2016 in Screencaps: The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)

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.

TLaToJRB (as I like to call it) is a weird one. A John Huston western starring Paul Newman at the height of his post-Butch Cassidy, pre-The Sting years, it tells the semi-comic, semi-tragic story of an eccentric, self-appointed frontier lawman (loosely based on a real character).

But Butch and Sundance this isn’t (despite the schmaltzy Andy Williams musical number that’s shoe-horned into the middle of it). Which isn’t to say it’s not good, it just has a very peculiar pace and tone that tries to draw you in over its two hours running time. And, if you let yourself be drawn, then by the end you might find yourself enchanted by drunken grizzly bears and yearning for a wild west full of hangings, whorehouses and albino psychopaths.

Best thing in the film (apart from Jacqueline Bisset as a shotgun-weilding, flapper outlaw) is Anthony Perkins as the preacher LaSalle. Unfortunately he’s in it for all of five minutes.

N.B. Apparently the screenplay was written with Lee Marvin in mind as the judge, but Marvin fell asleep while reading the script (drunk) and his co-star Paul Newman found it, read it, loved it and petitioned for the part.

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Interesting and inspiring from week beginning 13 June, 2016

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(Yes, this is back… we’ll see how long it lasts)

The AV Club (maybe my favourite publication on the Web?) has a fantastic appreciation of Walter Hill’s brilliant 1978 film, The Driver, which I featured in my ‘2016 in Screencaps’ series a few months ago. I like the description of it as “a low-budget American action movie [that’s] chilly and artful and existential without sacrificing badassery.”

Not strictly this week (I was away for a week in NY for my 40th birthday) but definitely worth mentioning: I saw the documentary Life Animated at Sundance London and was blown away. It’s the story of a young autistic man who was unable to speak as a child until he discovered a way to communicate through classic Disney films. Even if you don’t like Disney, you’ll love this. Its out in cinemas in the UK in December.

Having been in the States for a week and seen all the Clinton/Trump mania first hand, it was refreshing to read this long interview with the genius that is Louis C.K. in which he calls the Republican nomineee “a bigot with a hole in his heart.”

And another NYC -related thing: a great piece from Resident Advisor exploring how gentrification is shaping the city’s dance music scene.

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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