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17 articles


'Boardwalk Empire' Showrunner Terence Winter Preps Final Season

3 hours ago

Over the succeeding six years, Winter developed both, although "Boardwalk Empire" came to fruition far ahead of "The Wolf of Wall Street," which earned him his first Oscar nomination, for Adapted Screenplay, one of five nods for the movie.  Now Winter has executive produced the final Season 5 of "Boardwalk Empire." We spoke on the phone. Anne Thompson: You cut your teeth writing for David Chase on the landmark HBO series "The Sopranos"?  Terence Winter: Through the entire run. David, he's brilliant and funny. He and I clicked. We have the same sense of humor. We're both East Coast guys. We find a lot of the same things funny. We're still dear friends, he's so smart. David is a good writer: getting in the writers room with him, to learn and watch him and get notes from him, my writing exponentially got better over a two to three year period. »


- Anne Thompson

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Review: Mathieu Amalric Paints Georges Simenon's Cerebral 'The Blue Room'

3 hours ago

The policiers of Georges Simenon make a tempting target for screen adaptation. They are not only well-drawn but drawn in a simple, appealing style. Written quickly, they tend to feature not so much character development as character intrigue -- which could be easily mistaken for a blueprint -- and unlikely plots that, in Simenon's hands, draw you in and somehow always make sense. If you think the world is mysteriously made up of foibles and their humans, he's your man. So it must have seemed to the actor Mathieu Amalric, who directs and stars in this 2014 Cannes Un Certain Regard entry "La Chambre Bleue" (The Blue Room). It all begins simply enough: a man and a woman make love in a hotel room. She bites his lip in passion, he bleeds; a pattern has been set. Lying about it afterwards, Esther (Stephanie Cleau) asks Julien (Amalric) if he could imagine a life together. »


- Tom Christie

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Nyff: Eugène Green's 'La Sapienza' Sees the Architecture of All Things

4 hours ago

Eugène Green, whose blithely intoxicating “La Sapienza” is currently at the New York Film Festival, knew at age 11 that he wanted to leave New York --- Brooklyn, specifically. But he waited till he was 20. Over the last 30-odd years, he has been back only sporadically, with this film or that, having lost a bit of his English but none of his affinity for European culture and the sense of artistic history that makes “La Sapienza” so alien to standard moviegoer expectations, yet so blissfully enigmatic. “I had the impression when I as young that the world around me wasn’t real and that reality was in books and literature,” Green said at Lincoln Center last weekend, having just addressed the audience at a screening of “La Sapienza” – which is usually translated as “wisdom” or “knowledge”” but which Green said actually means “the knowledge that leads to wisdom.” He acknowledged with a smile that, »


- John Anderson

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Attention, Writers: Universal Pictures Wants to Hear From You

4 hours ago

On October 21, 2014, Universal Pictures will begin entertaining applications for the fellowship’s second year, which is supported by the company's Diversity Council and the NBCUniversal Corporate Diversity team, and endorsed by Writers Guild of America, West (Wgaw). The Emerging Writers Fellowships is among the studio's watershed initiatives, aimed at bringing new talent to Universal under co-presidents and program supervisors Peter Cramer and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum. 2014-2015 Emerging Writers Fellows Chandus T. Jackson, Margaret Rose Lester, Steve Martinez, Ivy Pruss and Saila Reyes, following an intense application process in May, participated in a number of immersive activities including filmmaker Q & A panels, studio seminars, development meetings and networking events. The fellows have been paired with both Universal and WGA-assigned mentors that include industry heavy-hitters Will Packer, Chris Morgan, Jeremy Garelick, Cheo Hodari Coker, Suzanne »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Watch: Dakota Fanning Is a Teen Bride in Emma Thompson's 'Effie Gray'

4 hours ago

Though we won't know the Us distributor until next month, "Effie Gray" will bow in UK cinemas on October 10. This is the first original screenplay by Thompson, who won a 1996 Oscar for adapting Jane Austin's "Sense and Sensibility" and also penned the Nanny McPhee films. Fanning plays the titular bride -- of critic John Ruskin -- whose marriage was unconsummated and who left Ruskin for "Ophelia" painter John Everett Millais. Scandalous. The clip and moody trailer below hint at the Victorian salaciousness to come. Listen to Thompson's BAFTA talk on screenwriting here; read a Thompson interview from the 2013 award season here. The film is directed by Richard Laxton. Trailer and clip: »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Quentin Tarantino Reopens New Beverly, But Is 35mm Sustainable?

5 hours ago

After temporarily shuttering its doors in late August, announcing takeover of theater programming and throwing digital out the window, celluloid defender Quentin Tarantino has reopened the New Beverly in Los Angeles. According to Variety, 35mm-collector Tarantino has lined up an October slate including films from the late Paul Mazursky ("Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice") and the late Robin Williams ("The Best of Times"), as well as a double bill of Luc Besson's "The Professional" with Tarantino's own "Pulp Fiction," both 20 years old this October. (Tarantino defends not only 35mm projection, but also shooting in 35mm.) In August, Tarantino told La Weekly: "I want the New Beverly to be a bastion for 35 millimeter films. I want it to stand for something. When you see a film on the New Beverly calendar, you don’t have to ask whether it’s going to be shown in Dcp [Digital Cinema Projection] or in 35 millimeter. You know it’s. »


- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio

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Jacques Tati's 'Playtime' Returning to Theaters (Trailer)

6 hours ago

Comprised of one dexterously choreographed set piece after another, "Playtime" is Jacques Tati's staggering, ambitious, hysterical and wondrous 1967 symphony of the city — and the most fun you'll have with Tati's Monsieur Hulot who, along with a gaggle of American tourists, finds himself lost in the crazy modern world of Paris. Well, the film will not only be seen newly restored this Fall in The Criterion Collection's The Complete Jacques Tati, on DVD and Blu-ray October 28, a 4K restoration of "Playtime" will also tour theaters. (The British Film Institute, for one, will host a Tati season in November.) Watch the 4K trailer below. Studio Canal will roll out "Playtime" in Europe in November. We should eventually expect to see this stateside, as we've seen restorations of "A Hard Day's Night" and "Hiroshima Mon Amour" already this year. I was lucky enough to see "Playtime" in visually stunning 70mm a few years ago at the. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Review: 'Gracepoint' vs. 'Broadchurch,' or the Problem with Remakes (Trailers)

9 hours ago

Having neglected the British whodunit "Broadchurch" until now, after seeing the light I've become an evangelist. Created and written by Chris Chibnall, it first appears to be another twisted mystery along the lines of "True Detective" or "The Killing," hewing to expectation: unsettling crime, "everyone's a suspect" plot, small-town setting, overworked investigators, grieving families. And yet the series slowly turns the screw of convention, emerging as a richer, more humane portrait of communal trauma than its televisual kin. "Broadchurch" is simply extraordinary. Read More: 'The Killing' Borrows Heavily From David Fincher's 'Seven' From the outset, as plumber Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan) makes his way through the English seaside hamlet of Broadchurch one fine, bright morning, the series constructs a remarkably precise sense of place. By the end of the eight-episode arc I felt as if I could draw the fictional town on a map, »


- Matt Brennan

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Updated: Foreign Language Oscar Contenders

29 September 2014 2:10 PM, PDT

About 60 countries usually submit entries for the foreign language Oscar, all with different ways of picking and choosing. We're keeping track of the submissions, below, and updating as they come in.  Latest news: Russia has come through with Putin-bashing "Leviathan," a hit at Cannes 2014 (director interview here).  The Philippines have opted to submit "Norte, The End of History," a crowning, four-hour work from one of its key directors, for the Foreign Language Oscar. Lav Diaz's Dostoyevskian epic played Cannes in 2013, and has been traveling the fest circuit since. Italy harbors  high hopes after the great success of 2014 Foreign Language winner "The Great Beauty," submitting Paolo Virzì's "Human Capital."   See the full list of 2015 Oscar submissions below, with more from Israel, Macedonia, Bosnia, South Korea, Kosovo, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Sweden, Latvia, Panama, Pakistan, Denmark and »


- TOH!

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Watch: New 'Interstellar' Footage Reveals Film's Epic Scope

29 September 2014 12:37 PM, PDT

The hotly anticipated cosmic epic starring Matthew McConaughey as a wormhole-bound space traveler hits Us theaters November 7. The new spot shows that this is, indeed, sweeping, emotionally wrought territory for Nolan, whose brainy brand of sci-fi has always been marked by a sentimental human touch—even when couched in massively scaled set pieces. Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, David Oyelowo, Wes BentleyEllen Burstyn, Topher Grace and John Lithgow costar. "Interstellar" will clock in at a whopping 169 minutes. Heaven for Nolan fans, and some place else for those who aren't. »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Focus Buys 'A Little Chaos,' Starring Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts

29 September 2014 11:24 AM, PDT

Though the fest is well over, Toronto deals are still shaking out. Focus Features has snapped up North American rights to actor-turned-director Alan Rickman's Tiff premiere "A Little Chaos," a romantic drama starring Winslet as a steely landscape designer who breaks sexual and class barriers when she's chosen to build one of King Louis Xiv's gardens at the new Versailles. Sabine also finds herself entangled romantically with renowned landscape architect Andre Le Notre (Schoenaerts). Costarring Jennifer Ehle and Stanley Tucci, "Chaos" suffered middling reviews at Toronto. Financed by Lionsgate UK and penned by Alison Deegan, Jeremy Brock and Rickman, the period romance will have its stateside premiere on March 27, 2015. What this does reveal is that the new Focus under Peter Schlessel wants to stay in the business of releasing this sort of arthouse material.  »


- Ryan Lattanzio

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Must Watch: New 45-Minute Conversation with David Lynch (Nsfw)

29 September 2014 11:12 AM, PDT

He was in fine fettle, charmingly cagy about things he didn’t want to disclose, but very forthcoming for the most part. He was eloquent on the importance of sound in film (“50 percent of the film’s meaning”) and other matters painterly and cinematic. In closing, I asked him the Ingmar Bergman question, prompted by Friday’s reports out of London that two documentarians found Bergman’s cache of DVDs. Among the discs were the usual suspects, like 'Sunset Boulevard.' But there were many unusual suspects — you might call them guilty pleasures — such as "Ghostbusters," "The Blues Brothers" and the Goldie Hawn film "Foul Play." I asked Lynch what surprises we might find in his DVD collection. 45 seconds of silence, followed by “That might take all night.” In a panic, I reached for the most preposterous possibility: “Any Esther Williams films?” And Lynch smiled. He told an anecdote about »


- Carrie Rickey

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'The Judge' Review: Robert Downey Jr. Looms Large, Film Doesn't

29 September 2014 9:47 AM, PDT

There must be a multitude of Hollywood actors who seethe at the effortless charisma Robert Downey Jr. has at his disposal, giving him the ability to turn even deeply average material into compulsive viewing. David Dobkin's "The Judge" doesn’t qualify as average, but without Downey Jr.'s dazzlingly emphatic turn as a hotshot Chicago lawyer lured home to defend his estranged, cantankerous father (Robert Duvall) from a deadly hit-and-run charge, it probably would. (The film is, so far, being panned by critics per Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes.) With franchise work consuming his hours following that overlong stretch in the wilderness, "The Judge" arrives as Downey Jr.'s first meaty dramatic role since Joe Wright's "The Soloist" in 2009, and seemingly comes mixed from the same formula: middlebrow awards bait with the potential for landing him the Big One. Downey Jr.'s only Best Actor Oscar nomination to date »


- Matt Mueller

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Russia Submits 'Leviathan' After All: Andrey Zvyagintsev on Oscar Rules

29 September 2014 9:03 AM, PDT

Well, Russia came through. When I recently interviewed "Leviathan" writer-director Andrey Zvyagintsev, he was clearly worried that Vladimir Putin buddy Nikita Mikhalkov's Oscar selection committee would not choose festival favorite "Leviathan," which won best screenplay at Cannes and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics (December 31). But Russia came through, even though this film is a dramatic and disturbing expose of corruption at the deepest levels of Russian culture--and the devastation it wreaks on its citizens. So "Leviathan" is the official Russian submission. When Mikhalkov's brother Andrey Konchalovskiy's new film was pushed back to October (after the eligibility deadline), the nomination was cleared.  Here's our provocative conversation:  Anne Thompson: Were you putting yourself at risk inside the film industry, being so critical of Russian corruption? Andrey Zvyagintsev: The upper echelons of »


- Anne Thompson

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Trailers From Hell on 'The Changeling'

29 September 2014 8:27 AM, PDT

Director Peter Medak fled Hungary during the 1956 revolution and his best work, like "The Ruling Class" and "Let Him Have It," usually expressed a strong socio-political bent. "The Changeling," his 1979 ghost story is no different, mixing supernatural thrills and political intrigue. An eerie and elegant film with haunting overtones of 1944’s "The Uninvited," it stars George C. Scott and Melvyn Douglas who bring welcome gravitas to the proceedings. »


- Trailers From Hell

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'Escobar: Paradise Lost' Chemistry Served Hutcherson & Del Toro: "Benicio seduced me"

29 September 2014 6:42 AM, PDT

He stars in Andrea Di Stefano's romance-thriller as Canadian surfer Nick, living the beach life in Colombia with his older brother (Brady Corbet) before being drawn into Escobar's inner circle when he falls for the so-called King of Cocaine's niece (Spanish newcomer Claudia Traisac). "I've seen his movies, I know what he does on set," added Hutcherson, who first worked with Del Toro when he took the lead role in the actor's segment of portmanteau pic "Seven Days In Havana." "It's pretty intense. So I was nervous about that. But having met him before, and getting to know him on a personal level… Nick can't see that Pablo's a bad guy in the beginning. He gets lured in; he gets seduced. And I think that knowing Benicio personally helped him seduce me." For Del Toro's part, he was drawn to the role in part because of Hutcherson's involvement, crediting »


- Matt Mueller

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Five Ways 'Equalizer' Star Denzel Washington Beats Out His Fellow Action Stars

29 September 2014 6:00 AM, PDT

Denzel Washington won his 2001 Oscar the hard way. He became only the second black lead actor to win the award not in a biopic or a war movie but in “Training Day,” an action thriller and one of the least Academy-friendly genres.  On top of that, he also played a monstrously corrupt cop.  Villains rarely are bestowed with leading-man gold unless they are as deliciously charming as Hannibal Lecter. Yet he was victorious. Why? Because in Denzel we trust. He is truly one of the last real Hollywood stars left standing that moviegoers will go see in almost anything. And even when he is bad, he is oh so good. Little wonder then that Washington’s cool-headed  portrait of aging tough guy Robert McCall in “The Equalizer,” which opened this past weekend to a resounding $35 million, puts to shame Liam Neeson’s outlandish antics in the “Taken” films and Sylvester Stallone »


- Susan Wloszczyna

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17 articles



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