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

red0

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)

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2013 at the Movie Morlocks

jfrancoJess Franco 1930-2013

What follows is a collection of links to some of my posts at TCM’s Movie Morlocks from 2013. These are (in my estimation) the best and most interesting articles I wrote last year but you can read my entire output for 2013 at the Movie Morlocks if you peruse the archives. From this point onward on I’ll be collecting links to my Morlocks’ posts and sharing them here at the end of each month.

Rio – Rififi Style! GRAND SLAM (1967)
A Brief History of the Telefilm
Out, out, brief candle: Jon Finch 1942-2012
This is a Time for Ghosts : THE AWAKENING (2012)
All Love is Mad : MAD LOVE (1935)
Does Oscar gold come with an Oscar curse?
Telefilm Time Machine: DAUGHTER OF THE MIND (1969)
Tracing My Irish Roots Through the Movies
The Pulp Adventures of Lee Marvin
Telefilm Time Machine: THAT CERTAIN SUMMER (1972)
In Memoriam: Jesús “Jess” Franco (1930-2013)
Lon Chaney Jr. – Lady Killer
Comic Relief with ARTISTS AND MODELS (1955)
Telefilm Time Machine – FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY (1973)
GUN AND SWORD: An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980
Personal Passions: Alain Delon
Derelict Dancers: Gerard Depardieu vs. Roman Polanski – A PURE FORMALITY (1994)
Hail Cleopatra! Queen of the Nile & Queen of ’60s Style
Arsenic & Ambiguity in David Lean’s MADELEINE (1950)
Final Faces
Francois Truffaut – Friend, Teacher & Film Critic
Someone is Bleeding: LES SEINS DE GLACE (1974)
Oh Dear! What Can the Matter Be? : SO LONG AT THE FAIR (1950)
Telefilm Time Machine: Steven Spielberg’s SOMETHING EVIL (1972)
Four Reasons Why I Love Natalie Wood
Julie Harris 1925-2013: “And we who walk here, walk alone.
The Story of Film: UN CHIEN ANDALOU (1928)
In the Trenches with James Whale
Hollywood Goes to the Dolls
Telefilm Time Machine: SATAN’S TRIANGLE (1975)
Vincent Price Takes Center Stage
Vincent Price’s Small Screen Successes
Vincent Price & Gene Tierney: A Doomed Romance
In the Kitchen with Vincent Price
Adults Only: HOUSE ON STRAW HILL (1976)
Fighting Prejudice with Sidney Poitier
A Celluloid Revolution – James Dean: Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray
Telefilm Time Machine: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (1972)

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

Do You Want to See Something Really Scary?

bwbp

I managed to catch a cold this week so I’ve been feeling under the weather but hopefully I’ll be back on my feet soon. In the meantime I wanted to direct you to my latest post at the Movie Morlocks.

All month long I’ve been writing about horror films but this week I decided to share some of the scariest moments from a few of my favorite fright filled movies. If you’re a regular Cinebeats’ reader you’ll recognize many of the films I mention in my latest post such as longtime favorites like The Innocents (Jack Clayton; 1961) , The Tenant (Roman Polanski; 1976), Blood on Satan’s Claw (Piers Haggard; 1970), Night Tide (Curtis Harrington; 1961) and Dracula Prince of Darkness (Terence Fisher; 1966) but a few others might be a surprise such as The Beast with Five Fingers, (Robert Florey; 1946), which was the first Peter Lorre film I saw on television when I just 9 or 10 years old. A couple of the films I mention will be shown on TCM during Halloween on Oct. 31st so you’ll have a chance to experience them for yourself if you have cable TV.

If you’re looking for a few atypical Halloween viewing suggestions or just want to know what kind of films chill me to the bone and get my heart racing then please make your way over to the Movie Morlocks.
“Do You Want to See Something REALLY Scary?” @ 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.

greatsilenceposter
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.

westposter
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.

31 Films That Give Me the Willies


Top: House with Laughing Windows (1976), Deep Red (1975)
Middle: The Seventh Victim (1942)
Bottom: Black Sabbath (1963), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

I wasn’t going to participate in Ed Hardy’s 31 Flicks That Give You the Willies List due to suffering massive list-making burnout following the recent Favorite Foreign Language Film poll (which I still want to write about in more detail), but at the last minute I decided to send him a list of nominees. As I’ve mentioned before, horror is far and away my favorite film genre so I had an incredibly hard time narrowing down my list of favorite films to a mere 31.

I will confess that I cheated a bit since I deliberately left off any film that I knew had already gotten 3 votes and wouldn’t need mine to make the final list of nominees. Some of those films included Suspiria (1977), Martin (1977), The Wicker Man (1973), Dellamorte Dellamore aka Cemetery Man (1994), The Shining (1980), The Exorcist (1973), Psycho (1960), Alien (1979) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). With that confession out of the way, here are the . . .

31 FILMS THAT GIVE ME THE WILLIES (Listed by release date)

1. Frankenstein (1931; James Whale)
2. The Seventh Victim (1942; Mark Robson)
3. The Uninvited (1944; Lewis Allen)
4. Night of the Demon (1957; Jacques Tourner)
5. Blood and Roses (1960; Roger Vadim)
6. The Brides of Dracula (1960; Terence Fisher)
7. The Innocents (1961; Jack Clayton)
8. Night Tide (1961; Curtis Harrington)
9. Carnival of Souls (1962; Herk Harvey)
10. The Haunted Palace (1963; Roger Corman)
11. Black Sabbath (1963; Mario Bava)
12. The Haunting (1963; Robert Wise)
13. Castle of Blood (1964; Antonio Margheriti)
14. Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971; Piers Haggard)
15. Daughters of Darkness (1971; Harry Kumel)
16. Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971; Lucio Fulci)
17. Short Night of the Glass Dolls (1971; Aldo Lado)
18. Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971; Armando de Ossorio)
19. All the Colors of the Dark (1972; Sergio Martino)
20. Don’t Look Now (1973; Nicolas Roeg)
21. Deep Red (1975; Dario Argento)
22. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975; Peter Weir)
23. The Tenant (1976; Roman Polanski)
24. House with Laughing Windows (1976; Pupi Avati)
25. Full Circle (aka The Haunting of Julia, 1977; Richard Loncraine)
26. The Brood (1979; David Cronenberg)
27. Possession (1981; Andrzej Zulawski)
28. Zeder (1983; Pupi Avati)
29. The Reflecting Skin (1990; Philip Ridley)
30. Cure (1997; Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
31. Audition (1999; Takashi Miike)

After sending Ed my list I was surprised and annoyed with myself because I managed to forget to include films like Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (1960) as well as my favorite horror anthology, Spirits of the Dead (1968) and lots of early Japanese and Spanish horror films that I love. I also neglected to include any films with Peter Lorre, Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski who all appeared in some of my favorite thrillers. Where did my head go? I have no idea.

Some conclusions I came to after making my list:

1. Sexually repressed women, ghosts, the supernatural, vampires and devil worshipers/cults give me the willies. Since I’m not a religious person, I find it extremely amusing that so many satanic horror films made my list but I think it’s more about the esoteric elements of these films and the constant mystery of the unknown than the actual “devil” that gives these types of movies their edge. I’m also just plain frightened by cults or large masses of of people with a ‘group think’ mentality that causes them to harm others.

2. Only four American directors made my list. British and Italian directors dominate it. This isn’t a surprise since I really don’t care for American horror films all that much.

3. 1960 and 1971 were two of the most amazing years for horror cinema. At some point during the list making process I had six or eight films from each of those years on my list.

4. The only director that has more than one film on my list is the greatly under-appreciated Italian director Pupi Avati who makes some of the most fascinating and chilling films I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately I’m clearly in the minority when it comes to my affection for Avati since none of his movies made it on the final list of 180 Nominees. And as far as I know I’m the only person who even bothered to nominate any of his films for inclusion.

Last but not least…

I hope to write about some of the lessor seen films mentioned above that didn’t make the Official Nominee List in the future.

Isabelle Adjani – Making Art Out of Madness

Isabelle Adjani
This is all very funny. Today I am a star – and tomorrow?
– Isabelle Adjani, 1977

One of my favorite actresses is the stunningly beautiful and incredibly talented Isabelle Adjani. Like many lovely actresses, it would have been easy for Adjani to take glamourous roles during her lifetime that accentuated her beauty and relied on her batting her big blue eyes, but instead she has chosen to appear in challenging films that give her the chance to show off her amazing acting skills. Isabelle Adjani is forever battling madness in her movies while trying to make sense of the world around her. Her characters effortlessly glide through centuries and costume changes, but all of them seem to posses a ferociously independent spirit and passionate heart.

When she was only twenty years old Isabelle Adjani appeared in François Truffaut’s masterful The Story of Adele H (a.k.a. L’ Histoire d’Adèle H., 1975) playing the daughter of the great French writer Victor Hugo, who becomes obsessed with a British lieutenant named Albert Pinson and is determined to make him love her. Adjani turns Truffaut’s beautiful historical drama into a horror film when her obsession leads to madness. She seems incapable of holding anything back while losing her mind to love.

The role of Adele Hugo would set the stage for the rest of Adjani’s amazing career playing women who often suffered for love and were tormented by the men in their lives as well as their own inner demons. She has appeared in occasional comedies and more lightweight fare, but her dramatic roles in dark dramas and thrillers have always impressed me the most.

Isabelle Adjani on set
Adjani on the set of The Story of Adele H. (1975) with François Truffaut
and with Roman Polanski on the set of The Tenant (1976)

During the 1970s and 80s she appeared in many of the decades best horror films and crime thrillers including Roman Polanski’s chilling The Tenant (a.k.a. Le Locataire, 1976), Walter Hill’s entertaining crime film The Driver (1978), Herzog’s fantastic remake of Nosferatu with Klaus Kinski called Nosferatu: The Vampyre (a.k.a. Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, 1979), Andrzej Zulawsk’s thoughtful and incredibly creepy Possession (1981), the fascinating thrillers Deadly Circuit, (a.k.a. Mortelle randonnée, 1983) and One Deadly Summer (a.k.a. L’ Été meurtrier, 1983), plus Luc Besson’s Subway (1985).

During this period she also continued to appear in critically acclaimed dark and disturbing historical dramas such as James Ivory’s Quartet (1981) and Bruno Nuytten’s remarkable Camille Claudel (1988). She should have easily walked away with the Oscar in 1990 for Best Actress for her role in Camille Claudel which she was nominated, but she lost to Jessica Tandy in the rather dull, dreadful and terribly overrated Driving Miss Daisy (1989).

In the 90s Adjani started acting less and less and chose to spend much of her time raising her two sons by director Bruno Nuytten and actor Daniel Day-Lewis. She would triumphantly return to the screen again in Patrice Chéreau’s excellent bloody historical epic Queen Margot (La Reine Margot, 1994), but she has only made a handful of films since then. Unfortunately most of her recent films are not easily available to American audiences which is a shame.

Besides making movies, she also recorded an album in 1983 with help from songwriter and producer Serge Gainsbourg which included the hit song “Pull Marine.” The song was made into a fascinating music video by director Luc Besson which you can listen to and watch on YouTube.

Today Isabelle Adjani is celebrating her 52th birthday. I wish her well and hope that she’ll continue to appear in films for another 30 years. I also hope that she will continue to take on roles that showcase her incredible acting talents and challenge her audiences.

Links to some clips from a few of my favorite Isabelle Adjani films on YouTube:
Brief scene from The Story of Adele H. (1976)
Scenes from the The Tenant (1976)
Scenes from The Driver (1978)
Scene from Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
Scene from Possession (1981)
Music video with scenes from Subway (1985)
Short scene from Camille Claudel (1988)

Vive La France!

The Cannes Film Festival turns 60 this week and that’s reason enough to celebrate all things fabulous and French, so I plan on doing just that throughout the next week until the festival wraps up.

I haven’t come across many books written about the early days of Cannes but I can recommend Cannes – Fifty Years of Sun, Sex & Celluloid: Behind the Scenes at the World’s Most Famous Film Festival compiled by the editors of Variety. This thin cheap large-format paperback book only has 96 pages and it’s put together like some scrapbook that you might come across in a film critics old file cabinet. It contains lots of great black and white photos of directors and actors, plus news clippings and articles about the festival written by various journalists and critics between 1946 and 1996. This is not an in-depth look at the history of Cannes, but if you’re looking for some quick and interesting reading about the film festival with lots if pretty pics, the book is definitely worth picking up.

Here’s a few examples of the writing you can find in Cannes – Fifty Years of Sun, Sex & Celluloid: Behind the Scenes at the World’s Most Famous Film Festival:


Employees of the French film industry take to the streets in protest (1968)

Barricade ’68: The Day They Seized the Celluloid
by Penelope Houston (Sight & Sound)

“May 18, 1968 – The day the brakes were slammed on the 21st Cannes Film Festival. In Paris, the students had carried their grievances from their suburban campuses onto the city streets. The barricades went up and riot police moved in. A rather frail alliance between students and workers brought waves of strikes. For a few days, it seemed that France really might be balancing on the edge of revolution. And in Cannes, predictably, they launched their revolution with a press conference.

François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard presided over the conference on the morning of May 18. These were filmmakers who had been most active three months earlier in the battle of the Cinematheque Francaise, when Arts Minister Andre Malraux sacked Henri Langlois, the powerfully charismatic founder and head of the Cinematheque. Langlois was reinstated, though with reduced powers, after a protest that involved the French film community, filmmakers from around the world, the major American companies and an interesting sprinkling of left-wingers. Journalists expected Truffaut and Godard to use the publicity spotlight of Cannes and the impetus of the Cinematheque triumph to press their grievances against the Gaullist film establishment. They were in for a shock.

Truffaut and Godard called an immediate halt to the festival, to show solidarity with students and workers and as a response to the national crisis. The occasion was well-timed. Jurors Louis Malle, Roman Polanski and Monica Vitti were on hand to announce their own resignations. French filmmakers promised to withdraw their films; others, including Milos Forman and Carlos Saura, joined them. Still others jumped up to say they would have withdrawn their films if they had been in competition, which unfortunately they were not. I bumped into Richard Lester, hurrying to record his protest. This being the year of flower power and gurus, the British director was wearing what at first looked like a white frock, but what in fact was an Indian-style tunic. Somehow, this rig seemed to fit the surrealism of the day.”


Sydney Pollack and Robert Redford at Cannes promoting Jeremiah Johnson (1972)

May 12, 1972 – Sunshine, Darkness, Nixon, Schizophrenia.
by Charles Champlin (L. A. Times)

“There is something bizarre and conceivably lunatic about coming to the sun-bleached shores of the Mediterranean with a total commitment to darkness

Along the Criosette, the local ladies are airing the local poodles and the international wanderers, vagabonds in jeans, already have spread displays of brass and silver jewelry, leather work and watercolors on the sidewalks. At the outdoor cafe alongside the Palais, the day’s debut has already begun over cups of coffee the color and texture of the Mississippi in flood tide.

The cinema is packed but even the early arrivals sit down front. Godard and the New Wave critics made it an article of faith that film should be a total, enveloping and developing experience, seen from as close up as vertebrae and eyeballs will allow.

Into the sunshine again briefly for lunch at one of the sidewalk cafes. A salade Nicoise and some eau minerale, in a desperate move to prevent the festival from becoming a total caloric disaster.

Back into the darkness again. The stage of the Palais theater has been set with artificial grass and flowers arranged to spell out XXV, this being the 25th festival, though it is the 26th year (1968 was a no-show). The plastic plants have an eerie glow in the dim light, hinting that nothing real any longer exists anywhere. There is a kind of urgent rustling of newspapers; half the waiting audience is reading accounts of the Nixon speech. The feelings of unreality are deepened.

The movie is Robert Altman’s Images, the Irish entry in festival mostly because it was filmed there. Susannah York plays a children’s author in advanced stages of paranoid schizophrenia, hearing voices, seeing dead lovers and being bedeviled by glimpses of her own accusing self. It is a dazzling piece of moviemaking and mood-spinning.”

There’s some great old clips from Cannes floating around Youtube that I highly recommend giving a look:

1962A feature about pretty aspiring starlettes who come to Cannes with hope of becoming the next Brigitte Bardot. François Truffaut is interviewed and a beat band plays.

1965A young and very cute Sean Connery, along with the beautiful Claudine Auger, at Cannes promoting the latest James Bond film Thunderball.

1970Lots of footage of the festival featuring the lovely Candice Bergen, who is also interviewed.

1973The beautiful diva Diana Ross in Cannes promoting Lady Sings The Blues.

1979Francis Ford Coppola explains Apocalypse Now to the press at Cannes.

More vintage clips from Cannes can be found at the wonderful TSR Archives site.

Extra reading:

GirishOn Henri Langlois.

Moon In The Gutter On Life with Truffaut’s Antoine Doinel.

FlickheadThe fabulous Claude Chabrol Project

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