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No matter what variety of cinephile you might be, it’s pretty damn hard to settle on a favorite Jack Nicholson performance from his golden run in the late '60s to the early '70s. Some swear by his crazed, magnificent turn as mental patient Randall P. McMurphy in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Next,” while others may be partial to his reefer-mad, conspiracy-spouting lawyer in the seminal outlaw flick “Easy Rider.” My personal pick would have to be Nicholson’s pitch-perfect turn as private dick Jake Gittes in Roman Polanski’s immortal “Chinatown,” but there’s no denying the power and magnetism that he exhibited in “Five Easy Pieces,” the 1970 film for which Nicholson was deservedly nominated for his first Oscar (he lost, but ended up taking one home five years later for his stellar work in 'Cuckoo’s Next'). Bob Rafelson’s drama, about a hard-living »
- Nicholas Laskin
'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl': Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow. 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' review: Mostly an enjoyable romp (Oscar Movie Series) Pirate movies were a Hollywood staple for about three decades, from the mid-'20s (The Sea Hawk, The Black Pirate) to the mid-to-late '50s (Moonfleet, The Buccaneer), when the genre, by then mostly relegated to B films, began to die down. Sporadic resurrections in the '80s and '90s turned out to be critical and commercial bombs (Pirates, Cutthroat Island), something that didn't bode well for the Walt Disney Company's $140 million-budgeted film "adaptation" of one of their theme-park rides. But Neptune's mood has apparently improved with the arrival of the new century. He smiled – grinned would be a more appropriate word – on the Gore Verbinski-directed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, »
- Andre Soares
As I reflected upon the importance of the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival on the occasion of its 50th edition, which opens with Oren Moverman’s “Time Out of Mind,” starring Richard Gere, I toyed with the idea of detailing what I’ve learned about film festivals, their audiences, filmmakers, the international film business and more in my years attending the festival. Since that would fill a book, I’ve carved that down to five eye-opening moments.
I first attended Karlovy Vary in 1994, shortly after it became a private business enterprise led by the great Czech actor Jiri Bartoska; the current fest team, including artistic consultant Eva Zaoralova, artistic director Karel Och and executive director Krystof Mucha, has consistently been aces at programming and organization.
I’ve had the pleasure of attending what one travel book deemed “the party of the year in the Czech Republic” a dozen times since »
- Steven Gaydos
It may seem unusual for a renowned film director to suddenly switch mediums and helm an opera, but such a thing has happened a number of times before: for example, Woody Allen has directed Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” for the Los Angeles Opera; legendary Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has helmed Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” for the Aix-en-Provence Festival; Julie Taymor has directed Mozart's "The Magic Flute" for the Metropolitan Opera in New York, as well as the Broadway musical adaptations of "The Lion King" and "Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark"; Roman Polanski has helmed Verdi's “Rigoletto” for the Bavarian State Opera; William Friedkin has directed a version of Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck”; and Werner Herzog has helmed a number of Wagner productions including “Doktor Faust,” “The Flying Dutchman” and “Parsifal”. Read More: Terry Gilliam: My Life In Eight Movies Terry Gilliam is among this elite group, »
- Timothy Tau
Edinburgh: Scottish actor gives talk about 22-year acting career including new role as Jesus in Last Days In The Desert.
Ewan McGregor revealed to an audience at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (Eiff) on Sunday that he would be willing to reprise the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi to tell the story of Stars Wars between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back should Disney ever wish to do so.
The comments came during an on-stage interview in which the Scottish star looked back over the highlights of his career thus far and chose his words carefully on the subject of the forthcoming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
The actor seemed not to be the most rabid of fanboys and declared: “I’m not a fanatical person.”
Still, he said he was impressed by the trailer - “It looks like [Jj Abrams] he absolutely nailed it” - except for the lightsaber’s updated design.
“I’m excited »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
Christian Friedel's Everyman Elser in 13 MinutesThe Berlinale would not be the Berlinale without its annual Nazifilm in competition, and last year’s WWII melodrama, The Monuments Men, was yet another testimony to the genre’s narrative fatigue: The GIs having had already cinematically liberated the Jews, the Gypsys, the Homosexuals, Europe, the World and even the Germans from themselves, are filmed fighting to save one final victim—European Art (bypassing the slightly uncomfortable and paradoxical snag that what they were laboring to save were the artifacts of same European civilization which birthed the eugenics, nationalism, and fascism that were the pillars of Nazi ideology).This year’s Nazi drama, 13 Minutes, was no less wearied. Based on Johann Georg Elser’s failed assassination attempt of Hitler and the German high command in 1939 at the very same Munich beer hall where Hitler’s putsch had failed 16 years earlier, 13 Minutes mythologizes Elser »
- Yaron Dahan
Heart of Glass: Costanzo’s Uncomfortable, Emotional Glance at Madness
Must every cinematic portrait of mental illness be ‘illuminating?’ Your answer to that question may gauge your reaction to Italian director Sergio Costanzo’s New York set domestic horror film, Hungry Hearts, a film best walked into cold. Ambiguity reigns supreme, and for those enjoying a feeling of befuddlement, a rarity in the contemporary cinematic landscape of political correctness, may find Costanzo’s adaptation of Marco Franzoso’s novel a winning concoction. Drawing comparisons to early works by Roman Polanski in how it swiftly throws an unraveling relationship drama into the domestic level of hell, the film instead recalls an era when allowances were made for cinematic representation of strange behaviors and dysfunctional relationships. Surprisingly odd, yet leaving us, roughly, with the feeling of being slapped, perhaps by today’s standards the film can best be understood as the anti-romcom, »
- Nicholas Bell
By: Jay Dyer
Some of these will be obvious, but are there insights in certain lesser-known films that shed light on real-world conspiracies? My list will exclude all things alien, since I’m of the opinion the alien agenda is largely a bunch of bunk. In selecting my favorites, I’ve tried to balance quality with subject matter, as some films may have a great concept with poor execution. If you missed any of these or if they’re long-forgotten films you halfway watched with that sexy date 15 years ago, I recommend giving them a new look.
10.Conspiracy Theory. 1997. Director Richard Donner has Mel Gibson as the tinfoil hat nutball seeking to uncover the truth about his own past. Ultimately the film details the actual Mkultra program, with Captain Picard as the handler.
9. V for Vendetta. 2005. A Wachowski brothers work, V initiates Eve into the realities of the establishment’s corruption. »
- Jay Dyer
Of all the many Shakespearean plays in existence, Macbeth is undoubtedly one of the most cinematically inclined. Taking place in the wild and dangerous moors of medieval Scotland, the play was practically made for the big screen with its scenes of war and encounters with witches.
Naturally, Macbeth has been made into a movie more than once, adapted by such directing legends as Roman Polanski and Orson Welles. This time, it’s Australian director Justin Kurzel’s turn to take the helm, casting awards favourites Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth respectively.
The classic tale is one of ambition and madness, and the interconnected nature of both. If somehow you managed to miss out in high school, the plot follows ambitious war campaigner Macbeth who, after hearing a prophecy from a trio of witches, makes it his goal to become king. Of course, this involves killing the existing king, »
- Amanda Wood
“What’s done cannot be undone” – Lady Macbeth (Act V, Scene I)
The dark and thrilling first trailer is here for MacBeth.
MacBeth is directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown) and stars Academy-Award nominee Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave) and Academy-Award winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose). The film also stars Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum), David Thewlis (the Harry Potter series), Sean Harris (Prometheus), Jack Reynor (What Richard Did) and Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby).
MacBeth is the story of a fearless warrior and inspiring leader brought low by ambition and desire. A thrilling interpretation of the dramatic realities of the times and a reimagining of what wartime must have been like for one of Shakespeare’s most famous and compelling characters, a story of all-consuming passion and ambition, set in war torn Scottish landscape.
The film had its World Premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and was the »
- Michelle McCue
A celebration of film and television music was once again at the heart of Krakow’s Film and Music Festival, now in its eighth year.
Running from May 27-31, the event brought together more than 58 international composers - including Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love, Mon Roi), Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones), Jeff Beal (House of Cards), John Lunn (Downton Abbey) and Trevor Morris (The Borgias, The Tudors) – for a culmination of performances, panels and master classes.
“Composers are not often given the attention they deserve,” said Artistic Director Robert Piaskowski. “So we wanted to create a space that presents film music as art, and where audiences can come and appreciate a score’s symphonic sounds.”
Piaskowski is not alone in his interests. The festival now aligns itself as the start of the season, with similar musical events taking place in Tenerife and Cordoba in July and Vienna and Gent (that also hosts the World Soundtrack Awards) in October »
Read More: The 12 Indies to Watch on VOD This May: 'Maggie,' Good Kill' and More"Hungry Hearts" (June 5)The psychological drama from writer-director Saverio Costanzo stars "Girls" Emmy-nominee Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher as a young married couple in New York City who engage in a fateful struggle over the life of their newborn child. As the mother's increasingly nightmarish child rearing practices take center stage, the husband is forced into an emotional ringer as the film evokes the classic slow-burn thrillers of Roman Polanski and Alfred Hitchcock. The leads won the Coppa Volpi Awards (Best Actor/Actress Awards) at the Venice Film Festival last year. Driver has also delivered impressive performances in indies such as "Inside Llewyn Davis" and "While We're Young," and the opportunity to go full blown dramatic should make for his best acting showcase yet. "The Nightmare" (June 5)Following up »
- Zack Sharf
I’ve known Amsterdam-based, San Francisco-bred, Jennifer Lyon Bell ever since we met over half a decade ago at Brooklyn’s much beloved Monkey Town — back when a Diy, Williamsburg performance space could afford to host a Sunday brunch for CineKink Film Festival award winners. (Bell’s Matinée took the Best Narrative Short prize, while Un Piede di Roman Polanski, an homage to Roman Polanski’s foot fetish I co-directed with Roxanne Kapista, nabbed Best Experimental Short.) Since then Bell’s films have been both banned (Matinée from the Melbourne Underground Film Festival by the Australian Film Commission in 2009) and celebrated, most recently […] »
- Lauren Wissot
A few summers ago, my friend Saul and I formed a covers band with several of our friends that would sing Manson Family songs onstage a couple of times. The first time we did it, we unwittingly joined the cottage industry of people who imitate or portray the love and terror cult. Even though Manson has appeared as a character in everything from B-movie exploitation films – there’s a whole Manson-inspired subgenre – to the works of National Book Award winners, via an opera, a German musical and a novelization of Columbo, I’m often amazed at the running for best Manson Family impersonators – not only how insurmountable the Fat White Manson Family’s lead appears to be, but how the competition can be so weak. »
- Lewis Parker
Transmission will launch the film shot in England and Scotland in Pctober Australia and The Weinstein Co will distribute in the Us.
.Although tradition is upheld with a Dark Ages-Early Christian period setting, actually shot in Scotland for once, in most other respects Australian director Justin Kurzel filters Shakespeare's tragic story of murderous ambition through a resolutely modern sensibility,. declared The Hollywood Reporter.s Leslie Felperin. .Comparisons with Game of Thrones will be inevitable, and not always flatteringly intended, »
- Don Groves
— Festival de Cannes (@Festival_Cannes) May 23, 2015
Certainly, in the more than 400 years since its first publication, it has been one of the most frequently adapted; revived regularly on stage and re-envisioned time and again in the age of cinema and television.
In his review, Guy Lodge (Variety) praises the director’s “thrillingly elemental new adaptation. Fearsomely visceral and impeccably performed, it’s a brisk, bracing update, even as it remains exquisitely in period.”
- Michelle McCue
Cannes — This Scottish General is a mad warrior. He takes down one victim after another, seemingly fueled by an endless stream of rage. He applies war paint to the faces of his teenage soldiers and throws them onto the battlefield, eventually haunted by their wasted deaths. Constant war has made Macbeth a man on the edge of madness, and that’s exactly what director Justin Kurzel wants to exploit in his stylistic new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic play. One of Shakespeare’s most acclaimed creations, “Macbeth” has been adapted as a film or TV film at least 15 times in some form or another, with the most notable interpretations coming from Orson Wells, Roman Polanski and Akira Kurosawa (“Throne of Blood”). Kurzel differentiates his predecessors by incorporating a striking and gritty aesthetic to the proceedings while also abridging the story to allow for a shorter movie-going experience. (Polanski’s »
- Gregory Ellwood
Reviewing Macbeth in Cannes, Variety's Guy Lodge notes that "while Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet get dusted off at least once a generation by filmmakers, the Scottish Play hasn’t enjoyed significant bigscreen treatment since Roman Polanski’s admirable if tortured 1971 version. The wait for another may be even longer after Justin Kurzel’s scarcely improvable new adaptation." The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw: "As Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard are a dream-team pairing." And at Indiewire, Kaleem Aftab praises "the magnificent cinematography by Adam Arkapaw." We've got clips and we're collecting more reviews. » - David Hudson »
Show people may superstitiously refuse to call Macbeth anything other than "the Scottish play," but the producers of this latest film version have lucked out by assembling cast and crew elements that make for an intensely compelling work. Although tradition is upheld with a Dark Ages-Early Christian period setting, actually shot in Scotland for once (unlike the 1971 Roman Polanski version), in most other respects Australian director Justin Kurzel (Snowtown) filters Shakespeare's tragic story of murderous ambition through a resolutely modern sensibility. Comparisons with Game of Thrones will be inevitable, and not always flatteringly intended, but they won't
- Leslie Felperin
As the shortest, sharpest and most stormily violent of William Shakespeare’s tragedies, “Macbeth” may be the most readily cinematic: The swirling mists of the Highlands, tough to fabricate in a theater, practically rise off the printed page. So it’s odd that, while “Romeo and Juliet” and “Hamlet” get dusted off at least once a generation by filmmakers, the Scottish Play hasn’t enjoyed significant bigscreen treatment since Roman Polanski’s admirable if tortured 1971 version. The wait for another may be even longer after Justin Kurzel’s scarcely improvable new adaptation: Fearsomely visceral and impeccably performed, it’s a brisk, bracing update, even as it remains exquisitely in period. Though the Bard’s words are handled with care by an ideal ensemble, fronted by Michael Fassbender and a boldly cast Marion Cotillard, it’s the Australian helmer’s fervid sensory storytelling that makes this a Shakespeare pic for the »
- Guy Lodge
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