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April Wraps

April was a little odd for your host here offscreen and onscreen... well, April was a bit of a dead month wasn't it? We're giving it a gentle shove out the door this morning though there's a full day of it left tomorrow. But we still found cinematic pleasure where we could, whether that was covering the Tribeca Film Festival or making those Foolish annual first Oscar predictions. 

A dozen highlights of April... 

Betty Buckley Interview - on Split and her new CD. She's not a nostalgist

Corporate Afterthoughts in Toni Erdmann - all those oddly "decorated" spaces

Fast and Furious Rankings - Ranking the similarly titled movies

A Star is Born - yet another version. Thoughts on the first image of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga

Jonathan Demme's Favorite Actors - an appreciation and farewell 

Cannes Lineup / Jury - excited to experience the world's most glamorous fest in May?
See full article at FilmExperience »

Happy 75th to Four-Time Oscar Nominee Marsha Mason

by Eric Blume

Marsha Mason speaking at an event in 2015Today marks the 75th birthday of Marsha Mason, one of Hollywood’s leading ladies from the 1970s. Celebrating her is easy because she brought a lot of light and joy to screens for a decade and a half with her toothy vibrance and warm energy.

It’s strange to think that contemporary young movie audiences don’t even know Mason, since she scored four Oscar nominations for Best Actress over nine years! Her first nomination came in 1973 for Mark Rydell’s Cinderella Liberty, where she plays a prostitute with an 11-year-old mixed race son. Her rapport with co-star James Caan and the young actor who plays her son has a scrappy grace to it, and it’s a winning performance.

Mason’s other three Oscar nominations came from roles written or tailored expressly for her by her then-husband, Neil Simon.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Oscars 2017: Nicole Kidman Poised to Score Fourth Nom With ‘Lion’ — But How Rare Is This Achievement?

Nicole Kidman in ‘Lion’ (Courtesy: Mark Rogers/Long Way Productions)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

Nothing is ever certain when it comes to predicting how the Oscars will shape up, but it seems as though Nicole Kidman is a slam dunk in this year’s race. The Lion star has already been nominated three times in the past — even snagging one win in the process — across categories and it seems as though a fourth is on the way. How often does this happen in the best actress and best supporting actress categories?

The reason a fourth nomination for Kidman seems inevitable is because the 49-year-old Australian-American has been nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award and a Satellite Award (losing both) as well as a Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award (awaiting results). With those in the bag, an Oscar nomination is right around the corner — and this site’s namesake,
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Beauty vs Beast: Which of the Woods

Jason from Mnpp here seizing the moment with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- well, seizing one of many moments, but not only moments, because if life were only moments then we'd never know we had one. You know how it goes. Anyway this moment, this one of many not only, is the birthday of the director Rob Marshall, who makes magical movies that, uh... defy description. Like Into the Woods, perhaps? Yes, we are in the right story.

Previously Here it is a week later and I'm still pretty shocked it took me over 125 editions of this series to get to my favorite movie Rosemary's Baby - but who won? Well you guys sided with the Devil, just like the Oscars did, and gave the prize to Ruth Gordon's Minnie Castavet and her eternally chalky undertaste - said Marsha Mason:

"I think Ruth had the greater acting accomplishment.
See full article at FilmExperience »

Criterion Reflections – Beyond the Law (1968) – Es 35

David’s Quick Take for the tl;dr Media Consumer:

In posting this review, I might be giving more time and thought to the merits of Beyond The Law, Norman Mailer’s second venture in pursuit of auteurist credibility, than went into the film’s original conception and construction. As the middle installment of three films that Mailer churned out in a brief dabble as a director, we have a companion piece, maybe even an evil twin, to his first effort Wild 90. That film, released in early 1967, records the imaginary, sloppily performed interplay of three seriously drunk gangsters evading the cops as they’re holed up in a dingy Brooklyn apartment. A few months later, over two nights in October ’67, Mailer and the same pals he recruited for Wild 90 (Buzz Farber and Mickey Knox) show up again for another foray into experiential improv performance art, this time as
See full article at CriterionCast »

Looking back at Drop Dead Fred

Mark Harrison Aug 15, 2016

We revisit Drop Dead Fred, starring the late, great Rik Mayall...

Hey, snotfaces, what do you get when you mix Mary Poppins and Beetlejuice? Look no further than 1991's Drop Dead Fred, a fantasy comedy about an imaginary friend, which turns out to be about a woman's mental breakdown after years and years of emotional abuse.

If you're of a certain age and, much like Phoebe Cates' protagonist Elizabeth at the beginning of the movie, you haven't seen Fred since you were a child, you may remember it as a childhood staple that you were probably a bit young to be watching and for many, it might have been your introduction to Mayall's comic stylings. However, also like Lizzie, Fred's anarchic behaviour has different implications when you meet him again in adulthood.

He first re-emerges after Lizzie has lost the three major totems of adulthood - her marriage,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Golden Globes 77. A Look Back

Editors Note: Nathaniel is running behind on the Cinematography Special - but don't miss yesterday's installment or Tim's huge ongoing post at Antagony & Ecstasy so we'll resume tomorrow night. In the meantime enjoy Eric's look back at the Globes in '77, since its our Year of the Month.

Peter O'Toole with Globe winners Jane Fonda (Julia), Richard Burton (Equus), and Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl)

Globe/Oscar comparisons are always fun to see because though the  groups have different sensibilities, inevitable industry hype influences both. Yet the Globes are rarely revisited outside of their years since Oscar is the one people obsess on when they look back, "the one that matters" as it were. Let's correct that as we gaze at 1977... 
See full article at FilmExperience »

Stage Door: Steve Martin & Edie Brickell's "Bright Star"

In Stage Door we talk theater, usually making some form of movie connection because that's how we do things...

I don't know anything about Bluegrass music but I wouldn't have connected it to the Melodrama form. If I tried to tell you the plot of Steve Martin's Broadway show "Bright Star," you wouldn't even believe it, so I shan't. Let's just say that if the plot were a movie it would be a silent film with wild eyed pantomiming it's so Big with oversized emotional rug-pulling. I was just crazy about the music but the book not so much. (On the night I attended it was all worth it because Steve Martin made a surprise appearance. There he was as the curtain raised for Act 2, playing on his banjo. He was loving it and so was the very very appreciative crowd. How lucky that he picked our night to show up!
See full article at FilmExperience »

When Tony Met Janet. And Other Stories...

Today in movie related history...

1907 Cracking Rosalind Russell is born. Stars in many classics including: His Girl Friday, Gypsy, and Auntie Mame and is nominated for 4 Best Actress Oscars. The only actresses that share her fate of 4 Best Actress nominations w/out a win: Greta Garbo, Marsha Mason, and Barbara Stanwyck. Of the four only Marsha Mason didn't receive an Honorary later on.

1913 Suffragette Emily Davison runs onto the track at the Epson Derby and is trampled by King George V's horse. It's a huge turning point in the court of public opinion and the suffragette movement. It was reenacted in last year's Suffragette.

1936 Bruce Dern is born and never stops acting thereafter. Also donates Laura Dern to the world for which he has our undying gratitude

1940 The last allied soldiers leave Dunkirk. Britain's Pm vows that his forces will "never surrender". Christopher Nolan is currently filming a movie about Dunkirk called,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Frank De Felitta, Author of ‘Audrey Rose,’ Dies at 94

Frank De Felitta, Author of ‘Audrey Rose,’ Dies at 94
Frank De Felitta, author of the novel on which the horror film “Audrey Rose” was based and a documentary filmmaker, died Tuesday in Los Angeles at the age of 94, according to his son Raymond De Felitta, director of ABC’s “Madoff.”

Frank De Felitta made a name for himself as director of the 1966 NBC documentary “Mississippi: A Self Portrait.” The documentary chronicled the experiences of blacks and whites living in rural Mississippi, but what made the project a standout was an interviewee named Booker Wright.

Wright, a black waiter, spoke candidly about his mistreatment by white customers, which resulted in him losing his job, being beaten and having his restaurant burned down. He was later murdered.

In 2012, De Felitta revisited the documentary with his son Raymond, who directed a spin-off titled “Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story.” Produced by David Zellerford and Wright’s grandchild, Yvette Johnson, “Booker’s Place
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Frank De Felitta Dies; ‘Audrey Rose’ Author & TV Documentarian Was 94

Frank De Felitta, who adapted his own horror novel for 1977’s Audrey Rose, died Tuesday in Los Angeles at age 94. The death was confirmed by his son, Madoff director Raymond De Felitta. Audrey Rose, which along with The Exorcist and The Omen formed the decade’s unholy trinity of scary-child pics, starred Anthony Hopkins and Marsha Mason, with Robert Wise directing from De Felitta’s screenplay. Like the novel, the film told the eerie story of a little girl who might be the…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Frank De Felitta Dies; ‘Audrey Rose’ Author & TV Documentarian Was 94

Frank De Felitta Dies; ‘Audrey Rose’ Author & TV Documentarian Was 94
Frank De Felitta, who adapted his own horror novel for 1977’s Audrey Rose, died Tuesday in Los Angeles at age 94. The death was confirmed by his son, Madoff director Raymond De Felitta. Audrey Rose, which along with The Exorcist and The Omen formed the decade’s unholy trinity of scary-child pics, starred Anthony Hopkins and Marsha Mason, with Robert Wise directing from De Felitta’s screenplay. Like the novel, the film told the eerie story of a little girl who might be the…
See full article at Deadline »

Remembering National Society of Film Critics Award-Winning Brazilian Superstar Pêra

Marília Pêra: Actress starred in Brazilian movie classic 'Pixote.' Marília Pêra: Brazilian film, TV and stage star Remembering Brazilian stage, television, and film star Marília Pêra, whose acting and singing career spanned more than five decades. Pêra died of lung cancer on Dec. 5, '15, in Rio de Janeiro. Born Marília Soares Pêra on Jan. 22, 1943, in Rio, she was 72 years old. 'Pixote' prostitute Internationally, Marília Pêra is best known as the loud, vulgar prostitute Sueli, who becomes acquainted with São Paulo street kid Fernando Ramos da Silva in Hector Babenco's well-received social drama Pixote / Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco (1981),[1] a fierce indictment of Brazilian society's utter disregard for its disadvantaged members. In one pivotal – and widely talked about scene – she lets the titular character (da Silva, at the time 12 years old)[2] suckle her breast. In another, she pulls down her panties and sits in
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and 10 Other Adaptations That Jane Austen Never Would Have Anticipated

  • PEOPLE.com
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and 10 Other Adaptations That Jane Austen Never Would Have Anticipated
The love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy has been told again and again onscreen, and each adaptation has in its own way addressed themes of class, social etiquette and romance that Jane Austen wove into the 1813 classic, Pride and Prejudice. But now Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, in theaters Feb. 5, introduces a whole new slew of themes: the undead, for example, and martial arts and lots and lots of blood and gore. The film has Cinderella star Lily James playing Elizabeth, who in this version just happens to be leading a small army of sword-toting society women in
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

20 years ago today: Julia Roberts, Jcvd, and many more guest-starred on ‘Friends’

  • Hitfix
20 years ago today: Julia Roberts, Jcvd, and many more guest-starred on ‘Friends’
20 years ago today, NBC aired “The One After the Superbowl,” the mega-episode of “Friends” packed with famous guest stars. The two-part episode had a massive lead-in from the Cowboys vs. Steelers game, even more than usual for post-Super Bowl programming — that game broke the record for most-watched sporting event ever on American television. The star-studded lineup of visitors to “Friends” was: Julia Roberts, Brooke Shields, Chris Isaak, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Fred Willard, and Dan Castellaneta. Roberts played Susie, Chandler’s elementary school classmate. Chandler eagerly agrees to go on a date with her, only to find out that the date was part of Susie’s plot for revenge to get back at Chandler for a prank he played on her in the 4th grade. “That was in the 4th grade! How could you still be upset about that?” Chandler exclaimed upon realizing what this was all about — as he stood
See full article at Hitfix »

National Society of Film Critics Award-Winning Brazilian Superstar Dead at 72

Marília Pêra: Actress starred in Brazilian movie classic 'Pixote.' Marília Pêra: Brazilian star and National Board of Review Best Actress winner dead at 72 This article is being revised and expanded. Please check back later. Actress Marília Pêra, a top Brazilian stage, television, and film star whose acting and singing career spanned more than five decades, died of lung cancer on Dec. 5, '15, in Rio de Janeiro. Pêra (born on Jan. 22, 1943, in Rio de Janeiro) was 72 years old. 'Pixote' prostitute Internationally, Marília Pêra is best known as the loud, vulgar prostitute who becomes acquainted with São Paulo street kid Fernando Ramos da Silva – who suckles her breast in one pivotal scene – in Hector Babenco's well-regarded social drama Pixote, a fierce indictment of Brazilian society's utter disregard for its disadvantaged citizens. Although Pêra's screen time is relatively brief, she made enough of an impact to be
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Reivers

Steve McQueen spent most of the 1960s avoiding lightweight movie roles -- only to do well with his winning comedy-drama performance in William Faulkner's most cheerful tale of old Mississippi. Get set for music by John Williams and an exciting climactic horse race. In storytelling terms this show would seem to have given Steven Spielberg a few ideas. The Reivers Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1969 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 106 min. / Street Date August 25, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Steve McQueen, Rupert Crosse, Mitch Vogel, Sharon Farrell, Will Geer, Ruth White, Michael Constantine, Clifton James, Juano Hernandez, Lonny Chapman, Diane Ladd, Ellen Geer, Dub Taylor, Allyn Ann McLerie, Charles Tyner, Burgess Meredith. Cinematography Richard Moore Film Editor Thomas Stanford Original Music John Williams Written by Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank Jr. from the book by William Faulkner Produced by Irving Ravetch, Robert Relyea Directed by Mark Rydell

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

What? This
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Sex Kitten Turned Two-Time Oscar Nominee on TCM Tonight

Ann-Margret movies: From sex kitten to two-time Oscar nominee. Ann-Margret: 'Carnal Knowledge' and 'Tommy' proved that 'sex symbol' was a remarkable actress Ann-Margret, the '60s star who went from sex kitten to respected actress and two-time Oscar nominee, is Turner Classic Movies' star today, Aug. 13, '15. As part of its “Summer Under the Stars” series, TCM is showing this evening the movies that earned Ann-Margret her Academy Award nods: Mike Nichols' Carnal Knowledge (1971) and Ken Russell's Tommy (1975). Written by Jules Feiffer, and starring Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel, the downbeat – some have found it misogynistic; others have praised it for presenting American men as chauvinistic pigs – Carnal Knowledge is one of the precursors of “adult Hollywood moviemaking,” a rare species that, propelled by the success of disparate arthouse fare such as Vilgot Sjöman's I Am Curious (Yellow) and Costa-Gavras' Z, briefly flourished from
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Time Machine: Bachchan and Rai - Bollywood King and Queen on Hollywood Red Carpet

Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai at the Oscars Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai on the Academy Awards' Red Carpet Pictured above are Bollywood stars Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan arriving at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, which took place on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Two years ago, an Anglo-Indian-American co-production, Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire became not only one of the season's biggest sleeper hits, but also the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner. Dev Patel and Freida Pinto starred. Curiously, some have complained that Slumdog Millionaire was just a less interesting rehash of higher-quality Bollywood musicals and dramas that have received relatively little play outside South Asian communities around the globe. Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai movies The son of Indian cinema legend Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan has been featured in nearly 50 films. Among them are: Dhoom (2004). Director: Sanjay Gadhvi. Cast: Abhishek Bachchan. Uday Chopra. John Abraham. Esha Deol.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Why 1977 was the best year in movie history

  • Hitfix
Why 1977 was the best year in movie history
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. 1977 is the greatest year in film history. I'm positive. Why? It's the year that made you believe giant blockbusters could bring you state-of-the-art science fiction, modern (and enduring) takes on romance, compelling heroes, and a shrewd understanding of real people. It's the year that put us in touch with our most superheroic and most sentimental qualities, and that range alone is worth honoring. '77 is the year that gave us "Star Wars." I could go on about why that's a great movie, or we could just understand that every sci-fi blockbuster since "Star Wars" has had to deal with belittling comparisons to the greatness of "Star Wars." Sure, there've been other blockbusters with grandeur and special effects galore, but did they have C3PO's charisma?
See full article at Hitfix »
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