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On this day in history as it relates to the movies...
1868 The Great Train Robbery happens. It's the subject of a highly influential 10 minute silent film (embedded above) as soon as people figure out what to do with cameras and celluloid in 1903. Cross-cutting, breaking the fourth wall, inventing the western action movie genre? It's all happening right here.
1907 Laurence Olivier is born. Not yet a "Sir" but already expecting a cooing audience
1967 Brooke Smith, »
- NATHANIEL R
Tony Black on the original of Wells vs. The Ripper…
It’s been quite the week for time travel TV shows, as first NBC’s Timeless dropped a trailer (and if that show could have more cliches, I’d love to know how), the announcement that Jeremy Carver has jumped from the good ship Supernatural to head up a TV version of Dennis Quaid/Jim Caviezel 2000 thriller Frequency (I know, you’ve never heard of it, but don’t worry), and now the trailer for Time After Time has landed on ABC. Anyone who’s seen it will understand the concept is simply thus: Hg Wells actually invented that time machine he wrote about *in* The Time Machine and when it’s knicked by his mate, none other than the world’s most infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, Wells must follow him forward in time to the present day »
- Tony Black
Quick Hits• Last Year's Winner: Richard Jenkins, "Olive Kitteridge" • Was It an Upset? Yes. Though it was a split decision 'til the end, David Oyelowo ("Nightingale") was seen by many as the favorite.• Still Eligible? No• Hot Streak: Despite the proliferation of limited series in the past few years, some smaller networks have managed to earn trophies. PBS, History and ReelzChannel have won in the last five years alone.• Fun Fact: None other than Laurence Olivier has the most wins in this category with four — "The Moon and Sixpence" (1960), "Long Day's Journey into Night" (1973), "Love Among the Ruins" (1975), and "King Lear" (1984). While not quite as crazy as the Oscars, the Emmys aren’t free from category fraud, so who, exactly, ends up representing their chosen TV shows is still uncertain — and the choices each network makes in this regard will certainly play a big part in shaping »
- Ben Travers
Quick Hits• Last Year's Winner: Richard Jenkins, "Olive Kitteridge" • Was It an Upset? Yes. Though it was a split decision 'til the end, David Oyelowo ("Nightingale") was seen by many as the favorite.• Still Eligible? No• Hot Streak: Despite the proliferation of limited series in the past few years, some smaller networks have managed to earn trophies. PBS, History and ReelzChannel have won in the last five years alone.• Fun Fact: None other than Laurence Olivier has the most wins in this category with four — "The Moon and Sixpence" (1960), "Long Day's Journey into Night" (1973), "Love Among the Ruins" (1975), and "King Lear" (1984). While not quite as crazy as the Oscars, the Emmys aren’t free from category fraud, so who, exactly, ends up representing their chosen TV shows is still uncertain — and the choices each network makes in this regard will certainly play a big part in shaping...
- Ben Travers
"Les Miserables" and "The Danish Girl " helmer Tom Hooper is set tackle another film adaptation of an iconic musical, this time a film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic "Cats" for Universal Pictures and Working Title says EW.
Premiering in 1981, the musical is inspired by a T.S. Eliot book and follows a group of cats who come together for an annual event where one of the felines is chosen to ascend to the 'Heaviside Layer' and be reborn. The musical produced such notable songs as "Memory," "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats," "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" and "Mr. Mistoffelees".
It won Best Musical at both the Laurence Olivier Awards and the Tony Awards and ran for twenty-one years on the West End and eighteen years in London. To this day it remains the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history behind only "Phantom of the Opera," "Chicago" and "The Lion King" but »
- Garth Franklin
It's another episode of "The Furniture," Daniel Walber's new series
75 years ago, the United Kingdom was standing nearly alone against the growing might of Nazi Germany. It remained unclear whether the United States would enter the war. And so, from within Hollywood, Alexander Korda set out to help sway American public opinion toward the Union Jack.
That Hamilton Woman was released on April 30th, 1941. Its propagandistic portrayal of Lord Horatio Nelson and his victory over Napoleon’s navy nearly got Korda into very real legal trouble as a foreign agent. His appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was scheduled for December 12th, but the attack on Pearl Harbor saved the director’s skin. Three quarters of a century later, its reputation rests not on its patriotism, but on its lush melodrama. It continues to enchant as a ravishing portrait of adulterous romance, art imitating the lives of stars Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. »
- Daniel Walber
Did you ever see an actor/actress in a famous role and then hear later that they were not the first, or even the second choice to play the iconic part? Many of the legendary movie characters began as a vehicle for a different star than the one who we know-and-love in the part. Here are a few of the greatest examples of famous "Almosts'.
Christopher Walken As Han Solo: George Lucas had a very hard time finding his Han Solo in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). This character was the last of the lead figures to be cast. Lucas’ leading contender at one point was none other than Christopher Walken. Just think about the possibilities in that performance! However, a chance meeting with Harrison Ford (Who was working as a carpenter at the time) inspired Lucas to cast Ford in the part instead, which launched him into super stardom in the 80s. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
For four centuries, all the world has been his stage. William Shakespeare, arguably the greatest writer of all time, has influenced the English language and storytelling in countless ways since he penned his plays and poems in the 16th and 17th centuries. This Saturday, April 23, marks 400 years since his death, and it is also the day traditionally recognized as his birthday. Shakespeare’s queens, kings, fairies, fools, and lovers have entranced people across the globe, as his plays continue to resonate with us in new stagings again and again. Thoughout the history of film, a medium invented centuries after his death, the Bard’s work has ignited the imagination of such actors and directors as Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Baz Luhrmann, Julie Taymor, and Joss Whedon, who have shown us the enduring power of his words. “I always believed that there was something inherently cinematic about Shakespeare, particularly »
- Emily Rome
By Lee Pfeiffer
Cinema Retro mourns the loss of director Guy Hamilton, who has passed away at age 93. Guy was an old friend and supporter of our magazine and a wonderful talent and raconteur. Hamilton, though British by birth, spent much of his life in France. After WWII, he entered the film industry in England and served as assistant director to Sir Carol Reed, working on the classic film "The Third Man". He also served as Ad on John Huston's "The African Queen". Gradually, he moved up the ladder to director and helmed such films as "An Inspector Calls", "The Colditz Story" and "The Devil's Disciple", the latter starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier. In 1964 Hamilton was hired to direct the third James Bond film "Goldfinger" and made cinema history. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
This week, Neil Calloway argues that method acting is often unnecessary…
This week it was revealed that Jared Leto sent pornography and condoms to his Suicide Squad co-stars in preparation for his role as the Joker. When I did that with my work colleagues I got arrested, but it turns out to be Ok if you’re an Oscar winning actor. It does also highlight the issue of when acting crosses the line into living a role.
There is a long and not so proud history of actors going above and beyond to immerse themselves in the character they are playing to ensure a great performance.
Daniel Day-Lewis is currently not looking for acting work as he believes it would be hard to top his performance as the title character in Lincoln, during which he would send his co-stars text messages in character as Abraham Lincoln; I do hope Sally Field »
- Neil Calloway
Alfred Hitchcock assembles all the right elements for this respected mystery thriller. Joan Fontaine is concerned that her new hubby Cary Grant plans to murder her. But Hitch wasn't able to use the twist ending that attracted him to the story in the first place! Suspicion Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1941 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 99 min. / Street Date , 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Joan Fontaine, Cary Grant, Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce, Dame May Whitty, Auriol Lee, Leo G. Carroll Cinematography Harry Stradling Art Direction Van Nest Polglase Film Editor William Hamilton Original Music Franz Waxman Written by Samson Raphaelson, Joan Harrison, Alma Reville from the novel Before the Fact by Francis Iles (Anthony Berkeley) Produced and Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Some movies don't get better as time goes on. Alfred Hitchcock got himself painted into a corner on this one, perhaps not realizing that in America, »
- Glenn Erickson
Honoring the best of London theater, the Laurence Olivier Awards celebrated its 40th anniversary April 3 at the iconic Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Hosted by two-time Olivier winner Michael Ball, the ceremony was broadcasted live for the first time on YouTube, allowing audiences from around the world to tune into the show’s results and special performances. This year’s most nominated production, the Jonathan Kent-directed “Gypsy” at the Savoy Theatre, came away the big winner with wins for best musical revival, lighting designer Mark Henderson, and stars Imelda Staunton and Lara Pulver. The National Theatre was also represented with four wins, including best actress in a play Denise Gough for Duncan Macmillan’s “People, Places And Things.” Gough, who has earned rapturous reviews for her portrayal of an actor struggling with drug addiction, beat out fellow nominees Nicole Kidman and Gemma Arterton. “I won,” she said later on the red carpet, »
It is 400 years since Shakespeare died and, as part of the festivities, Ian McKellen is spearheading a selection of Shakespearean films at the BFI in London that will tour 110 countries, including Cuba, Iraq, Russia and the Us, in the most extensive film programme ever undertaken. We will be able to revel in Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo & Juliet (were star-crossed lovers ever more swooningly starry?), in Akira Kurosawa’s Ran – a compelling Japanese reinvention of King Lear – and salute a masterly, and remastered, Richard III, which will be presented live on stage for a UK-wide simulcast starring McKellen himself.
Related: The 10 best modern takes on Shakespeare – in pictures
Continue reading »
- Kate Kellaway
London theater is gearing up for its biggest celebration of the year! This Sunday, April 3 at 10 p.m. BST, the 40th annual Laurence Olivier Awards will be held at Covent Garden’s iconic Royal Opera House, hosted by two-time Olivier winner Michael Ball. For the first time ever, you can watch the ceremony be broadcasted live on the awards’ YouTube channel. Among the acting nominees for the 2015–16 London theater scene are such stage vets as Kenneth Branagh, Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Preeya Kalidas, Nicole Kidman, Adrian Lester, and Mark Rylance. Also nominated are Lara Pulver, Dan Burton, Peter Davison, and Imelda Staunton, stars of this year’s most nominated production, the Jonathan Kent–directed revival of “Gypsy” at the Savoy Theatre. For a full list of Olivier nominees, visit olivierawards.com. Staunton will open the ceremony with a number from the musical; the casts of the other nominees for best musical revival, »
Hiddleston is a Royal Academy-trained thespian who won the Laurence Olivier Award for his turn in a 2007 stage production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. He’s best known to North American audiences as Loki, the eloquent villain of Marvel’s cinematic universe.
Williams, on the other hand, is the twangy Alabama country icon who produced the classics “Hey, Good Lookin’,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
How did he transform?
“It actually all started here in Toronto,” recalls Hiddleston during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival where I Saw the Light had its world premiere. »
- Marni Weisz - Editor, Cineplex Magazine
Exclusive: Sophie McShera, co-winner of three Ensemble SAG awards for her portrayal of Daisy on Downton Abbey and UK favorite from Waterloo Road,has signed on for a West End revival of John Osborne’s The Entertainer set for this summer at the Garrick Theater with Kenneth Branagh starring in the title role played by Laurence Olivier in the 1957 premiere. Branagh previously directed her in Disney's blockbuster Cinderella, in which she played one of the evil step sisters… »
For the BBC’s Being the Brontës, I got behind the bullied youngest sister – a feminist and social firebrand whose ideas were way over Charlotte’s head and years before their time
We know about Emily Brontë (who gave us Wuthering Heights, Cathy, Heathcliff, Laurence Olivier in leather britches striding across Hollywood moors – for which, absolutely, many thanks – and Kate Bush) and Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre, the red room, mad wife in the attic, blinded Byronic hero who nevertheless sees through the heroine’s plain exterior to love the passionate heart within). But who, really, has heard of Anne Brontë? We are more likely to know about their drunken brother Branwell, who never got his act together, than we are about the third sister. Why is she the underdog, the unknown Brontë, when any reading of their collected works will show her talent burning as brightly and as fiercely as those of her famous sisters? »
- Lucy Mangan
Australian comedy web-series.The Justice Lease.is returning a for second season after winning $70,000 at the Viewster Online Film Festival.
In 2013, Severe Comedy self funded series one of The Justice Lease, a six-part web series which focused on the daily domestic lives of Superman, Batman, The Hulk and Aquaman, set in a suburban Australian share-house.
Series one of.The Justice Lease.screened at Melbourne WebFest, La WebFest (winning eight awards) and was awarded a $70,000 cash prize in the inaugural Viewster Online Film Festival.
Since then, the creators have used that budget to create a five-part series, which will be launched on March 22 via YouTube..
Producer Erasmo Raimundo said the funding had allowed the team to create the kind of series envisioned at the beginning..
"An entirely over-dramatic comedy that both pokes fun at, and reveres, the superhero genre,. he said..
Director Jeremy Brull likes to think of it as cross »
- Staff Writer
For a man who created forward-thinking, boundary-pushing cinema embraced by small, devoted sects of cinephiles, Andrzej Żuławski‘s Sight & Sound list of favorite films is, in so many words, surprisingly traditional. Few would look upon it and say it contains a single bad film on it, but those who’ve experienced his work might expect something other than Amarcord; maybe, in its place, an underground Eastern European horror film that’s gained no real cachet since the Soviet Union’s collapse.
That isn’t to suggest something inexplicable, however. The Gold Rush‘s fall-down comedy could be detected in some of Possession‘s more emphatic moments of physical exhaustion, and, while we’re at it, visual connections between On the Silver Globe and 2001‘s horror-ish stretches aren’t so out-of-bounds. So while this selection may not open your eyes once more to cinema’s many reaches, one might use it »
- Nick Newman
Antony Gibbs, a British-born film editor who cut dozens of pictures, including such ’60s classics as “Tom Jones” as well as “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Rollerball,” “Dune” and “Ronin,” died February 26. He was 90.
The Guild of British Film and Television Editors reported his death on Facebook.
Gibbs was nominated for four of the American Cinema Editors’ Eddie Awards, including for “Tom Jones” in 1964 and “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1972. He won Eddies in 1998 for his work on John Frankenheimer’s TNT miniseries “George Wallace,” starring Gary Sinise, and in 2002 for his editing of Mark Rydell’s TNT TV movie “James Dean,” starring James Franco (a film for which he also picked up an Emmy nomination). Also in 2002, he received an Ace career achievement award.
- Carmel Dagan
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