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The Olympics are a good reminder about embracing the talents that the whole world has to offer, which here, means delving into works of national cinema. Movies from overseas are too often unfortunately lumped into the nebulous, unexciting and broad "Foreign" category. National cinema, on the other hand, refers to a film made in and about a certain country, that helps illuminate and define it both narratively and artistically. Foreign, yes. Awesome, definitely. Australian cinema is one of my personal favorites, because it is usually so closely tied in with its sense of place and culture, uniting both stifled colonialism and the freedom (and occasional terror) of a wild, natural setting. The following films are a few of the best, but often overlooked, from Australia's rich cinematic reservoir. Also as a reminder: if you don't currently have the streaming service paired with each film, search the one(s) you do »
- Allison Keene
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 4, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95
Kirk Douglas (Paths of Glory) gives the fiercest performance of his career as Chuck Tatum, an amoral newspaper reporter who washes up in dead-end Albuquerque, happens upon the scoop of a lifetime, and will do anything to keep getting the lurid headlines.
Also starring Jan Sterling and Bob Arthur, Wilder’s follow-up to his ominously alluring Sunset Boulevard is an even darker vision, a no-holds-barred exposé of the American media’s appetite for sensation that has gotten only more relevant with time.
Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo edition of the movie contains the following features, the bulk of them ported over from »
Criterion Collection has added a list of films -- a mix of classics, indies and contemporaries -- that are scheduled for a May release. With the John Wayne and Montgomery western "Red River" as a special highlight, Criterion also revealed the following films that makeup their lineup (Descriptions provided by Criterion Collection). "Ace in the Hole" (1951) Director: Billy Wilder Billy Wilder’s "Ace in the Hole" is one of the most scathing indictments of American culture ever produced by a Hollywood filmmaker. Kirk Douglas ("Spartacus") gives the fiercest performance of his career as Chuck Tatum, an amoral newspaper reporter who washes up in dead-end Albuquerque, happens upon the scoop of a lifetime, and will do anything to keep getting the lurid headlines. Wilder’s follow-up to "Sunset Boulevard" is an even darker vision, a no-holds-barred exposé of the American media’s appetite for sensation that has gotten only more relevant with time. »
- Eric Eidelstein
Criterion has announced their lineup of new releases for May 2015 and leading the way is Howard Hawks' Red River (5/27) starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. I've only seen Red River once and it was not an impressive transfer so I'm really looking forward to seeing what Criterion has done with this new 4K digital restoration of the original theatrical release version, plus a 2K restoration of the longer version, though the original is said to be Hawks' preferred cut. Additionally the release includes new interviews with Peter Bogdanovich, critic Molly Haskell and western scholar Lee Clark Mitchell and more. Get the full details here. The next release I'm most interested in is Stuart Cooper's 1975 film Overlord (5/13), which is getting a Blu-ray upgrade after being released on Criterion DVD back in 2007. The film apparently interweaves archival war footage and a fictional narrative as it follows one twenty-year-old's journey from »
- Brad Brevet
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will open the 2014 edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival with the world premiere of a brand new restoration of the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! (1955). TCM’s own Robert Osborne, who serves as official host for the festival, will introduce Oklahoma!, with the film’s star, Academy Award®-winner Shirley Jones, in attendance. Vanity Fair will also return for the fifth year as a festival partner and co-presenter of the opening night after-party. Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide withTCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.
In addition, the festival has added several high-profile guests to this year’s lineup, including Oscar®-winning director William Friedkin, who will attend for the screening of the U.S. premiere restoration of his suspenseful cult classic Sorcerer (1977); Kim Novak, who »
- Melissa Thompson
When the work of the Walt Disney Company is referenced in popular culture, it is often generalized and boiled down to princesses, Mickey Mouse, and fireworks over Cinderella’s castle as music swells. (“Get your Disney World vacation planning DVD today!”) Unfortunately, this is an extremely simplified image of the company and its legacy in feature films. In the 77 years since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Walt Disney Company’s feature films have gone through distinctive eras. There was the rise of Disney live-action, the decade following Walt Disney’s death, the era of acquisition (Marvel, LucasFilm), and the first and second animation renaissance periods, to name a few.
To give a broader view of the Walt Disney feature film, it is easiest to look at some of these specific eras and pick out the good, the best, and the worst representations of that era. This is by »
- Rachel Kolb
Directed by Brian De Palma
Written by John Farris
In this action-suspense picture packed with paranormal activity, Kirk Douglas plays government agent Peter Sandza, whose telepathic son (Andrew Stevens) has been kidnapped by his colleague Ben Childress (John Cassavetes), working for a CIA-like secret government agency that plans to exploit the boy’s psychic abilities for warfare. Sandza’s desperate search for his son brings him into contact with a teenage girl named Gillian (Amy Irving), who also has strong Esp powers. He gains her trust, and together, they join forces in the hope of saving his son Robin before it’s too late.
Brian De Palma’s immediate successor to Carrie was The Fury, a supernatural horror/espionage/occult/mindfuck of a movie, which, like Carrie, manages a similar variation on the theme of teenagers using telekinetic powers to exercise repressed feelings. And The Fury, not unlike Carrie, »
- Ricky da Conceição
A bunch of attention-grabbing Scandi projects were presented at the opening TV seminar of the Nordic Film Market, “TV Drama Vision,” held at Goteborg on Thursday. One of them was “Welcome to Sweden,” the English-speaking Swedish comedy series created, directed by and starred by Greg Poehler, brother to Amy Poehler who’s executive producing and also doing a cameo in the show.
“Welcome to Sweden,” produced by Flx in co-production with TV4, Entertainment One and Syskon (the production company set up by the two Poehlers), has already been sold to NBC, making it the first Swedish TV series ever to be sold directly to a big network channel in the Us.
“Of course it opened some doors having my sister on the project,” said Greg Poehler when presenting the first clips at Goteborg. “But I’m also really good at convincing people that I can do things, whether it’s true or not, »
- Jon Asp
The ensemble casts of American Hustle and Breaking Bad nabbed the top prizes at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Saturday night at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. In the ceremony honoring the year's best performances in film and television, other unexpected and/or well-deserved wins went to Michael Douglas for Behind the Candelabra, Blue Jasmine star Cate Blanchett, Dallas Buyers Club co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, and 12 Years A Slave newcomer Lupita Nyong'o. Read on for the recap...
Click Here for the complete list of winners.
The Best Ensembles - Film
The night's top award, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, went to American Hustle. The gritty, late '70s tale out-hustled August: Osage County, Dallas Buyers Club, Lee Daniels' The Butler and 12 Years A Slave for the honor. Of the 12 lauded actors in the ensemble, Bradley Cooper took the mic to recognize the fellow category nominees in "a strong »
var brightcovevideoid = '3072699358001'; While accepting the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a miniseries or television movie, Behind the Candelabra star Michael Douglas gave an emotional thank you to his father, 97-year-old Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas. In his acceptance speech for the Liberace biopic, Douglas thanked the industry for helping him follow his own path. "I've got a 97-year-old member of SAG back at home, who I know is particularly proud of me for getting this award," he said. "But I want to thank all of you all here tonight for helping me get out »
- Nate Jones
Credit: Mike Lamonica
Morgan Freeman will present the SAG 50th Life Achievement Award to Rita Moreno at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, Executive Producer/Director Jeff Margolis and Executive Producer Kathy Connell announced today.
SAG-aftra is honoring Rita Moreno for her career achievement and humanitarian accomplishments. Past recipients of the Life Achievement Award include Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Ernest Borgnine, Betty White, James Earl Jones, Charles Durning, Julie Andrews, Shirley Temple Black, James Garner, Karl Malden, Clint Eastwood, Edward Asner, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, Kirk Douglas, Elizabeth Taylor, Angela Lansbury, Robert Redford, and George Burns.
Credit: Mark Hill
In 1971, Freeman and Moreno were among the stars of “The Electric Company,” a comedy variety show created by the Children’s Television Workshop (Ctw) featuring live-action sketches, cartoons, and songs. Inspired by The Motown Sound, “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” and Broadway, the series was designed »
- Michelle McCue
Jerry Lewis has been selected to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Hollywood’s union publicists.
Lewis will be presented the trophy at the Publicists Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Feb. 28.
Steven Poster, president of the Intl. Cinematographers Guild, said Lewis is “a national treasure who has provided generations worldwide with decades of laughs. The money he has raised for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Jerry’s Kids is simply astounding. Jerry is also one of the main reasons I wanted to get into show business when I was a child.”
Lewis starred in “Max Rose,” which premiered at Cannes last year. He completed his run in 2011 as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2009 Academy Awards.
- Dave McNary
Feature Nicholas Higton 14 Jan 2014 - 06:37
Action star, writer and director Sylvester Stallone gave an evening of anecdotes at the London Palladium on Saturday. Here's what went on...
Sylvester Stallone was on fine form as he entertained a near capacity crowd at London’s famous Palladium theatre last Saturday night. The evening was compèred by an excellent Jonathan Ross (here far removed from his usual television interview persona), who talked with Mr Stallone over the remarkable highs and lows of his film career to date.
Stallone spoke about his way into the acting world, performing in Death Of A Salesman while teaching physical education at a boarding school in Switzerland. Sly even sang a short duet with Jonathon Ross from the main theme of Paradise Alley, written by brother Frank Stallone, and impressed the audience with a quotation from Shakespeare’s Comedy Of Errors.
Discussing one of his most famous characters portrayed on the screen, »
Woody Allen Golden Globes 2014 tribute: Diane Keaton remembers ‘friend’ (photo: Woody Allen directing Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’) Accepting from presenter Emma Stone the 2014 Cecil B. DeMille Award for absentee Woody Allen, Diane Keaton (Sleeper, Love and Death, Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan, Manhattan Murder Mystery) was a likable presence at the January 12, 2014, Golden Globes ceremony, but her reminiscences about Allen were clearly PG-rated, going on about their "friendship" as if the two had always been just pals. Was that lullaby she sang moving or would Woody Allen have been right in yelling, "get the hook and get her off the god damn stage"? You decide. Now, in all fairness, Diane Keaton’s Woody Allen tribute wasn’t all PG-rated treacle, as she was twice bleeped by the censors. Apparently, NBC — and the ludicrous FCC — believe television audiences should be treated as if we were all three-year-olds. (See also: “Golden Globes »
- Andre Soares
The London Palladium welcomed a Hollywood legend last night (January 11) as Sylvester Stallone fielded questions from host Jonathan Ross and an enthusiastic audience for an entertaining 'Evening with...'.
Number one box office hits across each of the last five decades show Stallone as a star with big screen endurance, but this weekend's West End appearance highlighted his skills as a raconteur. Spanning from his early student years in Switzerland right up to his forthcoming boxing return in Grudge Match, Sly took the audience from the highs of Rocky and Rambo to the lows of Rhinestone with charm, wit and charisma.
He even treated the crowd to a great Robert De Niro impersonation, a Shakespeare recitation and sang 'Too Close to Paradise' (from his 1978 drama Paradise Alley) with Ross. Digital Spy rounds up 10 of the best bits from An Evening with Sylvester Stallone below...
1. If Rocky Balboa is a hero to film fans, »
CBS and dick clark productions announced today a multi-year broadcast television agreement for the Hollywood Film Awards®, beginning in 2014. The event, founded by Carlos de Abreu, honors excellence in filmmaking and is traditionally seen as the official launch of the Hollywood awards season with some of the world’s biggest talent in attendance. “The Hollywood Film Awards is a star-filled, fun night full of surprises and the first stop out of the gate kicking off the film awards season,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events, CBS Entertainment. “Until now, the event was limited to only industry insiders. We’re proud to team up with dick clark productions and Carlos to develop this into an event for television and showcase it to millions of viewers across the country.” “The Hollywood Film Awards and Carlos de Abreu have done a great job over the past 17 years honoring »
- Josh Abraham
Montezuma follows the power struggle between Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés and Aztec leader Montezuma (often spelt Moctezuma) during the Spanish conquest of Mexico. It was penned by Dalton Trumbo in 1965 as a vehicle for Kirk Douglas, but the project got shelved.
Trumbo authored the screenplay for Hollywood classic Spartacus (also featuring Douglas), so if that’s anything to go by we can expect an epic treatment for Montezuma. Trumbo courted controversy in the Us, blacklisted for his involvement with the Communist Party by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (Huac) and sent to prison for 11 months.
Oscar winning writer Steven Zaillian will be reworking the screenplay for a modern day audience (he last worked with Spielberg on 1993′s Schindler’S List). And to add just that bit more clout, »
- Claire Joanne Huxham
A screenplay about the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire that has been gathering dust for more than half a century could be resurrected by Steven Spielberg, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The Oscar-winning film-maker is eyeing Montezuma, based on a script by famously blacklisted Spartacus screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, for his next directing project. Another member of Hollywood royalty, Oscar-winner Javier Bardem, is tipped to play the Aztec emperor's nemesis, conquistador Hernán Cortés.
Trumbo, a hugely significant figure in Hollywood history, won two Oscars during his lifetime while working under assumed names due to his ostracisation by »
- Ben Child
It was a pretty good weekend for Harvey Weinstein and his crop of awards season hopefuls. On Saturday, "August: Osage County" — coming off a dominant showing at the Capri, Hollywood Film Festival in Italy — was recognized at the annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala with honors for stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. The Weinstein Company honcho also held a private little after-soiree that was full of talent not just from his films but others as well. Sunday night, it was a Kirk Douglas Award presentation for "Lee Daniels' The Butler" star Forest Whitaker in advance of »
- Kristopher Tapley
Those in the elite rungs of society often have expensive taste. Nicolas Cage bought himself a pyramid to preserve his physical form after he’s gone (presumably as a mummy). Bleeding Gums Murphy had a $1,500 a day Faberge Egg habit. And Steven Spielberg has recently been binging on legendary, unproduced Hollywood screenplays. First came Napoleon, Stanley Kubrick‘s massive historical epic – the epic that was declared unfilmable once Kubrick enlisted the entire 50,000 Romanian army to stage the battle sequences (and after several other Napoleon films had just bombed at the box office). Spielberg is already hard at work, transforming that one into a TV miniseries. And now, according to Deadline, Spielberg may be adding another priceless gem to his “to-do” list: Dalton Trumbo‘s Montezuma. Here’s how the story goes. In 1947, Trumbo was exiled from Hollywood after refusing to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and in 1950 spent eleven months in prison (something »
- Adam Bellotto
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