Tag Archives: The Apartment

Five Favorite Films

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Cameron shared his five favorite films (okay, six) with Rotten Tomatoes recently. Here they are in no particular order.

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Local Hero (1983)
Bill Forsyth, come back!  It’s hard enough to create a movie this deeply funny, so odd and so memorable… but to have a score like Mark Knopfler’s, too? Come on. This is the holy grail of personal filmmaking with a distinctive directorial touch. Also check out Forsyth’s other films like Comfort and Joy and Gregory’s Girl for his trademark touch: the random moment that has no reason to be in the movie, except it’s everything you think about later.

 

Quadrophenia (1979) and Control (2007)
Quadrophenia and Control. Franc Roddam and Anton Corbijn’s films both accomplish the rarest thing; they capture the feeling in the music of the bands that they’re covering. To watch these two great movies is to geek out on cinematic portraits that remind you exactly why you first fell in love with a Townshend power chord, or discovered Ian Curtis’ bleak genius. Character to look for: Steph (Leslie Ash), the scene-stealer from Quadrophenia.
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The Rules of the Game
(La Règle du jeu) (1939)
Jean Renoir puts on a master class in ensemble comedy-drama. Period.
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The Royal Tenenbaums (2002)
The Royal Tenenbaums is a mood masterpiece. Everything about Wes Anderson’s film is perfect; it immediately transports you to a world only he could create. Part Salinger, part idealized New York, but mostly Wes’ pleasantly devastating view of this family’s life, Tenenbaums succeeds on great writing and extremely particular filmmaking. Put this together with a score and a soundtrack for the ages, and you have a film that operates like the best of Hal Ashby or even a filmmaker like Miyazaki. It feels so good, it’s almost like a drug. Also, the Rolling Stones have never been used better in film history, and that’s just one of the movie’s many wonderful marriages of music and cinema. And then there’s Gene Hackman…
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The Apartment (1960)

You really can’t beat The Apartment for finding laughs and heartache and triumph in the life of a morally compromised schnook of an insurance salesman. The great Billy Wilder was at one of his many career peaks here, finding unforgettable depth in Shirley MacLaine as elevator operator Fran Kubelik, and pulling a delicious Mitt Romneyesque-bad-guy performance out of an unlikely casting choice, the Disney leading man from FlubberFred MacMurray.

The high-water mark in romantic comedy, this movie is so assured of its tone that even an attempted suicide is never far from a big laugh. It’s all wrapped up in giddy melancholy and — in a rare move — the Academy gave this comedy a whole bunch of Oscars too. Viva Wilder!

 

Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes – January 4, 2017

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Jan 6, 2017

“Shut Up And Deal” – The Apartment & Billy Wilder

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CC Baxter & Fran Kubelik

In honor of Billy Wilder’s birthday and the fact that his classic film, The Apartment, turned 52 years old this past week, we present a new article. Cameron wrote about his affinity for this film in an article entitled “Billy & Me” for the UK newspaper, The Guardian.

If you haven’t seen it, please pick up the Blu-ray that came out earlier this year.

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Jun 22, 2012

Stormy Night Films

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As I look outside at the grey skies and rain here in Seattle, I thought it would be a great time to revisit Cameron’s 10 Essential Films For a Stormy Night. The list was put together for the September, 2005 issue of Paste magazine. Good timing too as Quadrophenia and The Royal Tenenbaums were recently announced as coming to Criterion Blu-ray in August!

1. Local Hero (Bill Forsythe) – Because of the characters, the things they say to each other and, of course, The Rabbit.

2. Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler) – Myrna Loy just plain rocks, and so does everybody else in the sprawling beautiful epic. In the words of Wyler’s buddy Billy Wilder, “I was crying five minutes into this picture and I did not not know why.”

3. The Apartment (Billy Wilder) – Because it’s perfect.

4. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson) – A complete, compact, bittersweet world. And also, the music. Wes’s use of “Ruby Tuesday” is devastating, and let’s not even get started on the shot of Gwyneth Paltrow exiting that bus to Nico’s “These Days.”

5. Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (Jeff Margolis) – Pryor starts out telling jokes, and then takes a turn. “Let me tell about my year…” Modern personal comedy would never be the same.

6. Live A Little, Love A Little (Norman Taurog) – There’s a good chance that within a few months, Elvis probably didn’t even remember making this movie. He’s a slurring, amphetamined mess…of perfection. Check out the only psychedelic number he ever performed, “Edge of Reality.”

7. Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen) – Like The Royal Tenenbaums, it’s a complete world you can’t help but revisit. As addictive as whatever drugs Elvis was on during the above movie, and more.

8. Quadrophenia (Franc Roddam) – Because of Steph. And, of course, Jimmy.

9. Shampoo (Hal Ashby) – A quiet, timeless look at modern man, set to musical perfection…and all the best characters are women.

10. Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir) – The inspiration for Shampoo, and so much more. The gorgeous catastrophy of the human condition and love, on full display. Misunderstood and discounted in its day, this masterpiece is rich and deep and only gets better. I’m tempted to call it the Exile on Main Street of Jean Renoir’s catalog of brilliant work, but it’s deeper and more elegant and even better than that. And the best character is the sad fool played by Renoir himself.

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May 21, 2012

Billy Wilder: Happy Birthday!

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I know it’s getting late today, but I couldn’t miss the opportunity to mention and celebrate the late Mr. Billy Wilder’s birthday. Mr. Wilder would have been 105 today. Luckily, you can honor the man by checking out the Conversations in Wilder section of the site . You’ll find an excerpt from the book, Wilder quotes, a filmography and mini biography. You could also watch one of his fabulous films. The Apartment would be a good place to start. You really can’t go wrong with Sunset Boulevard, Ace in the Hole, Some Like it Hot, Kiss Me Stupid or countless others in his filmography. Billy directed 27 films, but many people forget what a great writer he was as well.  I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Wilder quotes:

“You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.”

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Jun 22, 2011

Cameron’s Top 10 – Empire 500 Greatest

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rulesofthegame

As a follow up to a previous post regarding Empire magazine’s “The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time”, many of you have asked what Cameron’s personal Top 10 was. There’s some expected films here, but also a few surprises (No Harold and Maude?)! So without further adieu…

  1. The Rules of the Game (Renoir)
  2. The Apartment (Wilder)
  3. Shampoo (Ashby)
  4. Tootsie (Pollack)
  5. Strangelove (Kubrick)
  6. Local Hero (Forsyth)
  7. Old Boy (Chan-Wook)
  8. Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler)
  9. Some Like It Hot (Wilder)
  10. The Royal Tenenbaums (Anderson)
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Nov 10, 2008

Billy and Me

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Cameron, Billy, Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon

To keep our thoughts on Billy Wilder, here’s a great piece Cameron wrote for the Guardian about Billy Wilder and the making of The Apartment. Enjoy!

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Apr 2, 2002

Wilder Turns 95!

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wilderlatimes

I just wanted to wish Mr. Billy Wilder a happy 95th birthday today. Have you seen the section of the site dedicated to Conversations with Wilder? It includes a bio of the legendary director, an except from the book, and multiple book reviews. Don’t forget, The Apartment was released on DVD this past week, if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it or buy it!

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Jun 22, 2001

David Crosby: Remember My Name-Out Now on DVD/Blu-ray & Digital!


  • Aloha- FX Now
  • Almost Famous- Hulu
  • E-Town- Amazon,Hulu
  • Fast Times- Starz
  • Jerry Maguire- Amazon, Showtime
  • Vanilla Sky- Starz