17 items from 2010
Paltrow, a solid mid-level actress who is sleight-figured with a squeaky clean image, more likeable than sexy, never portraying a cent of a darker side beyond those eyes like Dietrich (the above left shot of Paltrow in the period film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is her attempt at looking thoughtful), should stay well clear.
Eva Green would be a better choice or better yet, and perish to even consider the thought, perhaps a German actress to portray a German icon?
- Matt Holmes
Gwyneth Paltrow is rumored to be kicking off the New Year as “The Blue Angel”, Marlene Dietrich. She is reportedly set to portray the legendary German actress and chanteuse in a two-part TV movie produced by Luc Besson’s newly-acquired EuropaCorp TV. The project was initiated by the BBC and HBO and is based on Marlene Dietrich, the biography written by Dietrich’s daughter and closest confidante, Maria Riva, according to French magazine Télé 2 Semaines. More details after the jump. Adapted by Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones’ Diary), Marlene will recount the major turning points in Dietrich’s career, from her early days on the Berlin stage to her collaborations with director Josef Von Sternberg (The Blue Angel, 1930, was her most famous movie) and her subsequent Hollywood success. From the 1950s until 1975, Dietrich launched a career as a cabaret artist, performing in major cities worldwide. No doubt Paltrow, »
- Talia Soghomonian
Leonie Cooper sits in on an event that finds the perfect aroma for a film. So how would Brokeback Mountain smell?
It's a rainy Tuesday night, and I'm in a basement club in London wafting a perfume-impregnated cardboard stick under my nose. It smells good. I can detect a delicate floral note. But then I pick up the distinct aroma of cigarettes.
The perfume is Jasmin et Cigarettes, a tobacco-infused scent made by Etat Libre d'Orange. This French company's range of unconventional scents includes Like This, composed of pumpkin, yellow mandarin and neroli; it was inspired by Tilda Swinton, apparently. Another goes by the unenticing name of Fat Electrician. Jasmin et Cigarettes, I'm told, should conjure up images of a 1930s starlet skulking around a film set.
This is Scratch and Sniff, a series of events aimed at enhancing our understanding of the arts through smell. Each month, a group »
- Leonie Cooper
The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg) The Dawn Patrol (Howard Hawks) Monte Carlo (Ernst Lubitsch) Morocco (Josef von Sternberg) Not So Dumb (King Vidor) Liliom (Frank Borzage) Part Time Wife (Leo McCarey) Murder! (Alfred Hitchcock) The Royal Family of Broadway (George Cukor) Laughter (Harry D’Arrast) All Quiet on the Western Front (Lewis Milestone) Juno and the Paycock (Alfred Hitchcock) Abraham Lincoln (D.W. Griffith) Rain or Shine (Frank Capra) The Big Trail (Raoul Walsh) Up the River (John Ford) Madam Satan (Cecil B. DeMille) Let’s Go Native (Leo McCarey) The Virtuous Sin (George Cukor) Men Without Women (John Ford) The Blue… »
We think actress Jennifer Lawrence deserves an Oscar for her role in Debra Granik's thriller Winter's Bone. And the Palm Springs International Film Festival agrees. They'll be presenting her with the Rising Star Award at the 2011 fest.
“Call it a gift for us all when a young performer comes along, demonstrating such natural theatrical instinct,” said Film Festival chairman Harold Matzner. “Jennifer Lawrence has delivered an Oscar quality performance in her latest role, in the jarring, critically-acclaimed Winter’s Bone. It is a great honor for the Palm Springs International Film Festival to present Jennifer Lawrence with the 2010 Rising Star Award.”
In Debra Granik's Winter’s Bone (read our gushing review), Lawrence portrays Ree Dolly, a 17 year old teenager trying to track down her father, who put their house up for his bail bond and then disappeared. The film was awarded the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize »
HollywoodNews.com: The 14th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards, presented by Starz, are pleased to announce that the star of “Due Date” Zach Galifianakis will receive the “Hollywood Comedy Actor Award” and actress Jennifer Lawrence will be recognized with the “New Hollywood Award,” at the Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony.
The announcement was made today by Carlos de Abreu, Founder of the Hollywood Awards Gala.
Previously announced honorees for this year’s Hollywood Awards Gala include: Sean Penn for the “Humanitarian Award”; Sylvester Stallone for the “Career Achievement Award”; Annette Bening for the “Actress Award”; Robert Duvall for the “Actor Award”; Helena Bonham Carter for the “Supporting Actress Award”; Sam Rockwell for the “Supporting Actor Award”; Andrew Garfield for the “Breakthrough Actor Award”; Mia Wasikowska for the “Breakthrough Actress Award”; Morgan Freeman and Lorie McCreary for the “Innovator Award”; Danny Boyle and Chris Colson for the “Producer Award”; Tom Hooper »
- Linny Lum
(1961, PG, Mr Bongo)
At the epicentre of the French New Wave were the Cahiers du Cinéma critics (Truffaut, Chabrol, Godard). But numerous talented auteurs were involved in that cultural explosion, among them Jacques Demy (1931-90), whose feature debut, Lola, was one of the glories of the time. Shot in lyrical widescreen monochrome by Raoul Coutard (immediately after he lit Breathless) and set in Demy's native Atlantic port of Nantes, this bittersweet, cleverly patterned film centres on a golden-hearted nightclub prostitute (Anouk Aimée) and the men whose journeys cross her life. Demy called it "a musical without music", but it invokes On the Town and anticipates his Les Parapluies de Cherbourg and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, which also have unforgettable songs by Michel Legrand. The title refers to Lola Montès, the final movie by Max Ophuls, the film's dedicatee, and to Dietrich's Lola in The Blue Angel. Unforgettable here in top hat and basque, »
- Philip French
Sure, he was dating Madonna, but Warren Beatty’s life wasn’t perfect. The year was 1990. Beatty was coming off of Ishtar, a mega-flop and a rare misstep in a glorious career. The famous ladies’ man was still the portrait of Hollywood glamour — again, dating Madonna — but before Ishtar, he hadn’t made a film since 1981′s epic Reds. He turned to a curious labor of love: an adaptation of Dick Tracy, a 60-year-old comic strip about a lantern-jawed detective who fights magnificently ugly criminals. The timing was perfect: Tim Burton’s Batman came out the year before Tracy, and »
- Darren Franich and Keith Staskiewicz
The transition from silent films to the “talkies” was difficult for many in the motion picture industry. For many (particularly those in front of the camera), it would result in the death of their careers. Others (particularly directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford and Cecil B. DeMille) would go on to bigger and better things in the sound era (Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford, among them). Another such director was Josef von Sternberg, whose career began at the very end of the silent era, but whose brilliance was already apparent in the years leading up to the release of The Blue Angel. Now, thanks to The Criterion Collection’s 3 Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg box set, some of his early silent films are available in restored glory. My review after the jump:
Although produced over the course of only two years, the three movies in the set—Underworld »
Grades: Underworld: B+; The Last Command: A; The Docks Of New York: A Inevitably, any mention of Vienna-born, New York-raised director Josef von Sternberg is tied to his iconic star and muse Marlene Dietrich, and not without cause: Their seven films together, including The Blue Angel, Blonde Venus, Morocco, and The Scarlet Empress, gave her an exotic aura that other actresses and performers have tried to imitate since, with limited success. To take nothing away from Dietrich, a great deal of that aura had to do with von Sternberg’s meticulous craft, characterized by a subtle, caressing lighting scheme that »
Babelsberg, Germany -- Berlin's film business is booming, with low production costs, generous subsidies and cultural cachet attracting some of the world's top filmmakers scouring for funds in the wake of the crisis.
Internationally acclaimed directors from Quentin Tarantino to Roman Polanski are flocking to film in the German capital, churning out hits like "Inglourious Basterds" and "The Ghost Writer," while home-grown talent such as Til Schweiger and Roland Emmerich have returned from Hollywood to join the party.
And what Berlin's film industry lacks in size, ranking well behind Hollywood, it makes up for in prestige, landing dozens of prizes in the past few years including a handful of Oscars.
"Berlin has some key success factors: one is the city itself -- people simply want to be in Berlin," said Carl Woebcken, the chief executive of Babelsberg, the world's oldest large-scale studio complex just a short train ride from the city center. »
- By Sarah Marsh, Reuters
Crime has not just been good to the criminals; it's been awfully good to Hollywood as well. It so happens I just finished watching Josef Von Sternberg's "Underworld" (1927), the first in a compilation of three silent classics from famed director Josef Von Sternberg, now out via the esteemed Criterion Collection. For those unfamiliar with Von Sternberg, he would become best known later as the director who launched Marlene Dietrich's career in "The Blue Angel" (1930) and "Morocco" (1930). Basically a love triangle involving a crime boss (George Bancroft), the alcoholic former lawyer he saves from the gutter (Clive Brook), and the girl torn between the two men (Evelyn Brent), the movie also features lots of rat-tat-tat action as the mobster rids himself of a key criminal rival. When the film debuted in 1927, at a moment when gangsters were still riding »
- John Farr
By modern standards, Quentin Tarantino would be considered an auteur; a director whose films reflect that his personal creative vision. But what exactly is that vision, and how is it reflected in his work? One major observation that one can make about Tarantino’s films is that he often incorporates a number of references, many of which refer to cinema, specific films, or pop culture. His films are laced with this intertextuality were the relationship between texts (or films) is constantly being redefined. This method of pastiche is one way that he draws attention to the fact that his film is a constructed piece of fiction, or a “simulation.”
His rational behind this is heavily influenced by French theorist Jean Baudrillard’s notion of “hyperreality.” Hyperreality in this case refers to the inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from fantasy, as the two become blurred into one. Baudrillard argues that »
- Kristen Coates
The conventional wisdom surrounding Lady Gaga's new "Alejandro" video — based on a few preview clips and a viewing or two — seems to be that it is probably her most Madonna clip to date, a glamorous, black-and-white mélange of Madge's finest moments (particularly the "Vogue" video, or anything else she did with director David Fincher). And while conventional wisdom isn't exactly wrong, it's definitely taking the easy way out.
And that's no slight at my colleague Kyle Anderson, who wrote a very excellent piece about the overall Madonna-ness of "Alejandro," or anyone else who will argue the comparison, because, well, they're right. "Alejandro" most definitely is Gaga's love-letter to the Material Girl, but it's also so much more, and to categorize it as nothing but a bit of spot-the-influence is, in my opinion, selling it short.
"Alejandro" also recalls a whole lot more than "Vogue" or "Express Yourself" (or »
- James Montgomery
City Of War: The Story Of John Rabe - an award-winning account of one man's heroism during an atrocity - is released on DVD in the UK by Metrodome on May 3.
The film tells the true story of a German businessman who saved more than 200,000 Chinese civilians from slaughter by the Japanese army in the Nanjing Massacre of 1937-38.
The Nanjing (or Nanking) Massacre occurred in a six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanjing, former capital of the Republic of China, in December 1937. Hundreds of thousands of people were said to have been murdered and tens of thousands of women were raped.
City of War scooped the Audience Award at the 2009 German Film Festival. It also picked up over seven nominations at the German Film Academy Awards (known colloquially as the Lolas, after the female statuette inspired by Marlene Dietrich role as Lola Lola in Der blaue Engel »
- David Bentley
Paltrow will take the lead acting and producing role in a BBC drama of Dietrich’s life written by Andrew Davies.
Davies said his script would start at the time of ‘The Blue Angel’, Dietrich’s breakthrough film in 1930 that brought her a. »
Carl Woebcken, CEO of the world's oldest large-scale studio complex, said the record haul should give the 98-year-old film site an important shot in the arm as an international production center and help erase memories of some difficult decades.
"We're all ecstatic," Woebcken told a group of foreign journalists after a tour of the historic studio just south of Berlin. "That a film made in Babelsberg got so many Oscar nominations is something noticed around the world."
Tarantino's $70 million film, a violent and darkly comic revenge fantasy, got eight nominations from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, including best director for Tarantino and best supporting actor for Christoph Waltz.
- By Erik Kirschbaum, Reuters
17 items from 2010
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