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Tokyo — Setsuko Hara, the muse of Yasujiro Ozu as well as other directors of Japanese cinema’s 1950s and ’60s Golden Age, died on September 5 of pneumonia in a hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture, according to Japanese press reports. Hara was 95.
Born in 1920 in Yokohama, she made her film debut at age 15. Hara shot to fame for her starring role in 1937’s “The New Earth,” a German-Japanese co-production, with Hara playing a woman who ventures to Manchuria, then a Japanese colony, with her new husband. Audiences were attracted to her Western-like features and air of fresh-faced purity.
In the postwar period, with directors such as Akira Kurosawa and Keisuke Kinoshita, Hara portrayed modern women unbound by shackles of feudal mores, with critics making comparisons to Katharine Hepburn and Joan Crawford. In her films with Ozu, such as “Late Spring” (1949), “Early Summer” (1951) and “Tokyo Story” (1953), she also embodied more traditional virtues, including »
- Mark Schilling
This year’s Oscar hopefuls boasts the largest roster of biopics in recent memory. From more traditional, straight-forward affairs such as Straight Outta Compton and Black Mass, to films that focus on one particular real-life event such as The Big Short and Spotlight, to less typical takes focused on separate periods in the subjects’ lives such as Steve Jobs and Love & Mercy, this year’s films cover the entire spectrum of the biopic genre.
As a result, many of the frontrunners in the four major acting categories are for performances portraying real-life people. Looking back on the Academy’s history, it is hard to find a year in which an acting award did not go to a performer portraying a real person. Eddie Redmayne, Matthew McConaughey, and Daniel Day-Lewis (the last three best actor winners) all starred in biographical films.
This year the trend looks to continue, »
- Patrick Shanley
James Prideaux, a prolific playwright and television writer, died on Wednesday, November 18, in West Hills, California, as a result of a major stroke. He was 88.
Early in his career, Prideaux became a member of off-off Broadway’s Barr-Wilder-Albee Playwrights Unit, where his first play, “Postcards,” had the rare distinction of going from off-off Broadway to Off Broadway and then to Broadway.
He earned his first television credits writing for soap opera “The Secret Storm,” and the adaptation of his play “Lemonade” for “Hollywood Television Theatre” before Katharine Hepburn brought him to Hollywood to work on a screenplay, a project that was abandoned when she agreed to appear in the musical “Coco.”
His play “The Last of Mrs. Lincoln” starred Julie Harris in one of her Tony Award-winning performances in 1973. He teamed again with Harris and Geraldine Page on Broadway in his “Mixed Couples.” His writing in later years brought Elizabeth Taylor »
- Carmel Dagan
So… they split-screened him? Or was it one of those director's commentary things?" Cate Blanchett is having some trouble wrapping her head around Shia Labeouf's latest stunt. The actress hasn't heard about the #Allmymovies project, in which her Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull co-star spent 58 hours screening all of his films, as the world watched a close-up of his face via live-stream. "God," she exhales, placing her fork on the breakfast plate in front of her as her eyes widen. "The idea of sitting and »
Pat O'Brien movies on TCM: 'The Front Page,' 'Oil for the Lamps of China' Remember Pat O'Brien? In case you don't, you're not alone despite the fact that O'Brien was featured – in both large and small roles – in about 100 films, from the dawn of the sound era to 1981. That in addition to nearly 50 television appearances, from the early '50s to the early '80s. Never a top star or a critics' favorite, O'Brien was nevertheless one of the busiest Hollywood leading men – and second leads – of the 1930s. In that decade alone, mostly at Warner Bros., he was seen in nearly 60 films, from Bs (Hell's House, The Final Edition) to classics (American Madness, Angels with Dirty Faces). Turner Classic Movies is showing nine of those today, Nov. 11, '15, in honor of what would have been the Milwaukee-born O'Brien's 116th birthday. Pat O'Brien and James Cagney Spencer Tracy had Katharine Hepburn. »
- Andre Soares
I am half an hour early for the interview but the discreet hotel library has already been taken. A woman (blond, gangly, faintly familiar) is sitting on the floor, demolishing a plate of tenderstem broccoli. Pink-framed specs perch on the bridge of her nose. Her bare feet are tucked beneath the low coffee table. The woman looks up sheepishly when I slide open the door. She only crept in for a scavenge, she says. She can’t offer me broccoli because it is not hers to give. “Also,” she adds, “I’ve gone and eaten it all.”
The movie camera misleads. It can add voltage and glamour and a whole foot in height. And good actors transform, it’s the nature of the job. On screen, Blanchett »
- Xan Brooks
'Trumbo' movie: Bryan Cranston as screenwriter Dalton Trumbo and Helen Mirren as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. 'Trumbo' movie review: Highly entertaining 'history lesson' Full disclosure: on the wall in my study hangs a poster – the iconic photograph of blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, with black-horned rim glasses, handlebar mustache, a smoke dangling from the end of a dramatic cigarette holder. He's sitting – stark naked – in a tub surrounded by his particular writing apparatus. He's looking directly into the camera of the photographer, his daughter Mitzi. Dalton Trumbo's son, Christopher Trumbo, gave me the poster after my interview with him for the release of Peter Askin's 2007 documentary also titled Trumbo. That film combines archival footage, including family movies and photographs, with performances of the senior Trumbo's letters to his family during their many years of turmoil before and through the blacklist, including his time in prison. The letters are read by, »
- Tim Cogshell
The 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (Psiff) will present Cate Blanchett with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress at its annual Awards Gala for her performances in both Carol and Truth. This is the first award announced for the festival. Each year the festival selects an actor and actress to receive this award. The Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart and presenting sponsor Entertainment Tonight, will be held Saturday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 1-11. “Cate Blanchett is one of the most award-winning and outstanding actresses of her generation, delivering extraordinary performances throughout her career including her Academy Award-winning roles as Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator and the title role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In her latest films Carol and Truth, Blanchett yet again brings to life two vibrant characters, both worthy of awards recognition. »
Read More: Review: Todd Haynes' 'Carol' is a Masterful Lesbian Romance Starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara The 27th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will honor Oscar winner Cate Blanchett with the Desert Palm Achievement Award for her acclaimed performances in "Truth" and "Carol." This is the first award announced for the festival's awards gala, which will be held Saturday, January 2. The festival takes place January 1-11. "Cate Blanchett is one of the most award-winning and outstanding actresses of her generation, delivering extraordinary performances throughout her career, including her Academy Award-winning roles as Katherine Hepburn in 'The Aviator' and the title role in Woody Allen’s 'Blue Jasmine,'" said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. "In her latest films 'Carol' and 'Truth,' Blanchett yet again brings to life two vibrant characters, both worthy of awards recognition. It is our honor to present the 2016 Desert Palm. »
- Zack Sharf
The Palm Springs International Film Festival has begun its roll-out of honoree announcements for its Jan. 2 awards gala. Kicking things off is “Carol” and “Truth” star Cate Blanchett, tapped for the Desert Palm Achievement Award for actresses.
“Cate Blanchett is one of the most award-winning and outstanding actresses of her generation, delivering extraordinary performances throughout her career including her Academy Award-winning roles as Katharine Hepburn in ‘The Aviator’ and the title role in Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine,'” festival chairman Harold Matzner said. “In her latest films ‘Carol’ and ‘Truth,’ Blanchett yet again brings to life two vibrant characters, both worthy of awards recognition.”
The question, of course, remains which of the two strong performances Academy members will gravitate toward. Early on it felt like “Truth” — the more explosive of the two portrayals — would deliver the goods, but a disappointing box office showing has doused much of that film’s awards hopes. »
- Kristopher Tapley
“Cate Blanchett is one of the most award-winning and outstanding actresses of her generation, delivering extraordinary performances throughout her career including her Academy Award-winning roles as Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator and the title role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine,” said festival chairman Harold Matzner.
“In her latest films Carol and Truth, Blanchett yet again brings to life two vibrant characters, both worthy of awards recognition. It is our honour to present the 2016 Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress, to Cate Blanchett.”
Prior actress recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress, include Julianne Moore, Sandra Bullock, Natalie Portman, Halle Berry, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts and Michelle Williams.
The festival will run from January 1-11. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Constance Cummings: Actress in minor Hollywood movies became major London stage star. Constance Cummings: Actress went from Harold Lloyd and Frank Capra to Noël Coward and Eugene O'Neill Actress Constance Cummings, whose career spanned more than six decades on stage, in films, and on television in both the U.S. and the U.K., died ten years ago on Nov. 23. Unlike other Broadway imports such as Ann Harding, Katharine Hepburn, Miriam Hopkins, and Claudette Colbert, the pretty, elegant Cummings – who could have been turned into a less edgy Constance Bennett had she landed at Rko or Paramount instead of Columbia – never became a Hollywood star. In fact, her most acclaimed work, whether in films or – more frequently – on stage, was almost invariably found in British productions. That's most likely why the name Constance Cummings – despite the DVD availability of several of her best-received performances – is all but forgotten. »
- Andre Soares
Cate Blanchett is having a banner year, with “Carol,” “Cinderella” and “Truth.” She spoke with Variety about Sony Classics’ “Truth,” which writer-director James Vanderbilt based on Mary Mapes’ account of the 2004 “60 Minutes II” report. The film is less about whether the story was accurate, and more about how the news business was changed by the Internet.
What drew you to the script?
I loved the complexity and the varied perspectives. Jamie (Vanderbilt) has done the most extraordinary job as a writer. And then as a director, he was able to set aside the writing and direct the story. He was quite fearless in trimming some stuff, which many writer-directors are not. He’s done a superlative job. He is relentlessly buoyant and positive –and is searingly intelligent, and I think that comes across in the writing and the filmmaking.
How did you prepare for that big monologue?
I tried not to overprepare. »
- Tim Gray
Hart, who hosted the series for 29 years, says, “What gets me today is people under the age of 35 don’t know that ‘Et’ was alone in this genre and created it, and that every time you see an entertainment news story anywhere today, it’s because we started there.”
The show is celebrating its 35th season milestone the entire month of November, kicking off a few days before with Hart stopping by on Oct. 29. Throughout the month, the show will look back on more than 10,000 episodes and 100,000 interviews, pulling up footage from the extensive archives starting in 1981, while also airing new interviews with stars who chime in about their first time on “Et,” including Tom Hanks, Anne Hathaway, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Costner, Kate Hudson, Jessica Simpson and more. »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Special Mention: C’est arrivé près de chez vous (Man Bites Dog)
Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, and Benoît Poelvoorde set out to make their first feature film with little resources and little money. In the tradition of filmmakers who can’t afford much film stock, the trio settled for a faux-documentary-style approach – the result is a high-concept satire of media violence that would spoof documentaries by following around a fictitious sociopath named Ben as he exercises his lethal craft. While the cinematic tradition of presenting villains as suave, charming, attractive, and intelligent individuals is nothing new, Man Bites Dog was still ahead of its time. Much like the great Hitchcockian villains such as Joseph Cotten in Shadow of a Doubt, Ben is a man of action and ideas. He expounds on art, »
- Ricky Fernandes
Occasionally older, strong-willed women creep into the sex-saturated narrative of horror that traditionally wallows in the terrorizing and disposing of young ladies. There is something to the fact that whether their presence maintains, twists or rebukes the genre’s stereotypically repressive lessons about female sexuality that so often end in the punishment of women acting out of bounds, aging females are just not surveilled, possessed or subjugated in the same ways as their less mature counterparts. This leaves space for some nuance of character to seep in, injecting a much-needed alternative depiction of gender that is based on agency instead of being acted upon. While the roles are few and far between, the following actresses have contributed iconic or under the radar performances in horror. (This post contains spoilers.)
- Lane Scarberry
Maureen O'Hara, the Irish actress who starred in a slew of American films including “Miracle on 34th Street,” “The Quiet Man” and “The Parent Trap” and one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s golden age, died on Saturday at home in Boise, Idaho. She was 95.
With her faint Irish accent, bright red hair and air of independence, she was often described as “fiery,” but that implies she was a one-note personality; in truth, she was a real actress who displayed her versatility in such works as “How Green Was My Valley” and Carol Reed’s “Our Man in Havana.” She worked with directors ranging from Alfred Hitchcock to Chris Columbus, but is best remembered for her works with John Ford, particularly in her pairings with John Wayne, such as “Quiet Man.”
She was one of the few Wayne co-stars who could prove his match in screen presence. »
- Carmel Dagan
Rock, who hosted the 77th Academy Awards in 2005, where the night’s big winners included Million Dollar Baby,Jamie Foxx for his performance in Ray, Cate Blanchett for her role as Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator, and screenplay trophies for Sideways and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Now Rock will follow in his own footsteps and return to the stage as the master of ceremonies. On his last outing, Rock riffed on nominees,Michael Moore, and then-president George W. Bush.
We’ll have to wait to see which films will find themselves at the mercy of Rock’s quips, though early buzz points towards Room, Brooklyn, Steve Jobs, Spotlight, Joy, and The Revenant. We’ll have to wait and see what »
- Rachel West
Well, here.s a mental image that you probably thought you.d never have to picture: Jane Fonda and Michael Jackson went skinny dipping together. Nope, that.s not a randomly thrown together joke in the vein of Family Guy. It legitimately happened. And now Jane Fonda has decided to open up about it. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter as part of their Hollywood Masters interview series, Jane Fonda revealed that while shooting the 1981 film On The Golden Pond, Michael Jackson randomly popped up for a visit. Fonda admitted that the pop music sensation had come to the New Hampshire set to visit her, screen icon Katharine Hepburn, and her father Henry Fonda. Fonda explained: [Jackson] came and stayed for 10 days. And when I first asked [Hepburn] permission she was not happy. Then the crew said, .You don.t understand. It.s Michael Jackson!. We lived together. I went skinny »
Earlier this year, rising star Eddie Redmayne took home his first Oscar for playing Stephen Hawking in the critically-acclaimed drama The Theory of Everything. The actor's new film The Danish Girl may give him a chance to join elite company like Tom Hanks and Katharine Hepburn by winning Oscars in back-to-back years. While we still have a few months to wait and see if he'll even be nominated, you can take a look at new footage from The Danish Girl in a new trailer.
Inspired by the true story of Danish painter Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) and his California-born wife (Alicia Vikander), this tender portrait of a marriage asks: What do you do when someone you love wants to change? It starts with a question, a simple favor asked of a husband by his wife on an afternoon chilled by the Baltic wind while both are painting in their studio. »
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