4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Billy Wilder Edition


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

115 years ago today, Billy Wilder was born in what was-then Austria-Hungary and what is today Poland.  Having started his film career as a screenwriter in Germany, Wilder fled to the United States after the rise of Hitler.  (Many members of Wilder’s family would subsequently die in the Holocaust.)  He went on to establish himself as one of the great studio directors, a filmmaker who could seemingly master any genre and whose films were often distinguished by an irreverent wit and a welcome skepticism when it came to accepting any sort of conventional wisdom.  He made the type of films that could only be made by someone who had seen humanity at its worst but who also understood what people were capable of at their best.  Wilder made dramas that could make you laugh and comedies that could make you cry.  He was a master filmmaker, one whose work continues to influence directors to this day.

Today, in honor of Billy Wilder’s legacy, the Shattered Lens presents….

4 Shots From 4 Billy Wilder Films

Double Indemnity (1944, dir by Billy Wilder, DP: John Seitz)

Sunset Boulevard (1950, dir by Billy Wilder, DP; John F. Seitz)

The Apartment (1960, dir by Billy Wilder, DP: Ernest Laszlo)

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970, dir by Billy Wilder, DP: Christopher Challis)

 

12 Shots From 12 Films: Special Lucio Fulci Edition


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

94 years ago today, Lucio Fulci — the maestro of Italian genre filmmaking — was born in Rome.  Fulci would go on to direct some of the most visually stunning (and, occasionally, most narratively incoherent) films ever made.  Fulci worked in all genres but he’ll probably always be best remembered for launching the Italian zombie boom with Zombi 2.  His subsequent Beyond trilogy continues to fascinate and delight lovers of both horror and grindhouse filmmaking.

Lucio Fulci, needless to say, is a pretty popular figure here at the TSL.  In honor of the date of his birth, it’s time for….

12 Shots From 12 Lucio Fulci Films

Don’t Torture A Duckling (1972, dir by Lucio Fulci, DP: Sergio D’Offizi)

Four of the Apocalypse (1975, dir by Lucio Fulci, DP: Sergio Salvati)

The Psychic (1977, dir by Lucio Fulci, DP: Sergio Salvati)

Conquest (1983, dir by Lucio Fulci, DP: Alejandro Ulloa)

Murder Rock (1984, dir by Lucio Fulci, DP: Giuseppe Pinori)

Demonia (1990, dir by Lucio Fulci, DP: Luigi Ciccarese)

6 Shots From 6 Films: Special Richard Brooks Edition


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

109 years ago today, Richard Brooks was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He would go on to become an iconoclastic director, making films that challenged taboos and often dealt with the social issues that most mainstream Hollywood filmmakers refused to touch. With In Cold Blood, he launched the entire true crime genre. With Elmer Gantry, he was one of the first American directors to examine how religion became a big business. Throughout his long career, Brooks was a consistent opponent of bigotry, censorship, and hate. As one of the few independent directors to regularly work and achieve prominence during the studio era, he was a trailblazer for many today’s best directors.

In honor of the date of his birth, it’s time for….

6 Shots From 6 Richard Brooks Films

Blackboard Jungle (1955, dir by Richard Brooks, DP: Russell Harlan)
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958, dir by Richard Brooks, DP: William Daniels)
Elmer Gantry (1960, dir by Richard Brooks, DP: John Alton)
In Cold Blood (1967, dir by Richard Brooks, DP: Conrad Hall)
Bite The Bullet (1975, dir by Richard Brooks, DP: Harry Stradling, Jr.)
Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977, dir by Richard Brooks, DP: John A. Fraker)

7 Shots From 7 Films: Special Dennis Hopper Edition


Dennis Hopper (1936–2010)

4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

85 years ago, Dennis Hopper was born in Dodge City, Kansas.

It seems rather appropriate that one of America’s greatest cinematic outlaws was born in a town that will be forever associated with the old west. Dennis Hopper was a rebel, back when there were actual consequences for being one. He started out acting in the 50s, appearing in films like Rebel Without A Cause and Giant and developing a reputation for being a disciple of James Dean. He also developed a reputation for eccentricity and for being difficult on set and he probably would have gotten completely kicked out of Hollywood if not for a somewhat improbable friendship with John Wayne. (Wayne thought Hopper was a communist but he liked him anyways. Interestingly enough, Hopper later became a Republican.) Somehow, Hopper managed to survive both a raging drug addiction and an obsession with guns and, after a mid-80s trip to rehab, he eventually became an almost universally beloved and busy character actor.

Hopper, however, always wanted to direct. He made his directorial debut with 1969’s Easy Rider, a film that became a huge success despite being an infamously chaotic shoot. The success of Easy Rider led to the Hollywood studios briefly trying to produce counter-culture films of their own. Hopper was given several million dollars and sent to Peru to make one of them, the somewhat dangerously titled The Last Movie. Unfortunately, The Last Movie, was such a bomb that it not only temporarily derailed Hopper’s career but it also turned Hollywood off of financing counter culture films. Hopper spent a decade in the Hollywood wilderness, giving acclaimed performances in independent films like Tracks and The American Friend, even while continuing to increase his reputation for drug-fueled instability. Hopper would eventually return to directing with his masterpiece, 1980’s Out of the Blue. (Out of the Blue was so controversial that, when it played at Cannes, Canada refused to acknowledge that it was a Canadian production. It played as a film without a country. Out of the Blue, however, is a film that has stood the test of time.) Unfortunately, even after a newly cleaned-up Hopper was re-embraced by the mainstream, his directorial career never really took off. He directed 7 films, of which only Easy Rider and Colors were financially successful. Contemporary critics often didn’t seem to know what to make of Dennis Hopper as a director. In recent years, however, Hopper’s directorial efforts have been reevaluated. Even The Last Movie has won over some new fans.

Today, on his birthday, we honor Dennis Hopper’s directorial career with….

7 Shots From 7 Dennis Hopper Films

Easy Rider (1969, dir by Dennis Hopper, DP: Laszlo Kovacs)
The Last Movie (1971,dir by Dennis Hopper, DP: Laszlo Kovacs)
Out of the Blue (1980, dir by Dennis Hopper, DP: Marc Champion)
Colors (1988, dir by Dennis Hopper, DP: Haskell Wexler)
The Hot Spot (1990, dir by Dennis Hopper, DP: Ueli Steiger)
Backtrack (1990, dir by Dennis Hopper, DP: Edward Lachman)
Chasers (1994, dir by Dennis Hopper, DP: Ueli Steiger)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Orson Welles Edition


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

As I mentioned previously, the great Orson Welles was born 106 years ago today. And that means that it’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Orson Welles Films

Citizen Kane (1941, dir by Orson Welles, DP: Gregg Toland)
The Stranger (1946, dir by Orson Welles, DP: Russell Metty)
Touch of Evil (1958, dir by Orson Welles, DP: Russell Metty)
The Trial (1962, dir by Orson Welles, DP: Edmond Richard)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Wes Anderson and Robert Yeoman Edition


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Wes Anderson celebrated a birthday on May 1st. Unfortunately, on that date, I was still recovering from my post-Oscar exhaustion (and I also had a few live tweet events that I was preparing to host that night) and I let the day slip past without proper observation. I apologize for that because Wes Anderson is one of my favorite directors. Visually, no one makes films like Wes Anderson and his frequent cinematographer, Robert Yeoman.

So, belatedly, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Films Directed by Wes Anderson and Shot by Robert Yeoman

Rushmore (1998, dir by Wes Anderson, DP: Robert Yeoman)
The Darjeeling Limited (2007, dir by Wes Anderson, DP: Robert Yeoman)
Moonrise Kingdom (2012, dir by Wes Anderson, DP: Robert Yeoman)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014, dir by Wes Anderson, DP: Robert Yeoman)

6 Shots From 6 Films: Special Al Pacino Edition


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

With all the excitement (or not) surrounding the Oscars, it might be easy to overlook the fact that today is also the birthdays of one of the greatest and most iconic American actors of all time!  We cannot let this day end without wishing a happy birthday to the one and only Al Pacino!

In others words, it’s time for….

6 Shots From 6 Al Pacino Films

The Godfather (1972, dir by Francis Ford Coppola, DP: Gordon Willis)

Dog Day Afternoon (1975, dir by Sidney Lumet, DP: Victor J. Kemper)

Scarface (1983, dir by Brian DePalma, DP: John A. Alonzo)

Heat (1995, dir by Michael Mann, DP: Dante Spinotti)

The Devil’s Advocate (1997, dir by Taylor Hackford, DP: Andrzej Bartkowiak)

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019, dir by Quentin Tarantino, DP: Robert Richardson)

 

 

4 Shots From 4 Films: In Memory of Monte Hellman


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

I just saw that Monte Hellman, one of the most interesting American directors of all time, passed away today. He was 88 years old. Hellman didn’t direct a lot of films but the ones that he did direct were some of the most unique American films of their time. The Shooting is perhaps the strangest western ever made. Two Lane Blacktop is one of the greatest road films. Cockfighter and China 9 Liberty 37 both suffered from distribution problems but they have since been rediscovered by audiences and critics. Even Silent Night Deadly Night 3 has its moments of uniquely deranged mayhem, though Hellman himself often said that he did the film strictly for the money.

In honor of Monte Hellman’s legacy, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Monte Hellman Films

The Shooting (1966, dir by Monte Hellman, DP: Gregory Sandor)
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971, dir by Monte Hellman, DP: Jack Deerson)
Cockfighter (1974, dir by Monte Hellman, DP: Nestor Almendros)
Road to Nowhere (2010, dir by Monte Hellman, DP: Josep M. Civit)

6 Shots From 6 Films: Special Larry Peerce Edition


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, we wish a happy 91st birthday to Larry Peerce! Now, admittedly Larry Peerce may not be a household name. He got his start in television in the 60s and, after doing a few features and a lot of made-for-TV movies, he pretty much ended his career directing episodes of Touched By An Angel at the turn of the century. Some people might say that’s a comedown from directing movies but there’s a lot of aspiring filmmakers who would love to have an active career spanning three decades. You take your work where you can get it and you do the best that you can with the material that you’ve got available. Nothing will change the fact that, in 1964, Larry Peerce was one of the few directors with the guts to make a film that seriously dealt with racism and interracial marriage. The name of that film was One Potato, Two Potato.

That said, Larry Peerce directed some worthwhile films in his time and, for that reason, it’s time for….

6 Shots From 6 Larry Peerce Films

One Potato, Two Potato (1964, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Andrew Laszlo)
The Big T.N.T. Show (1965, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Bob Boatman)
The Incident (1967, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Gerald Hirschfeld)
Goodbye Columbus (1969, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Enrique Bravo and Gerald Hirschfeld)
A Separate Peace (1972, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Frank Stanley)
Two-Minute Warning (1976, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Gerald Hirschfeld)

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Francis Ford Coppola Edition


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today is Francis Ford Coppola’s birthday! Coppola is a bit of a controversial figure among some film scholars. While everyone agrees that, with the first two Godfathers, he directed two of the greatest films of all time (and some people would include Apocalypse Now on that list as well) and that he was one of the most important directors of the 70s, his post-Apocalypse Now career is often held up as a cautionary tale. Some say that Coppola’s career suffered because of his own excessive behavior and spending. Others argue that he was treated unfairly by a film industry that resented his refusal to compromise his vision and ambitions. Personally, my natural instinct is to always side with the artist over the executives and that’s certainly the case with Coppola. Coppola has only completed three films since the start of this current century and none of them were widely released. Say what you will about the films themselves, that still doesn’t seem right.

Regardless of how one views his latter career, Coppola is responsible for some of the best and most important films ever made. And today, on his birthday, it’s time for….

4 Shots From 4 Francis Ford Coppola Films

The Godfather (1972, dir by Francis Ford Coppola, DP: Gordon Willis)
The Conversation (1974, dir by Francis Ford Coppola, DP: Bill Butler)
The Godfather, Part II (1974, dir by Francis Ford Coppola, DP: Gordon Willis)
Apocalypse Now (1979, dir by Francis Ford Coppola, DP: Vittorio Storaro)