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Entries in Humphrey Bogart (10)

Thursday
Oct132016

NYFF: How Bogart, Fellini, and Ginger Rogers inspired "20th Century Women"

As part of NYFF Directors’ Dialogue series, 20th Century Women’s Mike Mills was interviewed by artistic director, Kent Jones. Here are excerpts from the conversation as reported by Murtada.

Bening, Mills and Elle Faning at NYFF premiere

Dorothea is Humphrey Bogart
Mills based the main character in 20th Century Women - Dorothea played by Annette Bening - on his memories of his mother. She used to always tell him “In my next life I’ll be married to Bogart”, so while writing the movie Mills would ask himself what would Bogart say whenever he was stuck. To him Dorothea was like many of the characters Bogart played; underdogs who don't win, fail valiantly, make great jokes along the way and always help the weakest person in the room.

Ginger Rogers in Stage Door
Dorothea was also inspired by the character Ginger Rogers played in 1937’s Stage Door. She is as subversive, wisecracking and knows her way with a witty putdown as Rogers’ Jean Maitland.

Working with Bening
Mills believes Bening was the only actor who could play Dorothea. He talked about how she’s exactly the right age, looks beautifully natural which is rare in actresses of her age and calibre. She also reminded him of his mother because, while professional, she has no interest in pleasing anyone, even her director. She would listen to his stories but kept her process private, so he had to learn to give her space. He loved what she delivered because she continously surprised him. While she worked out the character’s psychology, Bening did not work out the beats of every scene, opting for freedom and intuition.

Casting is Key

Mills movies are personal and based on his memories, in addition to Bening, Christopher Plummer played a character based on his father in Beginners (2010). So to avoid being precious he hands full authorship of the character to the actors or as he put it “give them the keys to the car”.

Federico Fellini
Mills revealed that 20th Century Women owes a big debt is Fellini’s Amarcord (1973). They both have multiple narrators and are love letters from their authors’ to where they grew up.


20th Century Women was the Centerpiece selection at NYFF and will be released on Christmas Day by A24.

Monday
Aug312015

Beauty vs Beast: Thoroughly Modern Mistress

Happy Monday, everybody -- Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" poll here for you to ponder. I've been trying to use older films for this series lately since it's more likely you'll participate if you've, you know, seen the movie at hand, but this week it just couldn't be helped; we have to go current. Not only is it director Noah Baumbach's birthday later this week (he's turning 46 on Thursday) but just yesterday Nathaniel admitted (MUCH TO MY HORROR) that he didn't much like Baumbach's new film Mistress America. What what what? I... disagree. (Here's the review I wrote.) While I can't say MA kicked my beloved Frances Ha to the curb or anything quite that psychotic (it would take a miracle or a nuke to come close) I reveled in Mistress' heady mix of madcap silliness and sadness - nothing's made me feel quite so simultaneously goofy and gallant in some time. What a script; what a sharp-edged choreography of words and full-screen wiliness. Anyway hopefully you have seen it by now, and can judge this week's contest for yourselves...

PREVIOUSLY Yesterday the 1954 Supporting Actress Smackdown put that year to bed for this month at TFE, but wait, one last thing -- who successfully won Sabrina, says y'all? It was a shockingly close battle between the brothers, but in the end William Holden's, well, William-Holden-ness, beat out Bogie. Said Leslie19:

"All William Holden, all the time. Who else can sit down on champagne glasses with such aplomb?"

Monday
Aug242015

Beauty vs Beast: Audrey in the Middle

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- you're probably vividly aware at this point that this month's Supporting Actress Smackdown is tackling the ladies of 1954, especially since just the other day the Smackdowners listed some of their favorite things about that year. And what a year it was! I was pretty tempted to give this week's contest over to my favorite movie of all-time Rear Window (it's in a lifelong dead heat with Rosemary's Baby for that mantle, actually) but... well that's awfully expected of me. How many of these posts have I already dedicated to Hitchcock movies?

So I looked a smidge deeper and found a perfectly pleasant second pick -- after all, who wouldn't want to put themselves in Audrey Hepburn's designer shoes for a moment? Sabrina it is! Make like you're Billy Wilder's leading lady and choose -- Bogart's puppy-eyed businessman or Holden's suave playboy?

PREVIOUSLY Last week we brought it on with the rival cheerleading squads of Bring It On -- but who brought it bigger in the end? In a reversal of the movie's well-reason donouement we've handed our trophy to the loveable cheaters the Rancho Carne Toros! The curse of the dropped spirit stick is broken! Said Jonn:

"Team Jesse Bradford brushing his teeth isn't an option?!"

Wednesday
Jun242015

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

We're looking back into 1948 ahead of this weekend's Smackdown. A world away from all of those women, though, John Huston was making one of cinema's most famous films about men. Here's David...

It was evident from the gilded treachery on display in The Maltese Falcon that John Huston was a filmmaker fully aware and largely in thrall to the darker side of human nature. World War II changed him, as it did millions of American men. An adaptation of B. Traven’s 1927 novel, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was the first feature Huston made following his time making war documentaries for the U.S. government, and while its setting and subject are quite estranged from the war – three men mining for gold in 1925 Mexico – it betrays the even grittier experiences Huston had witnessed abroad. If the film is about greed, as has long been celebrated, it just as much about the deep insecurities of masculinity.

More...

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Tuesday
Jul222014

1973 Look Back: Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye"

We're giving 1973 some context as we approach the Smackdown. Here's Matthew Eng on an Altman film.

There’s an unmistakable sense of nostalgia that permeates Robert Altman’s seldom-seen 1973 neo-noir The Long Goodbye, an air of reminiscence highlighted by the film’s title track, a nifty, pliable, lovelorn little number composed by John Williams and Johnny Mercer that gets incorporated endlessly throughout the movie, evoking sporadic familiarity, even though we rarely hear the same version twice. It transforms itself, from scene-to-scene, into a flimsy piece of supermarket Muzak, an ivory-tickled barroom ditty, even a castanet-laden flamenco. It’s a caressing torch ballad one moment and a marching band’s funeral hymn the next. The song, in all its reimagined incarnations, continually threatens to embed itself into the viewer’s mind, but just as quickly eludes any tighter hold. It’s as though the film, in its own increasingly weary, tumbledown sort of way, is nostalgic for the tune, longing for something that comes back but is never the same.

It’s telling of Altman’s intentions that the film forsakes any other discernible music apart from this titular track, save for the classic, semi-satiric “Hooray for Hollywood,” which opens and closes the film. The Long Goodbye may be based on an eponymous Raymond Chandler novel, centered around a character made legendary by Bogart, and hitched to an entire history of early noir filmmaking, but it is not a mere, Body Heat­-like retread. And although there may be obvious admiration and even some slight affection for the genre in all of its former, mannered glory, it’s certainly not a love letter.

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