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


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

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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

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‘Sex and the City’ in Hell


Based on the novel by Australian writer Liane Moriarty and adapted by David E. Kelley and Jean-Marc Vallée, Big Little Lies portrays a group of women whose privileged lives are, predictably, neither as easy nor as enviable as they might appear. As Madeline, Reese Witherspoon—projecting herself into the world like something shot from a cannon—faces a host of first-world problems: her tense relationship with her ex-husband and his sexy young yoga-instructor wife; her resentful teenage daughter; her sweet but boring second husband; and the resultant frustrations that she passionately channels into a community-theater production of the musical Avenue Q. Her friend Celeste (Nicole Kidman) has given up a law career to raise twin sons and placate her husband Perry (Alexander Skarsgård), a man whose attractiveness and charm conceals the soul of an abusive, controlling psycho.

The complete article

Francine Prose — The New York Review of Books

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A ‘Rogue One’ Writer Reveals How the Film Originally Ended


I saw Rogue One last week and was blown away by the ending. Looks like even the writers of the movie had doubts about Disney accepting the ending where everyone dies.

We always felt that it was the right thing to do, that these characters make the ultimate sacrifice. It wasn’t that way in my original script, but again, we never felt that we would get away with it. K-2 always died, but Jyn survived in the very first version of the movie that we developed, and then it was Gareth who kept pushing for it, saying, “I feel like they need to die. They need to die.” Eventually he convinced [Disney and Lucasfilm].

The complete article

Matt Miller – Popular Mechanics

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Beyond the Bollywood dream


Bollywood is a significant part in the life of many Indians. It fuels childhood dreams and ambitions. Bollywood celebrities are treated as darlings of the country. Today’s needull is about a photo book by an outsider. The pictures represent Bollywood from an outsider’s perspective.

A striking aspect of some of the photos is their lack of glamour. The idea of the book is to show the acting world as it really is. Perhaps that’s why the subjects who pose most eagerly aren’t the stars but the strugglers, on dusty roads and in cramped tenements. Bennington’s five-year-long project, for which he shuttled between New York and Mumbai, gives equal importance to TV actors, the theatre circuit and reality-show celebrities. “People ask me if this book is about Bollywood stars or if it is about strugglers,” he says. “I have followed no such hierarchy.”

The complete article

Sankhyan Ghosh — Mint

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Movie review of Kong from The New Yorker.

As Packard’s helicopters near their target, punch through a “perpetual storm system” that girdles the island, and discover a paradise of unravished greenery, the movie lays out its credentials. There’s a tracker named Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) on board, who possesses “unique expertise in uncharted jungle terrain,” and, soon enough, we even encounter a Marlow (John C. Reilly). Plus, for good measure, a blaze of burning napalm. Got it? I’m frankly amazed that nobody brings along a bulldog named Kurtz. In short, what this movie yearns to be is a pop-culture “Apocalypse Now,” with the human foe removed, the political parable toned down, and the gonzo elements jacked up.

The complete article

Anthony Lane — The New Yorker

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2017’s Best Picture: Well, Figure It Out

The countdown to yet another Oscars ceremony has begun. And so has begun my annual exercise of watching each and every nominated movie before the toll of the bell. As the year before was a little too busy for me, I am obviously glued to my headphones even during office hours this year to compensate for it.

While the next ten minutes of Needulling might make a dent in my cut throat schedule to binge on remaining 21 movies in the next 17 days, I couldn’t help but share some details about the last movie I’ve just finished watching. Even though not as magical as the crowd favourite La La Land, Hidden Figures might be this year’s surprise winner. The Hollywood trend of filming heartwarming biographical tales continues with this energetic story about an all-girls team of African-American mathematicians who played a key role during the early years of NASA. And as usual, after the movie, I was forced to Google out the truth so that I can weed out ‘cinematic liberties’.

Today’s Needull, a book extract from The Guardian, gives you a glimpse of the debut non-fiction book by  Margot Lee Shetterly Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race – on which this fabulous movie was based on. While critics might call it an ‘Affirmative Action’ blockbuster (I can’t deny that), this heart touching and effortlessly fluid extract will give you a feel of exactly why this movie works.

But before a computer became an inanimate object, and before Mission Control landed in Houston; before Sputnik changed the course of history, and before the Naca became Nasa; before the supreme court case Brown v Board of Education of Topeka established that separate was in fact not equal, and before the poetry of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech rang out over the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Langley’s West Computers were helping America dominate aeronautics, space research and computer technology, carving out a place for themselves as female mathematicians who were also black, black mathematicians who were also female.

Full Book Extract Here

Amazon link to purchase the book

Bonus Video Needull: YouTube Montage – Every Best Picture. Ever. – Burger Fiction

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