2017 Golden Globe Nominations Announced!


Welcome back, my award season enthusiasts!  The 2017 Award Season officially commenced this morning at 8:15 am with the announcement of the Golden Globe Award Nominations.  While these awards are decided by the Hollywood Foreign Press, whose members do not overlap with any Oscar voting body, they are always a good indication of what movies we need to see in order to make an informed statement at our local bar on Oscar night.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land

Damien Chazelle’s modern-day musical La La Land was the most nominated film this year with a total of seven nominations, including Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, Best Actress, Musical or Comedy (Emma Stone), Best Actor, Musical or Comedy (Ryan Gosling), and Best Director (Chazelle).  This was a big weekend for Land, as last night it won Best Picture at the Critics’ Choice Awards.  Keep your eye on this one, kids.  Something tells me this is going to be the one to beat this year.  (I may or may not be listening to the soundtrack as I write this article.)

Mahershala Ali and Alex R. Hibbert in Moonlight

The indie film Moonlight made an impressive showing by picking up six nominations.  The coming of age story of a young man trying to find his place in the world while navigating the rough streets of Miami garnered nominations for Best Motion Picture, Drama, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Mahershala Ali), and Best Director (Barry Jenkins).

Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in Fences

Several other films we were all expecting to hear announced, and did not disappoint, were Manchester by the Sea, Lion, and FencesManchester was nominated for five Globes including, Best Motion Picture, Drama, Best Actor, Drama (Casey Affleck), Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Michelle Williams), and Best Director (Kenneth Lonergan).  Dev Patel’s performance in Lion has long been touted as one of the best of the year.  The hype seems to be accurate, considering Patel was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.  The film itself was also nominated for Best Picture, Drama, and Nicole Kidman picked up her 11th Globe nomination in the supporting actress category.  Denzel Washington’s adaptation of August Wilson’s Fences gave him a nomination for Best Actor, Drama, and Viola Davis a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.  These same actors won Tony’s for playing the same roles on Broadway in 2010.

This is Us

On the Television side of things, new shows Westworld and This is Us both were nominated for three awards each.  The shows were both nominated as well as actresses Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton for Westworld, and Mandy Moore and Chrissy Metz for This is Us. 

A few tried and true shows were also nominated, including Game of Thrones, Veep, Transparent, and BlackishThrones, Veep, and Transparent all received two nominations, while Blackish picked up three nominations.

Sarah Paulsen and Sterling K. Hayden in The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

However, the most interesting categories on the television side of the awards are for made-for-TV movies or mini-series ones.  The very compelling and brilliantly acted The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story received five nominations, making it the most nominated program in the television categories.  Simpson was nominated for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Best Actor (Courtney B. Vance), Best Actress (Sarah Paulson), and Best Supporting Actor (Sterling K. Brown and John Travolta).

John Turturro and Riz Ahmed in The Night Of

I personally feel the need to mention the nominations that were received for the criminally underrated The Night Of.  The mini-series picked up nominations for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, and two nominations in the Best Actor category: one for Riz Ahmed’s performance as a wrongfully-accused (or was he?) murderer, and one for John Turturro as Ahmed’s psoriasis affected, sleazy attorney.

The Golden Globes, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, will be announced on January 8, 2017 on NBC.

-Ariadne Ansbro

Full list of nominees below:

Hacksaw Ridge

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Manchester by the Sea

Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton, Loving
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Natalie Portman in Jackie

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Amy Adams, Arrival
Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie

Sing Street

Best Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy
20th Century Women
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Sing Street

Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy
Colin Farrell, The Lobster
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Jonah Hill, War Dogs
Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

Annette Bening in 20th Century Women

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Dev Patel in Lion

Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel, Lion
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures

Best Performance by Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Nocturnal Animals

Best Director, Motion Picture
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Hell or High Water

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
La La Land
Nocturnal Animals
Manchester by the Sea
Hell or High Water


Original Score, Motion Picture
La La Land
Hidden Figures


Best Motion Picture, Animated
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini


Best Original Song, Motion Picture
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“Faith,” Sing
“Gold,” Gold
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana


Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

Stranger Things

Best Television Series, Drama
The Crown
Game of Thrones
Stranger Things
This Is Us

Claire Foy in The Crown

Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Claire Foy, The Crown
Keri Russell, The Americans
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

Matthew Rhys in The Americans

Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series, Drama
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Billy Bob Thornton, Goliath


Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Mozart in the Jungle

Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Best Performance By an Actress in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce
Issa Rae, Insecure
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Tracee Ellis Ross, Blackish

Donald Glover in Atlanta

Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Nick Nolte, Graves
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

The Night Manager

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
American Crime
The Dresser
The Night Manager
The Night Of
The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story



Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
Charlotte Rampling, London Spy
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

Bryan Cranston in All the Way

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Bryan Cranston, All the Way
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
John Turturro, The Night Of

Christian Slater in Mr. Robot

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
John Lithgow, The Crown
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
John Travolta, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story

Thandie Newton in Westworld

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld



Far From the Madding Crowd (1967)

Madding crowd 1The 1960’s It Girl, Julie Christie has a star turn in this very fine adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s proto-feminist 19th century novel. She’s a headstrong young woman who comes into a substantial inheritance, her wealthy uncle’s working farm. In good time she manages to beguile three different suitors all at once, making her the Goldilocks of the English countryside. One is too cold, the older and stuffy land baron next door (Peter Finch); one is too hot, the smoldering army sergeant (Terence Stamp) who, ahem, makes good use of his broadsword; and the last, the earthy farmhand (Alan Bates) may be just right. It’s all set in the achingly beautiful English countryside of Dorset and Wiltshire and the film feels as if it’s looking ahead to the style of the best ’70s cinema, it has a modern sensibility despite being a period costumer. Richard Rodney Bennett’s score is a big plus too.

—Ron Castillo

You can read more of Ron’s choice picks, penchants, and caprices at The Celluloid Zealot

Stamp Madding Crowd 1

2016 Hail, Caesar! The Berlin Film Festival is on.

NENp1L47Y9JHQU_1_bThe 66th annual Berlin Film Festival kicked off on February 11th with the most recent Coen brothers film HAIL, CAESAR!, a cinematic valentine to a bygone Hollywood of the 1950s. Returning staples–George Clooney and Josh Brolin–along with other A-list talent–Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, and Ralph Fiennes–are comically interwoven in a tale of kidnapping, creativity, and controlled chaos throughout the soundstages of Capitol Pictures (a fictionalization of MGM) and streets of Los Angeles. A companion piece of the earlier Coen film BARTON FINK (1991), a satire focusing on an East Coast playwright turned screenwriter in 1940s Hollywood, the brothers continue to enlighten and entertain audiences through their observations on the necessity of art (and filmmaking) within an increasingly industrialized society.

midnight-specialJeff Nichols’s MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, a science-fiction chase and family drama in the vein of John Carpenter’s STARMAN (1984) and Steven Spielberg’s CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977), follows Roy (Michael Shannon) as he flees across the South with his son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), who exhibits strange supernatural powers. For much of the film the audience is left on their own in the dark (literally and metaphorically) to unravel the complex mysteries of the plot: Nichols made it a rule to not include expository dialogue within the film if two characters already shared knowledge of it. As a result, the audience remains engaged with the material throughout the course of its nearly two hour running time.


Directorial debut of producer James Schamus’s INDIGNATION, an adaptation from the 2008 Philip Roth novel of the same name, is a measured, solid character study of an introverted working-class Jewish student, Marcus (Logan Lerman), from Newark, New Jersey who attends a small college in Ohio during the Korean War in the 1950s. Focusing exclusively on his studies, Marcus struggles with sexual repression and cultural dissatisfaction and is changed by his encounter with a beautiful, but emotionally fragile, student Olivia (Sarah Gadon).

Brendan Gleeson, Emma Thompson, Alone in Berlin
Brendan Gleeson, Emma Thompson, Alone in Berlin

ALONE IN BERLIN is this year’s artistic Europudding that is grounded with strong performances from Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson. Based on the real life Otto and Elise Hampel and Hans Fallada’s posthumous book EVERY MAN DIES ALONE, this war drama follows a couple who starts writing postcards of resistance, protesting against the Nazi regime and Hitler, and leaving them anonymously around Berlin. Vincent Pérez crafts a beautifully designed film and captures the paralyzing conditions of living in Berlin in 1940: the atmosphere of fear pervades the piece, and puts the audience at the heart of resistance anxiety and terror.

Death in Sarajevo
Death in Sarajevo

Bosnia’s competition entry DEATH IN SARAJEVO is a satirical parable for a post-twentieth century Europe. Influenced by and interwoven with Bernard-Henri Lévy’s play HOTEL EUROPA, the film interweaves political and personal conflicts that reflect the Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination of 1914 by Gabrilo Prinicip. Following characters throughout the labyrinthine hotel, they struggle to keep the hotel running smoothly for that evening, but the threat of insurrection threatens to collapse their order.

Fire at Sea
Fire at Sea

Italian FIRE AT SEA focuses on the flight of African refugees to Lampedusa, which Gianfranco Rosi captures with Neorealist, meticulous attention to detail. A documentary that eschews explanations about the migrant crisis, the story has two story lines, apparently unconnected: a young boy Samuele who lives on the island and a doctor who sees to the many hundreds of refugees.

Although there have been a variety of brilliant films have screened already, with less than half of the festival left to go, there are still many more films to be seen!

—Rebecca Kuntz

5 New York Film Festival Movies to Catch when they Hit Theaters


The New York Film Festival may have ended a couple weeks ago but the movies that premiered at the festival continue to roll into theaters including Robert Zemeckis’s The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Steven Spielberg’s The Bridge of Spies, featuring Tom Hankes; and Steve Jobs directed by Danny Boyle. In the weeks and months ahead more NYFF movies will be released in theaters. While the above-mentioned features are good, here are five films that are not to be missed and I hope to see, once again, in theaters.

—John David West

The Lobster

Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz in The Lobster

As one of my most anticipated movies of 2015, I had high hopes for The Lobster. How could I not? Yorgos Lanthimos—who brought us the Oscar nominated Dogtooth (2011) —directs his first English language film starring a middle aged, pudgy Colin Farrell and a short-sighted Rachel Weisz in a movie whose title begs the question, “what the hell is this about?”

Set in the near future, The Lobster is about how single people are arrested and transferred to The Hotel, where they must find a mate and fall in love or they will be forever transformed into an animal (or crustacean) of their choosing. Essentially it’s a love story that explores the human condition and examines the ubiquitous fear of there’s something wrong with you if you’re single. Beyond the film’s absurd, bleak view of a world where people are failures unless they’re in love (and become a voiceless animal), it’s a laugh-out-loud comedy—sad, but funny: violent, but smart and oddly hilarious. It leaves the viewer with much to ponder the big questions, like does being coupled matter that much and what animal would you choose to be?


Son of Saul

son of saul 2
Géza Röhrig as Saul. Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Directed by László Nemes and featuring Géza Röhrig as Saul, this film won the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize of the Jury. Nemes’ first feature film is a powerful and unique look at the horrors of Auschwitz. Shot in 35mm, in academy ratio, with shallow focus, and long tracking shots; Son of Saul provides an immersive human experience that sticks with you long after the film is over. This should be an Oscar front-runner for Best Foreign Language film.


The Martian

Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) finds himself stranded and alone on Mars, in THE MARTIAN.
Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) The Martian

Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon, The Martian is based on Andy Weir’s best selling book of the same name, Matt Damon plays astronaut and botanist Mark Watney who is left behind on Mars and thought as dead when the crew encounter a violent sandstorm and are forced to abandon their mission and make an emergency lift off from the red planet.

The Martian is both a crowd-pleasing movie and a smart science fiction film. It’s action packed fun and gorgeous to watch, and arouse rebellious thoughts like “come on NASA, let’s get back into space travel” —perhaps The Martian will inspire future missions to Mars astronauts and scientists. Unlike Gravity, Drew Goddard’s script succeeds in making the events plausible. The movie is packed with interesting science facts that don’t feel jarringly expositional, perhaps due to the comedic script and Damon’s charismatic performance. Ridley Scott succeeds in weaving a complicated story that is, at times visually poetic, at other times hilarious, but always consistently engaging. His use of is 3D is subtle and thankfully not distracting by being annoyingly self-aware. It sometimes comes dangerously close to having moments of schmaltzy Hollywood-feel-goodness (a few too many shots of cheering crowds in the control room and on the streets), and many characters are rather one-dimensional, but once you get past that The Martian is just elegant, fun, filmmaking.



Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett

In typical 1950s tradition Carol, brilliantly played by Cate Blanchett, lives in a world where everything is seemingly perfect, ordered, and definitely stylish. All is as it should be or at least it appears so on the surface, as Carol conceals the secret of her sexuality. She is more progressive than one might expect, as her husband, Harge (Kyle Chandler) is aware of her past relationships with women. Living in the repressed ’50s, a mother and a beautiful wife to a wealthy man her sexuality is a secret that must be concealed despite herself. Todd Haynes has explored this world before, in the luscious Douglas Sirk homage, Far From Heaven (2002), a film filled with colorful autumn-rich wide-angle shots. Carol is a bit more subdued, honest, and quite cold. Rather than vibrant shots, Carol is filled with close-ups, notably of faces, toys, and shiny vintage 1950s cars; and it’s a cold lonely winter that fills the screen. Perhaps this is not the most inviting world for the viewer, but Blanchett’s brilliance for conveying great depth without saying a word is evident in the film’s final shot, a simple yet impactful, delicate moment that lives beyond the life of this movie.


The Witness


A thoroughly engrossing documentary by director James Soloman that unpacks the details and misinformation surrounding the events and iconic death of Kitty Genovese, who in 1964 was reportedly killed in front of 38 witnesses in Queens, New York.

The Witness is a powerful look at the devastating results of irresponsible journalism. Over the years, the Genovese murder became the subject of numerous books, news reports, themes on episodic TV crime shows, and case studies; her brutal murder shocked the country and its myth has remained alive through the world over the last half century. What is most refreshing in The Witness is how the film brings Kitty to life and reveals the person behind the grotesque murder. For the first time in 50 years, we see her as a beloved sister, popular friend, and a never-forgotten lover.

—John David West

Falling: a Prose Poem about Sunshine Superman

Sunshine_superman_StillVertigo, as Hitchcock taught us with his dolly zoom, is a sense of false rotation. It is disorientation, a spiraling as if sliding down through the slick whorls of a nautilus or a girl-in-the-clock-tower’s long plunge to doom. Kundera, years and oceans later, conflated vertigo with both the fear of falling and “the voice of the emptiness below which tempts and lures us…the desire to fall.”

This is a willful choice of meaning: dizziness, fear, desire.

In accurate parlance, not vertigo but acrophobia is the fear of heights, though it’s questionable whether that fish hook of terror is a fear of falling or simply of being up so high: exposed, able to see every vast expanse below you, there is no place where you yourself can hide.

In this way, acrophobia is the dark moon of barophobia, the fear of gravity.

Here is a triptych of what barophobes fear:
(1) terror that gravity will crush them as if they were The Crucible’s Proctor and all the atmosphere a flat heavy stone,(2) the irrational belief that gravity will reach up like an overeager lover to pull them down with it to the ground,
(3) the idea that gravity will abandon them and then, lonely astronauts unmoored, they’ll float away.

Perhaps we should switch out the lens and refocus. Maybe fear of falling lies closer to Jenny Holzer’s old LED Truism projections project:  Protect Me from What I Want. What we want is to fly.

This is the truth that flickers inside Marah Strauch’s mesmerizing documentary  Sunshine Superman (original title:  Gravity), which presents us with Carl Boenish, a BASE jumping pioneer. At its heart,  Sunshine Superman is a love story—both between Carl and his wife Jean, but also between human bodies and the air. Strauch worked on the film for almost a decade-culling and restoring Carl’s own recordings, filming reenactments of crucial scenes left unrecorded (the couple meeting, a climb along a Norwegian cliff’s rocky spine) and new footage (a long lovely sequence of a man in wing suit as he soars and glides).

Much of Strauch’s footage is archival and so we watch the jumps unfold with those who made them, separated only by time. Shots line up like dominoes to show us tall buildings, cliffs in Norway, Yosemite’s sheer granite wall. From them, jumpers plummet, confetti against the sky. From closer cameras, we see the few quick-counted seconds when a body plunges down untethered; then the parachute deploys, unfurling like an enormous flower, a silk goblet taut above the jumper, inverted to hold the weight of air.

Sunshine 2BASE is an acronym which stands for the four places from which adherents leap (Buildings-Air-Span-Earth), yet also spells out a word that means a safe place to rest or land. There’s a paradox in the name: the type of jumps, the landing. Here’s another: to paraphrase Jean in the movie,  the first few seconds of BASE jumping are not a jump, but a fall. When Carl and Jean jump-in tandem, or one following the other even down Norway’s Trollveggan (Troll Wall)-that leap is, of course, a kind of trust fall: faith in air and in equipment, in the universe which Carl believes operates according to design, and, for Jean, trust in her husband and in what he loves.

This is how love works, as with any act of creation: you leap, you fall, you hope something will catch you-keep you aloft in thin air.

—Kate Angus


Kate Angus is a founding editor of Augury Books. She has been awarded an A Room of Her Own Foundation “Orlando” prize for creative nonfiction and the Southeastern Review’s Narrative Nonfiction prize. She also is the recipient of residencies from Interlochen Arts Academy, the Writer’s Room at the Betsy Hotel, Wildfjords trail in Westfjords, Iceland, and the BAU Institute’s Fellowship in Otranto, Italy. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, Subtropics, Court Green, Verse Daily, Quarterly West, The Awl, The Hairpin, The Toast, failbetter, Best New Poets 2010 and Best New Poets 2014. Follow Kate Angus on twitter @collokate


MoviefiedNYC’s Top 5 Horror Films

There seems to be a variety of definitions for the horror genre out there. Wikipedia defines the horror genre as “seeking to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audiences primal fears.” Here at MoviefiedNYC my partner, Myrna, defines horror as something that causes her to cover her mouth to keep from screaming, and to cover her eyes to keep from seeing—yet all the while peeking so she won’t miss what, in some odd way, might be visually beautiful. I, David, personally like the cinematic experience of being disturbed and visually awed at the same time—well, that, and screaming like a thirteen-year-old girl (I’m a masochist). Whatever the definition is, this list has been our own personal horror to compile. Because we were limited only to five films, we were forced to face our own “primal fears” and omit many great movies and many personal favorites; their blood-curdling screams of “what about me?” will forever keep us awake at night. In celebration of Halloween, we present our five best horror films.

—David and Myrna, MoviefiedNYC

David’s Top Five Horror Films

1. The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist has continued to terrify and shock audiences for nearly forty years and entered our collective psyche as the ultimate in horror films. Not only is the The Exorcist well directed and acted, but it’s also beautifully shot and effectively scored, including Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells,” which became an immediate horror-theme classic. Each character is fully developed. The relationship between the mother, Chris McNeal (Ellen Burstyn) and her daughter Regan (Linda Blair), is completely believable and even endearing.  This horror film has plenty of images to shock: green vomit and Regan’s 360 degree head spin immediately and easily come to mind.  Equally shocking are the many unforgettable lines: uh, um, who “…sucks cocks in hell”? 
2. The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s claustrophobic Overlook Hotel is one of cinemas most unforgettable terror playgrounds, a modern-day haunted castle. There are plenty of scenes and images to shock the viewer: a deluge of blood pouring from the elevators doors, Jack’s son speeding on his Big Wheel through the eerily empty hotel, the murdered twins, and, of course Jack poking his head through a bashed-in bathroom door announcing, “Here’s Johnny!”   Kubrick’s attempt to make logic of Jack’s (Jack Nicholson) psychotic decline to ax his wife and son successfully bridges the gap between the logical and the supernatural. The music is effectively creepy, and Shelley Duval, although often times annoying, screams really well.
Do all vampires have to be scary and sexy? Not Nosferatu.  His horribleness is far more frightening than all of the sexually seductive vampires that followed him.  Director F. W. Murnau’s Count Orlok, Nosferatu, played by Max Schreck (Schreck means terror or horror in German.), is goulash and grotesque with bat-like ears, mouse-like fangs, and Freddy Krueger-like fingers.  Murnau heightens Nosferatu’s creepiness with scenes of rats scurrying out of his coffin, like plague-carrying vermin.  Shot on real locations in Germany (Lübeck’s Salzspeicher—salt storehouses) and Slovakia (Orava Castle) effectively adds to the film’s consistent gothic and macabre tone. The silent, black-and-white quality often feels dreamlike yet, also, oddly real and distant; Nosferatu rests in the viewer’s mind as a far-away foggy nightmare.


My personal favorite and underrated classic is by John Landis, who seamlessly brings horror and comedy into collision resulting in a film that is both frightening and funny. The viewer can’t help but care for David (David Naughton) as he struggles to accept that he has no control over his changing body (puberty metaphor anyone?), and that he’s a ravenous werewolf.  The make-up by Oscar winner Rick Baker is still incredible, notably in the werewolf transformation scene. Here Landis juxtaposes the sweet melody of “Blue Moon,” sung by Sam Cook, against the horror of watching David transform into a menacing werewolf—again horror and comedy collide into an iconic movie moment from what has become cinema’s best werewolf film.
Zombies are currently in vogue with the popularity of The Walking Dead and—since the mid 1970s—the endless parade of bad zombie movies.  Although not the first zombie movie, Night of the Living Dead put the film’s director, George Romero, on track to become the king of the zombie flicks.  The makeup is rather minimal; these zombies are not terrifying or gross, but the black-and-white look along with the film’s constant use of TV and radio reports provide an urgent and realistic feel.  Released in 1968, the movie reflects a society in chaos, a time when the U.S. was seemingly falling apart: race riots, the Vietnam War, assassinations, student protest, oh, and those pesky hippies. For the first time, world chaos was delivered directly to our living rooms via the evening news. Today’s zombie horror owes a lot to this most important zombie classic.

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Myrna’s Top Five Horror Films

Even in a pop-culture landscape littered with vampires, Let The Right One In stands out as a beautiful and romantic coming of age story as well as a bone-chilling horror film. Based on the novel of the same name by John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrote the screenplay, Sweden’s Let The Right One In is hypnotic, horrific, and is groundbreaking. It follows the classical rules of vampire lore, but takes those very same rules we are accustomed to and updates them in new and exciting ways. Paced, and patient in building its world to set us up for some horrific moments. Beautifully shot, moving yet unsentimental and consummately performed. It has its moments of restrained fright, but never shies away from the gore when needed. A classic of modern horror cinema, and easily the most fascinating vampire film to appear in recent years. 
It has been called the scariest movie of all time, certainly the most frightening of its era. This notorious battle between good and evil was nominated for eight Oscars when it was originally released in 1973. The Exorcist, directed by William Friedkin and adapted by novelist William Peter Blatty, is based on the latters bestseller about the last-known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism in the United States. The little girl Regan, played by fourteen-year-old  Linda Blair, is suddenly prone to fits and bizarre behavior. Regan proves quite a handful for her actress-mother, Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn). When Regan gets completely out of hand, Chris calls in young priest Father Karras (Jason Miller), who becomes convinced that the girl is possessed by the Devil, and that they must call in an exorcist: Father Merrin (Max von Sydow). His adversary proves to be tougher than your average demon, and both the priests and Regan suffer numerous horrors during their tribulations. The films special effects still hold up well today: pea soup never looked so good. Not for a momentnot when Regan is possessed by the darkest of spirits, not when the bed is banging up and down and the furniture is flying and the vomit is welling outare we less than convinced of her demonic possession. Partially an exploration (and exploitation) of religious faith, The Exorcists timeless ability to terrify relies on its strong performances.
Suspiria is considered by many to be the best work ever by Dario Argento and one of the greatest horror films of all time. The film follows American ballet student Suzy Banyon (Jessica Harper), who transfers to a prestigious dance academy in Germany only to discover that it is controlled by a coven of witches. Argentos many film trademarks are all displayed in Suspiria, such as closeups of the eyes, the use of imaginative shadows through lighting, daring use of color, choice of camera angels. The intense violent nature of the murders of beautiful women create a sinister and surreal shroud of dread and angst. The secret purpose of the school and everyone employed there develops slowly before building to a climax of intensity and sheer horror. Suspiria also includes one of the most memorable soundtracks of all time. Goblin, who would score numerous other films for Argento, provide a haunting score, one that uses strange human vocals, the sounds of whispers and gasps to complement the music. It’s an artistic choice that lends itself well to the film. Suspirias visual and stylistic flair, use of vibrant colors and lavish settings are a relentless attack on the senses, and I do mean that as a compliment.

The Devils Backbone is a Spanish-Mexican thriller written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, set in Spain, 1939, during the final year of the Spanish Civil War. Carlos, a twelve-year-old whose father has died in the war, arrives at an ominous boy’s orphanage, where he discovers the school is haunted and possesses many dark secrets that he must uncover. An old-fashioned tale that is frightening and unsettling, part gothic horror, part political drama and part exploration of the events that turn children into adults way too soon. Atmospheric in detail, The Devils Backbone is a superior supernatural psychological film with subtle special effects and painterly cinematography. The movie’s visuals are its strongest point, all bright amber in the daytime and creepy moonlight green by night. The Devils Backbone could be the saddest and most visually poetic horror movie ever made.

The Mist  is a novella by author Stephen King in which writer-director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank RedemptionThe Green Mile and The Walking Dead) truly sinks his teeth into one of King’s favorite themes—how quickly panic corrodes the semblance of civilization—an allegory on mob mentality and the price of fear. This grocery store survival drama is dominated by Marcia Gay Harden as a shrill fundamentalist, a fanatic Mrs. Carmody, stirring up the flock with visions of hellfire and Judgment Day looming. This black-and-white version of the film has contrasts which bring great claustrophobic tension to the delicate balance of civilization when dogma grows deadlier than any harassing beasts or monster.  Brace yourself to be shocked by its ending; Darabont does take it to a significantly darker place than I think even King imagined.

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Moviefied Special Edition: 9/11 Tribute in Film to the World Trade Center

Moviefied remembers the lost lives, the survivors, and a city transformed before our eyes. Thanks to the power of film, we can revisit the beauty and awe of the World Trade Center.

World Trade Center Twin Tower Cameos In Movies (1969-2001)

Godspell (1973)

Man on a Wire (2008)

King Kong (1976)

Moonstruck (1987)

Superman (1978)

Spiderman (2002)

    Trading Places (1983)

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