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The 71st Emmy Awards was a spectacular affair for the Brits, while broadcast networks all but vanished. Popular on Variety. It was known ahead of time that the Emmy Awards planned to dispense with a traditional orchestra or pit band for the walk-up and bumper music. Or, very possibly, it was a local who had found [ The Big 4 broadcast networks put a cap on their worst year in Emmy history on Sunday night. The previous low was 19 combined wins in Last year, the networks [ Close Menu. Variety Intelligence Platform. Variety Mobile Logo. Premier Logo Created with Sketch. He neglects his pregnant wife, Eurydice, and when she is killed he realises his selfishness and sets out into the Underworld to find her and bring her back to life.
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Is love stronger than death? Can a person love death more than life? What is the nature of happiness? And how is it possible to visit the Underworld using only a pair of rubber gloves and a household mirror? The Underworld is stunning to look at — a bombed out city, rubble-strewn, bringing us to the realisation that World War Two has only just ended in the world of Orpheus, and Death walks beside him. Olivia is the tale of a young girl who arrives at a boarding school that is run by two headmistresses who are in a struggling relationship. The girl develops a crush on one of the headmistresses, and unwittingly puts herself between them, leading to jealousy and rage.
Directed by Jacqueline Audry, the only woman at that time to direct commercial French cinema, everything is neat and shiny and the girls at the boarding school are pictures of prettiness. This makes the outbursts of the jealous headmistress ugly and difficult to watch. Olivia has a cult following, I think because it deals with lesbianism in a very direct and non-voyeuristic way.
This is not about showing us kissing or heavy-petting, or breaking boundaries. The title makes it sound like a pleasant romp through woodlands, but this film is not at all light-hearted. He is the ultimate outsider — mistrusted, given strange, conflicting advice. He received anonymous letters and bears slights from the village children.
Director Robert Bresson gives us the face of actor Claude Laydu to watch through these random events. The camera follows his eyes with a careful framing, showing us his isolation in cold rooms, against the flat landscape. Scorsese uses the same style in Taxi Driver, the film that gives us another tortured soul, this time without the comfort of faith. There could not be a Travis Bickle without this country priest.
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Clouzot understood suspense. He could make you sit bolt upright in your seat, unable to take your eyes from the screen. In this story of four men agreeing to drive a shipment of volatile nitro-glycerine through jungle roads in South America, every jolt of the two trucks could be fatal. Not a shot is wasted. We see the fear behind the machismo, the desperation behind the posturing. We emotionally invest in these men even as we know they might be blown to bits in a moment. A short documentary, Night And Fog intersperses black and white footage recovered from allied forces with colour shots taken in the remains of Nazi concentration camps on Polish soil.
Some of the footage was considered to be so upsetting that the French government made it available only for this film. Director Alain Resnais made later films that meditate on how time affects us, moves us away from the most tragic events, separates emotion from meaning. Night And Fog is the most powerful film he shot. Once is enough. Albert Lamorisse made short films into which he packed an incredible amount of loving detail; for instance, when you watch White Mane , you become a part of the landscape of the Camargue, running with the wild horses. In The Red Balloon you see Paris with fresh eyes.
The greys and browns of the city, the shapes of the doorways and rooftops, are a patchwork into which a single circle is woven.
The colour is intense. There are the bangs of backfiring buses, the sharp spires and the points of umbrellas, always reminding the viewer that the balloon, like childhood, is a temporary gift only — no matter what delight it brings to us, it is a bubble that must, eventually, be popped.
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Not only did Lamorisse make beautiful films, but he also co-created the board game Risk. Cool, huh? The key moments of The Blows occur when nothing seems to be happening at all. A boy makes a smudge in his schoolbook and tries to rip out the pages to avoid getting into trouble, or Antoine stokes the fire with coal and then wipes his hands on the curtains. The next punishment is always on the way, even when the children try to do the right thing.
There is no freedom, and the cramped apartment and regulated schoolroom are used to great effect, giving us that feeling of claustrophobia that is only relieved in the great last moments of the film. The director, Georges Franju, understood the importance of the eyes in cinema — the way the gaze is drawn, the way a stare captures our attention and holds it. The eyes of Christiane Edith Scob , the victim of a disfiguring car crash, shine out from her perfectly white mask with a bruised horror.
Her father attempts to graft the faces of other women on to her own. It has a joking quality that makes your skin crawl. It documents a post-apocalyptic nightmare where humanity survives in tunnels under the surface of the Earth.
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In an attempt to find hope for mankind, a time machine is invented, and a nameless criminal is chosen to be flung into the past and future. He survives numerous trips, and falls in love with a Parisian woman, who starts to shed light on experiences in his own past. The film raises so many questions about the nature of love, time, and memory that stay with you long after viewing it. And the one moment of action, where we watch the woman open her eyes in the morning light, waking from sleep, is so wonderful amidst the harsh stills and the neutral voice-over.
Jean Luc Godard made radical films that test the boundaries of the viewer in all sorts of ways, including their patience. Contempt is the perfect title for this film. This is the only time Godard made a big-budget film with American money.
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He encourages his wife Brigitte Bardot to be friendly to the brash American producer Jack Palance who obviously wants to bed her. Everything is about money, and power. Palance is very funny, declaring himself a god and using his secretary as a table. Fritz Lang appears as himself, looking dignified and lost in this age of fast cars and chequebooks. At the time this film was made Brigitte Bardot was the sex-kitten of the world.
The story goes that one of the producers, Joseph E Levine, insisted on a nude scene, and Godard gave it to him. The clients are ugly, strange, downright weird — and she accepts them all. Luis Bunuel made a spectacularly non-judgemental film. So the camera speaks for her. It shows us her fantasies and it never feels degrading.
Eventually fantasy and reality start to bleed together, and the film ends with an open-ended surrealism that suits it perfectly. You can see the influence of Hitchcock on Belle De Jour, particularly the use of colour and the attention to the details of hair, handbags, shoes - particularly Marnie , I think, made three years earlier.
He brings her fresh meat, and she gives him a cigarette lighter as a present. But then she discovers the lighter at the scene of a grisly murder…. The cigarette lighter motif, the car journey in the dark, the use of colour throughout — we know things are building to a horrible realisation for Helene. Les Valseuses starts with a pure s Benny Hill vibe to it, with cheeky music and deliberately comic angles as two petty criminals in a shopping trolley chase a portly middle-aged lady down the street and poke her bottom.
But then we see her terror as they corner her and molest her, and we realise this is not Benny Hill territory at all. This is the darker, nastier side of the sex comedy, and as a viewer you feel strangely ambiguous about it. You should hate it, but you watch it, and you laugh. They are clownish, charismatic, sometimes caring.