2014: A Year of Moviegoing

2014, like any year prior to it, was a magnificent year for moviegoing. Granted, there were the duds, the sequels, the franchises and once again, a Michael Bay Transformers movie took the number one spot at the box office, but they pale in comparison to the slew of inventive, creative and original movies that found their way on to screens big and small. Depending on who you read, there were somewhere between 600 and 900 movies released in 2014. Certainly no shortage of options for adventurous moviegoers. Of those 600 to 900 new releases, I clocked in with 200 (an arbitrary goal I set for myself last January, … Continue reading 2014: A Year of Moviegoing

Born On This Day – December 30, 1906

“They’re all disappointments in the end. You only see the things you wish you had done. In the theatre you can take a play and then change it on tour or cut it down, but once you have finished a film and shown it, that’s it… No, I have no favourites.” “Following the picture through to the last detail is critical, terribly important. You know, not enough directors are willing to do this. They are too eager to run off and play in the south of France – they want their money fast and easy. As soon as shooting is … Continue reading Born On This Day – December 30, 1906

Born On This Day – December 18, 1904

“I just knew that if you engaged the audience with a promise that something would develop, you were in business. If not, you had to contrive automatic ridiculousness continuously. Comedy, in this sense, is all about preparation. Things have to be arranged and set up – cause and effect – and if the cause is apparent to the audience, they’ll stick with it until their sagacity is rewarded. It’s their intelligence that foresees things, while the comic character doesn’t.” –George Stevens Continue reading Born On This Day – December 18, 1904

Born On This Day – December 12, 1903

“I follow the general fashion in ordinary manners and moral laws in serious matters, but in art I follow myself. Therefore I won’t do anything I don’t want to do. Even if something is unnatural and I like it, I’ll do it. I don’t particularly approve of myself for this, and I know it isn’t reasonable; nonetheless, there it is. From this comes my individuality—and this is most important to me… Although I may seem the same to other people, to me each thing I produce is a new expression, and I always make each work from a new interest. … Continue reading Born On This Day – December 12, 1903

Born On This Day – December 9, 1929

“I’m taking a gamble making the film. I don’t have any money. I just go to the bank and borrow it. And hope. But what isn’t risky about movies? It’s always risky when it’s original… It’s a very dangerous territory to be in where you can only make a film if your grosses reflect a large gross. I’ve been making films for twenty-five years and none of them has really made a lot of money. But there’s nobody in the world who can tell me we didn’t succeed. And that’s the greatest feeling that I’ve ever had in my life.” … Continue reading Born On This Day – December 9, 1929

Born On This Day – December 8, 1861

“The camera I was using in the beginning, a rudimentary affair in which the film would tear or would often refuse to move, produced an unexpected effect one day when I was photographing very prosaically the Place de l’Opera. It took a minute to release the film and get the camera going again. During this minute the people, buses vehicles had of course moved. Projecting the film, having joined the break, I suddenly saw a Madeleine-Bastille omnibus change into a hearse and men into women. The trick of substitution, called the trick of stop-action was discovered…” –Georges Méliès Continue reading Born On This Day – December 8, 1861

Born On This Day – December 5, 1902

“I think that a film should have a good story, a clear story, and it should have, if possible, something which is probably the most difficult thing – it should have a little bit of magic. Magic being untouchable and very difficult to cast, you can’t deal with it at all. You can only try to prepare some nests, hoping that a little bit of magic will slide into them.” –Emeric Pressburger Continue reading Born On This Day – December 5, 1902