It’s that time of year again, New Yorkers! The Tribeca Film Festival kicked off yesterday, and it has definitely upped its game. Known not only for cofounder Robert De Niro but also its vast selection of cinema, this year’s installment offers 102 feature films from 32 different countries, including 78 world premieres and 45 first-time directors.
John Cazale made only five movies in his brief, brilliant career, but man, what five movies: The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon, The Deer Hunter. Five movies. Five best picture nominations. Three best picture wins. Cazale’s films racked up a total of 40 Oscar nods, with 14 for his fellow actors. Yet Cazale himself was never nominated for an Academy Award. Now that Leonardo DiCaprio has won his overdue Oscar, perhaps it’s time for the Academy to correct another egregious oversight and award an honorary posthumous Oscar to the actor whose work defined 1970s cinema.
David O. Russell is one of the most exciting film directors working today. Beginning in the 1990s with the oddball comedies Spanking the Monkey and Flirting With Disaster, then taking a unique spin on the war genre with Three Kings and continuing through his recent Oscar-nominated trio—The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle—Russell’s films are built upon the most basic human desires and the complex, often tragic, often humorous relationships they create.
It’s been 25 years since Goodfellas was released, on September 19, 1990—long enough for us to become so jaded about the gangland genre that Mob shenanigans are old hat.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, a watershed moment in American cinema and a font of some pretty fascinating trivia. Here are our 10 favorite factoids you never knew about Lee’s landmark film.
In the 1986 film Caravaggio, director Derek Jarman achieves the nearly impossible—he turns the juicy, scandalous story of the rowdy, licentious, murderous, bisexual, drunken 17th-century Italian painter Caravaggio into a stupefying bore. It’s a sign of a real cinematic stinker when you can’t wait for the paintings to appear. When they do, you can see how Caravaggio performed magic with light and shadow to yank us right into his canvases. In Death of the Virgin, the corpse of Mary, swollen and stiff with rigor mortis, is illuminated from above, as if God is shining goodness on her. The scene is blasphemous and profane, even to our 21st-century sensibilities (the model is said to have been a prostitute), but it’s hauntingly spiritual, too.