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The Emmy Awards aren’t till Monday, Aug. 25, but the celebrations start early. Variety will be on hand inside the best parties around Hollywood as the stars mingle, nibble and toast to TV’s finest. Here’s our party report for Saturday, Aug. 23:
11:10 a.m. “Nashville’s” Rayna James is “a woman that we need to see in country music,” says honoree Callie Khouri at the Women Making History Event, presented by the National Women’s History Museum and Glamour Magazine, at the Skirball Center. (She also teases that the “Nashville” premiere is going to feature two live performances in the show.) She thinks it’s incredible to see more women directing TV and as showrunners. “Nashville” boasts a largely female writing staff and women in main storylines.
11:36 a.m. Sophia Bush, also being honored, stops to blush when her mom stands behind the press snapping photos »
- Cynthia Littleton, Laura Prudom and Shalini Dore
2014 has turned out to be a landmark year for Scarlett Johansson. The double whammy of Spike Jonze's Her and Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin saw her doing the best work of her career, in both cases playing a non-human being who develops consciousness and a soul through her contact with the world.
Then there was her fourth and best outing yet as Marvel's Black Widow. Her role in The Winter Soldier was so significant that the film could justifiably have been called Captain America & Black Widow, if not for the fact that that's a rubbish title.
And to cap things off this summer, Johansson's solo sci-fi Lucy debuted at number one at the Us box office, far outstripping the week's other major release Hercules.
With Lucy reaching UK screens this week, Digital Spy looks back on Johansson's five best roles to date.
Ghost World (2001)
While the role of »
“Twenty five years. Makes a girl think.” So said Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot, and she was rarely wrong about anything, except maybe her taste in husbands. Cinematically, an awful lot can happen in 25 years and Hollywood as we know it today, emerged from seismic developments that took place a quarter of a century ago. 1989 was a game-changer; an absolutely pivotal year in the evolution of 21st century Hollywood. Chances are, whatever you watch at the multiplex this weekend will be genetically traceable to that dark, iPad-less, internetless, Jedwardless time. For those of us who are not going gentle into the dark night of their forties, the specific date of this Big Bang was August 11th 1989. That was the day that Batman finally opened in the UK.
I had never seen a line of people actually queuing around the block, except in vintage documentaries about Star Wars, but »
- Cai Ross
Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this weekly Sunday column, two old friends get together and grind their axes on the movie business. Off last Sunday, the boys have a lot on their minds.
Fleming: We have entered an age of digital fascism; render an opinion against the grain, and disagreement is followed by insults and threats to end careers. Because of an opinion.
Bart: Are you referring to Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodovar being attacked for signing that petition charging Israel with practicing genocide in the Gaza? It was certainly not a smart move on their part.
Fleming: I get that. Anyone paying attention can see Israel’s existence comes out of an unimaginable genocide attempt in WWII. I wonder if Bardem and Cruz read the fine print when the petition was put under their noses. Provoked by »
- Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr
This summer, the actress re-teams with Michael Bay -- following their reconciliation -- for another film adaptation of a classic cartoon, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Since breaking out, Fox has been seen in "Jennifer's Body" and "This Is 40," gotten married to her longtime boyfriend, Brian Austin Green, and popped out a couple kids. Now, she's back in action as April O'Neil and looking better than ever.
2. After her parents divorced when she was young, Fox was raised by her mother and stepfather in St. Petersburg, Florida.
3. Fox attended Catholic school and, as part of an agreement with her mother, »
- Jonny Black
Emma Watson has the hots for Cate Blanchett. Actually, she’s attracted to Cate’s great sense of style and gets “wardrobe envy” when she sees the English actress on the red carpet. Emma, who is fast becoming a style icon herself, was asked by Vanity Fair magazine who she admired as style icons. Beside Blanchett, she singled out Sofia Coppola, known for her understated stye, French singer and actress Francoise Hardy, who is now 72 and Lauren Bacall, who is now 89. [...] »
Early in the new Cinemax drama "The Knick," Dr. John Thackery boasts of "the astonishing modern world in which we live," insisting that "We now live in a time of endless possibility. More has been learned about the human body in the last five years than in the previous 500." What is such an astonishing time to him is a very quaint one for us, since "The Knick" (it premieres Friday at 10) takes place in Manhattan in the year 1900. Viewed through a modern lens, Thackery's surgical techniques seem primitive, even barbarous, but in the context of his time — when a procedure we take for granted like an appendectomy is still considered dangerous and experimental — he and his colleagues are miracle workers. "The Knick" arrives in an era where the possibilities for television drama are as limitless as they were for medicine in 1900. It's a period where a Matthew McConaughey can commit »
- Alan Sepinwall
Written and directed by Abbas Kiarostami
To say that Abbas Kiarostami’s The Wind Will Carry Us is an unhurried film would be quite the understatement. This deliberately crafted and contemplative work, one of the great Iranian director’s finest films, moves at the pace of life. Not life as in the hustle and bustle or stolid banality of one’s everyday experiences, but life as in the gradual evolution of humankind’s basic existence. Reflecting the lives of those who inhabit the rural Kurdish village that serves as the film’s setting, The Wind Will Carry Us unfolds slowly and episodically, with its drama, or lack thereof, coming and going at a capricious moment’s notice.
Kiarostami begins the film as we follow a car driven by disembodied voices that bicker about directions and banter about the countryside. They drive and drive, along winding roads, »
- Jeremy Carr
London — U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 revealed today that the new chief of its filmmaking division, Film4 — which has backed Oscar-winning pics like Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” and Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” — would be David Kosse, who is president, international, at Universal Pictures. Variety spoke to Kosse about his new role.
Kosse, who joins Film4 on Nov. 1, said it was a bit early to speak about specific plans for Film4, but added that he had no intention of changing the “creative remit” of the production unit. “There continues to be a focus on emerging filmmakers, young talent and creative risk-taking,” he said.
Recent pics from emerging U.K. talent backed by Film4 include Yann Demange’s feature debut “’71,” which premiered in Berlin competition, and Daniel Wolfe’s first film “Catch Me Daddy,” which bowed in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight.
- Leo Barraclough
Kosse joins from Universal Pictures where he is president, international, and will take up his new post on Nov. 1.
Kosse will oversee the development, financing and green-lighting of all feature films, and support for the production and distribution of all Film4-backed releases both in the U.K. and internationally.
See Also: Film4’s New Chief David Kosse Speaks to Variety About Challenges of Role
Upcoming pics include Lone Scherfig’s drama about a boisterous Oxford student dining club, »
- Leo Barraclough
Some sequels are doomed to live in the shadow of the hits that triggered them. Here are a few examples...
Following up a successful movie with a sequel is a tough proposition for any writer or director, and it's often the case that such follow-ups fail to recreate the magic of their predecessors. But sometimes, sequels can offer a different yet entertaining experience of their own, and it's even possible that, if they didn't happen to share the same name as an earlier hit film, they might even have been better received.
This article's dedicated to a few of these kinds of films. They offer lots of excitement, comedy, jolts of terror and a smattering of great performances, and might have fared better with audiences and critics had they not been sequels. At the very least, they attempted to do something a little different than the films they followed. While other examples undeniably remain, »
It’s a thought that has persisted in cinema for well over a century. Love is what motivates characters; it’s a dream they want to realize, a reality they have to face, the content of their musings in their nightly diary entries.
Decades of cinema have seen the nature of other genres completely overturned. More and more, horrors are gearing towards high-concept supernatural thrillers over human killers; comedies are willing to get raunchier, with a whole lot more swearing; action movies are only too eager to show off brutal set-pieces; and comic book movies and sci-fi films have the effects capable of making the unreal real.
But romance? How much has that changed? And how much do we really want it to? »
- Kenji Lloyd
The worst part of being a celebrity, undoubtedly, must be family reunions. All those cousins coming out of the woodwork, asking you to pass along their script or snag an autograph or even help Aunt Agatha buy that new hot tub that she desperately needs. Then there are those happy few stars who don't have to face this problem. Because their cousins are famous, too. In honor of Cousins Day - July 24, to be exact - here are several celebrity cousins who don't have to worry about being the only famous person at their family reunion. Jenny McCarthy and Melissa »
- Nate Jones, @kn8
Right now audiences can see Mark Duplass acting awkwardly beside Melissa McCarthy in the thoroughly disappointing comedy Tammy. But later this summer, a much better display of the actor's talent alongside "Mad Men" star Elisabeth Moss will hit theaters in The One I Love. The indie debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, telling the story of of a marriage on the verge of breaking down. In one last effort, Ethan (Duplass) and Sophie (Moss) take a weekend vacation for one last shot at saving their marriage. Both Moss and Duplass have been said to turn in spectacular performances, and the trailer certainly shows that, along with a style like Sofia Coppola meets Wes Anderson with a sense of ominous oddity. Watch it now! Here's the first trailer for Charlie McDowell's The One I Love, originally from Apple: The One I Love is directed by author Charlie McDowell, making his feature directorial debut, »
- Ethan Anderton
Courtney Love could easily be considered one of the most polarizing women of our generation. Since forming the band Hole in the late 1980s, she has become both a rock legend and a successful actress (even earning a Golden Globe nomination for her role in 1995's The People vs. Larry Flynt) while also influencing fashion trends, advocating for Lgbt rights, and speaking out against rape and domestic violence. Conversely, Courtney drew ire from the public after her husband Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994 - with many Nirvana fans blaming her for his untimely passing - and has also been the subject of controversy in recent years due to her struggle with substance abuse and her strained relationship with her 21-year old daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. Though some may debate the things she's said publicly throughout her career, Courtney has also made many poignant - yet contentious - statements over the years. »
- Brittney Stephens
A meditative contemplation of the boredom of overprivileged, under-aspiring, shallow, spoiled kids. As you’ve been dying to see. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
I can’t wait for the day when James Franco finally comes out of the performance-art closet and reveals that almost everything he’s done in the past, oh, ten years or so has been part of an intricate ongoing practical joke to yank celebrity culture and our knee-jerk worship of those who are famous. His turn as the charlatan man behind the curtain in Oz the Great and Powerful was a big clue, I think. He’s waiting for someone — anyone — to debunk the smoke and mirrors of the fame that allows him to churn out increasingly ridiculous pontifical junk. And no one does. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The art of expression in the world of film is not just reserved for “professional” movie reviewers. The accessible flexibility that anyone can comment and show delight or dismay regarding the cinema landscape is quite encouraging because Any voice matters in terms of one’s particular preference. From a famed Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic to a blue-collar plumber with an affinity for vintage films from the golden age of Hollywood anyone can harbor a viewpoint about what constitutes quality or queasy filmmaking.
Thankfully, online venues such as Sound on Sight allow for several degrees of opinion, expertise, insight and analysis when it comes to an array of topical interests that cater to the constitution of escapist tastes in film, television, comic books and podcasts.
No, The Voicemakers: A Sound of Reasoning is not a disguised pat-on-the-back to shamelessly promote this site’s accolades. Quite frankly, the site’s staff, regular »
- Frank Ochieng
It's long been said Hollywood is a boys' club. Statistics back up this cliche again and again, showing that males are 3x more likely* to be represented in movies than females. Men made up 94% of directors who worked on the top 250 films of 2013. And in the entire history of the Academy Awards, only four women have ever been nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards. (That would be Lina Wertmuller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, and Kathryn Bigelow, who won for The Hurt Locker). Many have blamed an ingrained institutional sexism for such shocking figures. And now an institution is joining the cause to get more female voices heard in Hollywood. Variety reports 21st Century Fox is developing a mentorship program for female filmmakers, in hopes of bolstering the presence of women in film. Called the Fox Global Directors Initiative, this program will accept 20 participants who will be welcomed into »
You may have noticed the upcoming issue of Empire Magazine Australia has a pretty unique and awesome cover. It’s an illustration of several popular and influential filmmakers, next to images from their films, all to commemorate a special “Director’s Cut” issue. Filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Joss Whedon, Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola, Michael […]
- Germain Lussier
"...she's a delicate woman, an overwhelmingly subtle 'Miss'. The perfume she wears is a reflection of her personality: floral and light, it's the distillation of notes creating a veritable ode to freshness. Subtle and velvety, it seems to have been specially composed for her, like a silk dress whose thousand nuances of pink express her unique and complex character.
"Contained in an unmistakable couture bottle, the glass etched with a houndstooth motif and a bow at its neck, 'Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet' offers a soft and springlike variation on the houses very first fragrance, while being inspired by the 'Miss Dior' dresses with their delicate petals as designed by Christian Dior in the past, and by Raf Simons today..."
"'Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet' is a smooth and carefully formed perfume, »
- Michael Stevens
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