1-20 of 55 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
Occasionally, a movie villain will pause for a moment to deliver a brief story or anecdote. And often, these apparently incidental tales tell us a lot about an antagonist's state of mind, experiences or warped worldview.
We've compiled a selection of 20 here. Some of them are blackly funny. Many are disturbing. One or two are even moving. The first one's very strange. All of them bring something unique to each particular film in which they appear, and all of them are laced with a delicious hint of menace.
20. Xander - Enemies Closer (2013)
"When I was a little boy at my grandmama's place, she had a lovely goose. I named her Edith, after the French singer Edith Piaf..."
We begin with a delightfully weird story from Peter Hyams' 2013 thriller, »
Meryl Streep recorded live cover versions of Bruce Springsteen's "My Love Will Not Let You Down," Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "American Girl," Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" and nine other hits for the Jonathan Demme-directed family drama Ricki and the Flash, Entertainment Weekly reports. The film, out August 7th, stars Streep as Ricki Randazzo, the frontwoman of a cover band who abandoned her three children to chase her rock and roll dreams. When her daughter Julie (played by Streep's real-life daughter, Mamie Gummer) stares down a life crisis, »
In its worst incarnation, the music documentary is a hagiographic cash-in, pandering to hot artists with supposedly all-access footage that’s in reality carefully managed and contains little in the way of insight into their subjects. At its best, it’s an artform, one in which Jean-Luc Godard and Martin Scorsese and Jonathan Demme have made revelatory films about some of the greatest musicians that ever existed, in which top non-fiction filmmakers have uncovered compelling stories and undersung artists, and where filmmakers have tackled genres and musicians and exposed them to wider audiences. In its early beginnings, The Playlist was a site particularly focused on the points where movies and music crossed over, and as such, we’ve always had a particular interest in the music documentary. The 21st century has been kind to us so far, with a number of killer non-fiction themes about bands, styles or artists that »
- The Playlist Staff
Jacob T. Swinney, who brought us that fascinating side-by-side video essay recently, is back with a pair of videos examining the close-up work of Quentin Tarantino and Jonathan Demme. He opens his examination of Demme's work in an accompanying written essay at indieWire writing, "The close-up may be one of the most beautiful and conventional shots in cinema. The shot is used abundantly and is usually one of the first concepts discussed in a filmmaking course." As for the difference he finds in Demme's work, which includes the likes of The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia and Something Wild, he writes, "Demme prefers to line up his characters in the center of the frame and have them look directly into the lens of the camera. As the scene cuts back and forth, the characters usually match placement and seem to be looking right at us, conveying a unique sense of urgency or poignancy. »
- Brad Brevet
April 9th will mark the four year anniversary of director Sidney Lumet's passing, at age 86. Lumet was the first director I interviewed whose one-sheet posters hung on my wall as a kid. He was an idol, an icon, and an inspiration. I wasn't yet 30 in April 1997, when I met him at The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills for our interview at the press junket for "Night Falls On Manhattan," one of his solid, authentic urban dramas that blended crime, politics and personal revelations that became his signature.
Lumet immediately put any butterflies I had at ease. Diminutive, but with the infectious energy of a teenager, his was a disarming presence. He paid me a compliment on my sportcoat, saying that I looked a bit like the young Mickey Rourke (which I still don't see, but what the hell), then went on to regale me for an hour with »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
As far the annals of horror thrillers are concerned, 1991.s The Silence of the Lambs has a firm place among the best of all time. However, a recent interview with the film.s director brings up the rather Starling.err, startling revelation that Jodie Foster was not the actress he initially had in mind for the lead role. In fact, she was not even close. In a fascinating interview at the Austin Film Festival with fellow filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, The Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme discussed the casting process for the film.s main character, the young, fresh-from-Quantico FBI Agent Clarice Starling. It turns out that Jodie Foster was nowhere on Demme.s radar, as he had names like Meg Ryan, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Laura Dern on the short list in front of her. Yes, it may seem like blasphemy now. Pitting a smart, relatable heroine, played »
Post-Nearly Press has released two book-length interviews with Iain Sinclair and Chris Petit. Also in today's roundup of news and views: A review of and two excerpts from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s fantasmagorical memoir, Where the Bird Sings Best; the Quietus on Wojciech Has's The Saragossa Manuscript; an oral history of Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking Susan at 30; Paul Thomas Anderson's conversation with Jonathan Demme; more interviews with feminist filmmaker Vivienne Dick, Wim Wenders, Errol Morris, Noah Baumbach and David Zellner; the New York Times on cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa—and more. » - David Hudson »
Chicago – There were basically two careers for Pierre Morel, before he directed the mega-hit “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, and afterward. The French-born cinematographer, camera operator and now director is releasing “The Gunman,” an action film that stars Sean Penn. Like “Taken,” the motivations for the action are based in the real world, and “The Gunman” travels to Africa, London and Barcelona on his way to redeeming his soul.
Morel has had an adventurous career, in both European cinema and in notable films, beginning with his days as a camera operator on “The Truth about Charlie” (2002), “The Dreamers” (2003) and “Before Sunset” (2004). He was the cinematographer on “The Transporter” (2002) and Director of Photography on “Love and Other Disasters” (2006). His breakthrough came in 2008, when he directed “Taken.” The film resonated with audiences, and allowed his career to move into a new direction.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The Criterion Collection has this week announced (via BluRay.com) their line-up of titles for June 2015, which will see some big releases, including Louis Malle’s My Dinner with Andre, Jonathan Demme’s A Master Builder, Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King starring late Robin Williams, and Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces for the very first time.
All the details and special features, including artwork, are below.
My Dinner with Andre – released June 16th
In Louis Malle’s captivating and philosophical My Dinner with André, actor and playwright Wallace Shawn sits down with friend and theater director André Gregory at an Upper West Side restaurant, and the two proceed into an alternately whimsical and despairing confessional on love, death, money, and all the superstition in between. Playing variations on their own New York–honed personas, Shawn and Gregory, who also wrote the screenplay, dive in with introspective, intellectual gusto, »
- Scott J. Davis
Focus Features officially has two films in the 2015-2016 awards season game. The mini-major recently announced they would distribute Tom Hopper's adaptation of "The Danish Girl" with this year's Best Actor winner Eddie Redmayne. That contender will hit theaters on Nov. 27. Their next player? "Suffragette," another period drama that just happens to star Ms. Meryl Streep. Directed by BAFTA winner Sarah Gavron, "Suffragette" features a noteworthy ensemble including Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw (also in "Danish Girl"), Brendan Gleeson and the aforementioned Streep. The film’s original screenplay is by Abi Morgan who previously scripted "Shame," "The Iron Lady" and the Emmy-winning "The Hour." With Oscar winning composer Alexandre Desplat also on board this is one project that is bursting with pedigree players. According to a release from the studio "Suffragette" is a "moving drama that will empower all who are striving for equal rights in our own day and age. »
- Gregory Ellwood
Read More: Abramorama Picks Up Jonathan Demme's 'A Master Builder' From one of Julianne Moore's most underrated performances to the form-bending collaborations between Wallace Shawn and André Gregory, the June 2015 Criterion Collection slate promises a little something for everyone. Featuring the release of six classic films, along with a special trilogy package that includes the exemplary cinema of Shawn and Gregory, this upcoming month's Criterion Collection should easily whet the appetite of any cinephile. Check out synopses of the films set to be released below, courtesy of Criterion. "A Master Builder" (2014) Twenty years after their brilliant cinema-theater experiment "Vanya on 42nd Street," Wallace Shawn and André Gregory reunited to produce another idiosyncratic big-screen version of a classic play, this time Henrik Ibsen's "Bygmester Solness" ("Master Builder Solness"). Brought pristinely to the screen »
- David Canfield
One of 3 Jesse Owens projects currently in development, Anthony Mackie's has drawn the interest of Relativity Media, although no deal has been finalized yet. But talks are said to be in their final stages. If the Relativity deal is inked, the project could be off and running into production this year, for a 2016 release. It's a passion project for Mackie - one that he's been pursuing for a few years now. No director is yet attached, although, 4 years ago, Mackie said that his dream director for the project was Jonathan Demme, who's certainly no stranger to documenting the lives of real-life figures - from Neil Young, to Jimmy Carter, to slain Haitian »
- Tambay A. Obenson
As always, March is too early to get any kind of firm grasp on what will or won't be an Oscar contender come the end of the year, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun to speculate. Last year, only two of the nine films I predicted out of the gates actually ended up receiving Best Picture nominations at the 2015 Oscars -- Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel -- which goes to show just how much we know in advance. In fact, looking at the films I had on the outside looking in, only Best Picture winner Birdman was listed. But hey, at least I had three of the top contenders in the early year conversation, that's something... rightc When it comes to this year, I feel even less certain than I did last year. I'm not sure that's saying a whole lot since only two of the 43 films on »
- Brad Brevet
The fact is I think Alan Sepinwall's review said it perfectly, right there in the headline, really. The 87th Oscars was a memorable event despite itself. A number of touching speeches and human moments on the Dolby Theater stage mostly mitigated some tone deaf writing, late-night-level jokes and an overall flatly produced show that started off so promisingly with an inspired opening number. It was, within that, a rather fitting and organic end to an unusual film awards season. And of course it ended on a note of PC outrage. Who would expect less in this day and age? A number of socio-political statements were made by the evening's winners and none of them rang a false note. It was like the sincerity of significance was clawing past the show's need to go viral or something (thematically interesting to me given what's being studied in the Best Picture victor). Common »
- Kristopher Tapley
To celebrate the Oscars this weekend, the Flickering Myth writing team look back at some of the previous Best Picture winners. First up, Helen Murdoch looks back at 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs…
Winner of the Big 5 Academy Awards – Actor, Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Director and Picture – The Silence of the Lambs is a twisted thriller that has endeared for over 20 years. Helmed by Jonathan Demme, The Silence of the Lambs is the second of the Hannibal novels and follows Clarice Starling as she hunts serial killer Buffalo Bill with the help of imprisoned killer Hannibal Lecter. From its opening shot through the cold woods through to the first meeting with Lecter and its pitch black crescendo, it’s a film that doesn’t let up and keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout.
In a year that saw The Silence of the Lambs go up against Beauty & the Beast, »
- Luke Owen
After several starts and stops over the last few years, Stephen King's time travel novel 11/22/63 is finally moving forward. After director Jonathan Demme dropped out of a film adaptation of the book, J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot optioned it as a Hulu series. Now, the show has it's leading man. James Franco will star in the nine episode event series which could be optioned for further original seasons depending on fan and critical reaction. Adapted for television by Bridget Carpenter (The »
- Alex Maidy
Following the recent announcement of their full film lineup that includes Trainwreck, Get Hard, and Spy, South by Southwest has revealed their lineup of Midnight movies and short films to screen during the festival. Chief among them is the Sundance 2015 hit Turbo Kid (read our review here) and the Sundance ’15 winner of the Short Film Prize World of Tomorrow. SXSW runs from March 13-21. View the full Midnighters and Shorts lineup below via the SXSW website.
The Corpse of Anna Fritz (Spain)
Director: Hèctor Hernández Vicens, Screenwriters: Hèctor Hernándes Vicens, Isaac P. Creus
Anna Fritz, a famous and beautiful actress, has died recently. Three young men sneak into the morgue to see her naked. Fascinated by her beauty, they decide to become the last people to have sex with her. Cast: Alba Ribas, Cristian Valencia, Bernat Saumell, Albert Carbó. (World Premiere)
Deathgasm (New Zealand)
Director/Screenwriter: Jason Lei Howden »
- Brian Welk
Teaming Up With Director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia) and screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult), Meryl Streep will star opposite her real life daughter, Mamie Gummer, in Ricki and The Flash, as a gutar heroine, who, after giving up everything for rock and roll stardom, returns home to make everything right with her family. The first image from the movie has come our way, showing that, even if you are a three time Academy Award winner, you can still rock out with the best of them. Released: August 7th »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
Jeff Bridges, psychic medium. Ask the Oscar-winning actor a relatively straightforward question and you can expect an answer ten times more interesting and in-depth than you expected. On approaching his character, the gruff Master John Gregory, in Ya fantasy adaptation "Seventh Son": "You know these kinda psychic guys that channel spirits and stuff? I remember Ramtha...this woman would channel this spirit named Ramtha," said Bridges, referring to controversial American mystic J.Z. Knight. "And...it has that aspect to it for me. You know, I'll just invite a spirit or a character into me [so it can] have its way with me. And I did that in this case. Once you get the costumes on, and you're in those wonderful Dante Ferretti sets and stuff, you open yourself to be inhabited by a character to have its way with you. And that's kind of what happened [on 'Seventh Son'], you know." The Sergei Bodrov »
- Chris Eggertsen
We’ve got our first look at Meryl Streep in what will presumably be her next Oscar-nominated role as a hard-rocking front-woman in director Jonathan Demme and screenwriter Diablo Cody’s upcoming comedy Ricki and the Flash…
In a film loaded with music and live performance, Streep stars as Ricki, a guitar heroine who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom, but is now returning home to make things right with her family. Streep stars opposite her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer, who plays her fictional daughter; Rick Springfield, who takes on the role of a Flash member in love with Ricki; and Kevin Kline, who portrays Ricki’s long-suffering ex-husband.
- Gary Collinson
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