9 items from 2016
By Bill Duelly
We’ve seen them at sci-fi or collectibles conventions shows; some more so in England than the Us. They man tables with stacks of photos, offering autographs or pictures for a fee. In many cases their faces aren’t familiar, as their characters wore heavy makeup or masks in their appearance in the original “Star Wars” film. Still, even as you approach them face-to-face some of these people still don’t ring a bell. Maybe it’s because their scenes were deleted or they were an extra amongst many. Others, you discover are a familiar masked character and you are happy to chat for a few moments with them, as that movie, and its two sequels (I am only referring to the original trilogy starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher), had such a lasting impact on your childhood.
“Elstree 1976” is a recent documentary that follows ten such actors who, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Elstree 1976, 2015.
Directed by Jon Spiral.
Documentary focusing on the bit-part actors and extras from the original 1977 Star Wars movie.
Elstree 1976 is not just a documentary about Star Wars; in fact, it’s not even really about Star Wars at all but a vindication that, in these enlightened times, the culture that has erected itself from George Lucas’ vision has become bigger than the source itself. Think about it – what other movie franchise could boast about or even justify inspiring a documentary focusing on the background players, some of whom didn’t even have a line or, in one case at least, his character didn’t even appear in the final cut of the movie? Bond? Harry Potter? The Lord of the Rings? Don’t think so.
But, as with all documentaries, »
- Amie Cranswick
Everybody knows Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. When Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas and announced they’d be producing a new Star Wars trilogy and spin-off features, everyone knew those three would be back in the fold. Even guys like Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker were known commodities to consult if not star underneath the costumes they made famous. But what of the other actors — the nameless, sometimes faceless, and almost always uncredited performers who were a part of something so universally revered? Does their being extras mean they weren’t as important to the legend? Fans lining up for autographs don’t think so. Anyone on set and immortalized in one of history’s greatest cinematic franchises is an unequivocal hero.
To people like me who love the series but never rendered it into a cornerstone of daily life, however, these smaller, hidden roles prove an intriguing curio. »
- Jared Mobarak
Belladonna Of Sadness
Release Date: Coming Soon from Cinelicious Pics Written By: Yoshiyuki Fukuda, Jules Michelet (novel), Eiichi Yamamoto Directed By: Eiichi Yamamoto Starring: Tatsuya Nakadai, Katsuyuki Itô, Aiko Nagayama
When I heard about Cinelicious Pics’ plans to restore and release the long lost 1973 anime Belladonna Of Sadness, I was well and truly excited. I’m a huge aficionado of 70s-era anime, and this baby has been a “holy grail” of sorts for folks like me for a good many years — much desired but damn near impossible to obtain. So that being said, and with those expectations set freakin’ sky high, let’s see if ol’ Belladonna was worth the wait or will it just fill me with sadness of my own!
The fact that the documentary doesn’t mention Star Wars in the title is a telling indication of the kind of film Jon Spira has made. With the focus on the people behind the masks and costumes, Spira deliberately has focused his lens on the lives of these actors and not the characters that they became famous for. Fans of Star Wars might be disappointed by this decision, but the result is a film that is more thoughtful than just another look at the legacy of the iconic series.
Minor characters and some that really aren’t even considered characters (sorry, stormtrooper who knocked his noggin against a blast door) step into the spotlight in Elstree 1976. While some of these actors or actresses may not mean much to the casual Star Wars filmgoer, the super fans will delight in watching the guy who play Greedo, the former bodybuilder who »
- Michael Haffner
The Force Awakens has sparked a tremendous amount of excitement for a new generation of Star Wars stories, but the success of J.J. Abrams' film has also rekindled a widely shared nostalgia for George Lucas' original trilogy. Judging by the trailer for Jon Spira's Elstree 1976 — an upcoming documentary about the unassuming background actors who brought the original movie, now known as A New Hope, to life — that nostalgia extends to the people who made these movies what they are.
Named after the British production facility where Lucas shoot Episodes IV — VI, »
Star Wars is hotter than it's ever been. Following Disney's acquisition of LucasFilm back in 2012, the studio has already launched Star Wars: The Force Awakens to both blockbuster box office and critical raves. The first spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has wrapped and is ready for release this December. And Star Wars: Episode VIII is continuing to shoot in various locations around the globe as we speak. None of these movies would be possible without the numerous supporting actors and extras who make up this galaxy of strange and exotic creatures and droids. That's where the new documentary Elstree 1976 comes in.
Elstree 1976 promises to go behind the masks, and explore beneath the helmet. The tag line promises: Big People. Small Roles. But as you'll soon discover, there is no role too small that doesn't deserve its own action figure. USA Today has a new look at »
Here’s our primer on all the upcoming Star Wars movies, including Rogue One and Episode VIII…
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is currently making short work of the worldwide box office. Despite the fact that said Jj Abrams film hasn’t event left cinemas yet, Lucasfilm and Disney are already working on its follow-up and a whole host of other Star Wars movies (namely a handful of spin-offs that will expand on the story of the main saga).
As with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney’s plan here is to squeeze as Star Wars movie into cinemas every year. Here’s when UK audiences can expect all the of them…
16th December 2016: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Sad news for TV fans and the Star Wars family as prolific character actor Jason Wingreen has passed away. Known for his roles in All in the Family, The Twilight Zone and Seinfeld, Wingreen is perhaps best known as the voice of iconic bounty hunter Boba Fett in the Star Wars franchise. Jason Wingreen died on Christmas Day at his home in Los Angeles. He was 95.
Jason Wingreen was a prominent fixture on television from 1955 until he retired in the mid-1990s. Along with voicing Boba Fett, the actor gained worldwide notoriety on the hit 70s sitcom All in the Family, playing Harry the bartender. The role also carried over into the spinoff sitcom Archie Bunker's Place. Jason's son Ned confirmed the news of his father's passing last week. The man has over 200 TV credits to his name.
9 items from 2016
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