• Scene Is Believing: Fitzcarraldo

    Another post from the archives of DGA Quarterly, this time on one of the craziest of endeavors ever put on film – the transportation of a real steamboat over a mountain between river tributaries in a rain forest by director Werner Herzog, for Fitzcarraldo. Not for Herzog would a model miniature in a studio setting […]

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  • The Great unmade? Gladiator 2: A Life Lived To The Maximus

      Ridley Scott’s rejuvenation of the toga / swords and sandals epics of yore with Gladiator had everything – epic scale, brilliant battles, fully realised worlds, political backstabbing, madness, grief and vengeance. Russell Crowe fully convinced as the General betrayed and sold into slavery, doomed to fight for the plebs amusement, and determined to revenge […]

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  • Triple Bill: Captains Courageous

      In the first of an occasional theme, we look at films that, thematically, visually, organically, fit together as an ideal triple bill. A BLT sandwhich of films, if you will. I’d like to kick things off with three films that mesh together in several interesting ways, all high adventures of the best kind: Master […]

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  • Re-appreciationSociety: Tales of The Gold Monkey

    When is a rip-off not a rip-off? When a TV show is unsuccessfully pitched until the successful film it is supposedly based on causes it to be greenlit. If adventure “homage” has a name, it must be Tales Of The Gold Monkey. Donald P Bellisario is something of a legend in American television history. The writer […]

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  • Unscene Is Believing: The Empire Strikes Back

    In which C3PO is a bad-ass In The Empire Strikes Back, a whole sub-plot about Wampas (the type of monster that attacks Luke out on patrol on his Tauntaun) infiltrating the rebel base on the ice planet of Hoth was mooted, even filmed, but the scenes didn’t make the final cut. If they had, maybe […]

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  • The Trouble With Movie Trains – A Top Ten

    To celebrate the release of Runaway Train, a cracking tale of escaped convicts on er, a runaway train, on dual format Blu-ray and DVD on 22 July, here is a subjective top 10 of perilous train journeys. All aboard! 10. Murder On The Orient Express 1974 Hercule Poirot has cause to regret snow on the track as […]

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  • Archive Interview: George Miller on Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

      Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is a curio in the Mad Max canon – with a softening of the violence, a tribe of kids akin to The Lost Boys, and a Tina Turner power ballad. In October 1985 Anne Billson interviewed director George Miller for Time out (he actually shared the load with George Ogilvie, […]

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  • Caddyshack: The Inside Story

    Yes folks, a full length documentary from 2009. Interviews with Michael O’Keefe, Scott Colomby, the late Harold Ramis, Chevy Chase, Cindy Morgan, John F. Barmon Jr., John Murray, Ann Ryerson, Rusty Lemorande, Kenny Loggins, and others. Enjoy! https://youtu.be/nY8TNywytFk Originally posted 2015-04-01 22:11:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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  • Rambo: First Blood Is The Deepest

    The real location of Hope, a failed logging town in British Columbia in the late Autumn of 1981, plays ironic host to the fugitive travails and battle of wills between hard-nosed Sheriff Teasle (Brian Dennehy) and drifter John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone), a haunted Vietnam vet, in First Blood. This sombre actioner and character study, by […]

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  • Scene Is Believing: Psycho

      The shower scene, Psycho Not for nothing was Alfred Hitchcock known as “The master of suspense.” On reading the proof of Robert Bloch’s novel Psycho, he immediately ordered his assistants to buy up every copy they could find. He knew, in this pre-pre-internet age, that surprise and word of mouth about the shocks he […]

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Guilty Pleasures – Superman 3

Superman 3 is not a film about Superman. It’s a film about Gus Gorman. Gus is the everyman antithesis of Superman: nobody knows him, nobody cares about him, he has no confidence or awareness of what he’s good at, he can’t control his impulses which keep him from having a job or a social life, […]

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Paradise Lost: A tribute to Empire of the Sun

During the early 1980s Steven Spielberg’s body of work were mainly studies in innocence, with a deep desire contained within to remain just so. Then in the mid 1980s something happened. Spielberg was suddenly addressing loss and grief. From 1985 until 1989, he was clearly in a sad mood. In 1985 The Color Purple had […]

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Secession And Sensibility: Ang Lee’s Ride With The Devil

Ang Lee’s Ride With The Devil, adapted by James Schamus from Daniel Woodrell’s American Civil War novel Woe To Live On, charts how naïve young men, divorced from a wider base cause (the Confederacy for which they nominally fight), emerge changed from conflict. Finding, one might say in the context of vexatious personalities of the […]

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Wish You Were Here – Revisiting Film Locations

You’ve probably seen various blogs comparing stills of famous film locations to how they appear now, mundane without that movie magic glow. Herve Attia has gone one better, creating short videos on his Vimeo channel that not only compare, but have him revisit those locations in person, even inserting himself into the action occuring on those […]

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The Last Man – A Gavin Rothery Short Film

Gavin Rothery, concept artist and VFX supervisor on Duncan Jones’ Moon, has completed his own short film, apocalyptic psychological actioner, The Last Man. A soldier without a war is just a man Gavin’s synopsis states: “The Last Man is a 20 minute apocalyptic science fiction short film inspired by cold war childhood nightmares about the […]

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Peeping Tom: The Cinema Of The Complicit

Has ever a film had more of a 360 degree critical turnaround than Michael Powell’s 1960 psychodrama, Peeping Tom? Possibly Heaven’s Gate, although at least Powell wasn’t blamed for the perceived ruin of a whole studio. Dilys Powell of The Sunday Times described Peeping Tom as “essentially vicious”. It seemed the director was wilfully flaunting a daring approach, horror as complicit voyeurism, […]

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A Quantum Leap: Bond’s First Sequel

“There’s something horribly efficient about you.” Camille’s words to James Bond could apply equally to the film Quantum Of Solace, a quantum leap of sorts for the Bond series – the first direct sequel, and a film some say suffered from hyper-kinetic editing and the bad timing of the writer’s strike. Praise was muted, but […]

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Short Film: To Lose Control

Marty Stalker is a former Royal Marine turned film director. Liverpool born and now based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he has  previously directed short films, documentaries, music videos and several TV commercials for both UK and US television. To lose Control, his latest short film, is something of a personal project for the director – […]

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Welcome to the Machine – Alien 3

Studio interference is not a new phenomenon. Studio suits have always thought they know better than the creative people they hire, which is like hiring a grandmother to suck some of your eggs, but then insisting you show her how it is done. They regard the idea of trusting a creative talent with their money […]

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First Glimpse of the Magic Hour: A Beginner’s Look at Malick’s Days of Heaven

Amidst the great depression, a young man named Bill (Richard Gere) kills the foreman of his factory during an angry spat, and runs from Chicago with his young sister Linda (Linda Manz), and his lover Abby (Brooke Adams), also posing as a sister of his so as to allay the puritan suspicions of the time. […]

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