How big a movie buff are you? Can you figure which movie this font is from?

Introducing the “Film Fonts” series. Every three months, the Cinema Cecilia logo will have a new font, based on a different movie. There will be adult, teen and kid films represented over the course of the year. Your challenge is to figure out what movie it’s from.


Comment below if you figured it out!
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As the Summer Olympics continue, I thought everyone might still be in a LONDON frame of mind.  And since it is no secret that London is my favorite travel destination AND Alfred Hitchcck is my favorite film director, I decided to merge the two in honor of London 2012.  Now, to make this list, the movie has to be shot ON LOCATION in London…not on a soundstage.  Dial M for Murder is “set” in London, but it was shot in Hollywood.  Using London as a location criteria, there are three films that make the list. Frenzy, I feel, is Hitchcock’s best USE of London on film but my personal favorite of his three set-in-London films is the 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much, which is the first Hitchcock movie I ever saw.

When director Alfred Hitchcock shot Frenzy, he was in his early 70s and was at the end of a filmmaking career that began in the 1920s in England. After Hitchcock left Britain behind for a career in America (his first film in the U.S. was 1940’s Rebecca), he rarely looked back.
Frenzy is a triumphant return to London, with the film shot entirely there and starring an all-British cast. This movie does not boast any glitzy movie stars or any of the Hitchcock elegance of many of his previous films, but displays a rather dark, violent side unlike anything the director had shot before. The finished product results in a taut and intelligent thriller, one of the best of Hitchcock’s career and definitely the best of his later films. The movie begins with a body found, washed ashore in the Thames River. The corpse has a necktie around its neck, identifying the murder as another “necktie” serial killing. Through a series of twists and wrong turns, an innocent man is accused of the murders, which has been a common Hitchcock plot line over the course of his career (The Wrong Man and North by Northwest, in particular). The difference here is that early on in the film, the audience becomes privy to who is the guilty party and who is being framed. Knowing this before most of the cast, we are left squirming in our seats, waiting for the characters to catch up with what we already know. Also, unmasking the villain towards the beginning of the film allows the audience to focus less on plot and more on character and the cinematic style that makes Frenzy a magnificent thriller.

Stage Fright has a perfect cast and a strong plot but somehow doesn’t get the due it deserves. Made at the end of what I would call one of Hitchcock’s “off” periods (his biggest stinker Under Capricorn comes right before this one in 1949 but in 1951, Hitchcock makes Strangers on a Train which saves his ailing career), this film features many of the trademarks Hitchcock aficionados have come to know and love in his later films…the “wronged” man, the love interest, fair amounts of humor for comic relief, and a thrilling ending. So, why is it not up there with Rear Window and North by Northwest? Well, it’s not glitzy. Even though it’s about the theater industry in London, it doesn’t shine like Hitchcock’s better-known works. I would say that has to do mostly with the acting. All of the performances here seem adequate but not stunning. Jane Wyman and Alastair Sim are spot-on when playing the father-daughter act, but aside from that, they all seem lost in the script. Regardless, it’s a must-see for all thriller fans!

The Man Who Knew Too Much is one of Hitchcock’s more underrated films, especially since its only notoriety comes from introducing the song Que Sera Sera to the general public. A remake of the director’s own 1934 work from his early years working in his native England, this updated version is exactly what Hitchcock himself said it was…to paraphrase, he said that the 1934 movie was made by a amateur director and the 1956 version was made by a professional director.  Taking the story of the 1934 film and enhancing it with actual locations and minor character changes, the 1956 film is a terrific example of how a good film can become a great film. The movie stars Doris Day and James Stewart as an American couple visiting the French Morocco with their young son. After befriending a British couple, they soon find themselves embroiled in a series of terrifying events, including the kidnapping of their son. The first part of the film is filmed on location in Marrakesh, Morocco but after the kidnapping, Stewart and Day head to London, believing their son was taken there.  London works well here, whether as a minor backdrop (like the streets where both Ambrose Chapel and the taxonomy shop were filmed) or a major, plot-based location, such as the climatic concert scene filmed in the Royal Albert Hall.  That scene stands out as one of the most intense, nail-biting scenes of pure suspense ever filmed.  It lasts over ten minutes and there is no dialogue, only music, but the anxiety of Day’s performance along with the tension-mounting music and direction keeps the viewer glued to the screen.  In my opinion, this remake is one of Hitchcock’s best movies.

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This year, eyes and TV sets around the world will be focused on London, the capital of what is really a small island between the North Atlantic and the North Sea, also known as the United Kingdom.  London is in England, one of four countries that make up the UK…the others being Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.     What is it about London that makes it such a fascinating city?

Well, for one, unlike many European cities, London is seriously multicultural.  VERY multicultural.  And I’m not talking tourists.  I’m talking residents.  All races, religions, socioeconomic levels are on view throughout most parts of London.  Yes, in some of the swankier sections (Knightsbridge, Mayfair to name two), most of the people have more than their fair share of  Pound Sterling in their pockets.  But, London is a mammoth, vast city with section upon section of diverse areas.  Take Kensington…which borders ritzy area Knightsbridge and is not far from the also ritzy Chelsea.  Kensington has more Indian restaurants than British restaurants it seems.  The Indian dish Chicken tikka masala, not fish and chips, is even London’s honorary national meal. When we think British, we think Protestant and white.  In the countryside, maybe…but not in London.

Let’s move on to London’s fascinating history.  Unlike our cities in this country, London has recorded history dating back thousands of years.  Yes…thousands.  From the Romans who founded the city as Londinium to the Anglo-Saxons to the Tudors, every corner of London bears some history worth repeating.  The formally-walled “City of London” is the present-day financial center of the capital and is one of the 32 boroughs of London.  There are still places within The City, or Square Mile, as it is sometimes called, where you can see some of the London Wall, first built around The City by the Romans.  Just to the east of The City lies Whitechapel, the former stomping grounds of that vicious deviant Jack the Ripper, who killed at least five prostitutes in the late 1880s.  And on the other side of the River Thames (which throughout much of history, was wider than the present-day river running through London today), there is the George Inn in Southwark…a pub that can date it’s history back to the 17th Century.  Yes, that’s right…the 1600s.  No, the George we see today is not the exact same one from the 1600s, but there has been a pub on that site for almost 400 years!  That’s a lot of pints!

Lastly, let’s look at London’s cultural side.  Most major cities can boast opera houses and a smattering of theaters and maybe one or two concert venues.  But, London is the HOME of the stage production…with its West End surpassing our Broadway in both longevity, history and profitability.  Many famed Broadway productions began as West End productions…and many acclaimed actors and actresses got their start on the London stage.

As the Summer Olympics approach (the opening ceremonies are on July 27), we thought everyone might want to get into a LONDON frame of mind to prepare.  Here are some movies that might fit the bill:

Feature Films
  • 28 Days Later
  • 84 Charing Cross Road
  • Alfie (1966)
  • The Bank Job
  • Being Julia (historical)
  • Blow-Up
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary**
  • Children of Men
  • Closer
  • Croupier
  • Dial M For Murder (set in London, shot on a set)
  • Dirty Pretty Things
  • An Education
  • Finding Neverland
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • Frenzy**
  • From Hell (historical London)
  • Gaslight (set in London, shot on a set)
  • Happy Go Lucky
  • Hobson’s Choice (set in London, shot on a set)
  • Incendiary
  • Indiscreet
  • The King’s Speech (historical London)
  • The Ladykillers (set in London, shot on a set)
  • Last Chance Harvey**
  • Love Actually**
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) (not ENTIRELY set in London but features a climatic scene at the Royal Albert Hall in London)
  • Match Point**
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (historical London)
  • Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont
  • My Fair Lady (historical London) (set in London, shot on a set)
  • Notting Hill**
  • Patriot Games
  • Possession
  • Pygmalion (set in London, shot on a set)
  • The Queen**
  • Scoop
  • Shakespeare in Love (historical London)
  • Sherlock Holmes (historical London)
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (historical London)
  • Sliding Doors
  • Stage Fright
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (historical London)
  • That Hamilton Woman (set in London, shot on a set)
  • Vera Drake
  • Waterloo Bridge (set in London, shot on a set) (historical London)
  • Wimbledon**
  • The Winslow Boy (historical London)
  • Witness for the Prosecution (set in London, shot on a set)
  • The World is Not Enough (not ENTIRELY set in London but features a fantastic boat chase on the River Thames)
  • You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
**MUST sees to get a good pre-Olympics feel of London

Television series

Above Suspicion
Absolutely Fabulous
Affairs of the Heart
As Time Goes By
Berkeley Square
Bleak House (2005)
Bless Me, Father
Bramwell
City of Vice
The Commander
The Complete Black Books
Coupling
The Duchess of Duke Street
Dutch Girls
A Fine Romance
Good Neighbors
The Hour
The House of Eliott
Hustle
Kavanagh Q. C.
The Last Detective
Law and Order UK
Manhunt
MI:5
Minder
Mr. Bean
Murder Investigation Team
Murphy’s Law
New Street Law
Prime Suspect
Poldark
The Prisoner
Rumpole of the Bailey
Secret Diary of a Call Girl
Sensitive Skin
Sherlock Holmes
State of Play (2003)
The Sweeney
Touching Evil
The Tudors
The Vice
Upstairs, Downstairs
Whitechapel
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I love movies and television.  And I love the ins and the outs of Hollywood (OK – honestly I love it mostly so I can make fun of it, but still…).  And usually when the two come together (meaning movies or TV shows ABOUT Hollywood), it rarely works.  I mean there are hits…like The Player, Sunset Boulevard, or The Bad and the Beautiful.  But, mostly there are misses.  And then there are the movies that are set in the world of Hollywood but are more about other storylines and not really entirely focused on the movie business, such as Singin’ in the Rain, Hugo, Extras (well, that’s not HOLLYWOOD, per se, since it’s set in London, but it’s still a TV show about the movie/TV industry). 

Episodes, like Extras, is a joint television presentation between Showtime and the BBC (Extraswas between HBO and the BBC).  And the cast is British/American too.  The two main characters, TV screenwriters from London who move to Hollywood to “re-do” their hit UK show there, are British (Tamsin Greig as Beverly and Stephen Mangan as Sean).  But, the “actor” who gets the part in the American version of the show is played by VERY-American actor Matt LeBlanc, best known for the iconic Joey on the iconic sitcom Friends.  Because LeBlanc is the complete opposite of the character in the British version of the show, the entire show has to be re-worked to cater to LeBlanc’s younger, more attractive character.  This, naturally, causes tension between Beverly and Sean since they know they have “sold out” for success and money. 
The writing is rapier sharp…in all the right places.  The humor is dark and sarcastic but super witty.  The “Hollywood” characters have just the right tone of dishonesty/falseness.  And the relationship between Beverly and Sean has just the right amount of homesickness, selfishness and pride.  If you know anything at all about the goings-on of Hollywood, you will love this show.  Even if you do not know about or even enjoy the “Hollywood” scene, I’m still thinking you will love it. 
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With the impending re-release of both Titanic (1997) and Beauty and the Beast (1991) in 3D, I decided I am fed up. Now, I confess to taking a 3D class in college (the class was actually Widescreen, 3D and Stereophonic sound). And I also confess that I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see the 3D version of Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial “M” for Murder, that was filmed and never released. If anyone could do 3D like a master, it would ONLY be the Master of Suspense. But, I am tired of every movie and its mother being filmed in 3D, whether it is warranted or not. And RE-RELEASING already shot films just to capitalize on the 3D bandwagon is THE LAST STRAW. Where will it end, I thought.

So, I put together a list of other “sensible” (sarcasm intended) 3D re-releases. If any of these come out in cinemas, I’m moving to Mongolia and living in among the yak herders in a nice yurt!

The African Queen
All of those mosquitoes. All of that unbridled WWII passion.

All The President’s Men
All of that typing.

Amadeus
All of that piano playing.

Babe
Little pig. Sheep. Ducks. Dogs. Need I say more.

Bridge on the River Kwai
Madness. MADNESS.

Caligula
It can only improve it, right?

Chariots of Fire
Running, running, running.

Citizen Kane
Rosebud. IN 3D!!!!!!!!!

Fargo
Marge’s belly comin’ at you like never before.

Field of Dreams
The corn. The ghosts. Go the distance.

Forrest Gump
Run, Forrest, run!

Gone with the Wind
Frankly, my dear, I would love to see Tara in 3D.

The Graduate
One word: plastics.

The Hustler
All those pool balls. All those cue sticks.

It’s a Wonderful Life
3D could only improve Mr. Potter’s disposition.

Last Tango in Paris
Butter.

The Last Temptation of Christ
Would only enhance the controversy.

The Lost Weekend
Would make it easier to find those hidden bottles.

The Maltese Falcon
The stuff that dreams are made of.

Message in a Bottle
See above @ The Lost Weekend.

No Country for Old Men
The guns and the oxygen tank alone. Not to mention the haircut.

No Way Out (1987)
And I thought that limo ride couldn’t get any better.

Oceans’ 11 (2001)
Eye candy comin’ at you!

The Odd Couple
Felix wants 3D. Oscar hates it.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Nurse Ratched softer, more three-dimensional side.

Raging Bull
Pow, right in the kisser.

Roxanne
The Nose.

Silence of the Lambs
Do I really need to elaborate here?

Singin’ in the Rain
All of those raindrop. So lifelike.

Some Like It Hot
You should see the gams on Curtis and Lemmon.

The Sting
3D would just make the cool cooler.

Tootsie
You should see the gams on Hoffman.

Unforgiven
William Mony killed women, children and 2D.

(P.S. I hesitated posting this since it’s so snarky, but take it for what it is…a movie lover’s plea for Hollywood to wake up and start creating new material and even new technology!)

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So, what did we think of the show?  Well, even though Billy (Crystal) was back, the show still lacked some of its verve and vibrance from previous years.  True, it was better than last year –but 2011 wasn’t exactly a good year to compare things with, right?  I mean at least Billy Crystal wasn’t stoned (or at least didn’t appear stoned) and he genuinely seemed like he was excited about hosting and being there.  One good thing I can say for sure — it was SHORT.  I cannot remember a year when the Oscars doesn’t hit the 3.5 hour mark.  VERY GOOD in the length dept.  In my own opinion, I could have done without the Cirque du Soleil and the overly self-serving montages of actors sharing why they love the movies.  We get it…they are IN movies, so naturally they will LOVE movies.  Move on!  
Aside from all of that, I thought Billy Crystal did a good job of keeping the show moving forward at a good pace.  Of course, there are always going to be draggy speeches and long, drawn-out parts (it is the Oscars after-all — this is the pinnacle for Hollywood’s ego).  Over-all, though, I thought the show was pretty entertaining. 
Now, for the winners (and losers).  I am still a little sore that I was deprived of another George Clooney acceptance speech.  And though Jean Dujardin was good in The Artist, Clooney was uncharacteristicly excellent in The Descendants…which is saying a lot considering that he’s usually gives strong performances (Solaris, anyone???).  And I though I love Meryl Streep like most other movie fans, I really, really wanted to see the double hit of Octavia Spencer (who won) and Viola Davis (who lost to Streep) from The Help.  Davis got a lot of flack from being in a movie where she plays a Southern maid and I thought she really knocked it out of the park, regardless of controversy.  Streep acted the heck out of Maggie Thatcher in The Iron Lady (just as Helen Mirren did several years ago with Queen Elizabeth II in her Oscar-winning performance in The Queen) but Meryl has won twice before and doesn’t need another Oscar to prove her worth.  An Oscar for Viola would have confirmed what moviegoers have known for a while: she’s a powerhouse actress who’s finally getting the acclaim she deserves. 
Just my two cents from someone who loves the Oscars, loves the movies and loves talking about both!

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Best Picture
War Horse
The Artist
*WINNER
Moneyball
The Descendants
The Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Hugo
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Actress
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Viola Davis, The Help
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady *WINNER
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Actor
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist *WINNER
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist *WINNER
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Short Film (Animated)
Dimanche/Sunday
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore *
WINNER
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life
 

Documentary Short Subject
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God Is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
*WINNER
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Short Film (Live Action)
Pentecost
Raju
The Shore
*WINNER
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanivicius, The Artist
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris *WINNER
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants *WINNER
John Logan, Hugo
George Clooney, Beau Willimon and Grant Heslov, The Ides of March
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, Moneyball
Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


Music (Original Song)
“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, Bret McKenzie *WINNER
“Real in Rio” from Rio, Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett

Music (Original Score)
John Williams, The Adventures of Tintin
Ludovic Bource, The Artist *WINNER
Howard Shore, Hugo
Alberto Iglesias, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Williams, War Horse

Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners *WINNER
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo
*WINNER
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon



Best Animated Feature
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango
*WINNER

Documentary Feature
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Pina
Undefeated
*WINNER

Sound Mixing
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
*WINNER
Moneyball
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
War Horse



Sound Editing
Drive
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
*WINNER
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
War Horse

Film Editing
Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Kevin Tent, The Descendants
Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo *WINNER
Thelma Schoonmaker, Hugo
Christopher Tellefsen, Moneyball

Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help *WINNER

Best Foreign Feature
Bullhead
Footnote
In Darkness
Monsieur Lazhar
A Separation
*WINNER


Makeup
Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle, Albert Nobbs
Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, The Iron Lady *WINNER

Costume Design
Anonymous
The Artist
*WINNER
Hugo
Jane Eyre
W.E.

Art Direction
The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo *
WINNER
Midnight in Paris
War Horse

Cinematography
The Artist
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
*WINNER
The Tree of Life
War Horse

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