Revisiting Taxi Driver in the Age of the Mass Shooter


maxresdefault

Nice article discussing the relevance of Taxi Driver is these times of lone wolf mass shootings. There are some differences.

But there is one critical difference between Travis and real-life shooters. The film, as it molds Travis into a killer, asks us to understand, even empathize with him. His motivations are not as clear as Dylann Roof’s racism or the Pulse nightclub shooter’s homophobia. Travis doesn’t blame one particular group for the filth and depravity of Times Square in the 1970s. Corruption is everywhere. We see it through his eyes: gangs throwing trash at his cab, couples using the back seat as they would a cheap motel. When he finally decides to use his guns, it’s not to massacre innocents, but save one, a prepubescent sex worker named Iris (Jodie Foster).

The complete article

Douglas Markowitz — Miami New Times

Image source

The weirdness of David Lynch


6212cc539889223

You don’t understand David Lynch creations. Period. But, they just refuse to leave your mind for a long time. Twin Peaks is making a comeback and so Lynch fans like me are waiting for something strange and unexpected.

You’ll find there’s no one single way to characterize what goes on in a Lynch film – all attempts sound a lot like creative-writing exercises trying to describe the interior state of a hallucinating psychotic. Starting at the beginning, with Eraserhead (1977), is like grabbing an alligator by the nose, but there it is: from nowhere, during the Carter administration no less, Lynch birthed out what might be the most ingenuously strange American film ever made. We’ve been trying to articulate what the hell this cult oddity is ever since, from the wailing mutant baby to the Lady in the Radiator, and somehow we’re right back where we started, wondering when the mere suffocation of dream logic ends and Lynch’s one-of-a-kind perspective on stuff begins.

The complete article

Michale Atkinson — Rolling Stone

Image source

The rise and fall of the Bombshell Bandit


mug-shot

The teaser is out for Simran – a new Bollywood movie. The movie is based on the real life exploits of Sandeep Kaur. “At just five feet three inches tall, the slender Indian nurse did not boast the muscle of typical bank robbers. She had no weapon or getaway driver. Instead she gripped a hurriedly written note that read: TICK TOCK. I HAVE A BOMB.”

When they suggested bank robbery, Kaur says the idea didn’t seem ludicrous. “It’s do or die. If I did this, and anything did happen then at least the police would be involved,” she reasons. “Or you know, I could just kill myself.” But why didn’t she just tell the police? “Ever since we were kids we had to lie,” she says. From the punishment she suffered at the hands of her parents, to partying, and her parents’ divorce, anything shameful had to be hidden.

The complete story

BBC Magazine

Image source

Teaser of the movie “Simran”

Meryl and Her First Love


From Sophie’s Choice to The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep has enthralled us for almost 40 years in many roles. For nearly all that time Meryl, who is 65 on June 22, has been happily married to just one man – a rarity for the film world.

But her husband was not her ‘first love’.

Today’s Needull is an insightful account of her tragic love affair with the equally talented John Cazale (best known as Fredo Corleone in the Godfather movies, and one who exemplified the 70’s French notion of jolie laide, or “ugly-beautiful”). At the end of it,  I’m sure, your respect for this amazing actress and human being will go up a few notches further.

For all her later accomplishments — 19 Academy Award nominations, the most of any actress in history, and three wins — her friends and fellow actors most admire Streep for her devotion to Cazale, for the strength of character such a young woman showed.

Full Article Here

NY Post – Maureen Callahan

Bonus Read – Edited extract from the book Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep, by Michael Schulman

Image Source

 

It Happened… in One Scene


It Happened One Night’ (the original movie that inspired at least 4 Bollywood movies that I can think of) is a must watch for any movie buff. But this 1934 classic is also famous for its unintended consequences – from inspiring the characterisation of Bugs Bunny to dramatically plummeting the sale of sleeveless vests; the later being the topic of our Needull.

In the middle of this movie, in a first-of-its-kind undressing sequence, Gable decided to let go of his sleeveless undershirt as it was causing problem with his dialogue delivery. The undershirts were a universal thing back then and some sources say that within a couple of years of the movie’s release, due to Gable’s revolutionary decision not to wear vest, its sales dropped to over 80% and the very concept of such vests was obsoleted (the vests came back in fashion after World War II but in the T-shirt form, while the sleeveless form continued only in tropical countries like India). Today’s Needull revisits this ‘rumour’ and investigates the truth in it, based on old newspaper clips and industry statistics.

Those who spread the fact cannot prove it. Those who disagree cannot disprove it. This is how conspiracy theories are born. Both sides can only offer evidence though they usually only offer supporting evidence.

Full Article Here

Immortal Ephemera – Cliff Aliperti

Movie clip of the above scene – Youtube

Bonus Read: Jim Carroll’s blog on the above and other idiosyncrasies related to the movie

Image Source

The Man Behind History’s Most Iconic Movie Posters, From Breakfast at Tiffany’s to James Bond


barbarella-by-rmcginnis

This needull is dedicated to the charm of the old movie posters. I would literally walk up a kilometer to take a look at new movie posters every Friday in the small town that I lived in.

The McGinnis Woman is a mix of Greek goddess and man-eating Ursula Andress. While today she might be interpreted as a sex object or adornment, she was conceived, in her day, to represent the empowered woman. In fact, the McGinnis Woman possesses a whirling narrative force all her own, a perfumed cyclone of sexuality, savvy, mystery, and danger. She also sells books—lots and lots of books. “The McGinnis Woman was impossibly tall, impossibly beautiful, slightly aloof, and unattainable,” in the words of Charles Ardai, the editor in chief of Hard Case Crime, a publisher of noir fiction, who still hires McGinnis to illustrate his covers. “When Bob was doing the Brett Halliday series, back in the late 50s and early 60s,” adds filmmaker Paul Jilbert, who directed the McGinnis documentary, “they were offshoots of the men’s magazines: the bare-chested men with the women behind them, cowering in the corner. What Bob did was to bring the women into the foreground—put them out in front of the guy, and made them much more powerful, sophisticated, intelligent. You just didn’t see that in other covers.”

The complete article

Michael Callahan — Vanity Fair

Image source

Cinema Sans Color


Today’s Needull is a Youtube video from the always-so-awesome RocketJump Film School on the importance of the use of Black & White in Cinema. From the brief history of black & white movies to different forms of cinema developed due to limited technology to modern cinemas re-released in black & white, this narrative is an eye opener for anyone who thinks colours add life to movies.

Sometimes, it is the lack of them that does.

“Black and white” isn’t actually a genre of film. Rather, there are a multitude of different kinds of films that have all used black and white as a unique storytelling tool. Cinema’s history of black and white film is a rich one, filled with movies that have defined the very essence of cinema, that invite you to escape into new worlds, see things in new ways, experience the thrill and strangeness of fantasy, as well as the severity and truth of the real world. This video will explore how filmmakers have used black-and-white to the story’s advantage, and why it can be so beautiful and compelling.

Full Video Here

A Related Article by Adrienne Reid

Image Source