The term “film restoration” has lost its excitement. More often than not, when a new DVD or Blu-ray of an older film is touted as being “restored,” it only means that a minimally different version has been digitally mastered. It’s a ploy to have consumers purchase yet another copy of the same title.
When the trick-or-treaters have returned to their respective homes to sort through their goodies, it is time to dim the lights and watch Halloween movies. Many will choose from among the scariest films ever made. John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN, an influential slasher film from 1978, and its seven sequels will light up the screens of many of our television sets. Other celebrants might choose a splatter film, such as Herschell Gordon Lewis’s BLOOD FEAST.
Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh possibly has forsaken a very successful career in feature film production in favor of the mini-series format for cable, video, and streaming. He has made several strong comments about the advantages of creating dramas that are not chained to a two to three hour format. With his ten-hour Cinemax series, THE KNICK, he shows the advantages of the longer running time.
During the month of August, Turner Classic Movies is celebrating Hollywood and international stardom with its annual Summer Under the Stars series. Today, for many film enthusiasts—particularly young viewers-- choosing a movie often is based on its genre, special effects, or franchise. Decades ago, during the golden age of the studio system, filmgoers targeted their movie choices by the star names that appeared on theater marquees.
For more than 100 years, stereotypes have been a fixture in developing comedy routines in popular entertainment…the fat Italian man who belches garlic, the Fagan-like Jew who sits under a single weak light bulb counting gold coins, the dumb blonde, the lazy Latino who perpetually is seeking siesta, and the African American who fractures the English language and is afraid of his own shadow. Today, most would agree that these are not only inaccurate representations, but indeed are offensive and obsolete tools for creating comedy.
Since last month, big-screen viewing has been a mix of awesome and disappointing. The two films I most was looking forward to were Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL and Darren Aronofky’s NOAH. Both were outstanding visually but in need of script doctoring.
To celebrate their 50th anniversary season, Performing Arts of Woodstock is presenting Oscar Wilde’s play, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, at the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center right in the town on Rock City Road.
The works of British producer, writer, director Richard Curtis express feelings about love and the human condition in a unique way. Curtis is a topnotch student of life on our complicated planet. At times his take is so bittersweet and yet so comedic that he seems to have Charlie Chaplin whispering in his ear. But it’s not the Chaplin of the 1920s; Curtis knows modern life.