Archive for the ‘Movie’ Category

F.W. Murnau – Grandfather of Noir

F.W. Murnau was the avant garde, expressionist director of such classic movies as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Sunrise, and Nosferatu. Today I stumble across one of his major movies, Faust. The richest tones of contrast, the use of shadows and light, and strong oblique compositions were all major elements of craft that the Film Noir directors borrowed to fine effect. I wouldn’t call Murnau’s films noir exactly, although Sunrise comes close, they do show share the same toolbox of technique of that genre. The special effects are done really well for this time period. It most have been as jaw-dropping in its day.

I don’t know who does the soundtrack for this version. I found it to be modern and very effective though.

Sat. Night @ the Movies –Thomas Edison’s A Christmas Carol & Vox Lumiere

Something special for the Christmas season. This film is from 1908 and was thinking it most be the first film adaptation of the Charles Dicken’s classic, A Christmas Carol, but I’d be wrong. There was an earlier film from 1901. This version is a very short film but captures the highlights. The music is by Vox Lumiere and they’ll be performing it live on Christmas Eve in L.A. Visit their site for more info. I’m a big fan of Vox Lumiere and did a posting earlier about them.

Here’s what the Vox Lumiere newsletter says about this film:

Inventor Thomas Edison filmed this version of the classic Dicken’s tale in 1908 at The Essanay Studios in Chicago. Check out the sophisticated film – on film – on film layering (yes, I meant all three) that Edison employs to show Scrooge, the visiting Christmas Ghosts, as well as the scene each Ghost presents to Scrooge. CGI has got nothing on this “old school” film making – amazing.

I’ve got to say, for 1908, the film quality is excellent. And here’s something was thinking about. The story was published in 1843. This movie was made 65 years later. And now it’s over a hundred years since this film was made. My point is that the time of the movie was closer to the time of the book than our own time is to the movie. Okay, not that profound, but I thought it interesting in that it brought home how really old this movie is.

IMDB lists this movie’s running time at 15 minutes and this video is less than six. But we all know the story, so enjoy …

Vox Lumiere – A Christmas Carol from Vox Lumiere on Vimeo.

Sat. Night @ the Movies – Firefly; Our Mrs. Reynolds

Christina Hendricks as Saffron

Christina Hendricks as Saffron

My favorite SF TV show of all time is Firefly. I’ve often heard the opinion of the classic movie, The Maltese Falcon, as having the perfect cast. I’d have to agree and that goes double for this too short-lived TV series. At the time of this posting, Hulu only has five episodes available (see them if you haven’t already!). Our Mrs. Reynolds is my favorite episode, so I’m glad I can embed it. This episode has Christina Hendricks of Madmen fame. And is she super awesome in everyway? You betcha! She also reprised her roll as Saffron in another Firefly episode called Trash, which is almost as good as Our Mrs. Reynolds.

Sat. Night @ the Movies – Hitchcock’s Young and Innocent

AKA Young and Innocent

AKA Young and Innocent

The Lady Vanishes and The 39 Steps are considered the best of Hitchcock’s British films. I’d agree, but I’m also very partial to Young and Innocent. I think Nova Pilbeam steals the film (if the leading star can steal a film). It’s a shame she didn’t do more films. She’s also in the original version of The Man Who Knew Too Much in which she plays the daughter. I think I read somewhere that Hitchcock was considering her for the lead actress in Suspicion. But producer David Selznick felt he needed a bigger star. If only she had been cast in the movie perhaps she would have been a major Hollywood star. In addition she had the perfect name for a Science Fiction Heroine of the 40s–Nova Pilbeam, Maiden of the Spaceways! Has a nice ring to it, eh?

Watch Young and Innocent.mp4 in Drama  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Sat. Night @ the Movies–Murder, My Sweet

Film Noir Poster - Murder, My Sweet_02

From IMDB:

This adaptation of the Raymond Chandler novel ‘Farewell, My Lovely’, renamed for the American market to prevent filmgoers mistaking it for a musical (for which Powell was already famous) has private eye Philip Marlowe hired by Moose Malloy, a petty crook just out of prison after a seven year stretch, to look for his former girlfriend, Velma, who has not been seen for the last six years. The case is tougher than Marlowe expected as his initially promising enquiries lead to a complex web of deceit involving murder, bribery, perjury and theft, and where no one’s motivation is obvious, least of all Marlowe’s.

Sat. Night @ the Movies – Why Ray Harryhausen is so Great!

I could told tell why I think Ray Harryhausen is a unique cinematic artist. But I’d rather show you. A lot of video here, but watch at least the first one.

First his menagerie:

Tim Burton with Harryhausen:

And lastly, one of his better feature films in its entirety:

Jason and the Argonauts

Full Length Feature Film

Full Length Feature Film

Sunday Morning Show- Star Trek “Mirror, Mirror”

Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror

Star Trek: Mirror, Mirror

Busy weekend with the twin’s birthdays (they’re seven!). Didn’t get my usual Sat. Night @ the Movies posting up till this morning. A couple of week ago I posted a movie written by Jerome Bixby. I mentioned some of the other great shows and movies he wrote including the classic original Star Trek episode, Mirror, Mirror. Well now you can watch it online with all the other original Star Trek episodes at CBS.com.

Star Trek; Mirror, Mirror [link]
CBS.com’s Star Trek listing [link]

Sat. Night @ the Movie–The Blue Dahlia by Chandler

I watched this movie last week. I had no expectations going in, and thought it was great. Looking back on it I’d probably give it 3 out of 4 stars, but that’s not fair. It was 4 star the night I watched it. There’s a good review at DVD Beaver. Oh, and Raymond Chandler wrote the screenplay. There’s a great supporting cast too!

BlueDahlia1S

Sat. Night @ the Movies – John Wyndham: The Invisible Man

This is a fascinating documentary on SF author John Wyndham A.K.A. John Beynon , John Beynon Harris, John B. Harris , Lucas Parkes , Wyndham Parkes , Johnson Harris. He’s most famous for his later novels like Day of the Triffids, The Kraken Wakes, The Chrysilads, and The Midwich Cuckoo. All could be classified as what Brian Aldiss calls Cozy Catastrophes. I’ve only read The Day of the Triffids myself, but found it to be an excellent book. A strange mix of literary and pulp. Literary in it’s cleanness of prose and style. Pulp in it’s “My God, walking plants that are attacking humanity!”.

So he’s best known for his more literary work, but let’s not forget “Tyrant & Slave Girl On Planet Venus” by John Wyndham writing as John Beynon. LOL10storyfantasy!

Shane Acker’s 9 video

I just found out that the new movie 9 started as a 2005 short film that was nominated for an Academy Award. The reviews are pretty mixed on the feature length version. But looks too cool not to at least watch on DVD. This is the full 10:38 Short.

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