Celebrate Roger Corman’s Birthday With These 12 Trailers!


Roger Corman in The Godfather Part II

Today is a very special day!  It’s Roger Corman’s 92nd birthday!

Here at the Shattered Lens, we traditionally celebrate this day with a special edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film Trailers!  Below, you’ll find the trailers for 12 films that were either directed by,  produced by, or distributed by the legendary Roger Corman!

  1. Five Guns West (1955)

This western was the first film that Roger Corman was credited with directing.

2. The Day The World Ended (1955)

Though Corman worked in almost every type of film genre imaginable, he’s probably best remembered for his science fiction and horror films.  This was one of the first of them.

3. Machine Gun Kelly (1958)

Along with westerns and sci-fi films, Corman also directed several gangster classics.  Machine Gun Kelly is remembered as one of his best.

4. The Intruder (1962)

Corman was an exploitation filmmaker with a conscience.  At a time when other films were avoiding social issues, Corman dove right in with challenging films like The Intruder.

5. The Terror (1963)

Corman was famous for his ability to spot new talent.  His 1963 film The Terror starred a then unknown actor named Jack Nicholson.

6. The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

In the 60s, Corman was also well-known for his Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, the majority of which starred Vincent Price.  With these colorful and flamboyant films, Corman showed himself to be a pop artist at heart.

7. Boxcar Bertha (1972)

In the 70s, Corman moved away from directing and focused on producing.  His ability to spot talent undiminished, Corman helped to launch the careers of the some of the important directors of all time.  In 1972, he hired a young director named Martin Scorsese to direct Boxcar Bertha.

8. Cries and Whispers (1973)

While Corman was producing exploitation films, he was also distributing “difficult” foreign-language films that might otherwise have never been seen in an American theater.  In 1973, he distributed this classic Ingmar Bergman film.  Cries and Whispers was nominated for best picture of the year, losing to The Sting.

9. Caged Heat (1974)

Jonathan Demme was another director who got his start directing Corman-produced films like Caged Heat.  Demme would later thank Corman by casting him in several of his films, including the 1991 Best Picture winner, The Silence of the Lambs.

10. Piranha (1978)

Piranha was one of Corman’s biggest hits as a producer.

11. Carnosaur (1993)

With Carnosaur, Corman showed that you didn’t need a lot of money to bring dinosaurs back to life.

12. Dinocroc vs Supergater (2010)

Corman has continued to produce films in the 21st century.  Films like Dinocroc vs Supergator not only won him legions of new fans but they also paved the way for films like Sharkando.

Happy birthday, Roger Corman!

Here Are The Online Film Critics Society Nominations!


The winners will be announced on December 28th.

It’s interesting to note that The Post is almost totally shut out here.  One thing I’ve noticed that critics who work for newspapers love The Post.  They see it as proof of their importance.  Online critics are far less impressed with The Post.  They tend to view it as a lament for a dead medium, a somewhat stodgy celebration of the past.  Whenever I finally get a chance to see The Post, I’ll let you know who’s right.

Best Picture
Call Me By Your Name
Dunkirk
The Florida Project
Get Out
A Ghost Story
Lady Bird
mother!
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water

Best Actor
Timothée Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name
James Franco – The Disaster Artist
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
Robert Pattinson – Good Time

Best Actress
Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
Cynthia Nixon – A Quiet Passion
Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie – I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

Best Supporting Actor
Armie Hammer – Call Me By Your Name
Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water
Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Patrick Stewart – Logan
Michael Stuhlbarg – Call Me By Your Name

Best Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip
Holly Hunter – The Big Sick
Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

Best Ensemble
Get Out
Mudbound
Lady Bird
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Breakout Star
Timothée Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name
Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
Dafne Keen – Logan
Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project

Best Original Screenplay
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor – The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards

Best Adapted Screenplay
Sofia Coppola – The Beguiled
James Ivory – Call Me By Your Name
Scott Nestadter and Micheal Weber – The Disaster Artist
James Gray – Lost City of Z
Aaron Sorkin – Molly’s Game

Best Editing
Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos – Baby Driver
Lee Smith – Dunkirk
Ben Safdie and Ronald Bronstein – Good Time
Tatiana S Riegel – I, Tonya
Sidney Wolinsky – The Shape of Water

Best Cinematography
Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049
Hoyte van Hoytema – Dunkirk
Darius Khondji – Lost City of Z
Rachel Morrison – Mudbound
Dan Laustsen – The Shape of Water

Best Animated Feature
Coco
The Breadwinner
In This Corner Of The World
The LEGO Batman Movie
Loving Vincent

Best Foreign Film
BPM (Beats Per Minute)
First They Killed My Father
Nocturama
Raw
The Square
Thelma

Best Documentary
Dawson City: Frozen Time
Ex Libris: The New York Public Library
Faces Places
Jane
The Work

Memorial Award
Jonathan Demme
John Hurt
Bill Paxton
George A. Romero
Harry Dean Stanton

Lifetime Achievement Award
Willem Dafoe
Daniel Day-Lewis
Roger Deakins
Christopher Plummer
Agnes Varda

Music Video of the Day: The Perfect Kiss by New Order (1985, dir. Jonathan Demme)


Rest in peace, Jonathan Demme.

New Order is a band that was formed by the remaining members of Joy Division after the death of lead singer Ian Curtis. To most people, they are probably best-known for their song Blue Monday. That’s how I know of them. I think this is the first time I have heard another song by them.

Obviously the video is notable for the fact that it runs just short of 11 minutes with credits. Visually, there is a disconnection between the members of the band, and themselves with their instruments. There isn’t even a shot of the whole band together till halfway through the video. There’s a solemn mood about the whole thing–from the walls, to the looks on their faces. It was apparently shot in the band’s practice room. You can see a Joy Division poster in the background, which adds even more sadness to the whole thing.

From what I have read, this was a live video. That would explain why their isn’t a lot of glamour here. Maybe if this were on a stage, and in front of an audience, then it would. But this is just in their practice room. There is a nice article over on Billboard magazine’s website that goes into more detail than I can, but it boils down to the same thing. It is a noteworthy live video that captures New Order–warts and all–performing an exhausting composition live, alone, and far from any kind of glamour or artiness of a Blue Monday ’88 or Regret. If I had to guess, the disconnection was intentional in order to visually convey the separation of the different artists’ parts in the song, the concentration that purges the individual to a well-oiled machine, and the fact that some of the song was performed on the fly, while other parts were pre-programmed.

Enjoy!

Jonathan Demme, RIP


I just saw, on twitter, that Jonathan Demme died today in New York City.  He was 73 years old.

It’s ironic that Jonathan Demme’s best known film was the dark and harsh Silence of the Lambs because Demme was actually one of the most humanistic directors out there.  Starting with his work for Roger Corman in the early 70s, Demme worked in all genres.  He did gangster movies, action films, quirky comedies, socially conscious documentaries, and serious prestige dramas.  His directorial debut, Caged Heat, features one of Barbara Steele’s best performances and is considered to be the standard by which all other women in prison films are judged.  His concert film, Stop Making Sense, is widely considered to be the best concert film ever made.  His work on Silence of the Lambs continues to influence the horror genre to this day and Philadelphia was the first studio picture to be made about AIDS.  Even his remake of The Manchurian Candidate was better than the typical remake.  No matter what genre he was working in, the thing that remained a constant was Demme’s own interest in the human condition.  His films felt alive in a way that few directors have ever been able to duplicate.  His influence is obvious in the work of everyone from Wes Anderson to Paul Thomas Anderson to Alexander Payne.

Demme may be best known for The Silence of the Lambs but my favorite of his films will always be Rachel Getting Married.

Jonathan Demme, RIP.

A Movie A Day #1: Stop Making Sense (1984, directed by Jonathan Demme)


stop_making_sense_poster_originalA pair of immaculate white sneakers, being worn by the lead singer of The Talking Heads, David Byrne, walk out onto a bare stage while an unseen audience applauds.  Byrne places a radio on the stage beside him and says, “I have a tape I want to play for you.”  Accompanied only by a drum machine and an acoustic guitar, Byrne launches into a performance of Psycho Killer that ends with him lurching across the stage like a marionette that is losing its strings.

So begins the greatest concert film of all time, Stop Making Sense.

As Psycho Killer comes to an end, Byrne is joined on stage by bassist Tina Weymouth.  While Byrne and Weymouth perform Heaven, the black-clad stage crew sets up a drum kit behind them.  Drummer Chris Frantz comes out for the third song, Thank You For Sending Me An Angel.  The fourth member of the Talking Heads, Jerry Harrison, appears on stage for Found A Job and is then followed by several touring members of the band, including legendary keyboardist Bernie Worrell, guitarist Alex Weir, percussionist Steve Scales, and backup singers, Lynn Mabry and Ednah Holt.  It’s not until the concert’s sixth song, Burning Down The House, that the entire band is on stage.

Pieced together from three separate shows performed at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, Stop Making Sense showcases one of the most important bands of the 80s at their absolute best.  Eschewing any candid footage of the band backstage and only occasionally showing any shots of the audience, Jonathan Demme keeps the focus on the music and David Byrne’s amazing showmanship.  Even more than the music, what really makes Stop Making Sense stand out is Byrne’s physicality.  During one instrumental passage, Byrne even runs around the stage in circles before jumping back to his microphone without missing a beat.

Though the entire band is in great form, Byrne is almost always the focus of attention.  The only time he’s not is when he goes backstage during a performance of Genius Of Love by Weymouth and Frantz’s side project, The Tom Tom Club.  During that time, Byrne is changing into the “big suit,” the costume that continues to define the Talking Heads to this day.

Along with Burning Down The House, highlights include Life During Wartime,

Swamp,

Once in a Lifetime,

and Stop Making Sense‘s most famous moment, David Byrne performing Girlfriend is Better while wearing the iconic “big suit.”

Stop Making Sense is a fun, exhilarating, and sometimes exhausting concert film and, given all the bad feelings that exist between Byrne and the other three members of the band, it’s probably as close as any of us will ever get to experiencing The Talking Heads live.

For tomorrow’s movie a day, I’ll be explaining why Blue Chips always makes me think of England.

Horror on the Lens: The Incredible Melting Man (dir by William Sachs)


Today’s horror on the lens is a science fiction/horror film from 1977!

In The Incredible Melting Man, the first manned spaceflight to Saturn does not go well.  Three astronauts went up but only one came down.  And that one astronaut is both kinda crazy and melting!  Seriously, it’s a big mess.

Apparently, one of the victims of the incredible melting man is played by director Jonathan Demme.  See if you can spot him!  It’ll be fun.

(I’m not really sure what Jonathan Demme looks like so you’ll probably have better luck with it than me.)

Enjoy!

4 Shots From 4 Films: Black Sunday, 8 1/2, I maniaci, Caged Heat


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

Happy birthday to the wonderful and iconic actress, Barbara Steele!

4 Shots From 4 Films

Black Sunday (1960, dir by Mario Bava)

Black Sunday (1960, dir by Mario Bava)

8  1/2 (1963, dir by Federico Fellini)

8 1/2 (1963, dir by Federico Fellini)

I maniaci (1964, dir by Lucio Fulci)

I maniaci (1964, dir by Lucio Fulci)

Caged Heat (1974, dir by Jonathan Demme)

Caged Heat (1974, dir by Jonathan Demme)