Topic: Film/American cinema

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πŸ”— Primer (film)

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Film πŸ”— Film/American cinema πŸ”— Science Fiction πŸ”— United States/Texas

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.

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πŸ”— They Live

πŸ”— Film πŸ”— Film/American cinema πŸ”— Science Fiction

They Live is a 1988 American science fiction action horror film written and directed by John Carpenter, based on the 1963 short story "Eight O'Clock in the Morning" by Ray Nelson. Starring Roddy Piper, Keith David, and Meg Foster, the film follows an unnamed drifter who discovers through special sunglasses that the ruling class are aliens concealing their appearance and manipulating people to consume, breed, and conform to the status quo via subliminal messages in mass media.

Having acquired the film rights to the Nelson-penned short story prior to the production of They Live, Carpenter used the story as the basis for the screenplay's structure, which he wrote under the pseudonym "Frank Armitage". Carpenter has stated that the themes of They Live stemmed from his dissatisfaction with the economic policies of then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan, as well as what Carpenter saw as increasing commercialization in both popular culture and politics.

They Live was a minor success upon release, debuting at #1 at the North American box office. It initially received negative reviews from critics, who lambasted its social commentary, writing, and acting; however, it later gained a cult following and experienced a significantly more favorable critical reception. It is now regarded by many as one of Carpenter's best films. The film has also entered the pop culture lexicon, notably having a lasting effect on street art (particularly that of Shepard Fairey).

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πŸ”— Werner Herzog eats his shoe

πŸ”— Film πŸ”— Film/American cinema πŸ”— Film/Documentary films

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.

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πŸ”— Up (Film Series)

πŸ”— Film πŸ”— Film/American cinema πŸ”— Film/Documentary films πŸ”— Film/British cinema

The Up series of documentary films follows the lives of ten males and four females in England beginning in 1964, when they were seven years old. The first film was titled Seven Up!, with later films adjusting the number in the title to match the age of the subjects at the time of filming. The documentary has had nine episodesβ€”one every seven yearsβ€”thus spanning 56 years. The series has been produced by Granada Television for ITV, which has broadcast all of them except 42 Up (1998), which was broadcast on BBC One. Individual films and the series as a whole have received numerous accolades; in 1991, the then-latest instalment, 28 Up, was chosen for Roger Ebert's list of the ten greatest films of all time.

The children were selected for the original programme to represent the range of socio-economic backgrounds in Britain at that time, with the expectation that each child's social class would determine their future. The first instalment was made as a one-off edition of Granada Television's series, World in Action, directed by Canadian Paul Almond, with involvement by "a fresh-faced young researcher, a middle-class Cambridge graduate", Michael Apted, whose role in the initial programme included "trawling the nation's schools for 14 suitable subjects". About the first programme, Apted has said:

It was Paul's filmΒ ... but he was more interested in making a beautiful film about being seven, whereas I wanted to make a nasty piece of work about these kids who have it all, and these other kids who have nothing.

After Almond's direction of the original programme, director Michael Apted continued the series with new instalments every seven years, filming material from those of the fourteen who chose to participate. The aim of the continuing series is stated at the beginning of 7 Up as: "Why did we bring these together? Because we wanted a glimpse of England in the year 2000. The union leader and the business executive of the year 2000 are now seven years old." The most recent instalment, the ninth, titled 63 Up, premiered in the UK on ITV in 2019. A special episode featuring celebrity fans of the series, 7 Up & Me, also aired on ITV in 2019. Apted is reported to have said, "I hope to do 84 Up when I'll be 99"; however, he died in 2021.

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πŸ”— Roar (1981 Film)

πŸ”— Film πŸ”— Africa πŸ”— Film/American cinema πŸ”— Guild of Copy Editors πŸ”— Animal rights

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.

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πŸ”— 2001: A Space Odyssey

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Film πŸ”— Library of Congress πŸ”— Film/American cinema πŸ”— United States/Film - American cinema πŸ”— Science Fiction πŸ”— Transhumanism πŸ”— Guild of Copy Editors πŸ”— Film/Core πŸ”— Film/British cinema πŸ”— Hertfordshire

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, and was inspired by Clarke's 1951 short story "The Sentinel" and other short stories by Clarke. Clarke also published a novelisation of the film, in part written concurrently with the screenplay, after the film's release. The film stars Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, and Douglas Rain, and follows a voyage by astronauts, scientists and the sentient supercomputer HAL to Jupiter to investigate an alien monolith.

The film is noted for its scientifically accurate depiction of space flight, pioneering special effects, and ambiguous imagery. Kubrick avoided conventional cinematic and narrative techniques; dialogue is used sparingly, and there are long sequences accompanied only by music. The soundtrack incorporates numerous works of classical music, by composers including Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss II, Aram Khachaturian, and GyΓΆrgy Ligeti.

The film received diverse critical responses, ranging from those who saw it as darkly apocalyptic to those who saw it as an optimistic reappraisal of the hopes of humanity. Critics noted its exploration of themes such as human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning Kubrick the award for his direction of the visual effects. The film is now widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. In 1991, it was selected by the United States Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. In 2022, 2001: A Space Odyssey placed in the top ten of Sight & Sound's decennial critics' poll, and topped their directors' poll.

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πŸ”— The Conversation (1974)

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Film πŸ”— Library of Congress πŸ”— Film/American cinema πŸ”— United States/Film - American cinema πŸ”— Film/Core

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".

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πŸ”— WarGames was released today 40 years ago

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Video games πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Film πŸ”— Military history πŸ”— Military history/North American military history πŸ”— Military history/United States military history πŸ”— Film/American cinema πŸ”— United States/Film - American cinema πŸ”— Science Fiction πŸ”— Computer Security πŸ”— Computer Security/Computing πŸ”— Military history/Cold War πŸ”— Cold War πŸ”— United States/Washington - Seattle πŸ”— United States/Washington πŸ”— Film/War films πŸ”— Military history/War films

WarGames is a 1983 American science fiction techno-thriller film written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes and directed by John Badham. The film, which stars Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, John Wood, and Ally Sheedy, follows David Lightman (Broderick), a young hacker who unwittingly accesses a United States military supercomputer programmed to simulate, predict and execute nuclear war against the Soviet Union.

WarGames was a critical and commercial success, grossing $125Β million worldwide against a $12Β million budget. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards.

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πŸ”— Children of Men

πŸ”— Film πŸ”— Film/American cinema πŸ”— Science Fiction πŸ”— Romania πŸ”— Film/British cinema πŸ”— Film/War films

Children of Men is a 2006 dystopian action thriller film co-written and directed by Alfonso CuarΓ³n. 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.

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πŸ”— A Trip Down Market Street

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Film πŸ”— Library of Congress πŸ”— Film/American cinema πŸ”— Film/Silent films πŸ”— Film/Documentary films πŸ”— United States/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.

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