Iris’s pimp and johns in an attempt to redeem her.

Taxi Driver begins with the menacing and anxiety-invoking Bernard Herrmann score that encompasses the rest of the film. Scorceses doesn’t hide anything. The close up of Travis’s eyes blend with the scenery as we realize the city around him is just as much of a character as he is. Biskind goes on to say, "To paraphrase Schrader, if you put Penn and Antonioni in bed together, put a gun to their heads and told them to fuck while Bresson watched through the keyhole, you got Taxi Driver." Fair enough.

Travis must transform himself from the inside out in order to accomplish what he’s set out to do. He must go down into the underworld where he’s seeking vengeance on and become the scum he sees on the streets. In order to save Iris and help rid the world of the filth polluting the streets, he tries to make himself a machine. He goes from eating terribly to working out everyday and trying to make himself as hard as possible—mentally and physically. He changes his lax attitude and becomes strict with himself as if he is completely possessed by his mission. His life needed a purpose and this was it. When special forces were going into battle, they would shave their hair into a Mohawk; as a veteran, it would make sense that Travis would do the same. This was his battle. Paul Schrader dressed De Niro in his own clothes for the film as Travis. He could have played the role himself.

With Michael Chapman as the DP and Raoul Coutard as cinematographer, the film takes the sort of European aesthetic and sense of isolation with an hint of an Americana façade. Everyone involved in the film was influenced heavily by the work of the French new wave. Chapman said, “Godard was the great freeing influence for all of us. He said, ‘Look, you don’t have to worry about this or that’”—a notion that made its way into Taxi Driver from the Alka Seltzer shot reference to 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her to the moment Travis drives into the car garage and the camera goes elsewhere, saying, ‘Don’t look at this guy, look at the word he lives in.’ When Scorsese was forced to desaturate the colors in the denouement of the film so that it could slide from an X-rating to an R, he thought the joke was on everyone else—the washed-out grit of it all only made it that much more brutal.

In the beginning of the film, Travis speaks of rain washing the scum off the streets; in the end he takes on the role of that rain. The final moments leave us questioning whether or not he kills himself as a means of salvation, or if it is in fact a reality that he is a hero and Iris is returned home safely to her parents. But whatever audiences believed, they loved it, and the film was a surprising commercial success. Bickle look-alikes lined up around the block to see the film the day it opened, feeling a connection to this new and bizarre piece of cinema that reflected not only where things were at but the frightening reality of what we are all capable of. When we watch the film now and look back on these young people involved, those men thriving with talent and exploding with an aggressive passion, one cannot help but wonder what will speak to our generation the way this film did to those of the time. I suppose only time will tell. 

Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ Comes to Life

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As one of our favorite modern actor/director relationships, Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are a patch made in heaven—a very tortured, violent heaven. And after Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, and Shutter Island, the two are back together for Scorsese’s latest black comedy, The Wolf of Wall Street set to premiere this November. We’ve been eagerly anticipating digging deeper into the film since the trailer debuted back in June but today, thanks to Vulture, we get an in-depth look behind the scenes at what might be Scorsese’s best picture in years.

Adapted by Tereence Winter, the film is “based on Jordan ­Belfort’s memoir of the same name. The book chronicles the former stockbroker’s rise and fall as the head of Stratton Oakmont, a brokerage house he founded when he was only in his late twenties. The Long Island–based boiler room bamboozled small investors out of roughly $100 million in the nineties, the heyday of cheap money, junk bonds, and spectacularly ugly ties. In 1998, Belfort was indicted for securities fraud and money laundering, serving 22 months in prison after ­cooperating with the FBI.”
 
Originally pitched in 2008, The Wolf of Wall Street was hard-pressed to find its funding, leading Scorsese and DiCaprio to go on to make Shutter Island together—certainly not their most profound work, but well-worth it for this Max Richter-scored dream sequence. However, after gaining funding from Red Granite, the film began to see the light of day and with just a few months before its premiere, let’s see what we can gather about the film thus far.
 
DiCaprio: “When Marty couldn’t do it the first time, I set it up with a few other directors, but I never felt comfortable pulling the trigger. I was fixated on him. There wasn’t anybody else who could bring the rawness and toughness, the music, and particularly the humor required to convey the excitement of these young punks—these robber barons—taking on the Wall Street system.”
 
Terence Winter: “That’s why I’m glad we kept the voice-over; you need his hilarious asides.” 
 
DiCaprio: “Marty said to me early on, ‘No matter the genre, no matter what kind of movie, people respond to the honesty in the characters… We weren’t interested in sentimentalizing Jordan. We aren’t painting a portrait of someone we want people to feel sorry for. Later in the film, when his life starts breaking apart, people are going to think he’s making the wrong decisions constantly. That’s not to say that people won’t be rooting for him, because he’s a likable guy.”
 
Scorsese: “Leo and I share a certain sensibility…temperamental affinity.”
 
Jonah Hill: “Marty is brilliant at many things, but one of them is showing people doing things that are morally corrupt and still making them enjoyable to watch…You root for them and adore them in some way—it’s cool and exciting to be doing something wrong….Leo and I had numerous conversations while our characters were doing really despicable things. I was disgusted by what I was doing!…There are people who won’t see the darkness of it. Spring Breakers came out while we were making the movie. I’m a big Harmony Korine fan. I saw Kids when I was way too young—probably 11—and I completely disregarded the aids plot; I just wanted to be like those guys. So now I’m 29, and I walked out of Spring Breakers thinking,Gosh, this generation is so screwed. I was really depressed by the movie. But I realized that if I was 14, I’d be like, Oh, let’s go on spring break!”
 
Scorsese: “It’s an old story, really: People can take their identification with movies and novels to some alarming places…Some people might just zero in on the fun, exhilarating side of it. But if you’re putting a world on film, and you’re going to stay true to that world, as opposed to show it from a distance, you’re going to make it attractive and entertaining—and, by the way, the people are entertaining, and they had a great time until they got caught.”
 
Hill: “Maybe don’t do bags of ­quaaludes and cocaine every day for four years…Everything is going to feel like a letdown after that kind of sensory overload, you know? It’s like the end of Good­Fellas. Ray Liotta is in witness protection. He orders spaghetti and gets egg noodles and ketchup. The rest of his life he’s going to be eating egg noodles and ketchup. He’s going to live life like a schnook.”
 
Check out the full article HERE and see the behind the scenes photos below.
 
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The Best Films to Watch Without Ever Leaving Your Bed: Warner Archive Edition

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Let’s face it. When it comes to Monday mornings, we’re all Melancholia’s Justine—walking to work in slow motion, ankles wrapped in muddy vines dragging us down as we crawl into what feels like the great demise. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, it’s the beginning of another week and whether you spent your weekend trading in the concrete of the city for some late summer greenery, or perhaps used your time wisely to hide away in a darkened movie theater, I’m sure you’re already looking forward to diving into bed tonight with a good film. 

But with myriad sites and thousands of films to choose from, making a decision that properly suits the existential dilemma you’ve transferred onto your viewing selection, proves daunting. So to help, I’ve rounded up the best of what’s streaming online this week from the Warner Archive Instant library. From Martin Scorsese’s absurdly brilliant After Hours and Who’s That Knocking at My Door to Robert Altman’s dark and smokey McCabe & Mrs. Miller and a bit of everything in between, here’s what you should be watching from beneath the sheets this week. Enjoy.  

Day for Night

The drama on screen is nothing compared to the drama behind the camera! During production of the film "Je Vous Presente Pamela" (May I Introduce Pamela), the actresses are drunk and emotionally unstable. The male lead’s affair with the script girl is getting rocky. And the shoot is beset by endless technical problems in director François Trauffaut’s loving and humorous homage to the cinema.

After Hours

Paul Hackett’s (Griffin Dunne) terrible night happens in the SoHo area of downtown Manhattan when he goes to keep a date with Marcy (Rosanna Arquette). Nothing in his humdrum life as a word processor has prepared him for his surreal encounters with Marcy; her far-out artist roommate Kiki (Linda Fiorentino); cocktail waitress Julie (Teri Garr); ice cream vendor Gail (Catherine O’Hara); June (Verna Bloom), who lives in the basement of a nightclub; and Mark (Robert Plunket) who is ripe for his first gay experience. Now, Paul longs only for the safety of his upper-East Side apartment … but will he ever make it home?

Blow-Up

Fashion photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) casually takes a somewhat voyeuristic shot of a man and a young woman in each other’s arms on a park bench. The young woman (Vanessa Redgrave) follows Thomas home and makes love to him in exchange for the photograph. But Thomas keeps the negative, and when he enlarges it, what had seemed a carnal moment, appears to be murder. Thomas returns to the park, and discovers that the man in the photograph is dead. Yet when Thomas enlarges the photo again, he notices a shadow in the bushes that could be barrel of the gun. Is the woman with whom Thomas made love a murderer? Reality seems to change with each blow-up he makes.

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

 Martin Scorcese directs Ellen Burstyn delivers an Academy Award-winning performance, in the feature that inspired the long-running sitcom "Alice". At 32, Alice Hyatt (Burstyn) watches her dreams slipping away. Instead of a career as a singer, she has an abusive husband, an ill-mannered 12-year-old son and a life in small-town Oklahoma. But when her husband dies in a traffic accident, Alice heads west to pursue her dreams, working as a lounge singer along the way. Life, however, never seems to go according to plan, and Alice must again face a choice between love and the career that seems as elusive as ever.

 

 

Freaks

"Gooble-gobble…we accept her…one of us," goes the haunting chant of Freaks. Yet it would be decades before this widely banned morality play gained acceptance as a cult masterpiece. Tod Browning (1931’s Dracula) directs this landmark movie in which the true freaks are not the story’s sideshow performers, but "normals" who mock and abuse them. Browning, a former circus contortionist, cast real-life sideshow professionals. A living torso who nimbly lights his own cigarette despite having no arms or legs, microcephalics (whom the film calls "pinheads") – they and others play the big-top troupers who inflict a terrible revenge on a trapeze artist who treats them as subhumans. In 1994, Freaks was selected for the National Film Registry’s archive of cinematic treasures.

The Hunger

Centuries-old Egyptian vampire Miriam (Catherine Deneuve) and her centuries-old lover, John (David Bowie), feed on urban nightclub goers. But while Miriam can bestow a very long life on her lovers, she cannot grant them her immortality. When John starts to rapidly age, Miriam seduces Sarah (Susan Sarandon), a doctor researching premature aging.

 

 

Helter Skelter

Based on the best-selling Vincent Bugliosi book of the same name, Helter Skelter is a made-for-TV account of the investigation and prosecution of Charles Manson (Steve Railsback), who was convicted of leading a group of followers (known as "The Family") to murder seven people in California, including actress Sharon Tate. The film takes a Law & Order-like approach, starting with the discovery of the murders, which leads to the police gathering snippets of evidence that they eventually connect to the bigger picture. The second half of the movie concentrates on how District Attorney Bugliosi (George DiCenzo) attains a conviction despite the enormous amount of press coverage the case received. Nancy Wolfe, Christina Hart, and Cathey Paine portray the three loyal Manson Family members who were the co-defendants at his trial.

Who’s That Knocking At my Door

American legend Martin Scorsese ("GoodFellas," "Taxi Driver") made his feature directorial debut with this autobiographical drama starring frequent Scorsese collaborator Harvey Keitel, who makes his film debut. J.R. (Keitel) is a typical Italian-American on the streets of New York. When he gets involved with a local girl, he decides to get married and settle down, but when he learns that she was once raped, he cannot handle it. More explicitly linked with Catholic guilt that Scorsese’s later work, we see what happens to J.R. when his religious guilt catches up with him. Full of Scorsese touches, in both embryonic and fully-fleshed form.

The Illustrated Man

Three classic tales by great American fabulist Ray Bradbury from his storied Illustrated Man collection, The Veldt, The Long Rain, The Last Night of the World get the big screen treatment, linked by a pair of extraordinary performers (Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom) and the anthology’s central conceit. Jack Smight’s film has benefited from the passage of time, which has seen SF’s place as the literature of ideas become supplanted by the spectacle of cinema Sci-Fi. Also stars Robert Drivas.

Klute

The first part of his "paranoia trilogy," Alan J. Pakula’s 1971 thriller details the troubled life of a Manhattan prostitute stalked by one of her tricks. Investigating the disappearance of his friend Tom Gruneman (Robert Milli), rural Pennsylvania private eye John Klute (Donald Sutherland) follows a lead provided by Gruneman’s associate Peter Cable (Charles Cioffi) to seek out a call girl who Gruneman knew in New York City. The call girl is Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda), an aspiring actress who turns tricks for the cash and to be free of emotional bondage. Klute follows Bree’s every move, observing the city’s decadence and her isolation, eventually contacting her about Gruneman. Bree claims not to know Gruneman, but she does reveal that she has received threats from a john. As Bree becomes involved in Klute’s search and realizes that she is in danger, she reluctantly falls in love with Klute, despite her wish to remain unattached to any man. When she finally comes face to face with the killer, however, she is forced to reconsider her detached urban life.

Ziegfeld Follies

Producer Arthur Freed gathered together a bevy of MGM musical luminaries including Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Lena Horne and Gene Kelly for this all-star Technicolor spectacular revue produced in the style of the great Florenz Ziegfeld. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, and introduced by William Powell re-creating his 1936 screen role as Ziegfeld.

Love in the Afternoon

In his first pairing with co-writer I.A.L. Diamond, Billy Wilder plays tribute to the effervescent romantic comedies of Ernst Lubitsch with this May-December romance starring Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper. Hepburn plays Ariane Chavasse, a coltish young conservatory cellist who yearns for a more mature understanding of life. Overhearing a client of her private detective father (frequent Lubitsch collaborator Maurice Chevalier) threatening to murder American playboy Frank Flannagan (Cooper), Ariane decides to warn Frank of the danger herself. Sparks fly when the two meet up, and the worldly Frank finds he is no match for ‘innocent’ Ariane. But Ariane’s gumshoe pop is still on the case… I.A.L. Diamond was not the only future-frequent player for team Wilder to work on the film, production designer Alexandre Trauner delivers the first of his six Wilder collaborations in stunning fashion. Trauner’s sets weave the city of Paris in and out of the mise-en-scene, magically blending the real and the romantic. Franz Waxmen’s score, in turn, sends the romance soaring.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

A gambler and a prostitute go into business together in a grimy Western mining town as they cater to the vices of the morally bankrupt residents. But their success attracts notice by corporate interests that are too big and too ruthless for the pair to fight. Warren Beatty and Julie Christie star in this altered take on the American Western from famed director Robert Altman. Based on the novel McCabe by Edmund Naughton.

The Yakuza

From famed director Sidney Pollack comes this suspenseful adventure about Harry Kilmer (Robert Mitchum), an American determined to rescue his employer’s kidnapped daughter from the Japanese mafia in Kyoto. Written by Paul Schrader and Robert Towne .

Night Moves

Private eye Harry Moseby (Gene Hackman) is dedicated to his job, but his dedication does not make him happy or powerful in his personal life, and his wife (Susan Clark) is cheating on him. Aging actress Arlene Iverson (Janet Ward) hires Harry to find her trust-funded daughter Delly (Melanie Griffith), distracting Harry from his marital problems as he tracks the lascivious runaway teen to Florida. In the Keys, Harry has an affair of his own with Paula (Jennifer Warren), and he succeeds in locating Delly, even as he learns that finding her is only the beginning of a much larger case. As the "accidental" deaths multiply, Harry discovers that everyone has his or her own motives and that he cannot do much to stem the tide of deep-seated depravity. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Of Human Bondage

Laurence Harvey and the legendary Kim Novak star in this adaptation of the W. Somerset Maugham classic of sexual obssession. Philip Carey (Harvey), a club-footed artist who decides to pursue a medical career after two unsuccessful years in Paris, meets waitress Mildred Rogers (Novak) and falls in love. However, Rogers takes advantage of Carey’s affections time and again as he finds himself unable or unwilling to resist her mercenary advances on his heart and spirit.

Wait Until Dark

A photographer’s blind wife, trapped in her New York apartment by an evil trio who are ready to murder to retrieve a heroin-filled doll hidden in her apartment, cleverly outwits them. Music by Henry Mancini. Based on the long running Broadway play by Frederick Knott. 

 

Straight Time

Paroled criminal Max Dembo (Dustin Hoffman) is compelled to withstand the calculated cruelties of slimy parole officer Earl Frank (M. Emmet Walsh). The more Max tries to go straight, the more he is defeated by circumstance or hectored by the sadistic Frank. It becomes clear after a while that neither Max nor his fellow ex-cons will be able to survive looking for legitimate work. Max is too "far gone" as a human being to succeed at anything other than crime. He goes back to his old thieving ways, inveigling reformed crook Jerry Schue (Harry Dean Stanton) into helping him. A climactic "big caper" goes tragically awry, thanks in great part to the tragic flaws in Max’s personality. Based on a novel by Edward Bunker, Straight Time is possibly the most realistic cinematic probe into the sociopathic psyche of the career criminal. Famed theatrical director and instructor Ulu Grosbard directed, with an uncredited assist from star Hoffman; it was their second film together, after Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?

Until the End of the World

Shot in fifteen cities, seven countries and across four continents, famed director Wim Wenders film is part love story, part dream quest, part Sci-Fi apocalypse, and, in the words of Wenders himself “the ultimate road movie.” From the palazzos of Venice to the wilds of the Australian outback, the film challenges and delights, thanks to its wondrous vision and equally wondrous ensemble, including William Hurt, Sam Neill and Max Von Sydow. The year is 1991 and it is a time of great sophistication in personal communications, travel and lifestyle. Video telephones, monitors and hand-held tracking machines make it possible to observe the movements of people anywhere on the globe, yet the hearts and minds of Earth’s inhabitants are more isolated than ever (sound familiar?). But a nuclear satellite has spun out of control and now the world waits in terror to see if, and where!, it will land.

The Postman Always Rings Twice

Bob Rafelson’s remake of 1946’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, with a screenplay by the award-winning playwright David Mamet, stars Jack Nicholson as Frank Chambers, a depression-era drifter who ends up at a diner run by Nick Papadakis (John Colicos), who offers Frank a job. Frank takes him up on the offer, but quickly begins a torrid affair with Nick’s wife Cora (Jessica Lange). The adulterous lovers soon hatch a plan to kill Nick and share in the insurance payout. The second big-screen adaptation of the James M. Cain novel, the film garnered a certain degree of notoriety for the explicit sex scenes between Lange and Nicholson. 

Gun Crazy

Meeting in a sexually charged carny shooting contest, young lovers Bart (John Dall) and Annie (Peggy Cummins) are driven by impulses of violence and arousal they don’t fully understand. As their passions grows, the cordite barks and the two become bank robbers on the run, eluding roadblocks and roaring into movie history as one of the benchmark Film Noir works. Joseph H. Lewis directs this ferocious thriller that set the blueprint of killer couple flicks for years to come, buoyed by the electrifying performances of its two leads. Screenplay co-written by winner Dalton Trumbo (Roman Holiday, The Brave One) working during the Hollywood blacklist as Millard Kaufman.

Looking Back on Martin Scorsese & Leonardo DiCaprio’s Best Moments Together

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Late last night, the first trailer for Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street debuted to a ravenous howling of excitement. Starring the one and only Leonardo DiCaprio, the film looked to be staying below the radar of major anticipation, but with the film’s rousing first trailer, fans are already insisting this will be Scorsese’s best film in years and DiCaprio’s long-awaited shot at an Oscar. But as this is not their first time at the rodeo together—their fifth collaboration, actually—it’s only natural Marty and Leo’s simpatico has finally properly aligned and after Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Shutter Island, and The Departed, perhaps this one takes Scorsese affinity for twisted and disturbed men of power and DiCaprio’s legendary skill for playing the lunatic and outrageous to a new level. So in honor of the energetic and thrilling new trailer (see final slide), let’s take a look back on some of Leo’s best moments in Scorsese’s films. Enjoy.

 

 

The Departed, Bar Scene

 
 

Shutter Island, Nightmare

 
 

The Aviator, Fine Pair of Misfits

 
 
 

Gangs of New York, Fidlam Bens

 
 

The Aviator, Not One for Tears

 
 

The Departed, I Want Some Pills

 
 
 
 

Shutter Island, Set Me Free

 
 
 

The Aviator, Dinner With the Hepburns

 
 

Gangs of New York, Dance

 
 

 

The Departed, Recruitment 

 
 

Shutter Island, Dream Sequence

 
 
 

The Aviator, Car Scene

 

The Wolf of Wall Street