Museum of Modern Art film curator La Frances Hui narrates this fascinating introduction to the genre of Kung Fu films:
Many directors and actors have been associated with the kung fu genre, Hong Kong cinema’s most unique creation, but no one compares to Lau Kar-leung (1937–2013) as a purist of the genre and the kung fu form.
Associate curator La Frances Hui explores the history of the kung fu films, the actors and filmmakers associated with the genre like Bruce Lee, Gordon Liu, and Jackie Chan, and why Lau Kar-leung has been hailed as the grandmaster of kung fu films.
(Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!) Read the rest
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi was briefly called "Revenge of the Jedi." Apparently screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan had told Lucas that "Return of the Jedi" was a "weak title." In December 1982 though, Lucas went back to his original title but not before promotional posters had already been released, such as the one above that is currently up for auction at Sotheby's with an expected hammer price of 1,400 - 2,600 GBP ($1800 - $3200 USD).
In December 1982, Lucas decided that "Revenge" was not appropriate as Jedi should not seek revenge and returned to his original title. By that time thousands of "Revenge" teaser posters (with artwork by Drew Struzan) had been printed and distributed. Lucasfilm stopped the shipping of the posters and sold the remaining stock of 6,800 posters to Star Wars fan club members for $9.50.
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President Trump got into an argument with Vietnam veterans in which he insisted that Apocalypse Now featured the use of Agent Orange, not napalm: “It was really fucking weird.” Read the rest
BBC got to be the first to tour Intel Studios, a state of the art greenscreen facility, with no suits, no motion capture, just a live performance captured in a green dome by hundreds of cameras. Read the rest
On the @movie_goofs
Twitter account, a fellow named Sean posts brilliantly funny "movie goofs" that aren't actually goofs. And for additional fun, see the responses from folks who don't seem to get that Sean is just kidding.
(Daily Dot via Neatorama) Read the rest
Director Nicolas Winding Refn loves cult movies and has been quietly restoring some of his faves. Now they are available to stream free on his byNWR site. Read the rest
In the course of my work as a documentary filmmaker, I sometimes find hidden gems. Samuel Fuller’s “The Naked Kiss” is one of them. Read the rest
When Lin-Manuel Miranda left the cast of Hamilton in 2016, the production created an archival video of the original cast performance, saying that he had "no idea" what they'd do with the footage, "Throwing it in a vault at Gringotts for a bit probly."
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Many of the world's most iconic movies have problematic themes or plots, but the romanticization of kidnapping and false imprisonment ranks among the worst. Read the rest
Unused footage of Carrie Fisher from The Last Jedi will be put to use in Episode IX, reports Hollywood Reporter. Mark Hamill will return as Luke Skywalker, as will Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian.
In January 2017, Lucasfilm issued a statement assuring fans that there were no plans for a digital re-creation of Leia, after reviving late actor Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In April 2017, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy said Fisher would not appear in Episode IX. Abrams took over as director of Episode IX in September 2017 after the exit of Colin Trevorrow, and penned a new script himself with Chris Terrio, and it seems plans changed sometime after that point.
Also back: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran and Joonas Suotamo. Richard E. Grant is joining the cast, as is Naomi Ackie. Read the rest
Darth Vader only appeared on screen for 34 minutes yet is the most visually iconic character of the original trilogy. Nerdwriter's Evan Puschak explains why.
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Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters continues the trend of making classical music EPIC by turning Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune" into a spine-tingling blast of EPICness. Here's just the track as a standalone: Read the rest
Bring a bit of Overlook Hotel chic to your family room with an area rug duplicating the iconic carpet design by David Hicks. The 240cm x 170cm rug costs $3275 and it's also available as a runner or by the square meter to ensure you have enough to reach room 237. Also available from Film and Furniture are the likes of Deckard's cocktail glass from Blade Runner, the George Nelson Action Office Desk from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and many other items you'll recognize from the big screen.
"Checkmate! The story behind Kubrick’s carpet in The Shining revealed" (Film and Furniture via Kottke)
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Thanks to YouTube and short attention spans, the humble movie trailer has surged in popularity in the past decade. In that time, the number of agencies that make trailers jumped from 12 to over 100. Read the rest
Eyes on Cinema posted a newly discovered 1980 interview with Stanley Kubrick in which he explains the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Here's what he told journalist Junichi Yaoi:
The idea was supposed to be that he is taken in by god-like entities, creatures of pure energy and intelligence with no shape or form. They put him in what I suppose you could describe as a human zoo to study him, and his whole life passes from that point on in that room. And he has no sense of time. It just seems to happen as it does in the film.
They choose this room, which is a very inaccurate replica of French architecture (deliberately so, inaccurate) because one was suggesting that they had some idea of something that he might think was pretty, but wasn’t quite sure. Just as we’re not quite sure what do in zoos with animals to try to give them what they think is their natural environment.
Anyway, when they get finished with him, as happens in so many myths of all cultures in the world, he is transformed into some kind of super being and sent back to Earth, transformed and made some kind of superman. We have to only guess what happens when he goes back. It is the pattern of a great deal of mythology, and that is what we were trying to suggest.
From Open Culture:
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The mysterious nature of the interview clip itself, a piece of the footage gathered in 1980 for a never-released Japanese documentary, suits the nature of the revelation.
The long-awaited biopic Bohemian Rhapsody tells the story of Freddie Mercury and Queen's incredible story from their formation in 1970 to their outstanding Live Aid performance in 1985 just a few years before Mercury died due to complications from AIDS.
Hitting theaters November 2, the film stars Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury with Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, Joseph Mazzello, Allen Leech, and Lucy Boynton. Bryan Singer directed much of the principal photography before he was fired, apparently for repeatedly not showing up to work, and replaced by Dexter Fletcher who completed the movie.
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I saw this trailer for Ghost Stories back in February and it grabbed hold of me immediately. Full of menace, glimpses of gorgeous cinematography and an aura of claustrophobia, it's everything I want in a horror film. I just learned that it'll be available to buy on iTunes, if you're in the United States, on July 17th. I am so stoked. Read the rest