11 items from 2015
I. The Rattigan Version
After his first dramatic success, The Winslow Boy, Terence Rattigan conceived a double bill of one-act plays in 1946. Producers dismissed the project, even Rattigan’s collaborator Hugh “Binkie” Beaumont. Actor John Gielgud agreed. “They’ve seen me in so much first rate stuff,” Gielgud asked Rattigan; “Do you really think they will like me in anything second rate?” Rattigan insisted he wasn’t “content writing a play to please an audience today, but to write a play that will be remembered in fifty years’ time.”
Ultimately, Rattigan paired a brooding character study, The Browning Version, with a light farce, Harlequinade. Entitled Playbill, the show was finally produced by Stephen Mitchell in September 1948, starring Eric Portman, and became a runaway hit. While Harlequinade faded into a footnote, the first half proved an instant classic. Harold Hobson wrote that “Mr. Portman’s playing and Mr. Rattigan’s writing »
- Christopher Saunders
My First R-rated Movie Or…
How I Became The 007 Of Covert Forbidden Film Viewing
By Alex Simon
For those of us who grew up in the suburbs in the pre-home video, pre-cable TV and pre-Netflix coupons 1970s and early ‘80s, there were few dangerous pleasures as heady as sneaking into an R-rated movie at the local multiplex. The multiplex cinema was a ‘70s phenomenon that made regulating children’s viewing habits infinitely more difficult than the old days of stand-alone, single screen theaters. Ironically, the new freedom that filmmakers enjoyed with the advent of the MPAA rating system in late 1968 was almost in perfect synch with the rise of multi-screen cinemas. Some things do happen for a reason.
You never forget your first...
My first R-rated film was during Thanksgiving of 1976. We were visiting my dad’s family in Birmingham, Alabama and the men adjourned after dinner to go see Two Minute Warning, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Part I. Anger, Suez and Archie Rice
“There they are,” George Devine told John Osborne, surveying The Entertainer‘s opening night audience. “All waiting for you…Same old pack of c***s, fashionable assholes. Just more of them than usual.” The Royal Court had arrived: no longer outcasts, they were London’s main attraction.
Look Back in Anger vindicated Devine’s model of a writer’s-based theater. Osborne’s success attracted a host of dramatists to Sloane Square. There’s Shelagh Delaney, whose A Taste of Honey featured a working-class girl pregnant from an interracial dalliance; Harold Pinter’s The Room, a bizarre “comedy of menace”; and John Arden’s Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance, which aimed a Gatling gun at its audience. Devine encouraged them, however bold or experimental. “You always knew he was on the writer’s side,” Osborne said.
Peter O’Toole called the Royal Court actors “an »
- Christopher Saunders
Fox’s remake of the classic Agatha Christie whodunit Murder on the Orient Express is picking up steam, now that Michael Green has been tapped to pen the script. The studio has been developing this redo since late 2013, when power trio Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg and Mark Gordon all came aboard as producers. No director is yet attached to the pic, but Fox is understandably looking to attract a big name.
The story, one of the author’s most acclaimed to feature detective Hercule Poirot, was previously adapted for film by Sidney Lumet back in 1974. His take was rapturously received, racking up six Oscar nods and winning one (for Ingrid Bergman’s supporting performance). Albert Finney starred as Poirot, leading an all-star cast that included Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Jacqueline Bisset, Colin Blakely, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave and Michael York.
This remake has big shoes to fill, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Back in the fall of 2013, we learned there was development of a remake of the 1974 Sidney Lumet mystery Murder on the Orient Express, an adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1934 novel of the same name. Ridley Scott was producing with Simon Kinberg (writer of X-Men: Days of Future Past and Sherlock Holmes) and Mark Gordon, but there was no writer on board yet. But that's changed now as Variety reports Green Lantern writer Michael Green, who is also working with Scott on the Blade Runner sequel with Harrison Ford starring and Denis Villeneuve directing, will script the remake for Scott Free Productions. Read on! The original story follows detective Hercule Poirot, a genius Belgian detective who is called upon to solve a murder that occurred in his train car the night before. Albert Finney played the detective while an all-star cast of classic movie stars like Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, »
- Ethan Anderton
It was first adapted as a film in 1974 by Sidney Lumet, with Albert Finney as Poirot. The film also starred the likes of Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, John Gielgud and Vanessa Redgrave.
“Murder on the Orient Express,” based on the 1934 novel by Agatha Christie, starred Albert Finney as the genius Belgian detective Hercule Poirot investigating the murder of an American tycoon aboard the train. The all-star cast of suspects were portrayed by Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Colin Blakely, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave and Michael York.
“Orient Express” was a commercial success with $35 million in U.S. grosses. It was also nominated for six Academy Awards, with Bergman — portraying a Swedish missionary — winning her third Oscar, her first in the supporting category. »
- Dave McNary
From the Berlin International Film Festival, Adam Cook and Daniel Kasman continue our series of festival dialogues. Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups had its world premiere in the Berlinale's Competition.
Daniel Kasman: I must admit it's a bit difficult to begin speaking of this overwhelming film so immediately after seeing it, and especially in the atmosphere here in Berlin of almost immediate derision. I remember the boos that instantly followed the final shot of The Tree of Life's in Cannes and here I'd swear I felt that negative energy going into the giant Berlinale Palast, the anticipation of yet more Malick. Whatever that means. Few still describe well his method as a filmmaker, and whatever you may think of his last film, To the Wonder, it certainly revealed more about how Terrence Malick, a very unique filmmaker, thinks about cinema as a language, and how his cinema "works"—moves, »
This is how it goes with Terrence Malick — long stretches of quiet around whatever he's working on, followed by an intense period of scrutiny as it gets unveiled. And so it goes today, with "Knight Of Cups" premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival. The first poster was revealed, our review is right here, and we've gotten our hands on all the music featured in the director's latest look at the soul of man (or something). As per usual, Malick leans heavily on classical jams, with compositions by Arvo Part, Claude Debussy, Edvard Grieg, and more. For those of you want to cue up your playlists with something more contemporary, there are tunes by Thee Oh Sees, Explosions In The Sky, Burial, and a ton of music by ambient electronic artist Biosphere. Below you'll find the full list of songs, and on the next page, all the tracks your ears can handle. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
You go into a Terrence Malick movie expecting a gorgeous collage of sound and image, but not necessarily the sight of a neon-lit strip club, a Caesars Palace pool party, or a fashion shoot where a model is told to pose like “a dirty f—ing housewife.” In other words, there’s something at once vividly familiar and strikingly different about “Knight of Cups,” a feverish plunge into the toxic cloud of decadence swirling around a Los Angeles screenwriter gone to seed. Having made contemporary American life seem both recognizable and alien in “To the Wonder,” Malick now extends that film’s tender romantic ballet into a corrosive critique of Hollywood hedonism — a poisoned valentine to the industry by way of a Fellini-esque bacchanal. Those who have had their fill of the director’s impressionistic musings will find his seventh feature as empty as the lifestyle it puts on display; for the rest of us, »
- Justin Chang
By Anjelica Oswald
The stars may align in Hollywood this year in a way we’ve only seen once in the past 77 years.
Since the Oscars went to four acting categories in 1937, only once have all four of the acting winners been 46 or older.
The frontrunners — who now look locked in for Oscar wins — for three of the acting categories are supporting actress nominee Patricia Arquette, 46; supporting actor nominee J.K. Simmons, 60, and lead actress nominee Julianne Moore, 54. If all three of the aforementioned nominees win and if Birdman’s Michael Keaton, 63, beats Redmayne for lead actor, all four winners will be 46 or older.
The last time all four acting winners were older than 46 was 1982.
That year, Maureen Stapleton was the youngest acting winner »
- Anjelica Oswald
11 items from 2015
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