12 items from 2015
Charles Brackett ca. 1945: Hollywood diarist and Billy Wilder's co-screenwriter (1936–1949) and producer (1945–1949). Q&A with 'Charles Brackett Diaries' editor Anthony Slide: Billy Wilder's screenwriter-producer partner in his own words Six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder is a film legend. He is renowned for classics such as The Major and the Minor, Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Witness for the Prosecution, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment. The fact that Wilder was not the sole creator of these movies is all but irrelevant to graduates from the Auteur School of Film History. Wilder directed, co-wrote, and at times produced his films. That should suffice. For auteurists, perhaps. But not for those interested in the whole story. That's one key reason why the Charles Brackett diaries are such a great read. Through Brackett's vantage point, they offer a welcome – and unique – glimpse into the collaborative efforts that resulted in »
- Andre Soares
Olivia de Havilland on Turner Classic Movies: Your chance to watch 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' for the 384th time Olivia de Havilland is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 2, '15. The two-time Best Actress Oscar winner (To Each His Own, 1946; The Heiress, 1949) whose steely determination helped to change the way studios handled their contract players turned 99 last July 1. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any de Havilland movie rarities, e.g., Universal's cool thriller The Dark Mirror (1946), the Paramount comedy The Well-Groomed Bride (1947), or Terence Young's British-made That Lady (1955), with de Havilland as eye-patch-wearing Spanish princess Ana de Mendoza. On the other hand, you'll be able to catch for the 384th time a demure Olivia de Havilland being romanced by a dashing Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood, as TCM shows this 1938 period adventure classic just about every month. But who's complaining? One the »
- Andre Soares
Legendary composer Ennio Morricone is set to do the score for Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight," marking his return to the genre after four decades away from a sound he made iconic in Sergio Leone's "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "A Fistful of Dollars"
Morricone has worked on such famous films as "The Untouchables," "The Thing," "The Mission," "In the Line of Fire," "Cinema Paradiso," "Days of Heaven," "Bugsy" "Disclosure" and "Casualties of War". He previously worked with Tarantino on "Inglorious Basterds" and "Django Unchained".
The revelation was just one of a number of reveals during the Hall H panel at Comic Con for the new Tarantino film. Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern and Jennifer Jason Leigh were all on hand to show off seven minutes of footage from the film and talk about the new film's presentation. »
- Garth Franklin
San Diego - Quentin Tarantino returned to Comic-Con Saturday after a triumphant "debut" for "Django Unchained" in 2012. Actually, the Oscar-winning filmmaker has been to the convention many times, but usually just as an attendee.* Today Tarantino was on hand to talk about his upcoming thriller "The Hateful Eight" and begin what will clearly be a significant publicity push to inform moviegoers of its roadshow release (more on that later). *Tarantino revealed he was at Comic-Con two years ago, but wore a mask to disguise himself. He spent his time filling out the holes in his comic book collection on the convention floor. Along with Tarantino the Hall H panel featured a majority of "The Hateful Eight" cast including Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern. Longtime Tarantino collaborator Samuel L. Jackson couldn't make it in person, but was a part of »
- Gregory Ellwood
'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are »
- Andre Soares
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
The great Charles Laughton may not have been the prettiest of movie stars, but he had a presence that many matinee idols would have killed for (as the current retrospective running at Film Forum will attest). In an era in which glamor was everything, studio marketers may have struggled with how to present Laughton’s unconventional looks and his larger-than-life portrayals of larger-than-life characters (so many monsters, murderers, tyrants, or simply overbearing fathers) to the public. In most of the posters for his most famous film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), he is all but a silhouette, a spoiler alert to his monstrous transformation as Quasimodo. And in some posters for The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), the film for which he won his first Oscar, Henry is made to look more like the Hans Holbein »
- Adrian Curry
Actress Movita Castaneda — the second of Marlon Brando’s three wives, who appeared in such films as Mutiny on the Bounty opposite Clark Gable and Fort Apache with John Wayne — has died. She was believed to be 98. Castaneda died Thursday in a Los Angeles rehabilitation center after suffering a neck injury, a family friend told the Los Angeles Times. Castaneda played Tehani, a beautiful Tahitian who marries one of the insurgent sailors, in the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty. The film was remade in 1962 with Brando, then Castaneda’s husband, playing the Gable role of Fletcher Christian. In
- Mike Barnes
By Anjelica Oswald
With the DGA Award in hand, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has become a frontrunner in the best director Oscar race for Birdman.
Only seven winners of the DGA Award have not won the best director Oscar in the 66 years that the Directors Guild of America has given the award. The most recent case was two years ago, when Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for the best director Oscar for Argo, which won best picture.
No American has won for best director since 2011 and if Inarritu, who is from Mexico, takes the Oscar this year, the trend will continue. Inarritu could become the second Latin American director to win for best director, following Alfonso Cuaron’s win last year.
In the 86 years since the Academy Awards’ inception, 89 Oscars have been given for best director. Twenty-six awards (29 percent) went to non-American born directors.
At the first annual »
- Anjelica Oswald
By Anjelica Oswald
Birdman has claimed a number of principal awards this season, including the top awards from the Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild, and is one of the lead contenders in the best picture race.
The film has received nine nominations, including a supporting actor, supporting actress and leading actor nomination. Though the film probably won’t land Oscars in the supporting categories, Michael Keaton has situated himself as a frontrunner in the leading actor category, along with The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne.
Of the 86 films to win best picture, 36 (42 percent) won without procuring a single Oscar in the acting categories. Seven of those 36 won before the supporting acting categories were implemented at the ninth annual Academy Awards, and 11 of the 36 won without any acting nominations.
If Birdman wins for best picture but Keaton loses to Redmayne, Alejandro »
- Anjelica Oswald
British-born Bernard Telvin Williams, a producer of films including “A Clockwork Orange,” “Manhunter,” “What About Bob?,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “Daredevil,” died of cancer in Lake Arrowhead, Calif., on January 4. He was 72.
Williams was associate producer not only on Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange,” but also on the director’s “Barry Lyndon.” Other producing credits include “The Bounty,” a reworking of “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson; the epic “Ragtime,” based on the E.L. Doctorow novel and directed by Milos Forman; Michael Mann’s “Manhunter,” the first Hannibel Lecter film; Bill Murray comedy “What About Bob?”; Frank Oz’s Michael Caine-Steve Martin vehicle “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”; the Steve Martin-Eddie Murphy comedy “Bowfinger”; and 2003 Ben Affleck superhero movie “Daredevil.”
His final credit came on the 2006 version of “Charlotte’s Web.”
Williams was also unit production manager on a number of the films that he produced. »
- Carmel Dagan
It’s December. And you know what that means? It means for every popcorn blockbuster, we get about three Oscar bait movies that are made solely to appease that body of somewhat stodgy Academy voters. Don’t get me wrong – a good portion of the Best Picture winners in history are still some of the greatest films ever made – “The Godfather” (Parts I and II), “Schindler’s List,” etc. But what about those historically good movies that got the nomination, but didn’t take home the prize? What about those popular movies that carried fan support, but lost out to a smaller, most of the time better, film? Well, here they are. This list focuses on those films that may or may not have been produced as Oscar bait, but earned the recognition of “Best Picture nominee,” only to walk away without the big prize. As usual, not in order of worst to best. »
- Joshua Gaul
12 items from 2015
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