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Former NY Times Critic Says James Toback Made Death Threats After Bad Review

  • The Wrap
Former New York Times film critic Janet Maslin says James Toback threatened to kill her after she wrote a bad review of his 1978 directorial debut, “Fingers.” In an interview with The Daily Beast, Maslin said she received calls from a man, who she believed was Toback, who disguised his voice in the middle of the night, telling her, “I’m going to f—– kill you.” “He disguised his voice,” Maslin said. “It was a very menacing tone, and you know, I was scared. But at that point I had a listed phone number. He was the guy who made me unlisted.
See full article at The Wrap »

New York Film Review: ‘Spielberg’

New York Film Review: ‘Spielberg’
It’s never been an all-out love-him-or-hate-him thing — though you can always find a cinephile purist or two to grouse about him, with a fervor as irrational as it is intense. That said, there’s an undeniable Beatles-person-vs.-Stones-person quality to the following debate: Either you think that Steven Spielberg is a genius, that he’s created an array of films — not just the early ones — that are suffused with a transporting vision, with a flow of feeling and a camera-eye intuition unique in the history of cinema; or you think that Spielberg is a gifted fabulist trickster with more flash than depth, the kind of brilliant but ultimately facile entertainer who deserves to be called things like “manipulative,” “sentimental,” “crowd-pleasing,” and — yes — “shallow.”

If you’re in the latter camp, then you probably won’t respond much to “Spielberg,” an unabashedly admiring two-hour-and-27-minute documentary portrait of the man and (mostly) his movies that premiered tonight
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Spielberg’: The 9 Most Surprising Things You’ll Learn About the Filmmaker in HBO’s Documentary

  • Indiewire
‘Spielberg’: The 9 Most Surprising Things You’ll Learn About the Filmmaker in HBO’s Documentary
For “Spielberg,” an HBO documentary about the highest-grossing director in film history, director and producer Susan Lacy (“American Masters”) conducted 30-plus hours of interviews with Steven Spielberg. She also spoke to more than 80 of his family members, friends, and collaborators, among them Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Robert Zemeckis, J.J. Abrams, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Oprah Winfrey, Cate Blanchett, Drew Barrymore, and late “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial” screenwriter Melissa Mathison.

All of that makes for a long movie — it clocks at nearly two-and-a-half hours — but the documentary has its rewards. Here’s the highlights of Lacy’s look at the 70-year-old icon.

There was a pet monkey

“My mom was Peter Pan,” said Spielberg. “She was a sibling, not a parent.” Prior to Leah Adler’s death in February at 97, the longtime restaurateur told Lacy about the time she came across
See full article at Indiewire »

Middleburg Festival 2017: James Ivory, Dee Rees, Greta Gerwig and More...

by Nathaniel R

Awards season is really heating up now that release dates (or lack thereof) are firming up, and various pre-Oscar honors are being announced. Last year, you may recall, The Film Experience was invited to attend the Middleburg Film Festival and we're invited for a second round next month.

The fest, now in its fifth year and closer to something like Telluride than Toronto or Cannes considering its Oscar focus and brevity, is growing each year and all takes place at one well-heeled resort. Last year they had big events for La La Land and Lion as well as very crowded talks with Cheryl Boone Isaacs on the Academy's diversity efforts as well as a fascinating discussion of Us presidents and cinematic depictions with Janet Maslin and David Gergen where the danger of Trump was discussed at length (before the election - sigh). At that event they spent
See full article at FilmExperience »

Episode 185 – Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker

This time on the podcast, Trevor Berrett and Scott Nye discuss Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker.

Andrei Tarkovsky’s final Soviet feature is a metaphys­ical journey through an enigmatic postapocalyptic landscape, and a rarefied cinematic experience like no other. A hired guide—the Stalker—leads a writer and a professor into the heart of the Zone, the restricted site of a long-ago disaster, where the three men eventually zero in on the Room, a place rumored to fulfill one’s most deeply held desires. Adapting a science-fiction novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, Tarkovsky created an immersive world with a wealth of material detail and a sense of organic atmosphere. A religious allegory, a reflection of contemporaneous political anxieties, a meditation on film itself—Stalkerenvelops the viewer by opening up a multitude of possible meanings.

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Episode Links Stalker (1979) – The Criterion Collection Stalker (1979) – IMDb Stalker (1979) – Wikipedia,
See full article at CriterionCast »

Barbra Streisand: Sexism Cost Me Multiple Oscar Nominations

Barbra Streisand: Sexism Cost Me Multiple Oscar Nominations
Barbra Streisand argued that sexism cost her Oscar nominations for “Yentl” and “The Prince of Tides” during a spirited public interview at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday. But it wasn’t just men who balked at the idea of a woman calling the shots on a major motion picture.

“There were a lot of older people,” Streisand told her interlocutor Robert Rodriguez. “They don’t want to see a woman director.”

“I don’t know how many women wanted to see a woman director,” she added.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Susan Seidelman Looks Back: How ‘Smithereens’ Defined Her Career – Girl Talk

Susan Seidelman Looks Back: How ‘Smithereens’ Defined Her Career – Girl Talk
Girl Talk is a weekly look at women in film — past, present and future.

Susan Seidelman had just completed her first feature when the Cannes Film Festival came calling. In 1982, Seidelman wasn’t yet 30; she was only a few years out of film school and had only a single feature under her belt. But that didn’t matter to the world’s most well-regarded festival. They wanted Seidelman’s “Smithereens,” and the ensuing reception for the film — a punk-infused dark comedy about the bohemian underworld of New York City featuring a not entirely likable lead character — didn’t just change Seidelman’s life; it changed the way American independent cinema was received around the world.

Smithereens,” shot guerilla-style around the city with a cast and crew made up of many of the filmmaker’s Nyu classmates, marked a sea change for Cannes: It was the first American independent feature had
See full article at Indiewire »

The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 42 – Chantal Akerman in the Seventies

This podcast focuses on Criterion’s Eclipse Series of DVDs. Hosts David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett give an overview of each box and offer their perspectives on the unique treasures they find inside. In this episode, David and Trevor are joined by Lady P from the FlixWise podcast to discuss Eclipse Series 19: Chantal Akerman in the Seventies.

About the films:

Over the past four decades, Belgian director Chantal Akerman (Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles) has created one of cinema’s most distinctive bodies of work—formally daring, often autobiographical films about people and places, time and space. In this collection, we present the early films that put her on the map: intensely personal, modernist investigations of cities, history, family, and sexuality, made in the 1970s in the United States and Europe and strongly influenced by the New York experimental film scene. Bold and iconoclastic, these five films pushed
See full article at CriterionCast »

The Curious Case of the Missing Women in Film Criticism

The Curious Case of the Missing Women in Film Criticism
Film criticism’s demise has been eulogized by endless film festival panelists — mostly male, mostly white. Yet, that waning power still goes largely unshared with women (and people of color).

“Film criticism is in the exact same position as latenight talkshow hosts,” says B. Ruby Rich, Uc Santa Cruz professor of film and digital media. “The hiring of Stephanie Zacharek at Time is positive. Manohla Dargis reviews for the New York Times and Ann Hornaday is at the Washington Post. And, yet, female critics who barely got a toe-hold anyway are often the last hired, first fired.”

And there has been a decided brain drain among the few, the strong that once had industry stature. Where have the heavyweight professional critics Janet Maslin, Carrie Rickey, Caryn James, Leah Rozen, Eleanor Ringel, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Susan Wloszczyna, Claudia Puig, Christy Lemire, Lisa Kennedy and Katherine Monk gone, once they took the buyout
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Raise The Titanic and its $5m replica liner

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The thriller Raise The Titanic was a $40m flop in 1980, its model Titanic alone costing millions. Ryan charts the replica's sad history...

By autumn 1977, author Clive Cussler was the toast of the publishing world. Following a decade of writing and two moderately successful novels, his third book, Raise The Titanic! was a runaway bestseller. Its popularity was a contrast to Cussler's earlier books, which had earned him a relatively meagre $5,000. But those earlier adventures - The Mediterranean Caper and Iceberg - helped establish the daring hero Dirk Pitt, a practical, earthy hero designed as a counterpoint to the suave, refined James Bond.

For Raise The Titanic!, Cussler dreamed up a scenario in which Pitt headed up a multi-billion-dollar operation to find and recover the doomed luxury liner, which sank in 1912. Their goal: to recover a mysterious, incredibly rare substance called byzantium from the ship's belly - a
See full article at Den of Geek »

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Miskatonic: 30 Years of Fear with Re-animator

1985. Horror was going through a sea change on the film front, as slashers were shown the door and creature features became the cool kids on campus again. People lined up to see vampires (Fright Night) and werewolves (Silver Bullet) and zombies (Day of the Dead), oh my—but my favorite subgenre, the Mad Scientist, came roaring back to life with director Stuart Gordon’s (From Beyond, Dagon) manic masterpiece debut, Re-Animator.

Released in October, Re-Animator proved once again that when properly executed, horror and humor are delightful bedfellows, co-conspirators with the noblest of intentions: to entertain. Horror, while certainly not easy to do well (scroll through Netflix on any given day), has it made in the shade compared to comedy. Humor is more subjective, and what rubs me as funny may chafe you as stupid or insipid. Most people will agree that The Exorcist is terrifying, but not everyone likes
See full article at DailyDead »

The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 34 – Agnès Varda in California

This podcast focuses on Criterion’s Eclipse Series of DVDs. Hosts David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett give an overview of each box and offer their perspectives on the unique treasures they find inside. In this episode, David and Trevor discuss Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California.

About the films:

The legendary French filmmaker Agnès Varda, whose remarkable career began in the 1950s and has continued into the twenty-first century, produced some of her most provocative works in the United States. After temporarily relocating to California in the late sixties with her husband, Jacques Demy, Varda, inspired by the politics, youth culture, and sunshine of the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, created three works that use documentary and fiction in various ways. She returned a decade later, and made two other fascinating portraits of outsiderness. Her five revealing, entertaining California films, encompassing shorts and features, are collected in this set,
See full article at CriterionCast »

What happened to the cast of Hackers? Angelina Jolie's '90s cyber classic turns 20

What happened to the cast of Hackers? Angelina Jolie's '90s cyber classic turns 20
Blazing a trail in 1995, Hackers tackled web culture on screen before the internet really took off. The cyber-thriller helped kick-start the career of a major Hollywood A-lister and swiftly became a cult classic thanks to its Hacker Manifesto.

As Hackers celebrates its 20th birthday today (September 15), here's what happened to the six stars who made up the cyber-punk crew.

Angelina Jolie

Hackers handle: Acid Burn

In 1995, Jolie was a fast-rising 20-year-old actress with Cyborg 2 and some big music videos (including Meat Loaf, Lenny Kravitz and The Lemonheads) on her CV. New York Times critic Janet Maslin was non too plussed about Jolie's performance, saying of her character: "Kate stands out. That's because she scowls even more sourly than [her co-stars] and is that rare female hacker who sits intently at her keyboard in a see-through top."

Now, the 40-year-old is an Oscar-winning superstar with humanitarian work spanning more than a decade and
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Re-Viewed: Terminator 2 Judgment Day, James Cameron's ground-breaking sequel

Re-Viewed: Terminator 2 Judgment Day, James Cameron's ground-breaking sequel
Time is a strange thing. Scientists say a watch travelling in a jet will experience time more slowly than the same watch in a tug boat. It won't slow the watch down - it literally experiences time differently. Speed affects time, basically. Which probably explains why Terminator 2: Judgment Day is one of those very rare films that feels long, but is never boring. Time slows down for it because it moves so fast.

It's also very much a product of its time. Terminator 2 is a violent film, made in a violent period of history. According to James Cameron, the Rodney King beating didn't just take place near the biker bar they shot Arnie's opening scenes in, it happened on a night Terminator 2 was filming. There's something too eerie about that story for it not to be true. After all, what was more prescient in 1991 than the sight of an
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Steve Anderson Dies at 67; Director of ‘South Central,’ ‘Cash’

Steve Anderson Dies at 67; Director of ‘South Central,’ ‘Cash’
Filmmaker Stephen Milburn Anderson, best known for 1992’s Oliver Stone-produced “South Central” and 2010’s “Cash,” starring Sean Bean and Chris Hemsworth, died Friday, May 1, at his home in Denver after a battle with throat cancer. He was 67.

Anderson was a pioneer in the use of digital filmmaking and an early advocate of the New Mexico Film Incentive Program.

Anderson wrote and directed eight movies. His short “Hearts of Stone” was the 1987 runner-up for Academy Award and played at the Sundance Film Festival, where it came to the attention of Oliver Stone, who subsequently produced Anderson’s first feature film, “South Central,” which was released by Warner Bros. The movie received wide critical acclaim, most notably in the New York Times where film critic Janet Maslin named Anderson one of the “Who’s Who Among Hot New Filmmakers in America,” along with Quentin Tarantino and Tim Robbins.

Anderson’s second
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Remembering Documentary Director Bruce Sinofsky (Video)

Remembering Documentary Director Bruce Sinofsky (Video)
According to Sinofsky's wife Florence, the director, age 58, died from complications of diabetes. A Boston native and graduate of Tisch, Sinofsky and co-director Joe Berling were Oscar-nominated in 2012 for "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory," the third installment in a series of sprawling crime docs that examined the child murders committed by the West Memphis Three. The first film, 1996's "Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills," won Sinofsky an Emmy, which he shared with his tight-knit crew-members Sheila Nevins (executive producer), Berlinger (producer/director) and Jonathan Moss (coordinating producer). The film also won them a Peabody Award. “Without trivializing the killings they came to investigate, the filmmakers carefully study the tattered social fabric that is the backdrop for an unthinkable crime,” wrote Nyt's Janet Maslin back in 1996. "In this sad, lurid and darkly transfixing story, they locate all the elements of true-crime reporting...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Daily | Books | Watkins, Herzog, Korine

Rachael Rakes and Leo Goldsmith have won a grant to complete a book on Peter Watkins. More film book news: Miranda July's debut novel, The First Bad Man, will be out on January 13. Iain Sinclair reviews Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed: Conversations with Paul Cronin for the Tls. For Slate, Michelle Orange reviews a reissue of MacDonald Harris's 1982 novel Screenplay. In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Andrew Nette revisits the 1970 novel by Ted Lewis that became Get Carter. And in the New York Times, Janet Maslin reviews Scott Saul's Becoming Richard Pryor. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

‘The Oldest Boy’ Theater Review: The Reincarnation of a Bernardo Bertolucci Movie

  • The Wrap
‘The Oldest Boy’ Theater Review: The Reincarnation of a Bernardo Bertolucci Movie
In 1993, Bernardo Bertolucci released a movie, “Little Buddha,” that explores the odyssey of a young American boy who is sought out by two Tibetan monks who believe he's the reincarnation of a lama, a high Buddhist teacher. At the heart of this conflict is that the boy's parents are played by non-Tibetan types, Bridget Fonda and Chris Isaak. Neither Roger Ebert, who hated the movie, nor Janet Maslin, who liked it, had much of a clue what Bertolucci wanted to say with “Little Buddha.” See photos: 13 of Keanu Reeves’ Most Insane Movie Premises – From ‘John Wick’ to ‘Johnny Mnemonic’ (Photos) That.
See full article at The Wrap »

MGM Secures Rights to Terry Hayes’ Espionage Thriller “I Am Pilgrim”

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) has secured the feature film rights to Terry Hayes’ international bestselling espionage thriller “I Am Pilgrim” it was announced today by Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s president, motion picture group.

Hayes, a former journalist and award-winning screenwriter whose credits include “Payback,” “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior” and “Dead Calm” is adapting his debut novel for the screen. Lloyd Braun is producing the film through his Whalerock Industries. Andrew Mittman at Whalerock will serve as Executive Producer.

“Pilgrim” is the codename for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for Us intelligence. Now in anonymous retirement, he is called upon to lend his expertise to an unusual investigation but ultimately becomes caught in a terrifying race-against-time to save America from oblivion.

The thriller, which has recently landed on The New York Times bestseller
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

'Speed' 20th anniversary: Screenwriter Graham Yost looks back on 'the bus movie' that became a classic

'Speed' 20th anniversary: Screenwriter Graham Yost looks back on 'the bus movie' that became a classic
Screenwriter Graham Yost, now the showrunner of FX’s Justified, admits that the plot of Speed sounds ridiculous: A bomb on a bus will detonate if the bus travels below 50 mph. But when the movie was released June 10, 1994, a funny thing happened: It became a hit with moviegoers and critics alike. To quote EW’s grade-a review: “The film takes off from formula elements – it’s yet another variation on Die Hard – but it manipulates those elements so skillfully, with such a canny mixture of delirium and restraint, that I walked out of the picture with the rare sensation that
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »
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