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Entries in WW II (40)

Sunday
Nov052017

Podcast Smackdown Companion: Gaslight, Since You Went Away...

Please read the Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1944 before listening please!

After voting in the Smackdown Nathaniel and the panel which included Mark Harris, Loren King, Farran Smith Nehme, Molly Pope, and Matthew Rettenmund got together to talk about the five films we watched and that era in Hollywood during World War II. We hope you enjoy the conversation!

Index (62 minutes)
00:01 Introductions of the Panel
03:00 Dragon Seed, yellowface, production trouble, and Oscar theories
11:50 Since You Went Away, war propaganda, and acting styles
24:00 None but the Lonely Heart, Cary Grant, Barrymore and "great lady" acting
38:50 Gaslight and Mrs Parkington
51:30 Our favorites of 1944 including Meet Me in St Louis and Double Indemnity
57:30 The forgotten Wilson, final Oscar notes and goodbyes.

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you?

Gladys Cooper downing the drinks! Was she watching Dragon Seed, too?

FYC after listening...
Mark's "Five Came Back" as a miniseries on Netflix
Matthew's new nostalgia site Gr8ter Days
Molly co-stars in Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses (previews begin Nov 25th)
Farran's book "Missing Reel"

Smackdown 1944

Saturday
Nov042017

Interview: Ferenc Török of "1945" on making a Western about the aftermath of WW2

On a summer day in 1945, an Orthodox Jewish man and his grown son return to a village in Hungary while the villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk's son. The townspeople – suspicious, remorseful, fearful, and cunning – expect the worst and behave accordingly. The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village's deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back.

In the new film 1945 director Ferenc Török tells the story of a society trying to come to terms with the recent horrors they’ve experienced, perpetrated, or just tolerated for personal gain. Based on the short story ‘Homecoming’ by Gábor T. Szántó and shot in gorgeous black and white cinematography, 1945 is a historically detailed drama that plays like a ticking clock Western. We recently spoke to Török in New York.

 

MURTADA ELFADL: I’m curious about the inception of the project. How did you come about it?

FERENC TÖRÖK: I read the short story by Gabor in 2004. It was visual without too much dialogue, but I thought there wasn’t enough for a feature. The timing especially was good - 1945 in the summer, after the war. It takes place in only a 2-3 hour span of time, like an old greek drama, Antigone or something. Like a western. I’ve always wanted to make a movie in real time with different points of view from different characters like a Robert Altman movie.

You mentioned westerns, I thought of High Noon while watching because of the ticking clock structure...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct182017

What's Streaming from 1944?

Not too damn much, that's what! 

Whenever we prep for a Smackdown The Film Experience becomes newly alarmed at how scarce the availability of 20th century film titles actually is online. Streaming culture has somehow convinced people that everything you might ever want to see is easier to access than it's ever been. Alas, the further back in time you go, the less there is for your eyeballs as we move away from analog. Of course streaming is more convenient so we hope Hollywood will magically decide to make all their vaults available. We can dream!

Laura dear, I cannot stand these morons any longer. If you don't come with me this instant, I shall run amok.

But if you want to steep yourself in 1944 beyond the 5 films featured in the next Smackdown, here's what you can stream should you have any of these memberships...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep132017

TIFF: Notes on Oscar hopefuls "Darkest Hour" and "Downsizing"

Detroit may have bombed but the letter "D" could still reign come Oscar time with Dunkirk, Darkest Hour, and Downsizing all potential Best Picture players. Though it can sometimes feel gross to discuss rich movies from an Oscar perspective before they've even been considered as films, it happens to us all this time of year and the films invite it with their slow rollouts from festival reviews that result in months of discussion and speculation before the public can buy tickets. In other words: Look what they made me us do!

DOWNSIZING
After 'miniature masterpiece' style reviews at Venice the critics got considerably chillier with Alexander Payne's latest once it hit Telluride. Now the film is playing in Toronto and the reviews continue to be mixed. This could spell trouble for the film, but be patient. Initial reviews are only part of the Oscar equation...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul292017

Podcast: Dunkirk and Spider-Man Homecoming

In this episode NathanielJoe and Nick talk about the latest superhero movie (Spider-Man Homecoming) and the latest heroic movie without super powers (Dunkirk). Plus Nick has very exciting upcoming Film Comment issue news.

Index (42 minutes)
00:01 Nick talked to Jane Campion, omg!
03:15 Spider-Man Homecoming, Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, and a brief sidebar to Avengers: Age of Ultron
13:33 Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan's recurring obsessions, and brief tangents to Detroit and The Beguiled

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Related Posts
• Revenge of the Twinks
• Review Spider-Man Homecoming
• Previous Podcast

Dunkirk and Spidey

Wednesday
Apr122017

Cinematography, Production Design, Editing ~ April Foolish Oscar Predix

We're almost to our favorite craft category (costume design) and the marquee categories (acting/picture) are yet to come but here's another does of "what could be" in a few visual categories as our April Foolish Oscar Predictions continue...

Mudbound was shot by Rachel Morrison, who was previously DP on Fruitvale Station and Dope. Next up: Marvel's Black Panther

CINEMATOGRAPHY [click for the chart]
The big question TFE must always ask is "when is a female DP ever going to get nominated?" This year we count three female DPs with major projects: Mandy Walker (Australia, Hidden Figures) shot the romantic drama The Mountain Between Us, Rachel Morrison (Fruitvale Station) delivered another Sundance hit with Mudbound, and Urszula Pontikos (Lilting) was behind the camera on the story of Gloria Grahame's last days called Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool

Meanwhile on the male side of the equation, given that Greig Fraser and Bradford Young were FINALLY nominated last season after years of impressive rangey work, can the same thing happen for Hoyt Van Hoytema who has been waiting just as long. He shot Dunkirk this year.

PRODUCTION DESIGN 
Two mini-dramas within this race might be Production Designers at war with themselves. Four time nominee Sarah Greenwood has two high profile films, one fantasy (Beauty and the Beast) and one World War II drama (Darkest Hour). Three time nominee Nathan Crowley's films are less diametrically opposed but there's still plenty of room to showcase his range from the period circus musical The Greatest Showman and yet another collaboration with Chris Nolan on the World War II drama Dunkirk. Neither have ever won. Could this be the year for one of them? 

FILM EDITING
Arguably the category that's most dependent on the Best Picture race (give or take an action movie or thriller now and then) so this is like throwing darts at a wall about which films will have Best Picture heat and which could be the type of films that are honored for editing without that boost. 

Previous first stabs at new Oscar predictions
BEST SCORE, BEST SOUND
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS, BEST MAKEUP & HAIR
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE