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1-20 of 358 items from 2017   « Prev | Next »


Karlovy Vary Film Festival Honors Talent Working in Front of and Behind the Camera

14 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Casey Affleck

President’s Award

An Academy Award-winner for his role in “Manchester by the Sea” (2016), Affleck will receive his kudo prior to a screening of “A Ghost Story,” in which he stars. Affleck, along with helmer-writer David Lowery, will introduce the film. Affleck starred in Lowery’s debut film “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” (2013) and recently completed production on Lowery’s “The Old Man and the Gun.”

Like his older brother, multi-hyphenate Ben, Casey Affleck has a parallel career as a writer-producer-director. He is in post on his second feature as a helmer-writer, “The Light of My Life,” in which he also stars.

Related

Future Frames Showcase at Karlovy Vary Casts the Spotlight on Promising Creative Talent

James Newton Howard

Crystal Globe

American composer and songwriter Howard will conduct the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in a performance of his music for the film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” in front of Hotel Thermal on June 30, during the fest’s opening. Howard is currently preparing for his first live concert tour, a celebration of career highlights, with music, spoken word and video, that will visit 20 European cities.

Howard has composed music for more than 120 films, including Academy Award-nominated scores for “Defiance,” “Michael Clayton,” “The Village,” “The Fugitive,” “The Prince of Tides” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding” — not to mention Oscar-nominated songs for “Junior” and “One Fine Day.”

In addition to his contributions to film and television music, the Emmy- and Grammy-winning Howard has also composed concert pieces for the Pacific Symphony.

Paul Laverty

Crystal Globe

Laverty wrote the scripts for 12 features and two short films directed by Ken Loach, beginning with “Carla’s Song” (1996). Their most recent collaboration, “I, Daniel Blake” (2016), won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

Laverty wrote the screenplay for Loach’s first Palme d’Or winner, “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” (2006). His credits with Loach include “My Name Is Joe,” (1998), a Cannes lead actor-winner for Peter Mullan and Cannes screenplay winner “Sweet Sixteen” (2002).

He also writes screenplays for his partner, the Spanish director and actress Icíar Bollaín.

Ken Loach

Crystal Globe

An activist as well as one of Britain’s most celebrated directors, Loach worked briefly in theater before starting as a director for BBC television in the early 1960s. There, he helmed ground-breaking dramas such as “Up the Junction” and “Cathy Come Home.” The impact of the latter led to a change in Britain’s homeless laws. Acclaimed early features such as “Poor Cow” (1967) and “Kes” (1969) brought his trademarks of social realism and compassion to the big screen.

Even though Loach’s 50-plus-year career includes a dark period when he couldn’t get a project off the ground and he directed commercials to support his family, he has been extraordinarily prolific. Undoubtedly, this is due in part to his on-going collaboration with producer Rebecca O’Brien and long-term partnerships with screenwriters including Barry Hines, Jim Allen and perhaps most fruitfully, Paul Laverty. Loach is also known for introducing exciting new acting talents.

Jeremy Renner

President’s Award

Actor, producer, musician and two-time Oscar-nominee Renner will receive his kudo at the fest’s closing gala on July 8. Renner will also introduce the crime thriller “Wind River,” directed by Taylor Sheridan.

Known for his intensity and ability to fully embody the characters he portrays, Renner received early critical acclaim as a serial killer in “Dahmer” (2002). He later established himself through roles in action and war movies, garnering an Oscar nomination for lead actor in Kathryn Bigelow’s war tale “The Hurt Locker” (2008). A supporting actor nom followed two years later for Ben Affleck’s bank heist drama “The Town” (2010).

Renner’s extensive filmography balances big-budget blockbusters such as “The Avengers” and “Mission: Impossible” series with more complex roles in “American Hustle” and “Arrival.”

In 2012, he formed the production company The Combine, with partner Don Handfield, to create, develop and produce high-quality, character-driven content for mainstream audiences.

Uma Thurman

President’s Award

The sensual, statuesque American actress and producer Uma Thurman will receive her honor on June 30, during the fest’s opening night. An Oscar-nominee for Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” (1994), Thurman’s memorable acting career is notable for her collaboration with iconic helmers.

Thurman was only a teenager when she made an impact in Stephen Frears’ “Dangerous Liaisons” (1988) and Terry Gilliam’s surreal “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” (1988). However, the part of Mia Wallace in Tarantino’s sensational “Pulp Fiction” marked a turning point, garnering her numerous awards and nominations. Another successful Tarantino collaboration followed nearly a decade later with the cult double-header: “Kill Bill: Vols. 1 and 2” (2003, 2004). She received two Golden Globe nominations for her role as The Bride.

Thurman ultimately nabbed a Golden Globe for for her role in Mira Nair’s made-for-tv feature “Hysterical Blindness” (2002). She produced “The Accidental Husband” (2008) and the forthcoming “Girl Soldier.”

Václav Vorlíček

President’s Award

Renowned for his work for younger audiences, director-writer Vorlíček, 87, will receive an honor for his artistic contribution to Czech film.

Vorlíček teamed with writer and director Miloš Macourek, to form an original creative partnership responsible for a distinctive chapter in the development of Czech film. Their poetic vision, in which real life comes up against elements of fantasy, remains unique to this day.

Prime examples of Vorlíček and Macourek’s work include the “comic book” comedy “Who Wants to Kill Jessie?” (1966); the sci-fi comedy “You Are a Widow, Sir!” (1970).

Another comedy that employs fairytale motifs in contemporary Prague titled “How to Drown Dr. Mracek, the Lawyer” (1974); the TV series “Arabela” (1979-80); and “Rumburak” (1985).

Vorlíček is also known for his fairytale films, especially the comedy “The Girl on the Broomstick” (1971) and “Three Wishes for Cinderella” (1973), now a perennially popular Christmas classic on Czech television.

Related storiesFuture Frames Showcase at Karlovy Vary Casts the Spotlight on Promising Creative TalentKarlovy Vary International Film Festival Celebrates Critics Choice MoviesKarlovy Vary International Film Festival Showcases Stories of Social Turmoil »

- Alissa Simon

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Film Review: Bertrand Tavernier’s ‘My Journey Through French Cinema’

14 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Whether you already consider yourself an expert on French cinema or are just beginning to explore all the country has to offer, director Bertrand Tavernier’s more-than-three-hour “My Journey Through French Cinema” provides an essential tour through the films that shaped him as a cinephile and storyteller. Clearly modeled after Martin Scorsese’s own made-for-tv journey through American Movies, this incredibly personal and occasionally idiosyncratic labor of love hails from one of the country’s leading experts on the medium, combining a wide-ranging survey with insights that only Tavernier could provide.

A celebrated helmer in his own right, Tavernier counts such masterworks as “A Sunday in the Country” and “Coup de torchon” among his credits. But the director’s contributions to the medium are hardly limited to his own filmography. Like so many French directors of his generation, Tavernier started out as a film critic, studying and championing the work of the era’s leading auteurs. His »

- Peter Debruge

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Video: 5 Best Sword-Fights in Movies

15 hours ago | The Cultural Post | See recent The Cultural Post news »

Sword fights. Everyone loves a good sword fight. They combine the best thing about chess – the strategy and fitness of a well-timed and executed move – with the ferocity of a wrestling match. Plus, they’re normally really well scored. They’re like a dance off with more equipment and less impressive footwork. With that in mind, we thought that it’s important to take a couple of minutes to go through five of the best sword fights in movies.

5. Aragorn Vs The Nine Ringwraiths – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

While the Hobbit films were somewhat “less than stellar” there’s no doubt that Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films were, on the whole, quite good. The Fellowship of the Ring especially. There were a lot of things in that film that worked really well – Saruman’s new orcs, the Balrog, the secret council, but the thing that really sold the film was the battle between Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and the Ringwraiths. It may have been short, but it set the tone for the film and it ends with an evil ghost getting a flaming torch to the face. What more does a film need than that?

4. Captain Jack Sparrow Vs Captain Hector Barbosa – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Geoffrey Rush, playing the role of Hector Barbosa, described this fight as an epic battle between two immortals and is it ever. The choreography is pure Flynn-like. It’s over the top and quicker than a ship at full mast. Intercut with this scene is another sword fight: Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) versus the undead crew of the Black Pearl. Plus, bringing back what we said about being really well scored, Hans Zimmer is on point with the theme for both this fight and the entire scene. The series may have gone off the map in later films, but The Curse of the Black Pearl really was treasure.

3. Hector Vs Achilles – Troy (2004)

Okay, so this one is definitely a controversial choice. Classics Students hate this film because it’s not the Illiad; Lord of the Rings fans hate it because Legolas (Orlando Bloom) is a coward in it; and cinema-philes hate it because… Well, its quality is debatable. But, 2004’s Troy is notable because: every single actor seems to be chewing the scenery in every single scene and it has Eric Bana and Brad Pitt fighting with spears. Taking place the day after Hector (Bana) killed Patroclus – Achilles’ cousin-in-this-version-but-lover/protege-in-the-Illiad, it features some of the best choreography in a film that’s pretty much built upon its sword-to-sword choreography and the bankability of Brad Pitt. The fact that most of the fight is actually one that’s between two spear wielders – something which is rare in the medium, for some reason – only makes the whole thing even better. Plus, Pitt’s Achilles really lays on the smack talk. Hard.

2. The Bride Vs The Crazy 88 – Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (2003)

As the titular Bill (David Carradine) says in Kill Bill Vol. 2, Uma Thurman’s character wasn’t really fighting eighty-eight bodyguards during this fight. According to the Kill Bill Wiki, there are only forty-four of them. Still, that’s a considerable number of bodyguards for one woman to fight by herself and  Thurman does it stylishly. She’s called the world’s deadliest woman throughout the film, but it’s this scene in which the thesis is tested. It’s one of the most stylish scenes Quentin Tarantino ever shot and we’d argue still holds up compared to his later work. There’s so much to say about this fight but we’ll just let the fact that the Bride fought forty-four bodyguards (as well as two bosses) and won speak for itself.

1. Luke Skywalker Vs Darth Vader – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

There were a lot of options that we could have gone with for our ultimate battle of the blades. Hell, there were a lot of options we could have gone with from the Star Wars franchise. But, after going through all seven films again, we’ve decided that the top of them all has to be what was – for a long time – the final battle in the Star Wars trilogy. While not as technically flashy or quick as some of the fights from the prequel trilogy, the fight between Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) more than makes up for it in terms of both emotional impact, thematic appropriateness, and score. And wow, what a score it is. John Williams is known for his scores but we think this just takes the cake.

Are there any sword-fights you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below. »

- Ian Bailey

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‘The Bird with the Crystal Plumage’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

17 hours ago | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Stars: Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salerno, Eva Renzi, Umberto Raho, Renato Romano, Giuseppe Castellano, Mario Adorf, Pino Patti, Gildo Di Marco | Written and Directed by Dario Argento

When you hear the name Dario Argento you know what to expect. In many ways, he is the gateway director to Italian horror, and with The Bird with the Crystal Plumage we see his debut into directing. While not his best work, it set many precedents for the Argento style…

Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante), an American writer finds himself witnessing a murder while on a trip to Italy. Unable to help the victim of the attack, luckily, the victim manages to survive. In the following days though Sam finds himself stalked by the killer, who he in parallel becomes obsessed with.

While I do like The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, I do find that Deep Red is his superior film which follows a similar narrative. What we have with Plumage though is an Argento film which has differences from certain traits the director has. One thing that doesn’t change of course is the fact that this is a Giallo. The mystery killer in the dark coat, the black gloves and the obsession with killing with knives is all in place. While the ending may not be what is expected, Argento is a director and writer who often gives a successful twist. In The Bird with the Crystal Plumage he gives one of his most memorable, and that is created through the museum scene.

In putting Sam in a boxed off glass room of the art gallery entrance, unable to get out to get help and unable to get into the museum itself he is left helpless, forced into being a voyeur to the murder. It is in this situation that the clues are put into place for what is a memorable ending.  It is also interesting that the revelation is much similar to Deep Red in that it is interpretation and the memory of the crime scene that leads to the reveal of the killer.

A big difference to Argento’s later work is that the music for The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is done by Ennio Morricone. While I am a fan of Goblin who you usually think of when it comes to Argento, Morricone’s music is still very good, and fans of Quentin Tarantino will recognise the main theme. In fact, they’ll also see that Tarantino was paying homage to the opening of this movie in Death Proof.

Looking past the film itself and looking at the special features included with the Arrow Video release, there is an impressive list of interviews, as well as looks at the Giallo in relation to Argento’s work. The interviews with Argento himself are the highlight, but the interview with actor Gildo Di Marco (Garullo the pimp) is a very nice addition. He may have only had a bit-part in the film, but his performance was memorable enough to stick in people’s minds.

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is a solid release, especially for lovers of Dario Argento’s work. Not only his directorial debut, it set the scene for many of his future hits and featured one of the most memorable scenes with the art gallery scene. Deep Red may be better, but this is a necessary inclusion into any horror fans collections.

***** 5/5

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is available on Limited Edition Arrow Video Blu-Ray and DVD in the UK now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek »

- Paul Metcalf

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i've got good news. that link you like is going to come back in style.

19 hours ago | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

• Guardian Great interview with Holly Hunter about The Big Sick and her career. (People are already mentioning "Oscar nom!" in regards to her supporting work as Zoe Kazan's mother in the romantic comedy)

• Pajiba on what the new Defenders posters might remind you of

• Playbill Adorable John Benjamin Hickey, fresh off the revival of Six Degrees of Separation, thinks there should be a fine for people who leave their cel phones on in theaters. Agreed! 

• Screen Crush picks the 25 best Lgbt films of the past 25 years. Happy to see Pariah and Bound mixed in with the usual titles like Brokeback Mountain and such. And the past few years have been so good for Lgbt cinema. I mean: Carol, The Handmaiden, Moonlight, Tangerine. #Blessed

• Esquire Fun article by Tyler Coates on how he finally learned to love RuPaul's Drag Race which he had avoided for years and even bad-mouthed in print

• Theater Mania you don't see this often but there's an actual age restriction on the Broadway adaptation of George Orwell's "1984". No one under 13 will be admitted due to its intensity. The show stars Tom Sturridge, Reed Birney, Olivia Wilde, and Tfe fav Cara Seymour (who previously did that lovely guest spot for us). I'm seeing it soon so will report back.

• IndieWire has issues with the "orientalism" of the new Twin Peaks. Add this to the onling Sofia Coppola controversy and... well... People I don't know what to do with all the outrage anymore at everything. There's got to be a line where, as an adult, you're just okay with what you're seeing and discarding the parts that irk you, or filing them under "I don't know about that but whatever" if they're not harmfully intended. Artists will always have their own peculiar obsessions and they'll always draw from a wide variety of influences (at least the good ones will) to craft their own stories and nobody really owns history; pop culture and the arts are giant beautiful melting pots of ideas and aesthetics from all over the world. Oh and also the Laura Dern hairstyle is not proprietarily Asian as the article seems to imply. I know this because I was obsessed with silent film star Louise Brooks as a teenager (Pandora's Box & Diary of a Lost Girl 4ever!). It was originally called the 'Castle Bob,' because Irene Castle (a famous NY dancer) debuted the then-shocking look in 1915. It was a very controversial look but became a sensation in the 1920s with flappers and silent film stars. Hollywood's first popular Asian American actress Anna May Wong, who the article references as an influence on Dern's look, actually had to get her hair cut like that because it was so popular.

• This is Not Porn great photo of Oscar winner Kim Hunter in makeup chair on The Planet of the Apes (1968)

Hilarious Reads and I Personally Needed the Laughs. You?

• The New Yorker "Tennessee Williams with Air Conditioning"... *fans self* I was cackling so loud by the end of this. Best article in forever.

• McSweeneys "11 Ways That I, a White Man, Am Not Privileged" Oops. Hee!

• Buzzfeed "25 Gay Pride signs that will make you laugh harder than you should" - so many of these are so wonderful I just want to hug all gay people for being funny and able to spell

• McSweeneys "An Oral History of Quentin Tarantino as Told to Me By Men I've Dated" 

What places are delivering right now? So, in the early ’90s, right around when Pulp Fiction came out, Quentin Tarantino and Mira Sorvino were dating. I always thought Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion was a dumb chick flick, but I caught part of it on cable the other day and there was an ad for Red Apple cigarettes in the background of one of the shots! Do you know about Red Apple cigarettes? »

- NATHANIEL R

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Colin Trevorrow interview: Book Of Henry, Jurassic World 2 & Star Wars

22 June 2017 10:21 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Caroline Preece Jun 23, 2017

Director Colin Trevorrow tells us about The Book Of Henry, looks back at Safety Not Guaranteed, and chats Star Wars...

Since the brilliant Safety Not Guaranteed’s release in 2012, Colin Trevorrow has been a name very familiar to those of us on this site. Cut to 2017, and the writer/director has not only been behind the second highest grossing film of 2015 with Jurassic World, but he’s also been given the coveted keys to the Star Wars franchise.

We spoke to him about his new film Book Of Henry, and what we can expect from him in the future.

What first drew you to this script for The Book Of Henry?

I think it was, as a parent I couldn’t look away from the ideas that are woven into it. That sense that this child is looking at someone in a tremendous position of power and has that righteous sense of right and wrong, good and evil.

Apathy is the worst possible thing and yet deep beneath all of his intelligence is a child and children will often lean into violence as a solution and they’re wrong to do that. We live in a world right now where our fears as parents are heightened because it’s such a dangerous place and I found that this movie dealt with so many of the ideas that I feel right now as a parent in a way that was at times jarring and at times shocking, but ultimately if you’re willing to go with it, extremely satisfying.

I read that you wanted to do this movie before Jurassic World, and you deferred it?

I didn’t know if it was going to come back - I told the producers that I would come back and do the film and they didn’t necessarily believe me. There was even another director that was working on it for a little while, but ultimately when I became available again, so was the screenplay and I had this window between when I had to start working on Jurassic World 2. My deep instinct was that I wanted to try this and see whether I could bring this story to a screen in a way that would be as satisfying as I think it could be.

You’re part of a group of directors that’s sprung up over the last few years, who’ve made a really well-received indie movie before being given the reigns to a huge blockbuster like Jurassic World - how was it initially go from that scale to something so massive?

In retrospect, I’m not sure if it’s the best idea to give these giant franchises to filmmakers after one film, not because they can’t do it - we can all do it - but I don’t know if there’s a series of movies that would have come between that first and second movie that the audience deserves to see. I don’t know that if Quentin Tarantino had been given Bond after doing Reservoir Dogs, we would have had Pulp Fiction.

So there are a lot of voices in my generation who I think are just brilliant, who are wanting to take pretty different, risky moves and form voices that would give them a body of work. So, while I wouldn’t call it a negative, if there’s anything about this process that might be robbing the audience of anything it’s that we’re missing out on a set of original movies that would otherwise be made. There was that sense of a responsibility to make original movies, which is what made me want to go and do [Book Of Henry].

How was it going back [to a smaller film] before going on to do a Star Wars movie, with is arguably even bigger than Jurassic World? Is that a balance you’d like to continue in the future?

I don’t have the ability to see my life beyond the next film that I’m going to do. I may just walk into the ocean and never return, so I don’t know. I’m going to give this everything that I have and we’ll see if I have anything left.

In terms of Book Of Henry, you’ve spoken about casting the kids - you’ve struck gold with all three of them - how was it working with them. Obviously you also worked with young actors on Jurassic World

I talk to kids the same way that I talk to adults. I’m very straightforward and we talk about the uncomfortable issues that are in the film. People would be surprised how easy it is to talk with kids about some of those issues - they’re more comfortable with it than the adults are at times. But as long as we can have a conversation about how we are feeling in any given moment I try to get out from behind the camera and have those conversations with every actor.

Anything you see in any movie that I make -  anything anyone does - is a result of the conversations that we’ve had. I’m not barking orders at them from behind the camera.

Can you talk a little bit about the decision to shoot on 35mm?

Not only did we shoot on 35mm but we shot 3 perf 35mm, so we’re exposing a little bit less and it’s allowing the film to have a certain kind of warmth and a classicism that I think is important for the film. I needed the movie to feel like your memories, and I think that the way John shot it, it really does feel like we unearthed it from the ground, like something that was made in 1985 and we’re just projecting it now.

I’d like to talk about Safety Not Guaranteed - I rewatched it the other day and it struck me even more the second time how much the film is about regret and how different people deal with it, was that something that was important to you when you made it?

Absolutely. I remember at the time people being somewhat confused about Jake Johnson’s role and his story, but that’s my favourite part now as I get a little older and look back and see the emotional time travel story he’s going on while Aubrey is going on this very literal time travel track. The movie becomes more powerful to me as I age and see the value of regret and wishing you could go back and make a different decision.

What Mark [Duplass] brought to that movie was crucial - that performance could have been completely different and potentially derail the whole thing and it gave me that much more of a respect for what an actor/writer can give to something. Because actors are writers, and [it’s important to] give actors the freedom to define their characters and contribute their little piece to the story.

In this film, Jaden [Lieberher] especially came to it with a very clear idea of what he was going to do. You see how a character like Henry could be precocious to the point of just being obnoxious and you wouldn’t care what happened to him. I found that Jaden tapped into the emotional intelligence of that character in a way that made him truly someone you cared about and you wanted to go on this journey with.

Let’s talk about Jake Johnson for a second, because I think a lot of people have started to see him as you lucky charm actor - is he coming back for Jurassic World 2?

He’s not in Jurassic World 2 for the same reason that any other actor would be excluded from a movie. Unless we can find a genuine, organic way to make it not seem like he’s just in it because he was a great character in a previous film. It doesn’t mean he’ll never be back, and I’ve had conversations with almost all of the actors going back to the previous films about how important their legacies are to these movies and yet also how important it is to continuously change and evolve them into something new.

Because Jurassic is not a forever franchise in a traditional way. If it’s going to be something that continues to exist it has to be earned on a movie by movie basis. The reason why I didn’t want to direct it myself, why I brought in J.A. Bayona and why in our screenwriting decisions we’ve taken it into a very different direction that’s much more character based than previous films, is all from that need to constantly evolve and change.

With Jurassic World you came on to launch a new phase of it, how does it feel to jump into the Star Wars universe essentially in the middle of the story?

All I can say is that it’s been thus far just a tremendously creatively fulfilling experience to be able to immerse myself in these characters that I love and these new characters that are being created, and I’m working with a group of people who have a perspective on this story that’s vital. All of these storytellers are working together to make an emotionally resonant film.

Colin Trevorrow, thank you very much.

The Book Of Henry is in UK cinemas now. »

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Playback: Edgar Wright on ‘Baby Driver,’ Music and Walking Away From ‘Ant-Man’

22 June 2017 9:03 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety podcast bringing you exclusive conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films.

With movies like “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” and his latest, “Baby Driver,” filmmaker Edgar Wright has forged his own path through the modern cinema landscape with his own original voice. That’s no easy task. Along the way, like any artist, he has stumbled, whether learning the value of an abundance of coverage on his first film, “A Fistful of Fingers,” or making the heartbreaking decision to walk on “Ant-Man” due to creative differences with Marvel.

Unsurprisingly, and even with dedicated production partners, maintaining that original voice has been a challenge throughout. But Wright finds inspiration in others who have managed it with aplomb.

Listen to this week’s episode of “Playback” below. New episodes air every Thursday.

Click here for more episodes of “Playback.”

“I think I’ve been really inspired by other directors who sort of double down on their own style or persistence of vision,” Wright says. “I felt that way about Quentin Tarantino or Wes Anderson. ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ was [Anderson’s] eighth film and his biggest hit. If you looked at the title and synopsis alone, it’s seemingly the most esoteric and idiosyncratic, but it’s a massive worldwide hit.”

Following early successes, Wright hit a couple speed bumps. He first turned his eye toward “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” a Universal Pictures collaboration that disappointed at the box office. Along the way he was developing “Ant-Man,” a bit of a dream project. But eventually he had to step away from that.

“The most diplomatic answer is I wanted to make a Marvel movie but I don’t think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie,” Wright says. “I was the writer-director on it and then they wanted to do a draft without me, and having written all my other movies, that’s a tough thing to move forward. Suddenly becoming a director for hire on it, you’re sort of less emotionally invested and you start to wonder why you’re there, really.”

Related

After Several Offbeat Comedies, Director Edgar Wright Switches Gears With Heist Movie ‘Baby Driver

He expected the success of something like “Ant-Man” might help propel him toward making his true dream project, “Baby Driver,” a reality. Yet he was still able to get the audacious musical/car chase actioner done at a major studio, and happily, keep his devoted crew (who departed “Ant-Man” in solidarity) employed. And like many of Wright’s creative pursuits, it all began with a song.

“I think that’s where me and the main character in ‘Baby Driver’ are the same, is that we’re completely motivated by music,” he says. “This is a universal thing, that people use music as an escape or motivation or inspiration. I have to drive to music. I have to walk to music. I have to work out to music. I have to clean the house to music. And I have to give a shout-out to Kirsten Lane, our clearance person, who managed to clear 35 tracks for this movie.”

For more, including stories about sneaking into Pinewood Studios to edit his first feature and what the press tour for “Scott Pilgrim” taught him, listen to the latest episode of “Playback” via the streaming link above.

Subscribe to “Playback” at iTunes.

Related storiesAnsel Elgort on 'Baby Driver,' Directing Ambitions and Life Under TrumpThe Best Films of 2017 (So Far)Playback: Kumail Nanjiani on 'The Big Sick' and the Need for Representation »

- Kristopher Tapley

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The New West: The Greatest Revisionist Westerns of All-Time

22 June 2017 5:48 AM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

The classical western exists as an ideal sandbox for stories of heroism, in which white hats can immediately separate our protagonists from the black-hatted antagonists. Occasionally, though, we have a revisionist western that questions and defies the well-trodden patriarchal confines of the genre, as if looking at an old image from a tilted perspective and finding something new.

Sometimes, the characters don’t fit into the dusty old boxes occupied by so many western heroes and heroines. The hero robs and kills to stay alive, frightened and overwhelmed by this strange, new frontier. Other times, the stereotypical Western landscape disappears, blanketed in snow. Horses drive their hooves through ice-covered puddles. Wind screams past bone-thin trees — manifest destiny frozen over, encasing the American dream in ice.

In the case of Sofia Coppola’s newest, The Beguiled, gender and power roles reverse: an injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell) turns up at a girl’s school, an arrival which breeds intense sexual tension and rivalry among the women (Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning). According to our review, the movie is “primarily based on the 1966 book by Thomas Cullinan,” and “appears, at first glance, to be a remake of Don Siegel’s 1971 film adaptation rather than any sort of new reading of the original text. Coppola, of course, is far too clever for that.”

In celebration of The Beguiled, we’ve decided to take a look at the finest examples of the revisionist western. Enjoy, and please include your own favorites in the comments.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik)

Robert Ford (Casey Affleck) idolized the legendary outlaw Jesse James (Brad Pitt), growing up hearing campfire stories about the man. Ford loved James so much that he eventually willed himself into the man’s life story. You cannot tell James’s story without also telling Ford’s. These two tragic lives are irrevocably linked by Ford’s betrayal. The film’s dryly antiseptic voiceover narration confides that Ford grew to regret his violent ways. The same goes for James, who at one point beats a child and then weeps into his horse’s neck, unable to live with his own deeds. While James’ propensity for violence is a deeply cut character flaw, Pitt plays the outlaw like an emotionally wounded teenager. His jovial sense of humor cloaks a vindictive and self-loathing interior. Whether Jesse James hurts himself or someone else, there is always a witness looking on with wide eyes. After James’ murder, Ford became a celebrity, touring the country reenacting the shooting. But Ford gained his prominence by killing a beloved folk hero. And so, one day, a man named Edward Kelly walked into Ford’s saloon with a shotgun and took revenge for James’s murder. Unlike the aftermath of Ford’s deed, people leapt to Kelly’s defense, collecting over 7000 signatures for a petition, leading to his pardon. America hated Robert Ford because he killed Jesse James. They loved Edward Kelly because he killed Robert Ford.

Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson (Robert Altman)

Robert Altman’s largely forgotten and often funny western about egotistical showman Buffalo Bill Cody (Paul Newman) treats its lead without respect, eagerly mocking him at every opportunity. Known across America as they best tracker of man and animals alive, Cody runs Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, a rodeo-like performance of cowboy-feats, ranging from simple rope tricks to the trick-shots of the legendary Annie Oakley. However, Cody is a fraud, a walking accumulation of lies and tall-tales. When Cody gets the chance to hire Chief Sitting Bull, the man who defeated General Custer at Little Big Horn, he’s thrilled, until Sitting Bull refuses to participate in his offensive show. Contrasted with phony Buffalo Bill Cody, Sitting Bull drips with dignified authenticity, totally uninterested in living up to the ignorant public’s racist image of his people. While the manufactured “reality” of Cody’s shows gets applause from white audiences, the stoic realness of Sitting Bull initially receives jeers, until something occurs to the crowd: this isn’t showmanship; this is the real thing. Later, when Cody and his gang form a posse, he hastily removes his show attire and searches through his wardrobe, cursing: “Where’s my real jacket?” So utterly consumed by his own public image, Cody can no longer locate his true self. Altman’s film is a rare western with a lead character who never succeeds, changes, or learns from his mistakes, always remaining a hopelessly pompous horse’s ass.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill)

As we meet the legendary Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) he’s scoping out a bank, recently renovated to include heavy iron bars over every window and bolted-locks on every door. He asks the guard what happened to the old bank, which displayed such architectural beauty. “People kept robbing it,” the guard says. “Small price to pay for beauty,” Butch replies. It’s a running theme in revisionist westerns to reveal the truth behind the legend. The changing times had rendered bandits on horseback obsolete. But Butch Cassidy and his partner, the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) didn’t see the end coming until the future was already upon them. After barely evading a super-posse (to use a term coined by screenwriter William Goldman) led by a ruthless bounty hunter, they escape to Bolivia with Etta (Katherine Ross) Sundance’s girl, where their criminal ways are similarly received. What began as a vacation away from their troubles slowly becomes a permanent getaway run, sowing seeds of inevitable tragedy. Etta sees what Butch and Sundance cannot: the end. “We’re not going home anymore, are we?” Etta tearfully asks Sundance, informing him that she has no plans to stick around to watch them die. George Roy Hill’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a tearful celebration of a pair of old dogs too foolish to learn new tricks.

Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch)

The gorgeous and haunting Dead Man opens with a soot-faced Crispin Glover trilling as he points out the window of a train: “They’re shooting buffalo,” he cries. “Government said, it killed a million of them last year alone.” The American machine greedily consumes the landscape, leaving smoldering devastation in its path, while a stone-faced accountant named William Blake (Johnny Depp) travels to the hellish town of Machine, where he’s promised a job. Unfortunately, there’s no job at the end of the line for this seemingly educated man, blissfully unaware of his namesake, the poet William Blake. After taking a bullet to the chest, Blake wanders this dying western landscape as if in a dream, guided by Nobody (Gary Farmer) a Native American raised in England after getting kidnapped and paraded around as a sideshow attraction for whites. At one point, Blake stumbles upon three hunters by a camp fire, one of which, played by Iggy Pop, wears a muddy dress and bonnet like a twisted schoolmarm. Writer-director Jim Jarmusch’s twist on the western (accompanied by Robby Müller’s flawless cinematography) hums with textured period detail and vivid costume design, the accumulation of which achieves an eerily stylized tone.

Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)

The spirit of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is in the sequence scored by Jim Croce’s “I’ve Got a Name.” Django (Jamie Foxx), now a free man, removes the old saddle from his horse’s back, a saddle originally procured by a white slaver, the animal’s previous owner. He then mounts in its place, his own saddle personalized with an embroidered D. His freedom is still new and unfamiliar but, Django is more than willing to grasp those reigns. What works best about the film is how Tarantino’s screenplay embraces the politics of the Antebellum South in a fashion carefully ignored by every other western of its time. The dialogue, Tarantino’s most applauded talent, wheels a careful turn between a sly comedy-of-manners and a bluntly provocative historical indictment, always landing on a shameless exploitation cinema influenced need for violent catharsis. Tarantino’s channeling of Spaghetti Western violence, with the gore cranked up to a level far beyond that of even Sergio Corbucci’s bloodiest work, delivers tenfold on that catharsis, splattering the pristine white walls of Candyland plantation bright red.

El Topo (Alejandro Jodorowsky)

Dripping with transgressive and bizarre imagery, El Topo embraces every taboo imaginable with a breathless zeal. Existing somewhere between Midnight Movie oddity and art-house epic, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s second feature envisions the west as an unknowable landscape, dotted with peculiar and grotesque characters, such as a legless gunfighter who rides around on the back of an armless man. Describing the film in narrative terms, beat by beat, would be pointless, although we follow a rider in black, the titular El Topo (which means The Mole) who crosses the desert with a naked boy on the saddle. Though we spend more time with El Topo, his son is the heart of the film, this warped and subversive pseudo-fable exploring the cyclical nature of life. Jodorowsky’s painterly eye for composition lends individual shots with arresting and breathtaking resonance. With less than subtle biblical imagery scattered throughout, including a marvelous sequence involving a religion based around the game of Russian Roulette, Jodorowsky’s film feels at times like a twisted celebration of mysticism, sampling notes from Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. It’s ending, a chaotic, dream-like burst of violence, adds a scathing gut-punch to an already overwhelming experience. There is no other western quite like El Topo, to say the least.

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- Tony Hinds

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Watch The Thrilling Trailer For Marshall Starring Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad And Kate Hudson

21 June 2017 10:42 PM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Witness the rise of the man who changed America. Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) is Thurgood Marshall.

Also starring Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown and James Cromwell, watch the exciting trailer now.

Such an dynamic trailer – with a fall season release date, expect to see awards buzz for such a powerful film. Acting, directing, writing, producing categories, including the technical categories for cinematography, costumes, hair and makeup, and production design, with score and song to round out the possible nominations.

Long before he sat on the United States Supreme Court or claimed victory in Brown v. Board of Education, Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) was a young rabble-rousing attorney for the NAACP. The new motion picture, Marshall, is the true story of his greatest challenge in those early days – a fight he fought alongside attorney Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), a young lawyer with no experience in criminal law: the case of black chauffeur Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), accused by his white employer, Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson), of sexual assault and attempted murder.

The film has a top notch production team.

Directed by Reginald Hudlin, Marshall is produced by Paula Wagner, Jonathan Sanger ( The Elephant Man, Vanilla Sky, Flight Of The Navigator), and Reginald Hudlin. It is written by Jake Koskoff and Michael Koskoff.

Hudlin co-produced the 88th Academy Awards ceremony in 2016 and was one of the producers of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture for the film.

Paula Wagner launched Cruise/Wagner Productions (C/W) with her former CAA client Tom Cruise. C/W went on to produce such critically acclaimed films as The Others, The Last Samurai, Vanilla Sky, Without Limits, Shattered Glass, Narc, Elizabethtown, and Ask the Dust, as well as Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds (which Wagner executive produced). C/W was responsible for the original Mission: Impossible film trilogy (Mission: Impossible 2 and Mission: Impossible III).

Open Road Films will release Marshall on October 13, 2017. Mark it on your calendar now.

Check out the film at it’s official site: http://www.marshallmovie.com/

The post Watch The Thrilling Trailer For Marshall Starring Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad And Kate Hudson appeared first on We Are Movie Geeks. »

- Michelle Hannett

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Cannes Winning Best Actor and Lanthimos' Quirky 'Family' Thriller Academy Award Chances?

20 June 2017 7:38 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

'120 Beats per Minute' trailer: Robin Campillo's AIDS movie features plenty of drama and a clear sociopolitical message. AIDS drama makes Pedro Almodóvar cry – but will Academy members tear up? (See previous post re: Cannes-Oscar connection.) In case France submits it to the 2018 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, screenwriter-director Robin Campillo's AIDS drama 120 Beats per Minute / 120 battements par minute, about the Paris Act Up chapter in the early 1990s, could quite possibly land a nomination. The Grand Prix (Cannes' second prize), international film critics' Fipresci prize, and Queer Palm winner offers a couple of key ingredients that, despite its gay sex scenes, should please a not insignificant segment of the Academy membership: emotionalism and a clear sociopolitical message. When discussing the film after the presentation of the Palme d'Or, Pedro Almodóvar (and, reportedly, jury member Jessica Chastain) broke into tears. Some believed, in fact, that 120 Beats per Minute »

- Steph Mont.

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Grindhouse’s Biggest Hits: See the Era’s Craziest Posters

19 June 2017 11:14 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Exploitation movies have been a staple of the film scene since the 1930s, and sleazy, risk-taking cinemas in New York City and other urban pockets reveled in screening these wild tales. Grindhouse titles encompass a litany of boundary-pushing genres, including Westerns, creature features, biker films, sex romps and Blaxploitation classics. While some lesser works haven’t stood the test of time from the ’70s and ’80s, many are bona-fide classics, including “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Pink Flamingos” and “Foxy Brown.”

Read More: ‘Blood Drive’ Trailer Revs Up for Gory Grindhouse Good Times — Watch

Repopularized by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s 2007 cult double feature “Grindhouse,” a new generation of genre enthusiasts have been intrigued by the aesthetic. One of the touchstones of these films are insane posters that tease viewers with promises of blood, gore, sex, nudity and badass characters. Whether hand-drawn or designed by a bold and creative graphic artist, »

- William Earl

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Wong Kar-wai to Receive 2017 Lumiere Award

19 June 2017 7:42 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Paris – Chinese filmmaker Wong Kar-wai will receive the Lumiere Award at the 9th edition of the heritage film festival set in Lyon, France, following in the footsteps of Martin Scorsese and Catherine Deneuve.

Run by French director Bertrand Tavernier and Cannes artistic chief Thierry Fremaux, the festival said it was paying tribute to Wong for “his unclassifiable films, each with countless flares of beauty, for the trace he is leaving upon cinema history, for all that is glorious and lingering in his work, for the neon lights of Hong Kong and the snows of Manchuria, and because, after all, dark glasses” – Wong’s trademark look – “are undeniably classy.”

The festival, organized by Lyon’s Institut Lumiere, added that Wong’s films, which include “Happy Together” and “Chungking Express,” have “reached beyond the circle of moviegoers and critics, attracting a public drawn to his search for the aesthetic and poetic.”

Wong »

- Elsa Keslassy

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The 25 Best Action Movies of the 21st Century, From ‘The Dark Knight’ to ‘Kill Bill’

16 June 2017 7:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Many films have great action, but that doesn’t necessarily make them action movies. In putting together this list, we leaned toward a more exclusive model that didn’t include films with their feet firmly planted in the drama or crime-thriller genres, as the idea of comparing “Zero Dark Thirty” to “Fast and the Furious” seemed like a futile exercise. Needless to say, there are a few movies that professed action movie fans may consider to be worthy of consideration for any survey of the best action movies, but they didn’t make the cut for our overview of the finest examples since 2000.

The following films have been excluded from this list not because of quality, but rather a desire to compare apples to apples: “Collateral,” “Gravity,” “The Revenant,” “Old Boy (2003),” and “Sicario.” Additionally, the following action films were disqualified purely based on the fact they appeared on our sci-fi »

- Chris O'Falt, Graham Winfrey and Kate Erbland

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A History Of Violence: Quentin Tarantino makes his one true action movie, and it’s glorious

15 June 2017 10:00 PM, PDT | avclub.com | See recent The AV Club news »

With A History Of Violence, Tom Breihan picks the most important action movie of every year, starting with the genre’s birth and moving right up to whatever Vin Diesel’s doing this very minute.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

Quentin Tarantino loves action movies. Quentin Tarantino’s characters love action movies. The history of action cinema, especially the history of cheap ’70s exploitation action cinema, is threaded through Tarantino’s entire filmography. It’s there in the way his camera quotes old scenes, in the way his characters speak fluently about movies, and in the posters that show up hanging on walls or the images that play on TV sets in the backgrounds of his shots. But Tarantino has only made one action movie. And, as it happens, it’s a masterpiece, one of the best of the century so far. He might be one and done, but the ...

»

- Tom Breihan

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Film Review: ‘Once Upon a Time in Venice’

15 June 2017 5:27 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Remember “Cop Out,” 2010’s less-than-momentous clash of the action-comic stylings of Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan? If the answer is “no,” you’d be entirely forgiven, yet Willis himself appears to regard it with some measure of fondness. That’s the most plausible explanation for his headlining presence in “Once Upon a Time in Venice,” a similarly negligible but rather more chaotic caper from Mark and Robb Cullen, the fraternal duo behind the “Cop Out” screenplay. Assuming directing as well as writing duties this time, the Cullens prove no heirs to the Coens as conductors of oddball underworld mayhem, with much of their glib quippery soured by gauche minority stereotyping. What scant charms this direct-to-video-style Nineties throwback has belong mostly to Willis, as a grizzled Venice Beach gumshoe juggling a number of shaggy-dog cases, chief among them the abduction of his own literal mutt. The back alleys of ancillary and streaming await. »

- Guy Lodge

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Netflix Original Movie Review: Shimmer Lake Is a Backwards Tour de Force

15 June 2017 10:07 AM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Told backwards, Shimmer Lake is the kind of crime drama that very much revels in keeping it's audience in the dark. There is no hand holding here. No re-explaining things that the audience might miss. This film, from first time director Oren Uziel, is the kind of calling card that has been used to launch careers, like that of Quentin Tarantino.

In order to describe this film, the plot must be kept deceptively simple. First of all, telling this story backwards only serves to underscore what we are seeing on screen. By dint of the fact that we want to know why a scene is starting the way that it is, and the shock we feel when it ends abruptly, is palpable throughout this entire film. Not only is this story told backwards, it is is also told over the course of a week. It follows a local sheriff trying »

- MovieWeb

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‘Blood Drive’ Review: You Won’t Believe The Sex and Violence Syfy’s Crazy Grindhouse Show Gets Away With

14 June 2017 3:48 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Here is the natural reaction to watching even just the first episode of “Blood Drive”: “This is seriously on ad-supported television?” Officially, Syfy isn’t subject to FCC rules, but what this weird-ass show gets away with goes well beyond anything you might have ever seen before.

At first, “Blood Drive” seems like a “Death Race 2000” riff with an important and bloody new angle, focusing on a cross-country car race across a dystopian America where all the cars are fueled by human blood.

Read More: Syfy Blows Up Its Brand, Orders ‘Krypton’ and ‘Happy!’ to Series As It Doubles Down on Genre

But the premise pushes well beyond that basic twist. Let’s be completely clear here: The guys at Starz Standards and Practices would probably watch “Blood Drive” and say to themselves, “This seems a little excessive.” Hell, Quentin Tarantino or John Waters might blush.

And that’s by design. »

- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘Blood Drive’ Review: You Won’t Believe The Sex and Violence Syfy’s Crazy Grindhouse Show Gets Away With

14 June 2017 3:48 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Here is the natural reaction to watching even just the first episode of “Blood Drive”: “This is seriously on ad-supported television?” Officially, Syfy isn’t subject to FCC rules, but what this weird-ass show gets away with goes well beyond anything you might have ever seen before.

At first, “Blood Drive” seems like a “Death Race 2000” riff with an important and bloody new angle, focusing on a cross-country car race across a dystopian America where all the cars are fueled by human blood.

Read More: Syfy Blows Up Its Brand, Orders ‘Krypton’ and ‘Happy!’ to Series As It Doubles Down on Genre

But the premise pushes well beyond that basic twist. Let’s be completely clear here: The guys at Starz Standards and Practices would probably watch “Blood Drive” and say to themselves, “This seems a little excessive.” Hell, Quentin Tarantino or John Waters might blush.

And that’s by design. »

- Liz Shannon Miller

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Interview: Alan Ritchson on Going Full Throttle into the Carnage & Comedy of Syfy’s Blood Drive Series

14 June 2017 1:11 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

Burning rubber on the small screen tonight is the first episode of Blood Drive, a new Syfy series that's both a lurid love letter to Roger Corman's Death Race movies and the gory, glorious drive-in days of old, while also making a mark with its own crimson-stained swagger. Taking place in a world circa 1999 where water is coveted above currency and violence is commonplace, Blood Drive is populated with intriguing characters looking to make it across the finish line in a cross-country race with a big prize and an even bigger penalty for losing. There is nothing else on television quite like Blood Drive, and with the series premiering tonight on Syfy at 10:00pm Et, I had the pleasure of speaking with lead actor Alan Ritchson about playing Arthur Bailey, a moral compass in a world gone mad.

Hi Alan, thanks for taking the time to talk. I've »

- Derek Anderson

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‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Contestant Corinne Olympios Hires Top Hollywood Lawyer, Claims ‘I Am a Victim’

14 June 2017 12:21 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

In the wake of the “Bachelor in Paradise” scandal that shut down production on the ABC series, contestant Corinne Olympios has hired top Hollywood lawyer Marty Singer, Variety has confirmed.

In a statement released to Variety, Olympios breaks her silence, saying: “I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened the night of June 4. Although I have little memory of that night, something bad obviously took place, which I understand is why production on the show has now been suspended and a producer on the show has filed a complaint against the production. As a woman, this is my worst nightmare and it has now become my reality. As I pursue the details and facts surrounding that night and the immediate days after, I have retained a group of professionals to ensure that what happened on June 4 comes to light and I can continue my life, including »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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