8 items from 2015
By: Jay Dyer
Ian Fleming’s James Bond is one of the most recognizable and successful characters in modern popular culture. The novels have sold over 100 million copies, and the film franchise is the second most successful in history, having been recently displaced by the Harry Potter series. For most readers and viewers, 007 is merely a Western pop icon. However, there is much more at work in the novels and films than appears on the surface. In fact, there are deeper undercurrents, themes, symbols, and messages that operate as psychological warfare propaganda and an in-depth semiotic analysis of the novels and films yields an interpretation that confirms this thesis. Much has been written on the subject of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. From Umberto Eco’s older essay “Narrative Structures in Fleming” to Christoph Linders’ modern collections The James Bond Phenomenon and Revisioning 007: James Bond and Casino Royale, there »
- Jay Dyer
Chicago – The showcase and respect given to filmmakers at the recently completed 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival (Ccff) meant that the top directors made appearances on behalf of their featured films. James Ponsoldt of “The End of the Tour” and Patrick Brice of “The Overnight” are two prime artists at the top of their game.
HollywoodChicago.com also got a chance to talk to Ponsoldt and Brice after their screenings at the Ccff, and the insights provided context to their art.
James Ponsoldt, Director of “The End of the Tour”
James Ponsoldt is a great friend to the festival, having screened his film “The Spectacular Now” at the first Ccff in 2013. He returned with “The End of of the Tour,” a superior and poignant understanding of author David Foster Wallace (a career-defining role for Jason Segel), as he takes his last book tour promoting his famous novel, “Infinite Jest.”
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The New York Indian Film Festival (Nyiff), which opens next week on May 4th, will showcase a series of special screenings of Vishal Bhardwaj’s brilliant Shakespeare Trilogy Maqbool, Omkara, and Haider. If that wasn’t cool enough, after each screening there will be a discussion with Bhardwaj, who will not only talk about the film but take the audience on journey of his career in Hindi film and music.
The first of the trilogy Maqbool (2003), starring Irfan Khan, Tabu, Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah was based on Macbeth, while 2006’s Omkara, based on Othello, starred Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor, Konkona Sen Sharma, Bipasha Basu, Naseeruddin Shah then there was his latest film, Haider, his version of Hamlet, that starred Shahid Kapoor, Tabu, Shraddha Kapoor, Kay Kay Menon, Irfan Khan. Each of the epic films have received national and international acclaim as well as a huge fan following. »
- Stacey Yount
Michiel Huisman is well-known for his many standout TV roles, but this month, he's hitting the big screen opposite Blake Lively in the romantic drama The Age of Adaline. Chances are you recognize the handsome actor from shows like Game of Thrones, Nashville, and Orphan Black, or maybe you remember him as Jonathan in Wild. In this month's film, Michiel plays Ellis, the charming, romantic man who falls for Adaline (Blake), a woman who never grows old. We recently sat down with the actor to talk about the movie, and he touched on what he loved about the film, what he had a hard time accepting, and why it felt like such a "natural thing" for Blake to become a mother in real life. Keep reading to see what Michiel had to say about his costar and his upcoming film, then check out what he told us about Game of Thrones. »
Film London has awarded 21 filmmaking teams across the capital with funds to make short films through its London Calling and London Calling Plus initiatives. A record 620 applications were received this year.
The scheme invests more than $300,000 (£200,000) in London’s short filmmakers with production funding, training and a platform to showcase the films to the industry.
Last year’s slate included Riz Ahmad’s Daytimer, which premiered at Sundance; the BAFTA-nominated Three Brothers; and Loco Award-winning Two Dosas.
This year’s slate includes Chick or Treat from rising internet stars Mandem On The Wall; The Monster, which will star Richard Glover (A Field In England, Sightseers); Rainbow Party, which marks the directorial debut of BAFTA-nominated producer Eva Sigurdardottir; and Above, which was scripted by award-winning playwright Michael Bhim.
Chick or Treat is one of the projects selected by London Calling Plus, now »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Orson Welles indisputably made a huge impact on the film industry, both in terms of technical proficiency and storytelling sophistication. However, Welles was never the biggest fan of films themselves. He just saw it as a way to tell stories he wanted to. That makes sense to me of how he approached filmmaking. Had he been a movie fan, I don't know if he would have thought so much outside of the box about to make them than he did. That isn't to say he didn't like all movies. In the early 1950s, Welles managed to cobble together a list of his ten favorite films for Sound on Sight (via Open Culture). As he had only been exposed to a couple of decades of cinema, I think this is a very interesting list, and one that makes a lot of sense for someone like Welles. City Lights (dir. Charles Chaplin) Greed (dir. »
- Mike Shutt
FX Networks has an aggressive plan to expand its comedy biz in 2015. This year the cabler will launch two series that aim to follow the lead of critically-hailed game changer “Louie,” and Fox’s flagship cabler will take bigger steps to differentiate the branding between comedies on the mothership channel and its Fxx offspring.
The latter half of that strategy began in earnest this week with the debut of “Man Seeking Woman,” a surrealist look at the dating lives of a group of twentysomethings starring Jay Baruchel (“This Is the End”) and executive produced by Lorne Michaels. The half-hour follows Fxx flagship series “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” a cult favorite that is now entering its tenth season as a remarkably steady ratings performer.
The wacky narcissists on “Sunny” find themselves arrested for arson one week and hooked on crack the next, while when Baruchel says he’s dating »
- Geoff Berkshire
It was curious yesterday when The Lego Movie,” one of the best reviewed animated movies of 2014, couldn’t make the final cut in the Best Animated Film category at the Oscars. Just as curious yesterday, the film’s co-director Phil Lord called his own film “a classic.” To be fair to Lord, he’s not the first director to laud his own film. Case in point? Federico Fellini. The folks over at Open Culture have shared Fellini’s top 10 list from Sight And Sound and as expected, it’s very idiosyncratic. First of all, the list isn’t confined to only 10 selections —Fellini left the list open for as few as 12 movies to as many as 131. How? He had three Charlie Chaplin films tied for the top spot (“The Circus,” “City Lights” and “Monsieur Verdoux”) and declined to list a title for the next spot, opting instead to write “Any »
- Cain Rodriguez
8 items from 2015
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