Film History

Yes, the trailer is awful but, trust me, The Stunt Man — released on Blu-ray tomorrow — is worth a look. See it mainly to relish one of Peter O’Toole’s finest and funniest performances. Dave Itzkoff at the NYTimes talks to O’Toole about the movie got an earful about the Oscars.

Q. You were, of course, nominated for an Academy Award for this performance. Did you think you might win that year?
A. We knew. I always ring the bookies immediately in Las Vegas. I’m the son of a racetrack bookie, and I’ve never known an odds-on favorite, in my 50 years, of not winning. If it’s a horse, it’s at least got a chance of falling down. And not once in 50 years have I ever been a favorite.

Q. They always say it’s an honor just to be nominated.
A. No, it’s not. It’s a bore. I’m fed up. [laughs] Second prize is no prize, thank you very much indeed.

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Palate cleanser and quarantine zone between the Twilight teaser and Deathly Hallows clip. It’s a small small world for Walt Disney and Salvadore Dali. (from awesomepeoplehangingouttogether) Full-size after the cut,

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Opening shot of two well-known thrillers. In two high-angle aerial views, we watch convoys of cop cars snaking their way along the sinuous two-lane S-curve of two highways at night. Both screenshots come from the first 30 seconds of each film. Both shots have a caption naming a date decades before the movie itself was released (in other words, they both specify a date to tell us the movie takes place in the past.)

Take another look at the screenshots after the cut. If you know the name of both films, please don’t spoil the quiz for anybody else who wants to puzzle it out. Find a creative way to answer by describing each film with your own cryptic clues in the comments.

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Yesterday was Orson Welles’ birthday. Born May 6, 1915, he would have been 96. His debut film premiered in New York on May 1, 1941. After 70 years, Citizen Kane has now outlived its creator whose dazzle faded to black in 1985. Still shocking — horrifying, really — to think how close we came to never seeing Citizen Kane at all. Here’s a clip from a 1991 BBC documentary first broadcast on the film’s 50th Anniversary (and rarely seen since), to remind us how important it is to faithfully preserve our fragile movie heritage, posted here as a birthday tribute to Welles and a celebration of the pinnacle of his legacy that very nearly didn’t survive.

“An animated filmography of Stanley Kubrick, remixing each of his films and interpreting them through color, typography, patterns and symbols.” After the cut, a few Chicago scenes photographed by Kubrick for LOOK magazine between 1950 and 1955.

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McCabe & Mrs. Miller: A Video Essay from Steven Santos on Vimeo.

Terrific video essay on McCabe & Mrs. Miller, one of my all-time favorite films, from Steven Santos at The Fine Cut. (via Matthew Zoller Seitz)

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