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6 Oscar Connections to Movies Now Playing in Theaters 13 Ways to Keep Smart Movie Fans Happy Get to Know the Real Nicolas Winding Refn, Warts and All, in His Wife's New Doc How a Near-Pristine 35mm Print of Orson Welles' 'Chimes at Midnight' Was Found How 'Girls' Became the Most Frustrating Show on Television How Kathryn Bigelow & Eric Red Gamed the System to Launch Their Careers How They Did It: Technicolor's Secret Recipe for Best Picture Winner 'Birdman' Listen: 'The Hunting Ground' Puts a Human Face on Campus Rape (Podcast) 'Maps to the Stars' Writer Bruce Wagner on Raising Hell with David Cronenberg Martin Scorsese's 39 Foreign Films to See Before You Die Oscar Box Office Details: Mixed Bag with Few Breakout Hits Oscar Wrap: Why the Academy Loves 'Birdman' Oscars 2015: Backstage with the Crafts and Animation Winners Oscars 2015: Backstage Quotes, Full Winners List Rip Leonard Nimoy, »
Kathryn Bigelow and Eric Red not only delivered an exceptional screenplay to their agents, but along with it, equipped us with a real world plan of attack. This made "Near Dark" an exceptional setup. I was head of Gersh’s Literary department, itching to sherpa my clients up Everest. Kathryn and Eric’s tactical scenario offered the kind of dynamic activism agents live for. We didn’t have a big meeting or even work out details over a fancy meal. Kathryn and Eric’s determination to overcome conventional industry-wide resistance to anyone outside the insider directing pool was palpable. When I signed Kathryn, I could see she was someone who was determined to not only even the odds against her achieving her goal – but not by kneejerk jumping at a single opportunity. Instead she was prepared to exercise discerning conduct aimed to promote a long and productive career. She was »
- Nancy Nigrosh
The 87th Academy Awards are this Sunday evening, and we're counting down the minutes!
We've already given you our Oscar predictions, and now we're bringing you a few of the best (and craziest) Academy Awards facts. From the first Best Actor winner to the "one dollar" Oscar rule, here are 25 things you (probably) don't know about the Oscars.
1. The youngest Oscar winner was Tatum O'Neal, who won Best Supporting Actress for "Paper Moon" (1973) when she was only 10 years old. Shirley Temple won the short-lived Juvenile Award at 6 years old.
3. After winning Best Actress for "Cabaret" (1972), Liza Minnelli became (and still is) the only Oscar winner whose parents both earned Oscars. Her mother, Judy Garland, received an honorary award in 1939 and her father, Vincente Minnelli, »
- Jonny Black
High-profile female directors are few and far between. Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar win for The Hurt Locker marked the first time a female director took home the Academy’s Best Director award, and female directors as a whole in Hollywood are a seriously under-represented minority. So, it’s rather distressing and depressing when a director like Sam Taylor-Johnson, who helmed Fifty Shades of Grey, feels like she never wants to make a film again.
One can hardly blame her, though. Although Fifty Shades of Grey has been a mammoth box office success, it has also received a (well-deserved) critical drubbing. But that’s not the foundation of Taylor-Johnson’s feelings about filmmaking. Rather, it was her constant on-set conflicts with author E.L. James, and the fact that she has not been invited back to make the two Fifty Shades sequels. “I feel like I never want to make a movie again. »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
He may have started his career playing a dim slacker in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” but the action genre is what solidified Keanu Reeves as a star, with turns in Kathryn Bigelow‘s zen surfer heist masterpiece “Point Break,” Jan de Bont‘s slick and fun “Speed” and, of course, the Wachowskis ’ influential genre mash-up “The Matrix.” It may be too early to place last year’s “John Wick” with Reeves’ highlights, but it’s not too soon to tally up how many people Reeves utterly destroyed on screen in the film. A video edited by Nick Dinizio, via Av Club, has brought together every single on-screen kill by Reeve’s one-man-wrecking crew, the eponymous John Wick. The final tally? 76. We’re no Reeves expert, but we’d wager that’s the most kills ever credited to one of his characters, with the exception of the “Matrix” series (though »
- Cain Rodriguez
By Anjelica Oswald
Birdman took home the Cinema Audio Society Award for sound mixing in a live action film on Saturday. The best picture-nominated film is also nominated for both of the sound Oscars (sound mixing and sound editing). The film lost the BAFTA Award for best sound to Whiplash, which is also nominated for both of the Oscars for sound.
Since the Cas Awards began in 1994, all 21 of the live action features that won for sound mixing have also been nominated for the sound mixing Oscar, and 12 have won. In contrast, four of the 14 best sound BAFTA winners — since the BAFTAs have taken place before the Oscars — didn’t win an Oscar for their sound. Of the 10 that did win, five won both of the Oscars for sound, four won the Oscar for sound mixing and one took home the Oscar for sound editing.
Seven of the »
- Anjelica Oswald
By Anjelica Oswald
Birdman has claimed a number of principal awards this season, including the top awards from the Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild, and is one of the lead contenders in the best picture race.
The film has received nine nominations, including a supporting actor, supporting actress and leading actor nomination. Though the film probably won’t land Oscars in the supporting categories, Michael Keaton has situated himself as a frontrunner in the leading actor category, along with The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne.
Of the 86 films to win best picture, 36 (42 percent) won without procuring a single Oscar in the acting categories. Seven of those 36 won before the supporting acting categories were implemented at the ninth annual Academy Awards, and 11 of the 36 won without any acting nominations.
If Birdman wins for best picture but Keaton loses to Redmayne, Alejandro »
- Anjelica Oswald
On Sunday, Alexandre Desplat won a BAFTA Award and a Grammy, both for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Next up: the Feb. 22 Oscars, where he is nominated in the musical score category for “Budapest Hotel” and “The Imitation Game.” According to conventional wisdom, this is his year — he’s earned six noms in the past eight years, but no wins yet.
On the other hand, conventional wisdom says that he could cancel himself out. Clearly, conventional wisdom is wrong in one of those cases.
Asked which of the two scores is his favorite, Desplat deadpans, “The Grand Imitation Hotel.”
The composer, reached in Paris, quickly adds that he loves both films, and each presented special challenges and rewards.
“Budapest” features a lot more music in its 100-minute running time, with the mood vacillating among drama, light comedy, fantasy and mittel-European atmosphere. Desplat says, “We needed to find instruments to create a special sound, »
- Tim Gray
Want to keep up with all the great new content arriving on Netflix? Then you're in luck, as we'll be bringing you a round-up of the best TV shows, films, documentaries and stand-up arriving on Netflix UK every week.
Here are the latest additions to Netflix, as well as news and events worth keeping an eye on over the coming week:
Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal's acclaimed terrorist drama arrives on Netflix on February 8. Jessica Chastain stars as a CIA analyst at the centre of one of history's greatest manhunts - the search for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The gritty and unflinching thriller received a huge amount of awards attention, with Chastain taking home the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama. The film explores the realities of war and secret intelligence, and that eternal question of whether the ends justify the means. »
Warner Bros. has made some alterations to its 2015 release schedule, moving their Point Break remake from July 31 to Christmas Day, while also giving the Rocky spinoff Creed a Thanksgiving release. Point Break will now go up against 20th Century Fox's Alvin and the Chipmunks 4, Sony's Concussion, Fox's Joy and Paramount's Monster Trucks on December 25. If it would have stayed in the July 31 slot, it would have faced Paramount's Mission: Impossible 5, Focus Features' Selfless and The Weinstein Company's Southpaw.
The Point Break remake stars Luke Bracey as FBI agent Johnny Utah, who tries to infiltrate the world of extreme sports lead by Edgar Ramirez's Bodhi. Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze played Utah and Bodhi in the original 1991 film Point Break, which was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The remake also stars Ray Winstone and Teresa Palmer, with Ericson Core directing.
Creed will now go up against Pixar's The Good Dinosaur, »
20. Dead Man Walking
Directed by: Tim Robbins
Susan Sarandon earned herself an Oscar for her work in “Dead Man Walking,” a film directed by her then husband, Tim Robbins. She plays Sister Prejean, a nun who befriends a death row inmate named Matthew (Oscar nominated Sean Penn) as they confide in one another and build a convincing relationship as the days and hours tick down until his execution. Robbins intercuts the scenes with Sarandon and Penn with moments of the actual crime taking place, creating a storytelling rift that both supports and contradicts moments within the film, creating two very carefully drawn and developed characters. In addition to visiting him regularly, Prejean begins the crusade to find him a lawyer to make an appeal, doing all she can to delay his sentence being carried out. But, as she meets the families of the victims, she finds herself torn between right »
- Joshua Gaul
By Anjelica Oswald
The Imitation Game features Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a mathematician and computer science pioneer who, along with his fellow code-breakers, broke the Nazi Enigma code to help end World War II. Though Turing was hailed as a hero, he was eventually arrested and prosecuted for homosexuality, along with 49,000 other British men and women. Turing chose to be chemically castrated rather than face imprisonment, so he could continue his work, and it is believed that he committed suicide a few years later. Queen Elizabeth II posthumously pardoned Turing in 2013.
On Jan. 21, Stephen Fry led a discussion about the The Imitation Game following a screening of the film for BAFTA voters, discussed Queen Elizabeth’s pardon and suggested that the 49,000 persecuted men and women should be as well. Chad Griffin, the president of Human Rights Campaign, which is honoring The Imitation Game at its Human Rights Gala on Jan. »
- Anjelica Oswald
HBO star and comic/pundit Bill Maher has addressed the recent controversy surrounding the Clint Eastwood film “American Sniper.”The story of sniper Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, has drawn criticism amidst robust box office performance. The film, starring Bradley Cooper, is dividing viewers and critics alike in its exploration of war and patriotism.Last night on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” on Friday, Maher praised “The Hurt Locker” film by his guest from last week, director Kathryn Bigelow, and slammed “Sniper” for its lack of nuance. “‘Hurt Locker’ made 17 million because it was a little […] »
- April Neale
Just in case you were wondering, Bill Maher definitely prefers Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker to the American war film of the moment, American Sniper. Maher has a problem with Eastwood's portrayal of U.S. soldier Chris Kyle as a complicated hero, because Kyle's own memoir makes him seem anything but. "He's a psychopath patriot, and we love him," Maher said. Maher then reads the following quote from Kyle's book of the same title: "I hate the damn savages [talking about the Iraqis] and I've been fighting and I always will. I love killing bad guys. Even with the pain I loved what I was doing. Maybe war isn't really fun, but I certainly was enjoying it." (Maher actually watered the quote down, as Kyle also added: "I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis.") For Maher, this is not very Christian-like behavior. »
- E. Alex Jung
Pioneering woman director Lois Weber socially conscious drama 'Shoes' among Library of Congress' Packard Theater movies (photo: Mary MacLaren in 'Shoes') In February 2015, National Film Registry titles will be showcased at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus Theater – aka the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation – in Culpeper, Virginia. These range from pioneering woman director Lois Weber's socially conscious 1916 drama Shoes to Robert Zemeckis' 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future. Another Packard Theater highlight next month is Sam Peckinpah's ultra-violent Western The Wild Bunch (1969), starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine. Also, Howard Hawks' "anti-High Noon" Western Rio Bravo (1959), toplining John Wayne and Dean Martin. And George Cukor's costly remake of A Star Is Born (1954), featuring Academy Award nominees Judy Garland and James Mason in the old Janet Gaynor and Fredric March roles. There's more: Jeff Bridges delivers a colorful performance in »
- Andre Soares
Take a bunch of grizzled character actors and stick them in a metal tube under the ocean, add some depth charges and torpedoes and the like, and drama is bound to result. From "The Enemy Below" and "Run Silent, Run Deep" to "The Hunt For Red October" and "Crimson Tide" by way of "Das Boot," the submarine thriller sub-genre has been a popular one for decades. But in recent years, it has run aground, without a major new film in the genre since Kathryn Bigelow's misfire "K-19: The Widowmaker" over a decade ago. Kevin Macdonald is hoping to change that. The Oscar-winning documentarian-turned-features-director is coming off a few disappointments ("State Of Play," "The Eagle," "Marley"), plus his last film "How I Live Now," which was pretty good, but which literally no one saw. Now he's heading under the waves for "Black Sea," a below-the-water thriller that hopes to reinvigorate. »
- Oliver Lyttelton
This article contains spoilers for American Sniper.
American Sniper stands to be the most financially profitable of this year's Best Picture Oscar contenders by a long way, having out-grossed most of the others' lifetime domestic totals in its first weekend on wide release.
The $90.2 million opening is the highest January opening of all time, more than doubling the opening weekend record set by Ride Along at the same time last year, and it's easily the strongest box office performer of director Clint Eastwood's career.
In short, it did the kind of business you would expect from a superhero movie, or a new instalment in an established franchise, and yet it's an R-rated war drama based on a true story. Irrespective of our thoughts on the film, that's a stunning début. »
The industry’s lack of diversity definitely needs solutions. But the furor over the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards is a case of misplaced outrage.
The protests are doomed to frustration, because Oscar voting involves secret ballots and individual tastes, which cannot be quantified. So a lot of lofty theories are being presented as fact, when the focus should be on hiring practices, which can be quantified.
The Sundance Institute and Women in Film unveiled a study done with USC/Annenberg examining the top-100 grossing films each year from 2002 through 2012 (which were often big-budget films). Only 4.4% had women directors.
Nearly half the 6,000 members of the Producers Guild of America are women, Lydia Dean Pilcher of the PGA Women’s Impact Network told Variety last year. But the top 10 films at the 2014 boxoffice collectively had 27 producers, only seven of whom were women.
Of that top 10, just two starred women (“Maleficent »
- Tim Gray
America’s military misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan remain deeply unpopular with the general public, but that pessimism isn’t preventing war films such as “American Sniper” and “Lone Survivor” from becoming box office successes.
“American Sniper,” a look at Navy Seal Chris Kyle, astounded in its wide-release debut, and is on track to gross $105 million over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. The Warner Bros. release put up those impressive numbers by appealing to a politically and geographically diverse audience.
“It’s packing them in across blue states and red states,” said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief. “Its’ playing well in big cities and in the heartland. This is about patriotism and all the things people say the country is lacking these days.”
- Brent Lang
This week Neil Calloway looks at the lack of women behind the camera in Hollywood…
This week, a report by San Diego State University revealed that only 7% of the films in 2014’s top 250 highest grossing list were directed by women. That works out at 17 films, with only one film in the top 100 grossing films.
I was surprised by the statistic; surprised that the figure was that high. Looking at the list of films, I’d be shocked if anyone but the most ardent cinephile would recognise them all. The one female helmed film that made the top 100 was Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie. It’s hard to imagine Jolie would be allowed to direct a big budget film like that as only her second film if she hadn’t already established herself as an actress. Another of the 17 films was Palo Alto, directed by Gia Coppola, granddaughter of Francis Ford Coppola. »
- Neil Calloway
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