2016 in Screencaps: Breathless (1983)

2016 in Screencaps is me capturing the most striking images from the movies I watch this year. Mostly older movies watched on a small(ish) screen.

Nope, not Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 classic, but the 80s remake from Jim ‘The Big Easy’ McBride, starring Richard Gere.

Again, one of Tarantino’s favourites, and you can see the influences: artificially vivid skies, rockabilly soundtrack, The Silver Surfer, some talk of women’s toes being very important… Gere is on full throttle for the whole thing but you find yourself rooting for the manic, murderous Jesse Lujack; and Monica Poiccard, despite not being the greatest acting talent in the world, is captivating (might have to go and track down La Femme Publique now).

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2016 in Screencaps: Unfaithfully Yours (1948)

2016 in Screencaps is me capturing the most striking images from the movies I watch this year. Mostly older movies watched on a small(ish) screen.

Definitely the strangest of the films I’ve watched in 2016 thanks to it’s plot: an orchestra conductor discovers his wife is cheating on him and fantasises about murdering her while conducting a symphony… and it’s a screwball comedy.

If you can get past the sinister set up it’s actually pretty enjoyable, partly because it’s so damn campy (especially Rex Harrison’s plummy, pretentious Sir Alfred De Carter) but partly because Preston Sturges’s screenplay zings along. It’s nowhere close to His Girl Friday and the final slapstick segment doesn’t really work (he can’t murder his wife because he so darn clumsy!), but the whole thing glows and crackles with a pace you rarely get in modern cinema.

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2016 in Screencaps: Where Eagles Dare (1968)

2016 in Screencaps is me capturing the most striking images from the movies I watch this year. Mostly older movies watched on a small(ish) screen.

Of all the ‘classic’ films I’ve watched so far this year this is probably the one I’ve enjoyed the least.

It’s not a bad film, but for something that’s so regularly lauded it felt overlong and a little hokey. Of course it has the exceptional cable car scene, not to mention “Broadsword calling Danny Boy”, and Clint’s performance is great (much better than Burton for me).

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2016 in Screencaps: His Girl Friday (1940)

2016 in Screencaps is me capturing the most striking images from the movies I watch this year. Mostly older movies watched on a small(ish) screen.

From one Howard Hawks classic, to another. A classic screwball comedy with dialogue snappier than a rubber band and classy performances from ‘ace reporters’ Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. It was hard not to take screenshots of pretty much every scene. It’s based on a play so the whole thing largely takes place in two rooms, but you hardly notice thanks to the gorgeous lighting and framing. It’s actually hard to watch more modern films after something so beautifully put together as this (those up-in-the-corner shots of the gallows and the jail cell!).

Lots of smoking. Lots of hats. Lots of phones. Gorgeous shadows. Overlapping dialogue.

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2016 in Screencaps: Rio Bravo (1959)

2016 in Screencaps is me capturing the most striking images from the movies I watch this year. Mostly older movies watched on a small(ish) screen.

Still going down the Tarantino rabbit hole. This is one of QT’s favourite ‘hang out’ movies, i.e. it’s a film where you ‘hang out’ with the characters.

Not what I was expecting at all. Doesn’t feel like a classic western, despite the setting and the presence of John Wayne. It’s more of a frothy buddy movie with a element of romance and the occasional burst of bloody violence (as well as a musical segment with Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson).

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2016 in Screencaps: Rolling Thunder (1977)

2016 in Screencaps is me capturing the most striking images from the movies I watch this year. Mostly older movies watched on a small(ish) screen.

Another Tarantino favourite (he named his short-lived distribution company after it), this is a classic 70s revenge flick that’s worth a watch if only for the insanely young Tommy Lee Jones. It’s a cut above pulpy grindhouse thanks to the Paul Schrader screenplay and William Devane’s performance as damaged ‘Nam veteran Major Charles Rane.

Dark in every sense. Sawn off shotguns. Sharpened claw hands. Minimal dialogue.

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2016 in Screencaps: Jackie Brown (1997)

2016 in Screencaps is me capturing the most striking images from the movies I watch this year. Mostly older movies watched on a small(ish) screen.

On a bit of a Tarantino tear at the moment, post-Hateful Eight. As I was reading all the features and reviews for Hateful Eight I kept seeing references to Jackie Brown being QT’s best/most accomplished/underrated film; and I hadn’t seen it in a while (how was this released 19 years ago?!), so I thought I’d go back and revisit it.

Lots of blues and greens. Bridget Fonda’s toes. Sam Jackson’s hair. A great soundtrack. The inevitable car boot shot. No Red Apple cigarettes as far as I can see.

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2016 in Screencaps: The Driver (1978)

2016 in Screencaps is me capturing the most striking images from the movies I watch this year. Mostly older movies watched on a small(ish) screen.

The Driver is a criminal versus cop thriller starring Ryan O’Neal and Bruce Dern (I was prompted to watch this after seeing Bruce Dern in The Hateful Eight). It’s written and directed by Walter Hill of The Getaway and The Warriors, he also directed some episodes of Deadwood.

There’s more screeching car tyres than there is dialogue, it has characters called Fingers, Split and Frizzy, and there’s a good few Michael Mann-ish cityscapes (come to think of it there’s quite a few Heat similarities).

And, yes, one of the actors in it is called Frank Bruno.

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Interesting and inspiring this week

Above, the beautiful video for the equally beautiful song by Low, Make it Stop. One of my favourite songs of the year so far, and one that (beware: unusual honesty ahead) I listened to a lot at the beginning of the year when I was going through a bit of a rough patch. Don’t know why I told you that, but there you go.

And talking of tough times (I’m a regular barrel of laughs this week aren’t I?) Riding motorcycles into storms, and other inefficient therapies is a terrific blog pot by Joel Johnson about the difference between running away from things and running into your future, no matter how terrifying that might be.

In this article for the NY Times David Carr writes an obituary for the ‘media bundle’. I know that sound a bit dull but trust me, it’s not. It’s about how digital audiences are destroying traditional, inefficient business models and what that means for the future of media content.

This i09 post is about fans of The Hunger Games discovering info about the next film by looking at the sets via Google Earth. I’m not a Hunger Games fan (hard to believe, I know), but put that next to the fact that in the past week various fans of Daft Punk have been creating ‘false’ versions of their new single by editing together snippets from around the Web, and there is definitely something interesting there about fanaticism, technology and hype… I’m just not entirely sure what it is yet.

Finally this week: Takashi Murakami is a mad genius, and his new film looks equally bonkers.

Interesting and inspiring this week

A friend recommended the documentary Marwencol to me a few months ago (I tend to ask most people what their favourite documentaries are to see what kind of person they are and to get some good recommendations). So for a few weeks I just had the word ‘Marwencol’ written down somewhere and no idea what it referred to. And then I remembered, found it, watched it and fell in love. I’m not going to say much about it because I don’t want to spoil it (I’d even say maybe don’t watch the trailer), suffice to say it’s touching, funny and fascinating in equal measure.

Another documentary that I’m dying to see, but which isn’t out yet is the Ricky Jay documentary Deceptive Practice. I remember seeing Ricky Jay (alongside people like David Berglas and James RAndi) for the first time on a late night Channel 4 programme The Secret Cabaret when I was a kid and he made a massive impression on me then, and still does. Watch the trailer to find out why.

Every now and again FACT magazine upload old articles from their ink and paper day to their website. The latest is their Essential Arthur Russell feature. Really good stuff.

Just so you know, The Walking Dead and Toy Story are essentially the same story.