Film Writing Nov. 2016 – April 2017

It’s been awhile. Work obligations, as well as personal projects and other responsibilities, have taken precedence over updating my blogs. Of course, you can always find me on my Tumblr as well as Twitter & Facebook. Before I let another month get away, I thought I’d finally share an update to the film writing I’ve done for the last 6 months.

I’ve broken topics up into 4 categories (Horror Cinema, British Cinema, Japanese Cinema and Other) since I tend to focus on 3 subjects more than any others. Hopefully, it will make it easier for readers to find what they’re looking for. As always, I write about film every week for FilmStruck’s Streamline blog and you can find my latest updates here: http://streamline.filmstruck.com/author/cinebeats/

ROSEMARY'S BABY (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Horror Cinema:
Devil’ Advocate: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Venomous Snakes & Poison Ants: Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
A Double Dose of Boris Karloff
The Devil Made me Do It: La Main Du Diablo (1943)
An Actor’s Revenge: Theatre of Blood (1973)

LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER, THE (1962)

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

British Cinema:
Angry Cinema: The British New Wave
Losey Let Loose: The Criminal (1960)
Margaret Lockwood is The Wicked Lady (1945)
Equal Shares For All: The League of Gentlemen (1960)

BelladonnaofSadness_1973_bella4

Belladonna of Sadness (1973)

Japanese Cinema:
– Screen Sorcery: Belladonna of Sadness (1973)
Nippon Noir: Celebrate #noirvember with FilmStruck
Everyone’s Gone Crazy: Violent Cop (1989)
Tokyo Gone Gagaga: Otaku (1994) The film is actually an international production directed by French filmmaker Chris Marker but the focus is on Japan

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Red Desert (1964)

Other:
Surveying the Red Desert (1964)
My Melancholy Valentine: Dans Paris (2006)
There Are No Safe Spaces: An Arturo Ripstein Double Feature
Adventure in Istanbul: Topkapi (1964)
Joan Bennett: Fritz Lang’s Muse
Stranger Than Fiction: The Baron of Arizona (1949)
Creative Collaboration: Jane B. par Agnès V. (1988)
Adolescent Adventure: The World of Henry Orient (1964)
The Search for Common Ground: A Separation (2011)
Strokes of Genius: Moulin Rouge (1952)
The Future is Now: Remembrance of Things to Come (2001)

Vidal Sassoon 1928-2012

The British hairdresser who helped define the look of the swinging sixties has died. He’s probably best remembered for giving Mia Farrow her pixie cut during the making of ROSEMARY’S BABY, which she wore for years but the stylist also created signature looks for ’60s super model Peggy Moffitt, designer Mary Quant and actresses like Nancy Kwan, Carol Channing and his wife Beverly Adams. I thought I’d compile a photo gallery of some of my favorite Vidal Sassoon style moments as a tribute to the man and his work.

The look that started it all – Model: Actress Nancy Kwan

Vidal Sassoon cutting designer Mary Quant’s hair

Vidal Sassoon gave actress & singer Joyce Blair her signature look for Be My Guest (1965)

Vidal Sasson & his wife, actress Beverly Adams, on their wedding day. Adam’s is modeling a Sasson cut (1967)

Carol Channing getting her hair cut & styled by Vidal Sassoon

Super model & ’60s “It Girl” Peggy Moffitt modeled Vidal Sassoon cuts throughout the decade

Peggy Moffitt & other models on the set of Michelangelo Antonioni‘s Blow-Up (1966)

Peggy Moffit & other models sporting Sassoon looks on the set of William Klein’s Who Are You, Polly Maggoo (1966)

Peggy Moffitt was married to photographer William Claxton and the two were close friends with actor Steve McQueen. In this Claxton photo Moffitt & McQueen do their own take on Norman Jewison’s The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

Mia Farrow models her Vidal Sassoon cut originally styled during the shooting of Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Mod little me modeling my own Vidal Sassoon inspired haircut in 1971 or ’72

Pierre Cardin: A Career in Movies

Cardin & MoreauToday Pierre Cardin is celebrating his 89th birthday. The French designer has had a surprisingly rich and varied career that’s included creating costumes for many films and television programs such as Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast (1946), Anthony Asquith‘s The V.I.P.s (1963) and The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), Louis Malle’s Viva Maria! (1965), Roger Vadim‘s The Game Is Over (1966), Orson Welles’ The Immortal Story (1968), Vittorio De Sica‘s Woman Times Seven (1967), Anthony Mann’s A Dandy In Aspic (1968) and The Avengers (1961-1969). Many beautiful and talented actresses including Jeanne Moreau, Elizabeth Taylor, Joanne Woodward, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Fonda and Mia Farrow have modeled his designs.

I decided to shine a light on his impressive filmography over at the Movie Morlocks this week so if you appreciate ’60s fashion and want to see more stunning photos of Cardin’s creations please follow the link below:
Pierre Cardin: A Career in Movies @ @ TCM’s Classic Movie Blog

I’ve also created a Pierre Cardin Gallery at Flickr especially for Cinebeats’ readers that you can find here. It’s filled with lots of colorful and eye-catching images featuring some of Cardin’s best designs from the 1950s – 1979. Here’s a small sampling of what you’ll find in the gallery…
BAY OF ANGELS (1963)

Pierre Cardin Designs

The Avengers

A Dandy in Aspic

harveymiaLaurence Harvey & Mia Farrow in A Dandy in Aspic (1967)

One of my many weaknesses is a good spy film and Anthony Mann’s 1967 film A Dandy in Aspic is one of my favorites. Mainly because I adore Laurence Harvey and I think it’s one the actors best films but the movie also features some fabulous mod fashions designed by the legendary Pierre Cardin that are worn by a very young Mia Farrow. The film boasts a great score by Quincy Brown and British actors Tom Courtenay and Peter Cook even show up in a small but extremely memorable roles. Calvin Lockhart is in the movie too but his performance is awful so I tend to forget about it. But with a cast that good, how could anyone not get some kind of enjoyment from A Dandy in Aspic?
tmcmiafMia Farrow modeling Pierre Cardin fashions
in A Dandy in Aspic (1967)

I’m in the minority but I think it’s one of Anthony Mann’s best films and easily his most interesting film of the ’60s. Mann spent most of the decade making big bloated spectacles like El Cid (1961) and The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964). I like both films thanks to Sophia Loren’s performances but I’d rather watch A Dandy in Aspic. You can read more about why I like Anthony Mann’s last film over at the Movie Morlocks.

You can read more about why I like Anthony Mann’s last film over at the Movie Morlocks
A Dandy in Aspic @ TCM’s Classic Movie Blog

My Top 20 Favorite Films of 1968

At the Britannica blog Raymond Benson has finished listing off his Top 10 Favorite Films of 1968 so if you’re interested in the final results stop by and give them a look. I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions how much I dislike making lists of favorite films myself since they’re limited by what I’ve seen and are subject to change at anytime. Roger Ebert recently asked his blog readers to “. . . agree that all lists of movies are nonsense.” I agreed with him wholeheartedly at the time, but in the process of watching Raymond Benson share his list favorite films from 1968 I naturally began thinking of my own favorite films released the same year.

Compiling a list of favorite films restricted by their release date without implying that they’re “the best” (whatever that means) started to seem like a fun exercise. And while reading the complaints and reservations about Raymond Benson’s own selections I even suggested that it would be interesting if all the participants of the Britannica blog “round-table” supplied their own list of Top 10 Favorite Films for 1968 so we could compare them. I figured that if we were going to scrutinize Raymond Benson’s selections we might as well scrutinize each other. I also thought that it would probably enrich the discussion. No one else seemed willing or able to share a list of there own picks, but for the past two weeks I’ve been quietly compiling a list of my own favorite films from 1968.

I wasn’t planing on sharing my own list with anyone, but over the weekend I listened to an interesting discussion between Greencine’s David Hudson, Film Comment‘s Gavin Smith and film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum about the current state of film criticism that got me contemplating my list again. During the discussion Jonathan Rosenbaum smartly pointed out that, “People love lists now because they need to. There’s too much to navigate through.” In my own experience I’ve found this to be very true. Since I started blogging my “Favorite DVDs of the year” lists for 2006 and 2007 have become some of my most popular posts and they’ve generated some lively discussions and lots of email. I think other people appreciate them because they offer a brief look at some films I’ve enjoyed and recommend. And in the words of Jonathan Rosenbaum, the lists are easy to navigate through.

So without further explanation, here’s a list of some of my own favorite films from 1968. I couldn’t manage to narrow all my choices down to a mere Top 10 so I just decided to share my Top 20 list instead. I purposefully left off documentaries so you won’t find any listed and four of the films on my list were also on Raymond Benson’s list. The numerical order doesn’t mean much and naturally my list is subject to change at anytime since I’m continually being exposed to new movies. It also should be noted that after looking at various print and online sources I’ve come across different release dates for some films. As far as I know, the following 20 films were originally released in 1968.

My TOP 20 FAVORITE FILMS OF 1968

ifposter
1. If…. (Lindsay Anderson; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about If…. can be found HERE and HERE.

Black Lizard (1968)
2. Black Lizard aka Kurotokage (Kinji Fukasaku; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Black Lizard can be found HERE.
I’m currently working on a much longer article about the film and its star that I hope to share here soon.

Spirits of the Dead (1968)
3. Spirits of the Dead aka Histoires Extraordinaires
(Federico Fellini, Louis Malle & Roger Vadim; 1968)

Some of my thought about Spirits of the Dead can be found HERE.

Teorema (1968)
4. Teorema (Pier Paolo Pasolini; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Teorema can be found HERE.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick; 1968)

Diabolik (1968)
6. Diabolik aka Danger: Diabolik! (Mario Bava; 1968)
Some of my brief thoughts about Diabolik can be found HERE.

Succubus (1968)
7. Succubus aka Necronomicon – Geträumte Sünden (Jesus Franco; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Succubus can be found HERE.

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8. The Great Silence aka Il Grande silenzio (Sergio Corbucci; 1968)
Some of my thought about The Great Silence can be found HERE and HERE.

Rosemary's Baby (1968)
9. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski; 1968)

Petulia (1968)
10. Petulia (Richard Lester; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Petulia can be found HERE.

blackmailmylifeposter
11. Blackmail Is My Life aka Kyokatsu koso Waga Jinsei ( Kinji Fukasaku; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Blackmail Is My Life can be found HERE

Boom (1968)
12. Boom! (Joesph Losey; 1968)
My lengthy look at Boom! can be found HERE.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
13. Night of the Living Dead (George Romero; 1968)

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
14. The Thomas Crown Affair (Norman Jewison; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about The Thomas Crown Affair can be found HERE.

Girl on a Motorcycle (1968)
15. Girl on a Motorcycle aka Naked Under Leather (Jack Cardiff; 1968)
Some of my thoughts about Alain Delon and Girl on a Motorcycle can be found HERE.

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16. Once Upon a Time in the West aka C’era una volta il West
(Sergio Leone; 1968)

Some of my thoughts about Once Upon a Time in the West can be found HERE.


17. Death Laid an Egg aka La Morte ha fatto l’uovo (Giulio Questi; 1968)
I briefly mentioned my fondness for Death Laid an Egg HERE.

The Devil Rides Out (1968)
18. The Devil Rides Out aka The Devil’s Bride (Terence Fisher; 1968)

thepartyp
19. The Party (Blake Edwards; 1968)

Barbarella (1968)
20. Barbarella (Roger Vadim; 1968)

Honorable mention goes to the wonderful Yokai Monster films that I wrote about a few weeks ago.