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Quirky is possibly the best word to describe Emma Thompson‘s BAFTA Screenwriters’ Lecture, hilariously delivered tonight in London. It included a physical demonstration of her writing process; pearls of wisdom shared with the filmmaker attendees; and an anecdote about how a period sketch she wrote featuring a Victorian-era virgin encountering a penis led to her penning Sense And Sensibility.
The event, a Thompson-directed variation on a regular series of screenwriter conversations, continued a mini-season of high-wattage names visiting the British Academy, which started with James Schamus on Thursday and David Fincher on Friday. And Thompson tapped her acting and sketch comedy background to give the sell-out crowd a good show.
She was already on stage as the audience started filing in, dressed down in denim overalls and a thick navy coat so that few noticed her at first. She sat barefoot at a tiny writing desk, and in between scribbling on a notepad, »
- Joe Utichi, Special To Deadline
Emma Thompson discussed her screenwriting process, differences between the genders and her appreciation for Clint Eastwood and Billy Wilder at a BAFTA and BFI screenwriters lecture in London on Saturday night. Eastwood has always been "a great hero" of hers, she said. "I grew up on westerns." Since she grew up watching them with her father every night, she said "I was very much influenced by that form." Speaking at the BFI Southbank location, she recalled when she won an Oscar for her work in Howards End (1992), while Eastwood won for Unforgiven. She said the actor put his
- Georg Szalai
There are thrillers, there is film noir, there are procedurals and then there's Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity." His smoldering adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novella set the bar for all the aforementioned genres, with enough heat and sexual tension for two movies. And if you need a reminder of just how good this film is, let William Friedkin tell you. The director, along with a handful of other film experts and writers, take viewers through the making of the movie in this 42-minute documentary "Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity: A Look Back." It's a great examination of the path the film took, from serialized story to landing on Wilder's desk. It also gets into the film's ending, which differs from the book, and elaborates on an alternate finale that wasn't used. If you don't know that piece of film lore, we won't spoil it here, but it's fascinating stuff. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Diplomacy director Volker Schlöndorff with Anne-Katrin Titze at Lincoln Center on Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man: "Actually, I always compared Niels Arestrup to Philip Seymour Hoffman." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
At the 2014 Telluride Film Festival, Volker Schlöndorff was awarded the Silver Medallion and Diplomacy (Diplomatie), starring Niels Arestrup and André Dussollier was screened, as well as Billy, How Did You Do It? (Billy Wilder, Wie Haben Sie's Gemacht?) and Baal starring Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In New York, we discussed his adaptations from The Tin Drum by Günter Grass to Cyril Gely's play Diplomatie and dubbing Dustin Hoffman in German with Otto Sander in Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman. Working with Sam Shepard on Voyager, Arestrup's correspondence with Philip Seymour Hoffman in Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man, Bertrand Tavernier's The French Minister and Ralph Fiennes' Max Frisch desires are explored.
Anne-Katrin Titze: As far as adaptations are concerned, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Night Will Fall, 2014.
Directed by André Singer.
Documentary exploring the cameramen, and the footage caught, showing the liberation of concentration camps in 1945. This footage was due to create a documentary, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey (due to be released for the first time this year).
It is difficult to digest the truth behind the Holocaust. The pictures in books, reconstructions and cinematic depiction of the events seem to detach us from the truth. It can feel like a nightmare that exists only in dreams and on screens. Night Will Fall manages to directly connect the nature of the truth in documentary with the horrors witnessed in 1945. Director André Singer (Producer of The Act of Killing and Into the Abyss) connects them in a manner that sharply forces history into focus. The collective efforts to murder a group of people by a brainwashed militia, »
- Simon Columb
While the City Sleeps: Gyllenhaal Gets His Money Shot in Gilroy’s Debut
You’ll be hard pressed to find a more enjoyably witty criticism of modern exploitative media tactics taken to a new extreme than Dan Gilroy’s viciously adept directorial debut, Nightcrawler. Humanity’s morbid curiosity with the grisly, disturbing, and depraved happenings in the world around us has long tainted the art of journalism and mass media, and has thus been depicted for ages already in the cinema. Gilroy’s film owes as much to Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole (1951) as it does Sidney Lumet’s Network (1976), upping the action ante with the growing Gilroy stamp (his brother directed Michael Clayton and the last Bourne film). And yet, it’s an excitingly well written dark hearted treatise with a vitriolic little statement all its own, a glorious new love letter to the seedy underside of Los Angeles, »
- Nicholas Bell
Honorary Oscar Non-Winners: Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich among dozens of women who never took home Academy’s Honorary Award (photo: Honorary Oscar non-winner Gloria Swanson in ‘Sunset Blvd.’) (See previous post: "Honorary Oscars: Doris Day, Danielle Darrieux Snubbed.") This post basically consists of a long, long list. Some of the names found below were huge in their day, but are now all but forgotten. Yet, just because most people (and the media) suffer from long-term — and even medium-term — memory loss while eagerly opting to ignore the relevance of the past, that doesn’t make the women listed below any less deserving of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Honorary Award. So, as for the distinguished female film professionals in Hollywood and elsewhere who have passed away without receiving an Honorary Oscar for their body of work — most of whom without having ever won a competitive Academy Award — were actresses Gloria Swanson, »
- Andre Soares
But 1978's Fedora, made by Wilder nearly 30 years later — again starring William Holden — does show evidence of the bitterness Meyer alluded to; it could have been made by Norma Desmond. Holden stars as an aging producer fallen on hard times who hopes to revisit his past by luring a reclusive former star, the supposedly fabulous Fedora (Marthe Keller) out of retirement.
Throughout the summer, an admin on the r/movies subreddit has been leading Reddit users in a poll of the best movies from every year for the last 100 years called 100 Years of Yearly Cinema. The poll concluded three days ago, and the list of every movie from 1914 to 2013 has been published today.
Users were asked to nominate films from a given year and up-vote their favorite nominees. The full list includes the outright winner along with the first two runners-up from each year. The list is mostly a predictable assortment of IMDb favorites and certified classics, but a few surprise gems have also risen to the top of the crust, including the early experimental documentary Man With a Movie Camera in 1929, Abel Gance’s J’Accuse! in 1919, the Fred Astaire film Top Hat over Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in 1935, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing over John Ford’s »
- Brian Welk
Watch the trailer for the documentary about the making of a remarkable and harrowing film: the 1945 study of the Nazi death camps as they were liberated by Allied forces. Despite the involvement of such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder, Memory of the Camps (aka F3080) was shelved by the British and Us governments, and only rediscovered in the 1980s. Night Will Fall, directed by André Singer, outlines the story behind Memory of the Camps, and is released in the UK on 19 September Continue reading »
- Guardian Staff
Catching up on news & noteworthy we didn't cover the past couple of days...
Vanity Fair the details of the Brangelina marriage that we know. I'm really so happy for them as a longtime fan but...
Time knocks them for not keeping their promise to the gays. I knew this backlash would happen. But they did hold out a long time and they've done so much good for the world including for marriage equality that I think we should let it slide
Gawker asks the intriguing question: "Why is Angelina Jolia a movie star?"
Some of her movies have been well-received acting vehicles. Some of her movies have been gargantuan commercial products. There is no place where those circles overlap on the Venn diagram.
It's worth pondering her atypical celebrity.
Absolute Must Read!
/bent has a fascinating long essay about HBO, Game of Thrones, and the distinct feeling that TV »
- NATHANIEL R
Here's a fun fact about Bill Hader you might not know: he's a major film buff. Yep, the "Saturday Night Live" veteran likes his Criterion Collection movies as much as the next cinephile. His knowledge rolls pretty deep, and now he's sharing his love of cinema in a unique way. Inside the book "Poking A Dead Frog: Conversations With Today’s Top Comedy Writers" by Mike Sacks, Hader provides his list of 200 movies every comedy writer should see. Yes, you'll see the usual staples from folks like Woody Allen, the Marx Brothers, Mel Brooks, and Charlie Chaplin, but there are some nice, not so obvious picks too. Billy Wilder's scathing "Ace In The Hole" notches a spot, as do Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" and Robert Altman's "Nashville." So now the big question: how many have you seen? Here's all 200, let us know in the comments section. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The Telluride Film Festival (Aug 29 - Sept 1) has revealed the line-up for its 41st edition, packed with films tipped for awards season.
The festival will include 85 features, short films and revivals representing 28 countries, along with special artist tributes, conversations, panels and education programmes.
There are also several titles that picked up prizes in Cannes earlier this year including Foxcatcher, which won Bennett Miller best director; Russian drama Leviathan, winner of best screenplay; Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, which saw Timothy Spall win best actor; and jury prize winner Mommy from Xavier Dolan.
The 50 Year Argument (d. Martin Scorsese, [link »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Mixing high-profile star power with offbeat titles, the 41st Telluride Film Festival is offering an impressive glimpse at an array of awards contenders over Labor Day weekend.
The four-day fest, which starts Friday with a tribute to Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” includes the first showings of Reese Witherspoon’s “Wild,” Benedict Cumberbatch’s “The Imitation Game,” Jon Stewart’s “Rosewater” and Mia Wasikowska’s “Madame Bovary” — the 10th film adaptation of the French novel.
The Venice Film Festival opener “Birdman,” which has vaulted Michael Keaton into awards contention, will also screen at Telluride. Ramin Bahrani’s housing crisis drama “99 Homes” is screening at both festivals as is Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary “The Look of Silence.”
Several Cannes titles are coming to Telluride: Mike Leigh’s “Mr. Turner,” Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher,” Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy,” the Dardenne Brothers’ workplace drama “Two Days, One Night,” Andrei Zvyagintsev’s “Leviathan »
- Dave McNary
Telluride — With all the reindeer games going on in the fall festival world, a lot of the drama and mystery surrounding Telluride's perennially on-the-lowdown program began to seep out like a steadily deflating balloon this year. Toronto, Venice and New York notations of "World Premiere," "Canada Premiere," "New York Premiere" or "International Premiere" and the like made it all rather obvious which films were heading to the San Juans for the 41st edition of the tiny mining village's cinephile gathering, and which were not. But the fact is, if you're in it just for the surprises — or certainly, for the awards-baiting heavies — you're never going to be fully satisfied by the Telluride experience. That having been said, this year's program might just be the most exciting one in my six years of attending. Starting with all of the stuff we were expecting, indeed, Cannes players "Foxcatcher," "Mr. Turner" and "Leviathan »
- Kristopher Tapley
As the WWII tide turned in their direction in 1944-45, the Allied forces had more than military liberation on their minds: They wanted to win the propaganda war as well, to forever discredit Nazism in Germany and around the world. Commissioned by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, shot by combat and newsreel cameramen accompanying troops as they liberated occupied Europe, and supervised by a remarkable team, the film “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey” was intended to be their weapon. But politics prevented the pic’s completion and distribution, as recounted in British helmer Andre Singer’s powerful, must-see documentary “Night Must Fall,” which chronicles the untold story of the film’s history.
Providing important context, “Night Will Fall” is premiering in conjunction with the release of the restored “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey,” which arrives 70 years after its inception, and after four years of labor by Britain’s Imperial War Museums. »
- Alissa Simon
Erich von Stroheim was one-of-a-kind: a serious filmmaker who also became a distinctive, and indelible, screen personality. He’s probably best known today for his role as Gloria Swanson’s faithful servant in Billy Wilder’s 'Sunset Blvd.' While learning about directing as an assistant to D.W. Griffith in the teens, he established himself as a stereotyped “evil Hun” in World War One movies. Universal’s Carl Laemmle gave him a chance to realize his own vision on screen in 'Blind Husbands' (1919) and launched his star-crossed career as a writer-director. Laemmle may have complained about the enormous cost of the lavish 'Foolish Wives' (1922), with its eye-popping Monte Carlo set, but he used...
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- Leonard Maltin
Vincent Kartheiser is heading to the stage. The Mad Men actor will star in the off-Broadway run of Billy & Ray, a comedy directed by Garry Marshall that charts the birth of the film noir genre, it has been announced by the Vineyard Theatre's artistic directors, Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern. He will play writer-director Billy Wilder opposite Larry Pine (Casa Valentina) as novelist Raymond Chandler. The New York premiere run of the production will begin previews on Oct. 1 at the Vineyard Theatre, and officially open Oct. 20. Penned by Mike Bencivenga, Billy & Ray follows the literary odd couple as
- Ashley Lee
In Billy & Ray—which will get its New York premiere this fall at the Vineyard Theatre—Kartheiser will play Billy Wilder alongside Pine’s Raymond Chandler, as Wilder and Chandler work together to adapt the novel Double Indemnity for the big screen.
The Off-Broadway comedy, directed by Garry Marshall, is set in 1940s Hollywood and tells the story of the birth of the film noir genre. Rounding out the cast is Sophie von Haselberg, who will play Wilder’s secretary, and »
- Samantha Highfill
Hollywood Exiles in Europe is a screening series co-curated by author Rebecca Prime and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
Following a recent presentation of Christ in Concrete (1949) at the Hammer Museum's Billy Wilder Theater, Norma Barzman, wife of the film's late screenwriter Ben Barzman, stated “it was the hope of her husband as well as director Edward Dmytryk that Christ in Concrete would at least explain the motivations of the Hollywood Ten and at best absolve them.”
Production for the film took placed in London during Dmytryk and Barzman's self-imposed exile in Europe following their blacklisting by the United States Congress's House Un-American Activities Committee. When Christ in Concrete (later re-titled Give Us This Day and eventually Salt to the Devil) arrived in American theaters it did so quietly, playing to regional crowds in New York before its hasty exit into a relative obscurity—at least as far as domestic audiences were concerned. »
- Daniel Watkins
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