So, Sidney

Posted by · 12:43 pm · April 9th, 2011

I’ve had the whole of Sidney Lumet’s available DVD catalogue lined up, in chronological order, in my Netflix queue as of late. He was always a filmmaker I looked to in my own pursuits in the field as an idol, someone who seemed to stay way above the fray while consistently cranking out engaging, often […]

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R.I.P. Sidney Lumet

Posted by · 8:40 am · April 9th, 2011

It burns me up that I have to step out for most of the early part of the day right now, because I woke up to the awful news that Sidney Lumet, prolific marcher to his own drum, has left us. It’s an epic loss, I feel. Two of this man’s films have solid spots […]

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Fincher/Sorkin = Lumet/Chayefsky?

Posted by · 11:58 am · July 8th, 2010

Steep, STEEP praise for David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin, director and writer of the upcoming “The Social Network.” The praise comes from New York Film Festival director Richard Pena in announcing the film as the opener of this year’s fest. From Thompson on Hollywood: [The film] powerfully captures the spirit of its time…David Fincher and […]

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7/22 Web Round-up

Posted by · 9:02 am · July 22nd, 2009

• John Campea rattles off a list of the six movies he’d love to see but that will never happen. [The Movie Blog] • Patrick Goldstein translates Bob Weinstein’s classified in search of a new assistant. [The Big Picture] • Chloe Fox talks to “The Ugly Truth” star Gerard Butler about “mixing the rough with […]

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Michael Jackson’s filmmaker collaborations

Posted by · 11:40 am · June 29th, 2009

Tomorrow’s installment of The Lists is going to be Michael Mann-centric, but I was all set to write up something brief in the way of qualifying Michael Jackson’s contributions to the movie world until I came across this Christopher Campbell posting at Spout Blog.  It’d be pretty difficult to go much deeper than he has. […]

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Jenny Lumet could continue an Oscar tradition

Posted by · 8:28 am · January 16th, 2009

In the 1970s there simply wasn’t a greater director of actors than Sidney Lumet.  Roles in his films came with Academy Award nominations virtually attached.  From 1973 to 1988, Lumet directed actors to 16 Oscar nominations, three of those eventually winning an Oscar.  He himself was nominated for Best Director for “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Network” […]

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The year’s evolving Oscar race reveals the weakest season in recent memory

Posted by · 9:12 am · October 19th, 2008

With rumors that “The Road” may be bumped to 2009, (not Harvey Weinstein’s choice of release year) and “The Soloist” already moving on, along with the rumblings that “Frost/ Nixon” does indeed lack that edge I wrote about not so long ago, one can feel the Oscar race shifting day to day. Even “Changeling,” once […]

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Peter Finch and the posthumous Oscar

Posted by · 2:05 pm · July 26th, 2008

Peter Finch’es wide-eyed, frantic performance as newsman Howard Beale in Sidney Lumet’s “Network” became a touchstone for North America in 1976 because we too were “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.” Vietnam was over, though the vets were struggling with their various personal horrors.  Nixon had resigned, leaving a mistrustful America […]

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1976: a great year and Oscar blew it

Posted by · 6:18 am · May 31st, 2008

Continuing the conversation on great years for movies (1974 being my pick for the best), I thought I’d dig into a season rich with material that slipped through Oscar’s fingers. The American bicentennial year was loaded with wonderful films — ground-breaking works that stunned both audiences and critics with their mastery. Three of them were […]

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REVIEW: “Inside Man” (**)

Posted by · 3:23 pm · March 20th, 2006

Spike Lee’s “Inside Man” is an embarrassment of devices from start to painstakingly anti-climactic finish. As a run-of-the-mill heist romp, it still falls prey to a dedicated intention to distinguish itself, both thematically and stylistically. Thinking it over, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is rather impossible to write a negative review of “Inside […]

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