Once

Today in Movie History: March 23

One of the best romances of recent years had very humble beginnings: shot in 17 days, starring a pair of professional musicians with limited acting experience and intend as a showcase for lead Glen Hansard’s anecdotes about busking, it turned into a massive international success, and scored both Hansard and co-star Marketa Irglova an Academy Award for Best Original Song. …

Taxi Driver

Today in Movie History: February 8

Petrified Forest (1936) A big day for movies starts with the one of the most problematic. D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation opened today in 1915, marking a seismic advance in motion pictures as a technical art form while simultaneously pushing a narrative so grotesque it causes one to despair for humanity. Film students are obligated to watch it. Once. …

qux1-12m

Today in Movie History: December 27

Releases during the last week of the year tend to have Oscar on their mind: a limited run in a theater or two to qualify, followed by a bigger roll-out in January. That’s borne out by the three films on our list today, all of which scored Oscar nominations or wins. The first (and best) is easily the strangest: 12 …

yojimbo-thinking

Today in Movie History: September 13

After the immortal Seven Samurai, the Akira Kurosawa movie that most influenced western filmmakers is probably Yojimbo: the story of a scruffy, amoral ronin (Toshiro Mifune, natch) who wanders into a town beset by rival gangs, and solves the problem by methodically pitting them against each other. Kurosawa was inspired by the Dashiell Hammett novel Red Harvest, and his work served as the basis …