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20 items from 2014


The Decline of Harper Lee

20 July 2014 5:56 PM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

For Monroeville, Alabama, population 6,400 and shrinking, the summer of 2010 was momentous. Over a long July weekend, locals reenacted historical vignettes, held a silent auction, cooked a southern feast, and led tours of local landmarks. There was a documentary screening, two lawn parties, and a marathon reading of the novel whose 50th anniversary was the grand occasion. To Kill a Mockingbird, which needs no introduction — because it is the introduction, for most American children, to civil rights, literature, and the justice system — had sold nearly a million copies for each year in print. There were at least 50 other celebrations nationwide, but the epicenter was Monroeville, a place whose only real industry (the lingerie plant having recently shuttered) was Mockingbird-related tourism. It was not only the model for the novel’s fictional Maycomb but the home of its author, Harper Lee. She lived less than a mile from »

- Boris Kachka

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To Kill a Mockingbird Author Harper Lee Claims New Memoir Was Unauthorized

15 July 2014 6:00 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee has again spoken out against a memoir that she claims is unauthorized. Former Chicago Tribune reporter Marja Mills wrote The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee, which hits bookstores Tuesday, and documents the 18 months that Mills spent living next door to Lee and her older sister, Alice, in Alabama. The book was published with their blessing, according to Penguin Press. However, Lee insists that once she realized Mills intended to write "another book about Harper Lee," she "cut off all contact with Miss Mills, leaving town whenever she headed this way," she »

- Tara Fowler

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To Kill a Mockingbird Author Harper Lee Claims New Memoir Was Unauthorized

15 July 2014 6:00 PM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee has again spoken out against a memoir that she claims is unauthorized. Former Chicago Tribune reporter Marja Mills wrote The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee, which hits bookstores Tuesday, and documents the 18 months that Mills spent living next door to Lee and her older sister, Alice, in Alabama. The book was published with their blessing, according to Penguin Press. However, Lee insists that once she realized Mills intended to write "another book about Harper Lee," she "cut off all contact with Miss Mills, leaving town whenever she headed this way," she »

- Tara Fowler

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Rosemary Murphy, 'To Kill A Mockingbird' Actress, Dies At 89

9 July 2014 9:00 PM, PDT | Uinterview | See recent Uinterview news »

To Kill a Mockingbird actress Rosemary Murphy died on Saturday in New York City. She was 89.

Rosemary Murphy Dies

Murphy had recently been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and passed away in her Upper East Side apartment, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In the 1962 film adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird, Murphy played neighbor Maudie Atkinson, better known as Miss Maudie. Her character lives across the street from lawyer Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) and his two young children – Scout (Mary Badham) and Jem (Phillip Alford) in the fictional Maycomb, Alabama.

Prior to appearing in To Kill a Mockingbird, Murphy appeared in a number of TV series, including Robert Montgomery Presents, Thriller, Naked City, Wide Country and The Doctors and the Nurses. Following her turn in the Oscar-nominated picture, Murphy continued her TV work.

Murphy earned her first Emmy for playing Sara Delano Roosevelt in 1976 ABC miniseries Eleanor and Franklin. »

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Salt and Pepper: Top 10 Black and White Movie Tandems

5 July 2014 8:54 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

When mixing black and white movie characters as either friends or foes on the big screen should not produce any gray areas at all. Whether amiable or adversarial the pairing of interracial tandems makes for an interesting sociological study in cinema where tension, togetherness, stereotypical profiling and mutual or reluctant acceptance makes for some captivating film fodder.

Sure, in many ways it is an overused cliched in the movies to produce racial tandems for the sake of the entertainment to allow the creative juices to overflow. In Salt and Pepper: Top 10 Black and White Movie Tandems we will take a look at various “salt and pepper” teams as they come together in the name of law and justice, hostile necessity, friendly frivolity or professional attachment to bring movie audiences a sense of adventure and curiosity in the name of comedic or dramatic license. Maybe you have your favorite cultural »

- Frank Ochieng

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Watch: Two New Trailers For Wrestling Biopic ‘Foxcatcher’

3 July 2014 9:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Sony has released two new trailers for Cannes Film Festival favourite, Foxcatcher.

The biopic, starring Steve CarellChanning Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo, follows the true-life tragic story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark and Dave Schultz. However things take a dark turn when their coach, John du Pont murders Dave. 

The trailers show tension building between the trio and feature clips of some strong performances. They’re both quite similar, but trailer B seems a bit more ominous in tone. Bennett Miller won at Cannes for his direction of Foxcatcher and true life material is obviously an area he’s is comfortable with. Miller received an Oscar nomination for 2005′s Capote, which follows American author (and best mate of Harper Lee), Truman Capote during his research into the Clutter family murders for seminal novel In Cold Blood. He also turned to sports for 2011′s Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, which focuses »

- Claire Joanne Huxham

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It’s About the Message: The Top 10 Oscar-winning Socially Aware Films

14 June 2014 10:40 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Many moviegoers consider the world of film as a reprieve from their current existing realities. This is rather interesting because in looking to escape the everyday realities for a fantasized slice of reality in cinema might seem quite redundant for some folks. However, the realities that are portrayed on the big screen are varied so whatever life experiences are depicted we may not have quite lived that particular episode therefore making it intriguing and fresh for our entertaining curiosities.

Films, when capturing a fragrance of reality through triumph and tragedy, are usually armed with a special messaging about the human condition through sacrifice, self-discovery, suffering and of course social awareness.  In It’s About the Message: The Top 10 Oscar-winning Socially Aware Films we will take a look at Academy Award-winning movies that dared to examine the spirit about being socially aware–through inspiration and insidiousness (or both simultaneously)–and put »

- Frank Ochieng

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Bill Watterson, creator of 'Calvin and Hobbes,' returned to comic strips this week -- Images

8 June 2014 11:07 AM, PDT | EW.com - PopWatch | See recent EW.com - PopWatch news »

Bill Watterson drew Calvin and Hobbes, the last great comic strip of the 20th century and one of the best things ever, period. Then he retired and generally opted out of public life — not quite the comics’ Salinger but maybe the comics’ Harper Lee. 2014 is the year that changed. A few months ago, Watterson illustrated the poster for the comic documentary Stripped. And this week, Watterson staged a quiet comeback to the comics page, contributing artwork to three Pearls Before Swine strips.

As recounted by Swine’s writer-illustrator Stephan Pastis on his blog, the contribution emerged out of an email exchange between the two cartoonists. »

- Darren Franich

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Six of The Best Movie Courtroom Scenes

25 April 2014 4:00 AM, PDT | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

The courtroom is the ultimate movie set. The elements of a criminal trial are effectively a scriptwriter’s ‘How To’ guide. The case for the prosecution is pure plot development; the conflict is inherent in two sides making completely opposing arguments. Main characters are set at loggerheads, motives are compromised and minor characters are wheeled in and out as witnesses at the writer’s beck and call. Finally, at its heart there is a mystery that can’t be solved until the judge bangs his gavel for the final time, or maybe just afterwards in a third act sting (see Jagged Edge, for example). It is no wonder Hollywood drags itself back to the courts time and time again.

The courtroom movie really came into prominence in the late 1950s and early 1960s, during the death-throes of monochrome film. Movies like Inherit The Wind, Anatomy of a Murder, 12 Angry Men, »

- Cai Ross

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Six of The Best Literary Adaptations

4 April 2014 5:00 AM, PDT | HeyUGuys.co.uk | See recent HeyUGuys news »

If you’re a fan of literary adaptations then no doubt you’ll currently have your head stuck in a copy of Joyce Maynard’s emotional coming-of-age novel Labor Day, Nick Hornby’s heart-warming suicide drama A Long Way Down, or maybe even Veronica Roth’s debut dystopian Divergent. What we’re looking forward to most, however, is Richard Ayoade’s upcoming adaptation of Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s dark comedy novella, The Double. With an adapted screenplay written by Ayoade himself alongside fellow scribe Avi Korine, this is his first film since the hugely successful Submarine.

Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska as the two leads, the story follows a man driven insane after finding out his life and identity is being assumed by a doppelgänger. The original novella was released in 1846, subtitled “A Petersburg Poem” it showed the surreal and grotesque influences of fellow Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol, »

- Charlie Derry

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The Oscars' youngest winners and nominees: Where are they now?

26 February 2014 9:17 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

There's just days to go before Ellen DeGeneres hosts the biggest event in the movie world's calendar - the 86th annual Academy Awards.

This year's nominees include newcomers Lupita Nyong'o and Barkhad Abdi, who are recognised for their supporting breakthrough performances in 12 Years a Slave and Captain Phillips respectively.

Ahead of Sunday's (March 2) glittering ceremony at Hollywood's Kodak Theater, we reminisce upon other breakthrough roles from some of the youngest Oscar-nominated stars in history - and what they've gone on to do since - below:

Tatum O'Neal in Paper Moon

Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Oscar winner in history, picking up the Best Supporting Actress trophy at the tender age of 10 for her role as strong-willed tomboy Addie in Paper Moon (1973), in which she appeared opposite her father Ryan O'Neal.

The actress went on to appear in successful movies such as The Bad News Bears Nickelodeon with Burt Reynolds, and »

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DiCaprio, Breslin and Foster: Breakthrough Oscars stars then and now

26 February 2014 9:17 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

There's just days to go before Ellen DeGeneres hosts the biggest event in the movie world's calendar - the 86th annual Academy Awards.

This year's nominees include newcomers Lupita Nyong'o and Barkhad Abdi, who are recognised for their supporting breakthrough performances in 12 Years a Slave and Captain Phillips respectively.

Ahead of Sunday's (March 2) glittering ceremony at Hollywood's Kodak Theater, we reminisce upon other breakthrough roles from some of the youngest Oscar-nominated stars in history - and what they've gone on to do since - below:

Tatum O'Neal in Paper Moon

Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Oscar winner in history, picking up the Best Supporting Actress trophy at the tender age of 10 for her role as strong-willed tomboy Addie in Paper Moon (1973), in which she appeared opposite her father Ryan O'Neal.

The actress went on to appear in successful movies such as The Bad News Bears Nickelodeon with Burt Reynolds, and »

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Poll: Your Favorite Performance By This Year’s Best Actress Nominees

24 February 2014 7:24 AM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

We have six days ’til the Oscars, and that means we have six more days to celebrate one of the most intimidating, established rosters of Best Actress nominees in years. Together the ladies on this list have been nominated 38 times. That’s a serious nomination number, guys. We’re getting into an Alison Krauss/Grammys situation now. Man. Let’s get Judi Dench a fiddle.

The poll question is simple: What are your favorite movies starring this year’s Best Actress nominees? I’ve selected my responses below. Fight for your own (and mine, if you can get around to it).

Cate Blanchett

Winner: Blue Jasmine

Runner-up: Elizabeth

Tough one. Elizabeth leaves a lasting impression, and re-watching it recently, I was surprised to find how much Blanchett reminded me of her fellow Australian Judy Davis. Even though she looks like an austere hybrid of Gwyneth Paltrow and a California Suite-era Maggie Smith, »

- Louis Virtel

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Oscar Winner Hoffman, Child Star Temple Honored with Library of Congress Screenings

20 February 2014 5:53 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Shirley Temple, and Oscar movies: Library of Congress’ March 2014 screenings (photo: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote in ‘Capote’) Tributes to the recently deceased Shirley Temple and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and several Academy Award-nominated and -winning films are among the March 2014 screenings at the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus Theater and, in collaboration with the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, The State Theatre, both located in Culpeper, Virginia. The 1934 sentimental comedy-drama Little Miss Marker (March 6, Packard) is the movie that turned six-year-old Shirley Temple into a major film star. Temple would become the biggest domestic box-office draw of the mid-1930s, and, Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Sonja Henie, Don Ameche, Loretta Young, and Madeleine Carroll notwithstanding, would remain 20th Century Fox’s top star until later in the decade. Directed by Alexander Hall (Here Comes Mr. Jordan, My Sister Eileen), Little Miss Marker — actually, a Paramount »

- Andre Soares

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9 Actors Who Earned Oscar Nominations For Playing Real People And Didn’t Deserve It

17 February 2014 8:35 AM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

We’re less than two weeks away from the Oscars, and that means it’s once again time for my favorite activity: griping about the past!

One of my biggest Oscar pet peeves is when actors who portray real-life roles garner more attention — for no good reason — than actors who portray fictional characters. The Academy has long been too pleased with big-named thespians who prove they can imitate recognizable figures. Sometimes the attention is justified (Sean Penn in Milk and Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose come to mind), but often real-life roles become filler nominees in the supporting categories. Here are nine examples of Oscar-nominated performances that caught fire with the academy simply for being based on a known personality.

1. Jason Robards as Howard Hughes in Melvin and Howard

Melvin and Howard is a movie that teaches you to appreciate its examination of a Utah man’s humdrum lower-middle-class existence, »

- Louis Virtel

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What if Matthew McConaughey were a McWoman?

14 February 2014 4:33 PM, PST | EW.com - PopWatch | See recent EW.com - PopWatch news »

Let’s all give a great tip of the hat to Best Actor nominee Matthew McConaughey, a man who not long ago smirked and drawled his way through a string of bland romantic comedies, and was celebrated only for his sweaty dedication to his pectorals. In a swift and elegant turnaround, the 44-year-old spent the past three years disappearing into rich characters dreamed up by some of our best contemporary storytellers. Now his fans, and I count myself among them, love to talk about the artistic courage of such a bold reinvention.

Without taking away from his fine work, I »

- Karen Valby

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Efm 2014: Bill Paxton Set to Direct Joe Lansdale's The Bottoms

7 February 2014 9:35 AM, PST | DreadCentral.com | See recent Dread Central news »

The 2014 European Film Market only just kicked off, but as far as we're concerned, the best news of the year so far has come today as Bill Paxton is returning to the director's chair... for an adaptation of a Joe Lansdale novel no less!

Per Deadline, Paradise City, the production label of Paris-based Memento Films International, has tapped Paxton to direct an adaptation of Joe Lansdale’s novel The Bottoms based on a script by Brent Hanley, who wrote Paxton’s excellent 2001 directing effort Frailty.

“I have been a big fan of Joe Lansdale’s writing since the Hap and Leonard novels,” Paxton says. “His stories and characters are vivid, original, and indelible. The screenwriter Brent Hanley and I have been looking to team up again since Frailty, and when we read Joe’s book The Bottoms, we knew we had hit pay dirt. With a story and script this good, »

- Debi Moore

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Capote adds more half-truths to the murky story behind In Cold Blood

7 February 2014 2:49 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The late Philip Seymour Hoffman gave an astonishing performance as Truman Capote, but Bennett Miller's film about the Clutter family murder is as historically sketchy as the book

• More on Philip Seymour Hoffman

Capote (2005)

Director: Bennett Miller

Entertainment grade: A–

History grade: C–

Truman Capote's In Cold Blood was a "non-fiction novel" about the murders of a farming family in Kansas in 1959. Bennett Miller's film Capote tells the story of the book's genesis. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman won his only Academy Award for Best Actor for his astonishing performance in the title role.

Casting

Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his friend Harper Lee (Catherine Keener) travel from the literary salons of New York City to the wilds of Kansas to investigate the murders. According to Capote's biographer and friend Gerald Clarke, on whose book this film is based, Hoffman was more like Capote on screen than Capote himself. »

- Alex von Tunzelmann

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Variety’s Justin Chang Remembers Philip Seymour Hoffman: A Master of His Screen Craft

2 February 2014 7:02 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

“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

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People's TV Critic: Lifetime's Flowers In the Attic Is Crazy Good

18 January 2014 9:35 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Flowers in the Attic is the rare Lifetime movie (it airs Saturday at 8 p.m. Et/Pt) that can't simply be written off as a Lifetime movie. It's so pure and perverse an example of American Gothic, I felt compelled to read the original Vc Andrews novel to try and comprehend what sort of imagination could hatch such a nutty story - a fairy tale, really, that somehow combines Hansel and Gretel and The Blue Lagoon. In Virginia horse country. Flowers, both the book and the new movie, is completely absurd - if you want to gauge the absurdity, just »

- Tom Gliatto

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

20 items from 2014


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