FilmJerk Favorites

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

||| Norman Jewison |||
Norman Jewison

Yes, he directed “Moonstruck” and two unforgettable musicals, but Jewison is also responsible for a trilogy of films focusing on racial-injustice, a whacky Cold War comedy and a signature film of Steve McQueen’s showing that he is one of the most versatile directors since Robert Wise.

This blueprint for good investigation dramas tells the story of a black Philadelphia detective investigating a murder in Mississippi who matches wits with a redneck sheriff. Groundbreaking for it’s time, this Oscar winning film is still relevant today and offers a gripping mystery with terrific dramatic performances by a complete cast of fully realized characters.

This is an amazingly funny and entertaining irreverent "Cold War" comedy about a Russian submarine stranded outside an isolated New England town, which throws the locals into a panic. Jewison does a delightful job of utilizing his all-star cast to their fullest, deftly mixing Capra-esq characters with Mel Brooks’s type situations (and vise-versa).

A bored millionaire (Steve McQueen in his prime) masterminds a flawless bank job as Faye Dunaway (an insurance investigator out to get him) identifies him as the mastermind and falls in love along the way. This is the original and the best, with all the arch stylized movie techniques of the ‘60s (including split-screen and fuzzy shallow focus) and the most erotic chess game ever captured on screen.

Recommended by CarrieSpecht


Notes from the 2008 American Film Market

By EdwardHavens

November 6th, 2008

This year's American Film Market, where thousands of film buyers and sellers come together at Santa Monica's Loews Beach Hotel for a week of deal-making, networking and schmoozing, started yesterday, amongst worries the global economic crisis could make for less than desirable results.

Notes from the 2008 American Film Market

The veteran of numerous AFMs myself, I had never seen such a blasé opening frame as I witnessed yesterday. Usually, opening day at the Market is filled with heavy traffic in the halls and suites, buyers optimistic there will be a cache of new films that they can bring home to their entertainment-starved masses, sellers hoping this year will be better than the previous. On Wednesday, the mood was cautiously positive, with expectations riding on a major uptick in deals for the weekend, but it was still shocking to see the usually jam-packed Weinstein Company suite so threadbare, but it was like that in every suite.

Speaking of the Weinsteins, amongst the new product they were hawking was “Nine,” Rob Marshall’s cinematic adaptation of the Broadway musical which itself was an adaptation of Federico Fellini’s “8 1/2." Daniel Day-Lewis plays filmmaker Guido Contini, who finds himself entangled in a mid-life crisis as he approaches his fortieth birthday, despite celebrating his most recent and greatest success. You couldn’t ask for a better supporting cast, which includes Oscar-winners Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman and Sophia Loren, as well as Penelope Cruz, Stacy Ferguson and Kate Hudson. The Weinsteins released this photo of the production, which only began three weeks ago. “Nine” is scheduled to open in theatres December 11, 2009.

”Nine” image courtesy The Weinstein Company

At AFM, The Weinstein Company also introduced new pictures for “Crossing Over,” Extreme Movie” and “Youth in Revolt.”

”Crossing Over” images courtesy The Weinstein Company

”Extreme Movie” images courtesy The Weinstein Company

”Youth in Revolt” images courtesy The Weinstein Company

”Extreme Movie” is scheduled to arrive in theatres on December 5, “Youth in Revolt” on February 20 and “Crossing Over” later in 2009.