October 6, 1995 |
From the Ealing Studio comedies to the barbs hurled by the Monty Python troupe, savage attacks on the English class system have been a staple of British screen comedy. Peter Medak's The Ruling Class was made in 1972, but it's not dated because the ruling class is still alive and well. Peter Barnes adapted his own play and gave Peter O'Toole a heavy cross to bear as the 14th Earl of Gurney. The earl thinks he's Jesus Christ and spends some of his time in a trance on the cross he totes around.
February 4, 2000 |
The final installment in Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy, 1994's Red, showing Saturday at the Film Forum on a double bill with Max Ophuls' The Earrings of Madame de . . ., stands alone. It's a wise, rueful study of the way people's lives cross in unexpected ways. Irene Jacob stars as a fashion model who becomes involved with an embittered, disaffected retired judge (a brilliant Jean-Louis Trintignant), who passes his time electronically eavesdropping on his neighbors.
January 28, 2000 |
A corner cigar shop in Brooklyn - pre-cigar chic, with not a single A-type e-commerce 24-year-old millionaire in sight - is the setting for Smoke, filmmaker Wayne Wang's loose and lovely 1995 collaboration with the novelist Paul Auster. Harvey Keitel stars as Auggie Wren, proprietor of the unassuming neighborhood tobacco shop - and a closet photographer, poet and muser who meets and greets a parade of customers each day. Among them: an Auster-like novelist (William Hurt); a student (Harold Perrineau Jr.)
April 9, 1986 |
More than a dozen experts on the controversial issue of animals in scientific research will take part in a three-day film forum beginning tonight at Drexel University. Among the participants will be Frederick Wiseman, the independent documentary filmmaker, who will show his 1974 film Primate, which deals with research at the Yerkes Primate Research Center of Emory University. Also on tonight's panel will be Frederick King, Yerkes' director. Another highlight of the forum will be Friday's first public showing of Unnecessary Fuss, a 29-minute documentary made from more than 70 hours of videotape stolen by members of the Animal Liberation Front from the Head Injury Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine.
December 30, 1994 |
Film Forum - Philadelphia's sanctuary of classic movies - will be giving lovers of the big screen something to look forward to in 1995 with its just- released schedule of films that begin next weekend. As always, the program menu features a combination platter of two movies every Saturday night, usually one foreign and one American film for a single $4.50 admission charge. They are all classics, or what one author described as "forgotten films to remember. " The scheduled films range from such well-known classics as the surrealistic L'Age d'Or and Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (the Jan. 7 season openers)
July 24, 1992 |
Your assignment is to sell 25,000 percent of a Broadway play to various dumb investors and then get out of paying them back by producing something that is a cast-iron guarantee to flop. How about Springtime for Hitler with the stage filled with cavorting Nazis? That's what producer Max Bialystock (played by Zero Mostel) dreams up as his ticket to the good life in Rio in the film The Producers. Of course, the scam backfires when the play becomes a smash hit. The 1968 comedy - an inspired piece of insanity - marked the directing debut of Mel Brooks.
August 14, 1998 |
How fitting that one of the best films ever made about a painter happens to be about one of the best painters who ever put brush to canvas. Rembrandt (1936) stars Charles Laughton in a jolly, somber, exuberant and reflective performance that embraces the brilliance and shadow of the Dutch master's canvases. Focusing on the artist's extravagant talents and spending, the loss of his beloved wife Saskia and also his artistic reputation, the film by Alexander Korda lacks the splendor of his prior collaboration with Laughton, The Private Life of Henry VIII.
May 9, 1997 |
The passage of time, which Casablanca's music so memorably celebrates, has only added to the stature of the film and the achievement of its stars. Humphrey Bogart did his part under most unusual circumstances - his third wife, Maryo Methot, a jealous alcoholic, phoned him constantly on the set to accuse him of having an affair with Ingrid Bergman. The accusation wasn't true, but the sparks between Bogie and Bergman on the screen make Methot's suspicions understandable. Incidentally, you can thank Bergman's schedule for the fact that the indelible "As Time Goes By" stayed in the movie.
September 18, 1992 |
With Woody Allen all over the newsstands, and his Husbands and Wives all over the country, the folks at Film Forum/Philadelphia have presciently booked a more innocent Allen endeavor: What's Up, Tiger Lily?, Allen's quasi- filmmaking debut. In 1966, three years before the release of his first feature, Take the Money and Run, the nebbishy New York comedian took a print of a 1964 Toho Films release, Key of Keys, and redubbed and re-edited it to hilarious effect. An ersatz James Bond-thriller from Japan, Allen and his cohorts (including first wife Louise Lasser)
June 8, 1990 |
In the home for orphaned girls, the raffishly handsome young medical inspector strolls down the dormitory and dispenses his cure for every minor and major malady: castor oil. But when it comes to the many romantic and financial afflictions in his own life, this is one physician who cannot heal himself. His manful attempts to do so are at the warm heart of Vittorio de Sica's Teresa Venerdi, which is playing at the Film Forum this weekend. De Sica made this charming comedy in 1941 and, besides its own merit, the movie offers fascinating glimpses and hints of what was to come later in his career.