News and Commentary – Coming: The 2017 New York Film Festival

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. 

50 Years Ago This Week – Point Blank

On August 30, 1967 John Boorman’s Point Blank premiered in San Francisco. It was a fitting choice for a movie that begins and ends at the abandoned island prison of Alcatraz, even though Boorman, in an inspired move, shifted most of the film’s action from tie-dyed, summer-of-love San-Francisco to the cold, impersonal monochromes of Los Angeles.

News and Commentary – The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

We recently wrote about Alfred Hitchcock in this essay for the Boston Review, and as it turns out, that experience left us wanting to talk a little bit more about the Master of Suspense.  So we thought we’d give him the full Mid Century Cinema treatment, and offer a modest assessment and career overview, culminating with our invariably-beloved, inherently-contestable, always-subject-to-revision user’s guide to his feature films.  

50 Years Ago This Week – Bonnie and Clyde Rocks the Film World

Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde made its debut in August 1967, screening first at the Montreal Film Festival on August 4 before premiering in New York City nine days later.  A fictionalized account of the notorious depression-era outlaws, the film, starring Warren Beatty (who also produced), Faye Dunaway and Gene Hackman would become a sensation, landing on the cover of Time magazine as representative of a “New Cinema”—what would become known as The New Hollywood

News and Commentary – Dustin Hoffman, The New Hollywood Years

Dustin Hoffman, one of the signature actors of the New Hollywood, turns eighty on August 8, 2017. Faithful readers of Mid Century Cinema might have noticed we have a certain fondness for this period, and Hoffman’s extraordinary run during this era neatly summarizes many of the reasons why. Hoffman appeared in a dozen films from 1967 to 1976, and those choices speak volumes about the actor and those times. First thing to notice here is that an actor acts. Hoffman was busy this period (and remained so throughout his career).

News and Commentary – Deep Cuts: The Midnight Man (1974)

We try and keep an eye on all things seventies film here at Mid Century Cinema, and so we were very pleased to procure a copy of a French DVD of The Midnight Man (1974), which was, irresistibly, co-produced, co-written, and co-directed by its star, Burt Lancaster.  In the words of David Thomson, who is not one to gush: “Brave, vigorous and handsome, and an actor of great range, Lancaster never yielded in his immaculate splendor . . .