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, Lean’s 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 Coward’s 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 – if your heart doesn’t ache, you’re just not human!

Demonstrating moments of intimacy through gigantic display, Lean sets up the greatness of Pip’s expectations with the magnitude of his frightful encounters; one with an escaped convict, whose emerge into the frame reminds us what it’s 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 Lean’s 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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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.