Blog Directory CineVerse: September 2011

Agatha Christie hits the big screen

Sunday, September 25, 2011

If detective mysteries are your cup of tea, you'll want to join CineVerse on September 28 for "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974; 128 minutes), directed by Sidney Lumet, chosen by Luke Lukaszewski.


Eyre supply

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Oak Lawn public library will present the following film completely gratis: Jane Eyre (2011, PG-13, 120 min) -- Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. In this romantic drama based on Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel, a mousy governess softens the heart of her employer but soon discovers that he’s hiding a terrible secret.Starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Dame Judi Dench.. Click here for all the full scoop.


A teenie bit of Fellini

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A masterpiece from Italy celebrates its 50th birthday this year: Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita, a film that Wikipedia describes as "a story of a passive journalist's week in Rome, and his search for both happiness and love that will never come. Generally cited as the film that marks the transition between Fellini's earlier neo-realist films and his later art films, it is widely considered one of the great achievements in world cinema."

CineVerse screened and discussed this flick back in 2007, and an insightful Reflections handout was created that further delves into the mysteries and interpretations of this movie. To give it a read, click here.


A Fistful of Kurosawa

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On September 21, CineVerse will continue its once-a-month tribute to the art of Akira Kurosawa with "Yojimbo" (1961; 110 minutes), directed by Kurosawa, a western set in the era of feudal Japan that was later remade as "A Fistful of Dollars" starring Clint Eastwood.


Journalistic integrity in black and white

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Oak Lawn public library will present the following film free of charge: Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005, PG, 93 min) -- Friday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow looks to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy in George Clooney’s Oscar-nominated drama Starring David Strathairn, George Clooney and Patricia Clarkson. Click here for all the details.


Be "Happy-Go-Lucky"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Make plans September 14 to attend CineVerse for a World Cinema Wednesday special from the United Kingdom: "Happy-Go-Lucky” (2008; 118 minutes), directed by Mike Leigh, chosen by David Ries.


Tolkien 'toons

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

by Erik J. Martin

Hard to believe that the “The Fellowship of the Ring,” the first installment of director Peter Jackson’s FX epic trilogy “The Lord of the Rings, ” first rolled into theaters 10 years ago this December.

But Jackson’s live action effort isn’t the first time a work of J.R.R. Tolkien has been feted onscreen. The English author’s Middle Earth stories and characters enjoyed quite a resurgence in the ’70s and ’80s, a la animated adaptations—some more worthy than others of being revisited.

In 1978, “The Hobbit” became the first animated version of a Tolkien work, based on the book of the same name (Tolkien’s “prequel” to the Ring trilogy). This was produced as a made-for-TV children’s special by family-friendly animation mavens Arthur Rankin, Jr., and Jules Bass. Featured are the voices of Orson Bean as Bilbo Baggins, the esteemed film director John Huston as the wizard Gandalf, and yet another director from Hollywood’s golden age, Otto Preminger, as the Elvenking. The animation’s a bit crude and dated (in the corner-cutting Pokemon style), the simplified story isn’t very faithful to the book, and the folksy guitar-accompanied soundtrack songs wear on the nerves, but the movie has an all-ages charm to it that makes it an ideal introduction for kids to Tolkien’s works.

In 1978, edgy artist Ralph Bashki—who made waves with his 1972 “adult” cartoon Fritz the Cat—realized his lofty ambitions for a bigscreen project when his animated “The Lord of the Rings” was released in theaters. Bashki pulled out all the stops to create a dark, brooding adaptation that stayed faithful to Tolkien'’ trilogy. Innovative for its use of Bashki’s live action animation via rotoscoping and silhouette effects, the film nonetheless lacks in personality and fails to flesh out its characters enough for us to care. While visually stunning, it ultimately disappoints in that it ends abruptly at the halfway point of the second book—The Two Towers—because its director ran out of money. Sadly, Bashki never came back to finish the story with a sequel.

In 1980, “The Return of the King” aired: another Rankin/Bass G-rated made-for-TV cartoon that depicts the final book in Tolkien’s Ring trilogy. Skimpy on the animation and heavy on the same style of preachy narrative songs that made 1978’s The Hobbit irritating, many fans called this and its animated predecessor a major hatchet job. Yes, that voice you hear actually is Casey Kasem as Cousin Merry the hobbit, trying hard not to sound like Scoobie Doo’s beatnik sidekick Shaggy.


Kubrick makes a "Killing"

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Join CineVerse on September 7 for "The Killing" (1956; 85 minutes), directed by Stanley Kubrick, chosen by Dan Quenzel.

Plus, prior to the film, we'll screen excepts from the acclaimed documentary: "Stanley Kubrick"  A Life in Pictures."


Ride 'em cowboy

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Searchers of The Wild Bunch? Red River or Ride the High Country? Life is full of choices, and now CineVerse is asking you to make a tough one: What is the greatest movie western of all time? That is the question posed in our new poll. It was a tough call narrowing it down to 20, but hopefully one of your favorites is represented. Vote now by visiting our home page and participating in the survey on the left sidebar.

By the way, we have a split decision on our last poll, which asked "What is the greatest foreign film of all time?" Garnering 23 percent of the votes each were Seven Samurai and Cinema Paradiso. The runner up is M by Fritz Lang. Other vote getters included: Rashomon; The 400 Blows; Breathless; The Battle of Algiers; and Bicycle Thieves.


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