In 1924, Salvador Dali did a portrait of…

© “Luis Bunuel” by Salvador Dali. 68.5 x 58.5. Oil on Canvas (1924).
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.

Robert Redford’s directorial debut

Ordinary People (1980, Robert Redford), starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton & Judd Hirsch.
A suicidal crisis that proved to be too much for these ordinary people living in Forest Lake, Illinois.
The film is very mature for a directorial debut with its upsetting patient secrets & a pleasurable slow pace combined with a collection of amazing performances. A pertinent reference to Jude the Obscure makes the story all the more bitter.

However, this is a film that beat “Raging Bull” for Best Picture, undeserving for some, but it’s still a masterpiece nonetheless. A must-see!

© Robert Redford directing Timothy Hutton in “Ordinary People” (1980)

© Donald Sutherland in “Ordinary People” (1980)

© Judd Hirsch, “Ordinary People” (1980)

© Mary Tyler Moore & Timothy Hutton, “Ordinary People” (1980)

© Robert Redford directs Mary Tyler Moore in “Ordinary People” (1980)

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).