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The name Peter Hyams may not be the mentioned in the same breath as contemporaries like Robert Zemeckis, Richard Donner and Barry Levinson, but this somewhat underappreciated filmmaker is far from a journeyman. During his five decade career he has effortlessly jumping between genres, churning out some entertaining and understated work, his most fruitful period being the 1980’s which saw the likes of Outland, The Presidio, Running Scared and 2010, a brave (and pretty enjoyable) attempt at crafting a sequel from Stanley Kubrick’s seminal work, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Enemies Closer, his first film since the 2009 Michael Douglas-headlining Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, sees him reunited with aging action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme (their two previous films together, Sudden Death and Timecop, are arguably the highlight of the former martial artist’s career). Enemies Closer is a fun, unpretentious B-movie which bears the unmistakable mark of a cinematic craftsman (Hyams, »
- Adam Lowes
Film Fest Ghent, whose World Soundtrack Awards initiated a spate of annual film music showcases around the world over the past decade, has named French composer Francis Lai as the recipient of the Wsa’s Lifetime Achievement Award for the event’s 14th edition (Oct. 14-25).
The honor for Lai, best known for his scores on Claude Lelouch’s landmark “A Man and a Woman” and Arthur Hiller’s blockbuster hit “Love Story,” is in keeping with the French skew of Ghent’s film fest proper, which is entering its 41st year. (Catherine Deneuve is this year’s poster girl.) In this regard, according to fest spokesperson Riema Reybrouck, a series retrospectives on French directors are in the planning stages.
A selection of Lai’s work will be performed at the WSAs on Oct. 25, where American film composer Cliff Martinez will also hold court as the main guest of the musical proceedings, »
- Steve Chagollan
Just days before Steven Soderbergh‘s new series “The Knick” debuts on Cinemax, its star Eve Hewson is in talks to join Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg‘s Cold War thriller, TheWrap has learned. Spielberg is directing from a script by Matt Charman, which was recently rewritten by the Oscar-winning Coen brothers. The DreamWorks movie is based on the true story of James Donovan, a U.S. attorney who lost his reputation and was branded a communist after defending a Russian spy, only to be asked by the CIA to go behind the Berlin Wall and meet with the Kgb to negotiate the release. »
- Jeff Sneider
Once upon a time, every new drama that landed on our TV screens was either a hospital or crime-based show. Then came the apocalypse – zombie, or otherwise. These things move in waves, and since Downton Abbey began enjoying runaway success, producers have been commissioning more and more period dramas. We will soon be watching David Duchovny in the Manson-tracking drama Aquarius, and Clive Owen in Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick. The trend looks set to continue, too, with news that Joseph Fiennes will take the role of Nostradamus in a forthcoming episodic production.
The project – which comes from a partnership between Downton Abbey producers Carnival Films and True Detective producers Anonymous Content – will also feature Fiennes as producer. Micahel Boccacino is writing the hour long drama series, which will focus on the infamous visionary as he works toward avenging the murder of his family.
An apothecary and author by trade, »
- Sarah Myles
Last year, the Emmys embraced four Oscar champs: Ellen Burstyn ("Political Animals"), Michael Douglas ("Behind the Candelabra"), Melissa Leo ("Louie"), and Steven Soderbergh ("Behind the Candelabra"). This year, there are a staggering 20 winners of filmdom's biggest prize in contention for TV's top honors. Take a tour through the photo gallery at the bottom of this post that showcases all these Oscar winners looking to add Emmys to their mantles. -Break- Among them, this year's Oscar king Matthew McConaughey ("True Detective") and two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey ("House of Cards") who are battling each other for both Best Drama Actor and for producing these Best Drama Series contenders. Three Best Actress winners -- Kathy Bates ("American Horror Story: Coven"), Ellen Burstyn ("Flowers in the Attic"), and Julia Roberts ("The Normal Hea..."' »
Let us play the “Name Game”, shall we? Since we all are part of the experience here at the entertainment website known as Sound on Sight maybe we should pay homage to our online destination by celebrating it in an unconventional manner? Specifically, we can recognize Sound on Sight by acknowledging movie names that contain the words “sound” and “sight” in their titles.
However you may perceive this experimentation as being rather gimmicky and silly please realize that this movie column is also a means to recognize a few movie titles that are unfamiliar or perhaps a first-time discovery to some of you out there that never heard some of these cinematic selections. There may be a couple of well-known films in the bunch but collectively the features being mentioned in Sound on Sight: Top 10 Random “Sound” and “Sight” Movie Titles are aptly presented based on the theme at hand. »
- Frank Ochieng
96 years ago, Ingmar Bergman was born and once he hit Stockholm University College at the age of 23, he fell in love with the movies. And so began a career that would span decades, with Bergman making films would become stone cold classics, all while bringing an intellectual rigor that to this is day is still hard to match by many. He's one of the 20 Celebrated Filmmakers Who Never Won A Best Directing Oscar, but what you might not know about Bergman is that despite his very serious oeuvre, Bergman had a playful side. In fact, he apparently loved Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's Eleven" and was a fan of "Die Hard," and while you find him talking about those in this vintage interview, give it a look anyway. Back in 1971, the director visited "The Dick Cavett Show," a couple of weeks after his latest film at the time, "The Touch," had been released in theatres. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Edited by Adam Cook
Above: a new digital anthology on Hong Kong Cinema is available online from Film Comment. The Summer issue of the magazine is out now too. Also relevant: Tony Leung is set to star in Wong Kar-Wai's next film. "Gas food lodging: The best job in the world has its downside": in an unusual blog entry, David Bordwell expounds on "the indignities of film festivals." It's still months away from release, but we're dying of anticipation for Michael Mann's Cyber. The La Times has a brief report from Bejiing, featuring some words from the director himself.
Above: speaking of films we can't wait to see, here's the new trailer for David Fincher's Gone Girl. One from last week that slipped through its Noteworthy is Laura Legge's magnificent ode to subtitles for 3:am Magazine, "long Pause, romantic music, silence".
Our pal Girish Shambu has »
Cinemax has yet to premiere Steven Soderbergh's new TV series The Knick, but the cable network has already renewed it for a second season. The series stars Clive Owen and is set in downtown New York in 1900, and it focuses "on Knickerbocker Hospital and the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff, who push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics."
Soderbergh talked to Variety about the series and revealed that he will return as director and direct all 10-episodes of season 2.
"I’m going to do all 10 — you’re seeing a trend now of … a sense that there’s a positive aspect to having a visual language that’s very specific and very unified throughout the show. It’s not only creatively satisfying, but also, practically speaking, better … in terms of economics … we schedule it like a film."
I love that he's »
- Joey Paur
Is moving online the new moving to TV? For a decade, film actors, writers and directors have moved to television while explaining that TV is where some of the best work is. Now they're moving online, again praising the creative freedom of their new medium. Also read: Steven Soderbergh Comedy ‘Red Oaks’ Gets Amazon Pilot Order The cast and creator of Amazon's “Transparent” say it's been a very easy transition. Sundance Best Director winner Jill Soloway, who created the series, says Amazon has given her the biggest budget she's ever had. The series focuses on a Los Angeles family whose patriarch, »
- Tim Molloy
A large crowd queues impatiently outside the cinema and, when the doors open, rushes in. In an instant, every available seat is taken. Toward the back of the auditorium, a dispute breaks out between two passholders over who was there first. It’s a common enough sight at film festivals the world over: Sundance, Cannes, Telluride, Toronto. Only this time, we are in the serene college town of Bologna and the coveted premiere isn’t the latest work by a prize-winning auteur, but rather an early Hollywood sound film believed to have been unseen in nearly 70 years. The movie is called “Why Be Good?” (pictured above) and it was one of the hottest tickets you could come by at the 28th edition if Il Cinema Ritrovato (June 28-July 5), which screened the 1929 Vitaphone feature in a sterling new restoration.
One of the more than 100 feature films directed by the extremely industrious »
- Scott Foundas
For the first time in more than four years at Starz, Chris Albrecht looked and sounded comfortable as he showed off a new slate of programming for the premium cabler.
Albrecht went off the script at the start of Starz’s Friday session at the Television Critics Assn. summer tour, fielding about 20 minutes’ worth of questions that ranged from his thoughts on the pending Mvpd mega-mergers to the struggle for Starz programs to generate pop culture buzz.
See Also: Chris Albrecht Hunts for Hits as He Reinvents Starz
In the process he dropped the tidbit that he tried to convince Universal to produce “50 Shades of Grey” as a TV series for Starz by offering the studio a three-year commitment.
“I told them you won’t have to worry about box office, you won’t have to worry about a (content) rating,” Albrecht said. His pitch went nowhere, but it was worth a try. »
- Cynthia Littleton
A month ahead of its series premiere, Cinemax has seen fit to renew its period medical drama The Knick, from “retired” filmmaker Steven Soderbergh, for a second season of 10 episodes. Excitingly, Soderbergh, who executive-produced and directed all 10 episodes of the first season, will be returning to helm the entire second season as well. News of the pick-up comes just days after Soderbergh revealed that he was planning a second season, so Cinemax likely jumped at the chance to keep him around.
Set in downtown New York at the turn of the twentieth century, The Knick focuses on the doctors, nurses and staff of Knickerbocker Hospital as they push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics.
- Isaac Feldberg
With Steven Soderbergh stepping away from the world of moviemaking, if you're looking for a another filmmaker with his same spirit of exploration and productivity, J.C. Chandor seems to fit the bill. He hasn't wasted a moment since breaking out with the talky, financial world drama "Margin Call." He switched it up for his next movie, the nearly wordless survival tale "All Is Lost," and Chandor already has his period-set immigration tale "A Most Violent Year" with Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in the can, with a release planned for this fall. But instead of taking a break, he's lining up his next film. Deadline reports that Chandor will take the helm of "Deepwater Horizon." Can you guess what it's about? Indeed, it's based on the The New York Times article from Christmas Day, 2010, detailing the explosion on the oil rig that led to one of the biggest environmental disaster in United States history. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Even though it’s only July, it’s hard to imagine watching a better-made movie in 2014 than “Boyhood.” Shot in secret over 12 years, director Richard Linklater captures the journey, and struggles, of growing up — his lead actor Ellar Coltrane ages in real time, from 6 to 18 onscreen. No other film has ever been made this way. Coltrane could have bailed from the project once he hit puberty, since even the strictest contract couldn’t keep him on a project for so long, but he stuck it through to the end (along with Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, who play his parents).
For millennials and movie buffs, Linklater, who is 53, is one of the most influential directors of the arthouse boom of the early ’90s. When I recently interviewed Chris Evans, he said he modeled his upcoming directorial debut, “1:30 Train,” on “Before Sunset.” You could argue that Linklater, who was influenced by the French New Wave, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
I love Steven Soderbergh‘s “retirement,” and we haven’t even seen much of it yet. The Knick, the ten-episode Cinemax show directed by Soderbergh, doesn’t premiere until August 8. When it premieres, we’ll see Clive Owen as a surgeon, or what passed for a surgeon in 1900, when the Knickerbocker Hospital in New York was a barrier […]
- Russ Fischer
Mike Nichols and Meryl Streep will begin work early next year on “Master Class,” an adaptation of Terrence McNally’s Tony-winning play about opera great Maria Callas, HBO president Michael Lombardo announced Thursday at the Beverly Hills hotel. This officially confirms a rumored collaboration, in which Streep will play Callas and also executive produce along with director Nichols and Celia Costas. McNally will adapt his own work for the screen. In other news, Steven Soderbergh said he will, in the show's second season, do a ten-episode directing job on “The Knick,” the new Clive Owen-starring drama about a pioneering, cocaine-addicted medical doctor in 1900 New York. On Thursday, HBO announced it has renewed the series even before its August 8 premiere. Soderbergh, who also acts as D.P., camera operator, and editor on the series – which will air on Cinemax, HBO’s sibling channel – said, “You’re seeing a trend now »
- Amy Dawes
Cinemax preceded its Thursday (July 10) Television Critics Association press tour panel for the 1900 NYC medical drama "The Knick" by announcing that it has already renewed the series, which won't premiere until August 8. The 10-episode renewal wasn't a huge shock, because "The Knick" is a very important series for Cinemax as it continues its transition from Skinemax to the fun action-fueled destination for shows like "Strike Back" and "Banshee" to the kind of network capable of luring talent like director Steven Soderbergh and star Clive Owen. The fact is that as long as Owen and Soderbergh were willing to be involved in a second season, a renewal was inevitable and it sounds like the not-particularly-retired Oscar winner is, indeed, eager to continue. "Yeah. I’m going to do all ten," Soderbergh said on the panel, responding to a question about the recent trend of TV directors taking extended duty on shows, »
- Daniel Fienberg
The Television Critics Association's summer press tour is underway this week with various bits of TV news being announced at the assorted network panels over the course of the next two weeks. Amongst the news today:
Cinemax has given Steven Soderbergh's period medical drama "The Knick" an early renewal, granting the show a second season a full month before the ten episode first season premieres on the cable network on August 8th. Like the first season, the second will consist of ten episodes which are all set to be directed solely by Soderbergh.
HBO's confirmed that the eight-episode, fifth and final season of "Boardwalk Empire" launches on September 7th and will be set during the Great Depression in 1931.
- Garth Franklin
Dave Grohl decided to take on the upcoming HBO docuseries “Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways” for a number of reasons. And one of them, it seems, is that his offspring won't have to turn to a Simon Cowell-type music mogul for validation some day. Speaking at the Television Critics Association panel for the upcoming series, which premieres in October, the Foo Fighters frontman discussed the inspiration that he hopes the series will inspire in aspiring musicians — and he took a thinly veiled swipe at “American Idol” and its ilk. Also read: Steven Soderbergh Came to Cinemax ‘To Be the Big Kid. »
- Tim Kenneally
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