Topic: Film/American cinema
A Trip Down Market Street is a 13-minute actuality film recorded by placing a movie camera on the front of a cable car as it traveled down San Francisco’s Market Street. The film shows many details of daily life in a major early 20th century American city, including the transportation, fashions and architecture of the era. The film begins at 8th Street and continues eastward to the cable car turntable, at The Embarcadero, in front of the Ferry Building. Landmarks passed in the latter part of the first half include the Call Building (then San Francisco's tallest) and the Palace Hotel (both on the right; Lotta's Fountain is on the left between the two but is in the shade). The film was produced by the four Miles brothers: Harry, Herbert, Earle and Joe. It is notable for capturing San Francisco four days before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which started on the morning of Wednesday, April 18, 1906.
The Miles brothers had been producing films in New York including films shot in San Francisco. In September 1905 they shot the fight between Oscar "Battling" Nelson and Jimmy Britt in Colma, California, just south of San Francisco city limits. The Miles brothers established a studio at 1139 Market Street in San Francisco in early 1906. They shot a railroad descent down Mount Tamalpais as well as the Market Street film. On April 17, Harry and Joe Miles boarded a train for New York, taking the two films with them, but they heard about the earthquake and sent the films to New York while they boarded another train headed back to San Francisco. The Turk Street house of Earle Miles survived the earthquake and subsequent catastrophic fire but the studio did not. The Miles brothers based their business out of Earle's home, and shot more film of post-earthquake scenes; some of this footage, including that of a second trip down a now devastated Market Street, reemerged in 2016. It is likely that the Market Street film survives today because it was sent away before the fire.
Several 35mm prints exist with slight changes in footage. Copies are held at the Library of Congress and the Prelinger Archives. A digital version is viewable online at Internet Archive, YouTube and Wikimedia Commons. In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
- "A Trip Down Market Street" | 2017-12-17 | 45 Upvotes 10 Comments
Alan Smithee (also Allen Smithee) is an official pseudonym used by film directors who wish to disown a project. Coined in 1968 and used until it was formally discontinued in 2000, it was the sole pseudonym used by members of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) when a director, dissatisfied with the final product, proved to the satisfaction of a guild panel that they had not been able to exercise creative control over a film. The director was also required by guild rules not to discuss the circumstances leading to the movie or even to acknowledge being the project's director.
- "Alan Smithee" | 2018-07-09 | 38 Upvotes 9 Comments
Primer is a 2004 American science fiction film about the accidental discovery of time travel. The film was written, directed, produced, edited and scored by Shane Carruth, who also stars with David Sullivan.
Primer is of note for its extremely low budget, experimental plot structure, philosophical implications, and complex technical dialogue, which Carruth, a college graduate with a degree in mathematics and a former engineer, chose not to simplify for the sake of the audience. The film collected the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, before securing a limited release in the United States, and has since gained a cult following.
- "Primer (film)" | 2010-05-28 | 225 Upvotes 91 Comments
Roar is a 1981 American adventure comedy film written, produced, and directed by Noel Marshall. Roar's story follows Hank, a naturalist who lives on a nature preserve in Africa with lions, tigers, and other big cats. When his family visits him, they are instead confronted by the group of animals. The film stars Marshall as Hank and Tippi Hedren as his wife Madeleine, with Melanie Griffith, and Marshall's sons John and Jerry Marshall in supporting roles.
In 1969, while Hedren was filming Satan's Harvest in Mozambique, she and Marshall had occasion to observe a pride of lions move into a recently vacated house, driven by increased poaching. They decided to make a film centered around that theme, bringing rescued big cats into their homes in California and living with them. Filming began in 1976; it was finished after five years. The film was fully completed after 11 years in production.
Roar was not initially released in North America; in 1981, Noel and John Marshall privately released it internationally. It was also acquired by Filmways Pictures and Alpha Films. Despite performing well in Germany and Japan, Roar was a box office failure, grossing $2 million worldwide against a $17 million budget. In 2015, 34 years after the film's original release, it was released in theaters in the United States by Drafthouse Films. Roar's message of protection for African wildlife as well as its animal interactions were praised by critics, but its plot, story, inconsistent tone, dialogue, and editing were criticized.
The cast and crew members of Roar faced dangerous situations during filming; seventy people, including the film's stars, were injured as a result of multiple animal attacks. Flooding from a dam destroyed much of the set and equipment during its production, and the film's budget increased drastically. In 1983, Hedren founded the Roar Foundation and established the Shambala Preserve sanctuary, to house the animals appearing in the film. She also wrote a book, The Cats of Shambala (1985), about many of the film's events. The film has been described as "the most dangerous film ever made" and "the most expensive home movie ever made", and has gained a cult following.
- "Roar (1981 Film)" | 2019-11-14 | 85 Upvotes 16 Comments
The Conversation is a 1974 American mystery thriller film written, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Gene Hackman with supporting roles by John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Cindy Williams, Frederic Forrest, Harrison Ford, Teri Garr and Robert Duvall.
The plot revolves around a surveillance expert and the moral dilemma he faces when his recordings reveal a potential murder. Coppola cited the 1966 film Blowup as a key influence. However, since the film was released to theaters just a few months before Richard Nixon resigned as President, he felt that audiences interpreted the film to be a reaction to the Watergate scandal. The Conversation has won critical acclaim and multiple accolades, including the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film, the highest honor at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival. It was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1974 and lost Best Picture to The Godfather Part II, another Francis Ford Coppola film. In 1995, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
- "The Conversation (1974)" | 2013-09-13 | 57 Upvotes 33 Comments
THX 1138 is a 1971 American social science fiction film directed by George Lucas in his feature film directorial debut. It is set in a dystopian future in which the populace is controlled through android police and mandatory use of drugs that suppress emotions. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola and written by Lucas and Walter Murch, it stars Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasence.
THX 1138 was developed from Lucas's student film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which he made in 1967 while attending the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The feature film was produced in a joint venture between Warner Bros. and American Zoetrope. A novelization by Ben Bova was published in 1971. The film received mixed reviews from critics and failed to find box-office success on initial release; however, the film has subsequently received critical acclaim and gained a cult following, particularly in the aftermath of Lucas' success with Star Wars in 1977.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) writing credit system for motion pictures and television programs covers all works under the jurisdiction of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW). Since 1941, the Screen Writers Guild and then the WGA has been the final arbiter of who receives credit for writing a theatrical, television or new media motion picture written under their jurisdiction. Though the system has been a standard since before the WGA's inception, it has seen criticism.
- "WGA screenwriting credit system" | 2017-01-29 | 32 Upvotes 15 Comments
Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe is a short documentary film directed by Les Blank in 1980 which depicts director Werner Herzog living up to his promise that he would eat his shoe if Errol Morris ever completed the film Gates of Heaven. The film includes clips from both Gates of Heaven and Herzog's 1970 feature Even Dwarfs Started Small. Comic song "Old Whisky Shoes", played by the Walt Solek Band, is the signature tune over the opening and closing credits.
Filmed in April 1979, the film features Herzog cooking his shoes (the ones he claims to have been wearing when he made the bet) at the Berkeley, California restaurant Chez Panisse, with the help of chef Alice Waters. (The shoes were boiled with garlic, herbs, and stock for 5 hours.) He is later shown eating one of the shoes before an audience at the premiere of Gates of Heaven at the nearby UC Theater. He did not eat the sole of the shoe, however, explaining that one does not eat the bones of the chicken.
Morris is not shown in the film, and Herzog, Morris, and others have told different stories of the nature of the bet, disagreeing as to whether it was serious, flippant, or an after-the-fact publicity stunt.
Blank went on to direct Burden of Dreams (1982), a feature-length documentary about Herzog and the making of Fitzcarraldo. Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe is included as an extra on The Criterion Collection edition of the Burden of Dreams DVD. It is also included as an extra in the Criterion Collection edition of the Gates of Heaven Blu-ray disc.
When Chez Panisse celebrated its 40th anniversary, a replica of the shoe was created, boiled, and eaten as part of the public anniversary celebration.
The Academy Film Archive preserved Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe in 1999.
- "Werner Herzog eats his shoe" | 2022-05-28 | 117 Upvotes 32 Comments
The Black Maria ( mə-RY-ə) was Thomas Edison's film production studio in West Orange, New Jersey. It was the world's first film studio.
- "The first motion picture production studio: Edison’s Black Maria" | 2022-07-05 | 21 Upvotes 8 Comments
Children of Men is a 2006 dystopian action thriller film co-written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The screenplay, based on P. D. James' 1992 novel The Children of Men, was credited to five writers, with Clive Owen making uncredited contributions. The film takes place in 2027, when two decades of human infertility have left society on the brink of collapse. Asylum seekers seek sanctuary in the United Kingdom, where they are subjected to detention and refoulement by the government. Owen plays civil servant Theo Faron, who must help refugee Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) escape the chaos. Children of Men also stars Julianne Moore, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Pam Ferris, Charlie Hunnam, and Michael Caine.
The film was released by Universal Pictures on 22 September 2006 in the UK and on 25 December in the US. Critics noted the relationship between the US' Christmas opening and the film's themes of hope, redemption, and faith. Despite the limited release and lack of any clear marketing strategy during awards season by the film's distributor, Children of Men received critical acclaim and was recognised for its achievements in screenwriting, cinematography, art direction, and innovative single-shot action sequences. It was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing. It was also nominated for three BAFTA Awards, winning Best Cinematography and Best Production Design, and for three Saturn Awards, winning Best Science Fiction Film. In 2016 it was voted 13th among 100 films considered the best of the 21st century by 117 film critics from around the world.
- "Children of Men" | 2022-11-15 | 38 Upvotes 21 Comments