Ingmar Bergman would have turned ninety-nine on July 14. One of the true titans in the history of cinema, with a prolific career, distinct voice, and an indisputably prominent place in the pantheon—he is also one of our All-Time Favorites.
News and Commentary
Recently we took the occasion of Dylan’s Nobel Prize as an opportunity to “consider some things Dylan,” motivated by our position that The Bob is not well understood beyond that circle of those who follow him rather closely.
Earlier this week Nobel Laureate in Literature Bob Dylan fulfilled his obligation to the Norwegian Institute with a remarkable speech that looked back over a few of the formative influences of his work (and they might surprise you).
Is Olivier Assayas our greatest living director? If we believed in such pronouncements here at Mid Century Cinema, we could see the argument in favor. But we don’t. More to the point, as we found ourselves screening his films repeatedly (and, like Kubrick films, they invariably get better with each viewing), and musing about this prospect, it seemed long past the time to discuss his work here.
On April 22, 2017 Jack Nicholson turned eighty, and although he has been a big-time, world famous, larger-than-life movie star for over a third of a century, he holds a revered place at Mid Century Cinema for an earlier phase of his career. After ten years of struggle, at the end of which he was on the cusp of abandoning acting altogether, Nicholson put forth a body of work in the decade that followed which stands up to comparison with any ten year stretch by an actor in the history of cinema.
This week’s film was Sidney Lumet’s Network, a great movie that is so good and about so many things that one could talk about endlessly. But we have already talked about it a good bit, in a post from last year, and in a cranky review of a recent book about the movie. So with this post we will pull back for a longer shot, and consider Lumet as a seventies filmmaker.
This week’s movie was Elaine May’s Mikey and Nicky, a relatively little-known obscurity that should be included in any serious discussion of the great films of the 1970s. That this is generally not the case can be attributed to a number of factors. It was an enormously troubled production—May shot a lot of film (legend holds over a million feet, shedding cinematographers and shattering production schedules and budgets along the way), and she then edited obsessively and endlessly.
This week’s movie was Francis Ford Coppola’s New Hollywood landmark The Conversation, one of the three films produced under the auspices of The Director’s Company, a partnership formed by hot-off-celebrated-hits Coppola (The Godfather), William Friedkin (The French Connection), and Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show).