Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock

Yesterday the world got it’s first peek at Sir Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock. Can you tell which is the real Hitch?

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(The answer is the second one.)

I rather like the idea of a movie about the making of Psycho. I dig the idea of Helen Mirren as Alma, and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh – no brainer! Hitch himself, though, that’s a tough one to cast. Sir Anthony Hopkins is certainly a very meticulous actor, and I’m hard pressed the think of an actor more likely to pull it off. But that photo of Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock looks like, well, a photo of Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock. The pose that Hopkins is striking up there is a familiar one to Hitch fans, but that imperious attitude was a role that Hitchcock played, not actual imperiousness. I think.

Therein lies the challenge of the role of Hitch. He directed a lot of fine actors, but he was also a pretty good actor himself. If you don’t believe me, just watch his bits from Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Genius, in their own way. Who exactly will Hopkins be playing? Actor Hitch, Director Hitch, comically fat man Hitch, or actual guy Hitch? Do we know much about actual Hitch, really? It’s all very confusing.

I suppose pawing at Scar-Jo will go a long way to getting in character.

Losing our national arts treasures? Budget cuts prompt closing of NFB Mediatheque

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Granted, at times, I feel uncomfortable discussing Canadian politics. Who am I, transplanted New Yorker that I am, to say, right? But I intend to stay, so there… One of the things that I find fascinating about Canada and Canadians is the on-going and very earnest discussion about what it means to be Canadian, and the importance that cultural product gets in the discussion. So yeah, it seems kind of tragic to see deep budget cuts that go right to heart of the production and distribution of distinctly Canadian content.

I’ll just set aside the time-tested foundation of Keynesian economics that the best way to claw out of a recession is to spend out of it, saving cutbacks and belt tightening for flusher economic times. The NFB is a national treasure right? Right?

Losing our national arts treasures? Budget cuts prompt closing of NFB Mediatheque

If you happened to stick your head out of your window on the morning of April 4, 2012 in Toronto, you might have heard a faint groaning sound rolling across the city. That would be the sound of Toronto’s significant filmmaking and passionate film-going communities reacting to the National Film Board’s budget cut announcement. It’s one thing to know theoretically that the NFB was mandated to cut 10% of its operating budget, a real number of $6.68 million over 3 years. It’s another thing entirely to learn that Toronto loses 33 full and part-time jobs and the NFB Mediatheque as a result of those cuts. CLICK TO READ THE REST.

Film Friday | Weekly Roundup

Hey there friends and neighbors… It’s me, Pretty Clever Film Gal. Did you think I had run off to Mexico with a pool boy named Pablo? While that is a tempting proposition, I’ve been here in sunny Toronto, locked away in the blogging garret working on the new and improved Pretty Clever Films. Which is a lot of work, oh boy! Even aside from the design and what not, there’s a lot of frustratingly cryptic stuff about domains, and transfers, and transferring domains, and every step takes 2-200 days. Since when does the interwebs need days to do anything? But I digress… suffice it to say, big stuff is going down and in the meantime it’s a really bad call to update here because then I also have to update on the new site and blah blah blah. I promise – it will be worth the wait!

All that said – there is NO WAY I would not scour the interwebs so you, my dear reader, don’t have to. Hopefully by this time next week we’ll be rocking and rolling on the new Pretty Clever Films, but in the meantime I bring you the best the web had to offer this week and I’m going all out – now with 50% more links! Happy reading and happy viewing!

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Film Friday | Weekly Roundup

So seriously, I made a little online tour of the rep cinema’s last night to see what’s on offer this weekend, and felt very disappointed that I can’t go out to a silent film screening this week. The Toronto Silent Film Festival spoiled me! It might just be me and the dvds this weekend, folks. Despite my many silent film screenings this week, I still made time to scour the interwebs for you, dear readers. First, I want to say that over the week I collected a ton of links from The Cinementals and then I thought I should just tell you to follow The Cinementals. They’re doing an awesome job! Now, let’s get down to it. Here’s the best and the brightest the interwebs had to offer this week. Happy reading and happy viewing! Read the rest of this entry

Toronto Silent Film Festival Wraps Up

I will not be leaving my house tonight to sit in a theater and watch a silent movie while a pianist plays along. This is, sadly, an unfortunate state of affairs. But I did have the rare privilege of leaving my house every night for the past 6 NIGHTS to enjoy a silent movie, with an appreciative audience, and amazing live accompaniment thanks to the Toronto Silent Film Festival. How great is that? Indeed, we partied like it was 1926, or at least went to the movies like was 1926, and it was good.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Until next year at least. So please give a special thanks to organizer Shirley Hughes on Twitter and/or Facebook and party on in the 1926 of your mind!

Here are a few of my personal highlights from this year’s festival:

  • The actual gasp from about half the audience at the über tragic ending of Tabu. Silent film fans know you’ll never get a happy ending from a German filmmaker, and certainly never from F.W. Murnau. The silent film newbie tag-a-long I brought with me – well, her jaw actually dropped. Does this mean there were lots of noobs in the audience? I hope so.
  • Meeting the actual people behind many screen names, in particular my Twitter pal @missmccrocodile and her fab sister @caftanwoman. It turns out Twitter handles do have faces. @missmccrocodile told me her dad woke she and her siblings at midnight whenever a John Ford movie was on TV, prompting me to call my own father and ask why my film education was so neglected.
  • Seeing Lotte Reiniger’s Cinderella on a big screen with an audience. This was just a really special treat for me. I’ve long been a fan of Reiniger but have never had the opportunity to see a screening of any of her work. I mean, when does that happen? To observe an audience interacting with Cinderella adds a new dimension to my understanding of her work.
  • The amazing accompaniment from Bill O’Meara. All of the accompanists were amazing and talented, but Bill O’Meara’s play along for 1000 Laffs: Playmates was a revelation. He has a very special way of playing to the emotional reaction of the viewer, not just the action on-screen. If any doubt remained about the value of an accompanist, Bill O’Meara blew it out of the water.
  • The closing night film Variety. Emil Jannings, in spandex, on a trapeze. ‘Nuff said.
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