15 items from 2016
When you watch a movie you haven’t seen for a long time (like, say, 10 or 20 years), it can look extraordinarily different from how it looked before. And that’s a fascinating thing to behold, given that the movie itself hasn’t changed one bit. It’s you that’s changed — or, just as likely, the era around you. In the case of “The Day the Clown Cried,” the infamous Jerry Lewis Holocaust drama that no one — save Harry Shearer — has ever seen, because it has never been shown, the passage of time may work in even more mysterious ways. About 30 minutes of this legendary 1972 fiasco, which Lewis wrote, directed, and starred in, then permanently shelved because he was embarrassed by how bad it was, surfaced in a rough assemblage on YouTube a couple of days ago. Bits of the footage have leaked out before (most of it lifted from »
- Owen Gleiberman
A highlight of the Tribeca Film Festival, Ferne Pearlstein's stunning The Last Laugh has Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Sarah Silverman, Robert Clary, Rob Reiner, Harry Shearer, Jeffrey Ross, Alan Zweibel, Gilbert Gottfried, Judy Gold, Larry Charles, David Steinberg, Susie Essman, Lisa Lampanelli and Hanala Sagal reflect on questions of free speech, taboos and time limits. Holocaust survivor Renee Firestone is the film's responsive centre.
Jerry Lewis's The Day The Clown Cried, James Moll's The Last Days and Paul Provenza's The Aristocrats open up the discussion and Brooks's comment on Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful leads me to Son Of Saul star Géza Röhrig's response to Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds in my conversation with Ferne and her co-writer/co-producer Robert Edwards.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Burt Kwouk, who played Inspector Clouseau's nimble manservant in seven Pink Panther films opposite Peter Sellers has died, the BBC reports. "Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away. The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date," his agent told the British news agency. Kwouk rose to fame playing Cato Fong opposite Sellers, who regularly assaulted the bumbling detective to keep him vigilant. After seven films with Sellers, he revived his character in later films that featured Roger Moore and Roberto Benigni as the French detective. Born in England but raised in China, »
- Kathy Ehrich Dowd, @kathyehrichdowd
Burt Kwouk, who played Inspector Clouseau's nimble manservant in seven Pink Panther films opposite Peter Sellers has died, the BBC reports. "Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away. The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date," his agent told the British news agency. Kwouk rose to fame playing Cato Fong opposite Sellers, who regularly assaulted the bumbling detective to keep him vigilant. After seven films with Sellers, he revived his character in later films that featured Roger Moore Roberto Benigni as the French detective. Born in England but raised in China, »
- Kathy Ehrich Dowd, @kathyehrichdowd
Exclusive: Film becomes the seventh Jarmusch title in the company’s classic collection.
Cult director Jim Jarmusch is a major presence at this year’s Cannes with two films in official selection. Now, one of his classics from a decade ago, Coffee And Cigarettes (2003), has been added to The Match Factory’s Jarmusch library
The Match Factory’s Jarmusch library already includes Permanent Vacation (1980), Stranger Than Paradise (1984), Down By Law (1986), Mystery Train (1989), Night On Earth (1991), and Dead Man (1995). With the addition of Coffee And Cigarettes, there are are seven Jarmusch titles in the Tmf classic collection.
“With the motif of coffee and smoke, Jim Jarmusch has brought together the most outstanding figures from the film and music scene. I’m thrilled to handle this original and timeless »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoffrey Macnab)
There’s nothing funny about the Holocaust, which is probably why some comedians think it’s about time to start making jokes about it. The Last Laugh, a documentary by director and cinematographer Ferne Pearlstein, reveals, dissects, and discusses the subject of taboo humor in general and the Holocaust in particular. Pearlstein gathers together interviews with numerous comedians, writers, producers, and activists, including several Holocaust survivors, to present their perspective on what can be joked about and what cannot and where, if anywhere, comedy must draw the line.
Auschwitz survivor Renee Firestone represents the major argument for laughing in the face of overwhelming evil, as she recalls her experience in the camps and afterwards. She discusses the use of humor within the camps, up to and including cabaret productions by performers that tacitly made fun of the Nazis and the SS guards. While Firestone is the most personally profiled survivor, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
The man behind Son of Saul will be flying home with an Oscar after Sunday night. The film from Hungary - which scored its second statuette among nine nominations - won the coveted award for Best Foreign Language Film, which was presented by Sofia Vergara and Byung-hun Lee. Director Lázló Nemes dedicated the award to star Géza Rörig and "the incredible cast who believed in this film when no one else did." He added: "Even in the darkest hours of mankind there might be a voice within us that allows us to remain human - that's the hope of this film. »
- Aurelie Corinthios and Naja Rayne
Every year, Oscars are handed out. And every year, people believe that some of the winners should give those Oscars back.
Look, upsets happen. A sentimental favorite gets the statue over the more deserving or less popular choice. And this year's awards show will surely be no exception.
- Phil Pirrello
Want to know more about the five movies nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category at Sunday's Oscars, but don't have the time to go out and actually watch all five flicks? We've got you covered. The category has long been a launching pad for little-known gems to reach a wider audience, and there have been several times when buzzy films were nominated in both the Best Foreign Language Film and Best Picture categories. That elite list includes Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful in 1997, Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000 and Michael Haneke's Amour in 2012. Read »
- Kathy Ehrich Dowd, @kathyehrichdowd
For the past four years, Robert Downey Jr. has been trying to get a new live-action version of Pinocchio off the ground, with the actor set to star as Geppetto and produce through his Team Downey company. Today, the project is moving forward once again, with The Tracking Board reporting that Ron Howard is now attached to direct. The filmamker replaces Paul Thomas Anderson, who stepped away from Pinocchio back in November.
We first reported on this project back in January 2012, when Robert Downey Jr. signed on to portray Geppetto and produce. Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller had originally been tasked with writing the script, with Michael Mitnick (The Giver), Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and Paul Thomas Anderson also working on drafts of the script. The site reports that Ron Howard is expected to have a say in who the next writer will be.
The project is expected to be a family-oriented movie, »
Minister hails shake-up which could bring “60% more finance” to industry; Sorrentino, Bertolucci, Benigni embrace the changes.
The Italian government has unveiled long-awaited film finance reform which promise to shake-up the local production, distribution and exhibition sectors.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, together with culture minister Dario Franceschini, late last week announced a new annual fund of $435m (€400m) for the Italian film industry.
According to the announcement, the Cinema Fund and a raft of tax breaks and subsidies will take effect from 2017.
“Each year, 12% of Vat tax revenue gained from companies exploiting film content – including TV broadcasters, internet service providers, phone operators and film distributors – will feed into a fund amounting to no less than €400m,” explained Franceschini following a meeting with top Italian industry figures including film-makers Bernardo Bertolucci (Last Tango In Paris), Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso), Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty) and Roberto Benigni (Life Is Beautiful).
He added: “This is not a corrective intervention, but a »
The current diversity debate surrounding the 2016 Academy Awards has squarely settled on the issue of race, thanks to conversations sparked by the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. Yet, Sir Ian McKellen offered a keen reminder that diversity issues within the awards race are widespread. "No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar. I wonder if that is prejudice or chance," he reflected at a recent BFI event (via The Guardian). McKellen, of course, is openly gay himself; as well as being a committed activist and co-founder of Lgbt charity Stonewall. He further mentioned both occasions he'd carried an acceptance speech to the Academy Awards marked with the words, "I'm proud to be the first openly gay man to win the Oscar"; though he's never been given the opportunity to say those words on stage. His Best Actor nomination for Gods and Monsters in 1998 saw him lose to Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful, »
- Clarisse Loughrey
Uma Thurman (“Kill Bill”), Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”) and Laurent Lafitte (“Little White Lies”) have joined Bollywood star Dhanush in Marjane Satrapi’s “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir.”
TF1 International reps the English-language project and will kick off pre-sales at Berlin’s European Film Market.
“Extraordinary Journey” will mark the most ambitious project undertaken by Satrapi, the Iranian-born French comicbook artist and filmmaker behind Cannes’ jury prize winner “Persepolis” and “Chicken With Plums.”
Luc Bossi’s Brio Films is lead producing. Vamonos Films, Italy’s Paco Cinematografica and India’s Little Red Car are co-producing. “Extraordinary Journey” has already been picked up by SquareOne in Germany. »
- Elsa Keslassy
After the emergency meeting of the Oscar's governing board (51 players strong) to discuss what to do about their sorry track record of diversity these past few years -- #OscarsSoWhite had become the only story out of the Oscar nominations -- they've announced plans for changes to take effect immediately following this Oscar season.
It boils down to a plan to significantly expand & speed up the initiatives President Cheryl Boone Isaac had already put in place with one very significant change.
Though they've been adding more members annually already, between now and 2020 they vow to double the number of female and diverse voters. The Academy currently has about 6,261 voting members with estimates of women and nonwhite members making up about 1400 of that number so expect a couple those more members. Three New Board Members
The 51 seats will increase to 54 with the new members chosen by the President. (All eyes »
- NATHANIEL R
Géza Röhrig: "This is kind of when my childhood was over." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
László Nemes' trenchant Son Of Saul (Saul Fia), co-written with Clara Royer, cinematography by Mátyás Erdély, sound design Tamás Zányi and an unforgettably unsettling performance by Géza Röhrig as Saul Ausländer, clothed by Edit Szücs, today received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. Deniz Gamze Ergüven's Mustang, Naji Abu Nowar's Theeb, Ciro Guerra's Embrace Of The Serpent and Tobias Lindholm's A War were also honoured.
Son Of Saul director László Nemes at the New York Film Festival Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Slavoj Žižek, Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful, Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List impacting Stanley Kubrick's The Aryan Papers, what Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds has in common with The Sound Of Music, the profound impact of a visit to Auschwitz at age 17, the fragility of civilisation, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
15 items from 2016
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