Melville’s Two Men In Manhattan

Written by Joe D on September 19th, 2013

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Finally Jean Pierre Melville’s 1958 film Two Men In Manhattan is coming to the USA. It was never released here, I’ve never seen it and I think I’ve seen all of his other films, except an early short 24 Hours in The Life Of A Clown, so I’m looking forward to this one. Melville stars in this film, the only time he put himself in a leading role, another reason to check this out.

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He acted in a few other films , most notably he played the novelist interviewed by Jean Seberg at the airport, a great character. I recently watched La Silence de la mer, an interesting early film that I enjoyed, a story of German occupation of a French village. The fatherand daughter refuse to speak to the German officer bivouacked with them even though he is obviously a refined, sensitive person.    Not a compelling story for the screen you might say? Maybe in today’s marketplace but it is a very engaging film. All of Melville’s work has a lot of deep thought behind it, nothing is as simple as it may seem on the surface, the interior lives of his characters comes bursting through their polished exteriors at unexpected times. For example when the police marksman in Le Circle Rouge (Yves Montand) suddenly takes his rifle off the tripod and shoots the target freehand or when he insults his former colleague as he lays dying, or when Gian Maria Volonte shoots the two thugs that have the drop on Alain Delon. Melville’s Cinema is dark and deep and worthy of a major retrospective and exhaustive study. Like an abandoned mine, still full of treasures for the curious explorer.
P.S. I just ordered the Blu Ray so I’ll review it soon.

Film Noir Fest at The Egyptian

Written by Joe D on March 26th, 2009

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The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood is hosting the 11th annual Film Noir Festival starting on Thursday April 2nd with OUT OF THE PAST (arguably the best film noir of all time) and the ultra-rare COMPANY SHE KEEPS. Here’s the link to the schedule. Be there!

Jean Luc Godard’s trailer for The 2008 Viennale

Written by Joe D on September 25th, 2008

In case you’ve been wondering what JLG has been up to, here’s a trailer he put together for the 2008 Viennale.

2001 to screen at The Edison

Written by Joe D on September 18th, 2008

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They’re screening Stanley Kubrick’s mega opus 2001 at the Edison as part of the Jules Verne Fantasy Film Festival right here in downtown LA. Info here. I saw this film in a re-release in 1975 at the Bellvue Theater in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. It was projected in 6 track 70mm. I went to a matinee show with my girlfriend and when we got to the box office the ticket seller said “Wait a minute.” Then she came back and said “OK, the manager said we’ll run it.” We were the only people at that screening! Just the two of us in the gigantic theater with an enormous screen! It was incredible. I knew the editor of 2001. A guy named Ray Lovejoy. This was the first film he edited! He had been 1st Assistant editor on Dr. Strangelove and Lawrence Of Arabia. He told me that Kubrick basically lost his mind making this film. Before 2001 he was a fun guy, great to hang out with. But 2001 was such a gigantic, complicated project and Kubrick was such a perfectionist he lost himself in the overwhelming tide of technical details, personally overseeing every aspect of the film, even ( so I’ve been told) calling every first run theater the film was shown in to make sure it was presented properly! Yow! Oh well, hats off to Stanley Kubrick, Ray Lovejoy, Arthur C. Clark and everybody else who worked on this film and passed on through the Stargate or obelisk or whatever portal to the next dimension.
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P.S. I met this guy at the Chelsea Hotel back in the 70’s

ONWY To Screen At ReelHeART International Film Festival [RHIFF]

Written by Joe D on June 19th, 2008

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Hello, Good Day, Bon Soir, Cheerio to all Film Denizens of Toronto. My film One Night With You will be shown Friday, June 20th, 9:30 pm as part of the ReelHeART International Film Festival [RHIFF]. Here’s the link for all the info. http://www.reelheart.com/2008/festival/friday-june-20/main-programming-a-friday-930-pm/ Come on out and see a movie! You’ll like it!

One Night With You Gets Nod From The ReelHeART Internationl Film Festival

Written by Joe D on March 12th, 2008

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I’m very happy to announce that my film One Night With You was accepted to the prestigious ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto! This will be our Canadian Premier as well as our International Premier! The Festival takes place June 16 - 21 in the beautiful city of Toronto and I’m very excited to be going there. Toronto is a film loving city and I can’t wait to screen for all the Cinemaphiles up there. I’ll announce the dates of our screenings as soon as I get them but I wanted to give everybody a heads up in case you can make it to this great festival.

Lake County Film Festival, SuperDawg, I Am The Walrus

Written by Joe D on March 4th, 2008

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We had a great time at the Lake County Film Festival, saw some cool movies, met some great people, and went to SuperDawg!food-cu.jpg

The Super Dawg comes in it’s own little box!
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This is what you get when the magic box is opened
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It’s one heck of a Good Time

Then after the saturday screening of my film, One Night With You, I was pleasantly surprised by a group of young, cool people. It was the elusive Film Walrus (Brian), along with Kathy and Derek. Film Walrus and Katie drove from St. Louis to see the film and I am forever in their debt for making that trek. The Gods Of Film will Bless Them! We had dinner and talked for about 4 hours, it was great!
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Katie, Derek, Me and The Film Walrus! He is The Walrus, not Paul McCartney!

There were some great people at our screenings and they seemed to really enjoy the film. We got some excellent reviews posted online, and a good time was had by all.

One Night With You to play at The Lake County Film Festival

Written by Joe D on February 19th, 2008

Lake County Film Festival

Yo, yo Film Forno Fans , my feature directorial debut will screen at the Lake County Film Festival! If you’re in the area, come on down and check it out, a guaranteed good time will be had by all! Click the magic link below for all the info.

http://lcff2008.bside.com/2008/?_view=_filmdetails&filmId=47310091

P.S. We’re going to SuperDawg!

Battle Of The Beignets

Written by Joe D on October 22nd, 2007

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St. Alphonsus Deconsecrated Church, where Angel Heart was filmed

We’re back from the great City Of New Orleans! It is an amazing place and I encourage everybody to visit, some people go for Mardi Gras and never leave!
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The City is fueled by alcohol, music,sex, murder and beignets! I saw a sign on a building that said something like ” This is a government of LAW not of MEN.” Maybe the government is of law but the people are all passion. The law does not carry that much weight down there. I mean the police will arrest someone for committing a crime but that does not deter people from committing the crime.
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Shop Widow in The Quarter

The Ethos is a hot blooded one, a patois of Tchapitoulas Indian, African slave, French, Cajun, Creole and whatever else got tossed in the gumbo pot. “Iko, Iko” was an Indian war cry that the local musicians picked up on.
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This is New Orleans!

But don’t get me wrong, I love this city, the music, the cuisine, the bars, the buildings and the people. They are very friendly and willing to talk, it’s really refreshing.
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Central Grocery- Home of the Muffaletta!

Everything there is pretty intense although usually in a laid back way. The tropical atmosphere, the lush plant life, the rain that can come and go 5 times in a day. It’s intoxicating. The wonderful smells of the city, they brought back memories of my childhood, aromas I haven’t come across in 30 years.
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But down to business! Which Beignet is better? Cafe Du Monde VS. Morning Call! Beignets are kind of like archetypal donuts, like the zeppole that was sold at Italian street fairs or Feasts, that celebrated a Saint’s name day. They’re fried dough with powdered sugar and they’re good!
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3 A.M.- Cafe Du Monde Beignets

Cafe Du Monde is in the French Quarter, Morning Call was moved lock, stock and countertop to Metarie, just outside of NO. We tried both and they’re both great but Morning Call’s Beignets are lighter, fluffier and just better!
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Morning Call Beignets

The ones from Du Monde come covered in powdered sugar, at Morning call you have to powder them yourself with a shaker. But check them out for yourself on your next visit to New Orleans, I’ll be back there as soon as I can!
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I’ll Meet You On The Corner Of Rampart And Dumaine!

P.S. Our screening of One Night With You was great! We met some super cool people there who really dug the movie! That was the cherry on top of the NO sundae!

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Me with the beautiful Ali Duffy, the Festival’s Executive Director

New Orleans Film Festival

Written by Joe D on October 13th, 2007

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opening Night Party!

Hey Y’all! Film Forno is here at the 18th annual New Orleans Film Festival! We’re having a great time thanks to all the nice people of the beautiful city of New Orleans. Everybody is so accommodating, they take the time to talk to you and are friendly as can be. We went to the opening night party and were blown away by Big Sam and the Funk Nation, a super band.

Big Sam and The Funk Nation with Charmaine Neville

They were joined by some incredible guests Ivan Neville, Theresa Anderson, and Charmaine Neville. They rocked the house. I felt the Spirit of the Wild Tchopitoulas rising through the floor of the nightclub!
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Late Night Beignets at The Cafe Du Monde

We saw Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show last night and Mr. Vaughn was there and did a Q&A after with his producer Peter Billingsly ( He played Ralphie in Jean Shepherd’s classic A Christmas Story, directed by the late Bob Clark). Later we all went to One-Eyed Jacks, a crazy bar in the French Quarter, where they were projecting One-Eyed Jacks, Marlon Brando’s directorial debut and swan song.
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One-Eyed Jacks Logo
It’s all one big party here in N’Awlins, so come on down, the festival continues through next Thursday. Our film One Night With You is screening Weds. night the 17tha at 9:15 pm at the Contemporary Arts Center. Check it out and Let The Bon Temps Rolle!

Estes Park Film festival

Written by Joe D on September 18th, 2007

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The historic Park Theater

It’s incredibly beautiful here in Estes Park Colorado. We saw elk butting heads on the golf course yesterday, the golfers had to play around them.
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Fore!

Estes Park is a pretty little town surrounded by rough, rock escarpments and pine covered mountains. There’s a stream running through the town, right behind the main street. The Starbuck’s has the most beautiful patio right on the stream. But the real gem on the crown is the Park Theater. This is the 2nd oldest operating theater in the USA and soon to be the oldest as a theater in Pennsylvania that had that distinction is closing. The theater is a time capsule into our movie heritage. The guys at the festival, Sean, Cliff, Pete, and Tony are all film buffs and are super proud of the theater.
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3 Cool Cats-Pete, Tony, Sean in the booth!
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Cliff, Wild Man Of The Mountain

They took great pleasure in showing me around and brought out some recently discovered treasures. Recruiting trailers from WWII, “Women Join The Wacs, Uncle Sam Needs You!”, “Buy Liberty Bonds”, all kinds of amazing historical stuff. Box office receipts from the original presentation of “Gone With The Wind”, original posters from a lot of movies including King Kong and Frankenstein. It’s incredible! An old projector from the silent days complete with Vitaphone record player. The owner of the theater, Sharon Seeley, is super committed to keeping that theater going and I applaud her and her daughter Jenna for doing a great job and a great favor to all film lovers.
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Sharon and Jenna-First Ladies of Theater Preservation

This theater is a priceless treasure trove of American Cinema History! The guys told me that there are tons of artifacts piled up in the storage spaces that need to be catalogued and preserved. The Park opened in 1913 and has been showing movies ever since! There’s a Valentino poster in the lobby.
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It was a real honor for me to have my film One Night With You screen there. I scrambled like mad to get a 35mm print ready in time for the festival and thanks to my pals at Triage Motion Picture Services I made it. Sean, Tony (the projectionist, a young guy totally committed to film, quality projection, and old theaters),Pete, Cliff, and Jenna were really happy we could project on film. It’s a FILM festival! show it on FILM if possible.

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Night Falls on The Park Theater. Psst! It’s Haunted!

I’ve been to a few film fests in my day and I’ve got to say Estes Park was superbly organized! Everything went off without a hitch. I saw more films at this festival than any other. My hat is off to all the organizers. Hey Filmmakers! Go to this festival! It’s just starting to grow and I predict it will be the next Sundance. (Or maybe I should say what Sundance used to be before it got all corporate).
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Welcome to The Stanley Hotel! Mwah Ha Ha!

We went to a screening of Horror/Fantasy type films at the Stanley Hotel. This is the spot where The Shining takes place. A cool creepy dreamlike joint. Beautiful but you expect to see a guy from 1920 come strolling around the corner.
The Horror/Fantasy screenings were great. Maybe because of the nature of the genre the films were consistently Cinematic. Effect Shots, creepy sequences, a lot of visually stunning stuff and a great sidebar to the Festival. So Filmmakers submit your films, Film Lovers Go to this festival. I guarantee an excellent time will be had by all.
P.S. By the way I won the Best Director Prize for my film One Night With You and I’m super happy and grateful to all these wonderful people up there in Estes Park!
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Beauty

One Night With You Gets Nod From New Orleans Film Festival

Written by Joe D on September 8th, 2007

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Calling all Film Forno Fans in the greater New Orleans area. ONWY was just accepted to the 2007 New Orleans Film Festival. We are super excited and raring to go down to the Big Easy, one of the coolest spots on the planet. If you dig music, food, architecture, birthplace of the cocktail, hey great human culture! Go to New Orleans! See the Zulu King! Come during October and check out our film! Spend some scratch in the cradle of Jazz, the Crescent City, they need your support! I’ll post details as we get them but we hope to see y’all there!