This time of year means that its just about the end of the traditional summer movie season. This is the seasonal time of year where “Hollywood” (i.e. the moving imagery industry, since just about all of the major and minor companies that have something to do with features hold some connection with media that is mostly for entertainment and amusement purposes) releases some of their most appealing (and rather profitable) titles. Although it appears than many of these titles tend to be in the form of sequels, revisions, off shoots, and the like, there were a few original selections made available. Many were good, a few were just “OK”, while the rest became the rest. However, these movies were created for the general purpose on why movies are made and why people go to theaters to see movies. And the rule is, movies are made to make money, and people will go to the movie theaters to become entertained. And since two titles, Universal’s Furious 7 and Jurassic World broke box office records this season, it seems that the industry pipeline will still be flowing. And in spite on how folks can watch content, and how that content gets to the folks that are still willing to watch, there is no doubt that Hollywood and its related connections is still alive and living and will continue through the many decades ahead.
Now when it comes to what movies are “great”, then that’s another whole story as well. Many sources in the media that write about this industry tend to post their laundry list of the “best ten/twenty/twenty-five/fifty/one hundred” movies of the year/decade/of-all-time list, that range form consulting various resources (“experts”), to personal opinions, noting why these movies made the list. A number of these same lists are created at the end of a given period of time, usually at the end of December noting their picks of their best ten/twenty/fifty/etc. Depending on the list and its sources, a lot of the movies chosen can be “popular” titles–ones that made money for its creators and backers, and those that a mass audience found amusing. Once in a while, a title will be listed that the list maker picked, while others (the mass audiences) never heard of, and surprisingly, didn’t make a lot of money–if anything at all! (Believe it of not, a lot of these smaller titles-as good as they are- fail to see a profit, making these features winding up as a tax write off and nothing much more!)
Not too long ago, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) released their list of the one hundred greatest movies of all time. Although the British empire is the second national source for feature films (The USA is first, ‘natch), this latest list limits itself of American based features, ones that were created by those based in the USA, ot hold a majority control and backing of those that hail from the land of the red, white, and blue.
To compile this list, the “beeb” polled some sixty international film critics by asking them to each list their ten feature titles. As stated by the BBC in their press release, “Each critic who participated submitted a list of 10 films with their pick for the greatest film receiving 10 points and their number 10 pick receiving one point. The points were added up to produce the final list.”
Space doesn’t allow this column to place the entire list of one hundred titles, so only the top ten is posted. Those titles are the “best” films from the USA as noted, along with its director, the studio it came from at the time of release, and the year of first and full release.
10. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola,-Paramount, 1974)
9. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz-Warner Bros.,1942)
8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock-Paramount, 1960)
7. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly-MGM, 1952)
6. Sunrise (FW Murnau-Fox Film Corp.,1927)
5. The Searchers (John Ford-Warner Bros., 1956)
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick-MGM, 1968)
3. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock-Paramount, 1958)
2. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola-Paramount, 1972)
1. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles-RKO, 1941)
For those that desire to see the entire list, it’s recommended that you view the link from the BBC at http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150720-the-100-greatest-american-films
When it comes to what is considered the “best” or the “worst” of anything, it’s always open for debate. After all, people’s judgments of what is good or bad will vary, depending on who is asked, how they are asked, and how knowledgeable they are to the source. As to the BBC’s list, they polled those that were “professionals” in the field of writing about movies; That is, those that get some kind of stipend in their movie writings, although the BBC didn’t necessarily state who was asked and how their asking was chosen. There are many bloggers out in cyberspace land that write their say over movies, but they do this because of their personal passion for the subject rather than for a paycheck. (For the record, yours truly didn’t participate in the poll, so there goes my credentials!)
Next weekend is the Labor Day holiday, the unofficial end of the summer season. Since the movie industry call the summer movie season to run from late April through middle August, there will be (if not already posted somewhere) the top list of movies that were released in the summer of ‘15. Of course, the list will include the big movies that were loud, action packed, perhaps a bit silly, and most of all, very entertaining. Come the fall season, movies will show more intelligence, shifting toward heavy drama and features characters that hold a personal flaw, could be based upon actual people, and are catered to a much older demographic, in addition to those that are members of some organization that fobs off awards for the best of its kind in movies. These kind of movies may be entertaining for what they are, but it depends on who is being entertained. Whatever those movies earn in the box office will also determine on how popular there titles will become. After all, movies are made to make money. In order to create some kind of profit, one has to offer a title that people are willing to pay for the privilege in viewing.
For those that are looking forward for this writer to post a list of the top whatever in moves, that list won’t be complied and “printed” within the “pages” of Accessibly Live Off-Line until Vol. 21-No. 1 (Week of January 4th, 2016), around the time when the Library of Congress will release their list of twenty film films added to the film registry as part of the Film Preservation Act. Further information on the LOC’s film preservation program, and how one can nominate a title to be added in the film registry can be found through the link http://www.loc.gov/programs/national-film-preservation-board/about-this-program/
See you at the movies!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
The Santa Monica Playhouse presents the world premier of Lisa Phillips Visca’s CLIMAX, a tale about a man’s chose between the woman he desires for, and the woman he is married to–not necessarily the same person!
The story opens with Max Madison (George Eddington III), a rather successful operator of a restaurant near Malibu. His spouse Oliva (Jamie Gallo, alternating with Antonia Jones), has been visiting an upscale fertility clinic run by Dr. Roth (Evelyn Rudie) in order for the couple to conceive a child. In spite of the fact that Max and Olivia has spent countless time and money to have the child they hoped for, the head nurse Jade (Rae Down Chong) becomes a matter for Max, unfolding into an affair that become an unfaithful kind, as she seeks her obtaining personal revenge. Max and Oliva’s young adult aged son Jesse (Mike C. Manning) also become concerned as his father spins himself within a tangled web between keeping a family legacy, a love triangle that falls into bitter territory, and a fate that leads toward cataclysmic complications.
This play by Lisa Phillips Visca takes upon a plot setting that falls within the apprehension of keeping a domestic life by a man who can have it all while maintaining a love affair on the side with a person that holds a steady backfire going just for that backfire to become larger than it’s really worth. The story it presents is appealing since love triangles always maintain fascination for its drama level, although its suspense concept takes time for it to jell. The cast of players that appears in this program perform in a rather convincing mode. Rae Dawn Chong as Jade is the charming type that turns sinister within her own moment’s notice–the same way where she can become friendly while holding a virtual knife behind her back in order to strike. Max Madison as played by George Eddington III holds his own charge as well, devoted to his wife as well as “the other woman”. Olivia as performed by Jamie Gallo is the mother that is far from being a “mom type”, in spite of the fact that she also has a son of adult age. And rounding out the cast is Dennis Michael as Tony Cicero, Max’s friend.
Chris DeCarlo & Evelyn Rudie, artistic directions of the Santa Monica Playhouse, directs this show that holds out as its own, fulfilling a drama aspect that gets heavy without the heaviness that such a drama can put out. The stage program holds up rather well within the intimate settings that this little theater located in the city of its namesake has done so for fifty plus years.
It’s interesting to note that the title of this stage play CLIMAX folds both directions. One method speaks for its near thrilling peak and conclusion, and the other as what one would expect when one is attempting to have a family while getting it on with another! It might be having one’s cake and eating it too, but too much of a good thing has its own sinister adjustment.
CLIMAX, presented by and performs at the Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th Street (at Wilshire), Santa Monica, until November 1st. Showtimes are Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM. For information and reservations, call (310) 394-9779 ext. 1, or via online at http://www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com
WE’VE MOVED!! (Sort of…!)
Linear Cycle Productions, and Accessibly Live Off-Line has a new e-mail address!
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