6 items from 2014
It turned unknown punk singer Hazel O'Connor into a household name, but that wasn't the only way the 1980 movie mirrored events in the star's own life
Hazel O'Connor, singer/actor
I was a struggling singer-songwriter who had signed to Albion Records for a pound. To make extra money, I also did shifts answering their phones. One day, a casting agency rang up asking if they could speak to someone about Hazel O'Connor. I said: "That's me."
Andy Czezowski, who ran the Roxy punk club in London, had suggested me for a role as an extra in Breaking Glass, a film about a struggling punk singer who makes it big and goes gaga. I'd been reading a book called Bring Out the Magic in Your Mind. So I daydreamed three things: a) at the auditions they go, "My God, she's amazing – let's give her the lead"; b) they ask me to »
- Dave Simpson
This story first appeared in the Feb. 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. It's where Fritz Lang premiered Metropolis and where Leni Riefenstahl premiered Triumph of the Will. When it opened in 1915, it was called Filmpalast am Zoo -- because it was located next to the zoo -- then changed to the Ufa Palast and finally Zoo Palast. By any name, though, it's been the center of German cinema for nearly a century. Story: How George Clooney Faked Da Vinci's 'Last Supper' for 'Monuments Men' Allied bombings flattened the theater in 1943, but it was rebuilt in 1955 and became a symbol of
- Scott Roxborough
Spike Jonze’s critically acclaimed ‘Her’ tells the story of a depressed man who falls in love with the sentient operating system of his mobile phone, as voiced by an especially sultry Scarlett Johansson. The operating system, which calls itself Samantha, soon reciprocates his feelings and – without spoiling anything – refuses to allow such pesky details as her lack of a corporeal form get in the way of some proper mano-a-machina filth.
Jonze’s film is hardly the first time sexy AIs have made their way to the big screen, although is perhaps the most delicately handled representation to date. The movie industry’s fascination with sexually suggestive AIs and robots has been a recurring theme since Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, and continues unabated to this day. As such an essential part of movie history, let’s take a look back at some of the sexiest female artificial »
- Xander Markham
By Mark Pinkert
There was an interesting phenomenon in film this year that deserves a second look: many of the most recognizably “American” films of 2013 were directed by foreigners and, of those films, two feature almost entirely foreign casts.
First, to be clear, when I say “American” films, I’m not referring to stories that simply take place here; rather, I’m looking at films that are germane to the American narrative, to our history and cultural zeitgeist–really, Americana as opposed to just American. Films like The Great Gatsby, 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club and Captain Phillips–which bring to life classic American literature, histories, and recent events–are the best examples. (Gravity is a tough sell for this list, but does fit insofar as it deals with the space program, a prominent feature of 20th century, Cold War America.) The second criterion, then, is to have a foreign director, »
- Mark Pinkert
Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses!
Measuring time in specific decades is a fallacy, but it’s a fallacy that everyone believes in. There’s no legitimate reason that we should set aside the passage of time between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1989 as a specific and clearly defined unit of time. 1979 wasn’t too different from 1980; most of the movies released in 1990 were probably shot in 1989. People used to refer to the ’80s as “the MTV Decade” before every decade »
- Darren Franich
Written by Sydney Boehm
Directed by Fritz Lang
Opening with a bang, Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat begins with a carefully placed overhead shot of a hand claiming a small pistol resting atop a fine desk. An off-screen gun shot erupts in the soundtrack, followed by the body of a man crumpling onto the desk, lifeless. His wife (Jeanette Nolan), stunned by the event, notices an envelope on the table addressed to the district attorney, which she chooses to hide after reading its contents. It turns out the man who committed suicide was a Tom Duncan, a cop. Det. Dave Bannion (Glen Ford) is commissioned with investigating the reasons behind his former colleague’s death wish. Perplexed as to the circumstances behind the suicide, information comes to light that may suggest foul play, especially when an informant (Dorothy Green) turns up dead the next morning. »
- Edgar Chaput
6 items from 2014
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