Pretty Baby (1978 film)
Pretty Baby is a 1978 American historical drama film directed by Louis Malle, starring Brooke Shields, Keith Carradine, Susan Sarandon. The screenplay was written by Polly Platt; the plot focuses on a 12-year-old prostitute in the red-light district of New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century. The title of the film is inspired by the Tony Jackson song, "Pretty Baby", used in the soundtrack. Although the film was praised by critics, it caused significant controversy due to its depiction of child prostitution and the nude scenes of Brooke Shields, 12 years old. In 1917, during the last months of legal prostitution in Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans, Hattie is a prostitute working at an elegant brothel run by the elderly, cocaine-sniffing Madame Nell. Hattie has given birth to a baby boy and has a 12-year-old daughter, who lives in the house; when photographer Ernest J. Bellocq comes with his camera and Violet are the only people awake, he asks to be allowed to take photographs of the women.
Madame Nell agrees. Bellocq becomes a fixture in the brothel, photographing the prostitutes Hattie, his activities fascinate Violet, though she believes he is falling in love with her mother, which makes her jealous. Violet is a restless child, frustrated by the long, precise process Bellocq must go through to pose and take pictures. Nell decides. After a bidding war among regulars, Violet is bought by an quiet customer; this first sexual experience is unpleasant. Hattie, aspires to escape prostitution, she marries a customer and leaves for St. Louis without her daughter, whom her husband believes to be her sister. Hattie promises to return for Violet, once she has broken the news to the new spouse. Violet runs away from the brothel after being punished for some hijinks, she asks him if he will sleep with her and take care of her. He says no, but the two become lovers. In some ways, their relationship resembles one between a parent and child, with Bellocq standing in for Violet's absent mother. Bellocq buys Violet a doll, telling her that "every child should have a doll".
Bellocq is entranced by Violet’s beauty and photogenic face. She is frustrated by Bellocq’s devotion to his photography, as much as he is frustrated by her lack of maturity and endless tantrums. Violet returns to Nell’s after quarreling with Bellocq, but social reform groups are forcing the brothels of Storyville to close. Bellocq arrives to wed Violet, ostensibly to protect her from the larger world. Two weeks after the wedding and her husband arrive from St. Louis to collect Violet, claiming that her marriage is illegal without their consent. Bellocq does not want to let Violet go. Violet asks if he will go with her family. Upon hearing that she does in fact want to go with them, he lets her leave without him, realizing that schooling and a more conventional life will benefit her greatly. ABC Records released a soundtrack of the film's ragtime score, nominated for an Academy Award for Original Music Score in the "Adaptation Score" category. Pretty Baby received an R rating in the United States, an X rating in the United Kingdom, an R18+ rating in Australia, for nudity and sexual content.
Continuing controversy over Shields' nude scenes resulted in the film being banned in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan until it was repealed in 1995. Gossip columnist Rona Barrett called the film "child pornography", director Louis Malle was portrayed as a "combination of Lolita's Humbert Humbert and controversial director Roman Polanski". In addition to the issue of child prostitution, the scenes involving a nude 12-year-old Brooke Shields were controversial; the BBFC censored two scenes for the film's cinema release in the UK to remove nudity, but the uncut version was released on DVD in 2006. This same uncut print is the basis of the Region 1 and Region 2 DVD editions worldwide. Pretty Baby earned $5.8 million in the United States. The film received positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 74% of 23 critics had given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 6.9 out of 10. The issues of prostitution and child pornography were not far from critics' thoughts.
In his New York Times review Vincent Canby wrote: "Mr. Malle, the French director... has made some controversial films in his time but none, I suspect, to upset convention quite as much as this one – and for the wrong reasons. Though the setting is a whorehouse, the lens through which we see everything is Violet, who... herself becomes one of Nell's chief attractions, Pretty Baby is neither about child prostitution nor is it pornographic." Canby ended his review with the claim that Pretty Baby is "... the most imaginative, most intelligent, most original film of the year to date."Similarly, Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert, who gave the film three stars out of four, discussed how "... Pretty Baby has been attacked in some quarters as child porn. It's not. It's an evocation of a time and a place and a sad chapter of Americana." He praised Shields' performance, writing that she "... creates a character here. Mountain Xpress critic Ken Hanke, looking at the film from the perspective of 2003, said of Pretty Baby: "It was once shocking and dull.
Now it's just dull." The film won the Technical Grand Prize at the 1978 Cannes Film
The Player (film)
The Player is a 1992 American satirical black comedy film directed by Robert Altman and written by Michael Tolkin, based on his own 1988 novel of the same name. The film stars Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Gallagher, Brion James, Cynthia Stevenson and is the story of a Hollywood film studio executive who murders an aspiring screenwriter he believes is sending him death threats; the Player has many film references and Hollywood in-jokes, with 65 celebrities making cameo appearances in the film. Altman once stated that the film "is a mild satire," offending no one; the film received three nominations at the 65th Academy Awards: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing. The film won two Golden Globes, Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and Best Actor – Comedy or Musical for Robbins. Griffin Mill is a Hollywood studio executive dating story editor Bonnie Sherow, he hears story pitches from screenwriters and decides which have the potential to be made into films, green-lighting only 12 out of 50,000 submissions every year.
His job is threatened. Mill has been receiving death threat postcards, assumed to be from a screenwriter whose pitch he rejected. Mill surmises. Mill is told by June Gudmundsdottir that Kahane is at a theater in Pasadena. Mill pretends to recognize Kahane in the lobby, offers him a scriptwriting deal, hoping this will stop the threats; the two go to a nearby bar where Kahane rebuffs Mill's offer. In the bar's parking lot, the two men fight. Mill goes too far and accidentally drowns Kahane in a shallow pool of water stages the crime to make it look like a botched robbery; the next day, after Mill is late for and distracted at a meeting, Studio chief of security Walter Stuckel confronts him about the murder and says that the police know that he was the last one to see Kahane alive. At the end of their conversation Mill receives a fax from his stalker. Thus, Mill has killed the wrong man, the stalker knows this. Mill gets into conversation with June. Detectives Avery and DeLongpre suspect. Mill receives a postcard from the writer suggesting.
While Mill is waiting, he is cornered by two screenwriters, Tom Oakley and Andy Sivella, who pitch Habeas Corpus, a legal drama featuring no major stars and with a depressing ending. Because Mill is not alone, his stalker does not appear. After leaving the club, Mill receives a fax in his car, he discovers a live rattlesnake in a box and, bludgeons it with his umbrella. Mill tells June. Apprehensive that Larry Levy continues encroaching on his job, Mill invites the two writers to pitch Habeas Corpus to him, convincing Levy that the movie will be an Oscar contender. Mill's plan is to have it flop. Mill will step in at the last moment, suggesting some changes to salvage the film's box office, letting him reclaim his position at the studio. Having persuaded Bonnie to leave for New York on studio business, Mill takes June to a Hollywood awards banquet and their relationship blossoms. After Bonnie confronts Mill about his relationship with June, Mill coldly severs their relationship in front of two writers.
Mill takes June to spa. In the middle of Mill and June making love, Mill confesses his role in Kahane's murder, June responds by saying she loves him. Mill's attorney informs him that studio head Joel Levison has been fired, that the Pasadena police want Mill to participate in a lineup. An eyewitness has come forward. One year studio power players are watching the end of Habeas Corpus with a new, tacked-on, upbeat Hollywood ending and famous actors in the lead roles. Mill's plan to save the movie has worked and he is head of the studio. June is now pregnant with his child. Bonnie is fired by Levy. Mill rebuffs her. Mill receives a pitch over a man who reveals himself as the postcard writer; the man pitches an idea about a studio executive who gets away with murder. Impressed, Mill gives the writer a deal, if he can guarantee a happy ending in which the executive lives with the writer's widow; the writer's title for the film is The Player. Altman had troubles with the Hollywood studio system in the 1970s after a number of studio films lost money or had trouble finding audiences despite the critical praise and cult adulation they received.
Altman continued to work outside the studios in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s doing small budget projects or filmed plays to keep his career alive. Although it was distributed by Fine Line Features rather than a major studio, The Player was a comeback to making films in Hollywood, it ushered in a new period of filmmaking for Altman, who continued on to an adaptation of Raymond Carver's short stories, Short Cuts. The opening sequence shot lasts 47 seconds without an edit. Fifteen takes were required to shoot this scene, according to the slate at the beginning of the shot, the ten
Citizen Kane is a 1941 American mystery drama film by Orson Welles, its producer, co-screenwriter and star. The picture was Welles's first feature film. Nominated for Academy Awards in nine categories, it won an Academy Award for Best Writing by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Welles. Considered by many critics and fans to be the greatest film made, Citizen Kane was voted as such in five consecutive British Film Institute Sight & Sound polls of critics, it topped the American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movies list in 1998, as well as its 2007 update. Citizen Kane is praised for Gregg Toland's cinematography, Robert Wise's editing, its music, its narrative structure, all of which have been considered innovative and precedent-setting; the quasi-biographical film examines the life and legacy of Charles Foster Kane, played by Welles, a character based in part upon the American newspaper magnates William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, Chicago tycoons Samuel Insull and Harold McCormick, aspects of the screenwriters' own lives.
Upon its release, Hearst prohibited mention of the film in any of his newspapers. Kane's career in the publishing world is born of idealistic social service, but evolves into a ruthless pursuit of power. Narrated principally through flashbacks, the story is told through the research of a newsreel reporter seeking to solve the mystery of the newspaper magnate's dying word: "Rosebud". After the Broadway successes of Welles's Mercury Theatre and the controversial 1938 radio broadcast "The War of the Worlds" on The Mercury Theatre on the Air, Welles was courted by Hollywood, he signed a contract with RKO Pictures in 1939. Unusually for an untried director, he was given the freedom to develop his own story, to use his own cast and crew, to have final cut privilege. Following two abortive attempts to get a project off the ground, he wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane, collaborating on the effort with Herman Mankiewicz. Principal photography took place in 1940 and the film received its American release in 1941.
While a critical success, Citizen Kane failed to recoup its costs at the box office. The film faded from view after its release, but was subsequently returned to the public's attention when it was praised by such French critics as André Bazin and given an American revival in 1956; the film was released on Blu-ray on September 2011, for a special 70th anniversary edition. In a mansion in Xanadu, a vast palatial estate in Florida, the elderly Charles Foster Kane is on his deathbed. Holding a snow globe, he utters a word, "Rosebud", dies. A newsreel obituary tells the life story of an enormously wealthy newspaper publisher. Kane's death becomes sensational news around the world, the newsreel's producer tasks reporter Jerry Thompson with discovering the meaning of "Rosebud". Thompson sets out to interview associates, he tries to approach Susan Alexander Kane, now an alcoholic who runs her own nightclub, but she refuses to talk to him. Thompson goes to the private archive of the late banker Walter Parks Thatcher.
Through Thatcher's written memoirs, Thompson learns that Kane's childhood began in poverty in Colorado. In 1871, after a gold mine is discovered on her property, Kane's mother Mary Kane sends Charles away to live with Thatcher so that he would be properly educated, it is implied that Kane's father could be violent towards his son and, another reason she wants to send him away. While Thatcher and Charles' parents discuss arrangements inside, the young Kane plays with a sled in the snow outside his parents' boarding-house and protests being sent to live with Thatcher. Furious at the prospect of exile from his own family to live with a man he does not know, the boy strikes Thatcher with his sled and attempts to run away. Years after gaining full control over his trust fund at the age of 25, Kane enters the newspaper business and embarks on a career of yellow journalism, he takes control of the New York Inquirer and starts publishing scandalous articles that attack Thatcher's business interests.
After the stock market crash in 1929, Kane is forced to sell controlling interest of his newspaper empire to Thatcher. Back in the present, Thompson interviews Mr. Bernstein. Bernstein recalls. Kane rose to power by manipulating public opinion regarding the Spanish–American War and marrying Emily Norton, the niece of a President of the United States. Thompson interviews Jedediah Leland, in a retirement home. Leland recalls how Kane's marriage to Emily disintegrates more and more over the years, he begins an affair with amateur singer Susan Alexander while he is running for Governor of New York. Both his wife and his political opponent discover the affair and the public scandal ends his political career. Leland asks to be transferred to a newspaper in Chicago. Kane marries Susan and forces her into a humiliating operatic career for which she has neither the talent nor the ambition building a large opera house for her. Leland begins to write a negative review of Susan's opera debut. Back in the present, Susan now consents to an interview with Thompson and recalls her failed opera career.
Kane allows her to abandon her singing career after she attempts suicide. After years spent dominated by Kane and living in isolation at Xanadu, Susan leaves Kane. Kane's butler Raymond recounts that, after Susan leaves him, Kane begins violently destroying the contents of her bedroom, he calms down when he sees a snow globe and says, "R
A Bug's Life
A Bug's Life is a 1998 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by John Lasseter and co-directed and written by Andrew Stanton, the film involves a misfit ant, looking for "tough warriors" to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers, only to recruit a group of bugs that turn out to be an inept circus troupe; the film stars the voices of Kevin Spacey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The film is inspired by the Grasshopper. Production began shortly after the release of Toy Story in 1995; the screenplay was penned by comedy writers Donald McEnery and Bob Shaw. The ants in the film were redesigned to be more appealing, Pixar's animation unit employed technical innovations in computer animation. During production, the filmmakers became embroiled in a public feud with DreamWorks Animation due to the production of their similar film Antz, released the same year. Randy Newman composed the music for the film; the film was released on November 25, 1998, was a box office success, surpassing competition and grossing $363 million in receipts.
It received positive reviews from film critics, who commended the storyline, witty dialogue and animation, while others unfavorably compared it to Antz. It was the first film to be digitally transferred frame-by-frame and released to DVD, has been released multiple times on home video. Ant Island is a colony of ants led by her daughter, Princess Atta; every season, they are forced to give food to a gang of marauding grasshoppers led by Hopper. One day, when Flik, an individualist and would-be inventor, inadvertently knocks the offering into a stream with his latest invention, a grain harvesting device, Hopper demands twice as much food as compensation; when Flik suggests in earnest that they seek help from other stronger bugs, the other ants see it as an opportunity to remove him and send him off. At the "bug city", a heap of trash under a trailer, Flik mistakes a troupe of Circus Bugs for the warrior bugs he seeks; the bugs, in turn, mistake Flik for a talent agent, accept his offer to travel with him back to Ant Island.
During a welcome ceremony upon their arrival, the Circus Bugs and Flik both discover their mutual misunderstandings. The Circus Bugs are attacked by a bird. At Flik's request, they continue the ruse of being "warriors", so the troupe can continue to enjoy the hospitality of the ants. Hearing that Hopper fears birds inspires Flik to create a false bird to scare away the grasshoppers. Meanwhile, Hopper tells his gang how the ants outnumber them and worries that they will rebel against them; the ants finish constructing the fake bird, but during a celebration, P. T. Flea arrives, searching for his troupe, inadvertently reveals their secret. Outraged by Flik's deception, the ants exile him, attempt to gather food for a new offering to the grasshoppers. However, when Hopper returns to discover the mediocre offering, he takes over the island, demands the ants' winter food supply, planning to assassinate the Queen afterwards. Overhearing the plan, Dot goes after Flik and the Circus Bugs to inform them, convincing them to return to Ant Island.
After the Circus Bugs distract the grasshoppers long enough to rescue the Queen, Flik deploys the bird. T. Flea, who mistakes it for a real bird, burns it, exposing it as a decoy. Hopper beats Flik in retaliation, saying that the ants are humble and lowly life forms who live to serve the grasshoppers. However, Flik responds that Hopper fears the colony, because he has always known what they are capable of, inspiring the ants and the Circus Bugs to fight back against the grasshoppers; the ants attempt to force Hopper out of Ant Island using P. T. Flea's circus cannon, but it begins to rain. In the ensuing chaos, Hopper frees himself from the cannon, abducts Flik. After the Circus Bugs fail to catch them, Atta rescues Flik; as Hopper pursues them, Flik lures him to the nest of the bird he, the Circus Bugs encountered earlier. Thinking that the bird is another decoy, Hopper taunts it before discovering in panic that it is real, is captured and devoured by its chicks. With their enemies gone, Flik has improved his inventions along with the quality of life for Ant Island, he and Atta become a couple, they give Hopper's younger brother Molt, a few ants to P.
T. Flea as new members of his troupe. Atta and Dot become the new queen and princess; the ants congratulate Flik as a hero, bid a fond farewell to the circus troupe, who promise to return in the future. During the summer of 1994, Pixar's story department began turning their thoughts to their next film; the storyline for A Bug's Life originated from a lunchtime conversation between John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Joe Ranft, the studio's head story team. Lasseter and his story team had been drawn to the idea of insects serving as characters. Like toys, insects were within the reach of computer animation back due to their simple surfaces. Stanton and Ranft wondered whether they could find a starting point in Aesop's fable The Ant and the Grasshopper. Walt Disney had produced his own version with a cheerier ending decades earlier in the 1934 short film The Grasshopper and the Ants. In addition, Walt Disney Feature Animation had considered producing a film in the late-1980s entitled Army Ants, that centered around a pacifist ant livin
André Bazin was a renowned and influential French film critic and film theorist. Bazin started to write about film in 1943 and was a co-founder of the renowned film magazine Cahiers du cinéma in 1951, along with Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and Joseph-Marie Lo Duca, he is notable for arguing. His call for objective reality, deep focus, lack of montage are linked to his belief that the interpretation of a film or scene should be left to the spectator; this placed him in opposition to film theory of the 1920s and 1930s, which emphasized how the cinema could manipulate reality. Bazin was born in Angers, France, in 1918, he died in age 40, of leukemia. Bazin started to write about film in 1943 and was a co-founder of the renowned film magazine Cahiers du cinéma in 1951, along with Jacques Doniol-Valcroze and Joseph-Marie Lo Duca. Bazin was a major force in criticism, he edited Cahiers until his death, a four-volume collection of his writings was published posthumously, covering the years 1958 to 1962 and titled Qu'est-ce que le cinéma?.
A selection from this collection was translated into English and published in two volumes in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They became mainstays of film courses in the English-speaking world, but were never updated or revised. In 2009, the Canadian publisher Caboose, taking advantage of more favourable Canadian copyright laws, compiled fresh translations of some of the key essays from the collection in a single-volume edition. With annotations by translator Timothy Barnard, this became the only corrected and annotated edition of these writings in any language. In 2018 this volume was replaced by a more extensive collection of Bazin's texts translated by Barnard, André Bazin: Selected Writings 1943-1958; the long-held standard view of Bazin's critical system is that he argued for films that depicted what he saw as "objective reality" and directors who made themselves "invisible". He advocated the use of deep focus, wide shots and the "shot-in-depth", preferred what he referred to as "true continuity" through mise-en-scène over experiments in editing and visual effects.
This placed him in opposition to film theory of the 1920s and 1930s, which emphasized how the cinema could manipulate reality. The concentration on objective reality, deep focus, lack of montage are linked to Bazin's belief that the interpretation of a film or scene should be left to the spectator, he watched film as as he expected the director to undertake it. His personal friendships with many directors he wrote about furthered his analysis of their work, he became a central figure not only in film critique, but in bringing about certain collaborations, as well. Bazin preferred long takes to montage editing, he believed that less was more, that narrative was key to great film. Bazin, influenced by personalism, believed that a film should represent a director's personal vision; this idea had a pivotal importance in the development of the auteur theory, the manifesto for which François Truffaut's article, "A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema", was published by his mentor Bazin in Cahiers in 1954.
Bazin is known as a proponent of "appreciative criticism", the notion that only critics who like a film should review it, thus encouraging constructive criticism. François Truffaut dedicated The 400 Blows to Bazin, who died one day after shooting commenced on the film. Jean Renoir dedicated the revival of The Rules of the Game to the memory of Bazin. Richard Linklater's film Waking Life features a discussion between filmmaker Caveh Zahedi and poet David Jewell regarding some of Bazin's film theories. There is an emphasis on Bazin's Christianity and the belief that every shot is a representation of God manifested in creation. Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt opens with a quotation wrongly attributed to Bazin. David Foster Wallace's novel Infinite Jest references Bazin in regard to film criticism. Bazin, André.. André Bazin: Selected Writings 1943-1958 Montreal: caboose, ISBN 978-1-927852-05-7 Bazin, André.. What is cinema? Vol. 1 & 2. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-02034-0 Bazin, André..
Jean Renoir. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-21464-0 Bazin, André.. Orson Welles: a critical view. New York: Harper and Row. ISBN 0-06-010274-8 Andrew, Dudley. André Bazin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-19-502165-7 Bazin, André.. French cinema of the occupation and resistance: The birth of a critical esthetic. New York: F. Ungar Pub. Co. ISBN 0-8044-2022-X Bazin, André.. The cinema of cruelty: From Buñuel to Hitchcock. New York: Seaver Books. ISBN 0-394-51808-X Bazin, André.. Essays on Chaplin. New Haven, Conn.: University of New Haven Press. LCCN 84-52687 Bazin, André.. Bazin at work: Major essays & reviews from the forties and fifties. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-90017-4 ISBN 0-415-90018-2 Bazin, André.. French cinema from the liberation to the New Wave, 1945-1958 La politique des auteurs, edited by André Bazin. Interviews with Robert Bresson, Jean Renoir, L