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By Lee Pfeiffer
Ernest Borgnine's final film, The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vincente Fernandez has been released on Blu-ray on the Indican video label. The following is my review of the film's recent theatrical release:
The independent production is a modestly-budgeted family comedy/drama that presents the legendary Oscar-winner with the kind of showcase role that actors in their nineties almost never have. Borgnine makes the most of it, too, giving a terrific and moving performance that earned him the Best Actor award at last year's Newport Film Festival. Written and produced by Elia Petridis, Fernandez centers on Rex Page (Borgnine), a cantankerous old coot given to griping about every aspect of life. He seems oblivious to the fact that he has an adoring wife (June Squibb), a devoted middle-aged daughter (Dale Dickey) and and a worshipful granddaughter (Audrey P. Scott). Rex is frustrated by his failure »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Having already looked at Clint Eastwood’s prodigious output as a director, with genuinely top drawer work spread across the past forty years, it seems like a good time to look at his work as an actor too as his latest film, Trouble with the Curve, is out on DVD now.
After his first significant big screen role (1964′s A Fistful of Dollars), Eastwood averaged better than one lead role a year until the mid-90′s when he finally started to slow down a little (at least in front of the camera) and in the same way as very few directors have as strong a hit-rate as Eastwood over that long a career, so is the case for his acting output. Although he was dismissed in some quarters for years as a grizzled, taciturn performer he has always had range and genuine ability.
As some of the roles featured below demonstrate, »
- Dave Roper
This ultraviolent attack on Chinese consumerism is a stunning slap in the face from previously-sedate director Jia Zhang-ke
Cannes is a place for shocks, jolts and surprises. This change of artistic direction from Chinese film-maker Jia Zhang-ke offers plenty. He has been known until this moment for an intensely considered, quiet documentary realism — particularly in the 2006 movie Still Life, about communities preparing to be drowned in the service of China's Three Gorges hydro-electric Dam. So this brash, daring and often ultraviolent movie is atypical to say the least, avowedly inspired by the wuxia martial arts films of King Hu, but it has clear debts to Tarantino's riffs on this same genre, and to Sergio Leone. The idea of Jia Zhang-ke making his own Pulp Fiction or A Fistful of Dollars (or rather yen) might before now have seemed fanciful. But that is what he has done — or almost. »
- Peter Bradshaw
Dispute over who played guitar on composer's soundtracks for Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns to go to court in Rome
Rarely have a few notes on a reverb-drenched guitar defined an entire film genre, but half a century on, the twangy riffs of Ennio Morricone's soundtracks are for many the perfect expression of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns.
Which is why an Italian woman is suing for the €800,000 she says is due to her father, who she claims played those notes for Morricone but never received full credit.
Maria Rucher says her father, Pino Rucher, who died 17 years ago, played solos on the soundtracks of all three of Leone's seminal westerns starring Clint Eastwood – A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – which were made by the Italian director between 1964 and 1966. She first approached three other Italian guitarists to challenge »
- Tom Kington
Feature Ryan Lambie 10 May 2013 - 06:03
Here's this week's batch of worthy, geek-friendly crowdfunding projects that have caught our eye this week...
The likes of Zach Braff and Peter Molyneux may grab headlines with their Kickstarter campaigns (not to mention no small amount of controversy), but they're just the tip of the crowdfunding iceberg. Which is why we're bringing you this weekly post, which aims to highlight some of the geek-friendly crowdfunding projects we've stumbled upon during our caffeine-fuelled daily trawls around the internet.
This week, we've found a low-budget science fiction project with some potentially fantastic visuals, a point-and-click adventure game inspired by such lyrical Japanese cultural touchstones as Ico and My Neighbour Totoro, and a quirky comic book about a group of simian outlaws...
The Good, The Bad And The Monkey <br /> If you're looking for a comic with an unusual theme, Andy Baker's The Good, The Bad »
We sat down with the two filmmakers along with cast members Rotem Keinan, Tzahi Grad, and Doval’e Glickman to talk about the film, influences, and future projects. Despite the dark and twisted (but deliciously fun) content of the film, we had an absolute blast.
Be sure to check out our review of the film here.
So I saw the film yesterday and everybody in the theater, myself included, loved it.
Ak: Wow, that’s great! Thank you.
So let me start by asking how the idea for Big Bad Wolves came to pass.
Np: Well we wanted to make a film about a pedophile, eh, suspected pedophile, from his point of view. The audience doesn’t know if he did or didn’t »
- Damen Norton
This past Saturday, two beloved film directors -- Clint Eastwood and Darren Aronofsky -- sat down for an extended Tribeca Talks: Directors Series discussion after the world premiere of director Richard Schickel's Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story. The hour-long film pieces together behind-the-scenes footage from Eastwood's acting and directing projects with interesting interview anecdotes from the likes of Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman and many others -- weaving together an illuminating portrait of the iconic actor turned director. Eastwood and Aronofsky thoroughly entertained the packed Tribeca Film Festival audience by discussing everything from dealing with difficult studios and actors to Eastwood's work with Sergio Leone to why he...
- Katie Calautti
Clint Eastwood will have lost a few Brownie points for his bizarre and frankly ill-advised conversation with an empty chair at the Republican National Congress last autumn, but he is still much-adored Hollywood royalty – old and craggy, but still directing and acting to a phenomenally high standard and responsible as actor and/or director for some of the greatest and most iconic films ever to have come out of Hollywood.
Most often associated with Westerns and understandably so (the Dollars trilogy, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, Unforgiven), Eastwood also has a sterling track record within the crime genre (Dirty Harry, Mystic River, In the Line of Fire, Play Misty for Me) and with straight dramas too (Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, A Perfect World, Changeling). With Oscar statuettes and nominations coming out of his ears, he is clearly much loved by the Academy, but critics and »
- Dave Roper
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Twelve Reasons to Die is the tenth studio album from founding Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah. It is a concept album based on a comic book of the same name, it is based around Ghostface Killah’s alter ego, Tony Starks as he reads the comic and writes songs to it. The story is set in 1960s Italy, in which Starks fights against a crime organization, falls in love with the kingpin’s daughter, and seeks revenge when he is murdered. The album is entirely produced and composed by Adrian Younge, and executive produced by the RZA.
The album was released on April 16, 2013 by the RZA’s Soul Temple record label. It is a relatively short album made up of 12 tracks and coming in at just under forty minutes. Ghostface has been my favourite Wu member since he dropped his first solo album prior to »
- Scott Ronan
We all know of films that were total rip-offs from start to finish, but what about when filmmakers get a little more creative and try to hide their plagiarism a little more cleverly? These films, though widely regarded as cinematic classics, are less-known for their blatant pilfering from other works. Though some of the filmmakers have admitted their “influence”, what’s clear in each instance is that the character (and often more than that) has been shamelessly ripped off, while the majority of the film-going audience are none the wiser.
Granted, in most instances the stolen character was put to far better use in the latter project, but it’s still a pretty cheeky way to operate.
Here are 10 movie characters that were blatant rip-offs…
10. The Man With No Name (The Dollars Trilogy)
The Man with No Name is the unforgettably enigmatic protagonist of Sergio Leone’s superb Dollars Trilogy, »
- Shaun Munro
The final installment of the First Time Fest… The First Time Fest’s closing night was held on March 4th. Hosted by Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist), the Players Club lit up with flashes of cameras and smiles of the first time filmmakers anxiously awaiting whose film will win the grand prize- the chance to have their film distributed by Cinema Libre Studios.
Johanna Bennett and Mandy founded the festival after noticing there wasn’t a venue for where new filmmakers can get their film viewed and appreciated. In attendance at the closing night ceremony were Tony Bennett and Jack Huston, as well as Martin Scorsese, who presented the First John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema to Darren Aronofsky, who was also in attendance. Anthony Rapp presented the awards as guests ate food from Chef Diane Dimeo and drank champagne by Nicolas Feuillatte. Also in attendance »
- Catherina Gioino
Clint Eastwood has a filmography spanning more than fifty years and sixty movies; more than thirty of which he has directed and with over forty major starring roles.
He has been known as a director to consistently finish his movies under budget and ahead of schedule and, whilst he has never blown away at the box office in comparison to a movie like Titanic or The Avengers, it’s very rare for one of his movies to not turn in a handsome profit. Movies directed by Clint have won over one hundred awards; including the Academy Award for Best Director on two separate occasions.
This list will consist of what are, in my opinion, the 10 best movies directed by or starring Clint Eastwood, in ascending order of quality.
Please note that the intention here is not to spoil any of these movies for people who haven’t seen them, so »
- Matt Freeman
How did the lone cowboy hero become such a potent figure in American culture? In an extract from his final book Fractured Times, the late Eric Hobsbawm follows a trail from cheap novels and B-westerns to Ronald Reagan
Today, populations of wild horse-riders and herdsmen exist in a large number of regions all round the world. Some of them are strictly analogous to cowboys, such as gauchos on the plains of the southern cone of Latin America; the llaneros on the plains of Colombia and Venezuela; possibly the vaqueiros of the Brazilian north-east; certainly the Mexican vaqueros from whom indeed, as everyone knows, both the costume of the modern cowboy myth and most of the vocabulary of the cowboy's trade are directly derived: mustang, lasso, lariat, sombrero, chaps (chaparro), a cinch, bronco. There are similar populations in Europe, such as the csikos on the Hungarian plain, or puszta, the Andalusian »
- Eric Hobsbawm
Olympus Has Fallen is a old-fashioned action movie that hearkens back to one of the grandest plot devices in the genre — the mission of saving the President of the United States. In this film, which riffs on the Die Hard setup better than A Good Day to Die Hard did, the White House is taken over by terrorists, Washington D.C. is a war zone, and the President is a hostage in his own bunker.
Playing the hero is Gerard Butler, an ex-secret service man who becomes the country’s last hope in saving the president’s (Aaron Eckhart) life, and also preventing nuclear devastation. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film also stars Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Melissa Leo, Dylan McDermott, Rick Yune, and Ashley Judd.
While he is still best known for directing Training Day in 2001, Fuqua previously helmed Brooklyn’s Finest (2009), Shooter (2007), King Arthur (2004), Bait (2000), The Replacement Killers (1998), and more. »
- Nick Allen
There are two kinds of Western films. Those that came before Sergio Leone and those that came afterward.
With only six films to really speak of the Italian director who made Clint Eastwood a superstar left behind a spellbinding body of work that capitalzes mainly on the mythology surrounding the old American West. Throughout his films the themes of violence, treachery, and ways of life meeting their end are consistently explored like in Once Upon a Time in the West where the outlaw is soon becoming a thing of the past with the coming of the railroad and Once Upon a Time in America where the gangster is slowly being forced to reform or risk being gunned down.
There is something unique about the experience gained from watching each of Leone’s movies. The characters are often amoral and sometimes don’t even have names, however, somehow despite their surreal »
- Michael Thompson
Just two months ago famed composer Ennio Morricone presented Django Unchained director Quentin Tarantino with a lifetime achievement award in Rome. But last week, American outlets picked up on a small story in the Italian press where Morricone had allegedly told a group of students at Rome’s Luiss University that he did not care to work with Tarantino again, and that he was unhappy with how he used his song “Ancora Qui” in Django Unchained.
- Lindsey Bahr
The First Time Fest was created by Johanna Bennett and Mandy Ward as a way to showcase new upcoming filmmakers and their works, and to get them a head start in their industry. The festival occurred on March 1st to 4th at The Players Club in New York, which was a club started by some well-known writers and actors, including Edwin Booth (John Wilkes Booth’s brother), Mark Twain, and more.
While the festival does support new filmmakers in their journey, it also awards previous filmmakers who have made names for themselves. Being that this is the first year of the festival, the first ever John Huston Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinema went to Darren Aronofsky. The award is named in honor of John Huston as he was a esteemed member of The Players Club, as well as considered to be one of the most influential writer, actor, director and producers of all times. »
- Catherina Gioino
Even if you aren't well versed in the arena of movie composers, you probably recognize the name Ennio Morricone. The five-time Academy Award-nominated composer has created music for more than 500 film and television productions of the course of his career, including The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, The Thing, and The Untouchables. He's worked with a long list of celebrated filmmakers, from Brian De Palma, Sergio Leone, and Terrence Malick, to John Carpenter, and Quentin Tarantino. And at 84-years-old, the Italian musician with a long legacy in film has no problem telling you exactly how he feels about the last director on this list. THR reports Morricone has declared he will never work with Tarantino again because the oft-controversial director "places music in his films without coherence" and "you can't do anything with someone like that." The pair collaborated on Kill Bill 1 & 2 as well as Inglourious Basterds. However, while »
Ennio Morricone, the prolific Italian composer and conductor who has written many of the most recognizable film scores in history, says he will never again work with director Quentin Tarantino because he "places music in his films without coherence." Morricone’s work most recently appeared in Tarantino's Django Unchained, the homage to the Spaghetti Western genre Morricone help popularize in the 1960s with classics including The Good The Bad and the Ugly (1966) and A Fistful of Dollars (1964), both directed by Sergio Leone. Morricone also wrote most of the award-winning soundtrack for Leone's epic Once Upon a Time
- Eric J. Lyman
Opening in New York this Friday and in Los Angeles on March 22nd, Reality is acclaimed writer-director Matteo Garrone’s follow-up to his award-winning crime drama Gomorrah. In this darkly comic fairy tale where magical realism meets neo-realism, Garrone honors Italy’s cinematic past while focusing on the highly contemporary subject of reality television and today’s fascination with instant celebrity. He introduces an indelible cinematic everyman, Luciano (Aniello Arena), whose unforgettable journey from small-town fishmonger to big-city superstar becomes a universal fable about dreaming big that is at once delightful, delirious and deceptive. In an exclusive interview, Garrone talked to me about the true story that inspired his fascinating character study, how he navigated the subtle line between reality and fantasy, why he cast a former Mafia hitman in the main role, the similarities he sees between Arena and Robert De Niro, how the death of D.P. Marco Onorato »
- Sheila Roberts
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