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Adapting "Guardians" -a screenwriting interview

I especially like that part about how boundaries can be a good thing. Knowing where the plot points have to hit always stops me from wandering aimlessly in my writing. Some may see those thing as cookie cutter but I've always found them inspiring.❞ -Daniel


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Entries in Vertigo (8)


Team Top Ten: Most Memorable Performances in a Hitchcock Film

Amir here, with this month's edition of Team Top Ten. To celebrate Alfred Hitchcock's birthday next week (Aug 13th), we've decided to celebrate his career by looking at something that isn't discussed quite as often as it should be: the performances he directed.

Hitchcock has more auteur cred than any other director so its understandable that his presence behind the camera attracts the most attention in all discourse about his oeuvre. Yet, his films are undeniably filled with amazing performances, from archetypal blondes and influential villains to smaller, eccentric supporting turns from characters actors. The list we've compiled today is the Top Ten Most Memorable Performances from Alfred Hitchcock's Films.

Make of "memorable" what you will! Our voters each certainly had their own thinking process. Some of us - myself included - took the word literally and voted for what had stuck with us the most, irrespective of size and quality of the performance. Some went for the best performances, some for the best marriage of actor and role and some for a mix of all of those things. Naturally, the final list veers towards the consensus, but as always, I've included bits and pieces of our individual ballots that stood out after the list.

Without further ado...

10. Grace Kelly as Lisa Fremont (Rear Window)
There's memorable, and there's iconic. And then there's Grace Kelly in Edith Head. A performance all at once decadent and demure, Hitchcock's crown jewel struts and strolls glowingly in Rear Window, lithely giving off the allure to which she's come to recognize is her signature (and she worries, her sole) appeal. It's only as the mystery of the picture begins to unravel that the shades are lifted (literally) and the flinty little girl we thought we knew positions herself to be the real knight in shining armor. The famed icy Hitchcock blonde archetype manages that most remarkable and memorable of transformations in this, his best film; thanks to and because of Ms. Kelly, the sculpture discovers itself and its purpose. It's a beautiful thing when an actor can make a director forget himself and his tendencies. Something New Happens.
- Beau McCoy

9 more iconic turns after the jump

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All for Link and Link For All

Variety are House of Cards and Hemlock Grove and other new instant watch series the saviors of Netflix? I sure hope so. I shudder to think of a world without Netflix and I've been very surprised at how gleefully people have watched its fall. Wake up cinephiles: there are so few services left that give us this much variety in movies. I mean do you really want to rely on Redbox if you want anything other than the latest blockbuster?
Bold Hype Gallery I'm so sad to hear about this Scorsese Tribute here in NYC after the fact (and so annoyed that it was only up for three days -wth?) but look at these amazing paintings from the just closed installation,
Inside Movies new pics of Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan in Spider-Man 5 (which is called The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

Awards Daily Vertigo and Kim Novak are guests of honor at Cannes this May
Advocate Darren Criss sings the gayest cover of "Call Me Maybe"... I bet you thought covers of that song were over?
Hammer and Thump will Spring Breakers continue to change minds about Harmony Korine's shock-friendly filmography? 

Ed Douglas (photo via BadAss Digest)Finally... And Quite a Lot Importantly.
[soapbox] Though I'm loathe to remind my fellow US citizens that we live in a selfish self-sabotaging world where 50% of the country thinks "we're all in this together" equals weakness (or, even more misguidedly,"evil") and thereby punish themselves and others by fighting against universal healthcare, I must. Ed Douglas, who writes for Coming Soon and who has been nothing but sweet to me my whole career (others say the same which proves he's a truly nice guy), was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Like many film journalists he is without healthcare so if you have it your heart or pocketbook to donate, join the fundraising effort. The goal was raised from $10,000 to $50,000 due to the immediate and very heartwarming response from the cinephile community but if you've ever seen a hospital bill you know that that kind of money can be gone in all too quickly (another reason we need to cut out the parasitic middle man known as the insurance industry whose profits are directionally proportional to blocking our access to healthcare... or just jacking up the prices for it if they can't find ways to block it) and just pay for healthcare for everyone. [/End soapbox].


Curio: Film Greetings

Alexa here. This week I'll be busy sending out 100+ holiday cards, addressing the envelopes while I catch up on some shows on demand and maybe even watch that Bergman DVD that's been collecting dust on our shelf. If only we had more film buffs in our family (and people unafraid of a stray heroin joke), I'd be sending some of these clever film-themed greetings that would spread an entirely different kind of cheer. Enjoy!

A very Murray Christmas card from Little White Lies.

Loving these classic film greetings from Flapperdoodle, especially the idea of Harry Powell spreading cheer.

Some more greetings for Christmas or beyond after the jump...

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Introducing... In "Vertigo"

I've only written about Alfred Hitchcock's immortal Vertigo (1958) once for an episode of the old series "May Flowers" so I thought I'd dig up that old piece now that Vertigo is in the news having been named "The Greatest Film" by Sight & Sound. I always think of Vertigo as an early summer movie. What other movie besides its closest descendants Robert Altman's Three Women and  David Lynch's Mulholland Drive feel more ruled by twin sign Gemini? Hitchcock films generally deserve complete dissertations but we don't have Scottie Ferguson's (Jimmy Stewart) stamina when it comes to fetishizing doppelgangers. So today let's merely glance back at his introductions to Madeleine/Judy (Kim Novak).

Ferguson has been hired to follow Madeleine and as he first spots her in a deep rose red restaurant. [Click here to open a panoramic shot in a new window]. Hitchock slow zooms out from Scottie (far right) at the bar and pans left, following his gaze, into the dining area filled with flowers and well heeled customers and even a painting of a floral arrangement framed by floral arrangements before it finally stops at Madeleine (tiny, far left) in her emerald green dress.

As she leaves the restaurant we get Kim Novak's first bewitching close up, carefully calibrated and emphasized by Hitchcock's editor George Tomasini and cinematographer Robert Burks. Scottie likes what he sees but this is a job.

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Team Experience: Sight & Sound Poll

There's a lot to parse within the BFI's Sight & Sound poll, a once a decade event in which the [air quotes] greatest films of all time [/end air quotes] are named. Given that the results are a product of accumulation of individual opinions, I enlisted Team Film Experience for a variety of voices to respond to it and you can see their quotes below. The list is a critic friendly and far more international affair than other famous mainstream rankings like AFI's Top 100. How did they determine the rank? According to Nick James 1000 critics, academics, writers, cinephiles, and directors were polled as to what ten films they considered The Greatest Ever, whether great meant "historical significance", "artistry" or something more personal to them. 846 top-ten lists were received which means we would like to volunteer to replace any of the 164 invitees who couldn't be bothered next time!

Every entry on a top ten list received one vote so rank didn't matter, nor should it, given that once you're in the upper echelons of achievement it's like splitting hairs. Or, since we're talking about Vertigo, judging who has the best bunhead.

As you've already heard, Alfred Hitchcock's discomfiting chilly double-identity thriller VERTIGO (1958) tossed the discomfitting chilly and ever triumphant CITIZEN KANE (1941) from its bell tower. Is it lonely at the top? Sure thing. [The list and what Team Experience had to say after the jump]

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