19 items from 2008
Terence Stamp owes an astrologer for his distinctive voice because he would never have taken vocal and breathing lessons if she hadn't told him he was destined to become a great speaker.
The British star admits he spoke very badly as a child and feared he'd never become a fine-voiced actor.
Stamp recalls, "She was my interpreter and she told me all kinds of things I didn't know about myself. Patricia, the astrologer, told me I had the moon in Taurus, which means potentially you have a wonderful voice.
"At age 27, I went back to school, gave up marijuana and addicted myself to voice and breathing."
And Stamp quickly had a major test of his speaking skills - when he was asked to narrate the Airborne Symphony for a Leonard Bernstein celebration in London.
He adds, "It was the most frightening thing in the whole world because it had only been done once before by Orson Welles, who played the narrator at Carnegie Hall. It was one performance and Lenny (Bernstein) was in the audience.
"When I stepped up to the microphone, it felt like I was standing on a barrage balloon that was being inflated. It was only after that show that I started getting asked to do voice-overs and read books on tape." »
My recent additions courtesy of my coffee table. Descriptions and details below As you can see from the picture above the holidays brought me some new movies to add to my collection. Let me quickly run down the lot: The Third Man (Criterion Blu-ray) - Along with Chungking Express this was one of the two Criterion Blu-rays I had to pick up for myself as they released their first wave of high-definition titles. I already owned the DVD single disc edition, but couldn't pass up those wet sewer walls in Blu-ray. The Man Who Fell to Earth (Criterion Blu-ray) - I just posted my review of this one and it isn't exactly a recommendation outside of a select group of cinephiles. Bottle Rocket (Criterion Blu-ray) - Had Criterion not sent this one to me for review I would have purchased it in a second. I am not a Wes Anderson fan, »
- Brad Brevet
For years she was thought of as a starlet, but suddenly something has changed for Penélope Cruz, who is getting the best reviews of her career — for roles in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Isabel Coixet's Elegy, and Pedro Almodóvar's Volver, for which she became the first Spanish actor to receive an Oscar nomination. She points to her role as a destitute Albanian woman who has an affair with a married doctor in the little-seen Italian film Don't Move as the turning point."That was the year before Volver, and that movie meant a lot for me because it was a completely different character from everything that I had tried before," Cruz says. "You depend so much as an actor on a director's trust and imagination to realize that you can do something that is far away from what you have done before." In Elegy, written by »
- Cassie Carpenter
Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films from Criterion
Photo: Criterion Last week in my On DVD Today column I mentioned how the folks at Criterion were clearing off their shelves and offering every item in stock at a 40% discount while supplies lasted. I would assume a majority of the folks that read the article ignored that link since it didn't have any new information on Batman, Iron Man or any other kind of man from a comic book. However, I am hoping this headline brought in the folks that may be interested in such a deal. Of course, the hour is late and the majority of the titles are now gone as the deal ends Monday, November 24, at midnight Est. When I first got the email from Criterion I shuffled over to check out a few titles I had been longing to get and had never wanted to spend the money. »
- Brad Brevet
Though Robert Davi is identified with mega-bad guys in such flicks as The Goonies, Die Hard, and Licence to Kill, he has also played an array of characters in more than 60 movies and TV programs. In part, Davi blames the press for perpetrating the image of him as archetypical villain, "instead of calling me an actor's actor," he says. "No one looks at your body of work." What makes it so much fun to play Danny, a former doo-wop singer down on his luck, in Davi's latest project, The Dukes, "is that he's a regular guy," emphasizes the Queens-born actor. "Also, I get the chance to play a singer. I interjected singing in Goonies, but here I'm playing a singer." A trained opera singer, Davi pauses to point out, "And I have a chance to be raw. A friend who saw the movie says this is the most he's ever seen of Robert Davi onscreen. »
- Simi Horwitz
by Michael Koresky (October 22, 2008) [An indieWIRE review from Reverse Shot.]
Like any omnibus film, the Christophe Jankovic and Valerie Schermann-produced French collection of creepy, crawly cartoon shorts, "Fear(s) of the Dark," succeeds on the strength of its best components. Though it seems that in animation it's easier to convey an "idea" of fear to an audience than impart in the viewer fear itself, the film nevertheless pleasantly lodges in the brain. A persuasive showcase for a handful of contemporary animators, "Fear(s)" is comprised of mostly beautifully designed segments which get exponentially better as the film continues, going deeper and deeper into an ever darkening rabbit hole. Like the famed sixties compilation "Spirits of the Dead," which wisely saved Fellini's astonishing "Toby Dammit" for its just-desserts course, "Fear(s) of the Dark" sends us out on a high, low note. »
20 October 2008 3:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno is best known outside Italy as the man who cast the future of the Rome International Film Festival in doubt. In his face-off with former mayor Francesco Rutelli, Alemanno, a blunt-speaking former neo-fascist, attacked Rutelli's ties to fest founder Walter Veltroni, running ads that juxtaposed the capital's deteriorating infrastructure with scenes of the festival's high-profile red carpet. After Alemanno's stunning upset, festival supporters worried that the city might pull its funding. In the end, the city's level of support remained unchanged. And aside from seeing festival president and Veltroni ally Goffredo Bettini step down in favor of former Venice artistic director Gian Luigi Rondi, the event -- which opens Wednesday -- is more or less unchanged. Alemanno recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter Italy correspondent Eric J. Lyman to discuss his views on the festival, Rome's role in the cinema industry and a few of his favorite films. »
- By Eric J. Lyman
28 September 2008 1:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Frankfurt, Germany -- Oscar-winning editor Anne V. Coates received Festival Honors -- the highest honor awarded at the Edit Filmmakers Festival -- Sunday at the event's opening gala at the Cinestar Metropolis theater in Frankfurt.
A capacity crowd of 650 walked the red carpet and filled the theater to honor Coates, who is perhaps best known for "Lawrence of Arabia."
In the evening's other highlight, cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno, a longtime collaborator with Federico Fellini, was honored with the first Tribute Award from Imago, the European Association of Cinematographers.
"Anne is one of the great editors of all time," Rolf said. "Anne cares about taking gifted performances and making them the focus of the story."
The program included a clip reel of Coates' body of work, »
- By Carolyn Giardina
The idea for this article came out of how many films I have been watching lately in an effort to up my film IQ. I am not watching these films to be any kind of film historian, but to just have an overall knowledge of movies. It is also a nice way to make up for how many bad films I have to watch. I will still continue to do my Cinematic Revival editorials as well as hopefully bring you more of these recap pieces. My larger goal is to begin writing full reviews for all of these films when I don't write up the longer Cinematic Revival essays to improve on my writing as well as bolster my list of written reviews. That said, here is a look at what I watched at home last week and if you have any films to recommend that you watched recently (it »
- Brad Brevet
All movie critics are asked two inevitable questions: (1) "How many movies do you see in a week?" and (2) "What's the greatest film of all time?" Gene Siskel found that it didn't matter what his reply to (1) was: "I can say one or a dozen--it doesn't matter. The real answer is between four and ten, but they don't really care." The answer to (2), as we all know, is "Citizen Kane." When naming that film, I sometimes even joke, "That's the official answer." The most respected "best film" list in the world is the one the UK film magazine "Sight & Sound" runs every 10 years. They poll the world's directors, critics, festival heads, archivists and others. Ever since 1962, the top film has been "Kane."
"Citizen Kane" is arguably the most important film, for two reasons: It consolidated the film language up until 1941 and broke new ground in such areas as deep focus, complex sound, »
- Roger Ebert
Latest: The role Kate Hudson will play in her movie musical debut was written especially for her.
Her Nine character - a Vogue magazine writer called Stephanie - didn't feature in the original Broadway show
Director Rob Marshall explains, "Her revelatory skills as a singer and a dancer lead to the creation of the role."
The actress will join Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Dame Judi Dench and Sophia Loren in the film adaptation of the hit show, inspired by Federico Fellini's autobiographical film 8 1/2.
I saw a movie recently in which an 80ish women has an unlikely photograph on her wall. It shows Anita Ekberg in the famous scene where she wades in the Trevi Fountain in Fellini's "La Dolce Vita." She tells her elderly boyfriend: "I looked exactly like her when I was young." Maybe she did and maybe she didn't, but the photograph struck a chord. I saw Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" for the first time in London on the summer of 1962, in a little cinema on Piccadilly Square. I taught it a shot at a time at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1972, and again in 1982, 1992 and 2002, give or take a year. I've seen it countless other times, but those ten-yearly screenings have helped me measure the inexorable progress of time.
In 1962, Marcello Mastroianni represented everything I dreamed of attaining. He was a newspaper columnist, he frolicked with beautiful women, »
- Roger Ebert
The European Federation of Cinematographers, Imago, will present its first lifetime achievement award to Italian cinematographer Guiseppe Rotunno for his contributions to his art during the 2008 Filmmaker's Festival, Sept. 28-30 in Frankfurt Germany.
Rotunno was a frequent collaborator with Federico Fellini. He credits include "All That Jazz", for which he received an Oscar nomination, and "Il Casanova di Federico Fellini."
Cinematographer Luciano Tovoli, founder of Imago, will make the presentation.
This year, Imago is joining American Cinema Editors as partners for the Filmmaker's Festival, which focuses on the art and science of filmmaking with panels and presentations from world-class artists covering a range of disciplines including cinematography, visual effects, editing and directing.
"Participation in the Filmmaker's Festival will provide cinematographers throughout Europe a meaningful platform to share and explore their craft together with so many other production professionals," Imago president Nigel Walters said.
Imago comprises 28 European societies of cinematographers with affiliations in additional nations. »
To me, TV and movie anthologies are like Lucy holding the football in an old Peanuts cartoon: I know she’s going to pull the ball away and put me on my ass, but I can’t resist them anyway. They’re never wholly satisfying, but there’s always the hope that the next episode or short film will be a gem, and every once in a while, you’re rewarded for slogging through the endless misfires: Think of Joe Dante’s “Homecoming” on Masters Of Horror, Martin Scorsese’s segment in New York Stories, Federico Fellini’s entry in Spirits Of The Dead, or George Miller’s “Nightmare At 20,000 Feet” from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Getting to the good stuff takes patience and perseverance, and oftentimes anthologies never pay off at all or not nearly enough to justify themselves. And yet, when NBC announced a 13-episode summer horror anthology called Fear Itself, »
ROME -- Turkish-Italian director Ferzan Ozpetek will head the six-person jury that will award the 54-year-old Taormina Film Festival's Golden Tauro prize for new films from the Mediterranean region, the festival said Wednesday.
Organizers also announced that a restored print of Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" -- filmed in part in Sicily -- will screen in the festival's 2,300-year-old Greek Theater as part of a lineup that includes restored versions of Federico Fellini's little-known 1968 short "Toby Dammit" and Paul Schrader's 1985 biopic "Mishima".
David Mamet's martial arts drama "Red Belt" also will screen in the 6,000-seat theater in addition to a special gala screening of "The Edge of Heaven", from Fatih Akin, which will coincide with the special sidebar on Turkish cinema.
The "Beyond the Mediterranean" competition -- voted on by audiences -- will feature six films including three world premieres: Iranian director Mohammad-Ali Talebi's "The Wall", "Inconceivable" from Ireland's Mary McGuckian and "Love Live Long" from the U.K.'s Mike Figgis.
The main U.S. film screening will be Errol Morris' Abu Ghraib documentary "Standard Operating Procedure".
The Mediterranean competition titles named Wednesday are Egyptian films "Eye of the Sun" from Ibrahim El Batout and Yousri Nasrallah's "Aquarium"; "Burned Hearts" from Morocco's Ahmed El Maanouni; French director Jean Becker's "Deux Jours a Tuer" (Love Me No More); "Tractor, Love and Rock 'n' Roll" from Slovenia's Branko Djuric; and "Summer Book" from Turkey's Seyfi Teoman. »
- I'm not sure how Zeta Jones' name disappeared from the delayed project, but today Variety announces the fortunate news that Rob Marshall gets to add Nicole Kidman and Judi Dench to his stable of leading ladies for the fall shoot of Nine - this is the homage to Fellini and his notorious film 8 1/2, and adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical that also happens to have been among the projects that was nixed because of the writer's strike. The Weinstein Company project needed to rework Michael Tolkin's screenplay. The film and play are adapted from Federico Fellini's 1963 classic autobiographical feature "8 1/2," following the life of a famed film director and the many women in his life. Written by Michael Tolkin, Bardem would play director Guido Contini, who experiences a creative and personal crisis as he tries to balance all the women in his life. That includes his wife, mistress, »
The Weinstein Co. project was slated to begin principal photography in March but was postponed when the late writer-director Anthony Minghella didn't have enough time to rework Michael Tolkin's screenplay before the WGA strike. Extra work was needed to coordinate the choreography and Maury Yeston's music and lyrics with a new draft. The film is now tentatively scheduled for a September start.
Kidman is due to give birth in the summer, giving her several months of maternity leave before the film's proposed start date. Her filming also might be scheduled in the latter part of the shoot. »
ROME -- The list of 100 films to be preserved from Italy's so-called Golden Age of films is attracting unexpected controversy.
In the 10 days since the "Hundred Film and One Country" project was unveiled, the Italian press has carried scores of stories weighing in on the process and the selections made by the 10-person committee of experts. Almost none of the articles were without criticism.
When the list was unveiled at an official ceremony a week after it was decided on, organizers were criticized for leaving out several names, such as Lina Wertmueller, who in 1977 became the first woman nominated for a best director Oscar for "Pasquino Settebellezze" (Seven Beauties), and Liliana Cavani, a three-time nominee for Cannes' Palme d'Or.
Since then, some local media criticized an over-emphasis on a handful of directors, such as Federico Fellini, who had seven films on the list; Luchino Visconti, with six; and Vittorio De Sica, Mario Monicelli and Francesco Rosi, with five each. »
22 February 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
ROME -- Federico Fellini's iconic "La Dolce Vita" and Vittorio De Sica's neo-realism classic "Ladri di Biciclette" (The Bicycle Thieves) are among the 100 films that will be protected and highlighted as part of the "Hundred Films and One Country" project.
The initiative, unveiled during the Venice Days sidebar at the Venice Film Festival in 2006 and officially launched there a year later, will protect 100 films made from 1942-78, Italy's so-called Golden Age of film.
The films selected will be refurbished if necessary, and protected, promoted and made available free of charge for educational and cultural uses.
Organizers of the project caution that the list should not be seen as a list of the 100 best films of the period in question but rather a "cinematographic examination" of Italy during those decades.
Minister of Culture Francesco Rutelli, on hand for the official launch last year, likened the project to a "cinema-based cultural archive."
"This is very important because the youngest generation is very familiar with cinema but not necessarily with the history of cinema," Rutelli said. »
19 items from 2008
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