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Stephen Cone on ‘Princess Cyd,’ Film Twitter, and the Economics of Indie Filmmaking

Stephen Cone has the tenacity of first-time director, yet he has eight feature films and dozens of shorts to show for it. His vision for filmmaking, grit in self-fundraising, and ability to collaborate with fresh faces (like Joe Keery of Stranger Things fame) and veteran actors alike results in nimble productions with a quick turn-around.

The Film Stage’s Jose Solís reviewed Cone’s newest film Princess Cyd, which opens today in NY and Chicago, saying: “With this, Cone also continues to be one of the few directors who has chosen to contextualize faith rather than demonize it. He shows greater interest in the places where we are like each other, all while celebrating what makes us different.”

Offering a look into his still-young career, Eric Hynes, Associate Curator of Film at the Museum of the Moving Image, programmed Talk About the Passion: Stephen Cone’s First Act, going from
See full article at The Film Stage »

Ricky Gervais Is Bringing His Biting Humor Back to the Radio

  • PEOPLE.com
Ricky Gervais Is Bringing His Biting Humor Back to the Radio
Ricky Gervais has a new Office at SiriusXM.

The award-winning comedian and actor is launching his new show, Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius, next week, broadcasting his signature caustic sense of humor from London, New York and around the world.

“I started out in radio, and SiriusXM made me an offer to return that I couldn’t refuse,” Gervais, 56, said in a statement. “With 32 million subscribers, editorial control, my own playlist and absolute freedom of speech, it’s the perfect platform for me, and hopefully the listener too.”

(He began his career as a radio host in his native London.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

The Case for Christ review – atheist hack suffers crisis in preachy drama

An investigative reporter attempts to debunk Christianity after his wife is born again in this earnest movie based on Lee Strobel’s bestselling book

From the faith-based studio that brought you God’s Not Dead – and launched a streaming service for Christians presumably reluctant to Netflix and chill – comes this preachily earnest drama adapted from a best-selling book by Lee Strobel (played by Mike Vogel). Set in 1980, Strobel is a card-carrying atheist working as an investigative reporter in Chicago when his wife finds God. Turning to the tools of his trade, Strobel sets out to prove that Jc is up there with the tooth fairy – interviewing historians, archeologists and doctors. Instead, he’s rattled by the experts and experiences a crisis of atheism (as portrayed here, he’s no Richard Dawkins). For a Christian film, this is decently acted, but with the sentimentality cranked up, it drags on for what feels like eternity.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Review: ‘Ex Libris: The New York Public Library’ is the Most Thrilling Political Film of the Year

Frederick Wiseman’s films are often filled with moments that subtly and unexpectedly jolt viewers who think they know what they’re in for. In Ex Libris, in which he focuses on The New York Public Library, such a moment comes when Francine Houben, creative director of the firm selected to renovate the institution’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman building in midtown Manhattan, explains that libraries are not about books, or their storage, but about people. With this simple statement Houben encompasses the spirit of Wiseman’s generous, enlightening look at one of the most important organizations in the city, and as the film suggests, perhaps also an essential tool in preserving the American ideal of freedom and equality.

Even if it sounds like a platitude, the notion that knowledge frees the spirit has rarely been captured with the insightfulness Wiseman grants his film. He removes the romanticism fiction often
See full article at The Film Stage »

Real Time with Bill Maher: Trolling Republicans are like Democrats’ ‘crazy ex-girlfriend’

Last night on Real Time with Bill Maher, host Maher jokingly reminded a twitchy nuke-armed Kim Jong-il that “his good friend” Dennis Rodman lived in Los Angeles. He also took General John Kelly to task for “keeping Trump under control” and said that the Gop has devolved into a party that acts like the “crazy ex-girlfriend” to the Democrats with their troll-like actions and thoughtless governance. Maher had Richard Dawkins as his top-of-the-show interview guest and Jim Parsons as his mid-show interview guest, with Fareed Zakaria and Jon Meacham on his panel. He summed up the Gop in his New...read more
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Jim Parsons, Richard Dawkins and Fareed Zakaria on Real Time with Bill Maher

This week’s Real Time with Bill Maher will cover the arts, history, journalism and science — with guests including Jim Parsons, Richard Dawkins and Fareed Zakaria. The opening interview will be with evolutionary biologist and frequent Real Time guest Dawkins. His latest book Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist was released this week, and he will likely discuss science, artificial intelligence, the nature and politics of religion, and the U.S. president. In a fascinating interview with Scientific American this wee, Dawkins said of Trump as if addressing him: “Mr. Trump, you appear to be laboring under the delusion...read more
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

How atheist campaigner Madalyn Murray O’Hair became America's most-hated woman

Melissa Leo stars in Netflix’s upcoming biopic of the contentious figure who was ridiculed and largely forgotten about – but who often talked sense

This week, the film The Most Hated Woman in America comes to Netflix, with Melissa Leo playing Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the atheist who campaigned against the church’s influence in public and political life (the title comes from the headline on a 1964 interview with her in Life magazine). While Murray O’Hair is not widely known outside of the Us, she had an extraordinary life. Long before the likes of Richard Dawkins, she gained notoriety for helping to push bible readings out of schools, and in 1963 she founded American Atheists. It’s a group that is still going today, campaigning against Donald Trump’s plan to abolish the rule that forbids religious institutions, among other charitable organisations, from getting involved in political activity and funding). For the next few decades,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Trailer Watch: Melissa Leo Is an Atheist with a Cause in “Most Hated Woman in America”

“Most Hated Woman in America”

Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins — these are the names most closely associated with atheism in the United States. But this wasn’t always the case. It was in fact a woman who founded “American Atheists,” an influential organization dedicated to defending the civil liberties of atheists and the separation of church and state. Described as “the most hated woman in America” by Life magazine, Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s story is brought to life by Melissa Leo in a new Netflix film, for which a trailer has just been released.

“What the hell is going on in here?” Murray O’Hair (Leo) asks as she bursts into her son’s classroom after hearing the children and their teacher recite The Lord’s Prayer. “In the constitution, there’s something called the First Amendment. The school board cannot force my son to pray — or anyone else,” she tells the class. When the teacher glibly suggests that Murray O’Hair sue the school board, she decides to do just that.

Rather than focus on the landmark court cast that followed, the true-crime biopic depicts Murray O’Hair’s disappearance, which occurred in 1995, more than 20 years after a Supreme Court ruling put an official end to Bible-reading in American public schools.

“Most Hated Woman in America’ captures the rise and fall of a complex character who was a controversial villain to some and an unlikely hero to others,” Netflix’s summary reads. The film co-stars Juno Temple (“Vinyl”), Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”), Vincent Kartheiser (“Mad Men”), and Josh Lucas (“The Mysteries of Laura”).

Leo won an Oscar in 2011 for her supporting role in David O. Russell’s “The Fighter,” and received a nod in 2009 for her leading role in Courtney Hunt’s “Frozen River.” Her recent credits include Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” “Wayward Pines,” and Margaret Betts’ “Novitiate,” which premiered at Sundance in January.

Directed by Tommy O’Haver (“United States of Tara,” “Ella Enchanted”) and written by O’Haver and Irene Turner (“An American Crime”), “Most Hated Woman in America” hits Netflix March 24.

https://medium.com/media/4216a4c527de2ce3aa230168d33750a6/href

Trailer Watch: Melissa Leo Is an Atheist with a Cause in “Most Hated Woman in America” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

'Beware the Slenderman': Inside Chilling New Doc on Internet Murder Meme

It didn't take long after Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser were arrested in suburban Waukesha, Wisconsin, for the local crime story to become a national obsession. In late spring 2014, Weier and Geyser, both 12, stabbed their friend Peyton Leutner 19 times and left her for dead. After the two were caught walking down the side of a highway a few hours later, the girls told police they had done it to prove their loyalty to "Slender Man," a mythological bogeyman whose crowd-sourced legend had been making its way around online forums for several years.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

5 Things we learned at the Silence Press Conference: Scorsese on Faith & why he doesn’t watch new films

  • HeyUGuys
Author: James Kleinmann

Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese was in New York this week to promote his new film Silence. The awards contender tells the story of two Christian missionaries (played by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) – at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden.

The celebrated director’s 28-year journey to bring Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel to life is released in UK cinemas on New Year’s Day 2017.

HeyUGuys was at the New York press conference, with Martin Scorsese and some of the cast in attendance including Adam Driver, Liam Neeson and Issey Ogata. Here are five things we learned.

1. Scorsese says he’s explored questions about faith throughout his career, back to ‘Mean Streets’ in 1973.

Martin Scorsese: “What true faith is or what true
See full article at HeyUGuys »

The Forgotten: Douglas Sirk's "The First Legion" (1951)

  • MUBI
It’s always fascinating to see Hollywood tippy-toeing around the subject of religion, particularly during the golden age, when the urge to avoid offense trumped any kind of dramatic sense. Alien beings—and Scotsmen such as I—would have to presume from the state of the nation’s movie product that the dominant religion in the country, and certainly among studio heads, was Catholicism, so celebrated is it in nearly every picture with a religious subject.Douglas Sirk’s The First Legion (1951), playing in the Film Society of Lincoln Center's retrospective on the director, chooses, via its title, a military metaphor for the Jesuits who are its main protagonists, anticipating the later Battle Hymn (1957) in its blend of the martial and the spiritual. A shame this promising idea wasn’t carried further, so that the various ranks of priest might have been presented in the manner of their equivalents in,
See full article at MUBI »

The Lord's Prayer row: can cinemas really ban adverts?

Has the storm over the Church of England’s prayer advert revealed flaws in the way film advertising is managed in the UK? Or is the church benefiting from a PR sting?

The row over the “ban” of a Church of England cinema advertisement featuring the Lord’s Prayer continues to rumble on, with an early day motion put down in the House of Commons urging that the decision by media agency Dcm (Digital Cinema Media) be “reconsidered and overturned”.

The move by Jim Shannon, Democratic Unionist MP for Strangford, followed a Monday-morning front-page assault by the Daily Mail – (“Hypocrisy of the cinemas”) – and interventions from everyone from David Cameron to Richard Dawkins.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Neil deGrasse Tyson on StarTalk Season 2: Cosmos, Comedy and Why Charlie Sheen (?!) Is a Dream Guest

Neil deGrasse Tyson on StarTalk Season 2: Cosmos, Comedy and Why Charlie Sheen (?!) Is a Dream Guest
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist, which means he’s smarter than we are.

He’s also a darling of late-night talk shows — thanks to his affable manner and gift for translating science into normalspeak — which means he’s way cooler than we are.

So naturally, we leapt at the chance to talk with him in his office at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where he is director of the Hayden Planetarium. Our excuse? The return of his Emmy-nominated, science-by-way-of-comedy National Geographic Channel series StarTalk, which kicks off Season 2 on Saturday (11/10c).

Below are some highlights from the conversation,
See full article at TVLine.com »

Readers recommend: songs with a warning | Peter Kimpton

You’d better watch out, you’d better beware … in message, lyrics or narrative there are many songs waiting to be nominated for this week’s topic

“History is a vast early warning system,” said American liberal writer and peace campaigner Norman Cousins. If so, it is a system constantly ignored, as the human race, like the masked robber who knocked himself on the bank’s front door, stumbles like an amnesiac into tragedy, farce, conflict, or voting in the same useless government yet again.

Evolution has also given us a physical early warning system - pain. This was originally pointed out by Charles Darwin, and later Richard Dawkins, who said the the simple message is: “If you burn yourself, you’re never going to pick up a live coal again.” Unfortunately we often do, as the many recipients of the so-called Darwin awards illustrate, including, for example, the Australian
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV Review: ‘StarTalk’

TV Review: ‘StarTalk’
For an astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson is certainly having his media moment, and then some. Beyond being the go-to guy for space talk in venues like “The Daily Show,” he’s become the host of the revived “Cosmos,” and this week not only narrates a National Geographic Channel special about the Hubble telescope but adds a weekly talkshow, “StarTalk,” to his media menu. Yet the series, at least, represents a case of stretching the Tyson experience a dimension too far, as well as demonstrating the limits of transforming something as static as a radio show/podcast into television.

Tyson amiably hosts the festivities out of his perch as director of the Hayden Planetarium, promising a discussion “where science and pop culture collide.” Given the initial guest roster — “Star Trek’s” George Takei and director Christopher Nolan, fresh off the space-and-time-bending “Interstellar” — so far, so good.

Still, what emerges is a disjointed affair,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

National Geographic Channel’s Late-Night Formula: Neil deGrasse Tyson + ‘StarTalk’ = ?

National Geographic Channel’s Late-Night Formula: Neil deGrasse Tyson + ‘StarTalk’ = ?
Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to boldly go where no latenight host has gone before.

When the astrophysicist and “Cosmos” host takes to the National Geographic Channel on Monday night to launch TV’s latest ’round-midnight entry, “StarTalk,” he will do so without a monologue or a set of humorous skits poised to go viral across the digisphere. All he will have at his disposal is his vast store of knowledge about the realm of science, his inner geek, a few guests and a tie festooned with the trappings of distant galaxies.

NBC has Jimmy Fallon. ABC has Jimmy Kimmel. CBS will soon have Stephen Colbert. Starting Monday at 11 p.m., National Geographic will, for 10 episodes, have Tyson, who could bring with him a new wrinkle to TV’s latenight wars.

No one pretends the director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium will draw the numbers of
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Debut Date, Episode Details, Guest Stars Set for Neil Degrasse Tyson's Late Night Talk Show 'StarTalk'

  • ShadowAndAct
At SXSW last night, National Geographic Channel presented a sneak peek of its first-ever late-night talk series "StarTalk," as show host and prominent astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson - joining via Skype - answered fan questions and revealed that the series premiere date is set for Monday, April 20, at 11 p.m. Et/10 p.m. Ct (with encores each Friday at 7 p.m. Et/6 p.m. Ct). World-renowned cultural luminaries across science, entertainment and politics, like President Jimmy Carter, Richard Dawkins, Chris Hadfield,Norman Lear, Christopher Nolan, George Takei and others, were announced as guests. Based on Dr. Tyson’s prominent...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Debut Date, Episode Details, Guest Stars Set for Neil Degrasse Tyson's Late Night Talk Show 'StarTalk'

At SXSW last night, National Geographic Channel presented a sneak peek of its first-ever late-night talk series "StarTalk," as show host and prominent astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson - joining via Skype - answered fan questions and revealed that the series premiere date is set for Monday, April 20, at 11 p.m. Et/10 p.m. Ct (with encores each Friday at 7 p.m. Et/6 p.m. Ct). World-renowned cultural luminaries across science, entertainment and politics, like President Jimmy Carter, Richard Dawkins, Chris Hadfield,Norman Lear, Christopher Nolan, George Takei and others, were announced as guests. Based on Dr. Tyson’s prominent podcast of the same name, the hour-long, weekly series will infuse pop culture with science, while bringing together comedians and celebrities to delve into a wide range of topics. Each week, in a private interview, Dr. Tyson explores all the ways that science and technology have influenced the life and.
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Nat Geo Latenight Series Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson To Launch April 20

Nat Geo Latenight Series Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson To Launch April 20
“StarTalk,” astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new latenight series on National Geographic Channel, will start April 20, the cable network said Wednesday.

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, biologist Richard Dawkins, retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, producer Norman Lear, film director Christopher Nolan and “Star Trek” actor George Takei were announced as guests. Bill Nye the Science Guy is slated to make weekly appearances.

The hourlong weekly series is based on Tyson’s podcast of the same name. The host is expected to explore the many ways science and technology have influenced the life of his guests. After conducting the private one-on-one interview with the main guest, Tyson and a group of panelists, which will include a comedian co-host and various “influencers,” will sit before a live studio audience at the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City and chew over the topic of the week.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Good Wife Recap: Where There's a Will

It doesn’t require a “spoiler alert” warning to say that almost nothing happens on this week’s installment of The Good Wife.

And yet, if the seeds randomly scattered over the course of the hour take root, it could be the start of everything that’s to come in the complicated, mixed-up, ethically murky life of Alicia Florrick — political candidate, power spouse, occasional trial attorney and most certainly a woman in denial about her mourning over the tragic death of her lover Will Gardner.

RelatedGood Wife Boss: Alicia-Kalinda Separation ‘Intentional’

It’ll only take me a paragraph to recap
See full article at TVLine.com »
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