Despite decades of dedication to the films of Stanley Kubrick, the hard working staff here at Mid Century Cinema had never before screened Spartacus. So now we have really seen them all. How could we possibly have waited this long? Two reasons. First, Spartacus is an epic – a giant, important, purposeful enterprise – and we’re epic-averse. Second, really, it’s not a Stanley Kubrick film. Yes, he was the director, full stop.
News and Commentary
Jane Fonda turns 80 on December 21, which makes perfect sense, but nevertheless comes as something of a surprise. Fonda has been in the public eye for so long – and in so many guises (trailblazing video exercise guru in the eighties, the Ted Turner 1990s, most recently an art-house television star) – that one can lose sight of what an important figure she was for the New Hollywood.
‘Tis the season for year-end “best of” lists, so we thought we’d play along with a focus on our favorite home video releases of 2017. A few ground rules – we’re valuing the merits of the release, not simply the movie, so there is an emphasis on discs that offer valuable extras and those that make available the otherwise hard to find and obscure. With that, in alphabetical order by title, our top five:
Can we treasure the work of artists whose behavior we vehemently disapprove of? Our short answer is yes. But keep reading. This is a question that must be reckoned with nowadays, given the recent (and continuing) avalanche of simply horrifying revelations of sexual harassment, and often much, much worse, by prominent, powerful men.
Martin Scorsese turned seventy-five on November 17, a milestone that naturally lends itself to looking back at his remarkable career. (Though, we hasten to add, not in a valedictory way—he is currently working on one film, has another in pre-production, and plans are already taking shape for the one after that.) Given that Scorsese’s overflowing oeuvre now stretches across more than fifty films and fifty years, we will limit ourselves here, as is our wont, to the New Hollywood years (if with a slight extension of our usual endpoint for the period).
Truffaut on Cinema is nothing short of a treasure for movie-lovers. François Truffaut sat for about 300 interviews between 1959 and 1984, and every last one of them is collected in this book—and presented with a rather ingenious twist.
Once again it’s that time of year – the Fifty-Fifth New York Film Festival will run from September 28 through October 15 – and as usual there are more great screenings and events than one could possibly hope to attend. The entire forty-five page brochure is worth a close read, but we’ll highlight some of the elements we’re most enthusiastic about.