Category Archives: #AFI

HARVEY (1950) – Today’s AFI Movie Club Selection

Posted by Larry Gleeson

 

 

The sweet story of a misunderstood man with an unlikely companion – a  6′  3 1/2″ tall white invisible rabbit friend that only he can see – HARVEY (1950) stars AFI Life Achievement Award recipient James Stewart, and was honored among the American Film Institute’s ranking of the funniest films of all time.  Based on Mary Chase’s 1944 play of the same name and directed by Henry Koster, HARVEY, orbits around the unlikely pair – one seen, one unseen – and the ensuing debacle when the man’s sister decides to have him committed to a sanitarium. Available on iTunes and Amazon Prime Video.

 

Until Next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

 

HollywoodGlee celebrating the start of the 2019 AFI FEST presented by Audi. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson)

 

About AFI Movie Club

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. As a non-profit, AFI Movie Club is a member-powered organization, dependent upon the support of its movie fans. To support AFI Movie Club please consider becoming a member or donating.

AFI Movie Club was launched as a free program to raise the nation’s spirits by bringing artists and audiences together. AFI shines a spotlight on an iconic movie each day. Audiences can “gather” at AFI.com/MovieClub to find out how to watch the featured movie of the day with the use of their preexisting streaming service credentials.

AFI MOVIE CLUB (Source: AFI News Release)

 

 

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) – AFI Movie Club Pick of the Day

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Directed by AFI Life Achievement Award recipient Frank Capra and starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert – both of whom were enshrined among AFI’s greatest screen legends – IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) is an iconic screwball comedy that’s appeared on no fewer than four of AFI’s lists of the greatest American films of all time – including among the top 10 funniest films ever to grace the silver screen.

Spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews (Colbert) escapes from her millionaire father Alexander’s yacht when he kidnaps her after she elopes with and marries King Westley, a playboy aviator whom Andrews thinks is a fortune hunter. She boards a bus headed for New York and meets Peter Warne (Gable), a reporter who has just been fired. Despite their dislike for each other, the two manage to fulfill each other’s needs and find redemption in their work and in their relationships. Streaming on Prime Video and YouTube.

 

 

The working title for this film was Night Bus, and it was to have starred Robert Montgomery, who was Frank Capra’s original choice for the part of Peter Warne. Montgomery was replaced by Clark Gable, who was borrowed from M-G-M, while Claudette Colbert was borrowed from Paramount. In Capra’s autobiography, he states that he variously sought Myrna Loy, Margaret Sullavan, Miriam Hopkins, and Constance Bennett for the role of Ellie Andrews before selecting Colbert.

 

In the five major categories, Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Actress (Colbert was the first French-born actress to receive the honor). It was voted one of the ten best pictures of 1934 by the FD Poll of Critics and the National Board of Review, and on 20 Mar 1939, Gable and Colbert performed a radio version of it for the Lux Radio Theater.

Although many films are called “remakes” of It Happened One Night in modern sources, only 1956 musical You Can’t Run Away from It, produced at Columbia, directed by Dick Powell and starring Jack Lemmon and June Allyson, was based on the same short story and used the same screenplay (with adaptations) as the Capra film. It Happened One Night was ranked 46th on AFI’s 2007 100 Years…100 Movies–10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films, moving down from the 35th position it held on AFI’s 1997 list.

Until Next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

 

HollywoodGlee celebrating the start of the 2019 AFI FEST presented by Audi. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson)

 

About AFI Movie Club

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. As a non-profit, AFI Movie Club is a member-powered organization, dependent upon the support of its movie fans. To support AFI Movie Club please consider becoming a member or donating. AFI Movie Club was launched as a free program to raise the nation’s spirits by bringing artists and audiences together. AFI shines a spotlight on an iconic movie each day. Audiences can “gather” at AFI.com/MovieClub to find out how to watch the featured movie of the day with the use of their preexisting streaming service credentials.

AFI MOVIE CLUB (Source: AFI News Release)

AFI Awarded $350,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Funding To Support Unprecedented Research On Short Films And Diversity In Early Hollywood

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded AFI a $350,000 grant to embark upon a landmark initiative to study thousands of short films released in the silent and early sound eras. Titled Behind the Veil after a lost 1914 film directed by pioneering filmmaker Lois Weber, the project will be spearheaded by the AFI research team at the AFI Catalog, the world’s most authoritative, freely accessible database of every American feature film and co-production released in the first century of the art form. The project is intended to document the cultural impact of women and people of color in the creation, distribution, and reception of early cinema.

According to the NEH, the project is being funded in part by a special initiative called A More Perfect Union, which will “help Americans commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026 by exploring, reflecting on, or telling stories of our quest for a more just, inclusive and sustainable society throughout our history.”

“Film scholarship has long favored feature-length titles, and this partiality has significantly limited historians’ efforts to study how people from diverse communities made films and how they saw themselves onscreen. Behind the Veil is essential to working toward establishing a more inclusive and accurate canon of American film history,” said Sarah Blankfort Clothier, Manager of the AFI Catalog. “Documenting short film creators will provide opportunities for discovering the work of storytellers who have been excluded to date and open new doors of possibility for a more accurate account of America’s cultural legacy.”

 

A Fool and His Money - Film Still
Film still from A FOOL AND HIS MONEY (1912) – the earliest known surviving short film featuring an all-Black cast

The research initiative aims to chronicle the groundbreaking work of female and BIPOC pioneers who were working mainly on short films in the early days of American filmmaking, including Alice Guy Blaché, the world’s first female director who made hundreds of shorts; William D. Foster, America’s first Black filmmaker who worked solely in the short film form; and actors such as Sessue Hayakawa, Tsuru Aoki, Myrtle Gonzalez, Red Wing and countless others who got their start in short films. By documenting early short films and those involved in their creation, the AFI Catalog will work to expand the scope of scholarship to bring marginalized perspectives into view and unearth the complex, multi-layered diversity within American film history.

Behind the Veil will continue the innovative work from the AFI Catalog on diversity and parity in Hollywood. In 2019, AFI received a $350,000 grant from the NEH for the Women They Talk About initiative, a groundbreaking project that documented the widely unrecorded contributions of female filmmakers in the silent film era and uncovered the true story of women’s pioneering role in the creation of American cinema.

 

(Source: AFI News Release)

DO THE RIGHT THING (1989) – AFI Movie Club Pick for April 11, 2022

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Do the Right Thing is a 1989 American comedy-drama film produced, written, and directed by Spike Lee, starring Lee himself, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, and Samuel L. Jackson, and is the feature film debut of Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez. The story explores a Brooklyn neighborhood’s simmering racial tension between its African-American residents and the Italian-American owners of a local pizzeria, culminating in tragedy and violence on one of the hottest of summer days.

 

 

Appearing on the 10th-anniversary edition of the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest American films, DO THE RIGHT THING (1989) explores racial tensions exacerbated by the summer heat in a New York neighborhood. An imperative work from iconic director and 2011 AFI Honorary Degree recipient Spike Lee, the film features Public Enemy’s powerful call to action – “Fight the Power” – which was since ranked #40 on AFI’s list of the greatest movie songs of all time.

 

 

The film ends with the following quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X: “‘Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys the community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in a monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends by defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers,’ – Martin Luther King”; and, “‘I think there are plenty of good people in America, but there are also plenty of bad people in America and the bad ones are the ones who seem to have all the power and be in these positions to block things that you and I need. Because this is the situation, you and I have to preserve the right to do what is necessary to bring an end to that situation, and it doesn’t mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don’t even call it violence when it’s self-defense, I call it intelligence,’ – Malcolm X.”

Do the Right Thing was ranked 96th on AFI’s 2007 100 Years…100 Movies–10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films. It was added to the National Film Registry in 1999, and won Best Picture and Best Director from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, in addition to Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor (Danny Aiello) from the Chicago Film Critics Association. The New York Film Critics awarded Ernest Dickerson with Best Cinematography, and the film received the following Academy Award nominations: Actor in a Supporting Role (Danny Aiello), and Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen). The Golden Globe Awards also nominated Do the Right Thing for Best Motion Picture – Drama; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Danny Aiello); Best Director – Motion Picture; and Best Screenplay – Motion Picture.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

 

HollywoodGlee celebrating the start of the 2019 AFI FEST presented by Audi. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson)

 

About AFI Movie Club

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. As a non-profit, AFI Movie Club is a member-powered organization, dependent upon the support of its movie fans. To support AFI Movie Club please consider becoming a member or donating. AFI Movie Club was launched as a free program to raise the nation’s spirits by bringing artists and audiences together. AFI shines a spotlight on an iconic movie each day. Audiences can “gather” at AFI.com/MovieClub to find out how to watch the featured movie of the day with the use of their preexisting streaming service credentials. AFI MOVIE CLUB (Source: AFI News Release)

 

 

BRINGING UP BABY (1938) – AFI Movie Club Selection for April 8, 2022

Posted by Larry Gleeson

 

 

Today’s AFI Movie Club pick is a madcap (screwball comedy) story of a boy, a girl, and a leopard, BRINGING UP BABY (1938) features Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant – both ranked by AFI among the greatest screen legends of all time. The film  also appears on AFI’s lists of the greatest American films – both the original iteration and the 10th-anniversary edition – as well as among the greatest filmed comedies and love stories of all time.  Although not truly a remake, the 1972 film What’s Up Doc?, starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, was inspired by Bringing Up Baby, according to interviews with its director, Peter Bogdanovich. In 2007 Bringing Up Baby was ranked 88th on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies–10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films, moving up from the 97th position it held on AFI’s 1997 list. Available for Screening on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Google Play among others such as Microsoft, Vudu, and iTunes. Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!  

 

 

About AFI Movie Club

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. As a non-profit, AFI Movie Club is a member-powered organization, dependent upon the support of its movie fans. To support AFI Movie Club please consider becoming a member or donating. AFI Movie Club was launched as a free program to raise the nation’s spirits by bringing artists and audiences together. AFI shines a spotlight on an iconic movie each day. Audiences can “gather” at AFI.com/MovieClub to find out how to watch the featured movie of the day with the use of their preexisting streaming service credentials. AFI MOVIE CLUB (Source: AFI News Release)

Today’s AFI Movie Club Selection

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Today’s AFI Movie Club selection received a Best Picture Academy-award-winning Oscar and is based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

From writer/director Barry Jenkins, MOONLIGHT was also honored in 2016 with an AFI AWARD, recognizing it as one of the year’s most outstanding achievements in the art of the moving image – with the official rationale stating that, “MOONLIGHT illuminates the peerless power of cinema to inspire empathy for others and embrace a greater understanding of ourselves. Barry Jenkins’ poetic tour de force presents a deeply emotional triptych — the journey of boy to man searching for connection amidst the labyrinth of societal boundaries. An extraordinary ensemble lights the way in this sublime realization of a world where the question ‘Who is you?’ echoes in the pain of dreams deferred and the strength of an inner truth.”

Available to watch on Kanopy, Hoopla, Fubu Tv, and Showtime. Highly recommended viewing!

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

SCHMIGADOON! AFI Movie Club Pick of the Day

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Today’s AFI Movie Club selection is Schmigadoon!, an American musical comedy television series created by Cinco Paul and Ken Dario that parodies and pays homage to Golden Age musicals of the 1940s and 1950s. Cinco Paul also has written all the show’s songs.

 

Schmigadoon!

 

The series is directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and stars an ensemble cast including Cecily Strong, Kristen Chenowith, Martin Short, and recent Academy-award winner, Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), among others. Christopher Gattelli handled the choreography.

 

Cecily Strong also is credited as a series producer. Said Strong, “It turns out that when you stay with something for two years, they make you a producer. Strong was the first person cast in SCHMIGADOON!

 

Cecily Strong

 

Here is what the American Film Institute had to say about SCHMIGADOON!  at the 2021 AFI Awards:

“SCHMIGADOON! explodes with joy and music and laughter – and contemporary cynicism. This candy-colored cocktail is hand-crafted by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, who have created an ebullient valentine to musicals by inviting even the most sardonic to see the world beyond the fog of Brigadoon. Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key light up a glittering marquee of Broadway talent that power an insight into personal change through clever homage, catchy songs and bravura, show-stopping choreography.” -The American Film Institute, AFI AWARDS 2021

 

The series is available on Apple TV+ and premiered on July 16th, 2021.

 

 

Check out the official trailer where star Kristen Chenowith sings the showstopping “Tribulation” sing-a-long in one four-minute-long, continuous take!

 

 

About AFI Movie Club

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. As a non-profit, AFI Movie Club is a member-powered organization, dependent upon the support of its movie fans. To support AFI Movie Club please consider becoming a member or donating.

AFI Movie Club was launched as a free program to raise the nation’s spirits by bringing artists and audiences together. AFI shines a spotlight on an iconic movie each day. Audiences can “gather” at AFI.com/MovieClub to find out how to watch the featured movie of the day with the use of their preexisting streaming service credentials.

AFI MOVIE CLUB

(Source: AFI News Release)

WEST SIDE STORY (2021) – AFI Movie Club Pick of the Day

Posted by Larry Gleeson

American Film Institute (AFI) Trustee and AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Steven Spielberg brings an electrifying new vision to the classic tale created by maestros Steven Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein, and originally envisioned for the screen by AFI Life Achievement Award honoree Robert Wise, with West Side Story (2021), today’s AFI Movie Club pick of the day!

 

 

This vibrant and cinematic new rendering of WEST SIDE STORY included a number of AFI Alumni – including cinematographer Janusz Kamiński (Class of 1987), editor Sarah Broshar (Class of 2005), and assistant payroll accountant Cindy Li (Class of 2013).

Interestingly, Ariana Debose’s shoes melted during the filming of the “America” dance. Partly due to the hot weather and partly due to Debose’s hot dancing style choreographed by Justin Peck!

Check out Ariana Debose on The Power of Music from the recent 2021 AFI AWARDS luncheon.

 

 

“WEST SIDE STORY leaps into American film history a complete original – while standing tall upon stories foundational to the human experience. Steven Spielberg leads with love and forges his position as our greatest modern master, seeking out and soaring above new challenges and assembling a creative ensemble that speaks to the genius of both past and present – from Tony Kushner and Rita Moreno to Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. For all who wish to embrace art in modern-day, this film is a rapturous celebration of America’s vast and varied voices, and at the same moment, a stinging question of what it will take to become ‘one hand, one heart.’” -The American Film Institute, AFI AWARDS 2021

Rita Morena, who earned an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 1961 version of West Side Story, returned on the 2021 version adding a living bridge between the two versions. Moreno is also credited as an Executive Producer and in a newly envisioned role.

West Side Story (2021) is available to stream on HBO, HBO Max, and Disney among others.

 

 

About AFI Movie Club

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. As a non-profit, AFI Movie Club is a member-powered organization, dependent upon the support of its movie fans. To support AFI Movie Club please consider becoming a member or donating.

AFI Movie Club was launched as a free program to raise the nation’s spirits by bringing artists and audiences together. AFI shines a spotlight on an iconic movie each day. Audiences can “gather” at AFI.com/MovieClub to find out how to watch the featured movie of the day with the use of their preexisting streaming service credentials.

AFI MOVIE CLUB

(Source: AFI News Release)

The Power Of The Dog – Today’s AFI Movie Club Pick

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Today’s AFI Movie Club pick is the Benedict Cumberbatch-led, The Power of the Dog, written and directed by Jane Campion.

 

 

THE POWER OF THE DOG looks to the hills for secrets unseen – and finds them in powerful, poetic images that transport audiences with a modern look back at the American West. This landmark work proves Jane Campion’s unparalleled ability to capture a world of breathless beauty and breathtaking brutality, both wrapped tight as a rope. This slow-burn tale is a brilliant exercise in suspense and release – masterfully manifested by a brilliant cast and an unforgettably complex performance by Benedict Cumberbatch.” -The American Film Institute, AFI AWARDS 2021

 

 

The Power of the Dog is based on Thomas Savage’s novel of the same name and is currently streaming on Netflix.  In addition, Campion became the first woman ever nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director twice. Campion was previously nominated in 1993 for The Piano, for which she earned an Oscar for Best Screenplay. The Power of the Dog was recently showered with twelve Oscar nominations, including Cumberbatch as Best Actor and Campion for Screenwriting and Directing.

 

About AFI Movie Club

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. As a non-profit, AFI Movie Club is a member-powered organization, dependent upon the support of its movie fans. To support AFI Movie Club please consider becoming a member or donating.

AFI Movie Club was launched as a free program to raise the nation’s spirits by bringing artists and audiences together. AFI shines a spotlight on an iconic movie each day. Audiences can “gather” at AFI.com/MovieClub to find out how to watch the featured movie of the day with the use of their preexisting streaming service credentials.

AFI MOVIE CLUB

(Source: AFI News Release)

AFI Movie Club Selects DAVE For President’s Day

Posted by Larry Gleeson

For President’s Day, the American Film Institute AFI Movie Club selected Dave, a political comedy/romance about a Presidential lookalike named Dave recruited by the Secret Service to become a stand-in for the President of the United States.

 

 

Dave stars Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, Ben Kingsley, Charles Grodin, and is directed by the recently departed, Ivan Reitman. Check out the video on the iconic director (Animal House, Ghostbusters, Stripes) and his commentary on tone in his films!

 

 

Interestingly, Dave features a number of cameos by real-life politicians who were given the green light to improvise and deliver monologues on their respective ideologies. The pols donated all their earned wages from the film to charities.

 

 

Notable, writer Gary Ross was working as a speechwriter for then-presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, as he was penning the screenplay for Dave. Ross received an Academy Award nomination for his efforts – for his Dave screenplay!

Dave is available to stream on Hoopla, Amazon Prime, and Google Play.