19 items from 2014
For years, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop has given life to the iconic puppets and creatures in your favorite children’s shows (Sesame Street), sci-fi/fantasy movies (Labyrinth), and other endlessly-rewound projects (basically, anything with the Muppets).
As Chairman of the Henson Company, Brian Henson (son of Jim and Jane Henson) has worked on his share of famous creatures — and as the head judge on Syfy’s new reality series Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge (Tuesdays at 10 pm), Henson is hoping that fans will relish a weekly peek behind the curtain of one of Hollywood’s most fascinating processes. »
- Marc Snetiker
Oscar-winning actor who died in February remembered by film industry at Academy Awards ceremony
• Xan Brooks liveblogs the ceremony
• Full list of winners as they're announced
The Oscars paid tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Oscar-winning actor who died last year – devoting part of its traditional In Memoriam section to the actor whose death at the age of 46 shocked the film world.
Hoffman won the best actor award for his performance as Truman Capote in the 2005 biopic of the celebrated writer, and had three best supporting actor nominations for Charlie Wilson's War, Doubt and The Master. He was one of the most widely praised actors of his generation, creating startling performances for some of America's most acclaimed directors, including Todd Solondz (Happiness), Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, The Master) and the Coen brothers (The Big Lebowski). He also shone in Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr Ripley and George Clooney »
- Andrew Pulver
Patricia Highsmith's novels have provided fodder for more than two dozen film adaptations, a pantheon that now includes "The Two Faces of January." This 1964 suspense thriller has been memorably realized by writer-director Hossein Amini with an eye for film noir tropes. While it won't knock Anthony Minghella's "The Talented Mr. Ripley" from its pedestal, Amini's directorial debut is a quiet and graceful achievement that suffers from a number of shortcomings but still works on its own terms. Set in Athens, the story revolves around Rydal (Oscar Isaac), a handsome American expat living in Greece who's acting as a tour guide for a group of young, affluent college girls. While he's talking about the "cruel tricks gods play on men," a rich American couple walking around the ruins catch his eye: Chester and Colette MacFarland (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst). When they meet and have dinner together, Rydal can't take his eyes off Colette, »
- Tara Karajica
Patricia Highsmith provides the plot and writer-director Hossein Amini supplies the culture in “The Two Faces of January,” a gripping old-school suspenser starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac that plays like “The Talented Mr. Ripley” minus the sultry sexual chemistry among its three leads. While the love-triangle dynamic lacks spark, this tony adaptation should have no trouble seducing Hitchcock fans and smarthouse types with its golden-hued tour of southeast Europe. What better way to see Turkey and Greece than in the company of such beautiful law-breakers as they try to stay two steps ahead of the local authorities?
Originally developed through “Ripley” director Anthony Minghella’s Mirage shingle, this lesser-known Highsmith novel has been smoldering on Amini’s to-do list for nearly 15 years. Best known as the screenwriter of such subtext-rich adaptations as “The Wings of the Dove” and “Drive,” Amini excels at conveying the subtle, unspoken tensions between characters, »
- Peter Debruge
Top 10 Simon Brew 14 Feb 2014 - 06:13
Because we are human beings who like things that are good, it goes without saying that we love Alan Rickman. One of the finest British screen actors of his generation - and a few others too - he's had a varied career, taking in memorable Hollywood villains to smaller independent fare. But what amongst his film roles (and we've focused on films that got a cinema release) are our favourites? Glad you asked...
Kevin Smith's fourth film in some ways remains his most ambitious. In casting terms certainly, and the involvement of Alan Rickman led to the writer-director warning long time collaborator Jason Mewes that he "didn't want to piss off that Rickman dude".
Wearing 100-pound wings and »
The Berlin International Film Festival has added special screenings to commemorate the deaths of actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and Maximilian Schell. The festival will present a special screening of "Capote" at the CinemaxX 6 on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 9.00 pm. "Capote" had screened in competition at the festival in 2006. Hoffman also made his way to the festival for Richard Kwietniowski’s "Owning Mahowny," Spike Lee’s "25th Hour," Anthony Minghella’s "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and Paul Thomas Anderson’s "Magnolia," which won the Golden Bear. In honor of Maximilian Schell, the festival will present his film "Meine Schwester Maria" (My Sister Maria). This screening will be showing at the Urania Filmbühne Berlin on February 9, 2014 at 3.00 pm. In the film, Schell reflects on his relationship with his sister. Schell's documentary "Marlene," about Marlene Dietrich, was screened in the Competition in 1984. He returned to the Competition as an actor in Jeroen Krabbé’s. »
- Peter Knegt
The biopic, for which Hoffman won the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Actor, will be screened at the CinemaxX 6 on Feb 11 at 9pm.
Hoffman also appeared in other films that screened at the Berlinale, such as Richard Kwietniowski’s Owning Mahowny (Panorama 2003); Spike Lee’s 25th Hour (Competition 2003); Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley; and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, winner of the Golden Bear in 2000.
In memory of actor and director Maximilian Schell, who died on Feb 1, producers Margit Chuchra (mm-production), Dieter Pochlatko (Epo) and Werner Schweizer (Dschoint Ventschr) are presenting his film Meine Schwester Maria (My Sister Maria) in collaboration with the »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
To celebrate the life of Hoffman, the festival will screen Bennett Miller’s “Capote” at the CinemaxX 6 on Feb. 11 at 9.00 P.M. local time. Hoffman received a Golden Globe and an Oscar for his perf in the film, which played in the Berlinale Competition in 2006.
Hoffman also appeared in other films at the Berlinale, such as Richard Kwietniowski’s “Owning Mahowny” (Panorama, 2003), Spike Lee’s “25th Hour” (Competition, 2003), Anthony Minghella’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Magnolia,” which won the Golden Bear.
In memory of actor and director Schell, producers Margit Chuchra (mm-production), Dieter Pochlatko (Epo) and Werner Schweizer (Dschoint Ventschr) are presenting his film “Meine Schwester Maria” (My Sister Maria), in collaboration with the festival and the German Film Academy. »
- Leo Barraclough
Actor and director who could imbue the many wretches, prigs and braggarts he played with a wrenching humanity
Philip Seymour Hoffman, who has died aged 46 of a suspected drugs overdose, had three names and 3,000 ways of expressing anxiety. He was a prolific and old-fashioned character actor, which is not a euphemism for "odd" – it means he could nail a part in one punch, summoning the richness of an entire life in the smallest gesture. And, yes, he could also look splendidly odd, with his windbeaten thatch of sandy hair, porcine eyes and a freckled face that would glow puce and glossy with rage. His acting style was immune to the temptations of caricature. His rise in the 1990s coincided with the emergence of a new wave of American film-makers, and his versatile, volatile talent became integral to some of the most original Us cinema of the past 20 years.
He was »
- Ryan Gilbey
“You’re aberrated. You’ve wandered from the proper path, haven’t you? These problems you have … you seem so familiar to me.”
These words were spoken by Philip Seymour Hoffman in what would turn out to be one of his last screen performances, as the charismatic and conflicted cult leader Lancaster Dodd in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master.” They are the words of a self-styled leader and father figure, trying to reassure a man in whom he sees a lost, youthful trace of his own self, and that sympathy-for-the-devil quality is partly what makes the character so layered and seductive. It’s a magnificent performance, perhaps the actor’s greatest — one in which Hoffman, with his stout frame and arch, declamatory speech patterns, suddenly seemed possessed in body and spirit by Orson Welles.
Rather than giving us a one-note L. Ron Hubbard caricature, Hoffman invested Dodd with authority, »
- Justin Chang
Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Oscar-winning star with a stage and screen career stretching back more than 20 years, has died at the age of 46.
Hoffman worked with some of Hollywood's finest filmmakers across an eclectic mixture of films - dramas, comedies and summer extravaganzas. A notable favourite of Paul Thomas Anderson, he also brought class to high-end blockbusters such as Mission: Impossible III and the recent Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Digital Spy takes a look at Hoffman's most memorable film performances (although in truth there are many, many more) below...
Boogie Nights (1997)
Hoffman made a fleeting appearance in Paul Thomas Anderson's directorial debut Hard Eight in 1996, but the pair really cemented their working relationship in the following year's porn epic. A sound man with his eye on Mark Wahlberg's porn star Dirk Diggler, he shone in a supporting cast that included the likes of William H Macy, John C Reilly and Julianne Moore. »
Philip Seymour Hoffman has died aged 46 and a unique talent lost. We have scores of indelible performances, but there would have been such riches to come
To anyone who has heard the terrible news of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death in New York from a suspected overdose at the age of 46, I think one image recurs above all the others. It is his magnificent performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, playing the charismatic cult chief loosely derived from L Ron Hubbard — lordly and charismatic, convivial and yet sinister, insidious, insouciant.
And the most extraordinary moment was when he did his capering little dance, like a Shakespearian fool, in a wealthy drawing room, to "We'll Go No More A-Roving" and the scene took a hallucinatory turn, with all the onlookers appearing to be naked, submitting in that moment to his occult leadership. It was a scene only Hoffman could have carried off. »
- Peter Bradshaw
The parallels between Tennessee Williams’ Blanche DuBois and Woody Allen’s title character in “Blue Jasmine” have been well-documented. But the complexity of Cate Blanchett’s performance puts Jasmine in a class of literary predecessors that includes Jay Gatsby and Tom Ripley, dissemblers who will stop at nothing to convince themselves and others they are to the manor born — not by birthright but by deceit and more than a little self-delusion.
Of course, financial fraudster Bernie Madoff’s spouse, Ruth, factors in as a real-life model for Allen’s Upper East Side trophy wife — disgraced by her husband’s transgressions and stripped of her leisure-class comforts — but it’s Blanchett who does something astounding with the role, straddling that delicate line between loathsome materialist and tragic dreamer. “I’m not particularly interested in playing for sympathy with an audience,” says Blanchett, who’s being honored Feb. 1 at the Santa Barbara »
- Steve Chagollan
Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese nominated as ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ producers: Oscar 2014 (photo: Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’) According to a press release from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the producers nominated for the Martin Scorsese-directed satire-drama The Wolf of Wall Street are the following: Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland, and Emma Tillinger Koskoff. Scorsese and DiCaprio are now double Oscar 2014 nominees; Scorsese was also shortlisted as Best Director, while DiCaprio is in the running as Best Actor. Update: Left out of the Oscar 2014 running is The Wolf of Wall Street‘s fifth credited producer, Riza Aziz, Joey McFarland’s partner at producing company Red Granite. Aziz, McFarland, and Koskoff had been the officially listed producers for the 2014 Producers Guild Awards; the Academy’s Producers Branch, however, chose to leave Aziz out while listing Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese in his place. »
- Anna Robinson
Born in Essex, actress Juliet Stevenson, launched her stage career with the RSC in 1978. Her notable theatre roles have included Rosalind in As You Like It, Hedda Gabler and Paulina in Death and the Maiden, for which she a best actress Olivier award in 1992. Stevenson's first Bafta nomination was for the lead in Anthony Minghella's film Truly, Madly, Deeply, followed by further nominations for TV roles in A Doll's House, The Politician's Wife and, more recently, the BBC series Accused. Stevenson is a much loved voice on the radio and numerous audio books. She stars in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days at the Young Vic from 23 January to 8 March.
Theatre: The Scottsboro Boys
I just saw The Scottsboro Boys at the Young Vic and I was blown away. »
- Leah Harper
Miramax, which last year set a deal with Bob and Harvey Weinstein to spearhead new productions from the library they built, hired vet Zanne Devine to be exec veep of production and development She reports to chairman Thomas J. Barrack, Jr., and Miramax CEO, Steve Schoch. She will acquire, produce and develop film and TV projects for the library driven company. She has worked with Miramax as a producer and strategic advisor on production and she’s leading the charge on such projects as a TV series based on Martin Scorsese’s Gangs Of New York, another from Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn and the Max Minghella-scripted The Ninth Life Of Louis Drax, a project originated by Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack. She will also be a liason in the TWC projects. “We are very excited to make Zanne’s relationship with Miramax official »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
For a second year in a row -- and this is looking like how it's going to be from now on -- the Golden Globe winners have been revealed ahead of the Oscar nominations have not yet been announced. The Oscar nominations come this Thursday morning while Thursday night the Broadcast Film Critics Association (Bfca) will announce the winners of the 2014 Critics Choice Awards on Thursday night followed by the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday. So, yeah, it's time to start looking at these things even closer. As I have done for the last several years, today I offer my eighth installment of my "Globes vs. Oscars" column (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and we'll take a look at the past 29 years of Golden Globe winner history compared to the Oscars and see where last night's winners may gain an edge and where they most likely won't and we'll begin with the lead acting categories. »
- Brad Brevet
The career of the film producer Saul Zaentz, who has died aged 92, was marked not only by his independence (his productions were often largely self-funded) but also by his dedication to each individual film. Unlike most producers, who have numerous projects on the go, Zaentz worked on just one at a time. This resulted in a relatively short CV but one with a high share of Oscars, including three best picture winners: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Amadeus (1984) and The English Patient (1996).
Zaentz was born in Passaic, New Jersey, the youngest of five children of Russian-Polish Jewish parents, Morris and Goldie. An avid reader and a fan of pop music, movies and sport, he ran away from home as a teenager to work at the St Louis Cardinals baseball team's training camp, then rode »
- Sheila Whitaker
Saul Zaentz, a music producer whose second career as a filmmaker brought him Best Picture Academy Awards for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus and The English Patient, has died. He was 92. Zaentz died Friday at his San Francisco apartment after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Paul Zaentz, the producer's nephew and longtime business partner, told the Associated Press. Zaentz was never a prolific movie producer, but he took on classy productions, specializing in complex literary adaptations that Hollywood studios generally find too intricate to put on film. Since moving into film at age 50 with 1972's low-budget country-music drama Payday, »
- Associated Press
19 items from 2014
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