When Editing Began: The Cut that Launched a Filmmaking Craft

June 7, 2019

By the time film pioneer Georges Méliès made this only slightly exaggerated claim, the making and exhibition of narrative film was establishing itself as a business separate from the variety stage and lecture circuit. As more people visited storefront theatres to see moving picture stories, they watched the art and craft of editing evolving on screens right before their eyes. […]

There’s More Than a Riot Going On!

February 15, 2019

Prisons are not visually attractive. That may be why prison movies were not a significant genre during the silent era. But after the introduction of talking pictures and as sound technology was refined, the 1930s saw the studios turn out over 60 movies set in penitentiaries. […]

More Than Just Another Fine Mess

December 19, 2018

Kurt Vonnegut dedicated his 1976 novel ‘Slapstick’ “to the memory of Arthur Stanley Jefferson and Norvell Hardy” — better known as Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. In the novel’s prologue, the author explains, “I have called it Slapstick because it is grotesque, situational poetry, like the slapstick film comedies, especially those of Laurel and Hardy… […]

Fear of a Black Planet

August 17, 2018

Over the decade leading to 1973, with the progress achieved by the civil rights movement, a greater awareness emerged in the African-American community of its own history and culture. Despite this growth of self-worth, pride and initiative giving strength to the idea of Black Power, the systemic practice of inequality and oppression of minorities continued to afflict American society. […]

‘The Piano’ Ain’t Got No Wrong Notes

June 12, 2018

From the age of six, Ada McGrath refuses to speak, yet film audiences first saw and heard how clearly she communicates on May 15, 1993, when Jane Campion’s ‘The Piano’ premiered at the 45th Cannes International Film Festival. […]

Celebrity Crush

February 16, 2018

In ‘The King of Comedy’ (1983), directed by Martin Scorsese from Newsweek film critic Paul D. Zimmerman’s script, fledgling comic Rupert Pupkin wants to be a star. Obsessed with celebrity itself, he emerges from the subculture of fandom to take a shot at fame by kidnapping late night talk show host Jerry Langford. […]

‘October’ Surprise
The Revolution Will Be Edited

December 8, 2017

After 90 years, the premiere of Sergei Eisenstein’s October on November 7, 1927 at Leningrad’s Bolshoi Theatre still endures as the most famous screening of an unparalleled motion picture epic that was never shown publicly in its entirety. […]

The Ladies of the Footlights Club

August 4, 2017

Director Gregory La Cava introduced moviegoers to a host of energetic young women living together in a theatrical boarding house, struggling for survival and stardom on the New York stage, when his “Stage Door” premiered in San Francisco 80 years ago, on October 6, 1937. […]

12 Anti-Authoritarian Men

June 7, 2017

MGM’s The Dirty Dozen, directed by Robert Aldrich, had its world premiere at Loew’s Capitol Theatre on Broadway in New York City 50 years ago, on June 15, 1967. Based on the novel by E.M. Nathanson, it depicts 12 court-martialed American soldiers sentenced to death or long-term prison sentences. […]

Murder Is His Business

February 15, 2017

Seventy years ago, on April 11, 1947, Charles Chaplin — one of the central figures of world cinema and as influential to the art of moviemaking as to the establishment of the Hollywood film industry — premiered his latest film, Monsieur Verdoux (subtitled A Comedy of Murders) at the Broadway Theatre in New York City and at the Academy Award Theatre in Los Angeles. […]

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