Posts tagged ‘Film’

July 2, 2013

My Cousin Vinny

vincent laguardia gambini

My Cousin Vinny‘ is a 1992 American comedy film written by Dale Launer (‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,’ ‘Ruthless People’), directed by Jonathan Lynn (‘Clue,’ ‘The Whole Nine Yards’), and starring Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, and Fred Gwynne (best known for playing Herman Munster; the film was Gwynne’s final role before his death the following year).

‘My Cousin Vinny’ is the story of two young New Yorkers traveling through rural Alabama who are put on trial for a murder they did not commit, and the comic attempts of a cousin, Vincent Gambini, a newly minted lawyer, to defend them. Much of the humor comes from the contrasting personalities of the brash Italian-American New Yorkers, Vinny and his fiancée Mona Lisa Vito, and the more reserved Southern townspeople.

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June 7, 2013

Eraserhead

Eraserhead by Pascal Wallimann

Eraserhead is a 1977 surrealist body horror film written and directed by American filmmaker David Lynch. Shot in black-and-white, Eraserhead is Lynch’s first feature-length film, coming after several short works.

The film was produced with the assistance of the American Film Institute (AFI) during the director’s time studying there. It tells the story of Henry Spencer who is left to care for his deformed child in a desolate industrial landscape. Throughout the film, Spencer experiences dreams or hallucinations, featuring his child and the Lady in the Radiator.

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June 5, 2013

Born Rich

Lucky Sperm

Born Rich‘ is a 2003 documentary film about growing up in the world’s richest families. It was created by Jamie Johnson, an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune. It consists primarily of Johnson interviewing his friends and peers about living life free of financial constraints. These interviews are offset by Johnson’s exploration of his own experience and family.

Interviewees include: Georgina Bloomberg, Stephanie Ercklentz (born to New York lawyer Enno W. Ercklentz Jr.), Christina Floyd (born to golfer Raymond Floyd), Juliet Hartford (born to A&P heir Huntington Hartford), Josiah Cheston Hornblower (born into Vanderbilt-Whitney lineage), S.I. Newhouse IV, Ivanka Trump, Cody Franchetti (heir to Milliken & Co), and Carlo von Zeitschel (German baron and Italian viscount, great grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm). Luke Weil (born to Scientific Games CEO A. Lorne Weil) sued unsuccessfully to remove his segments from the film.

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May 24, 2013

The Hidden Fortress

Toshiro Mifune

The Hidden Fortress is a 1958 jidai-geki (period drama) film directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune as General Makabe Rokurōta and Misa Uehara as Princess Yuki. The film begins with two bedraggled peasants, Tahei and Matashichi (Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara).

Through conversation, they reveal that they had intended to fight with the Yamana clan, but turned up too late, were taken for soldiers of the defeated Akizuki clan, and forced to bury dead. After quarreling and splitting up, the two are both captured again and forced to dig for gold in the Akizuki castle with other prisoners.

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May 24, 2013

Rear Window

Rear Window is a 1954 American suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by John Michael Hayes and based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1942 short story ‘It Had to Be Murder.’ Originally released by Paramount Pictures, the film stars Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. The film is considered by many filmgoers, critics and scholars to be one of Hitchcock’s best.

After breaking his leg photographing a racetrack accident, professional photographer L.B. ‘Jeff’ Jefferies (James Stewart) is confined in his Greenwich Village apartment, using a wheelchair while he recuperates. His rear window looks out onto a small courtyard and several other apartments. During a summer heat wave, he passes the time by watching his neighbors, who keep their windows open to stay cool.

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April 9, 2013

Bend Over Boyfriend

bend-over-boyfriend

B-O-B is a ‘wildly successful’ series of sex education videos covering the practice of a woman penetrating a man’s anus with a strap-on dildo (known as ‘pegging’). The first of the two videos, which was released in 1998, became the best selling video to date for ‘Good Vibrations,’ a sex-toy company. The videos star sexologist Carol Queen, who discusses pegging and also demonstrates the practice with her lover.

The videos also contain footage of other couples engaging in the practice. The porn star Chloe appears in the second video; as she is best known as an anal queen, her use of a strap-on dildo is a ‘role reversal.’ Sex columnist Dan Savage, who popularized the term ‘pegging,’ originally offered ‘bob’ (short for ‘Bend over Boyfriend’) as one of two alternatives for the term.

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March 31, 2013

Demolition Man

taco bell

Three Seashells

Demolition Man is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Marco Brambilla, and starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes (co-starring Sandra Bullock and Denis Leary). The film tells the story of two men—one, an evil crime lord; the other, a risk-taking police officer—who are cryogenically frozen in the year 1996 and reawakened in 2032.

Following a massive earthquake in 2010 that destroyed much of Los Angeles, the city merged with San Diego to form a planned city called San Angeles in which all crime has seemingly been eliminated from mainstream society. Sandra Bullock replaced original actress Lori Petty in the role of Lenina Huxley after a few days filming. Her character’s name is a reference to Aldous Huxley, the author of ‘Brave New World,’ and Lenina Crowne, a character in the dystopian novel.

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March 9, 2013

Czech Dream

cesky sen

Czech Dream‘ is a 2004 documentary film directed by Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda, which recorded a large-scale hoax perpetrated by the filmmakers on the Czech public, culminating in the ‘opening event’ of a fake hypermarket (a supermarket and a department store in one).

The film was their final project for film school. Remunda and Klusák invented the ‘Český sen’ (‘Czech Dream’) hypermarket and created a massive advertising campaign around it.

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February 10, 2013

Naked Lunch

Cronenberg

Naked Lunch is the 1991 film adaptation written and directed by David Cronenberg, of William S. Burroughs’ novel of the same name. Rather than attempting a straight adaptation, Cronenberg took a few elements from the book and combined them with elements of Burroughs’ life, creating a hybrid film about the writing of the book rather than the book itself. Peter Weller starred as William Lee, the pseudonym Burroughs used when he wrote ‘Junkie.’

Lee is an exterminator who finds that his wife Joan is stealing his insecticide (pyrethrum) to use as a drug. When Lee is arrested by the police, he begins hallucinating because of ‘bug powder’ exposure. He believes he is a secret agent whose controller (a giant bug) assigns him the mission of killing Joan, who is an agent of an organization called Interzone Incorporated. Lee dismisses the bug and its instructions and kills it. He returns home to find Joan sleeping with Hank, one of his writer friends. Shortly afterwards, he accidentally kills her while attempting to shoot a drinking glass off her head in imitation of William Tell.

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January 21, 2013

Escape From Tomorrow

Escape From Tomorrow is a 2013 American fantasy-horror film. It is the debut film of writer-director Randy Moore, and stars Roy Abramsohn as a man having increasingly disturbing experiences and visions during the last day of a family vacation to the Walt Disney World theme park. After its premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, it became one of the most popular films there.

The film gained national media attention because Moore and his cast and crew made most of it on location at both Disney World and Disneyland without the consent or apparently even the awareness of The Walt Disney Company, which owns and operates both parks and has a reputation for being fiercely protective of its intellectual property. They used guerilla filmmaking techniques such as keeping their scripts on their iPhones to avoid attracting attention, and shooting on handheld video cameras similar to those used by the park’s many visitors. After principal photography was complete, Moore was so determined to keep the project a secret from Disney that he edited it in South Korea, and Sundance similarly declined to discuss the film in detail before it was shown.

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January 9, 2013

Mr. Freedom

mr freedom

Mr. Freedom is a 1969 film by the expatriate American photographer and filmmaker William Klein. Starring the popular French actor Delphine Seyrig, this anti-imperialist satirical farce has cameos by the well-known actors Donald Pleasence and Philippe Noiret, as well as the musician Serge Gainsbourg. Under the command of Dr. Freedom, the crass superhero Mr. Freedom (John Abbey) goes to France to stave off the advances of the mysterious French Anti-Freedom (FAF) organization.

He joins forces with the femme fatale Marie-Madeleine to lead his own anti-communist Freedom organization. The Freedom mission is complicated by the machinations of communist foes — the Stalinist Moujik Man and the ferocious Maoist Red China Man (portrayed as a giant inflatable dragon). France, refusing to see the FAF as a threat, rebuffs Freedom, leading to an escalation of Cold War tactics. In the end, betrayed, Mr. Freedom destroys himself trying to save the ‘unappreciative’ nation.

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January 7, 2013

Up Series

Michael Apted

The Up Series is a series of documentary films produced by Granada Television that have followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old. The documentary has had eight episodes spanning 49 years (one episode every seven years) and the documentary has been broadcast on both ITV and BBC.

The children were selected to represent the range of socio-economic backgrounds in Britain at that time, with the explicit assumption that each child’s social class predetermines their future. Every seven years, the director, Michael Apted, films material from those of the fourteen who choose to participate.

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