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TCM Oscar Homage Kicked Off Today: Is Bigger Always Better?

'Ben-Hur' 1959 with Stephen Boyd and Charlton Heston: TCM's '31 Days of Oscar.' '31 Days of Oscar': 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'Ben-Hur' are in, Paramount stars are out Today, Feb. 1, '16, Turner Classic Movies is kicking off the 21st edition of its “31 Days of Oscar.” While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is being vociferously reviled for its “lack of diversity” – more on that appallingly myopic, self-serving, and double-standard-embracing furore in an upcoming post – TCM is celebrating nearly nine decades of the Academy Awards. That's the good news. The disappointing news is that if you're expecting to find rare Paramount, Universal, or Fox/20th Century Fox entries in the mix, you're out of luck. So, missing from the TCM schedule are, among others: Best Actress nominees Ruth Chatterton in Sarah and Son, Nancy Carroll in The Devil's Holiday, Claudette Colbert in Private Worlds. Unofficial Best Actor
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Lubitsch Pt.II: The Magical Touch with MacDonald, Garbo Sorely Missing from Today's Cinema

'The Merry Widow' with Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald and Minna Gombell under the direction of Ernst Lubitsch. Ernst Lubitsch movies: 'The Merry Widow,' 'Ninotchka' (See previous post: “Ernst Lubitsch Best Films: Passé Subtle 'Touch' in Age of Sledgehammer Filmmaking.”) Initially a project for Ramon Novarro – who for quite some time aspired to become an opera singer and who had a pleasant singing voice – The Merry Widow ultimately starred Maurice Chevalier, the hammiest film performer this side of Bob Hope, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler – the list goes on and on. Generally speaking, “hammy” isn't my idea of effective film acting. For that reason, I usually find Chevalier a major handicap to his movies, especially during the early talkie era; he upsets their dramatic (or comedic) balance much like Jack Nicholson in Martin Scorsese's The Departed or Jerry Lewis in anything (excepting Scorsese's The King of Comedy
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Remembering the Light Lubitsch Touch in Our Age of In Your Face Moviemaking

Ernst Lubitsch: The movies' lost 'Touch.' Ernst Lubitsch movies on TCM: Classics of a bygone era Ernst Lubitsch and William Cameron Menzies were Turner Classic Movies' “stars” on Jan. 28, '16. (This is a fully revised and expanded version of a post published on that day.) Lubitsch had the morning/afternoon, with seven films; Menzies had the evening/night, also with seven features. (TCM's Ernst Lubitsch schedule can be found further below.) The forgotten 'Touch' As a sign of the times, Ernst Lubitsch is hardly ever mentioned whenever “connoisseurs” (between quotes) discuss Hollywood movies of the studio era. But why? Well, probably because The Lubitsch Touch is considered passé at a time when the sledgehammer approach to filmmaking is deemed “fresh,” “innovative,” “cool,” and “daring” – as if a crass lack of subtlety in storytelling were anything new. Minus the multimillion-dollar budgets, the explicit violence and gore, and the overbearing smugness passing for hipness,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Two-Time Oscar Winner Cooper on TCM: Pro-War 'York' and Eastwood-Narrated Doc

Gary Cooper movies on TCM: Cooper at his best and at his weakest Gary Cooper is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 30, '15. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any Cooper movie premiere – despite the fact that most of his Paramount movies of the '20s and '30s remain unavailable. This evening's features are Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Sergeant York (1941), and Love in the Afternoon (1957). Mr. Deeds Goes to Town solidified Gary Cooper's stardom and helped to make Jean Arthur Columbia's top female star. The film is a tad overlong and, like every Frank Capra movie, it's also highly sentimental. What saves it from the Hell of Good Intentions is the acting of the two leads – Cooper and Arthur are both excellent – and of several supporting players. Directed by Howard Hawks, the jingoistic, pro-war Sergeant York was a huge box office hit, eventually earning Academy Award nominations in several categories,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Five Unmissable Buñuel Classics Tonight on TCM

Luis Buñuel movies on TCM tonight (photo: Catherine Deneuve in 'Belle de Jour') The city of Paris and iconoclastic writer-director Luis Buñuel are Turner Classic Movies' themes today and later this evening. TCM's focus on Luis Buñuel is particularly welcome, as he remains one of the most daring and most challenging filmmakers since the invention of film. Luis Buñuel is so remarkable, in fact, that you won't find any Hollywood hipster paying homage to him in his/her movies. Nor will you hear his name mentioned at the Academy Awards – no matter the Academy in question. And rest assured that most film critics working today have never even heard of him, let alone seen any of his movies. So, nowadays Luis Buñuel is un-hip, un-cool, and unfashionable. He's also unquestionably brilliant. These days everyone is worried about freedom of expression. The clash of civilizations. The West vs. The Other.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Taken 3 fends off American Sniper at the UK box office

UK box office top ten and analysis for the weekend of Friday 16th to Sunday 18th January 2015…

American Sniper enjoyed a record-breaking January debut over in the States, but despite giving director Clint Eastwood his biggest ever opening here in the UK with £2,530,47, the Bradley Cooper-headlined war drama couldn’t dethrone Bryan Mills from the top of the box office, with Taken 3 retaining first place with £3.3 million and pushing its two-week haul to £12.2 million.

In addition to American Sniper, three other newcomers managed to crack the top ten, with Whiplash pulling in £573,546 million in seventh, Wild earning £524,941 to take ninth, and a live event stream of the Met Opera’s The Merry Widow propping up the chart in tenth with a solid £463,195.

Number one this time last year: The Wolf of Wall Street

1. Taken 3, £3,295,309 weekend; £12,223,651 total (2 weeks)

2. American Sniper, £2,530,473 weekend (New)

3. The Theory of Everything, £2,326,473 weekend; £11,942,161 total (3 weeks)

4. Into the Woods,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Taken 3 holds off American Sniper to lead UK box office top 10

Taken 3 holds off American Sniper to lead UK box office top 10
Taken 3 has topped the UK box office for the second consecutive weekend.

Liam Neeson's action-thriller earned £3.2 million to secure first place in the chart, with Bradley Cooper's American Sniper in second spot with a debut haul of £2.5 million.

Despite Sniper's huge success Stateside, UK audiences have been less welcoming to Clint Eastwood's war drama. The film narrowly pipped The Theory of Everything, on its third week in cinemas, to second place.

Into the Woods sits at number four, while Paddington continues its impressive box office run by charting at five after two months on general release.

Elsewhere, the chart sees new entries from Whiplash, Wild and the live broadcast of Met Opera's The Merry Widow.

The UK box office top ten in full:

1. (1) Taken 3 - £3,295,309

2. (-) American Sniper - £2,530,473

3. (3) The Theory of Everything - £2,326,539

4. (2) Into the Woods - £1,999,377

5. (5) Paddington - £943,320

6. (4) The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Fired for Being Too Fat, Opera Singer Deborah Voigt Admits 'I Was a Poster Child for Food Addiction'

  • PEOPLE.com
When Deborah Voigt was fired for being too fat to fit into a (size 12) little black dress for a production of Strauss's Ariadne aug Naxos at London's Royal Opera House in 2004, public outrage was immediate. "It's incredible someone can get away with saying those words," Voigt, 54, tells People exclusively. "It's still open season on overweight women." Voigt details her lifelong struggles with food in a new memoir, Call Me Debbie (cowritten by former People writer Natasha Stoynoff). She writes about her first binge at age 5 (when she slugged back a jar of olives), her late night fast food runs once she got her driver's license,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Fired for Being Too Fat, Opera Singer Deborah Voigt Admits 'I Was a Poster Child for Food Addiction'

  • PEOPLE.com
When Deborah Voigt was fired for being too fat to fit into a (size 12) little black dress for a production of Strauss's Ariadne aug Naxos at London's Royal Opera House in 2004, public outrage was immediate. "It's incredible someone can get away with saying those words," Voigt, 54, tells People exclusively. "It's still open season on overweight women." Voigt details her lifelong struggles with food in a new memoir, Call Me Debbie (cowritten by former People writer Natasha Stoynoff). She writes about her first binge at age 5 (when she slugged back a jar of olives), her late night fast food runs once she got her driver's license,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

The Met’s The Merry Widow Tries to Put a Fresh Twist on an Airy Classic

  • Vulture
The Met’s The Merry Widow Tries to Put a Fresh Twist on an Airy Classic
It takes so long for the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of The Merry Widow to warm up that it barely reaches the temperature of day-old bathwater before the final dose of foam. How could Franz Lehár’s weightless meringue of charm, wistfulness, melody, and dance yield a performance so clotted and dense? How could so much onstage talent work so hard and produce so little? Why does a gig at the Met discombobulate so many confident directors? Susan Stroman, the genius of Contact, has strewn the stage with such sad mysteries. The answers may lie partly in insufficient rehearsal, misjudged chemistry, or a rigid operatic schedule that doesn’t permit previews or midcourse adjustments. But one glaring cause of this show’s dysfunction is its miscast star. Throughout her career, Renée Fleming has often glided around the lyric stage in a bubble of self-absorption so shiny and seamless that
See full article at Vulture »

Review Roundup: Susan Stroman's The Merry Widow Opens at the Met

Beginning New Year's Eve, Rene Fleming has returned to the stage in her first-ever performances of 'Hanna Glawari', the title role in Lehr's The Merry Widow, at the Met. Five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman makes her Met debut as director and choreographer of this new production of the comic operetta, which also reunites Nathan Gunn Danilo and five-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara Valencienne. Let's see what the critics had to say...
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Renee Fleming, Kelli O'Hara and Nathan Gunn Lead the Met's Merry Widow, Beginning Tonight

Renee Fleming will add a new role to her extensive repertory when she sings her first-ever performances of Hanna Glawari, the title role in Lehar's The Merry Widow, at the Met this season. Four-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman makes her Met debut as director and choreographer of a new production of the comic operetta, in which a wealthy widow's countrymen launch a romantic plot to keep her -- and her tax dollars -- within their borders.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Bww Spotlight: Sneak Peek of Metropolitan Opera's The Merry Widow with Ren�e Fleming, Nathan Gunn & Kelli O'Hara!

Beginning New Year's Eve, Rene Fleming returns to the stage in her first-ever performances of Hanna Glawari, the title role in Lehr's The Merry Widow, at the Met. Four-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman will make her Met debut as director and choreographer of a new production of the comic operetta, which will also reunite Nathan Gunn Danilo and five-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara Valencienne. The duo previously shared the stage in Carousel with the New York Philharmonic.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Bww Spotlight: Sneak Peek of Metropolitan Opera's The Merry Widow with Ren�e Fleming, Nathan Gunn & Kelli O'Hara!

Beginning New Year's Eve, Rene Fleming returns to the stage in her first-ever performances of Hanna Glawari, the title role in Lehr's The Merry Widow, at the Met. Four-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman will make her Met debut as director and choreographer of a new production of the comic operetta, which will also reunite Nathan Gunn Danilo and five-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara Valencienne. The duo previously shared the stage in Carousel with the New York Philharmonic.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

NBC's 'Peter Pan' Casts Tony Nominee as Mrs. Darling

NBC's 'Peter Pan' Casts Tony Nominee as Mrs. Darling
NBC has found Peter Pan Live's Mrs. Darling. Five-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara has been tapped to play the wife to George Darling and the mother to Wendy, John and Michael, the network announced Tuesday. O'Hara earned five Tony nominations in the past three years for her work in The Bridges of Madison County, Nice Work If You Can Get It, South Pacific, The Pajama Game and The Light in the Piazza. She next makes her opera debut on Dec. 31 at New York's Metropolitan Opera co-starring in Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow. She joins a cast that includes

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Bill Hader’s List of 200 Essential Comedies Everyone Should See

Bill Hader has come a long way since his stint on Saturday Night Live, creating many popular characters and impersonations such as Stefon, Vincent Price and CNN’s Jack Cafferty. He is one of the highlights in such films as Adventureland, Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express, and so it is easy to see why author Mike Sacks interviewed him for his new book Poking A Dead Frog. In it, Hader talks about his career and he also lists 200 essential movies every comedy writer should see. Xo Jane recently published the list for those of us who haven’t had a chance to read the book yet. There are a ton of great recommendations and plenty I haven’t yet seen, but sadly my favourite comedy of all time isn’t mentioned. That would be Some Like It Hot. Still, it really is a great list with a mix of old and new.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Il Cinema Ritrovato 2014

  • MUBI
"Nobody's really captured the quality of a film festival," observed musician/composer Neil Brand, "You're doing something that's pleasurable, but then the fatigue sets in..." It's true—a celluloid feast like Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna is a particular case, too, since so many of the films are rarities. It's like being a cake specialist and suddenly somebody offers you fifty magnificent cakes of unique recipe but says "You have to eat them all in an hour or I'll take them away and you'll never see them again." You plunge in, and even when nausea starts to replace pleasure you can't bring yourself to stop...

Cinephiles like to grumble, and the venues of Bologna attract a certain amount of criticism (one has a bar which runs between the front row and the screen, cutting the subtitles in half; air conditioning is switched on and off at random; and then there's
See full article at MUBI »

Gff 2014: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is perhaps Wes Anderson’s most ambitious film to date, and one of his best

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Written and directed by Wes Anderson

USA/UK/Germany, 2014

More than perhaps any other director, the work of Ernst Lubitsch has been the most noticeable influence on Wes Anderson’s style. Though the great German-American writer-director, most prolific in the 1930s and 1940s, was never quite so aesthetically bold in the look of his sets, he too was preoccupied with meticulous staging for comedy within his chosen locales, be they the titular Shop Around the Corner or the Parisian hotel of Ninotchka; The Grand Budapest Hotel is set in a fictional European country, the Republic of Zubrowka, another Lubitsch trait from works like The Merry Widow and The Love Parade, though The Shop Around the Corner happens to be set in the city Anderson’s mountaintop lodging house takes its name from. He garnered the descriptor of ‘the Lubitsch touch’ thanks to the moving sincerity that
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Nat Chandler, Jennifer Hope Wills and More Set for The Merry Widow with Regina Symphony Tonight

Broadway stars Teri Dale Hansen Show Boat, The Boys From Syracuse Nat Chandler Scarlet Pimpernel, The Phantom of the Opera Jason Graae A Grand Night for Singing, Falsettos Mendel Jennifer Hope Wills The Phantom of the Opera, Wonderful Town and Eric van Hoven Candide, Master Class will be appearing with The Regina Symphony Orchestra at the Conexus Arts Centre in Saskatchewan, Canada in The Merry Widow tonight, January 11th at 800pm.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Nat Chandler, Jennifer Hope Wills and More Set for The Merry Widow with Regina Symphony, Jan 11

Broadway stars Teri Dale Hansen Show Boat, The Boys From Syracuse Nat Chandler Scarlet Pimpernel, The Phantom of the Opera Jason Graae A Grand Night for Singing, Falsettos Mendel Jennifer Hope Wills The Phantom of the Opera, Wonderful Town and Eric Van Hoven Candide, Master Class will be appearing with The Regina Symphony Orchestra at the Conexus Arts Centre in Saskatchewan, Canada in The Merry Widow on Saturday, January 11th at 800pm.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »
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