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Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film

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September Movie Quiz [Sep. 28th, 2006|12:49 pm]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film
Mail your answers to: AlisonOrDieTrying@gmail.com for the results. Good luck!

1. Recently a Japanese epic from 1954 was digitally remastered. What was it?

2. Laurence Olivier was once considered for the role in this often quoted 1963 Italian movie. It is commonly confused with a 1986 Mickey Rourke film.

3. This 1951 archetypal film noir has an additional scene in the American version that was omitted from the original British version. Also, it was largely edited in its German release due to sadistic qualities.

4. This 1944 thriller led to its title joining the English lexicon with a rudimentary meaning of: to dupe. This movie also featured the premiere of one of TV's favorite sleuths.

5. Directed by a cinema iconoclast who died in 1991, this 1934 highly-beloved movie tells the story of a sassy socialite who falls in love with a plucky reporter while on the lam from her controlling magnate father.

6. This sandy 1953 movie based on the James Jones novel, includes one of the most infamous love scenes of the silver screen.

7. Largely based on the feel, and loosely based on the plot of a graphic novel, this 2001 film features a heroine whose full name is an anagram of the novelist's own name.

8. This 2001 Spanish historical supernatural drama was in development for 16 years, but is the director's favorite movie in his oeuvre.

9. This 1972 classic thriller features perhaps the greatest chase scene of all time. The movie's two leads married the next year.

10. This 1988 movie is set in Baltimore, and is centered around the community's local dance show. The movie has been adapted for the stage with great success, and is now being remade into a new movie, bringing back the director and one of the stars (but will act in a different role) from the original.

Bonus - double points: This movie is directed by a son in a famous Hollywood family. The dad stars in the movie. The director's daughter (and actor's granddaughter) is also a famous actress, and all 3 are Oscar winners. In fact, they are the first family for all 3 generations to receive Oscars. Who are they, and what was the 1948 movie in which the son directed and the dad starred in?

(FYI - The 2nd family to do this was the Coppolas: Carmine, Francis Ford, and Sofia. Also nephew Nicolas Cage).
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Review: The Illusionist. [Sep. 3rd, 2006|04:30 am]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film
14/15 stars.

Relatively spoiler-free review.

I am predicting a new Renaissance in cinema! A return to the ideallic film rudiments of years past. Glorious storytelling, fantastic characterization, focus on compelling plotlines rather than special effects. Oscar Season 2006 has rolled in with a bang already, mah friends.

Ever feel like you were born in the wrong time period? Don't get me wrong. I enjoy A/C and the gradual abolishment of mandatory gender roles (in this country anyway). Yet, I've always had a penchant for period pieces, and this is no exception. 1900 Vienna sets the stage ripe for enigma and intrigue, while adding a brooding sense of urgency to our tale of a magician with a mission.

The girly side of me love love loved the romantic subplot. You'd be surprised what magnitude of chemistry Jessica Biel and Edward Norton could manifest. Mortifyingly, I think I squealed at a few parts. Gah.

Rufus Sewell amazingly plays a villain. I was quite incredulous that Sewell could put himself into this role. It's not like he has a lot of film experience playing the antagonist or anything. Actually, I went to IMDb to count how many films I've seen him in where has plays the antihero, and I counted at least six. Although I will note he was the protagonist in Dark City, a most excellent pre-Matrix "Are We or Aren't We?" flick.

Paul Giamatti is one of the finest actors today. His versatility is profanity-inducing. And that Ed Norton kid ain't so bad himself either.

Guys will like this movie. I was part of a mixed-gender triumvirate, and everyone was baffled at how much they enjoyed this relatively violence-lite romp.

The Illusionist boasts the best ending I've ever seen in a movie. Ever. I've seen endings of thousands of movies, and this is my favorite. After the movie, my triumvirate sat in our seats saying "Wow." and "That was incredible." until the credits ended. It was almost an experience that would evoke smokin a 100 afterward.

Go see it unless magicians bore you. This is a great movie that shouldn't be missed.
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