Don’t answer that phone !!

A brilliant Anatol Litvak film- noir, made in 1948, starring Barbara Stanwyck & Burt Lancaster, set in Manhattan:

The pieces of the story are beautifully put together by other people’s reconstruction & reportage over the phone.
The spoiled character of Stanwyck finds herself randomly at the center of a conspiracy connected together by a very ominous object, a phone. This depiction of the object later made it through American Slasher films like the “Scream” series.
©Still shots from the film, all rights go to the authors.

Kieslowski’s favorite film is: Kes (1969)

Ken Loach‘s second film (after “Poor Cow” in 1967) represents the sadism of the educational system, the confinement of family and peer violence in contrast to the freedom and beauty of a kestrel.
Introducing “Kes” (1969).
The film is an adaptation of Barry Hines‘ novel “A Kestrel for a Knave” and is Krzysztof Kieslowski’s favorite movie.

© Snapshots from “Kes” (1969, Ken Loach). Seen here is David Bradley in the main role of “Billy”.


Tribute to authors & screenwriters: Billy Wilder

No list of screenwriters could ever be complete without the one and only Billy Wilder.
Wilder made use of his scripts to transgress Hollywood censorship by depicting taboo topics to the American mainstream, such as cross-dressing in Some Like It Hot and addiction in The Lost Weekend. To his credit are some of the US most classical films and spellbinding noirs, such as Double Indemnity (1944), The Lost Weekend (1945), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Some Like It Hot (1959), The Apartment(1960).
Hotel del Coronado, where Some Like it Hot was filmed in 1958 and thus became an iconic place, commemorated Billy Wilder with the stamp you see below.

© The American Postal service’s Billy Wilder stamp, featuring the director/screenwriter, Marilyn Monroe & the hotel Coronado in the back. 

Tribute to authors & screenwriters: Paul Schrader

 Paul Schrader (1946- ) is an American director, ex-film critic and most importantly, screenwriter.
He saw his first film at the age of 18, having been brought up a Calvinist.
To his credentials are Scrosese’s masterpieces Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and American Gigolo (1980), Affliction (1997).
And yet he has never received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, Original or otherwise.

© Paul Schrader, circa 1972. Unknown photographer

© Paul Schrader, Martin Scorsese, Robert de Niro. Undated, unknown photographer.

Tribute to authors & screenwriters: Ben Hecht

 Ben Hecht (1894-1964) aka “The Shakespeare of Hollywood” is an American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright, and novelist.  He’s the first screenwriter to receive an American Academy Award for Best Screenplay (Underworld, 1927 by Josef von Sternberg).
He is also an unaccredited script doctor on countless other projects, including Gone with the Wind(1939).
To his credit are the following films: Scarface (1983), His Girl Friday (1940), The Scoundrel (1935), Wuthering Heights(1939), Notorious (1946), Monkey Business (1957), Spellbound (1947).
It has been said that he can produce a screenplay in two weeks.

© Ben Hecht, circa 1919, Culver Pictures (original photographer).

Tribute to authors & screenwriters: Modiano, Patrick

French author Patrick Modiano (1945-) was born in Boulogne Billancourt and is also the son of Flemish actress Louisa Colpijn.
In 1973, Modiano co-wrote the screenplay of “Lacombe, Lucien” (1974, Louis Malle), the tale of  a boy in the French Gestapo. Patrice Leconte adapted his novel “Villa Triste” into “Le Parfum d’Yvonne” (1994). Check him out.

© Patrick Modiano, Paris, 1969. Photo by D.R

© Patrick Modiano, undated, by Olivier Roller

© Patrick Modiano, 2007, Paris, by Olivier Roller

Tribute to authors & screenwriters: Three portraits of Truman Capote

Not only was Truman Capote (1924-1984) the author behind “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) & “In Cold Blood” (1967), but he also wrote the screenplay for “Beat the Devil” (1953, directed by John Huston) & the dialogue for “Indiscretion of an American Wife” (1953, Vittorio de Sica).

He has been portrayed several times, most impressively by Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Capote” (2005, directed by Bennett Miller). He likewise starred in the hilarious noir comedy “Murder by Death” alongside Peter Falk (1974, Robert Moore).

Below are 3 of my favorite portraits of the artist. All rights belong to their respective photographers.

© Truman Capote, Henri-Cartier Bresson, 1947

© Truman Capote by Richard Avedon, New York City, October 1950

© Truman Capote, Irving Penn, 1965.