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Kruger in “In the Fade”
Coming off of the North American premiere of her upcoming drama “In the Fade” at Tiff, Diane Kruger has just signed on to topline another project. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the “Inglourious Basterds” actress will portray iconic actress and accomplished inventor Hedy Lamarr in a miniseries from Straight Up Films. Kruger is also set to produce the project, which will be adapted from Richard Rhodes’ book “Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.”
The miniseries will focus especially on Lamarr’s development of a frequency-hopping radio signal. She invented the technology with a friend during WWII and “approached the military, who at the time turned them away,” THR writes. “It was only a generation later that the military began looking at it and using it. The technology, called Spread Spectrum Technology, now underpins Bluetooth and WiFi use.”
The Austrian-born Lamarr starred in Hollywood films including “Comrade X,” “Tortilla Flat,” and “Samson & Deiliah” in the 1930s and 40s. Her first husband — an Austrian munitions manufacturer connected to the regimes of Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy — “ruled their marriage with an iron fist,” THR notes, but introduced Lamarr to military scientists, which sparked her interest in inventing and technology.
Lamarr died in 2000 from cardiac issues. She was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.
“I am fascinated by Hedy Lamarr,” Kruger commented. “She was a smart, witty, visionary inventor, way ahead of her time, who also happened to be a major movie star. I cannot wait to tell her story to make sure her legacy will live on forever and inspire others.”
Joining Kruger as producers on the miniseries are Straight Up’s Marisa Polvino, Kate Cohen, and Sandra Condito, and Untitled Entertainment’s Abi Harris and Jason Weinberg. Rose Ganguzza, Gene Kelly, Rhodes, and philanthropic organization Alfred P. Sloan Foundation are collaborating to exec produce the project. The Sloan Foundation, which supports developments in science and technology, is also bestowing Kruger with a screenwriting development grant for the project.
Alexandra Dean’s documentary “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” debuted at the Tribeca Film Fest earlier this year. The majority of the doc’s funding came from the Sloan Foundation. “I spent years profiling inventors and innovators for Bloomberg Television and Businessweek, but I never heard a life story that came close to Hedy’s,” Dean told us in an interview. “I suppose it also particularly resonated for me because as a short, quiet woman who always wanted to be a director, I know a little about what it’s like to want to do something that no one expects you to do.”
Another story about women’s previously-unrecognized contributions to science recently rocked the box office. “Hidden Figures” grossed over $230 million worldwide. The Oscar-nominated drama shone a spotlight on Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), brilliant women of color who played an instrumental role in the space race while working at Nasa.
“In the Fade,” in which Kruger portrays bereaved wife and mother seeking revenge, will open in Germany November 23. The drama was recently acquired by Magnolia Pictures with a planned awards-qualifying run for this fall, but no U.S. release date has been announced. Kruger won the Best Actress award at Cannes this year for the film.
Diane Kruger to Topline and Produce Miniseries About Hedy Lamarr was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
In John McPhail’s gorehound musical “Anna and the Apocalypse,” one of the standout world premieres at this year’s Fantastic Fest, our high school heroine (Ella Hunt) sleeps through the start of a worldwide zombie attack, slips on her headphones, steps out her front door, and begins to sing. “It’s a beautiful day!” belts Anna. Behind her, one neighbor dies, another falls out of a window, and as the camera pulls back, we see her small Scottish town is on fire. Yesterday, her dad (Mark Benton), the school janitor, found out she’s skipping college for a gap year in Australia, the class bully Nick (Ben Wiggins) propositioned her in the cafeteria, and her dorky best friend John (Malcolm Cumming) nearly lost his job when he accidentally thwacked their co-worker with a bowling shoe. Today, she dances down the street, swinging on light poles like Gene Kelly, totally »
- Amy Nicholson
Balletic, stylized and rather aloof, MGM’s biggest musical for 1954 still has what musical lovers crave — good dancing, beautiful melodies and unabashed romantic sentiments. Savant has a bad tendency to fixate on the inconsistencies of its fantasy concept — in which God places an ideal Scottish village outside the limits of Time itself.
1954 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 108 min. / Street Date September 26, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99
Cinematography: Joseph Ruttenberg
Film Editor: Albert Akst
Original Music: Frederick Loewe
Screenplay, book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Produced by Arthur Freed
Directed by Vincente Minnelli
MGM underwent some severe cutbacks in 1953; most of its contract players were dropped including the majority of its proud roster of stars. The studio would have to survive in a new kind of Hollywood, »
- Glenn Erickson
“We Tapped That Ass” was one of two songs that “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” submitted for the Emmys, and in the end, was the one that won the nomination. Although series creator, star, and lyricist Rachel Bloom was thrilled for the nomination, her first thought was, “Oh shit. We’re not going to win this. That’s not likely.”
Sadly, “We Tapped That Ass” did not end up winning this year — the honors went to Common’s “Letter to the Free” for Ava DuVernay’s “13th” instead — but the song is in good company among other raunchy comedy tunes that have been recognized by the Academy. Before the 1990s, the trend for Emmy-winning songs tended to be pretty standard theme songs, concert performances or variety tunes. “The Simpsons” started opening the door to more comedic fare in the 1990s, earning multiple nods and even winning two, but it was a 2007 earworm on »
- Hanh Nguyen
Throughout the history of film, dance on screen has helped foster some of cinema’s most interesting works. In the earliest days of film you have works like Annabelle Serpentine Dance, which is still some of the most erotically alluring film making the medium has ever known, and up through today film has given us Gene Kelly musicals, their modern off-shoots like Step Up 3D (maybe the greatest 3D film ever produced), and even art films like those from Nathan Kroll or Carlos Saura.
However, they’re becoming more and more rare as its counterpart, the musical, goes by the wayside. So when a new film focusing on the art of the human body through the medium of dance crops up, it’s worthy of one’s intrigue. And thankfully, Polina is worthy of one’s hard earned money.
From director Valerie Muller and world renowned choreographer Angelin Preljocaj (who »
- Joshua Brunsting
Screen legend Gene Kelly narrates this documentary which should be compulsory viewing for anyone with an interest in the genesis of modern screen comedy »
- Darren Richman
After polling critics from around the world for the greatest American films of all-time, BBC has now forged ahead in the attempt to get a consensus on the best comedies of all-time. After polling 253 film critics, including 118 women and 135 men, from 52 countries and six continents a simple, the list of the 100 greatest is now here.
Featuring canonical classics such as Some Like It Hot, Dr. Strangelove, Annie Hall, Duck Soup, Playtime, and more in the top 10, there’s some interesting observations looking at the rest of the list. Toni Erdmann is the most recent inclusion, while the highest Wes Anderson pick is The Royal Tenenbaums. There’s also a healthy dose of Chaplin and Lubitsch with four films each, and the recently departed Jerry Lewis has a pair of inclusions.
Check out the list below (and my ballot) and see more on their official site.
- Jordan Raup
Dirty Thirty: 7 Facts to Celebrate 30 Years of Dirty DancingDirty Thirty: 7 Facts to Celebrate 30 Years of Dirty DancingKurt Anthony8/17/2017 10:29:00 Am
It’s time to lace up your dancing shoes, find yourself a bungalow bunny, and start practicing the pachanga, because today is the 30th anniversary of Dirty Dancing!
Leaping onto the silver screen, Dirty Dancing made its theatrical debut on August 21, 1987 and instantly won over the hearts – and feet – of teen and adult audiences alike. Directed by Emile Ardolino (Sister Act) and featuring the rhythmic chemistry of Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, the romantic dance drama went on to earn over $213M worldwide, along with being the first film to sell more than a million copies on VHS.
With a multi-platinum soundtrack, the Oscar, Golden Globe, and Grammy Award for Best Original Song (“(I’ve Had the Time of My Life”), and choreography by former Gene Kelly student, Kenny Ortega (High School Musical, »
- Kurt Anthony
There have been plenty of volatile co-star rivalries in the world of cinema; Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield, Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds… The list goes on. None are more notorious however than Linda Hand (Jesie St. James) and Lance Hardy (John Leslie). The pair are the hottest thing in the world of dirty pictures, but their egos are getting the better of them.
It comes to the boiling point when after a little spat before shooting a scene, Linda literally shows that her bite is much worse than her bark. The pair both storm off set vowing never to work with each other again! Understandably annoyed, legendary producers Bernard Kuntz (David F. Friedman) and »
- Mondo Squallido
What is the quintessential New York City film? The city’s own Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is eager to know, and has launched a new citywide campaign — in tandem with the New York Times — to “unite New Yorkers around one great film.” The initiative, known as “One Film, One New York” is inspired by the success of its recent “One Book, One New York” campaign, which asked citizens to pick a favorite book to then “read together” as a city.
“We are thrilled to be launching this program to unite New Yorkers around one film, and provide the opportunity for all New Yorkers to watch it for free on the same night,” said Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin in an official statement. “Film has the power to bring people together and to spark a civic conversation. These five films all raise important themes in their respective genres, »
- Kate Erbland
In a career that spanned seven decades, Daniels got his big break at the age of 14, appearing as a tap dancer in Paramount's 1939 musical comedy The Star Maker starring Bing Crosby. His Broadway career began two years later when he made his debut as a chorus member in the musical Best Foot Forward, choreographed by Gene Kelly.
Daniels would go on to become a lead dancer in many Broadway productions in the 1940s, including Billion Dollar Baby, »
- Abid Rahman
The AppleThe musical possesses a unique form of power rarely afforded to other Hollywood genres. In the words of film scholar Rick Altman, “The musical invites us to forget familiar notions of plot, psychological motivation, and causal relationships.” In contrast to other commercial genres, the musical is almost one-of-a-kind in its ability to arrest time and space, to suspend disbelief, to defy our lived understanding of human relationships and even the very conventions of filmgoing. In what other mainstream genre can fictional characters get away with looking into the camera lens so often? Dramatic logic is replaced in the Hollywood musical by spectacle and raw emotional appeal, with singing as the defining device for such purely cinematic priorities.But what happens to the musical when singing is taken out of it? This was the conundrum of the short-lived disco musical, a sub-genre that ended as soon as it began.Popular »
(See previous post: Fourth of July Movies: Escapism During a Weird Year.) On the evening of the Fourth of July, besides fireworks, fire hazards, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, if you're watching TCM in the U.S. and Canada, there's the following: Peter H. Hunt's 1776 (1972), a largely forgotten film musical based on the Broadway hit with music by Sherman Edwards. William Daniels, who was recently on TCM talking about 1776 and a couple of other movies (A Thousand Clowns, Dodsworth), has one of the key roles as John Adams. Howard Da Silva, blacklisted for over a decade after being named a communist during the House Un-American Committee hearings of the early 1950s (Robert Taylor was one who mentioned him in his testimony), plays Benjamin Franklin. Ken Howard is Thomas Jefferson, a role he would reprise in John Huston's 1976 short Independence. (In the short, Pat Hingle was cast as John Adams; Eli Wallach was Benjamin Franklin.) Warner »
- Andre Soares
Fourth of July movies: A few recommended titles that should help you temporarily escape current global madness Two thousand and seventeen has been a weirder-than-usual year on the already pretty weird Planet Earth. Unsurprisingly, this Fourth of July, the day the United States celebrates its Declaration of Independence from the British Empire, has been an unusual one as well. Instead of fireworks, (at least some) people's attention has been turned to missiles – more specifically, a carefully timed North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile test indicating that Kim Jong-un could theoretically gain (or could already have?) the capacity to strike North America with nuclear weapons. Then there were right-wing trolls & history-deficient Twitter users berating National Public Radio for tweeting the Declaration of Independence, 140 characters at a time. Besides, a few days ago the current U.S. president retweeted a video of himself body-slamming and choking a representation of CNN – courtesy of a gif originally created by a far-right Internet »
- Andre Soares
The first day of shooting car chase scenes on the “Baby Driver” set, stunt coordinator and second unit director Darrin Prescott asked Edgar Wright if he wanted to sit in while they filmed their first high speed chase.
“Oh my god, you’re never prepared for what it feels like to go that fast around the corner and it was incredible,” said Wright in an interview with IndieWire. “That’s the thing — in terms of sitting there as a director, this is what I want the viewers to feel like when they are watching it.” That commitment has yielded one of the best-directed pieces of action filmmaking in years, but pulling it off was no easy feat.
For Wright, the idea of shooting his heist film about a young getaway driver »
- Chris O'Falt
Cult movie maven Edgar Wright‘s latest popcorn flick, “Baby Driver,” is out in theaters today, and already one major director has stepped forward to champion it: “Pacific Rim” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” auteur Guillermo Del Toro. On Tuesday afternoon, Del Toro heaped praise upon “Baby Driver” in a series of swooning tweets, comparing the movie’s use of music during its elaborate car chase scenes to Gene Kelly’s dancing in “An American In Paris.” He also compared Wright to famed action and western movie director Walter Hill, whom Wright has mentioned was a major influence when making “Baby Driver. »
- Jeremy Fuster
“Baby Driver,” Edgar Wright’s hotly anticipated summer car heist, hits theaters today, and the buzz surrounding the movie has been growing steadily since its SXSW premiere. But there’s at least one person even more excited than we are for the action flick: Guillermo del Toro. The director took to Twitter to unleash a string of praise on Wright’s latest (in what has now become something of a tradition), calling it “breathtaking,” “flawlessly executed,” and “earnest and unprotected.”
Read More: Guillermo del Toro’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Movie Monster: ‘No Element Must be Accidental’
Comparing Wright to the great Walter Hill, del Toro argued that “Baby Driver” combined the action chops of “The Driver” with the fable-like qualities of “Mean Streets.” Not bad praise from the guy who made “Pan’s Labyrinth.”
“The key to understanding it fully — at least for me — is in the fact that it is a fable, »
- Jude Dry
Twin Peaks Recap is a weekly column by Keith Uhlich covering David Lynch and Mark Frost's limited, 18-episode continuation of the Twin Peaks television series.A man walks into a bar—after cursing out Gene Kelly (because most of the time we don't feel like singin' in the rain). The bar, by the way, is named "Max Von's," surely after Erich von Stroheim's rabidly devoted butler Max von Mayerling from Sunset Blvd (1950). Of his employer, silent-film diva Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), Max once said, "Madame is the greatest star of them all." No more proper locale, then, for a star entrance: "Diane," says FBI forensics specialist Albert Rosenfield (Miguel Ferrer) to a platinum blond beauty nursing martini and cigarette. Around turns Diane Evans, the heretofore unseen confidante of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), and played (of course, how could there be any doubt?) by Laura Dern. »
It was a serious sucker punch to all film fans when we lost Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds within a day of each other. There have been many tributes to Carrie Fisher and rightfully so. I have not seen that many for Debbie Reynolds so I would like to pay her tribute by reviewing one of her lost gems of a movie, Goodbye Charlie from 1964, based on a play by George Axelrod and directed by Vincent Minnelli.
I can recall seeing this on a network movie night in the late 60s or early 70s, I remember liking it but seeing it again after this many years I was astonished at how funny it really is, and how touching.
The setup is simple, Charlie Sorrell is a writer, sometime screen writer and notorious womanizer. At a Hollywood party on a yacht he is shot by a jealous husband (Walter Matthau in »
- Sam Moffitt
Harry Dean Stanton is 90 years old, though he's looked so world weary for so long that he seems somehow ageless and immortal. In light of the key Twin Peaks players who've died before the series' return to the air – Jack Nance, Frank Silva, Frances Bay, Don S. Davis, Warren Frost, David Bowie, and most hauntingly Miguel Ferrer and Catherine Coulson, who reprised their roles as Albert Rosenfield and the Log Lady before they passed away – we're fortunate to have him. When his character, Carl Rodd, tells his younger companion "I've been smokin' for 75 years, »
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