10 items from 2015
Constance Cummings in 'Night After Night.' Constance Cummings: Working with Frank Capra and Mae West (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Actress Went from Harold Lloyd to Eugene O'Neill.”) Back at Columbia, Harry Cohn didn't do a very good job at making Constance Cummings feel important. By the end of 1932, Columbia and its sweet ingenue found themselves in court, fighting bitterly over stipulations in her contract. According to the actress and lawyer's daughter, Columbia had failed to notify her that they were picking up her option. Therefore, she was a free agent, able to offer her services wherever she pleased. Harry Cohn felt otherwise, claiming that his contract player had waived such a notice. The battle would spill over into 1933. On the positive side, in addition to Movie Crazy 1932 provided Cummings with three other notable Hollywood movies: Washington Merry-Go-Round, American Madness, and Night After Night. 'Washington Merry-Go-Round »
- Andre Soares
AFI Fest will take place November 5 – 12, 2015, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings, Galas and events will be held at the historic Tcl Chinese Theatre, the Tcl Chinese 6 Theatres, Dolby Theatre, the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian, the El Capitan Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt.
World Cinema showcases the most acclaimed international films of the year; Breakthrough highlights true discoveries of the programming process; Midnight selections will grip audiences with terror; and Cinema’s Legacy highlights classic movies and films about cinema. World Cinema and Breakthrough selections are among the films eligible for Audience Awards. Shorts selections are eligible for the Grand Jury Prize, which qualifies the winner for Academy Award®consideration. This year’s Shorts jury features filmmaker Janicza Bravo, »
- Melissa Thompson
The American Film Institute has completed its AFI Fest lineup: 127 films from 45 countries will screen from Nov. 5 to 12.
The festival includes 38 films directed/co-directed by women, 17 documentaries and 10 official foreign-language Oscar contenders, including Argentina’s entry “The Clan,” Hungary’s “Son of Saul” and Romania’s “Aferim!” along with Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Dheepan.” The screenings and events will take place at the Tcl Chinese Theatre, Tcl Chinese 6 Theatres, Dolby Theatre, Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the Egyptian, El Capitan Theatre and Hollywood Roosevelt.
AFI has already announced a trio of world premieres: the opening night film, Angelina Pitt Jolie’s “By the Sea,” on Nov. 5; the Will Smith drama “Concussion” on Nov. 10; and the closing night film, Adam McKay’s “The Big Short” on Nov. 12. It’s also scheduled galas for Michael Moore’s documentary “Where to Invade Next” on Nov. 7 and the Chilean miners drama “The 33” on Nov. »
- Dave McNary
Debbie Reynolds ca. early 1950s. Debbie Reynolds movies: Oscar nominee for 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown,' sweetness and light in phony 'The Singing Nun' Debbie Reynolds is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 23, '15. An MGM contract player from 1950 to 1959, Reynolds' movies can be seen just about every week on TCM. The only premiere on Debbie Reynolds Day is Jerry Paris' lively marital comedy How Sweet It Is (1968), costarring James Garner. This evening, TCM is showing Divorce American Style, The Catered Affair, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and The Singing Nun. 'Divorce American Style,' 'The Catered Affair' Directed by the recently deceased Bud Yorkin, Divorce American Style (1967) is notable for its cast – Reynolds, Dick Van Dyke, Jean Simmons, Jason Robards, Van Johnson, Lee Grant – and for the fact that it earned Norman Lear (screenplay) and Robert Kaufman (story) a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award nomination. »
- Andre Soares
'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' 2015: Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' movie is a domestic box office bomb: Will it be saved by international filmgoers? Directed by Sherlock Holmes' Guy Ritchie and toplining Man of Steel star Henry Cavill and The Lone Ranger costar Armie Hammer, the Warner Bros. release The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has been a domestic box office disaster, performing about 25 percent below – already quite modest – expectations. (See also: “'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Movie: Bigger Box Office Flop Than Expected.”) This past weekend, the $80 million-budget The Man from U.N.C.L.E. collected a meager $13.42 million from 3,638 North American theaters, averaging $3,689 per site. After five days out, the big-screen reboot of the popular 1960s television series starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum has taken in a mere $16.77 million. For comparison's sake: »
- Zac Gille
Joan Crawford Movie Star Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her work, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and The Taxi Dancer (1927), and check her out in the more easily accessible The Unknown (1927) and Our Dancing Daughters (1928). By the early '30s, Joan Crawford had become a first-rate film actress, far more naturalistic than »
- Andre Soares
Fred Astaire ca. 1935. Fred Astaire movies: Dancing in the dark, on the ceiling on TCM Aug. 5, '15, is Fred Astaire Day on Turner Classic Movies, as TCM continues with its “Summer Under the Stars” series. Just don't expect any rare Astaire movies, as the actor-singer-dancer's star vehicles – mostly Rko or MGM productions – have been TCM staples since the early days of the cable channel in the mid-'90s. True, Fred Astaire was also featured in smaller, lesser-known fare like Byron Chudnow's The Amazing Dobermans (1976) and Yves Boisset's The Purple Taxi / Un taxi mauve (1977), but neither one can be found on the TCM schedule. (See TCM's Fred Astaire movie schedule further below.) Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals Some fans never tire of watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing together. With these particular fans in mind, TCM is showing – for the nth time – nine Astaire-Rogers musicals of the '30s, »
- Andre Soares
'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' star Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' trailer: Movie stunt combo "Desperate times. Desperate measures," says Tom Cruise aka Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation trailer aka the Mission: Impossible 5 and/or MI5 trailer. Whatever you call it, that particular line could be read in a number of ways: Tom Cruise's superstardom is in the doldrums – at least that's what we hear from those who see reality only through U.S.-focused lenses – and he needs all the box-office help he can get. Hence, MI5. Hollywood is in dire need of a mammoth domestic blockbuster following a year of mediocre-performing tentpoles at the U.S. box office. Hence, MI5. The world's socioeconomic fabric is about to unravel. Hence, MI5 – so humankind can go with a bang. Not only with a bang, but with mirth as well. »
- Andre Soares
On ‘Cinderella’ and feminism; How Branagh and Weitz altered the glass slipper
We find ourselves in a time and place where the voice of feminism has never been louder. Issues like Gamer Gate, sexism in Cosplay, a woman’s right to an opinion on fantasy, comics, or horror, as well as a myriad of issues outside the realm of pop culture like slut shaming, and blame for being raped flood news outlets on a daily basis. As a result, there’s been a constant cry for change from men and women alike, internationally. We’re seeing stronger representations of women in cinema, and on television. 2013’s Frozen offered a very necessary shift to the Disney Princess dynamic, suggesting that one saves oneself, that love is genderless, and that the kind of love that saves need not strictly be romantic… read the full article.
SXSW 2015: ‘The Overnight’ is an insightful, »
Written by Steven Ritch
Directed by Hubert Cornfield
It is a wet, late night. Raindrops fall down on the sleepy Utah countryside like a hail of bullets on a battlefield. Five men in two trucks drive silently to a mysterious location, each wrestling internally with the rising tension befitting a major heist scheme. They are Eddie (Gene Raymond), Commando (Wayne Morris), Skeets (Elisha Cook Jr.), Roly (Stafford Repp) and Frankie (Steven Ritch, who also serves as screenwriter). Amidst the impressive storm they successfully halt a speeding train, blow up the outside wall to one of its cars and make away from a hefty sum of gold bullion. This is but the first part of their plan, for now the group must traverse police roadblocks along the way to the City of Angels, all while under the guise of various types of truck drivers (liquid chemical transportation, »
- Edgar Chaput
10 items from 2015
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