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Sorry, Ridley Scott: The ‘Alien’ Franchise Is No ‘Star Wars’

Sorry, Ridley Scott: The ‘Alien’ Franchise Is No ‘Star Wars’
With “Alien: Covenant,” Ridley Scott had an ambitious new hope.

“I see a really huge franchise here — honestly, as big as ‘Star Wars.’” the director told BBC 4’s Francine Stock in an interview that aired in May, just before the film was released overseas. “I’m trying to open it up. This is not an innocent plan,” he said.

Which must have made this weekend’s numbers a bit of a gut explosion … er … punch. Off a $97 million production budget (not including marketing costs) “Alien: Covenant” opened in first place at the domestic box office with $36 million, just barely beating out the third frame of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” It’s leading worldwide as well with $66.3 million this weekend, and $117.8 million total when counting last weekend’s international opening (one frame before it was released in the states).

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See full article at Variety - Film News »

D.A. Pennebaker talks Bowie, Dylan collaborations

The renowned documentary film-maker delivered a masterclass with long-term collaborator Chris Hegedus.

Veteran documentarian D.A Pennebaker (Bob Dylan: Don’t Look Back) delivered a masterclass at Sheffield Doc/Fest on Sunday (June 12) in which he discussed his lengthy career in the business.

He was on stage with frequent collaborator Chris Hegedus, who is also his wife. The film-making duo were behind 1993 Oscar-nominated documentary feature The War Room and have worked together on several of projects.

Clips were shown from some of their most notable films including 1979’s Town Bloody Hall and 2009’s Kings Of Pastry, as well as
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Den Of Geek Book Club: In Glorious Technicolour!

  • Den of Geek
Francine Stock's exploration of the way film has entered our lives is Aliya's non-fiction choice for this month's Book Club...

There are lots of different ways to talk about films. There’s film as an art form, in which people try to objectively discuss how the director makes a statement by manipulating sounds and images. There’s film as a historical document – why was it made at that time? What does it say about what was happening in society? And there’s film on a totally subjective level, where you just like what you like; whether it’s important artistically or historically or in any other way is not the point.

It’s rare to come across a book that attempts to address film on all three of those levels at the same time, but In Glorious Technicolor! gives it a good shot. It’s described in the introduction as,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Nymphomaniac: One Night Stand, Keswick film festival: this week's film events

Nymphomaniac: One Night Stand | Keswick film festival | Borderlines film festival | Pan-Asia film festival

Nymphomaniac: One Night Stand, Nationwide

That Lars von Trier, he's a naughty one, eh? And befitting its subject matter, his latest grandiose provocation has been preceded by a prolonged foreplay-session of teaser trailers and titillating rumours. Now, for one night only, you can watch both halves of the movie back to back before it goes on release in two halves later this month. Despite being four hours long and sexually explicit, it's far from the sado-masochistic experience it sounds, with digressions into baroque music, fly fishing and dessert forks, and a steady procession of familiar faces including Uma Thurman, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell and Willem Dafoe. Afterwards, you'll be rewarded with a satellite Q&A, live from the Curzon Chelsea, in which three of the film's stars – Von Trier veteran Stellan Skarsgård and Britons Stacy Martin
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Watch: Tom Hanks Talks 'Philadelphia' Controversy, Working With Spielberg & More In 11-Minute Highlight Reel From BAFTA Tribute

  • The Playlist
You may find it hard to believe, but it’s been almost thirty years since Tom Hanks made his feature film breakthrough in Ron Howard’s “Splash.” That film jumpstarted a career which first saw Hanks spend the rest of the ‘80s establishing himself as a leading man, mostly appearing in comedies. Now, not all of the films he made back in those days were a success, so it must have been surprising at the time to see Turner from “Turner & Hootch” soon catapult himself to the top of the A-list. He starred in some of the biggest films of the 1990s, won two Oscars, and managed to have that success carry over into the present day. And 2013 could perhaps be considered a “comeback year” for the man. “Captain Phillips” and “Saving Mr. Banks” are among the best reviewed movies of Hanks’ career, at least in the past ten years.
See full article at The Playlist »

'Psycho', 'Grease',' There Will Be Blood' up for top movie soundtrack

'Psycho', 'Grease',' There Will Be Blood' up for top movie soundtrack
The BBC has launched a poll across its TV and radio stations to find the greatest ever movie soundtrack.

BBC Radio 1's Rhianna Dillon, BBC Radio 2's Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 3's Matthew Sweet, Francine Stock from BBC Radio 4, Mary Anne Hobbs from BBC Radio 6music, Tommy Sandhu from Asian Network and film music conductor Robert Ziegler have joined forces to choose the 20-strong shortlist.

Voting is open now on the BBC website and closes at midnight on Friday, September 20.

The results will be announced and played live by the BBC Concert Orchestra on Friday, September 27 at 2pm and will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

The poll is part of the BBC's Sound of Cinema season, which starts today with the broadcast of the first of a three-part BBC Four series Sound of Cinema: The Music That Made The Movies.

It is presented by Neil Brand and airs at 9pm.
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Television's magic moments

What are the biggest milestones in the history of British TV? From the coronation to Morecambe and Wise, there are plenty of contenders. But five key events stand out from the flickering light

Watching television is a habit that runs like a bass note through all our lives. Huge masts have been built on hilltops, aerials and satellite dishes have sprung up on roofs, roads have emptied of people and cars, pub tills have been silenced, the boiling of kettles has synchronised across the nation, and the same bluish-grey flicker has radiated through millions of front room windows – all because people were watching TV. And yet the history of this activity remains largely obscure. The relentless dailyness of television has meant that there has always been far too much of it to enter the sorting house of collective memory. Leafing through old copies of the Radio Times is a melancholy activity,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Joss Whedon: A Life in Pictures Review

  • HeyUGuys
Joss Whedon is a man of many talents. He’s written and directed some of my favourite TV shows and films of all time, with his latest film, Much Ado About Nothing, opening over the weekend on our shores. So when the possibility arose to attend BAFTA’s Joss Whedon: A Life in Pictures on Friday night, I naturally jumped at the opportunity.

Of all of the people in the industry, Whedon’s work has had the greatest influence on me. I grew up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and have had nothing but love for everything I’ve seen Whedon do since then.

Talking to a sold-out audience at BAFTA’s Princess Anne Theatre in Piccadilly, interviewed by the BBC’s Francine Stock, the evening started at the beginning, with his childhood.

Both his parents and his grandfather were writers, with his father and grandfather writers for television
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Man Of Steel: Zack Snyder Says Supes Is American, But Will Likely "Go Global" In The Sequel

Superman is an American icon, and was depicted that way right from the very first time he appeared in Action Comics #1 all those years ago. But as time went on the character evolved into more of a global protector, despite holding tight to his American roots. In Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel we see Supes fight to protect his adopted Country from General Zod's attack, even though the Kryptonian's are threatening the entire planet. While chatting to Francine Stock on this week’s BBC Radio 4 Film Programme (transcription via Bleeding Cool), Snyder explains why he felt it was important to establish the character's roots, but teases an arc that will take him global in future movies. Francine Stock: I’ll tell you something about General Zod. General Zod gets gloablisation, doesn’t he? Because when he arrives on Earth he sends out his message in all the languages of the world,
See full article at ComicBookMovie »

This week's new film events

Jameson Cult Film Club | Between The Lines | Borderlines Film Festival | Pier Paolo Pasolini

Jameson Cult Film Club, Liverpool & Sheffield

Twenty years before he had the budget to film men shooting each other on horses, Quentin Tarantino had to resort to filming men shooting each other in warehouses. But while Django Unchained has been praised as a bracing return to form, these special "immersive" screenings celebrate the movie that established Tarantino's form in the first place: Reservoir Dogs. By "immersive", they mean screening the movie in a warehouse setting, decked out like an extension of the movie, with characters (watch out for the psychotic Mr Blonde), themed catering and even recreations of the movie's more memorable moments (bring spare ears). It's all free as well, though you'll have to register quickly.

Camp & Furnace, Liverpool, Wed; Gibb Street Warehouse, Birmingham, Thu

Between The Lines, London

This promises to be a ground-breaking festival
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Anthony Hopkins at BAFTA – A Life In Pictures

  • HeyUGuys
Last Sunday, BAFTA’s A Life In Pictures series shone a spotlight on one of this country’s most distinguished talents, Sir Anthony Hopkins. Conducted once again by writer and radio presenter Francine Stock, the veteran actor (who turns 75 at the end of this month) chatted about his long and illustrious career, in a very open and humorous fashion (Hopkins has a fine talent for mimicking his famous contemporaries).

Born in Port Talbot, Wales, Hopkins admitted that as a student at school he would rather immerse himself in the arts, than attend to his studies. His career began on stage, but the big screen was a place he unabashedly aspired to part of, much to the discontent of his seasoned theatrical co-star, including such eminent figures as John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier.

“In was never comfortable being in the theatre, I have to admit. I couldn’t stand being cooped
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Special Features - 'Call it a Classic?' at the BFI

Simon Columb reports from the BFI's 'Call it a Classic' evening where a panel of industry experts discussed the question of what makes a film a 'classic'...

In terms of lists and the definition of a 'classic', this really is the year to discuss the issue. Indeed, the combination of Sight & Sound's 'Greatest Films of All-Time' poll and the 20th Anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series seemed time enough to discuss the issue itself.

The BFI managed to gather multiple sources that best represented the issue, including Edward Buscombe, an author himself (writer of The Searchers BFI Film Classic) and former Head of Pubishing at the BFI; Laura Mulvey, a well-established author since the 1970's who has written the BFI Film Classic on Citizen Kane; Ben Walters author (alongside Jm Tyree) of The Big Lebowski BFI Film Classic and James Bell, Features Editor at Sight & Sound and therefore heavily
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

This week's new film events

Italian Film Festival In Scotland

The cream of Italy's recent output is served here, including a host of festival winners. Oscar entry Terraferma contrasts the stunning Sicilian landscape with issues of seaside poverty and immigration, while the latter topic also crops up in the realist drama Our Life, for which Elio Germano won a Cannes best actor award in 2010. The big winner at the national Donatello awards, We Believed, is a three-hour account exploring Italy's reunification, and for perspective there are classics such as Elio Petri's Oscar-winning 1970 thriller Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion.

Dca, Dundee; Edinburgh Filmhouse; Gft, Glasgow; Eden Court, Inverness, Fri to 26 Apr

Terracotta Far East Film Festival, London

If names such as Sion Sono, Kim Ki-duk and, um, Kevin Spacey, or a summary like, "fish grow legs and attack Okinawa" mean something to you, then this is your kind of festival. It's mostly fresh Japanese and South Korean movies,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

3D film: have the wheels fallen off?

Hollywood was quick to jump on the 3D bandwagon, but ticket sales are falling. Film buffs Francine Stock and Danny Leigh discuss whether or not the format has a future

The number of films being made in 3D is falling – and so are ticket sales, it emerged this week. Broadcasters Francine Stock, presenter of Radio 4's The Film Programme, and Danny Leigh, critic and co-host of BBC1's Film 2012, discuss whether the 3D bubble has burst. Emine Saner listens in.

Danny Leigh: The death knell has been sounding for a while. It's impossible to talk about 3D without a slightly funereal bearing, because it has not worked. When Avatar came out, it seemed like the dawning of a new era, but if I was financially invested in 3D, I would be feeling a bit glum because there hasn't been a follow-up to Avatar, either a film or a general groundswell of enthusiasm.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

This week's new film events

Keswick Film Festival

The paparazzi won't exactly be beating a path to the Lake District for this, but it's a small festival with an agreeably broad outlook. The guest of honour is John Hurt, who's in conversation and introducing a number of movies from his prolific career, including his celebrated Quentin Crisp double bill. There's also a tribute to the versatile Tony Palmer, including his seminal Leonard Cohen movie Bird On A Wire, and a complete showing of his eight-hour Wagner series (starring Richard Burton and Laurence Olivier). Also in the mix are recent releases such as Tyrannosaur and Melancholia, award-winning world cinema and uplifting films about life-changing illnesses.

Various venues, Thu to 26 Feb, keswickfilmclub.org/kff

Exposures: New Talent In Moving Image, Manchester

God knows it's not easy being a student these days, but at least you get your own film festivals. This is the UK's largest, and therefore
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘The Artist’: More of the same

I’m getting a little tired of seeing Jean Dujardin’s face. That I can say this about an actor I like so much reflects the degree of media saturation surrounding The Artist. For most of January, the same shot of Dujardin stared out at me every time I opened the arts section of a newspaper or a copy of TimeOut. The Artist has become The King’s Speech of 2012. It’s hard to find a critic with a word to say against it: kudos to Francine Stock for bringing up the word pastiche in her interview with Michel Haznavicius, who nobly accepted it. The public are flocking to see the film, and seem to be enjoying it very much—apart from the people who demanded their money back when they discovered that the film was silent…

On the strength of Hazanavicius’ previous James Bond spoofs (Oss 117: Lost in
See full article at The Moving Arts Journal »

Simon Curtis's "My Week with Marilyn"

  • MUBI
"In 1976," notes Manohla Dargis in the New York Times, "the year that Marilyn Monroe would have turned 50, Larry McMurtry wrote that she 'is right in there with our major ghosts: Hemingway, the Kennedy brothers — people who finished with American life before America had time to finish with them.' Almost a half-century after her death, the world, or at least its necrophiliac fantasists, still haven't finished with Monroe and try to resurrect her again and again in movies, books, songs and glamour layouts featuring dewy and ruined ingénues. Maybe it's because it's so difficult to imagine her as Old Marilyn that she has become a Ghost of Hollywood Past, a phantom that periodically materializes to show us things that have been. The latest attempt at resurrection occurs in My Week With Marilyn, with Michelle Williams as the Ghost."

"The 'my' is Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), a wet-eared assistant director on
See full article at MUBI »

In Glorious Technicolor by Francine Stock | review

An ambitious attempt to write a 'personal' history of cinema is sometimes intelligent but rarely convincing

Maxim Gorky, the first major writer to record his impressions of the cinema, wrote in his local newspaper the day after seeing the first Lumière brothers show in Nizhny Novgorod in 1896: "Last night I was in the Kingdom of Shadows. If you only knew how strange it is to be there … I was at Aumont's and saw Lumière's cinématographe – moving photography. The extraordinary impression it creates is so unique and complex that I doubt my ability to describe it with all its nuances." A few years later Rudyard Kipling wrote Mrs Bathurst, the first significant work of fiction inspired by the movies, a mysteriously haunting tale of a sailor driven to his death by a brief newsreel he obsessively views in Cape Town. The new medium had the power to disturb, to fascinate,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

BAFTA A Life In Pictures: Will Ferrell

  • HeyUGuys
Last week Us comic Will Ferrell had the opportunity to take centre stage and discuss his Hollywood career as part of BAFTA’s Life In Picture Series.

Like many of his contemporaries in the field of comedy, Ferrell came to prominence as a regular on famed Us sketch show Saturday Night Live, before making his mark on the big screen in such universally-loved fare as Elf, Zoolander, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers and perhaps his most iconic role to date as the hopelessly shallow and breezily chauvinistic newscaster in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

HeyUGuys were fortunate enough to grab a couple of minutes with the star before heading in for the hour-long Q&A hosted by BBC Radio 4’s The Film Programme presenter, Francine Stock (more on that below). The talk was followed by a screening of Ferrell’s new film Everything Must Go
See full article at HeyUGuys »

BAFTA presents 'Life in Pictures: Gary Oldman'

  • CineVue
Gary Oldman has a secret. He is all set to star with Colin Firth in a remake of critically acclaimed film of the 1960s but he’s not telling anyone what it is. "I can see my agent at the back shaking his head" joked Oldman as BBC Radio 4 film presenter Francine Stock did her best to coax more information out of him. He never did reveal the mystery, but during his hour or so on stage he did provide the packed audience with a rare insight into the world of a working actor.

Read more »
See full article at CineVue »
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