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Natural Born Killers, 1994.
Directed by Oliver Stone.
Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.
Natural Born Killers was selected as a special presentation at the 51st Chicago International Film Festival as the movie celebrates its 20th birthday, but what made revisiting this classic bloodbath barrage of violence so fun is that the message director Oliver Stone wanted to get across still exists in our world today. Oliver actually introduced the film in person, and described the production as him sick and tired of the media, venting out his frustrations by “throwing up on-screen”. Truthfully, there probably isn’t a better assessment of Natural Born Killers.
It is chaotically frenetic to the point where sometimes it actually feels over-stylized. To this day it is »
- Robert Kojder
It’s been a long time since Oliver Stone made anything with as much punchy political grit as Salvador. As the first of two films (the other being Platoon) produced by John Daly (and released mind-bogglingly within months of each other in the spring of 1986) that reckoned with war and all of its cultivated cruelty, its recklessness and the underlying romanticism being ravaged from within. Stone’s film took up the, at that time, still active El Salvadoran peasant revolution and the Us funded murder and suppression of such an uprising, as its volatile subject, all through the eyes of a true-to-life conniving Hunter S. Thompson-esque photo journalist named Richard Boyle, who co-wrote the screenplay along with Stone and who’s on the ground experiences served as inspiration for the film. An Academy Award nominee for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor, raw in its depiction of the ugliness »
- Jordan M. Smith
This year marks the 50th anniversary of North America’s oldest competitive international film festival. From Oct. 9–23, Chicagoans can take in a vast array of stories old and new, long and short, near and far. Best of all? Tickets for the Chicago International Film Festival start at only $7 per film. “There are a couple of different things we’re doing this year,” festival programming director Mimi Plauché told Backstage. “One is a much larger number of retrospective, repertory screenings.” Hits such as “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” which had its world premiere in Chicago in 1975, will be screened alongside entries for the New Directors Competition. Award-winning director Oliver Stone, whose student film premiered at the festival at the beginning of his career, will present “Alexander: Ultimate Edition” and a director’s cut of “Natural Born Killers,” as well as participate in talkbacks with audiences. “A lot of »
By Anjelica Oswald
Set during the final months of World War II, Fury follows a tank commander (played by Brad Pitt) and his crew as they head into Nazi Germany as part of the Allies’ final push. The film also stars Logan Lerman, Shia Labeouf, John Bernthal and Michael Pena. The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy said the film is “a modern version of the sort of movie Hollywood turned out practically every week back in the 1940s and 1950s.” Fury opens Oct. 17.
Could Fury score a best picture nomination at the 87th Academy Awards? Both war biopics and fictional war films — about real wars or battles — have historically done well at the Oscars; however, the current projections show that the race will be a tight one. Here’s a look at some of the fictional war films that scored nominations for best picture:
War-themed best picture winners »
- Anjelica Oswald
Christopher Reeve Foundation for spinal cord and stem cell research (photo: Darryl Hannah and Christopher Reeve in 'Rear Window') (See previous post: "'Superman' Christopher Reeve and his Movies: Ten-Year Death Anniversary.") In his 1998 autobiography Still Me, Christopher Reeve recalled: "At an especially bleak moment [prior to an operation that might result in his death], the door [of his hospital room] flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay." The "old friend" was the recently deceased Robin Williams, whom Reeve had befriended while both were studying at Juillard. Eventually, Reeve became a staunch advocate for spinal cord and stem cell research, sponsoring with his wife the Christopher Reeve Foundation — later renamed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (and formerly known »
- Andre Soares
Laura Poitras' documentary Citizenfour will play the New York Film Festival today and ahead of that premiere the first trailer has arrived via HuffPo. The doc offers up a first-person look at how Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald first met with whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong where he gave them documents showing widespread abuses of power by the National Security Administration. Here's the official, full synopsis: In January 2013, filmmaker Laura Poitras (recipient of the 2012 MacArthur Genius Fellowship and co-recipient of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service) was several years into making a film about surveillance in the post-9/11 era when she started receiving encrypted e-mails from someone identifying himself as "citizen four," who was ready to blow the whistle on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the Nsa and other intelligence agencies. In June 2013, she and Greenwald flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings »
- Brad Brevet
Celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, the Chicago International Film Festival, is making a special effort to mark the occasion, with a gala gathering of name talents (Liv Ullmann, Oliver Stone, Kathleen Turner and Isabelle Huppert, among others) and many retrospective classics to spotlight the festival’s storied history. But I am, as always, more intrigued by what new and exciting discoveries are to be found in the competition lineups; after all, this is the longest-running competitive festival in North America, and its lineups have routinely yielded films that end up on my top ten lists (last year: The Missing Picture; the year before: Consuming Spirits). The three major competition lineups for this year each yielded two clear standout titles, adding up to my six must-see films of the festival. They may not have the collective star power of the festival’s marquee events, but then again, they don’t need it. »
The 50th anniversary edition of the Chicago International Film Festival, running from October 9-23, will feature, as Ray Pride notes, "notable appearances and master classes, including Michael Moore presenting his restored version of Roger & Me, a film that was nearly lost; producer-turned-online distributor Ted Hope talking about his memoir-manifesto, Hope For Film, and Oliver Stone, with a director’s cut of Natural Born Killers and Alexander: Ultimate Edition, a fourth version of his 2004 epic, reportedly with a warm handful of homoerotic content restored to its 207-minute duration. An Isabelle Huppert tribute will trail four features, including Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher and Claire Denis’s White Material, both shown in 35mm." » - David Hudson »
Edward Snowden the famed whistleblower, who made public classified information from the National Security Agency, is getting the Oliver Stone treatment, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt attached to portray him. A select number of studio heads will be looking over Stone's script this Friday, TheWrap has learned. Also read: Oliver Stone to Write and Direct Edward Snowden Movie The film was developed by Stone and his producing partner Moritz Borman, who will produce alongside Eric Kopeloff. Representatives for Gordon-Levitt and Stone have not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment. The film is based off of the novel “Time of the Octopus, »
- Jason Hughes
Exclusive: Around the same time that the Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour premieres at the New York Film Festival on Friday, studio heads will be reading the drama script that Oliver Stone and producing partner Moritz Borman have been working on about the hot-button subject of a leaker some call gutsy while others call a traitor. Stone will direct Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the role of the American who fled to Russia seeking asylum after making public more classified documents than anyone since Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War.
The film starts in Munich in January, with Borman producing with Eric Kopeloff. Deadline revealed last month that Gordon-Levitt would play Snowden; he just played Philippe Petit in the Robert Zemeckis-directed The Long Walk for TriStar and now is shooting Xmas with Seth Rogen at Sony.
As Deadline has reported, Stone and Borman have a deal with Snowden’s Russian lawyer, »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Chicago – One of the finest places in the world to witness its best cinema is the Chicago International Film Festival, which is now hitting its golden year of 50. This year’s festival boasts a lineup of top tier entries from world renowned filmmakers, packaged in the distinct Chicago flavor that keeps the city on a level all its own.
The festivities begin on Thursday, October 9 with a presentation of Liv Ullman’s “Miss Julie,” an adaptation of the August Strindberg play starring Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain. With the film playing at Chicago’s Harris Theater, Ullman and Farrell are scheduled to walk the red carpet, along with “The Fugitive” director Andrew Davis and Academy Award-nominated actress Kathleen Turner.
A delicious lineup of films from around the world, adored at previous festivals and now ready for Chicago audiences, begin their presentation the next day (Friday October 10) with all festival screenings »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The 2014/2015 NFL season is well under way, with some teams already looking like genuine Super Bowl contenders and others looking so bad they seem to be playing a different sport entirely.
With the time difference between the UK and Us meaning that most games don't kick-off until the evening hours over here, there's plenty of time to kill on Sundays waiting for the matches to start. Digital Spy picks out nine American football-based movies to pass the time on Sundays and get in the mood for the real thing...
1. Friday Night Lights (2004)
Based on the book of the same name (the TV series came later), Friday Night Lights tells the story of a high school American football outfit struggling to be the best they can be under the extreme pressure of expectation placed on them by the small Texan community they represent.
Each of the kids in the team dreams »
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
Barry Levinson‘s drama The Humbling, which stars Al Pacino, and Richard Lagravanese‘s musical The Last Five Years, which Jason Robert Brown adapted from his off-Broadway show — two films that had their world premieres at this month’s Toronto International Film Festival and quickly found U.S. distributors that see them as 2014 awards bait — will open the 21st annual Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference on Oct. 23, the fest announced on Tuesday.
Additionally, Jon Stewart‘s feature directorial debut Rosewater, a drama based on the harrowing true story of the Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, will close the fest in Texas’ capital on Oct. 30, with Stewart and Bahari — who have been working the fest circuit hard this fall — on hand for the festivities.
- Anjelica Oswald
The 2014 Austin Film Festival will open with the U.S. premiere of Barry Levinson’s “The Humbling” on Oct. 23, along with Richard Lagravenese’s “The Last 5 Years,” an adaptation of the Jason Robert Brown musical. Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari will present Stewart’s “Rosewater” to close the festival on Oct. 30.
“The Humbling,” (pictured) based a Philip Roth novel of the same name, stars Al Pacino as an aging actor who begins an affair with a much younger woman, played by Greta Gerwig. “The Last 5 Years,” which writer-director Lagravenese will present at the festival, explores a five-year relationship between an ascending novelist, played by Jeremy Jordan, and a struggling actress, played by Anna Kendrick.
Stewart wrote and directed “Rosewater,” based on Bahari’s book “Then They Came for Me” with Aimee Molloy about the Iranian journalist’s experience of as a prisoner in his native country for 118 days »
- Kevin Noonan
Whether you knew it or not, you've been listening to sound mixer David Macmillan's work for years. There's early stuff, like "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," "Birdy" and "SpaceCamp" (yes!). There's recent stuff like "Twilight," "Hancock" and "The 40-Year-Old-Virgin." And there's the Oscar-winning stuff scattered throughout, like "The Right Stuff," "Speed" and "Apollo 13." The guy is a legend in the field, so of course he's a great fit for the Cinema Audio Society's (Cas) Career Achievement Award. Macmillan began his career over half a century ago as an apprentice in Canadian television before eventually connecting with Francis Ford Coppola. The "Godfather" director was in the process of building American Zoetrope in San Francisco and hired Macmillan to run the company's mixing facility. From there, his career took off. He has more than 80 feature films to his credit, the three aforementioned Oscars (he won every time he was nominated), collaborations with Oliver Stone, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Austin - "Everly" puts me in an uncomfortable position. Sure, nowhere near as uncomfortable as the circumstances faced by Everly (Salma Hayek) over the course of the film, a one-room action movie, but as a film critic, I find myself really wrestling with my reaction. On the one hand, I like the energy of the film, and I think Hayek is about as appealing a lead as she's been in a while as the film opens in media hell, with her as a sex slave who finds herself at a turning point, freedom in her sights, but with a whole wall of mayhem between her and escape. The film makes a lot out of its single location, and I'm a fan of films where you watch one space get more and more destroyed over the course of an evening. Director Joe Lynch directs the film like a hungry man chasing a ham sandwich, »
- Drew McWeeny
Exclusive: Talk about a torn-from-the-headlines feature film. This might be the Chinese version of The Social Network. Just days ago, Jack Ma launched an Ipo for Alibaba on the New York Stock Exchange and finished the day with his company valued at $231 billion — more than Amazon and eBay combined — and making him the richest man in China and among the richest in the world with $26.5 billion. There’s already a fully scripted feature film on his life that is ready to be shopped, and the people behind it are formidable.
Apa soon will be shopping a script that Bruce Feirstein wrote, with Janet Yang producing. Yang, who worked for Oliver Stone and partnered with Lisa Henson, has been producing films in China including Shanghai Calling. There, she met Feirstein as he was rewriting and producing domestic audience films in China including Hong He (Red River) and writing about business subjects for Vanity Fair. »
- Mike Fleming Jr
As we venture down into the tunnels for episode eleven ‘The Strain’ attempts to get back on track…..
I love a bit of subtext. That’s no euphemism, just a desire for something more from my television entertainment. To say that The Strain has provided more than its fair share of peaks and troughs is stating the obvious. If I were to take that further, which it seems only fair to attempt, one might suggest that disappointment and elation are bi weekly bed fellows. As the makers continually attempt to provide original drama one week or offer up a shallow ‘no brainer’ another, things are becoming more difficult to judge fairly.
For those who remember 9/11 there seems little need to open up a wound, which for many represents a landmark in history rather than an allegorical reference point. Examples of film tackling it range from Oliver Stone’s World Trade »
- Gary Collinson
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in currently in talks to play Nsa whistle-blower Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone’s upcoming biopic. The Snowden Files is an adaptation of Anatoly Kucherena’s Time of the Octopus. The writer is actually Snowden’s lawyer, and as Variety explains, the book is “considered the closest thing to a documented account of the events since Snowden first released the documents.” In case you haven’t been reading the news lately,...
Read Comments »
The film will tell the story of Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence analyst who released more classified documents than anyone since Daniel Ellsberg’s leaking of the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War.
Kucherena's book "is considered the closest thing to a documented account of the events since Snowden first released the documents
Source: Variety »
- Philip Sticco
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