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In 1992, Abel Ferrara made a very dark, very depressing movie called Bad Lieutenant. In it, Harvey Keitel played a morally bankrupt police officer who seeks redemption by investigating the rape of a nun who refuses to bring charges against her assailant, turning the Bad Lieutenant into the Mad Lieutenant. The film did nothing at the box office, and is remembered mostly because it is the motion picture in which Keitel shows off his penis. There was at the time no great demand for Keitel – a fine actor, but never a matinee idol – to show off his penis, even though it was a very splendid penis indeed, nor has there been any grassroots groundswell of support for this sort of thing afterwards.
Not so long ago, »
- Joe Queenan
The position of director has long been dominated by heterosexual, Caucasian males in Hollywood. For evidence of this, one need only look at the Academy Award for Best Director nominations over first 81 years of the award’s existence. Only three times have female directors received nominations (Lina Wertmüller in 1976, Jane Campion in 1993, and Sofia Coppola in 2003) and only once has an African-American director been nominated (John Singleton in 1991). Homosexual directors have had more luck, with such notable openly gay directors as Rob Marshall, Gus Van Sant, and Pedro Almodovar gaining nominations, while John Schlesinger and George Cukor even won the award. Still, directing in Hollywood is not a particularly diverse game. So it is noteworthy when, as Variety points out, “it’s possible the best-director noms might not include a single English-speaking, Caucasian, straight male”.
For a look at the directors who might instead seize this year’s Oscar nominations, »
- Brendan Bettinger
How successful was NBC's formula for "The Office"? It was later lifted for a British series, containing almost all of the same characters and elements. Of course, as so often happens, the British remake was much less successful and was cancelled after only 12 episodes, which must have been extra frustrating since "Tim" and "Dawn" (the British names for Jim and Pam) didn't even have time to hook up, much less get married. Tee-hee. That was fun. In college, when Gus Van Sant remade "Psycho," one of our film editors at the school paper thought that it would be »
- Daniel Fienberg
Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are in negotiations to topline the feature which would go into production next year. If they sign up, it'll be a fun shoot with director and actors all hitting a "sweet spot" in their acting careers. Wasikowska's last and current film is with Tim Burton and Gus Van Sant. Not too shabby. - Looks like Focus Features have stuck to Cary Fukunaga like glue. There have been tons of mentions for other projects since Sin Nombre was the talk of the town at Sundance, but his sophomore feature is looking stronger by the minute to be a gothic version of Jane Eyre (the script that was considered among one of the better ones in circulation). Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are in negotiations to topline the feature which would go into production next year. If they sign up, it'll be a fun shoot with director »
- Ioncinema.com Staff
Roman Polanski has certainly been a newsworthy name of late. Putting aside the criminal tension surrounding him, his film The Ghost Writer has recently been acquired by Twilight series film studio Summit Entertainment, according to The New York Times. As a consequence of that rights acquisition, at least one writer has taken the plunge in suggesting that Polanski should line up as the director for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Of course, you'll know that there have been other directors pushed around in the suggestion box, including Gus Van Sant (mentioned by Robert Pattinson) and Tim Burton (by Jamie Campbell Bower). Ultimately, tho »
Robert here, continuing my series of the directors that shaped the past 10 years. Most of the directors I’ve written about have been either newcomers or have taken their earlier success and continued it into the aughts. Not many have reinvented themselves for this decade. But today’s man did: Gus Van Sant
Number of Films: Six
Modern Masterpieces: Oh who’s to say. I don’t expect this to be echoed but I’m going with Gerry.
Total Disasters: No. Psycho was last decade.
Better than you remember: All three entries in the death trilogy have gotten somewhat of a bad rep.
Box Office: With over 51 mil, Finding Forrester understandably tops the more experimental fare.
Critical Consensus: With a Rotten Tomatoes score over 90%, Milk understandably tops the more experimental fare.
Favorite Actor: Matt Damon in »
Slamdance, which runs concurrently with Park City’s Sundance Film Festival, has announced its 2010 line-up, and there are several choices that look to make genre fans sit up and take notice.
Variety provided the names of the ten narrative and eight documentary feature films that are, in the spirit of the fest’s motto, “by filmmakers, for filmmakers.” Although not all of them are horror related, in the interest of keeping you guys fully informed on all the latest indie happenings (and because some of the docs just sound so damn interesting with topics like William Burroughs and Bolivian women wrestlers!), the full list follows:
- Uncle Creepy
What's that? You can't wait to hear about the Irish post apocalyptic film One Hundred Mornings? Well you don't have to because we already have a review of it right here! Our own Alan Maxwell called it an "uncomfortably realistic vision of the breakdown of society." Yeah, it's good.
So continuing, part of the Slamdance lineup has been announced and it's got quite a few films we've featured.
Want something horrible in the forest? How about YellowBrickRoad?
Or maybe some William Burroughs? How about William S Burroughs: A Man Within?
Yup, the lineup for one of my favorite festivals is looking mighty fine as usual, and we'll be bringing you more shortly.
Partial lineup after the break!
Slamdance, Sundance’s indie little brother, has announced the 18 films that will be playing in competition next month. While the economy might be slowing down, there was no shortage of submissions, as Slamdance reports they had 5,000 films vying for a spot in the Festival. Of the 18 films in competition, ten are narrative, eight are documentaries, and eleven are world premieres.
“The quality of indie filmmaking is getting higher while productions costs are getting lower,” said Slamdance prexy and co-founder Peter Baxter. “Far apart from the apparent industry downturn, there appears a great sense of what is possible rather than impossible with our submissions.”
Of course this year will be very interesting at Slamdance after the success Paranormal Activity. If you didn’t know, Activity screened at the 2008 Festival and has since made over $100 million at the domestic box office. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a few more buyers looking for a repeat performance. »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
The competitive lineup for the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival (of which Fangoria is a media sponsor) has been revealed via an announcement on Variety. "As in years past, competing films are by first-time feature directors working with limited budgets and without domestic theatrical distribution in place. Among the 18 titles, 11 are world premieres." the trade reports.
Fright fans may recall that Oren Peli's recent hit Paranormal Activity played the fest in 2008. As always, Slamdance will run side-by-side with the Sundance Film Fest in Park City Utah, January 21-28, 2010. While there's plenty of genre fare to be seen, we've got the entire list of films for you to browse below.
“Cummings Farm” (Andrew Drazek) Comedy about three couples who try group sex at a lakeside strawberry farm, naively hoping it will lead to enlightenment; with Laura Silverman. “Drones” (Amber Benson & Adam Busch) A man discovers a universal threat to his life, »
- email@example.com (James Zahn)
As you may have noticed, I will not be done with my Decade in Review until sometime into the new year. Hopefully we'll wrap up shortly after the Oscars; You know how distractingly all-consuming the Oscars can be! I hope you'll stay with it even though the rest of the media will move on any second now. They're always in such a rush. No stopping and smelling of the flowers. I've still got to update that "Actors of the Aughts" project for final compilation/statement. For now, let's move on to 2003. What follows is my original top ten list, based on films released in NYC in 2003. If I have anything new to say that'll be in red after the original text.
Special Mentions: The Cremaster Cycle and Angels in America
- NATHANIEL R
Rob here, looking back at 2002. At the end of each year, if you're like me, you assess. Best Overall Film? Best Comedy? Best Documentary? and of course Best Auteur-Made Experimental Improvised Independent Film. Now each year that last category could have dozens of possibilities. But in 2002, the clear winner was Gerry
No one is going to accuse Gerry of being the best film of 2002. It lacks a certain... gravitas that most people require for that distinction. Even though I must say as time passes those who've seen it seem to like it more and more. Best or not, Gerry is just so damn interesting, and rather charming. Among other things it's interesting how Van Sant can make »
Back in June we featured the first photo from Howl, the film about the 1957 obscenity trial Allen Ginsberg faced after the publication of his poem of the same name. Thanks to FilmSchoolRejects though, we've got three more photos to add to that first one from June. Howl stars James Franco as the poet Allen Ginsberg alongside of Mary-Louise Parker as Gail Potter, Jeff Daniels as Professor David Kirk, and David Strathairn as Ralph McIntosh. Additionally, Aaron Tveit stars as Ginsberg's friend Peter Orlovsky, which is who you see with Franco above. We also just found out that this would be premiering at Sundance next January. Howl is written and directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and was executive producer by Gus Van Sant. Franco explained previously that he plays Ginsberg as "an unsure young man who's trying to find his way." The film surrounds the 1957 obscenity trial that »
- Alex Billington
Quietly and unexpectedly, Matt Damon has become the premier Hollywood actor of the past decade. He's lent his minutely constructed, surprisingly athletic performances to the films of directors Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Paul Greengrass, Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood, a roster that's not coincidentally produced some of the most vital and successful films of the past ten years.
His remarkable career isn't simply a matter of a good agent. It's all in the manner in which he so carefully adapts his particular skills to the roles.
Damon's commitment is displayed on his body, which he relentlessly crafts to the specifications of each character -- he's almost the anti-movie star in his physical malleability. Take a look at how he changes from "The Bourne Identity" in 2002 to the Farrelly Brothers' "Stuck On You," a year later. In the former, he carved himself down to muscle and bone, a tightly packed »
- R. Emmet Sweeney
Bryce Dallas Howard is a busy woman. She is literally doing this interview while running to a location in Portland, Ore., to see its view and approve it for the next Gus Van Sant film.The location exceeds her expectations. "This view is gorgeous! I approve!" she exclaims midsentence, then immediately gets back to discussing the intricacies of her character, Fisher Willow, in the film based on Tennessee Williams' "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond." She may have recently garnered press for taking over Rachelle LeFevre's role in the upcoming film "Eclipse," the third installment in the "Twilight" series, but it is Howard's strong, emotional performance as a rebellious Southern socialite who falls for an unsuitable young man in "Diamond" that has grabbed the attention of critics.Back Stage: "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond" was until now an unproduced screenplay by Tennessee Williams. So you get »
Here's some great news about a film that, just by virtue of existence, is now high on my 'to watch' list for 2010. I knew that Takeshi Kitano had been shooting a new film (mentioned it in passing here, while talking about Ryo Kase working with Gus Van Sant) but we haven't had any details about it. And while he's talked about going back to gangster pictures, we didn't know for certain that's what this new film would be. Now the details are out: the film is called Outrage and it is indeed a film about Japanese criminals. Will it stack up against Sonatine? If it even comes close, I'll be happy. Variety reports on some of the info. Kitano scripted, directed and stars in the film, which is in post-production now. Movie "depicts power struggles among Tokyo gangsters," which really doesn't tell us much, even when augmented with the fact »
- Russ Fischer
Welcome to a new series here on Cinematical where we select an actor or actress and the role we think is their all time best.
There is no doubt about it, Nicole Kidman is a big old movie star. But, what's always struck me as a little odd is that when you ask most people what they think of the actress, more often than not the reactions aren't all that positive. As for box-office, it's not like her numbers are going to blow you away either. But neither of those things have stopped Kidman from joining the ranks of A list actresses. So yeah, her career has spanned two continents and she has become an icon of glamor, but when it comes to her work as an actress, I happen to think that she peaked in 1995 in Gus Van Sant's dark comedy, To Die For. In Van Sant's film, »
- Jessica Barnes
The final 'Twilight Saga' film hasn't been green-lit just yet, but that doesn't mean we haven't been keeping an eye on it.
Photo: Summit Entertainment
Typically, when we do one of our MTV cheat sheets, it's a compilation of all the info you need to know before you go see that movie opening weekend. Sometimes, we'll even stretch things a bit and give you the 411 on a blockbuster film coming along months from now. But if there's one film worth a reworking of the rules, it's "Breaking Dawn."
Technically, the fourth "Twilight" film remains hypothetical at best. But that hasn't stopped the fans from wanting it, the series stars from talking about it, or the behind-the-scenes machinations from providing a story as compelling as Stephenie Meyer's controversial final novel. So, on the heels of the massive "New Moon" opening, »
By Jocelyn Vena
Photo: MTV News
With the box-office success of "New Moon" and fans eagerly anticipating the June release of "Eclipse," it looks almost certain that "Breaking Dawn," the final book in the "Twilight Saga," will hit the big screen. But there are two big questions surrounding the potential film: Who will direct it, and will it be split into two movies?
MTV News spoke with the "Twilight" stars last week at a New York screening of "New Moon" and asked them to weigh in on the saga's future.
"If I had a wish list, Gus van Sant would be pretty cool," Peter Facinelli said, mirroring Robert Pattinson's director pick. "I just think he'd be an interesting choice for it. I mean, 'Milk' was phenomenal. I would »
It's been a terribly fun ride waiting for that seemingly inevitable moment when The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn will go from "optioned property" to a full-on greenlit production. Even before The Twilight Saga: New Moon was really near its theatrical release, fans were pressing for New Moon director Chris Weitz to sign onto direct The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Before that, fans were even picking out Bella's wedding dress from a crop of mock-up designs done by big-named fashion designers for InStyle. That's, of course, after plugging through some fan-made film posters and vehemently protesting against the notion of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ending on a Breaking Dawn-type note. The actors have been throwing around their own opinions on the matter. Jamie Campbell Bower put forth his opinion that Alice In Wonderland director Tim Burton would do a great job, and he was later backed by New Moon co-star Ashley Greene. »
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