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King In The Shadows: Elvis Presley's "King Creole"

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 5, 2016 01:16pm | Post a Comment

King Creole, Elvis Presley, Carolyn Jones

-- Brett Stillo

Hollywood was starting to show its age in 1958. The Old Guard, who’d turned the town into an assembly King Creoleline of fantasy and illusion in the '30s and '40s, were slowing down. Staring at them right in their faces, was the future: teenagers, Rock n' Roll, and the financial reality of the Saturday night double feature at the Drive-In.

King Creole, which was released in July of that year, straddles the line, one foot planted in old school Hollywood genre storytelling of Film Noir, the other sliding towards the juvenile market of the Rock n' Roll film. The film’s storyline is firmly planted in the former: a guy with a troubled past is just looking to get a break, but fate pulls him into a raw deal that sets him up to take a big fall. However, this particular fall guy is a sneering, hip-shaking teenager, swinging to a rockin’ beat in double-four time. And oh yes, the actor playing said fall guy happens to be one Elvis Aaron Presley.

Presley was a singer who dreamed of being an actor. He idolized Brando and Dean, and King Creole was his chance to show his dramatic potential on the screen. In King Creole, Presley plays Danny Fisher, a streetwise kid living in the French Quarter of New Orleans, trying to support his down-and-out family by working in a tough joint run by notorious gangster, Maxie Fields (played with brutish charm by a seething Walter Matthau).

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The Golden Age of Sherlock Holmes Films

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 28, 2016 06:31pm | Post a Comment


Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce

-- By Brett Stillo

Spider WomanSherlock Holmes is alive and well today, but you won’t find him at his bee farm in Sussex Downs. He’s still on the case, solving mysteries on the BBC (Sherlock), American television (Elementary) and on the big screen (Mr. Holmes). Crime fighters come and go, but Mr. Holmes is a constant. The master detective has been with us for nearly 130 years and shows no sign of taking “His Last Bow” any time soon. This is truly an exciting time for this legendary character and his legion of fans—but it’s not the first time.

Universal’s Sherlock Holmes movies of the 1940’s were adventure-mysteries fueled by the pulp magazines of the era. The more staid, literary, murder-in-the-drawing-room stories of Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave way B-Movie thrills: diabolical plots, fiendish masterminds, nefarious enemy agents, and horrific death-traps, all set in embattled World War II London. These films reside in a macabre realm of shadows and intrigue that lie on the border of two cinematic worlds: Universal’s classic horror movies of the '30s, with their Hollywood-Gothic sets and expressionistic camera angles, and the foreboding dark streets of classic Film Noir of the late '40s. They are bound together by curling tendrils of fog constantly pumped out by studio smoke machines.

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An Easter-Time Movie List For All

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 27, 2016 04:07pm | Post a Comment
Killer bunny? From Gorleston Psalter, 14th Century.
Killer bunny? From Gorleston Psalter14th-century manuscript.

Happy Easter! Even though I grew up Jewish and had no idea what a Resurrection was, I knew I liked bunnies, chocolate, treating eggs like an art project, and finding buried treasure in foliage. I was sold on the whole Easter thing. As I matured at some point in the not too distant past, I realized that there was a whole lot more to Easter than baskets full of candy and huge hats. I learned that it was also about birth and rebirth. The symbolism of eggs, Jesus's triumphant return from the dead, and bunnies multiplying like, well, bunnies all lead us to appreciate the foundation of it all: Spring Equinox, the renewal of life on earth. I'm not sure where the chocolate fits in, but I'm not going to question a good thing.

In honor of everyone who can appreciate longer and brighter days, the rejuvenation of all life on earth, and deadly killer rabbits, I bring you this non-denominational Easter-time movie list for all...

Rebel Without A Cause

Nicholas Ray's 1955 magnum opus of teen angst is considered by most to be the first sensitive and Rebel Without A Causerealistic look at troubled, misunderstood youth. Would we have those heart-breaking scene's of Bender (Judd Nelson), Claire (Molly Ringwald), and the gang discussing their troubled home lives in The Breakfast Club without Rebel Without A Cause? I think not. The opening scene in Rebel is set in a police station on Easter night where three high school kids -- Jim Stark (James Dean), Judy (Natalie Wood), and Plato (Sal Mineo) -- meet and an unlikely friendship is born. Much drama and generation gap struggles ensue, ultimately leading to one of the character's death by the hands of the police. Rebel remains James Dean's most celebrated film. It was released a month after his death at the age of 24, thus immortalizing him as a beautiful youth forever.
 

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Amoeba Sponsors Two Screenings at Indian Film Festival

Posted by Amoebite, March 22, 2016 04:07pm | Post a Comment

island city filmIsland City

indian film festival los angelesAmoeba is proud to sponsor two films at the 14th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, which takes place April 6-10 at the ArcLight Hollywood. Tickets are $15 each, plus a service fee of $1.74. Pick them up here.

As part of our longtime support of this unique festival, Amoeba is sponsoring Ruchika Oberoi's Island City, which screens April 7 at 7 p.m. The film, which combines absurdist comedy and realist drama, explores three stories in the sprawling city of Mumbai: an office drone selected by his company for a day of “fun”; an oppressed wife and mother who finds solace in a popular soap; and a woman in a loveless arranged marriage who begins to receive love letters from an unknown source.

We’re also sponsoring IFFLA alum Kranti Kanade's CRD April 9 at 3:05 p.m. The experimental film is reminiscent of French New Wave as it tells the story of an aspiring young writer who enlists a group of misfits to act against his college’s official team.

IFFLA is a nonprofit dedicated to fostering the appreciation of Indian cinema and culture. The festival takes place each year at the ArcLight, just next to our store in Hollywood.

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12 Irish Movies to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Posted by Billy Gil, March 14, 2016 04:55pm | Post a Comment

irish movie list best irish movies

You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or appreciate great Irish films. Here’s a list of 12 releases we love, in no particular order. (At Amoeba Hollywood, find our St. Patrick’s day movies and music in a special section near the stairs.)

Once (2007)

once dvdThis Irish musical/romantic drama stars stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova as struggling musicians in Dublin who bond musically and fall in love. The film became so beloved that it was adapted in a Tony Award-winning play. If you’re in L.A., you can win tickets here to the show’s closing night at the Pantages Theatre March 20.

 

The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)

the secret of roan inish dvdThis fantastical drama from John Sayles tells of a young girl sent to live with her grandparents in a small Irish village near the island of Roan Inish, where selkies — seals that can become human — are rumored to reside. This combination of heart and Irish folklore makes the film a family-friendly winner.

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