Quentin Tarantino's high profile re-imagining of Italian director Enzo G. Castellari's 1978 original is boosting the B movie director's career and putting him back in the spotlight. Castellari is in Cannes, where Tarantino will be premiering his version of the WWII actioner starring Brad Pitt. Castellari was given a cameo in the new film and is now making the rounds promoting his next film, Caribbean Basterds. (The misspelling of "bastards" is obviously a new vogue). For more on the Odd Couple of Cannes, click here
It was a very special opening night of The Film Society of Lincoln Center's week-long tribute to the films and career of Steve McQueen. Fox provided a stunning, newly restored 35mm print of director Robert Wise's 1966 epic The Sand Pebbles, which garnered McQueen his only Oscar nomination. Experiencing the film on the big screen with a superb sound system proved to be a wonderful experience - because if you haven't seen The Sand Pebbles in a theater, you haven't seen it at all. The evening kicked off with an introduction by Candice Bergen, who related that she was a rather nervous 19 year-old in the largely all-male company of heavyweights. She recalled how filming on Taiwan for many months was an arduous - and simultaneously boring - experience. In 1965, the island was largely devoid of any modern conveniences and newspapers and telephones were almost impossible to find. While the men had each other to pal around with, Bergen was largely left on her own - except for times when McQueen would take her on impromptu, wild motorcycle rides. She said the iconic star would often zip off on his cycle, causing director Wise to worry whether he would ever see him again. She said that it was more pleasurable filming back at the Fox Ranch in California, where the massive set for the China Light mission was constructed for the climactic sequence. She said she still remains impressed by the work of the production design team. Ms. Bergen also said that director Wise was very politically-oriented and that the film was an intentional metaphor for the on-going Vietnam conflict.
Cinema Retro subscribers have already been devouring our 8 page celebration of Jack Cardiff's cult film Girl on a Motorcycle starring Marianne Faithfull and Alain Delon. Great minds must think alike because our friend Kimberly Linberg's groovy retro blog Cinebeats simultaneously launched an on-line tribute to the film, complete with rare stills and international movie posters. Click here to check out the Cinebeats site.
We told you that Guy Ritchie's revisionist version of Sherlock Holmes would be unlike any other version of the famed detective you've ever seen. Now comes the teaser trailer to prove it. Holmes carries a virtual utility belt of equipment, is adept at using his fists, doesn't hesitate to utilize firearms and has a weakness for the ladies that was barely evidenced in the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce series. The verdict is still out as to whether Ritchie's version is just a gimmicky bastardization of a great literary hero or a genuinely fresh attempt to launch a new tentpole series. Judge for yourself by clicking here