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Rome – Rome’s long-in-the-works $300 million Cinecittà World theme park, designed by multiple-Oscar-winning production designer designer Dante Ferretti and based on films shot at the famed studios, including “Ben Hur,” several by Federico Fellini, and Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York,” was unveiled on Thursday (July 10) with plenty of fanfare and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi on hand.
Conceived almost a decade ago as an Italian take on Universal Studios, Cinecittà World currently comprises twenty attractions, including several state-of-the-art roller coasters, a dark motion simulator ride called “Dante’s Inferno,” a flight simulator, and an immersive tunnel.
The look is a mix of sword and sandals epics, Fellinesque and Bollywood elements, including gigantic elephants, science fiction, spaghetti westerns and many other themes concocted by Ferretti from the more than 3,000 movies and TV shows produced at Cinecitta, once known as Hollywood on the Tiber.
The entrance to the Eternal City’s »
- Nick Vivarelli
Beck's 2012 sheet-music collection Song Reader is finally being made into a studio album — just not by Beck. Each of the 20 tracks will be performed by a different artist, including Jack White, Jack Black, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, fun., Laura Marling, and Norah Jones, with Beck performing only one of the songs, "Heaven's Ladder." "Like a kid getting a special package in the mail and opening it up with anticipation, these interpretations of songs from the Song Reader book have surpassed what I could have imagined when putting the book together," said Beck, who co-produced the compilation alongside Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese's music supervisor Randall Poster. "The book addressed the idea of a song in its most elemental form, letting others give it a voice. It amazes me to hear how these musicians have made the songs their own and in the process revealed that the interpretation is the living »
- Anna Silman
Margot Robbie is undeniably beautiful—but she's so much more than that. "In my big group of girlfriends at home, I am definitely not the best-looking," the 24-year-old Australian actress says in the August 2014 issue of Vanity Fair. "I did not grow up feeling like I was particularly attractive. You should have seen me at 14, with braces and glasses, gangly and doing ballet! If I looked good in Wolf of Wall Street I cannot take full credit; it was because of hair extensions and makeup." Martin Scorsese's casting director, Ellen Lewis, brought Robbie to the director's attention for The Wolf of Wall Street. She sums up the actress' appeal such: "As beautiful as she is, »
The Guanajuato International Film Festival revealed yesterday all the details for its upcoming seventeenth edition, which is going to be celebrated from Friday, July 25 to Sunday, August 3. This is one of Mexico's top festivals and this year's lineup turned out to be both exciting and surprising, especially thanks to the fact that Giff is paying homage to B movie king Roger Corman. Producer of Death Race 2000, Piranha, Forbidden World, and hundreds others; director of such films as Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Little Shop of Horros, and The Pit and the Pendulum; and mentor of several consolidated directors, including Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, and Jonathan Demme; Roger Corman is quite simply a living film legend. At age 88, Corman is...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
This fall the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present the final showing of the groundbreaking multimedia exhibition Hollywood Costume in the historic Wilshire May Company building, the future location of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A), this ticketed exhibition explores the central role of costume design – from the glamorous to the very subtle – as an essential tool of cinematic storytelling.
The Academy is enhancing the V&A’s exhibition and will include more than 145 costumes from over 60 lenders. The Academy’s presentation will add more than 30 costumes to this landmark show, including Jared Leto’s costume from Dallas Buyers Club (Kurt and Burt, 2013) – a recent acquisition to the Academy’s collection – as well as costumes from such recent releases as The Hunger Games (Judianna Makovsky, 2012), Django Unchained (Sharen Davis, »
- Michelle McCue
'Life' Affirming "Life Itself"
Directed by: Steve James
At the risk of jumping the gun, I'm calling it now: At next year's Academy Awards (on February 22, 2015), the Oscar for Best Documentary will go to "Life Itself."
Not only is it a powerful, revealing, intimate and life-affirming cinematic triumph that's fully-worthy of the honor just based on its own merits, but it's hard to imagine a more fitting way for the Motion Picture Academy and the film community in general to honor the life and legacy of the ...
Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AccessHollywood.com Editorial Staff)
If that trailer for Reach Me left a bad taste in your mouth, Sylvester Stallone might be able to redeem himself with a developing project at Millennium Films from The Expendables franchise producer Avi Lerner. Deadline has word that Stallone will lead Scarpa, a new organized crime thriller from The Lincoln Lawyer director Brad Furman that will tell the story of Gregory Scarpa Sr, a hitman also known as "The Grim Reaper" who was the chief enforcer of the Colombo crime family during the 70s and 80s and an FBI informant for over thirty years. And there's a writer aboard who will please fans of quality mob films as well. Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote Goodfellas and Casino for director Martin Scorsese, will write the film with the hopes of going in front of cameras before the end of 2014. Stallone will also reteam with his Rocky producer Irwin Winkler on a »
- Ethan Anderton
‘I have no desire to operate on my own children’
Dennis Lehane explains why he is against adapting his own books.
Best-selling author, Boston native and screenwriter Dennis Lehane has been accused of a few things in life. For instance there are people convinced this author of hard edged thrillers wrote Mystic Pizza. That late eighties, tissue thin chick flick which helped launch Julia Roberts onto the world stage before Gary Marshall, Richard Gere and a Lotus finished the job. Dennis Lehane wrote Mystic River by the way, just to avoid any confusion.
Then there’s the small issue of his fan mail. Not all of it you understand, just the celebrity stuff he continues to receive for writing The Departed. You see his only problem is William Monahan wrote the book, adapted it into a screenplay and received the Oscar. »
- Gary Collinson
Richard Lester’s directing career has had a rather tortured epilogue. His last completed film was the dreadful, unloved Return of The Musketeers (1989), during the making of which his long-time friend and troupe-member Roy Kinnear died after a freak accident. To add insult to injury, the Comic-Con crowd has been burning Lester in effigy ever since Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II was released in 2006. Donner had been fired as director of the 1980 sequel half way through filming and Lester was hired to finish the job. Since the release of the Donner cut, expressing a preference for the original, jokier version is rather like suggesting that Cesar Romero was a better Joker than Heath Ledger.
I do wonder sometimes whether the fanboys realise what an important, highly influential and iconoclastic director they’re dismissing when they’re kicking sand into Lester’s face. Martin Scorsese would certainly correct them (sternly, »
- Cai Ross
If you were crossing your fingers and toes for a Goodfellas/Casino reunion between Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi on Pileggi’s latest film Scarpa, I have bad news: Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) just got put at the helm of the upcoming mob movie.
Not that Scorsese was ever really in the running for the film – he’s been kind of busy lately – but it would have been fun to see what he did with the story of mob enforcer Gregory Scarpa, a man affectionately known as the Grim Reaper. Furman is a good addition, though; The Lincoln Lawyer helped along with the revamping of Matthew McConaughey’s career, so it will be interesting to see what the director does with Pileggi’s script.
Scarpa will tell the story of the titular enforcer for the Colombo crime family – a man so nasty that his own daughter compared living »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
As a budding film critic, I was destined to love Life Itself no matter what. Everything I’m doing at this very moment would be utterly fruitless without pioneers like Roget Ebert. I’m 25. I’ve only been writing about cinema for a few years “professionally.” I didn’t have the pleasure of watching Siskel and Ebert banter weekly about new releases, nor did I actually gain a proper respect for criticism during print-paper times. I come from a generation of critics raised on thumbnail pictures posted on RottenTomatoes, sifting through a heap of “approved” movie reviews more noticeable by online publications than critics themselves. Ebert comes from an era that lives only in grandiose dreams of wide-eyed film journalists like myself, and in that landscape, Roger remains one of few golden Gods. He was powerful, opinionated, respectful, and in-touch with an entire artform - and that only scratches the surface of Roger Ebert. »
- Matt Donato
Junkie life is as chicly miserable as its most vapid chroniclers have always had us believe in “Asthma,” a feature directorial debut from actor Jake Hoffman that is sorely in need of its own inhaler. Taking a perversely slow approach to fast living, Hoffman’s film glumly examines the trail of all-purpose destruction left by New York heroin addict Gus (Benedict Samuel) on a weekend bender, but can’t resist having it both ways, as his scuzzily narcissistic lifestyle is also shown to have improbable sexual allure to at least one clear-headed woman (Krysten Ritter) with better options. Ritter’s performance is the liveliest thing in a callow, shallow cautionary tale, which wears its influences on its artfully frayed sleeve and no closer than that to its heart. A sprinkling of cameos from past-prime names is unlikely to make distributors breathe any easier around this dull-eyed downer.
Most recently seen »
- Guy Lodge
For moviegoers and critics alike, Steve James’ documentary Life Itself is a very special film, as it looks at the life of world famous movie critic Roger Ebert. Based on the memoir of the same name, James takes us back to the beginning as we see how Ebert became the head film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, how his relationship with Gene Siskel evolved, and how the loss of his voice made him all the more prolific as a writer.
While I unfortunately never had the honor of meeting Roger Ebert before he passed away, I did get to meet his wife Chaz when she arrived in Los Angeles, California to do some press for the new documentary. While there she was joined by James, whose films Hoop Dreams, Stevie and The Interrupters Roger championed endlessly.
During our exclusive interview, we spoke about how much the documentary changed through production, »
- Ben Kenber
Chicago – We’d all be so lucky to live a full life of love, success and dignity. But earning it and then dying with it is the ultimate accomplishment.
The film festival hit “Life Itself” honestly portrays the life and death of a great man that any man or woman can strive to emulate. In the face of terminal cancer and leaving an empire and the love of your life behind, not many people can close the curtains as Roger Ebert did with so much humility, humor and grace.
But I admit it: I’m typically not a documentary kind of guy. You have to care about the person or the subject or the cause. While the filmmakers always deeply do, many fail to make you feel the same way. “Life Itself” isn’t selling you. Even if this man somehow never touched your life at all, you’ll »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Who of our modern filmmakers will justify lavish, career-spanning box sets in the next generation (presuming there is such a thing and we’re not 100% digital)? We’ve seen Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese, and Alfred Hitchcock sets in recent years but who will get the same treatment in ten or twenty years?
One man who I’d love to see dissected from first film to last is the essential Spike Lee. He has had an undeniably spotty career with films both considered masterpieces and complete failures. But Spike is always working, always trying something new, always willing to challenge himself and the viewer. Did his “Oldboy” remake work? No. He picks himself up, dusts himself off, and gets back to it. Spike has been everywhere lately, promoting and discussing the 25th anniversary of his masterpiece, “Do the Right Thing,” and so someone figured it was a good time to release »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
A touching biography, and an accidental look at the tremendous upheaval that journalism has weathered in the past half century. I’m “biast” (pro): Roger Ebert was a big influence in my work
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Roger Ebert is dead. Long live Roger Ebert. If there’s one thing that’s plain from documentarian Steve James’s warts-and-all tribute to perhaps the most famous film critic ever, it’s that his influence will continue to be felt for many decades to come, at least. Not only through the younger critics he inspired — including yours truly — but through the filmmakers he lobbied for and supported… such as Martin Scorsese, who here says that he would have given up (not just on movies but on life) if not for the recognition and »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Chicago – We will never see the likes of his kind again – the influential arbiter of cinematic taste, whose magic thumb could make or break the dreams of both filmmaker and film fan. The journey of Roger Ebert, the most influential film critic of our times, is told in the new documentary, “Life Itself.”
Based on his excellent 2011 memoir of the same name, “Life Itself” is created with deep perspective and truth by director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”). James develops the story through the the last few years of Ebert’s life, in which the struggle to maintain his film critique truth clashed with the realities of his battle against cancer. With the rare opportunity to go inside that situation, the film takes us through Roger’s life story in contrast to his last days, which shines a spotlight on how triumphant that amazing life was. Roger was at the »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Could the late Roger Ebert be honored at the Oscars? Sure, critics can have a contentious relationship with the Hollywood elite, publicly skewering their work in print, on TV, or online; indeed, Ebert did all three. He is the subject of "Life Itself," an acclaimed documentary that follows him during the last months of his life. After wowing the crowds at Sundance, it is being released commercially on July 4. -Break- Oscar rule changes include documentary feature races Ebert, film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years, died in April 2013 after a long battle with cancer. He won a Pulitzer Prize, partnered with (and often battled) Chicago Tribune rival Gene Siskel on their influential syndicated series "At the Movies with Siskel & Ebert," and helped launch careers. He was one of the early champions of Martin Scorsese, who executive produced "Life Itself," and supported a wide range of other filmmak »
Directed by: Steve James
Running Time: 1 hr 55 mins
Release Date: July 4, 2014 (Chicago)
Plot: The life story of Roger Ebert, Film Critic.
Who’S It For? Anyone who has ever loved a movie.
In terms of what’s out there that is worth checking out, Life Itself is the movie of the summer. Its experience is a direct recognition of a quality that Ebert has said is most important regarding a film, before considering it for either “Great Movies” or “Your Movie Sucks” levels — to engage with it emotionally. Warmed by the embrace of this moving documentary from director Steve James, I filled Ebert’s last screening room with my big dumb laugh more than a few times, and tried to cry quietly while watching passages about the true loves in his life. To watch footage of Ebert in his twilight time, and to listen »
- Nick Allen
Documentary filmmaker and author Michael Henry Wilson died of lung cancer June 26 in Westlake, Calif. He was 67.
Known for his deep knowledge of film history and close relationships with filmmakers, Wilson directed documentaries including “A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies,” “In Search of Kundun” with Martin Scorsese and “Le Franc-Tireur” on Clint Eastwood. He also wrote the documentaries “Hollywood Mavericks” (with Todd McCarthy) and “Reconciliation: Mandela’s Miracle” as well as Alan Rudolphi’s 2002 film “Intimate Affairs.”
His books included works on Eastwood, Scorsese, Jacques Torneur, Raoul Walsh and his latest, “At the Gate of Paradise,” about 58 American directors from D.W. Griffith to David Lynch, with a forward by Scorsese.
Wilson was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, and in his twenties published a book on German expressionist cinema and a book on Frank Borzage. He also served as producer Anatole Dauman’s assistant at Argos Films.
For many years, »
- Pat Saperstein
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