Centenário de Robert Aldrich

Aldrich foi desses diretores altamente qualificados que se deu bem em diversos gêneros, portanto vai aqui um top-dúzia: Para o ranking dos demais filmes do Aldrich acompanhados de suas respectivas resenhas, eis minha lista no letterboxd.

Centenário de Ronald Neame

In a directorial career stretching for over forty years, Ronald Neame proved to be a reliable and versatile commercial film-maker but also one who defies easy categorisation. Efficient and craftsman-like, his films are well made but have lacked the individualism seemingly required to achieve auteur status. Instead he has been the epitome of the mainstream studio director, a model of professionalism whose output has often mirrored the ups and downs of the industry.
He was born in London on 23 April 1911. His father was the noted portrait photographer and film director Elwin Neame and his mother the actress Ivy Close. After his father’s early death in a car accident, he had to leave public school and went to work for an oil company. With his mother’s help, he entered the film industry at the Elstree studios of British International Pictures in 1927 and worked his way up from clapperboy to focus puller and eventually cinematographer. He photographed many quota quickies in the 1930s, along with a number of George Formby vehicles at Ealing. He established a solid reputation, winning his first Oscar nomination for his work on Powell and Pressburger’s One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942). With Major Barbara (1941), he began an association with the film’s editor, David Lean. He worked initially as his director of photography on three Noël Coward projects (he was nominated for a second Oscar for Blithe Spirit in 1945). In 1943 they founded the production company Cineguild with Anthony Havelock-Allen which operated under the Rank umbrella. After a fact-finding trip to Hollywood on behalf of Rank, Neame switched to producing and scriptwriting, making important contributions to Lean’s two Dickens adaptations and to the classic romance Brief Encounter (1945), picking up further Academy Award nominations in these new roles. Unfortunately, his partnership with Lean ended rather acrimoniously when Lean took over the direction of The Passionate Friends (1948) from Neame.
He made his debut as a director for Cineguild with Take My Life (1947), a more than competent Hitchcock-style thriller which showed Neame’s technical skill as a film-maker. Throughout his career his work was uneven, so that the routine action hokum of The Golden Salamander (1949) was followed by the excellent sub-Ealing comedy The Card (1952) featuring Alec Guinness. Based on Arnold Bennett’s novel, it is a sympathetic account of the nefarious rise of a humble clerk as he finds various ways to take advantage of the hierarchies of the British class system. Neame showed a real lightness of touch handling comic subjects, spinning out the thin premise of The Million Pound Note (1953) with some style and again drawing a fine performance from Guinness as an idiosyncratic painter in his pleasing adaptation of Joyce Cary’s novel The Horse’s Mouth (1958). In the 1950s he also made the intriguing wartime espionage tale The Man Who Never Was (1955), as well as having a brief, unsuccessful stint in Hollywood where he was eventually replaced as director on The Seventh Sin (1957).
Neame’s liking for non-conformist characters reaches its height in his most acclaimed film Tunes of Glory (1960), a compelling barrackroom melodrama which also shows his skill in handling actors; here he is rewarded with memorable performances by John Mills and Alec Guinness as the two officers engaged in a violent clash of personalities. Like The Horse’s Mouth, it was made for his own production company Knightsbridge Films. His 1960s output continued to be extremely variable. It included two Swinging London films, the amiable caper movie Gambit (1966) with Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine and the instantly dated risqué comedy Prudence and the Pill (1968), on which he worked uncredited. He directed Judy Garland in her last film, I Could Go on Singing (1963), and had another spell in the States where he completed two unremarkable projects, Escape from Zahrain (1961) and A Man Could Get Killed (1966). The best-received work from this period was The Prime of Miss Jean Brody (1969). This popular adaptation of the stage version of Muriel Spark’s novel provided Maggie Smith with a show-off role which duly won her an Oscar, but the film has considerable difficulty dealing with the essential theatricality of the story and characters.
After the middling musical Scrooge (1970) with Albert Finney in the title role, Neame took up permanent residence in Hollywood, eventually becoming an American citizen. He was responsible for establishing the ‘disaster movie’ genre with the immensely successful The Poseidon Adventure (1972), although he followed it with one of the worst examples of this cycle, Meteor (1979). He also made two enjoyable, lightweight pieces with Walter Matthau, Hopscotch (1980) and First Monday in October (1981). The best of his limited British work in this period is the tautly effective thriller The Odessa File (1974), from Frederick Forsyth’s bestselling novel, with Jon Voight uncovering a Neo-Nazi group. Nothing can forgive the atrocious sex comedy Foreign Body (1986) which looks like a relic from another era. His final film was The Magic Balloon (1990), a children’s adventure designed to show off the new ShowScan widescreen format which consequently only had a limited release.
Throughout his career Neame was always a smoothly professional film-maker, adopting an unostentatious approach which relied greatly on his actors and which frequently left him at the mercy of the script. When these were good he produced highly effective films which often showcased outstanding acting performances. Even on his poorer commercial assignments there is an ability to serve the narrative no matter how inadequate this might be. His achievements, which include his active role in the industry union ACT and with the British Society of Cinematographers, were recognised with a BAFTA Fellowship and the CBE, both awarded in 1996.

Guide of British Film Directors – Robert Shail

Feliz dia do Tartan.

Suddenly, a large wind blew my kilt high up above my waist, exposing me to everybody. That day, they made me their king…
(Craig Ferguson imitando Sean Connery)

Tudo que você queria saber sobre…

…como fingir um orgasmo, você aprende com Kate Winslet em Mildred Pierce, embora espere que isso não seja necessário na vida de ninguém. A mulher representa um orgasmo tão bem na minissérie (the eyes! the eyes!) e só um olhar de poucos segundos mostra que nunca sentiu aquilo antes e está imediatamente apaixonada pelo GuyContinuar lendo “Tudo que você queria saber sobre…”

John Barry (1933 – 2011)

  Top-dúzia trilhas favoritas: 1- A Fúria de um Bravo (Never Let Go, John Guillermin, 1960) 2- Ipcress – O Arquivo Confidencial (The Ipcress File, Sidney J. Furie, 1965) 3- James Bond series 4- The Cotton Club (Francis Ford Coppola, 1984) 5- Petulia (Richard Lester, 1968) 6- Caçada Humana (The Chase, Arthur Penn, 1966) 7-Continuar lendo “John Barry (1933 – 2011)”

Alan Hume (1924 – 2010)

The Man Who Shot the 60s: Brian Duffy (1933 – 2010)

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Inception? Nolan, you bloody bastard!!!

Levei um susto tremendo ao ver este trailer porque não fazia idéia sobre o que era este filme, o máximo de informação que tinha sobre ele era aquele poster que há meses se encontra pelos halls das salas de cinemas e o elenco espetaculoso, mas… “set within the architecture of the mind”? A Matter ofContinuar lendo “Inception? Nolan, you bloody bastard!!!”

Top dúzia: John Sturges

Nota: Nem gosto tanto assim dele (meu Sturges é bem outro!), mas ele me proporcionou alguns bons momentos de entretenimento, então nada mais justo do que lembrar dele em seu centenário.

Cem anos de James Mason – Parte 4

37- Brincadeira de Criança (Child’s Play, Sidney Lumet, 1972)Tenho trauma e medo de professores de latim, especialmente daqueles que passaram por seminário, para meu desespero Mr Mason encarna uma dessas pragas, com maestria já que ele me fez recordar exatamente como eram: mesquinhos, venenosos, sádicos e moralistas. É um filme pesado e peculiar do Lumet,Continuar lendo “Cem anos de James Mason – Parte 4”

Sir Michael Caine: A Career in Pictures

Just remember this: in this country they drive on the wrong side of the road. – Charlie Croker You’re useless in the kitchen, why don’t you go back to bed? – Harry Palmer Not gods – Englishmen. The next best thing. – Peachy Carnehan I’m going to sit in the car and whistle “Rule Britannia”.Continuar lendo “Sir Michael Caine: A Career in Pictures”

Filmes bacanas de cada ano que o cinema viveu: 1969

1- Um Beatle no Paraíso (The Magic Christian, Joseph McGrath)Yul Brynner é uma drag cantando para um Roman Polanki bêbado, Laurence Harvey faz um show de striptease representando Hamlet, Richard Attenborough treina Graham Chapman em Oxford, Christopher Lee é um vampiro, Raquel Welch é a gostosa habitual, Spike Milligan é um guarda e Graham StarkContinuar lendo “Filmes bacanas de cada ano que o cinema viveu: 1969”

Centenário de Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Top 5 do homem: 1- Trama Diabólica/Jogo Mortal (Sleuth, 1972)Laurence Olivier e Michael Caine num duelo até a morte? Aqui Mankiewicz levou ao topo sua obsessão com o tema de duelo de egos que perpassou toda a sua carreira, nada mais adequado do que transitar a vida real para o cinema quando Sir Olivier eraContinuar lendo “Centenário de Joseph L. Mankiewicz”

Os Filmes Bacanas de Cada Ano que o Cinema Viveu: 1975

1- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman)Frank N. Furter é uma das melhores personagens do cinema, sem exagero. O mais bizarro é que Tim Curry se envergonha realmente deste papel, do que ele tem orgulho então, Esqueceram de Mim 2? É fácil um dos meus filmes favoritos de sempre e merece muito ser oContinuar lendo “Os Filmes Bacanas de Cada Ano que o Cinema Viveu: 1975”

25 atores

Mesmo esqueminha de entre parênteses constar o meu filme favorito de cada. Por um motivo ou outro, esses caras me fazem tirar a bunda da cadeira para ir atrás de filmes em que estejam presentes. Mas aí alguém me pergunta, cadê Hugh Laurie, Peter Cook e Sellers da minha lista? Oras, haverá um Parte 2Continuar lendo “25 atores”

Os Filmes Bacanas de Cada Ano que o Cinema Viveu: 1980

1- Os Irmãos Cara de Pau (The Blues Brothers, John Landis)Tá no meu Top 20 de favoritos de sempre. Com personagens saídos diretamente de um quadro do Saturday Night Live, é inadmissível não amar cada segundo do filme, é inadmissível não amar cada som produzido, é inadmissível não amar cada cameo e, principalmente, é inadmissível nãoContinuar lendo “Os Filmes Bacanas de Cada Ano que o Cinema Viveu: 1980”