20 items from 2015
“All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl.”
Quentin Tarantino took Jean-Luc Godard’s quote to heart, populating his blood-splattered films with some of the most iconic female characters in the last twenty-five years. There’s almost always a female lead or, at the very least, a villain.
Case in point: Kill Bill. Nearly all the leads – with the exception of the aforementioned Bill – are ladies, and they’re all very, very, very deadly. Luckily, Kill Bill: Vols. 1 & 2 play select Cineplex theatres on Tuesday, February 3, and Wednesday, February 4, as part of this year’s Great Digital Film Festival.
Who is Tarantino’s greatest female character?
Amanda Plummer’s Honey Bunny is a »
- Sasha James
It takes only a look to unsettle, even undo, a teenage girl. A look can be so many things at once: an ogling, a scrutiny, a provocation, a form of surveillance and control. In “Girlhood,” the roving eyes of older boys transform a throng of rowdy female athletes into a flock of disconcertingly meek mademoiselles, their heads sunk as low as they’ll go without dislocating any vertebrae. Those same girls can’t bear the aggressive stares of other girls, either. The hostile female gaze transfigures them into raving lunatics, suddenly seized by the urgent need to slam their knuckles into an enemy’s sneering, »
- Inkoo Kang
Turner nominated artists The Wilson sisters, Louise Wilson and Jane Wilson, have been in Rotterdam this weekend for the international premiere of their new piece Undead Sun, originally presented in London’s Imperial War Museum last year.
Undead Sun sees the Newcastle-born sisters investigating the uses of disguise and camouflage in war. They regard the film as a natural successor to their 2011 work, Face Scripting: What Did the Building See. This was about the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh by Mossad agents in a Dubai hotel.
“It was looking at CCTV and looking at covert imagery,” Jane Wilson says of a film which explores how contemporary warfare has moved from old fashioned battlefields into the luxurious confines of a modern, upmarket hotel. “What we were thinking about was how technology has developed through facial recognition and through use of CCTV.”
When the First World War started, the sisters note, there were still »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoffrey Macnab)
Love can be a many splendid thing…both in triumph and sometimes in tragedy. The emphasis of this sentiment is mainly on the latter as tragedy can be defined in various degrees of despair. Consequently, we have endured all sorts of conflict between lovers in cinema throughout the history of frequenting the movies.
In You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling: Top Ten Tragic Lovers in the Movies we will look at a selection of films where the tragic circumstances have shaped the foundation of film lovers convincingly. The tragic overtones come in all varieties: marital discourse, criminal activity, fraud, addiction, etc. Granted that there are probably bigger and better choices for lovey-dovey antagonism that could be cited in You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling but hey…the outcome remains the same: hampered relationships that are creatively rooted in turmoil.
The spotlight of “lovers” are open to discussion in the realm of combative married couples, »
- Frank Ochieng
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Conan the Barbarian is one of those rare 1980s movie gems that just kicked a ridiculous amount of ass. Fantasy films weren't as popular back then as they are now, and the fact that they went all-out for a violent R-rated action film is awesome. If they made that movie today, the studio would want it to be cut down to a PG-13 rating, which is kind of sad. I freakin’ love this movie, and one day hopefully we get that Legend of Conan sequel. The last thing I heard was that it would start shooting this year, and I hope that’s still the plan! While we wait for an update, I've put together a list of 15 Fun Facts for Conan the Barbarian that you might not know. Enjoy!
Schwarzenegger had to cut down on his workout routine because his arm and chest muscles were so »
- Joey Paur
Before he was a 3-time Oscar nominee or People's "Sexiest Man Alive," Johnny Depp was a young teen idol trying to navigate his newfound fame. Et first met Depp in 1988, just a year after he debuted his smoldering looks as Office Tom Hanson in 21 Jump Street, as screaming girls lined up to meet the star.
"It's very exciting. It's also very strange because you don't expect that kind of response," the then 24-year-old told Et. "It's very new to me."
Photos: Johnny Depp’s 10 Greatest Roles
"I'm dealing with it the best way I know how which is I try to meet as many people as I can," he said. "I try to sign as many things as I can. I dont want to hurt anybody's feelings or make them feel like I dont have time."
In 2014 an actor previously best known for being seven down the cast list in a cult TV sitcom rose to become the star of two of the year’s biggest blockbusters. This time last year Chris Pratt was about as far from a household name as Guardians Of The Galaxy or The Lego Movie were from being sure things at the box office. One year later and the two films have made over a billion dollars between them and Pratt looks like a leading man with genuine star quality. His lead role in this year’s Jurassic World looks set to cement his newfound status as a bona fide Hollywood star.
It sounds like a simple process, but in reality a lot of actors have been poised on the brink of stardom with multiple big movies due for release only to find the movies flop and their careers worse off than before. »
- Jack Gann
Chicago – In a year where shoots with perpetual photo fashionistas like Cindy Crawford and Sarah Jessica Parker still failed to crack the Top Ten list of biggest celebrity photo-ops, you know 2014 was a very good year for HollywoodChicago.com and myself, Joe Arce, as Senior Staff Photographer.
Narrowing down the 182 celebrity subjects that posed for my lens last year to a mere ten favorite portraits is not an easy task. Nonetheless, here are my Top Ten picks for biggest celebrity shoots of 2014. I based this on a combination of star power wattage of the subjects, the artistic results and the degree of difficulty in landing the quarry – for those iPhone carrying budding celebrity stalkers who may wish to play along at home.
10. Anjelica Huston
Backstage at the Chicago Humanities Festival, November 14th, 2014
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com
Not only an Oscar winner, but the daughter »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Paris — A trio of well-connected, young film bizzers, former Wild Bunch sales agent Gary Farkas, former M&C Saatchi exec Olivier Muller and Full House staffer Clement Lepoutre, are joining forces to launch Paris-based production company Vixens.
Unveiled in the run-up to Berlin, the company already has four projects in the pipeline, notably an English-language film revenge thriller initiated by Noomi Rapace, who will also star.
“Vixens will mostly focus on emerging authors and directors working on genre movies, thrillers, social dramas and black comedies,” explained Farkas, who joined Wild Bunch in 2010 and worked in international sales for four years.
Muller, Farkas and Lepoutre said they named their outfit Vixens in reference to Russ Meyer’s films because they remain “cult and subversive movies that carry a strong message.”
The company’s development slate will be partly financed through Phantasm, their recently launched shingle specializing in advertising and music videos. »
- Elsa Keslassy
Colin Hanks, Johnny Knoxville, Alex Pettyfer, Tracy Letts and Sky Ferreira have joined the cast of Liza Johnson’s upcoming drama “Elvis & Nixon,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
The group joins titular leads Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey, who will play rock icon Elvis Presley and President Richard Nixon, respectively. The film, inspired by a true meeting of the two vastly different personalities on the morning of Dec. 21, 1970, also co-stars Evan Peters (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”).
See Photos: TheWrap’s 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015: From ‘Fifty Shades’ to ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Spectre’
Cary Elwes penned the script, »
- Travis Reilly
Paris – Shot with a wavering hand-held camera, “SK1” leaves an indelible impression that the homicide squad offices at Paris’ celebrated 36 Quai des Orfevres police headquarters, at least in the 1990s, needed a far better interior decorator. Their airless drabness, capturing the mind-numbing work of the film’s protagonist, rookie homicide squad inspector Franck Magne is just one part of debutant director Frederic Tellier’s artistic arsenal. Making its world premiere at the Angouleme Festival, and sold by Snd-M6 Group at the 17th UniFrance Rendez-vous, “SK1” never depicts the horror of the violent murders committed by serial killer Guy Georges, which terrorized much of eastern Paris in the 1990s. Rather it is a portrait of the horror of their impact – on Magne, a victim’s father, even Georges himself – and of a France, here its police force, which is understaffed, under-budgeted, and reluctant to give up old traditions, in the interests, »
- John Hopewell
Tom Cruise as a pilot in the 1980s? While we wait forever for Top Gun 2, perhaps a movie in development called Mena will quench our need for speed. Or maybe speed is not the appropriate drug to go with for this project, which will see Cruise playing a real-life cocaine trafficker and gun runner named Barry Seal if the talks reported by Deadline go through with success. Previously, Ron Howard was set to direct the movie, but while it’s still housed at his Imagine Entertainment, the job is up for grabs and the likely hire is Doug Liman. That would make this an Edge of Tomorrow reunion, albeit one that doesn’t promise any of the laughs and sci-fi spectacle we got with that awesome 2014 action flick. Unlike this week’s other re-team announcement for the Gone Girl gang to remake Strangers on a Train, this one is not about a collaboration for more of »
- Christopher Campbell
All things documentary, foreign and American independent film are what the staff unabashedly bleeds for here at Ioncinema.com. Film snobbery aside, we’ve identified twenty-five studio film offerings that we fancy, included are a pair of big ticket/budget items from the Weinsteins. The likes of Baltasar Kormákur, Michael Mann, Ariel Vromen, Tarsem Singh, Ridley Scott, and Danny Boyle all have ’15 offerings that didn’t crack our top 25, but actor Tom Hardy appears to have made some sound film role choices last year with a slew of projects prepped for release this year that are spotted throughout our listing. Without further ado, here is our countdown leading to our number five pick:
- Nicholas Bell
Twenty-five years ago the prophetic declaration “If you build it, they will come” sounded across an Iowa cornfield in “Field of Dreams.”
Kevin Costner, the film’s star, has crafted his career along the lines of that advice, creating an oeuvre to which auds have flocked — and which the industry has rewarded with multiple kudos.
Over the past three decades the Oscar- and Emmy-winning multihyphenate has acted in, produced, written and directed some of the most beloved movies in American filmmaking, from the critical juggernaut “Dances With Wolves” to Oliver Stone’s “JFK” to Mike Binder’s gripping and — as it turned out — critically timely 2014 custody battle drama “Black or White,” which he also backed financially.
Now Costner can add Broadcast Film Critics Assn. Lifetime Achievement Award to his accolades. The award, which honors Costner’s significant contribution to the entertainment industry, will be handed out during the Bfca Critics »
- Malina Saval
Chicago – One of the specialities of HollywoodChicago.com is the film and personality interview. The majority of these chats came through me, Patrick McDonald, and I couldn’t narrow it down to a top 10 or even a top 20. For 2014, there were 25 top interviews, and it is a diverse range of voices.
It is a privilege to get the opportunity to participate in the promotional tours, awards ceremonies, film festivals, book appearances, phoners and other lucky happenstances that feature the notable among us. To whittle down the list, I mostly thought about what was said in these interviews, whether inspirational or provocative – plus the status of the participants, whether they are up-and-coming or established.
The interview highlights are broken down by “Background and Behind-the-Scenes” and the “Memorable Quote” associated with each subject, and are often accompanied with exclusive photography by Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com. Four notables who just missed the »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
In what is now a new and continuing tradition, the Golden Globe Awards have been revealed ahead of the Oscar nominations, which will be made public this Thursday. Of course, voting for the Oscar nominations was closed before the awards were revealed so don't think last night's wins will have any effect on the nominees. But this isn't an article designed to look at nominations, though we'll certainly get into a little of that. Instead we're looking at what chance last night's Globe winners have at winning the Oscar based on the recent Globe vs. Oscar history. This post serves as my ninth installment of my "Globes vs. Oscars" column (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and we'll take a look at the past 30 years of Golden Globe winner history compared to the Oscars and see where last night's winners may gain an edge and where they most likely won't and we'll begin with the lead acting categories. »
- Brad Brevet
The award, which is sponsored by Ee, recognizes actors or actresses who “have demonstrated exceptional talent, and are destined to be bright stars in the future of cinema.” The other nominees are Shailene Woodley, Margot Robbie and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
O’Connell first came to public attention in the U.K. TV series “Skins,” which he starred in from 2009. In 2013, he took the lead in British indie film “Starred Up,” playing Eric, a violent reprobate prematurely transferred to an adult prison. The role earned him a best actor nomination at last year’s British Independent Film Awards.
He also received critical acclaim for his punchy portrayal of Private Gary Hook in “’71,” for which he was nominated for a British Independent Film Award last year. The thriller, »
- Leo Barraclough
BAFTA has announced this year’s crop of nominees for its Ee Rising Star Award, with a handful of names in the mix whom many would consider already pretty firmly established. The group consists of Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jack O’Connell, Margot Robbie, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. That there are three women in the mix is an evolution from last year’s two — a few years ago the org was criticized for selecting an entirely male roster. This is the only BAFTA award that is voted on by the British public; it honors actors and actresses “who have demonstrated exceptional talent, and are destined to be bright stars in the future of cinema.”
Mbatha-Raw recently won the British Independent Film Award as Best Actress in Belle. Her other feature credits have included Larry Crowne, Odd Thomas and Beyond The Lights, as well as TV appearances in Spooks and Dr Who. »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Twilight Time is a boutique label known for showing love to older, occasionally but not always obscure films in the form of limited-run Blu-ray releases. Their releases are capped at 3000 copies each and sold exclusively at Screen Archives Entertainment, so check out their latest while you still can. The label released six Blu-rays in December, and we’ve taken a look at four of them below. (The two titles we haven’t seen are Funny Lady and Yentl.) The releases include The Fortune — a Mike Nichols film you’ve probably never heard of starring Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty; Heaven & Earth — Oliver Stone’s third Vietnam-focused movie; Inherit the Wind — a classic courtroom drama concerning the Scopes “Monkey” Trial; and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie — a British film starring the incomparable Maggie Smith exhibiting sharp wit and smoother skin than most of us are used to seeing on her. The Fortune »
- Rob Hunter
How could Ava DuVernay, a former Hollywood publicist and Sundance-winning director of a movie that cost just $200,000, be the one to break the long trail of futility in mounting a major movie that conveyed how much of a galvanizing presence Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was in the battle for civil rights in America? Coming aboard Selma after the previous star package cratered under Lee Daniels, DuVernay found herself with David Oyelowo’s determination to play Mlk, a Paul Webb script and little else. The director (who made uncredited contributions to the script) managed to navigate around formidable obstacles, not the least of which were copyrights on Mlk signature speeches held by his estate. After platforming the film for Oscars, Paramount opens it wide this Friday. This interview was done before several confidantes of President Lyndon Johnson complained he has dishonestly been depicted as, at most generous, a benign force »
- Mike Fleming Jr
20 items from 2015
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