mccabe & mrs miller

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A trailblazing musician who started out as a poet and novelist, Cohen established himself as one of the world’s most influential singer-songwriters, exploring themes of romantic longing and spiritual anguish over the course of a nearly five-decade career. His unmistakable baritone took on haunting new dimensions when brought to the big screen, most notably in Robert Altman’s melancholy 1971 western McCabe & Mrs. Miller, which uses three songs from the singer’s 1967 debut album, Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Remembering Leonard Cohen

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RIP to Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond

Cinematographer of such classics as The Long Goodbye, The Deer Hunter, Blow-Out, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Sugarland Express, Heaven’s Gate, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Stanley Kubrick’in Favori Filmleri

  • Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
  • Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen, 1992)
  • Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979)
  • Radio Days (Woody Allen, 1987)
  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 1971)
  • If… (Lindsay Anderson, 1968)
  • Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1998)
  • La notte (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961)
  • Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971)
  • Pelle the Conqueror (Bille August, 1987)
  • Babette’s Feast (Gabriel Axel, 1987)
  • Casque d’Or (Jacques Becker, 1952)
  • Édouard et Caroline (Jacques Becker, 1951)
  • Cries and Whispers (Ingmar Bergman, 1972)
  • Smiles of a Summer Night (Ingmar Bergman, 1955)
  • Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1972)
  • Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972)
  • Henry V (Kenneth Branagh, 1989)
  • Modern Romance (Albert Brooks, 1981)
  • Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, 1945)
  • City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931)
  • The Bank Dick (Edward Cline, 1940)
  • Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau, 1946)
  • Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
  • The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
  • The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991)
  • Alexander Nevsky (Sergei Eisenstein, 1938)
  • The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973)
  • La strada (Federico Fellini, 1954)
  • I vitelloni (Federico Fellini, 1953)
  • La Kermesse Héroïque (Jacques Feyder, 1935)
  • Tora! Tora! Tora! (Richard Fleischer, 1970)
  • The Fireman’s Ball (Miloš Forman, 1967)
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Milos Forman, 1975)
  • Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)
  • The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
  • Get Carter (Mike Hodges, 1971)
  • The Terminal Man (Mike Hodges, 1974)
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
  • Hell’s Angels (Howard Hughes, 1930)
  • The Treasure of Sierra Madre (John Huston, 1947)
  • Dekalog (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1990)
  • Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
  • Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
  • Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957)
  • Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
  • An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
  • Abigail’s Party (Mike Leigh, 1977)
  • La bonne année (Claude Lelouch, 1973)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968)
  • Very Nice, Very Nice (Arthur Lipsett, 1961)
  • American Graffiti (George Lucas, 1973)
  • Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet, 1975)
  • Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1976)
  • House of Games (David Mamet, 1987)
  • The Red Squirrel (Julio Medem, 1993)
  • Bob le flambeur (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1956)
  • Closely Watched Trains (Jiří Menzel, 1966)
  • Pacific 231 (Jean Mitry, 1949)
  • Roger & Me (Michael Moore, 1989)
  • Henry V (Laurence Olivier, 1944)
  • The Earrings of Madame de… (Max Ophuls, 1953)
  • Le plaisir (Max Ophuls, 1951)
  • La ronde (Max Ophuls, 1950)
  • Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
  • The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)
  • Heimat (Edgar Reitz, 1984)
  • Blood Wedding (Carlos Saura, 1981)
  • Cría Cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1975)
  • Peppermint Frappé (Carlos Saura, 1967)
  • Alien (Ridley Scott, 1977)
  • The Anderson Platoon (Pierre Schoendoerffer, 1967)
  • White Men Can’t Jump (Ron Shelton, 1992)
  • Miss Julie (Alf Sjöberg, 1951)
  • The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjöström, 1921)
  • The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977)
  • E.T. the Extra-terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982)
  • Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson, 1964)
  • Platoon (Oliver Stone, 1986)
  • Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
  • The Sacrifice (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986)
  • Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)
  • The Emigrants (Jan Troell, 1970)
  • The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg, 1930)
  • Danton (Andrzej Wajda, 1984)
  • Girl Friends (Claudia Weill, 1978)
  • The Cars that Ate Paris (Peter Weir, 1974)
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975)
  • Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
  • Roxie Hart (William Wellman, 1942)
  • Ådalen 31 (Bo Widerberg, 1969)
  • The Siege of Manchester (Herbert Wise, 1965)

Set in the Pacific Northwest mining town of Presbyterian Church at the dawn of the twentieth century, Altman’s film centers on the relationship between wayward gambler John McCabe (Beatty) and cockney brothel madam Constance Miller (Christie), who partner up to provide the town with a high-class whorehouse. Christie plays the role of the opium-dependent Mrs. Miller with a mix of vulnerability and ferocious strength, while Beatty brings a bumbling, endearing quality to his performance as McCabe.

The Star Power of Warren Beatty and Julie Christie

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Selected movies shot by Vilmos Zsigmond:

  1. McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  2. Deliverance
  3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  4. The Deer Hunter
  5. Heaven’s Gate
  6. Blow Out
  7. The Witches of Eastwick
  8. Maverick
  9. The Black Dahlia

Vilmos Zsigmond was unquestionably one of the best cinematographers of all time. He won an Oscar for Close Encounters, and worked with Spielberg, Altman, Cimino, Boorman, De Palma, George Miller and Richard Donner.

But what separates him from all others is the look of his work. It’s hard to describe but you can see it above. It’s warm, it’s somehow intimate and sultry even in landscapes. There are all the techniques, filters and negative flashing, diffusion and all the rest but his works were always more than the sum of their parts. There’s a darkness to them that isn’t just visual. Some intangible tone that might escape description completely.

He may actually surpass Storaro as my favorite cinematographer.

Tonight, watching McCabe and Mrs Miller on the big screen for the first time, I realized the whole astonishing movie is about a man falling in love. M & M is essentially a dramatic screwball comedy. I also realized how beautifully Beatty, whom I have come to appreciate only this year (after teaching Splendor in the Grass and rewatching Shampoo and Reds for DECADES), plays love onscreen. His stupid “beauty” offset by his very real ability to express pathos and emotional frustration. Beatty has a special tenderness, which is all in the look he tries not to give.

Working with the likes of Spielberg, De Palma, Altman, and Cimino, Vilmos Zsigmond (1930–2016) shined his unmistakable light on so many of the films we love. We cherish every chance we had to talk about the movies with him.