1-20 of 167 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
From director Tim Burton, Big Eyes tells the fantastically outrageous true story of one of the most unbelievable and epic art frauds in history. The paintings of waifs with big eyes that Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) worked tirelessly on, day and night, received huge international success in the 1960s, but it was her husband, Walter (Christoph Waltz), who took credit for all of her work. During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Man on the Moon) talked about why the like to examine the previously unexamined, how obsessive they get with their research, what initially attracted them to the story of Margaret Keane, and how they feel Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz embodied the Keanes. They also talked about their work on the upcoming TV series American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, that they »
- Christina Radish
Book review: “It’s the Pictures That Got Small”: Charles Brackett on Billy Wilder and Hollywood’s Golden Age edited by Anthony Slide; foreword by Jim Moore (Columbia University Press) It might seem odd to call the man who co-wrote Ball of Fire, Ninotchka, Midnight, The Lost Weekend, and Sunset Blvd. an unsung hero, but Charles Brackett has always lived in the shadow of his high-profile writing partner, Billy Wilder. This valuable compendium of diary entries from 1933 to 1950, painstakingly edited by Anthony Slide, not only sheds light on that renowned collaboration but evokes the reality of daily life in the heyday of the Hollywood studio system. Anyone with...
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- Leonard Maltin
Chicago – When is comes to appreciating life, one great practitioner is Anson Williams, better known as the character “Potsie” from the 1970s TV series “Happy Days.” Williams wants to remind everybody to “pay it forward,” as he does in highlighting his unlikely mentor in his new book, “Singing to a Bulldog.”
The focus for Anson Williams is on Willie Turner, a custodian he worked with in a department store. Willie gave the 15-year-old Williams life lessons, as he was navigating the road to being an actor. Even though Turner was illiterate and a drinker, he stuck with and guided Williams, which provided the impetus for the young actor and singer to find his path.
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com
And that path led to TV stardom in the sitcom “Happy Days,” which premiered in 1974. The »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Available for the first time on Blu-ray or DVD and remastered in high definition is forgotten film noir Witness to Murder, a 1954 Barbara Stanwyck potboiler also starring George Sanders and Gary Merrill. As written by Chester Erskine (The Egg and I, 1947), the film feels like plenty of other narratives, though its frustrating contrivance of hysteria as dramatic tension places it squarely within a particular male dominated paradigm. In particular, the film feels eerily reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, which actually opened a month after this Roy Rowland directed venture, doomed to be overshadowed and quickly forgotten. But, magnificently photographed by John Alton, it’s a shadowy and angular motion picture, enjoyable for its considerable melodrama as a portrait of misinformed and misogynistic gender politics.
Cheryl Draper (Barbara Stanwyck) witnesses a young woman being murdered in the apartment complex adjacent to her own. She calls the police to report what she sees. »
- Nicholas Bell
Exclusive: “ ‘Eff You!’ ” I answered. Garry Marshall already knew when he asked me, but he wanted to see whether I knew what I was talking about. We were discussing Neil Simon, who I said had written the all-time funniest line ever. “Which line?” Marshall asked. “F.U.,” I answered.
“I can’t take it anymore, Felix, I’m cracking up. Everything you do irritates me. And when you’re not here, the things I know you’re gonna do when you come in irritate me. You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Ungar!”
Marshall concurs and reminds me that the line is from the Broadway script of The Odd Couple »
- Jeremy Gerard
Directed by Richard Kelly
2001 – USA
The gateway movie to my full-blown film addiction was Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko (2001). Kelly has yet to create a film that matches the mood or magnitude of his first success. This supernatural thriller has sparked a cult following behind the intense narrative and themes. Countless arguments have played out discussing weather it’s a representation of madness or simply a dark supernatural epic. Made in only 28 days, utilizing a low budget of 4.5 million, it`s an independent film poster-child with its success.
I first watched this film in High school whilst sitting at the back of a stuffy media class. After the first viewing my fasciation with the world now lay in unpicking every detail of this flick. Donnie Darko had everything a 16-year-old girl could want in a film. This included a deranged bedroom-eyed »
- Tamarah Scott
Released this month, the collector’s edition Sherlock series 3 DVDs are crammed with nerd succour, from the episodes one and three commentaries by Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Sue Vertue and Una Stubbs, to behind-the-scenes featurettes, falling-over and dancing outtakes, footage from episode read-throughs, a deleted scene in which Lars Mikkelsen licks Benedict Cumberbatch, technical special effects gubbins, clips from the only existing television interview with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and - we almost forgot - the series itself.
For Sherlock fans who haven’t yet had the pleasure, we’ve ploughed through all the bonus material on the discs, turning up the odd bit of trivia treasure as we did so. Find out below about Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat's plans for Sherlock to teach Mary the violin, Benedict Cumberbatch »
Editors Adrian Martin and Girish Shambu have begun rolling out the fifth issue of Lola, wherein you'll find essays on European directors in Hollywood in the 1940s and 50s (Michael Curtiz, Anatole Litvak, Ernst Lubitsch, Billy Wilder, Curtis Bernhardt, William Dieterle, Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger, Robert Siodmak and Fred Zinnemann) and more. Also in today's roundup of news and views: Greil Marcus and Don DeLillo on Bob Dylan, an interview with Manoel de Oliveira, a 1963 essay by Gregory J. Markopoulos, an oral history of Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff, David Lynch's lessons on filmmaking and more. » - David Hudson »
Welcome back to The Stack. This is the final episode before I kick off our Holiday Gift Guide this Tuesday November 25. This is also the beginning of a new, shorter format. But The Stack is still packed with home entertainment goodness. A favorite release is Space Station 76 (2014), directed by Jack Plotnick, whom you might remember from Rubber (2010) and Wrong (2012). Olive Films releases Fedora (1978), which many consider to be Billy Wilder's late career followup to Sunset Boulevard (1950). I also take a look at one of their back catalog titles, the nearly forgotten William Castle science fiction spy thriller Project X (1968). Lastly and quite excitedly, I tease the gift guide coverage by revealing one of this year's great TV Blu-ray box...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Two years ago, on the eve of his eagerly awaited Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman, I sat down with Mike Nichols to look back on his remarkable career. During those two-plus hours together at the Mark Hotel in Manhattan, the legendary director, then 80, reminisced about a life of highs and lows that began as a bright-eyed young boy who fled Nazi Germany for America. "I remember everything about getting on the boat in Germany in 1939," Nichols said. "I was 7, my brother was 3, and my father was already in New York setting up his practice as a doctor. German Jews couldn't leave the country, »
- Chris Nashawaty
The range of Mike Nichols’ work during his long career was reflected in the outpouring from friends and fans on social media Thursday morning following the news of the director-producer’s death at the age of 83.
Everyone who knew Mike Nichols at all had this in common. (And this is hard truth.) We felt blessed for every moment we spent with him. God.
— james l. brooks (@canyonjim) November 20, 2014
So very sad to hear of Mike Nichols death. A great talent, a wonderful, bright, charming human being.
— Julianne Moore (@_juliannemoore) November 20, 2014
We lost the legendary Mike Nichols today. A pioneer of stage and film. A true visionary and a friend.
— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) November 20, 2014
Mike Nichols is a genius who uses his powers to make us laugh and cry and think and feel more alive. I don't want to apply the past tense.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 20, 2014
We lost a legend today. »
- Variety Staff
In 1954, Audrey Hepburn charmed moviegoers as a chauffeur's daughter in Billy Wilder's "Sabrina," an early example of the iconic screen star's bewitching blend of wit, style and charisma. The latest podcast in film critic Karina Longworth's You Must Remember This series, which regularly explores forgotten Hollywood backstories and mythology, examines Hepburn's emerging star persona during the days of "Sabrina"— along with some spicy behind-the-scenes goings-on involving costars William Holden and Humphrey Bogart. Below, listen to Longworth's 35-minute podcast, which is distributed by Infinite Guest from American Public Media. Follow the podcast on Twitter via @RememberThisPod. Past highlights include Longworth's takes on iconic screen pairings, from Bogie and Bacall to Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. Her well-articulated and unusual insights into movie history make for a great long-form listen. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
There’s a clip from Billy Wilder’s great 1951 noir “Ace in the Hole” used about halfway through Dave Janetta’s new documentary “Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere” that sums up the appeal of these kinds of lurid true-crime stories pretty darn well. “Bad news is the best news,” says Kirk Douglas’ sneering, cynical newsman. “Because good news is no news.” It’s an appropriate quote in the case of Janetta’s film, which turns out to be about two stories. On the surface, it’s another sensational, can-you-believe-this-is-fucking-real mystery set in the type of small, woodsy town where a man’s worth is measured in his word and his handshake. With the shots of beautiful industrial rot, sleepy small-town inertia and lumber (lots of lumber) that open 'Love and Terror,' we already sense the uncanny influence of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s game-changing “Twin Peaks. »
- Nicholas Laskin
The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced Saturday, January 23, 2016 as the date for its 27th Annual Producers Guild Awards, which will be presented at the landmark Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles. The 2016 date marks the second consecutive year the Guild will have hosted the awards at the historic location, as the 26th Annual Producers Guild Awards are already set for early next year on January 24, 2015.
“Every year at the Producers Guild Awards, we strive to honor all of our industry’s hardworking producers and seat as many members and guests as possible. We are thrilled to establish a continuing relationship with the Century Plaza, which has the quality, services, facilities and most importantly — space — to accommodate our rapidly growing membership,” said Vance Van Petten, National Executive Director of the PGA. »
- Michelle McCue
Martha Stewart: Actress / Singer in Fox movies apparently not dead despite two-year-old reports to the contrary (Photo: Martha Stewart and Perry Como in 'Doll Face') According to various online reports, including Variety's, actress and singer Martha Stewart, a pretty blonde featured in supporting roles in a handful of 20th Century Fox movies of the '40s, died at age 89 of "natural causes" in Northeast Harbor, Maine, on February 25, 2012. Needless to say, that was not the same Martha Stewart hawking "delicious foods" and whatever else on American television. But quite possibly, the Martha Stewart who died in February 2012 -- if any -- was not the Martha Stewart of old Fox movies either. And that's why I'm republishing this (former) obit, originally posted more than two and a half years ago: March 11, 2012. Earlier today, a commenter wrote to Alt Film Guide, claiming that the Martha Stewart featured in Doll Face, I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now, »
- Andre Soares
The last time I attended Aesthetica, I was a volunteer and didn’t get to see all that many films. The only complete screening I managed to view was at the venue I was manning; unfortunately, that screening was full of pretentious and acutely inaccessible experimental films, so I didn’t have all that great a time with them. Thankfully I managed to catch a handful of others and enjoyed the atmosphere of having a pop-up film festival in (my then adopted city) York so much that it washed the wankery right out of my mouth. Wait, that doesn’t sound–
Anyway, I’m back – and purely as an audience member this time. My first day at Asff was a great taster of many different kinds of films, though of course with an event of this size (showing over 300 films over three and a half days) I was always going »
- Mark Allen
Nightcrawler and Gone Girl both present portraits of a preying, narrative-distorting media, whether staked out on the lawn or hunting down a homicide for the 11 o'clock news. While the films differ greatly and have other thoughts in their heads, both show the behind-the-scenes pursuit of that old mantra: "If it bleeds, it leads."
The tart, shadowy The Sweet Smell of Success relished the sordid power play between a big-time columnist and a desperate press agent. Michael Mann's "60 Minutes" whistle-blower tale The Insider captured the looming threat of corporate interference. And of course, nothing has skewered the brainless local news host like Will Ferrell andAdam McKay's Anchorman movies. »
- Cineplex.com and contributors
Yesterday’s fourth annual The Contenders event at the DGA was a smash hit as 13 studios and distributors, along with their stars and filmmakers, got to show off their awards season slate to an audience heavy with Academy and key Guild voters. And those companies with big Oscar hopes showcased all the usual suspects this year from The Imitation Game to Birdman to Foxcatcher to The Theory Of Everything and on and on with the kinds of films that are usually awards fodder this time of year.
But perhaps the most surprising inclusion was the sudden presence of none other than Chris Rock in the race. Although Chris wasn’t there in person for the large industry crowd (he was busy in NYC boosting Saturday Night Live to its best ratings of the season), his movie Top Five was prominently included in Paramount’s reel right alongside their other upcoming »
- Pete Hammond
Six weeks after they met, Bette Midler and Martin Von Haselberg tied the knot - at a 2 a.m., $45 ceremony in Las Vegas. But don't laugh: This Dec. 16 will mark the couple's 30th wedding anniversary - practically a record-breaker by Hollywood standards. "It's rare," Midler, 68, tells People. "I think the secret is giving each other a lot of lead and a lot of room and not being in each other's faces all the time," the singer, actress and comedian - whose first album in eight years, It's the Girls, debuts Nov. 4 - says in the "What I Know Now" section »
- K.C. Baker, @kcbaker77777
You could be kind and suggest that the term "nightcrawler" refers simply to a person who owns the midnight hours, sort of like a night-owl. But in Dan Gilroy's directorial debut, the title refers to the the cold-blooded vultures who chase the bloodiest crime scenes in order to capture the gore on video for television news. They truly are worms that wiggle to the surface at night, and the wormiest of all is Jake Gyllenhaal's Lou Bloom. Part Rupert Pupkin, part Weegee, Lou finds his true calling with a camera and police scanner, and he quickly becomes Rene Russo »
- Jeff Labrecque
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