14 items from 2015
Each year, a lot of filmmakers make a lot of movies. Some of them are noteworthy, some become celebrated award-winners, while a rare one or two enter into the annals of history – taking place alongside great works by artists such as Alan J. Pakula. Part of the fun is predicting which film – if any – will fall into the latter category, and this year, all eyes are on Spotlight.
It’s not an outlandish idea to compare the upcoming drama to Pakula’s legendary All The President’s Men, since the subject matter shares the theme of presenting a fictionalized account of some of the most important and remarkable journalism of the 20th century. Where Pakula’s Oscar winner focused on The Washington Post’s work on the Watergate scandal, Spotlight depicts the work of The Boston Globe in uncovering the Massachusetts Catholic sex abuse scandal of 2001.
In a further connection, »
- Sarah Myles
Christopher Lee, the second most famous Dracula of the 20th century — an impressive feat — and a memorably irrepressible villain in James Bond film “The Man With the Golden Gun,” in the Star Wars films and in “The Lord of the Rings” pics, has died. He was 93.
His first role for famed British horror factory Hammer Films was not the Transylvanian vampire, however, but Frankenstein’s Monster in 1957’s “The Curse of Frankenstein.” His close friend Peter Cushing, with whom he would co-star in horror films frequently, starred as the Baron.
Lee made his first appearance as the sharp-toothed Count in 1958’s “Horror of Dracula.”
For reasons not quite certain, he skipped the 1960 sequel “Brides of Dracula,” but he returned to the role for 1965’s “Dracula: Prince of Darkness” — a movie »
- Carmel Dagan
'Yesterday' movie: Leleti Khumalo and Lihle Mvelase. 'Yesterday' movie review: Fantastic central performance in South African AIDS drama To date, nowhere has the AIDS pandemic been felt more strongly than in Sub-Saharan Africa, home to approximately 10 percent of the world's population and two-thirds of the planet's 30-35 million AIDS cases. In the past thirty years, it is estimated that more than 20 million Sub-Saharan Africans have died from complications of the disease.* Even today, drug cocktails that are relatively accessible in other parts of the globe are still beyond the means of the vast majority of Africans. Writer-director Darrell Roodt's South African drama Yesterday is set in this catastrophic scenario. The film depicts the effects of AIDS in the life of a young Zulu woman who contracts HIV from her husband. Although Roodt's narrative maintains its focus on the plight of one particular individual, the (for non-Zulus) quirkily named Yesterday represents millions of other women, »
- Andre Soares
'The Contender' movie hero: Joan Allen as the virtuous Sen. Laine Hanson. 'The Contender' movie: Exceptional Joan Allen in intriguing but ultimately wimpy political drama "Principles only mean anything when we stick by them when they're inconvenient," says Senator Laine Hanson, played by Joan Allen in Rod Lurie's The Contender. Senator Hanson should know. In Lurie's political drama, the poor Democratic senator is grilled by a Republican inquisitor with a bad hairdo (Gary Oldman) who wants to prevent at all costs her being confirmed as the next Vice President of the United States. Even if that means destroying Hanson's political career by making public the senator's alleged participation in an orgy during her college days.* Now, why such hatred? Well, the Republican watchdog is certain that the U.S. president (Jeff Bridges) has chosen Sen. Hanson because of her gender instead of her qualifications for the job. Adding insult to injury, »
- Andre Soares
“Now hold it, hold it. We’re about to accuse Haldeman, who only happens to be the second most important man in this country, of conducting a criminal conspiracy from inside the White House. It would be nice if we were right. ”
All The President’S Men will screen at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium Friday May 15th at 7:30pm.
Lengthy and full of details but nevertheless one of the most acclaimed films of the ‘70s, All The President’S Men (1976) still manages to work almost 40 years after its release.
As we all know, this film revolves around the efforts of Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) and Bob Woodward Robert (Redford) of the Washington Post to get at the truth behind that little “third-rate burglary” that happened at the Watergate building in the early morning hours of June 17, 1972. Bit by little bit, a disturbing puzzle forms. With some assistance from »
- Tom Stockman
One of Australia.s foremost television writers, Michael Laurence, died this week on March 23rd, .2015, after a long illness. He was 79. Michael was creator and writer of close to two hundred hours of commercially successful Television. He was a gifted storyteller, probably best known for his successful series Return to Eden. He began his professional career as a child actor in Sydney radio, and was always distinguished by his mellifluent speaking voice. This together with his imposing height and dark good looks made him someone not to be ignored. At eighteen he won a two-‐year scholarship to Lamda (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). He worked as an actor in the UK and Australia, in everything .from musicals to Shakespeare, and with all the major theatrical companies. He was a clever comedian in shows like .Black Comedy. at Sydney.s Philip Theatre. Working at the Melbourne Theatre Company »
- Donald Macdonald
Editor's Note: We're proud to announce that we are now the North American home for Locarno Film Festival Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian's blog. Chatrian has been writing thoughtful blog entries in Italian on Locarno's website since he took over as Director in late 2012, and now you can find the English translations here on Notebook as they're published. To kick things off, we're posting his piece on Sam Peckinpah, who was recently announced to be the subject of the festival's epic retrospective this year. The Locarno Film Festival will be taking place August 5th to 15th. ***The life of Sam Peckinpah sits like a splendid diamond set between two glorious eras for American cinema, one already on the decline and the other still to come. Retracing his career means looking as much at the great classical tradition that preceded him as at the new directors currently leaving their mark on the imagination. »
- Carlo Chatrian
Teresa Wright: Later years (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon.") Teresa Wright and Robert Anderson were divorced in 1978. They would remain friends in the ensuing years. Wright spent most of the last decade of her life in Connecticut, making only sporadic public appearances. In 1998, she could be seen with her grandson, film producer Jonah Smith, at New York's Yankee Stadium, where she threw the ceremonial first pitch. Wright also became involved in the Greater New York chapter of the Als Association. (The Pride of the Yankees subject, Lou Gehrig, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in 1941.) The week she turned 82 in October 2000, Wright attended the 20th anniversary celebration of Somewhere in Time, where she posed for pictures with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. In March 2003, she was a guest at the 75th Academy Awards, in the segment showcasing Oscar-winning actors of the past. Two years later, »
- Andre Soares
The Oscars are less than 96 hours away, so you only have a limited amount of time to brag about your insane knowledge of Academy Awards history. Ready for a brutal 21-question foray into Oscar's grisly past? Let's roll. (We give you the questions on the first page. Jot down your responses, then check the answers, along with the accompanying questions, on the next page. The videos embedded here aren't related to the questions. They're just fun!) 1. What ‘90s Best Actor winner gave the shortest onscreen performance ever nominated (and therefore awarded) in that category? This is measured by total minutes and seconds spent onscreen. 2. The first (and so far only) black female nominee in the Best Original Screenplay category was a co-writer of what biopic released in the 1970s? 3. From 1937 to 1945, the Academy guaranteed nominations in one particular category to any studio that submitted a qualifiable entry. What was the category? »
- Louis Virtel
Now that these damn Grammys are out of the way, we can focus on the only meaningless award that matters: the Oscar. The Best Supporting Actor category has a varied and interesting past, and if you check out Netflix right now, you can drink in these legendary performances that picked up a trophy. George Sanders in "All About Eve" This is my personal pick for the best win in the Supporting Actor category. George Sanders plays the deadly droll Addison DeWitt, a theater critic whose snipes make or break thespian careers. He's enchanted (but not fooled) by the manipulative sociopath Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), who sets out to supplant veteran actress Margo Channing (Bette Davis) as the reigning doyenne of the New York stage. Though Sanders is hilarious throughout "All About Eve," he rather poetically articulates the pleasure of theater (and, in doing so, sums up "Birdman") during his finest »
- Louis Virtel
Young Robert Redford and politics: 'The Candidate' and 'All the President's Men' (photo: Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in 'All the President's Men') A young Robert Redford can be seen The Candidate, All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor, and Downhill Racer as Turner Classic Movies' Redford series comes to a close this evening. The world of politics is the focus of the first three films, each one of them well-regarded box-office hits. The last title, which shows that politics is part of life no matter what, is set in the world of competitive sports. 'The Candidate' In the Michael Ritichie-directed The Candidate (1972), Robert Redford plays idealistic liberal Democrat Bob McKay, who, with no chance of winning, is convinced to run against the Republican incumbent in a fight for a California seat in Congress. See, McKay is too handsome. Too young. Too liberal. »
- Andre Soares
Seth Grahame-Smith is a very busy man. Not only has he recently completed the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter novel sequel 'The Last American Vampire', he has a ton of screenplays on his plate that include Beetlejuice 2, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Stephen King's It. He is also adapting Ray Bradbury's novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, which was turned into a cult classic back in 1983. His version, though, is going to be slightly different.
Seth Grahame-Smith is setting his Something Wicked This Way Comes in the 80s, whereas the original was set in the 30s. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, he teased that the movie will feel like one of Steven Spielberg's earlier efforts, comparing it to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and The Goonies.
"I can't help but think of this in sort of Amblin terms. Boys riding bikes, out on their own, exploring and »
Forget the fancy ivy leagues -- in a New York Times Op-Ed, Oscar winner Tom Hanks says he owes all of his success to his two years spent at Chabot College, a community college in Hayward, Calif.
The beloved 58-year-old actor is recalling his undergrad experience in support of President Barack Obama's new proposal to make two years of free community college accessible to millions of Americans.
Hanks reveals that after graduating in 1974, he had "lousy Sat scores" and couldn't afford tuition for college, which led him to attend Chabot, "because it accepted everyone and was free." The experience turned out to be life-changing thanks to the school's offering of a variety of different courses, and the chance to meet people from all walks of life.
Video: Tom Hanks Befriends a NYC Cab Driver In Sweetest Story Ever
"Classmates included veterans back from Vietnam, women of every marital and maternal status returning to school, middle-aged men wanting »
Having finally found acclaim as a writer/director with critical successes like The Defiant Ones (1958) after a brief period serving as a producer for others at Columbia on films such as Death of a Salesman (1951), The Juggler (1953), and The Wild One (1953), Stanley Kramer took it upon himself to follow-up his politically controversial nuclear war drama On the Beach (1959) with yet another topically contentious production – Inherit The Wind. Based on the stage play of the same name written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, the film fictionalizes the famed 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial, in which a high school teacher named John Scopes was accused of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in any state-funded school. Riding high on the creation/evolution controversy, as well as a genius ploy to exploit the witch hunt narrative to discuss the dangers of McCarthyism, which had previously seen Nedrick Young, »
- Jordan M. Smith
14 items from 2015
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