Phil on Film Index

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words

Last night a man at dinner said to me, ‘You’ll never be an actress. You’re too tall’.” Ingrid Bergman wrote this in her diary in 1939. “I thought, he knows nothing about me.” Shortly after this disclosure in Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words, we see footage from her first screen test for David O Selznik. The young actress sits on a couch, looking relaxed as she glances around and smiles, and then she composes herself and stares directly into the camera, delivering a piercing gaze that has a heart-stopping impact. If the man who sat next to her at dinner had seen this footage, he would have been forced to immediately eat his words. She was clearly born to be a movie star.

Read the rest of my review at Little White Lies

Monday, August 08, 2016

Todd Solondz in The Skinny

What do filmmakers draw satisfaction from when they look back over their careers? The impact of their films? The awards they have won? The careers they have launched? For Todd Solondz, the answer is somewhat different: “I'm the author of the only studio movie ever to be released with a big red box in it. I take pride in that!” We are discussing his 2001 film Storytelling, in which a rough, interracial sex scene had to be covered up to appease the Motion Picture Association of America, and Solondz recalls this censorship battle with some glee.

“I actually felt bad for the Europeans because they didn't get to see the version with the red box,” he tells The Skinny. “You know, it came out around 9/11 when they were cutting pictures of the World Trade Centre out of movies, and they asked me if I would remove mine. I said I wouldn't but I would put a big red box over that too – but with movies like mine, that costs money and nobody wants to throw more money at removing shots.”

Read the rest of my interview at The Skinny