FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| David Lean |||
David Lean

Honored with the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1990, Leanís body of work (ranging from the intimate film to the grandiose epic) demonstrates an obsessive cultivation of craft and a fastidious concern with detail that has become the very definition of quality British cinema.

Adapted from Noel Cowardís one-act play, Lean takes a potentially boring story of middle-age flirtation and tenderly creates one of the most enduring and poignant romance films ever made. Brilliantly underplayed, two happily married strangers meet by chance in a railway station and fall desperately in love, but never physically express the undercurrent of passion that exists between them, even during their final gut wrenching separation Ė if your heart doesnít ache, youíre just not human!

Demonstrating moments of intimacy through gigantic display, Lean sets up the greatness of Pipís expectations with the magnitude of his frightful encounters; one with an escaped convict, whose emerge into the frame reminds us what itís like to be a child in a world of oversized, menacing adults, and another with the meeting of mad Miss Havisham, in all her gothic splendor.

Peter O'Toole made an enigmatic and lasting impression in his debut role as British officer T.E. Lawrence, who helped Arab rebels fight the Turks in WWI, and Omar Sharif has perhaps the greatest cinematic intro of all time as he magically appears through the ghostly waves of the desert heat, achieving Leanís compulsive drive to create the perfectly composed shot. Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jose Ferrer, and Claude Rains round out this incredibly talented and magnetically charged cast.

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Welcome Back, Joe Pesci!

By EdwardHavens

August 30th, 2005

FilmJerk.com has learned that Oscar-winning actor Joe Pesci, who disappeared from cinema screens after his less-than-satisfactory performance in 1998's craptacular "Lethal Weapon 4," has finally been coaxed off the golf course by his good friend Robert DeNiro, for a small but pivotal role in DeNiro's espionage thriller "The Good Shepherd."


From a screenplay by "Forrest Gump" screenwriter Eric Roth, "The Good Shepherd" tells the mostly true story of James Wilson (a character reported to be based on legendary CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton, and played in the film by Matt Damon), one of the founding members of the Central Intelligence Agency. Beginning as an scholar at Yale, the film follows Wilson as he is recruited to join the secret Skull and Bones fraternity, a brotherhood and breeding ground for future world leaders, where his acute mind, spotless reputation and sincere belief in the American way of life render him a prime candidate for a career in intelligence. Wilson is soon recruited to work for the Office of Strategic Services (the precursor to the CIA) during the early days of World War II, and we follow his exploits around the world during the Cold War, and how his secret life affected his personal relationships. Pesci will play a reputed crime boss by the name of Palmi, one of Wilson's targets.

DeNiro also stars as General Bill Sullivan, the U.S. Army official who hand picks Wilson for the career in intelligence that will shape the world's political landscape. The cast also includes Oscar winners William Hurt and Timothy Hutton, Academy Award nominee Alec Baldwin, and Tammy Blanchard, Billy Crudup, Keir Dullea, Michael Gambon, Gabriel Macht, Lee Pace, Eddie Redmayne and John Turturro. Universal Studios has scheduled a December 22, 2006 release date for the film, which DeNiro is producing with his longtime partner Jane Rosenthal through their Tribeca Productions.

We welcome Mr. Pesci's return to the big screen, where his absense has surely been missed, and hope he doesn't wait another eight years for his next role.