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'The Alienist': TV Review

When Caleb Carr's The Alienist became a best-seller in 1994, the idea of a 10-episode miniseries that could deliver prestige and also handle the book's layers of world-building and adult subject matter was basically inconceivable. So Hollywood spent a decade trying and failing to condense the plotty tome into a movie with a parade of A-list directors attached (including Curtis Hanson and Philip Kaufman).

Even once The Alienist found its proper approach on TV, there were another 10 years of loosely associated networks and showrunners and directors.

The result is that the version of The Alienist premiering on TNT on...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Turning 40: 3 Great Movies Released in 1978

We live in an age of revivals, reboots, and remakes. Hollywood seems to have lost the taste for original stories, preferring to reach back to the successful movies of the past, hoping to be able to play it safe and pocket a hefty profit in the process. Sometimes, it works – the remake of Stephen King’s “It” has proven this – and other times, it doesn’t – just think of the dismal reviews (and pretty lousy revenues) of this year’s “The Mummy”, which might have been a profitable movie per se, with its $400 million-plus debut against a $375 million budget, buy a disappointing debut for Universal’s “Dark Universe”.

Next year, many of the most famous and well-known movie franchises of our times will celebrate their thirtieth anniversaries. Some of these will be marked by remakes hitting the screens, either in the cinemas or through other mediums, such as video games,
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Ulzana’s Raid

Blu-ray fans are now well aware that many great movies unavailable in the U.S., can be easily found in Europe. One of the best westerns of the ’70s is this jarringly realistic cavalry vs. Apaches drama from Robert Aldrich and Burt Lancaster, which used the ‘R’ rating to show savage details that Hollywood had once avoided. In this case it works — the genuinely scary movie is also a serious meditation on violent America.

Ulzana’s Raid

(Keine Gnade für Ulzana)

All-region Blu-ray + Pal DVD

Explosive Media

1972 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date November 9, 2017 / available through the Amazon Germany website / Eur 17,99

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Richard Jaeckel, Bruce Davison, Jorge Luke, Joaquín Martínez, Lloyd Bochner, Karl Swenson, Douglass Watson, Dran Hamilton, Gladys Holland, Aimee Eccles, Tony Epper, Nick Cravat, Richard Farnsworth, Dean Smith.

Cinematography: Joseph Biroc

Film Editor: Michael Luciano

Original Music: Frank De Vol

Written by Alan Sharp

Produced by
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Nest of Vipers & Tails, You Lose…

Guest Reviewer Lee Broughton is back, with another Italo Western double bill DVD review. Wild East’s ongoing Spaghetti Western Collection continues to grow and this double bill release is particularly welcome since it features two obscure and wholly idiosyncratic genre entries from 1969. Italian Western directors had found it relatively easy to appropriate key plot points and ideas from Sergio Leone’s Dollars films during the genre’s early years but when Leone’s sprawling, mega-budgeted, meta-Western Once Upon a Time in the West was released in 1968 it was clear that this was one genre entry that local filmmakers would not be able to easily emulate.

With scriptwriters and directors now essentially being forced to come up with their own ideas and generic trends, a new wave of Spaghetti Westerns were produced that effectively took the genre in a multitude of new directions. The two films featured here were part of that wave.
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The Hidden

The Hidden


Warner Archive Collection

1987 / Color /1.78:1 / Street Date October 4, 2017

Starring Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Nouri

Cinematography by Jacques Haitkin

Written by Jim Kouf

Produced by Stephen Diener, Dennis Harris, Jeffrey Klein

Directed by Jack Sholder

After a demanding evening spent bumping and grinding at The Harem Room, a weary young dancer packs up her gear and exits the club to a chorus of catcalls. She responds by whipping out a state-of-the-art shotgun and laying waste to not only to the would-be lotharios but a good section of Hollywood Boulevard. Is this the continuing story of Abel Ferrara’s Ms. 45? No, it’s Jack Sholder’s The Hidden, one of the wittiest B movies of the eighties.

That stripper’s gun-happy rampage is just the latest in a series of increasingly bizarre crimes catapulting the baffled police into a futile game of whack-a-mole; as soon as the cops eliminate one gunman,
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BAMcinématek to honour Sam Shepard by Anne-Katrin Titze - 2017-09-14 17:11:47

BAMcinématek pays screen tribute to Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright - True West: Sam Shepard on Film Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Sam Shepard, who died on July 27, 2017 at the age of 73, will be honored by BAMcinématek in New York with True West: Sam Shepard on Film.

Wim Wenders' Don’t Come Knocking and Paris, Texas (BAFTA Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for Shepard); Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff (Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar nomination for Shepard's portrayal of Chuck Yeager); Graeme Clifford's Frances; Daniel Petrie's Resurrection; Terrence Malick's Days Of Heaven; Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, co-written by Shepard; Robert Altman's adaptation of Fool For Love; Robert Frank's Me And My Brother (text by Shepard, poems by Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky); Shirley Clarke's video of Shepard's Tongues performed by Joseph Chaikin, and Far North, directed by Sam Shepard will be screened.
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Mary Goldberg, Casting Director of ‘Amadeus’ and ‘Alien,’ Dies at 72

Mary Goldberg, Casting Director of ‘Amadeus’ and ‘Alien,’ Dies at 72
Mary Goldberg, casting director of films including “Amadeus” and “Alien,” died Sept. 7 at her home in Ojai, Calif., following a short battle with lung cancer. She was 72.

Goldberg’s career spanned the New York theater community and the West Coast film industry, but she is best known for casting talent. She began her career in the early 1970s as an assistant to Bernard Gersten, the Public Theater’s associate producer, and became the Shakespeare Festival’s head of casting for both the Public Theater in downtown New York and the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in 1973. There, Goldberg assembled the casts of plays including “Two Gentlemen of Verona” starring Raul Julia, “King Lear” starring James Earl Jones, and “Much Ado About Nothing” starring Sam Waterston and Kathleen Widdoes.

From 1973 until 1975, Goldberg was also casting director for the Lincoln Center Repertory Company, managed by the New York Shakespeare Festival under Joseph Papp’s direction. At
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Scott Glenn on 'The Defenders' and Why 'Silence of the Lambs' Is a Coming-of-Age Movie

Scott Glenn on 'The Defenders' and Why 'Silence of the Lambs' Is a Coming-of-Age Movie
There is a certain relish to the way Scott Glenn describes a knife. His voice – a sort of Midwestern drawl that has a touch of Pittsburgh flint and a lot of Ketchum, Idaho, where he's called home for decades, in it – stays slow and steady as he talks about some of the various weapons he's been using in his martial-arts training lately. You can tell from the gleam in his eye, however, that the actor is getting a serious kick out detailing his recent discoveries in self-defense cutlery.

"There's this one called a karambit,
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Film Review: ‘California Typewriter’

Film Review: ‘California Typewriter’
Vinyl made a comeback, and so did slow food and long beards. So why not the typewriter? Actually, there’s a good reason why not: If you’re composing on a typewriter — a letter, say — and you change your mind about a word or a sentence you’ve just written, then you have to white it out or x it out. It’s an added task, and the result will likely be a tad smudgy. On the typewriter, every single keystroke is a tiny punch of commitment. (The seamless clickety-clack of a computer keyboard, with its instant erasability…not so much.) But according to “California Typewriter,” a lively and appealing analog-nostalgia documentary, it’s that very physicality that makes the typewriter a machine of the past that deserves to have a place in the future. As the movie sees it, the typewriter isn’t just for saying things. It’s for saying them and meaning them.

See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Feature: Remembers Sam Shepard

Chicago – He was a true renaissance man, but his unassuming persona would conceal that lofty designation. Sam Shepard was a playwright, actor, author, screenwriter and director of countless important stage and screen works. Shepard died on July 27th, 2017, of complications due to Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Als). He was 73.

Sam Shepard, American Storyteller

Photo credit: File Photo

He was born Samuel Shepard Rogers III in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, and graduated high school in California. After a brief stint in college, he started his career in a traveling theater repertory company. After landing in New York City, he dropped the Rogers from his name and began to work Off Broadway. He won six Obie Awards for his stage writing, and began his screen career by penning “Me and My Brother” (1968) and “Zabriskie Point” (1970). His had a love connection with rocker Patti Smith, which led to the collaborative play “Cowboy Mouth” (1971). He
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Matthew McConaughey Learned About Sam Shepard’s Death on Red Carpet

Matthew McConaughey Learned About Sam Shepard’s Death on Red Carpet
Matthew McConaughey’s reaction to first hearing about the death of acclaimed playwright and actor Sam Shepard was caught on camera while the actor was on the red carpet for his upcoming film “Dark Tower.”

Sam Shepard moved on?” McConaughey asked the Associated Press reporter who broke the news to him.

McConaughey worked with Shepard, who died on Thursday following complications from Lou Gehrig’s disease, on the 2012 coming-of-age drama “Mud.”


An Appreciation of Sam Shepard: A Countercultural Playwright Who Became, as an Actor, an Ironic Icon

“Look, I’m not going to trivialize that situation, I just heard about it for the first time,” the actor said. “But I always told [director] Jeff Nichols this, look in ‘Mud,’ the whole trailer for ‘Mud’ could be Sam Shepard sitting in that green chair telling the boy about who Mud is. It would be about a two-and-a-half minute trailer, but it would have been really badass.”

See full article at Variety - Film News »

'The Right Stuff' Filmmaker Remembers Sam Shepard: He Was "Born With the Gift of a Golden Ear"

'The Right Stuff' Filmmaker Remembers Sam Shepard: He Was
In the early '80s, writer/director Philip Kaufman (The Wanderers) took on the task of adapting Tom Wolfe's 1979 nonfiction best-seller The Right Stuff, which documents the Project Mercury space program. A central character is U.S. Air Force General Chuck Yeager, who in 1947 became the first man to break the sound barrier. While shut out of the space program, Yeager exemplified an earlier generation of test pilots against which the Mercury Seven measured their own accomplishments, and Kaufman knew casting the right actor to play Yeager would be crucial to the success of the movie. Kaufman spoke to The Hollywood...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Sam Shepard Remembered by ‘The Right Stuff’ Director Philip Kaufman: Half Jackrabbit, Best Chili Maker

Sam Shepard Remembered by ‘The Right Stuff’ Director Philip Kaufman: Half Jackrabbit, Best Chili Maker
Writer-director Philip Kaufman formed a lasting friendship with Sam Shepard when they worked together on “The Right Stuff,” the 1983 film for which Shepard was nominated for an Academy Award.

I first met Sam Shepard at a poetry reading when he was living here in the Bay Area. I was preparing “The Right Stuff” around then, and trying like hell to find someone who could play Chuck Yeager. Sam got up and read some of his poetry and my wife Rose said, “That’s your guy.” I said, “Where?” Yeager was a compact man, 5’7” or something, and here Sam was, this gangly guy. But I started listening and I got what she meant. Sam had this sense of honesty about him, and a sense of presence. He was a Gary Cooper kind of guy, even though I think Sam didn’t want to be Gary Cooper; he wanted to be Chester [the character played by Dennis Weaver] in “Gunsmoke,” the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Critic's Notebook: Sam Shepard, Voice of the American West

Critic's Notebook: Sam Shepard, Voice of the American West
More than one tribute honoring Sam Shepard, the influential American playwright and actor who died at his Kentucky home on Thursday at 73, has pointed to the iconic image of his rangy figure clad in a bomber jacket, ambling away unfazed from a near-fatal crash in his Oscar-nominated role as test pilot Chuck Yeager in Philip Kaufman's 1983 film The Right Stuff.

Shepard's loose cowboy swagger, his easy masculinity and his rejection of conventional heroism were stamped all over that memorable performance, along with his laconic heartland manner and piercing directness.

But for me, the film role most emblematic of this...
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'He was very good as an actor and even better at rewriting scenes' by Anne-Katrin Titze

Volker Schlöndorff on Sam Shepard in Voyager (Homo Faber): 'I was very fond of his performance and I think the movie is memorable because of his presence' The death of Sam Shepard at the age of 73 on July 27, 2017, from complications of motor neurone disease (known as Als in the Us) was announced by a spokesperson for Shepard's family. Shepard starred in Jim Mickle's Cold In July, based on the book by Joe Lansdale. Hampton Fancher, co-screenwriter of Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, recalls meeting Sam when he was doing The Right Stuff, directed by Philip Kaufman, based on the book by Tom Wolfe.

Volker Schlöndorff, who directed Shepard as Walter Faber, opposite Julie Delpy and Barbara Sukowa, in Voyager, based on Max Frisch's book Homo Faber, with a screenplay by Rudy Wurlitzer, sent the following tribute upon hearing of his passing.

Schlöndorff writes: "Sam was not
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An Appreciation of Sam Shepard: A Countercultural Playwright Who Became, as an Actor, an Ironic Icon

An Appreciation of Sam Shepard: A Countercultural Playwright Who Became, as an Actor, an Ironic Icon
There’s a grand irony to the life and career of Sam Shepard, who died Thursday at 73, that couldn’t have been lost on him. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, when he was first coming up as a playwright, he was part of a shaggy experimental New York theater scene, a kind of loose downtown collective that emerged from the dead flowers of the counterculture and grew into something else: a hazy ’70s druggie/poet garden of indolent creativity. It was an off-Broadway, off-kilter, semi-off-the-grid scene that sprouted up through the cracks of what had been hippie culture and would soon become punk.

Shepard wrote his plays with a wild-dog discursive freedom that would have been unimaginable before the ’60s, and his fabled romantic affair with a singer-poet named Patti Smith seemed baptized in a kind of bohemian purity. At that point, he’d already begun to flirt with Hollywood, though
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Where the Boys Are

Heading for Spring Break somewhere? Long before Girls Gone Wild, kids of the Kennedy years found their own paths to the desired fun in the sun, and most of them came back alive. MGM’s comedic look at the Ft. Lauderdale exodus is a half-corny but fully endearing show, featuring the great Dolores Hart and the debuts of Connie Francis, Paula Prentiss and Jim Hutton.

Where the Boys Are


Warner Archive Collection

1960 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 99 min. / Street Date July 25, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Connie Francis, Dolores Hart, Paula Prentiss, Jim Hutton

Yvette Mimieux, George Hamilton, Frank Gorshin, Barbara Nichols, Chill Wills.

Cinematography: Robert Bronner

Art Direction: Preston Ames, George W. Davis

Film Editor: Fredric Steinkamp

Original Music: Pete Rugolo, Neil Sedaka, George Stoll, Victor Young

Written by George Wells from a novel by Glendon Swarthout

Produced by Joe Pasternak

Directed by Henry Levin

Ah yes, in 1960 first-wave Rock
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake coming from The Conjuring 2 writer and Predator producer

Another remake is on the way, and this time it’s for a film that has had several remakes already.

Deadline is reporting Warner Bros. is set to remake Invasion of the Body Snatchers and has hired The Conjuring 2 writer David Leslie Johnson to pen the script. He will be joined by John Davis, producer of the Predator films, including the forthcoming The Predator, who will produce the new version.

The original film was based on the 1954 sci-fi novel The Body Snatchers written by Jack Finney. It followed a doctor in a small town who becomes convinced that the residents are being replaced by a race of aliens and attempts to uncover their invasion. Invasion of the Body Snatchers was released in 1956 and was directed by Don Siegel with Kevin McCarthy starring; it was remade for the first time in 1978 from Philip Kaufman and starred Donald Sutherland. Subsequent remakes
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‘Invasion Of The Body Snatchers’ Remake In The Works

Invasion of the Body Snatchers” remakes have a checkered history, to say the least. Here at The Playlist, we suggested that Philip Kaufman‘s 1978 remake “[surpassed] the original in sheer terror and execution,” that Kaufman “[cranked] up the fear factor,” and that the film boasts “one of the bleakest and most terrifying endings in sci-fi history.” Conversely, we referred to Oliver Hirschbiegel’s 2007 “The Invasion” as a “rather lifeless hybrid of two halves of a movie that just didn’t sync up,” further writing that the film sported a “diluted political message coupled with half-baked performances in which no one involved comes out a winner.”

And yet, it looks as though Warner Bros.

Continue reading ‘Invasion Of The Body Snatchers’ Remake In The Works at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »
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