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December 19, 2011

In the Blogosphere – 2011 Year-End Compilation

by HELEN GEIB

Year-end compilation of the monthly blog posts recommendations.

BETH LOVES BOLLYWOOD

Beth Loves Bollywood on Naag Lok: “Snake films are woefully lacking in my repertoire, but so strong are many of the key snaky elements here that even only having seen Nagin and Sheshnaag, I was easily able to recognize its fabulousnesssssss.” (more)

Beth Loves Bollywood processes her thoughts on Ra.One in a conversation with her SRK action figure

THE BIOSCOPE

Commentary Track favorite The Bioscope reports on the films that recorded the 1910 “siege of Sidney Street” in London

The Bioscope on Mr. Bean and modern silent comedy

The Bioscope on The Soldier’s Courtship: “However, the film has never been entirely lost, nor is it (arguably) the first British fiction film. Let us examine the history.” (more)

“When silents were silent” at The Bioscope

The Bioscope on the best silent cinema DVD/Blu-ray releases of 2011

THE BLUE VIAL

The Blue Vial examines the place of The Shamrock Handicap (1926) in John Ford’s filmography

“Walsh & Wind” at The Blue Vial

CANNELTON CRITIC

On Drive

THE COOLER

The Cooler examines Morgan Spurlock’s latest doc in “On the Money: POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

“Infamous & Elusive: The True Story of Jesse James” at The Cooler

On Drive

FERDY ON FILMS

Ferdy on Film’s loving appreciation should move even the steeliest-eyed skeptic to give Big Trouble in Little China a second chance

Ferdy on Films makes the case for Michael Mann’s Miami Vice as contemporary noir in this contribution to the film noir blogathon

Ferdy on Films reviews the recently rediscovered Ford silent Upstream (1927)

Review of Tony Richardson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968) at Ferdy on Films

Roderick Heath at Ferdy on Films on Jaws (1975)

FROM THE FRONT ROW

From the Front Row reviews Richard Press’ documentary Bill Cunningham New York (2011)

THE FURIOUS D SHOW

The Furious D Show presents “Studio Notes for Classic Novels” (here’s a sample, and it was hard to pick just one: “To. R. Bradbury. Re. Fahrenheit 451. Does he have to burn books? Magazines make better product placement opportunities.”)

“Can a star price himself out of stardom?” The Furious D Show has the answer

GATEWAY CINEPHILES

This beautifully written review of True Grit at Gateway Cinephiles situates the Coen brothers’ latest within the Western genre and their own body of work

Gateway Cinephile’s review of Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff (2011) made me wish it was playing closer than Chicago

On Drive

GETAFILM

The essay “Playing with the Truth” at Getafilm considers the intersection of reality and dramatization in five recent films “based on true events”

HERO COMPLEX

“Fleischers’ Superman at 70 – the best on-screen Man of Steel?” at Hero Complex

Hero Complex’s holiday gift guide

KINNEMANIAC

Kinnemaniac takes an appreciative second look at Black Swan

THE LADY EVE’S REEL LIFE

The Lady Eve’s Reel Life on Casablanca with the San Francisco Symphony: “Mr. Francis entered, stepped to the podium, picked up his baton, glanced into a small monitor next to his sheet music and in a moment the hall reverberated with those oh-so-familiar notes that herald the start of a Warner Bros. picture.” (more)

LOVE HK FILM

Love HK Film published its annual “best of Hong Kong cinema” nominations

Those interested in Chinese politics and history will want to read Love HK Film’s review of the party’s new star-studded propaganda film Beginning of the Great Revival (2011)

MONDO 70: A WILD WORLD OF CINEMA

MONDO 70: A Wild World of Cinema examines The Illusionist (2010) as “a film by” Jacques Tati

MONDO 70: A Wild World of Cinema looks approvingly at William Wellman’s psychological Western Track of the Cat (1954)

On Cave of Forgotten Dreams: “Herzog puts on a good show, but all his formidable bluster can’t cover the fact that, once he’d heard about the alligators, he just had to have them in his movie about cave paintings, and he’d figure out a way to explain their inclusion later.” (more)

MONDO 70: A Wide World of Cinema reviews the unjustly obscure Japanese epic Samurai Banners

On Drive

MOVIE CLASSICS

Movie Classics appreciates John Barrymore’s performance in William Wyler’s pre-Code Counsellor at Law (1933)

THE MOVIE PROJECTOR

The Movie Projector surveys the five Westerns that make up “The Budd Boetticher Collection”

Praise for Edward G. Robinson in The Movie Projector’s review of The Red House (1947)

Review of The Tree of Life by the Movie Projector

NOIR OF THE WEEK

Odds Against Tomorrow (1959) review at Noir of the Week

On Drive (2011)

OBSERVATIONS ON FILM ART AND film art

David Bordwell announced the e-publication of Planet Hong Kong 2d edition in a post listing 25 essential Hong Kong films, the first of several posts celebrating the cinema

The one on “principles of HK action cinema” is required reading for action movie aficionados

Also over at Observations on film art, Kristin Thompson summarizes the case against 3D’s commercial viability (part two)

Set aside ten minutes to read David Bordwell’s insightful essay at his blog Observations on film art on the different ways we read movies

At Observations on film art and FILM ART, typically insightful and lavishly illustrated essays by David Bordwell on scenic density- “an approach to staging, shooting, and cutting in which selected details or areas change their status in the course of the action”- and “multiple-draft replays, in which the second version significantly alters the first”

ONLY THE CINEMA

Review of Steven Spielberg’s film debut Duel at Only the Cinema

Insightful review of Underworld at Only the Cinema

Review of Yasujiro Ozu’s Passing Fancy (1933) at Only the Cinema

Only the Cinema’s insightful review of Wong Kar-Wai’s Happy Together (1997)

RADIATOR HEAVEN

Radiator Heaven on Something Wild (1986)

Radiator Heaven mounts a spirited defense of Tony Scott’s Domino (2005)

SCANNERS

On Drive

SHADOWS AND SATIN

Shadows and Satin picks 10 lesser known film noir gems

SILENT VOLUME

Silent Volume on Hot Water (1924) and Harold Lloyd’s comic genius

Reflections on Lon Chaney’s face and watching silents in silence in Silent Volume’s review of The Unholy Three (1925)

Silent Volume brings a new perspective to the Lumiere’s iconic Arrival of a Train

THIS ISLAND ROD

This Island Rod’s review of Howard Hughes’ infamous Genghis Khan “epic” The Conqueror (1956) confirms all the bad things you’ve ever heard about the movie

This Island Rod on The Viking Queen (1967): “Rather than wishing the film played straighter, I couldn’t help but wish some real nutcase had directed this, and turned it into a freeform exercise in ahistorical comic book madness.” (more)

WONDERS IN THE DARK

A top-50 film noir countdown at Wonders in the Dark

Three from the “Top 70 Musical Countdown” at Wonders in the Dark: reviews of Astaire and Rogers’ top two, Swing Time (1936) and Top Hat (1935), and a review with video essay for 42nd Street (1933)

MISCELLANEOUS

Departing briefly from the blogosphere: This LA Times article on the hard times for arthouse distribution in Los Angeles is cold comfort for those of us who regularly lament how much worse it is here than there

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