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SAG Life Achievement Honoree Morgan Freeman Proves Life Can Begin at 50

SAG Life Achievement Honoree Morgan Freeman Proves Life Can Begin at 50
When Morgan Freeman receives the Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement Award on Jan. 21, the honor will feel triumphantly inevitable. At 80 years old, his impressive resume includes 84 films, two Golden Globes, and an Oscar. But there’s a difference between Freeman and past winners, including Elizabeth Taylor and Gene Kelly. Freeman didn’t get his Hollywood break until he was 50. He’s earned his statue in half the time.

Freeman was born to act. The first night he walked onstage, the then-third grader felt so at ease, he claims he could have fallen asleep. “I was a show-off,” he admitted. His mother, Mayme, joked she was going to take him to Hollywood, but with four kids and no money, he just kicked back and forth between relatives in Mississippi and Chicago. At 13, Freeman won his first acting award when his performance as a World War II soldier took top place in a statewide school drama competition. He spent
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Q&A: Phillipe Le Guay Talks About ‘Normandie Nue,’ Snd Scores Major Deals (Exclusive)

Q&A: Phillipe Le Guay Talks About ‘Normandie Nue,’ Snd Scores Major Deals (Exclusive)
After depicting a dysfunctional father-daughter relationship in “Florida,” popular French director Philippe Le Guay is back with his long-gestated comedy/drama “Normandie Nue” starring Francois Cluzet as an endearing French mayor on a mission to save his village’s community of struggling farmers. The film tells the story of this modest Normandie village getting turned upside down by a famous American photographer who sets off to have the whole town pose naked for him in a field.

Mixing a few well-known actors such as Cluzet and François-Xavier Demaison with non-professionals, “Normandie Nue” is produced by Anne-Dominique Toussaint’s Les Films des Tournelles and represented in international markets by Snd.

Le Guay has established himself as one of France’s most successful directors of sophisticated French comedies with films like “The Women on the 6th Floor,” a 1960’s-set tale about a conservative couple’s lives which are turned upside down by two Spanish maids in Paris, and “Cycling
See full article at Variety - Film News »

International Newswire: Russian Basketball Movie ‘Three Seconds’ Crowned Box-Office Champ

International Newswire: Russian Basketball Movie ‘Three Seconds’ Crowned Box-Office Champ
In today’s International Newswire, Russia crowns basketball movie as box-office champ, newly restored print of Wim Wenders’ “Wings of Desire” to be premiered at Berlinale, Czech Film Fund launches script program, and funeral arrangements are made for rock promoter, producer and manager Tony Calder.

Russian cinema has a new box-office champ. “Three Seconds,” which centers on the victory of the Soviet basketball team at the 1972 Munich Olympics, when the U.S. team was defeated for the first time in 36 years, is towering over the local charts with a gross of $33.4 million after just three weeks.

Anton Megerdichev’s film has edged past comedy fantasy film “The Last Warrior,” which was last year’s local hero in Russia, and is still in movie theaters with a gross so far of $30.4 million. Fedor Bondarchuk’s 2013 World War II actioner “Stalingrad” remains the Russian movie to beat with a $52 million gross.

Three Seconds,” which is also
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Berlinale Classics line-up includes Ozu, Lumet, Wenders

Berlinale Classics line-up includes Ozu, Lumet, Wenders
Seven movies have been digitally restored.

Wim Wenders

The Berlinale Classics section of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 15-25) will present the world premieres of seven digitally restored films.

The strand will open on February 16 with the premiere of 1923 silent classic The Ancient Law, restored digitally by the Deutsche Kinemathek. Zdf/Arte have commissioned French composer Philippe Schoeller to make new music for this version.

Wim Wenders’ Wings Of Desire (1987) will screen in a 4K Dcp version. The version is restored by the Wim Wenders Foundation and is based on its original negatives; StudioCanal will be releasing it in German cinemas later this year.

My 20th Century (1989) is the feature debut of Hungarian filmmaker Ildikó Enyedi, who won the 2017 Golden Bear. It is a black-and-white story about the diverging lives of identical twins at the start of the Twentieth century. The film owes its 4K restoration to the Hungarian National Film Fund.

Sony Pictures Entertainment’s head of
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Proud Mary’ Review: Taraji P. Henson Deserves Better than this Glorified Direct-to-Video Garbage

‘Proud Mary’ Review: Taraji P. Henson Deserves Better than this Glorified Direct-to-Video Garbage
A dreary mess of missed opportunities, “Proud Mary” isn’t quite as bad as some of the other glorified direct-to-video dreck that’s slipped onto screens in recent months (shout out to the likes of “Marauders” and “Collide”), but it’s nevertheless significantly more disappointing. This should have been a sure thing, especially at a time that feels ripe for a modified revival of blaxploitation cinema; to paraphrase Jean-Luc Godard: “All you need to make a movie is Taraji P. Henson with a gun and a good reason to use it.”

Throw in a soundtrack that can keep up with the “Empire” star’s natural swagger and you’re really cooking with gas. How the hell do you mess that up? How do you start with “‘Foxy Brown’ meets ‘John Wick’” and end up with a bargain bin action vehicle that will bore fans of either and frustrate fans of both?
See full article at Indiewire »

Is it Time for the Oscars to Get Rid of the Best Director Category?

The 2018 Golden Globes weren’t exactly short of surreal moments. From an all-black red carpet that (deservedly) overshadowed the show itself, to an emotional acceptance speech by an actor who once referred to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as “90 nobodies having a wank,” this year’s pageant was a gilded cortege of conflicting emotions, social justice and industry platitudes meted out in equal measure — what else could you expect from something that managed to honor the artistic contributions of both Tommy Wiseau and Oprah Winfrey in the span of a single night? Hell, even the commercials were kind of unsettling.

It was an evening so defined by profound institutional blunders that it felt like par for the course when Natalie Portman decided to shade the HFPA for their all-male roster of Best Director nominees (fun fact: Clint Eastwood and the entire female gender have the same number of nominations in this category,
See full article at Indiewire »

Diamonds Aren't Forever: Close-Up on Sidney Lumet's "The Anderson Tapes"

  • MUBI
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Sidney Lumet's The Anderson Tapes (1971) is showing December 23, 2017 - January 22, 2018 in the United Kingdom.“Say Cheese!” —Bank clerk, The Anderson Tapes “Say Cheese!” —Frank Sobotka, The WireThe first thing we see in The Anderson Tapes (1971) is a television monitor, on which jailbird John ‘Duke’ Anderson (Sean Connery), speaking to camera, reveals how he became infatuated with safecracking. He likens it to rape—then revises that analogy, saying it was more like seduction. “Often, I was sexually aroused at the time.” As he’s talking, the ‘invisible’ recording apparatus through which we’re watching the monitor pans away, and we see Duke sitting, alongside other inmates, fed up of hearing his own braggadocio. It’s his last day in the can; at the end of the film, the NYPD cops in pursuit of this recently-freed career criminal will discover
See full article at MUBI »

The Enduring Exhaustion of ‘Michael Clayton’

Looking back on this still-young century makes clear that 2007 was a major time for cinematic happenings — and, on the basis of this retrospective, one we’re not quite through with ten years on. One’s mind might quickly flash to a few big titles that will be represented, but it is the plurality of both festival and theatrical premieres that truly surprises: late works from old masters, debuts from filmmakers who’ve since become some of our most-respected artists, and mid-career turning points that didn’t necessarily announce themselves as such at the time. Join us as an assembled team, many of whom were coming of age that year, takes on their favorites.

One of the most powerful states explored in cinema is the state of exhaustion. Being tired. Tired of work. Tired of bad choices. Tired of life. In every sigh, glance and line read does George Clooney convey this in Michael Clayton.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Howard Gottfried, Producer on 'Network' and 'Altered States,' Dies at 94

Howard Gottfried, Producer on 'Network' and 'Altered States,' Dies at 94
Howard Gottfried, the Oscar-nominated producer who teamed with famed screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky on Network, The Hospital and Altered States, has died. He was 94.

Gottfried suffered a stroke and died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his daughter, Norah Weinstein, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Gottfried earned his Academy Award nomination for producing Sidney Lumet's Network (1976), which did not win the best picture trophy but did take four Oscars — for Chayefsky and actors Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight — amid its 10 noms.

The producer was...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Howard Gottfried, Producer on 'Network' and 'Altered States,' Dies at 94

Howard Gottfried, the Oscar-nominated producer who teamed with famed screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky on Network, The Hospital and Altered States, has died. He was 94.

Gottfried suffered a stroke and died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his daughter, Norah Weinstein, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Gottfried earned his Academy Award nomination for producing Sidney Lumet's Network (1976), which did not win the best picture trophy but did take four Oscars — for Chayefsky and actors Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight — amid its 10 noms.

The producer was...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Menashe review – father-son character study is a bittersweet treat

A widower struggles to reclaim his child in this authentic and affectionate portrait of New York’s Orthodox Jewish community

This terrifically authentic look at life inside New York’s Yiddish-speaking Hasidic community is a bittersweet treat – a vibrantly engaging portrait of down-to-earth lives that is affectionate, amusing and ultimately very moving. A million miles removed from such peripherally comparable fare as Sidney Lumet’s A Stranger Among Us or Boaz Yakin’s A Price Above Rubies, Joshua Z Weinstein’s fiction-feature debut gets right under the skin of its characters, gently unpicking themes of social conformity and religious responsibility with melancholy wit and wry, tragicomic insight.

Populated by first-time performers playing close-to-home roles, it combines the poetry of John Cassavetes with the grit of Ken Loach, along with a touch of the cultural intimacy that Rama Burshtein brought to Fill the Void and Through the Wall.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Exclusive Interview – Director Mark Gill on his Morrissey biopic England is Mine, his creative influences, and more

Alex Moreland speaks to Mark Gill, director of Morrissey biopic England is Mine

So, first of all – can you tell us a little bit about the development of England is Mine? What was your starting point?

Well, my starting point was growing up in the same area of Manchester as Morrissey – literally a couple of streets away – discovering the band when I was a teenage lad, just falling in love with that music really, that voice. I just thought his lyrics were… Like a million other people speak to you directly about your life. And it always stuck with me. I just thought, having grown up in that area of Manchester, which is not a ghetto by any stretch of the imagination, but I always wondered how he managed to survive it. So, that was my starting point. I never really wanted to make a film about The Smiths. It
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Michael Shannon on Kubrickian Inspiration, Sex as Storytelling, and Sidney Lumet

Bringing a defining presence to any project he takes part in, Michael Shannon exudes both a controlled menace and an emotional complexity in his wide range of roles, from his collaborations with Jeff Nichols to 99 Homes to superhero villains to his small-screen gangster drama Boardwalk Empire. Following his Oscar-nominated performance in last year’s Nocturnal Animals, he’s back on the circuit with Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War era fantasy tale The Shape of Water.

If one only viewed the trailer, it may be easy to label his character or Strickland as a villain, but, like many of his roles, Shannon carries a beating, humorous heart to this archetype as he wrestles with the pressures of bureaucracy and the discarded promises of the American dream. We spoke with the actor about getting room to breathe on set, being in del Toro’s world, the complications of sex, and working
See full article at The Film Stage »

Matt Lauer, Russell Simmons, Garrison Keillor and the Upending of Everything

  • The Wrap
Matt Lauer, Russell Simmons, Garrison Keillor and the Upending of Everything
We’ve stopped panicking in Hollywood. Now we just stand around in confusion, jaws agape at the news that continues to swarm around us like an angry, buzzing hive. Three more icons of media and entertainment have fallen in the past two days. We woke up on Tuesday to Matt Lauer, the boy-next-door of morning news, being summarily fired from NBC, followed by the defrocking of midwestern uncle Garrison Keillor. And then Russell Simmons — the guru of Hollywood yoga — apologized for being a jerk and quit all his businesses after an accusation by the screenwriter daughter of Sidney Lumet...
See full article at The Wrap »

Russell Simmons Steps Down From Business Empire Following New Sexual Assault Allegation: Report

Russell Simmons Steps Down From Business Empire Following New Sexual Assault Allegation: Report
Facing a new sexual assault allegation, entrepreneur and producer Russell Simmons announced Thursday that he is stepping down from the Def Jam empire he helped found — joining an ever-growing list of celebrities like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Matt Lauer who have become engulfed in sexual misconduct scandals.

The exit comes after Rachel Getting Married screenwriter Jenny Lumet, 50, penned a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter Thursday morning claiming Simmons assaulted her in 1991.

Simmons issued a statement soon after, saying in part: “The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Russell Simmons, Def Jam Founder, Steps Down After Sexual Assault Allegations

  • ET Canada
Def Jam founder Russell Simmons announced Thursday that he is stepping down from his various leadership roles and companies after screenwriter Jenny Lumet accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1991. In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, Lumet — the daughter of revered, late director Sidney Lumet — claimed that Simmons took her […]
See full article at ET Canada »

Russell Simmons Stepping Down from His Companies After New Sexual Assault Allegation

  • TMZ
Russell Simmons is stepping down from his multimedia empire as a new woman, Jenny Lumet, comes forward claiming he raped her in the early '90s. Jenny, a filmmaker and daughter of director Sidney Lumet, says the alleged incident happened when Simmons offered her a ride to her Manhattan apartment. But instead, she says the Def Jam founder locked the SUV doors and took her to his place, despite her repeatedly asking to be taken home.
See full article at TMZ »

Russell Simmons Steps Down From Companies Following Sexual Assault Allegation

Russell Simmons Steps Down From Companies Following Sexual Assault Allegation
Russell Simmons is stepping down from his companies after being accused of sexual assault by writer Jenny Lumet. In a guest column in the Hollywood Reporter, Lumet accuses the Def Jam co-founder of forcing her to have sex in 1991. In a statement, Simmons said he had a different recollection of their encounter, but said Lumet’s “feelings of fear and intimidation are real.” He apologized to Lumet, who is the daughter of director Sidney Lumet and the screenwriter behind “Rachel Getting Married.”

“There is so much guilt, and so much shame,” Lumet wrote in her column. “There is an excruciating internal reckoning. As a woman of color, I cannot express how wrenching it is to write this about a successful man of color. Again, shame about who I was years ago, choices made years ago. In this very moment, I feel a pang to protect your daughters. I don’t think you are inclined to protect mine.”

For
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Wind River’ Director Taylor Sheridan on Expunging ‘Toxic’ Weinstein Name

‘Wind River’ Director Taylor Sheridan on Expunging ‘Toxic’ Weinstein Name
Wind River” writer-director Taylor Sheridan believes the awards season has become an effective way to give films extra life, that artists aren’t just looking to clear off mantle space for a trophy; this time of year is a megaphone for their messages.

“When you tell a story, you want the story to be heard,” Sheridan says, calling from Utah, where he’s in production on Paramount TV’s “Yellowstone” series.

To say the least, that becomes a challenge when your distributor ends up so embroiled in scandal that it loses the infrastructure necessary to carry a small film like Sheridan’s through the season.

Wind River” tells the story of a Native American woman’s rape and murder on the eponymous Indian reservation in Wyoming. The Weinstein Co. acquired the film out of the Cannes Film Market in 2016 and set it for an August release this year, where it outpaced expectations, accruing more than
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Spike Lee Reveals The Connection Between ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ & ‘Inside Man’

When it comes to the cinematic universes, Spike Lee was playing that game well before Marvel. The director has long threaded his characters through multiple films, mostly serving as Easter eggs to keen eyed fans. However, Lee reveals that “Inside Man” shares a pretty interesting, little connection with the stone cold classic, “Dog Day Afternoon.”

In an extensive interview with Vulture about his Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have It,” Lee touches upon the themes and characters that carry across his oeuvre, and details how his bank heist movie is connected with Sidney Lumet‘s picture:

….this is not the first time I’ve done something like that.

Continue reading Spike Lee Reveals The Connection Between ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ & ‘Inside Man’ at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »
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