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Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
– The Hamptons International Film Festival (Hiff) has announced some of the Signature Programs for its 24th edition. Hiff announced a selection of films that will screen as part of the returning Conflict & Resolution and Compassion, Justice & Animal Rights programs. Hiff will also launch Air, Land, & Sea, a brand new section of the festival that focuses on global issues of environmental conservation, clean water, and the integrity of our planet’s natural resources, with an ocean-centric focus.
“Our Signature Programs help to elevate the content of the festival’s programming with films that continue to provide audiences with thought provoking material,” said David Nugent, Hiff Artistic Director. “Our hope with Air, Land, and Sea is for the festival to embrace the global discussion on environmental issues, and build »
- Kate Erbland
The 12 Years A Slave director will be presented with the honour at this year’s Lff awards ceremony.
Oscar-winning British film-maker Steve McQueen will be presented with a BFI Fellowship at this year’s BFI London Film Festival (October 5-16) awards ceremony.
Born in London, McQueen was a Turner Prize-winning artist before turning his hand to film-making. The award will be presented to the director in recognition of his feature films Hunger, Shame and 12 Years A Slave, all of which played at previous editions of the London Film Festival.
His 2013 biographical drama 12 Years A Slave received critical plaudits and won three Academy Awards from nine nominations, including Best Picture.
Steve McQueen commented “I first walked into the BFI library and cinema 28 years ago. To think that I will now be a Fellow and honorary »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom Grater)
Oscar-winning director-writer-producer Steve McQueen will receive the British Film Institute’s highest accolade, the BFI Fellowship, at the BFI London Film Festival’s awards ceremony Oct. 15 at London’s Banqueting House.
Josh Berger, chair of the BFI, said: “He is one of the most influential and important British artists of the past 25 years and his work, both short- and long-form, has consistently explored the endurance of humanity — even when it is confronted by inhumane cruelty — with a poetry and visual style that he has made his own.”
McQueen commented: “I first walked into the BFI library and cinema 28 years ago. To think that I will now be a fellow and honorary member, with such a distinguished list of people, is mind-blowing. I’m humbly honored.”
The BFI Fellowship is being awarded to McQueen “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film culture,” showcased in his range of artworks and three multi-award-winning features, »
- Leo Barraclough
A poster has arrived online for writer-director Neil Johnson’s upcoming sci-fi thriller The Time War. The film is narrated by the late British screen legend Christopher Lee in one of his final roles and also stars Tracey Birdsall (Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter) and Barry Corbin (WarGames); take a look below…
The Time War fixes on the thrilling, entertaining scenario that imagines Adolf Hitler travelling back in time and rewriting history.
- Amie Cranswick
Arrow Video has now given horror fans several big reasons to look forward to November, as they will keep the scary spirits alive post-Halloween with Us / UK Blu-ray releases of The Initiation and The Driller Killer, a Us Blu-ray / DVD release of C.H.U.D., and a UK Blu-ray / DVD release of Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf.
From Arrow Video’s official Facebook page: “New Us Title Announcement: C.H.U.D Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD
The ultimate underground movie experience
North American Blu-ray pre-order link should be live soon!
They’Re Not Staying Down There, Anymore!
In downtown Manhattan, a police captain’s hunt for his missing wife leads to the discovery of a series of mysterious disappearances in the area. »
- Derek Anderson
★★★☆☆ There are few who now remember the Count Yorga films, loose, modern reworkings of Dracula. Both films were modestly successful on their 1970 and 1971 releases despite their slip into relative obscurity. Beating both the 70s blaxploitation classic Blacula and Hammer's own funky Dracula, A.D. 1972 to the screen by two years, Bob Kelljan's Count Yorga, Vampire is a creaky but charming entry into the genre, headed by a charismatic lead turn by Robert Quarry. Where Lugosi's Dracula was all cool, aristocratic power, and Christopher Lee's blood-lust and rage, Quarry's Count is defined by his sneer, curling his lip at the mortals hovering around him, cowing them into submission with his self- satisfied intellect.
- CineVue UK
Probably the last creditable Dracula sequel and one of the better Hammer productions of the period, despite the fact that the vampire Count himself was a late addition to the mix. Ralph Bates as the fiendish Lord Courtley was intended to take over the reins from Christopher Lee as the continuing menace but the Us distributor insisted on Lee returning to star. »
- TFH Team
Two-time Tony Award nominee Joshua Henry (“The Scottsboro Boys,” “Violet”) is the latest name to be announced in the casting of Chicago’s most anticipated fall theater production. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton,” which begins performances at the PrivateBank Theatre Sept. 27, will be led by Henry as Aaron Burr. Read: “Joshua Henry Bares His Soul in ‘Violet’ ” The actor (who worked with Miranda in the original Broadway production of “In the Heights”) just completed the Broadway run of George C. Wolfe’s “Shuffle Along,” originating the role of Noble Sissle. He joins previously announced “Hamilton” Chicago cast members Karen Olivo as Angelica Schuyler, Miguel Cervantes as Alexander Hamilton, Ari Afsar as Eliza Hamilton, Chris Lee as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Jose Ramos as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, Wallace Smith as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison, Samantha Marie Ware as Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds, and Alexander Gemignani as King George III. »
Gloria DeHaven, star of countless classic MGM musicals of the 1940s and ’50s, died Saturday at age 91, TheWrap has learned. According to her daughter, Faith Fincher-Finkelstein, DeHaven suffered a stroke about three months ago and passed on Saturday while in hospice care in Las Vegas, surrounded by family. DeHaven was one of the few stars remaining from Hollywood’s Golden Age of film, when no problem couldn’t by solved be tap dancing through it and every broken heart could be healed with a song. Also Read: Emmys Obit Segment Neglects 'Batman' Star Yvonne Craig, Christopher Lee and »
- Rosemary Rossi
Waving goodbye to I, Ball 2 we look to the future, crossing our fingers and hoping that our next title in the Your Sinclair Top 100 will be something quite frankly brilliant. Then to see that we have real life British music, film and television greats involved in our next release it can only mean that No.#34 must be great…right!? Then in enters Deus Ex Machina from Automata UK.
Deus Ex Machina was created by Mel Croucher, Andrew Stagg in 1984; this highly-original game starts in the final bowel movements of a dead mouse, and following this we see the fertilisation, gestation, birth, life and subsequent death of a human being (here known as a defect) within the Machine. The game was “played” to a rather excellent recorded musical narration of numerous stars which included Jon Pertwee, Ian Dury and Frankie Howerd amongst others.
I highlighted “played” above as in truth Deus Ex Machina »
"You will unite, or you will fall." The first film in the beloved Lord of the Rings trilogy first hit theaters December of 2001, nearly 15 years ago. To celebrate the anniversary, Miguel Branco edited together a brand new trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and it's rather wonderful. This is one of my all-time favorite films (only topped by The Return of the King) and I still remember seeing it in theaters on a cold, snowy night in December. Elijah Wood stars as Frodo, with Sean Astin as Samwise, and Ian McKellen as Gandalf; including Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, John Rhys-Davies, Liv Tyler, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, and many others. This trailer should make you smile, and put a tear in your eye. Hard to believe it has been 15 years. Here's the fan-made 15th anniversary trailer for The Lord of the Rings »
- Alex Billington
In keeping with the last wishes of his dear friend Sir Christopher Lee, actor, producer, 70mm camera operator, film authority extraordinaire, adventurer, stunt man and now distributor Douglas Dunning is announcing that Jinnah, the film that he licensed to Turner Classic Movies (TCM), which stars his late friend Sir Christopher Lee, will have its world …
- Jonathan Stryker
There's nothing more earnest than an English national epic, and this is a valiant expedition that becomes a low-key disaster. Told straight and clean, it's a primer on how to behave in the face of doom. Scott of the Antarctic Region B Blu-ray Studiocanal (UK) 1948 / Color / 1:37 Academy / 110 min. / Street Date June 6, 2016 / Available from Amazon UK £ 14.99 Starring John Mills, Derek Bond, Harold Warrender, James Robertson Justice, Kenneth More, Reginald Beckwith. Cinematography Osmond Borradaile, Jack Cardiff, Geoffrey Unsworth Editor Peter Tanner Original Music Vaughan Williams Written by Walter Meade, Ivor Montagu, Mary Hayley Bell Produced by Michael Balcon Directed by Charles Frend
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
English film companies fell on hard times during the postwar austerity period. But the relatively small Ealing Studios maintained its creative underdog brand even after it was taken over by Rank, and is still celebrated for wartime greats like Went the Day Well?, the singular masterpiece Dead of Night, »
- Glenn Erickson
“Written as a melodrama, shot as a musical by the director, and won the science fiction award of the year.” This is the confounding summary of The Wicker Man, the British cult classic that has inspired multiple generations of horror and mystery filmmakers and took the ‘outsider-enters-a-small-town-with-strange-goings-on’ to horrifying extremes in ways that reminded us “shocks are so much better absorbed with the knees bent.”
A Mark Kermode-hosted, behind-the-scenes documentary from 2001 has now surfaced that dives into the making of the beloved cult classic, with eerie footage of locations and a multitude of retrospective interviews from cast and crew, and pre-production photos and videos, including iconic imagery of the wicker man himself.
Titled Burnt Offering: The Cult of the Wicker Man, the special gives insight into how some of The Wicker Man’s chilling choices were made, including scraping the idea for a face on the titular, massive figure »
- Mike Mazzanti
Director of the eerily unsettling horror film The Wicker Man
The director Robin Hardy, who has died aged 86, made only one film of note. But as this was The Wicker Man (1973), which terrified audiences without showing so much as a drop of blood being spilt, his place in British cinema history was always going to be assured. It tells the story of a puritanical Christian policeman (Edward Woodward) who visits an island off the coast of Scotland after reports that a young girl has gone missing. He is shocked to find his investigation impeded by the community, which is steeped in rituals and paganism. The chilling purpose of their secrecy is finally revealed in one of the great twist endings of all time.
Even before that pay-off, Hardy had sustained expertly an atmosphere of unsettling eeriness, in which the root of the unease could never quite be pinpointed. Count Dracula himself, »
- Ryan Gilbey
Robin Hardy, the filmmaker who brought us The Wicker Man has died at the age of 86. Hardy only directed three movies during his career, but The Wicker Man, his debut, is one of the most regarded and impactful of the last 50 years.
The Wicker Man starred Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee and revolved around a police sergeant who is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed.
Hardy followed up The Wicker Man with The Fantasist in 1986, thirteen years after the release of his groundbreaking masterpiece, and then made The Wicker Tree in 2011. He intended to follow-up that movie with a third film in the ‘Wicker’ series as a tribute to the late, great Christopher Lee.
Rest in piece Robin, and thank you for the movies. »
- Paul Heath
Simon Brew Jul 3, 2016
Film director Robin Hardy has died at the age of 86, it's been confirmed. Hardy may have only made three feature films across his career (he was a novelist too), but heck, one of them was really something incredibly special.
For Hardy made his directorial debut with 1973's The Wicker Man, the hugely influential horror that's regarded by many as one of the best in the genre of all time (Sir Christopher Lee called it his favourite of all the films he made). Hardy would, in 2011, direct The Wicker Tree, and had plans to make a third movie in the series, as a tribute to Sir Christopher Lee.
Hardy also helmed The Fantasist in 1986, that he also wrote.
“Come. It is time to keep your appointment with the Wicker Man”.
Christopher Lee claimed The Wicker Man (1973) was the greatest film he was ever part of. For good reasons, as this is one of the most unusual and original cinematic masterpieces ever brought to screen and an absolute must-see for everybody interested in movies. The unique greatness of The Wicker Man combines elements from a variety of genres; Horror, Thriller, Mystery, Fantasy, Drama, and even Musical, but it cannot really be limited to one particular genre. Scottish police sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) is called by an anonymous letter to investigate the disappearance of a young girl on the remote Scottish island Summerisle. Upon his arrival, nobody seems to have ever heard of the girl. The deeply religious Sergeant Howie, however, is shocked to find out that the residents of the island, above all the sophisticated but mysterious Lord Summerisle »
- Tom Stockman
Born in Surrey, England in 1929, Hardy began his career as a director with the National Film Board of Canada before making his feature debut with The Wicker Man, which starred Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward and has went on to become one of the most celebrated British films of all time.
Following The Wicker Man, Hardy made just two more features: the 1986 thriller The Fantasist, and 2011’s Wicker Man companion piece The Wicker Tree, and for the past couple of years he had also been trying to get another follow-up, Wrath of the Gods, off the ground. Sadly that will now never see the light of day.
- Gary Collinson
He died on Friday, his wife, Victoria, confirmed in a Facebook post.
“The Wicker Man” was Hardy’s feature film directorial debut, and one of only three that he would direct during his lifetime. The 1973 horror mystery tells the story of a police sergeant named Howie (Edward Woodward) who goes to the fictional island Summerisle to search for a missing girl. Christopher Lee and Diane Cilento also star.
Hardy would go on to write and direct the follow-up, “The Wicker Tree” which was released in 2011. Before that, we also directed the 1986 thriller “The Fantasist” and wrote the screenplay for the 1989 mystery “Forbidden Sun.”
In Variety‘s review of the 1973 film, the critic wrote, “… for sheer imagination and near-terror, [“The Wicker Man”] has seldom been equalled. In 2015, Hardy said he planned to make a third “Wicker Man” film as a tribute to its star, »
- Seth Kelley
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