Menu

GO OUT AND SEE ‘GET OUT’

Now that we’ve wrung the best of 2016 dry, it’s time to move on—and Get Out is just what the doctor ordered: a smart, bracing, original piece of work that marks Jordan Peele’s feature directing debut. (He also wrote the screenplay but it’s not his first; he shared credit for last year’s Keanu.) I hadn’t seen the trailer or read a single word about Get Out when my daughter and son-in-law insisted Alice and I join them for a showing. That clean slate made the movie’s unfolding surprises especially potent–and I’m not about to spoil the experience for anyone else. Rising star Daniel Kaluuya plays a successful photographer who leaves the city with his girlfriend (Allison Williams) to meet her family for the first time at…

Read More…

I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE

We’ve all experienced the slings and arrows of modern life: rude or thoughtless actions by strangers we encounter that make us angry. The character played by Melanie Lynskey in I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore is having one of those days when the slights and insults reach a tipping point. When her house is robbed and the police don’t seem to care, she enlists the help of an oddball neighbor (Elijah Wood) and together they embark on a journey to hell and back in the name of setting things right. In his directorial debut, actor and writer Macon Blair (Blue Ruin) manages to orchestrate the crescendo of increasingly bizarre incidents so they somehow make sense. His film is well-cast and well made,…

Read More…

MOVIE ADS FOR ‘CITIZEN KANE’, HOLLYWOOD CANDIDS AND MORE

I am a sucker for old movie ads, so the new book The Art of Selling Movies (GoodKnight Press) is manna from heaven as far as I’m concerned. What makes it more than a mere compendium of clippings is the knowledge and lifelong passion of its author, John McElwee. He assembled his first scrapbook of newspaper ads when he was in kindergarten! John understands the significance of these ads, the varied purposes they served, and the targeted audiences they hoped to reach. After all these years he has become more of a curator than a collector and we are the beneficiaries. It’s one thing to read that Citizen Kane wound up sharing double-bills with tacky B movies (albeit with “Nothing deleted! Nothing changed!”) but the impact…

Read More…

‘MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI’ IS A MUST-SEE

I can’t remember the last time I fell in love with a movie the way I did with My Life as a Zucchini. I’d heard it was charming and different from most American animated features, which is true, but I wasn’t prepared to be so moved. I was also charmed by the whimsical look of the picture, which features clay-like stop-motion figures and sets that might have been designed by a highly creative child. Director Claude Barras has artfully fused form and content to create a disarming and wholly original work. The film introduces us to a group of troubled children whose broken lives have led them to an orphanage where they must learn to get along together. Our 9-year-old hero has to deal with…

Read More…

A FAMILIAR NAME RETURNS TO THE SCENE

Laurel and Hardy are back on DVD, along with Edgar Kennedy, Snub Pollard, and other silent-comedy favorites, and we have Kit Parker to thank for it. If you rented 16mm films in the 1970s and 80s for your school, library, or film society you probably dealt with Kit Parker Films. Chances are equally good that you enjoyed the experience, as Kit loved what he did and tried to hire people who cared about movies. His catalog was ornamented with drawings by his father Al, one of the finest and most distinctive illustrators of the 20th century. The 16mm rental business imploded some years ago, but Kit has never really left the scene. He has been actively involved in video and DVD releases, mining the Lippert…

Read More…

KEDI: A NEW PERSPECTIVE

Kedi is all about cats, but it bears no relation to those stunt videos that go viral online or an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos. This disarming documentary explores the lives of seven felines who inhabit the streets of Istanbul and the humans who care for them. Filmmaker Ceyda Torun doesn’t anthropomorphize her stars or (to the best of my knowledge) manipulate the footage she has shot, much of it from a cat’s-eye level. In tracing the way these animals have insinuated themselves into the lives of the men and women who care for them, Torun tells us a lot about the individuals—and the human species overall. The participants include a fisherman, an artist, a restaurateur, and a fruit vendor. They speak openly and…

Read More…

JOSEF VON STERNBERG’S SALVATION

It’s a cultural crime that several of Josef von Sternberg’s films no longer exist. We shouldn’t be cheated out of seeing anything created by the artist responsible for The Blue Angel, Morocco, and The Last Command. Fortunately, one rarity has been saved and is now available on DVD through the Austrian Film Museum. The Salvation Hunters (1925) was preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive (with funding from the Stanford Theatre Foundation) and proved to be a real eye-opener when it was first screened in 2009. It was Sternberg’s first film—although hardly his first experience behind the camera—made independently on a shoestring. It remains as daring and unusual today as it must have seemed ninety years ago. The Salvation Hunters is a poetic parable…

Read More…

VALENTINES DIRECT FROM HOLLYWOOD

It’s been a while since I pinned some pin-ups on this page. Valentine’s Day seems as good a time as any to revisit these appealing, sometimes cheesy cheesecake photos. If you’re new to my website you may not have seen my holiday pictures before, so here’s a bit of backstory: from the silent days right through the 1960s, movie studio publicity departments kept their contract players busy posing for holiday-themed photos, because local newspapers and national magazines loved to publish them—not only promoting the starlets but their upcoming films as well. Here are some poses I haven’t run before, along with a few old favorites. Happy Valentine’s Day! Nancy Carroll was Paramount’s resident sweetheart during the early talkie era in films like Follow Thru, Honey,…

Read More…

LAND OF MINE: TIMELESS AND EXPLOSIVE

Even though seventy years have passed, compelling stories from World War II and its aftermath keep surfacing onscreen. Land of Mine is a fictional film inspired by an inherently dramatic real-life situation: during their occupation the Nazis planted more than two million land mines along the coast of Denmark. At war’s end, the Danish commandeered young German POWs to remove and defuse these mines. The film focuses on one man, a sergeant (Roland Møller) who despises the Germans for what they did to his country during their five-year stay. He is placed in charge of a squadron who live in near-squalor near an enormous beach where, it’s estimated, it will take three months of nerve-shattering work to rid the area of mines. In time he…

Read More…

THE MAKING OF HIGH NOON

The subtitle of Glenn Frankel’s new book, published by Bloomsbury, is The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic. That’s because the two subjects are inexorably intertwined. High Noon is also one of those successful ventures for which many people were eager to take credit. (I learned this first-hand when I coproduced and hosted a video documentary about the film in the early 1990s and interviewed many of its collaborators.) Frankel, who wrote a superb book about John Ford’s The Searchers (see my original review below) has done his homework, which necessitated casting a wide net. You can’t discuss the making of High Noon without tracing the birth and evolution of Stanley Kramer’s independent production company in the late 1940s, and you can’t…

Read More…

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

PODCAST

 photo MALTIN_ON_NOVIES_AD2_zpsboz6pvfm.png

PAST MALTIN ON MOVIES PODCASTS

APPEARANCES/BOOKING

 photo MALTIN_APPEARANCESON_NOVIES_AD_v2_zpscy41sntv.png

CALENDAR

April 2017
S M T W T F S
« Mar    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30