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The Hound of Heaven stars La rapper Propaganda.
Kurosawa described it as “a striking film, simultaneously brimming with aggression and tenderness”. »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Compared to Tiff 2013 where the focus was mainly on mainstream releases, I made the decision to mix things up about by also covering movies that I would not get a chance to see out of the festival circuit such as A Girl at My Door and Phoenix. The other ambition was to expand the number of interviews with the visiting filmmakers and actors but that required getting access to the publicist information ahead of time rather than the day before the festivities. With the help of the Tiff publicity department I was able to get a list of contact names as well a heads up when the press and industry schedule was available online. Added by some luck in finding a press release for Good Kill online which listed a PR contact and a good relationship with another PR firm, I was able to watch some key films and conduct »
- Trevor Hogg
Asian cinema icon Shirley Yamaguchi has died, aged 94.
The film icon, whose real name was Yoshiko Yamaguchi, was one of the most celebrated Asian actresses in the 1940s and 1950s.
Yamaguchi passed away from heart failure on September 7, Japanese broadcaster Nhk confirmed.
The actress starred in many Chinese-language films during World War II, attracting considerable controversy and legal rebukes from the post-war government.
She began a political career in 1974, after she was elected to the Japanese House of Councillors as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. She served until 1992. »
Yoshiko “Shirley” Yamaguchi, who starred in Japanese WWII pics posing as a Chinese but segued postwar to fame in Japanese and Hollywood films such as Samuel Fuller’s “House of Bamboo,” died at her Tokyo home of heart failure on Sept. 7, her family announced on Sunday. She was 94.
Born in 1920 in Manchuria to Japanese parents, Yamaguchi took the name Li Xianglan (in Japanese “Ri Koran”) to use in her Chinese singing and acting career, presenting herself as a local. Her films, including the 1938 “Honeymoon Express” and the 1940 “China Nights,” made her popular with Chinese audiences, while serving the propaganda purposes of her Japanese backers.
After the war she was tried and nearly executed for treason by a Chinese court, but was repatriated to Japan after her true identity became known. In the early postwar years, this time as Yoshiko Yamaguchi, she built a thriving singing and acting career in Japan. »
- Mark Schilling
It's like Star Wars, but refracted through a strange lens. Here's Han Solo, but he's green, like the Toxic Avenger, and has gills. Here's Luke Skywalker, but he's a powerful general with a white beard and a flinty look in his eye.
All this can be found in what is now commonly called The Rough Draft of The Star Wars, originally written by George Lucas back in 1974. A kind of mid-point between the somewhat vague ideas Lucas first had for his space fantasy movie earlier in the decade, and the fourth draft - which was used as the shooting script for the 1977 film - The Star Wars is a jarring document from the franchise's early history.
The question 3 months ago was whether Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington would board MGM's long-in-development remake of "The Magnificent Seven" (the 1960 American western directed by John Sturges, which was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai"). The news this month is that the pair are no longer on the fence, as Fuqua himself confirmed that the pair would tackle the remake next - a revelation he made after the Tiff premiere of their latest collab, also a remake (of a TV series), "The Equalizer." As recently as 2012, Tom Cruise was attached to star in the remake, although, at the time, there was no director »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Earlier in the year news broke that a remake of legendary western The Magnificent Seven was in the works with Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen) taking the hot seat and Tom Cruise, Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman just a few names being linked with a role. Since then not much else has been revealed about the planned remake. However while promoting his latest flick The Equalizer at Tiff, Fuqua announced that one actor has already signed on, Denzel Washington.
This will mark the third time time Fuqua has directed Washington since they first worked together 13 years ago on Training Day. Fuqua praised Washington on his professionalism and why he enjoys working with him:
“Denzel’s all about the work…He’s all about the acting. He’s an actor. He’ll tell you himself, ‘I’m not a movie star, celebrity, something else, I’m an actor’…He steps on »
- Gavin Logan
StudioCanal has secured deals with two of China’s biggest subscription VOD provides, Youku Tudou and BesTV.
Youku Tudou, China’s biggest online video platform, has signed a multi-year agreement to handle Svod rights to more than 50 titles owned by French production-distribution powerhouse StudioCanal.
Titles including Mulholland Drive, The Pianist and Terminator 2: Judgement Day will be made available through Svod to Chinese audiences in the coming months.
Allen Zhu, svp at Youku Tudou said: “Our subscription service has grown 379% in revenue in Q2 2014 year on year. This deal will undoubtedly strengthen our service offering.”
Matthieu Zeller, evp of international marketing, distribution and business development at StudioCanal, said it was hoped that the deal will be just the first stage of closer collaboration with our Chinese friends.”
The deal was negotiated by Mathieu Gondinet, Svp international TV and library distribution, for StudioCanal and Angela Xiong, Executive Director, Movie Center for YoukuTudou.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Honorary Oscar Non-Winners: Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich among dozens of women who never took home Academy’s Honorary Award (photo: Honorary Oscar non-winner Gloria Swanson in ‘Sunset Blvd.’) (See previous post: "Honorary Oscars: Doris Day, Danielle Darrieux Snubbed.") This post basically consists of a long, long list. Some of the names found below were huge in their day, but are now all but forgotten. Yet, just because most people (and the media) suffer from long-term — and even medium-term — memory loss while eagerly opting to ignore the relevance of the past, that doesn’t make the women listed below any less deserving of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Honorary Award. So, as for the distinguished female film professionals in Hollywood and elsewhere who have passed away without receiving an Honorary Oscar for their body of work — most of whom without having ever won a competitive Academy Award — were actresses Gloria Swanson, »
- Andre Soares
Every now and then, we talk about a job as a directorial poisoned chalice. Perhaps this project here is the best example that we've found thus far. The Weinstein Company is pressing ahead with plans for a remake of Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai. And whilst this is a project that's been in development since 2006, it finally looks to be pressing forward.
So who have The Weinstein Company appointed to direct the new film? That'd be Rob Letterman. His CV includes films such as the really rather good Monsters Vs Aliens, Shark Tale, the live action take on Gulliver's Travels and the upcoming Goosebumps movie.
The Tracking Board reports that it may be the project goes down the animated route (something that's far from definite), although effectively, Pixar's A Bug's Life »
It’s impossible to underestimate Stanley Kubrick’s influence on worldwide cinema. Aside from being one of this writer’s favorite directors (in fact, only Akira Kurosawa prevails, by a hair), his immaculate compositions each take full advantage of symmetry and depth. That is perhaps why Vimeo user Marc Müller decided to edit a poetic tribute to Kubrick’s work by juxtaposing some of his most famous shots with five classical pieces he used in his films. The clip begins with "The Blue Danube" from "2001: A Space Odyssey" playing over a series of Kubrick’s trademark tracking shots. This section works as a beginner’s introduction to Kubrick. Then we switch to a more somber tone with Handel’s "Sarabande," from the underrated "Barry Lyndon." You'll likely be surprised to see how this piece of music works perfectly with dialogue from "Full Metal Jacket." We then jump from Ludwig Van Beethoven’s "Symphony #9" to. »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
Principal photography will start in Tokyo on September 19, with other locations including Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“I’m particularly excited about filming Kanzo Uni, who choreographed many of Mifune fight scenes,” Okazaki enthused. “His claim to fame is that he was killed by Mifune more times than anyone, around one hundred and fifty times, four times in one movie. »
- Nick Vivarelli
Nowar, who studied screenwriting at the Sundance Institute Lab’s first Middle East program in Jordan, combines Bedouin tribal culture and Western ideas and concepts to interesting effect. The film, sold by Fortissimo, is screening in Horizons at Venice and will also be in Toronto. It has already sold to Mad Solutions for the Middle East and Trigon for Switzerland. Nowar spoke at the Venice fest with Variety’s Nick Vivarelli.
If I’m not mistaken movies and cinematic storytelling are not really part of the culture in your region. This film seems to combine elements of Bedouin oral storytelling with Western tropes. How did you come up with this narrative?
Sundance came to the Middle East and I attended their first screenwriters lab in Jordan (in 2005). It really changed my life. »
- Nick Vivarelli
The release of Sin City: A Dame To Kill For inspires James to look back at its film noir roots, and some classic examples of the genre...
We're at the shadowy back-end of the summer blockbuster season and darkness is entering the frame. Here comes ultraviolence, sleaze, crime and death, all beautifully shot in macabre high-contrast monochrome. Just when you thought you'd got yourself clean and were all peppy after some upbeat family-friendly popcorn thrills, here's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For to darken up the doorways. (And it will light up a cigarette in those doorways and spit out some tough dialogue from between its bloodstained teeth while it's lingering there.)
We're back in the Basin City of Frank Miller's graphic novels again, once more brought to vivid screen life by the comics creator »
Shakespeare in the Park shutters for another year this Sunday August 17th, so you only have a couple more chances to see King Lear. I can't claim that King Lear is one of my favorite plays and as far as interpretations of it go, nobody is ever going to beat Akira Kurosawa's Ran (1985), you know?
John Lithgow headlines and is quite strong as the rapidly declining hot-tempered looneytunes King who stupidly gives everything away to his two eldest daughters (Annette Bening and Jessica Hecht) while shunning the youngest who truly loves him. Lithgow is having a good year; I urge all of you to see his excellent work in Love is Strange when it opens later this month. I had entirely forgotten about the B story in King Lear which is like a reflection of the A story, »
- NATHANIEL R
This collection was meant to publish some 24 hours ago. Enjoy these links you might well have seen already!
Decider tracks Channing Tatum's expanding neck
Mnpp Jason calls a Happy Hobbit Ending for Lee Pace within six months. I think this is optimistic.
Pajiba thoughtfully creates an anti-superhero-movie-diversity Bingo board. Love it!
Arts Beat Helen Mirren to play the Queen again on Broadway. Will the third time be the charm for a first Tony? If she wins she will have won the Oscar, Emmy and Tony all for playing Queen Elizabeths I & II. Quite a specific niche, eh?
- NATHANIEL R
(The following review pertains to the UK release of the film on Region B/2 formats)
The Girls with the Dragon Tattoo
Following on from its release of ‘Lady Snowblood’ and ‘Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance’ in 2012, UK company Arrow Films has released another Japanese cult classic in ‘Blind Woman’s Curse’, a film which mixes swordplay, horror and the supernatural into a bloody vengeance scenario.
Also known as ‘Kaidan nobori ryû’, ‘The Tattooed Swordswoman’ and ‘Black Cat’s Revenge’, this is unusual action fare from director Teruo Ishii. Meiko Kaji, who went on to star as Lady Snowblood, cuts her teeth – and several villains’ major arteries – as Akemi, the head of the Tachibana Clan. In the opening rain swept swordfight, she accidentally blind’s Aiko (Hoki Tokuda), the younger sister of Yakuza clan leader Boss Goda. After a three-year stretch in prison, Akemi returns to her role as Tachibana leader, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
James Garner movies on TCM: ‘Grand Prix,’ ‘Victor Victoria’ among highlights (photo: James Garner ca. 1960) James Garner, whose film and television career spanned more than five decades, died of "natural causes" at age 86 on July 19, 2014, in the Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood. On Monday, July 28, Turner Classic Movies will present an all-day marathon of James Garner movies (see below) as a tribute to the Oscar-nominated star of Murphy’s Romance and Emmy-winning star of the television series The Rockford Files. Among the highlights in TCM’s James Garner film lineup is John Frankenheimer’s Monaco-set Grand Prix (1966), an all-star, race-car drama featuring Garner as a Formula One driver who has an affair with the wife (Jessica Walter) of his former teammate (Brian Bedford). Among the other Grand Prix drivers facing their own personal issues are Yves Montand and Antonio Sabato, while Akira Kurosawa’s (male) muse Toshiro Mifune plays a »
- Andre Soares
The top stories of the week from Toh! Features: 9 Films to See in Theaters or Stream at Home This Weekend, From "I Origins" to "The Immigrant" Career Watch: Stealth Rising Star Jason Clarke Breaks Out in "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Akira Kurosawa Talk Film, Writing and "Rhapsody in August" in 1991 Why The Beatles Matter to the Future of Repertory Film Festivals: David Ansen's Departure from Los Angeles Film Festival Signals New Direction for Fest Films That Popped at Karlovy Vary, from Live Bjork and Primal Behavior to Tracking a Revolution Interviews: Debra Granik on the Demand for the Salacious, "for fast, cheap and out of control" "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" Author Peter Biskind Looks Back at the New Hollywood Screen Talk: Festival Updates, Fall Hopefuls, New Openers from Woody Allen to Zach Braff, Fox vs. Time Warner News: Nathan Rabin Is Sorry He. »
In the summer of 1999 I was a 17-year-old floorboy at a suburban multiplex showing Eyes Wide Shut. There were other movies that caught my attention that summer—Limbo, Election, Summer of Sam, The Blair Witch Project, South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut—but Kubrick’s was the only one of any import. I saw it four times in a week, defended it against my peers’ scorn, and had Jonathan Rosenbaum’s Chicago Reader review practically memorized. For my generation, seeing a Stanley Kubrick film in its original run was a novelty. Sadly, the experience would also be unrepeatable.
1999 was a hard year to be a cinephile. Kubrick vanished in March, and by the time December rolled around the news came in that Robert Bresson had also passed away. I was obsessed with both filmmakers. The previous year I already felt anguished learning about Akira Kurosawa’s death. Looking back, the »
- Gabe Klinger
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