Sergio Leone was by far the most talented director of spaghetti westerns, but arguably his best film is this gangster epic that he made having earlier turned down the chance to direct The Godfather. The long but always fascinating story chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths who rise to prominence in New York City’s world of organised crime, particularly David “Noodles” Aaronson, initially a poor street kid struggling to survive in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the early 1920s. One of the few great Italian films of the 1980s and featuring a remarkable reproduction of New York’s Lower East Side, Once Upon a Time in America is visually stunning, violent and desperately sad.
Buy or Rent (watch online)
Two-Disc Special Edition (DVD)
Extended Director’s Cut [Blu-ray]
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Complete Version 2 Pieces Set [DVD]
Robert De Niro Collection – 4-Disc Box Set ( Heat / Goodfellas / The Mission / Once Upon a Time in America ) [ Blu-Ray, Reg.A/B/C Import – United Kingdom ]
Director: François Truffaut Cinematographer: Henri Decaë
Reacting against the supposed formulaic and studio controlled mainstream films of the 1950s, outspoken Cahiers du Cinema critic, Francois Truffaut helped trigger the New Wave with a film revolving around an ordinary adolescent in Paris, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud) who is thought by his parents and teachers to be a trouble maker. His teacher singles him out for criticism and punishment, while his mother is cold and demanding, and frequently argues with her husband (Antoine’s stepfather). The 400 Blows has elements of autobiography as the precocious Truffaut was incarcerated as a teenager for failing to pay debts while in the film the young protagonist is jailed for stealing a typewriter. Showing an allegiance to the visual style of filmmakers such Renoir and Welles, Truffaut uses moving camera shots and long takes to create an open fluid mise-en-scene. However, it’s the performance of Leaud, who provides an intelligent yet innocent portrayal of the troubled but often humorous youth during his initiation into a callous adult world, that gives the film its brilliant pathos and is ultimately the key to its success.
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The Criterion Collection (DVD)
Francois Truffaut’s Adventures of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows / Antoine & Collette / Stolen Kisses / Bed & Board / Love on the Run) (The Criterion Collection) DVD
Essential Art House, Volume II (Black Orpheus / The 400 Blows / Ikiru / The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp / Pygmalion / La Strada) DVD
Jules Et Jim/La Peau Douce/400 Blows/the Last Metro (DVD)
Albert Rémy as Julien Doinel, Antoine’s stepfather
Claire Maurier as Gilberte Doinel, Antoine’s mother
Guy Decomble as Sourpuss, School teacher
Patrick Auffay as René Bigey, Antoine’s best friend
Georges Flamant as Monsieur Bigey, René’s father
Pierre Repp as an English teacher
Daniel Couturier as Betrand Mauricet
Luc Andrieux as Le professeur de gym
Robert Beauvais as director of the school
Yvonne Claudie as Mme Bigey
Marius Laurey as L’inspecteur Cabanel
Claude Mansard as the examining magistrate
Jacques Monod as commissioner
Henri Virlojeux as the night watchman
Jeanne Moreau as a woman looking for her dog
Jean-Claude Brialy as a man trying to pick up a woman
Directed by François Truffaut Produced by François Truffaut, Georges Charlot Screenplay by François Truffaut, Marcel Moussy Music by Jean Constantin Cinematography Henri Decaë Edited by Marie-Josèphe Yoyotte Running time 99 minutes Country France Language French
Part of an Italian industry that had pioneered the feature film, Quo Vadis is a lavish spectacular.
1913 photo Scene from the 1913 Italian silent film Quo Vadis? graphic. Vintag c3
1913 photo Scene from the 1913 Italian silent film Quo Vadis? graphic. Vintag c2
1913 photo Baptism scene from the 1913 Italian silent film Quo Vadis? graphic b1
Odsan Gallery Quo Vadis, Amleto Novelli & Gustavo Serena, Amelia Cattaneo, 1913 – Premium Movie Poster Reprint 24″ by 38″ Unframed
In August 2017 Total Film Magazine compiled a list of what they considered the 25 best action movies. It’s hard to go against the top 2 choices with Terminator 2 certainly one of the most thrilling and entertaining films ever made and Die Hard is never too far from the top of these types of polls.
Director: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen Cinematographer: Harold Rosson
Buy or Rent (watch online)
Original Film Soundtrack
Singin’ in the Rain / The Music Man / Seven Brides For Seven Brothers / Yankee Doodle Dandy / Elvis-Viva Las Vegas (5 Film Collection Musicals) DVD
Essential Classics: Musicals (My Fair Lady / Singin’ in the Rain / Gigi) DVD
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: American Musicals (The Band Wagon / Meet Me in St. Louis / Singin’ in the Rain / Easter Parade) DVD
Donald O’Connor as Cosmo Brown, Don’s lifelong pal, and vaudeville partner, who becomes the head of Monumental Pictures’ music department.
Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont.
Millard Mitchell as R.F. Simpson.
Cyd Charisse as the long-legged woman in the green sequined dress and Louise Brooks hair who vamps Gene Kelly in the “Broadway Melody” sequence.
Douglas Fowley as Roscoe Dexter, the director of Don and Lina’s films.
Rita Moreno as Zelda Zanders, the “Zip Girl” and Lina’s friend.
King Donovan as Rod, head of the publicity department at Monumental Pictures.
Judy Landon as Olga Mara, a silent screen vamp who attends the premiere of The Royal Rascal.
Madge Blake as Dora Bailey, a radio show host.
Kathleen Freeman as Phoebe Dinsmore, Lina’s diction coach.
Bobby Watson as diction coach during the “Moses Supposes” number.
Jimmy Thompson as the singer of “Beautiful Girl”.
Mae Clarke as the hairdresser who puts the finishing touches on Lina Lamont’s hairdo.
Julius Tannen as the man demonstrating the technology of talking pictures.
Directed by Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen Produced by Arthur Freed Screenplay by Betty Comden, Adolph Green Music by Lennie Hayton (original score), Songs: Nacio Herb Brown (music), Arthur Freed (lyrics) Cinematography Harold Rosson Edited by Adrienne Fazan Running time 103 minutes Country United States Language English
Paul Greengrass is an English film director, film producer, screenwriter and former journalist. He specialises in dramatisations of real-life events and is known for his signature use of hand-held cameras. His early film Bloody Sunday won the Golden Bear at 52nd Berlin International Film Festival. Other films he has directed include three in the Bourne action/thriller series: The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), and Jason Bourne (2016); United 93 (2006), for which he won the BAFTA Award for Best Director, and received an Academy Award for Best Director nomination, Green Zone (2010) and Captain Phillips (2013). In 2004 he co-wrote and produced the film Omagh, which won British Academy Television Award.
The Battle of Algiers (1966, dir. Gillo Pontecorvo)
Battleship Potemkin (1925, dir. Sergei Eisenstein)
Z (1969, dir. Costa-Gavras)
Citizen Kane (1941, dir. Orson Welles)
Breathless (1960, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)
The War Game (1965, dir. Peter Watkins)
The Gospel According to St Matthew (1964, dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini)
Kes (1969, dir. Ken Loach)
Bicycle Thieves (1948, dir. Vittorio De Sica)
Seven Samurai (1954, dir. Akira Kurosawa)
Made In Britain (1982), Rita, Sue and Bob Too! (1987) ,Scum (1979)
Michael Kenneth Mann is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer of film and television who is best known for his distinctive brand of stylised crime drama. For his work, he has received nominations from international organisations and juries, including those at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Cannes and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His most acclaimed works are the crime film Heat (1995) and the docudrama The Insider (1999). Total Film ranked Mann No. 28 on its list of the 100 Greatest Directors Ever, Sight and Sound ranked him No. 5 on their list of the 10 Best Directors of the Last 25 Years, and Entertainment Weekly ranked Mann No. 8 on their 25 Greatest Active Film Directors list.
1. Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)
2. Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925)
3. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
4. Dr Strangelove (Kubrick, 1963)
5. Faust (Murnau, 1926)
6. Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais, 1961)
7. My Darling Clementine (Ford, 1946)
8. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928)
9. Raging Bull (Scorsese, 1980)
10. The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah, 1969)
The Cinema of Michael Mann: Vice and Vindication (Directors’ Cuts) Paperback
Michael Mann – Hollywood’s Best Film Directors – Buy or Rent (Watch Online)
Michael Mann (Hardcover)
Michael Mann: Crime Auteur (Hardcover)
Michael Mann Cinema And Television: Interviews, 1980-2012 (Hardcover)
Existentialism and Social Engagement in the Films of Michael Mann (Hardcover)
George Orson Welles was an American actor, director, writer, and producer who worked in theatre, radio, and film. He is remembered for his innovative work in all three: in theatre, most notably Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar; in radio, the legendary 1938 broadcast “The War of the Worlds”; and in film, Citizen Kane (1941), consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made. Below are his ten favourite films.
1. City Lights (Chaplin, 1931). 2. Greed (von Stroheim, 1924). 3. Intolerance (Griffith, 1916). 4. Nanook of the North (Flaherty, 1922). 5. Shoeshine (De Sica, 1946). 6. Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925). 7. La Femme du boulanger (Pagnol, 1938). 8. La Grande Illusion (Renoir, 1937). 9. Stagecoach (Ford, 1939). 10. Our Daily Bread (Vidor, 1934).
Orson Welles: A Biography (audiobook)
Orson Welles, Volume 1: The Road to Xanadu (Paperback)
Orson Welles, Volume 3: One-Man Band (Hardcover)
My Lunches with Orson: Conversations between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles (kindle)
Citizen Welles: A Biography of Orson Welles (kindle)
Director: Sergei Eisenstein Cinematographer: Eduard Tisse
Vladimir Popov (Uncredited)
Battleship Potemkin with Bonus Sergei Eisenstein Documentary Buy or Rent (watch online)
Restored Kino Edition – Buy or Rent (watch online)
Sergei Eisenstein: Double Feature (Battleship Potemkin & Strike) [Blu-ray]
The Soviet Influence: Battleship Potemkin + Drifters (DVD & Blu-ray)
The Battleship Potemkin: The Film Companion (KINOfiles Film Companion) (Book)
Aleksandr Antonov as Grigory Vakulinchuk (Bolshevik sailor)
Vladimir Barsky as Commander Golikov
Grigori Aleksandrov as Chief Officer Giliarovsky
I. Bobrov as Young sailor flogged while sleeping
Mikhail Gomorov as Militant sailor
Aleksandr Levshin as Petty Officer
N. Poltavseva as Woman with pince-nez
Lyrkean Makeon as the Masked Man
Konstantin Feldman as Student agitator
Beatrice Vitoldi as Woman with the baby carriage
Directed by Sergei Eisenstein Produced by Jacob Bliokh Screenplay by Nina Agadzhanova, Sergei Eisenstein Intertitles; uncredited: Nikolai Aseyev, Sergei Tretyakov Music by Edmund Meisel (original 1925 score), Edison Studio (2017 soundtrack) Cinematography Eduard Tisse, Vladimir Popov (Uncredited) Edited by Uncredited: Sergei Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov Running time 75 minutes Country Soviet Union Language Silent film, Russian intertitles
In 2005 the British Institute published a list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14 to inspire parents and educators to take movies as seriously as books and other forms of art. It was created by more than 70 experts including film producers, teachers, authors and critics who all made their own top ten. The film registering the most votes was Spirited Away, which won the 75th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and the Golden Bear at the 52nd Berlin International Film Festival. The British Film Institute published the top 10 and then the other 40 films in alphabetical order.
Sight & Sound ~ May 2018 ~ BFI Film Magazine 120 BPM Lean on Pete Woodfall Films
Sight & Sound (Kindle Tablet Edition)
Back to the Future (BFI Film Classics) Paperback
Bicycle Thieves (BFI Film Classics) Paperback