The Great Dictator
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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2002

1-20 of 24 items from 2014   « Prev | Next »

George R.R. Martin Slams Sony’s ‘Corporate Cowardice,’ Offers to Screen ‘The Interview’ at His Own Theater

5 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

George R.R. Martin has offered to screen Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy “The Interview” at the independent movie theater he owns in New Mexico.

“For what it’s worth, the Jean Cocteau Cinema will be glad to screen ‘The Interview’ (assuming that Sony does eventually release the film for theatrical exhibition, rather than streaming it or dumping it as a direct-to-dvd release), should it be made available to us,” Martin wrote in a blog post published earlier this week. “Come to Santa Fe, Seth, we’ll show your film for you.”

Also Read: Sony Hackers Issue New Threat In Wake ‘The Interview’ Cancellation, »

- Greg Gilman

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The Interview Has Renewed Interest in Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, Which Is a Great Thing

6 hours ago | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

One of the few good things to come out of this L’Affaire Interview has been a renewed interest among both the media and viewers in Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 classic, The Great Dictator. With some reason: If The Interview offers a cautionary tale in what happens when you satirize existing world tyrants, The Great Dictator is perhaps the poster child of satirizing existing world tyrants. Chaplin’s film, released before the U.S. had entered World War II, took direct aim at Adolf Hitler. In it, Chaplin played both the Tomanian despot Adenoid Hynkel (the film’s humorously named Hitler surrogate) and a Jewish barber who, after years in a military hospital, returns home only to discover that he’s now living in a brutal, anti-Semitic police state.Hilarity ensues. No, really — it does. Chaplin’s film is filled with brilliant slapstick, and his wonderfully exaggerated portrayal of the preening, »

- Bilge Ebiri

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George R.R. Martin Blasts Sony's 'Cowardice' Over 'Interview' Decision

8 hours ago | | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Sony Pictures' decision to pull The Interview from its December 25th theatrical release date – and put the film in indefinite hiatus – has been met by criticism from both politicians and filmmakers. Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has now joined the ever-growing list of people upset with the movie company succumbing to the hackers' demands.

Martin owns the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, New Mexico, so the cancellation of The Interview affected him directly. "The level of corporate cowardice here astonishes me," the author wrote on his LiveJournal. »

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'The Interview' and precedence: On dictators in comedy movies, TV and online

22 hours ago | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

The fate of comedy "The Interview" is looking grim, after Sony has canceled domestic and international theatrical release this week. The James Franco and Seth Rogen-starrer had been in the works for half a decade. In it, a tabloid news show host and his producer are roped into an assassination attempt on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un via the urging of the FBI. While the plot sounds somewhat serious, it looped its way through plenty of weiner and butthole jokes, and also grounded its digs in North Korean propaganda, the criminal dehumanization of its people and the un-deifying of its Dear Leader (through dick and butt jokes, of course, plus violence). But cutting down a tyrannical world leader is no new feat, of course. "South Park" and "Looney Tunes" took down Kim Jong-Il and Hitler in cartoons. "Arrested Development," "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" brought abroad baddies to their knees for the small screen. »

- Katie Hasty, Alan Sepinwall, Drew McWeeny, Daniel Fienberg

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Did the terrorists win? 11 other possible reactions to 'The Interview' catastrophe

18 December 2014 3:36 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

I haven't seen "The Interview," but a good number of others have - including HitFix's resident movie critic Drew McWeeny, who called the film "laugh out loud funny all the way through" in his review. I don't feel totally equipped to make some grand statement on Sony's move to entirely cancel the release of the film after the hackers (ironically operating under the moniker Guardians of Peace) threatened deadly terrorist attacks on theaters that chose to screen it, but plenty of others have chimed in in the hours since news broke of Sony's unprecedented decision. So what are people saying? A lot of things, but the overriding sentiment online - summed up as "You're letting fear/the terrorists/the hackers win" - is beginning to sound a little reductive in light of a political and business situation that is extraordinarily complex. Believe it or not, there are a range of »

- Chris Eggertsen

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George R. R. Martin Is Pissed He Can’t Show The Interview at His Movie Theater

18 December 2014 2:16 PM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin is pretty upset about the whole Sony thing. So upset that he wrote about the cancellation of The Interview on his LiveJournal ("Current Mood: pissed off"): The level of corporate cowardice here astonishes me.  It's a good thing these guys weren't around when Charlie Chaplin made The Great Dictator.  If Kim Jong-Un scares them, Adolf Hitler would have had them shitting in their smallclothes. And to protest Sony's decision, he was hoping to show Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Team America World Police at his movie theater in Santa Fe, the Jean Cocteau Cinema — an idea that a few independent theaters, including the Alamo Drafthouse, had suggested. So you can only imagine what happened after he discovered that the movie studio that owns Team America, Paramount, has no interest in having its film be screened: "The cowardice is contagious, it would appear, »

- Lindsey Weber

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Why The Interview's withdrawal sets a worrying precedent

18 December 2014 11:47 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

With Sony announcing that it has "no plans" to release The Interview, we look at what it might mean for the future of filmmaking...

A few months ago, the unfolding furore surrounding Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's comedy The Interview probably seemed quite funny.

The film, about a TV host (played by James Franco) and his producer (Rogen) who are instructed by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, enraged the country's government. It was, North Korea's foreign ministry spokesman said, "an act of war."

"Making and releasing a movie on a plot to hurt our top-level leadership is the most blatant act of terrorism and war and will absolutely not be tolerated," read a statement from a North Korean news agency. "If the Us administration allows and defends the showing of the film, a merciless counter-measure will be taken."

When the story emerged in June, Seth Rogen didn't seem particularly worried. »

- ryanlambie

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Carell & Verbinski Respond To Their Film Becoming A #SonyHack Casualty

18 December 2014 8:11 AM, PST | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

Another one bites the dust...

In the wake of yesterday's announcement that they were pulling the plug on The Interview, canceling its December 25 premiere, another film set in North Korea has gotten the axe. Steve Carell was set to team with director Gore Verbinksi to make Pyongyang. The film was to be based off of Guy Delisle's "Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea," a graphic novel released in 2007.

Here's what the book was about:

"Famously referred to as one of the 'Axis of Evil' countries, North Korea remains one of the most secretive and mysterious nations in the world today. In early 2001 cartoonist Guy Delisle became one of the few Westerners to be allowed access to the fortresslike country. While living in the nation's capital for two months on a work visa for a French film animation company, Delisle observed what he was allowed to see of the »

- Mario-Francisco Robles

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Review: The Interview Deserves To Be More Than A Footnote

17 December 2014 4:15 PM, PST | Twitch | See recent Twitch news »

In 1940, just months after Wermacht tanks rolled over their borders in lightning strikes, a film came out that made the elected leader of Germany look like the fatuous lunatic that he was. Playing both the Jewish Barber and Hynkel, the dictator of the fictional land of Tomania, Charlie Chaplin cheekily took the piss of the Führer in The Great Dictator. It didn't hurt that Adolf looked kind of like Charlie, complete with that iconic 'stache, but the film nonetheless was equal parts slapstick and profoundly wise. It's a pure form of satire, one that decades later continues to resonate. Now, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's The Interview isn't quite up to the Chaplin level of excellence, but it does do something that even...

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Barnes & Noble 50% Off Criterion Sale 2014! Top Titles to Buy!

10 November 2014 9:36 PM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

It's that time of year again and it's time to update the list for the second half of 2014 as Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and as impossible a task as it is to cut things down to just a few titles, I have done my best to break Criterion's titles down into a few categories. Hopefully those looking for box sets, specific directors or what I think are absolute musts will find this makes things a little bit easier. Let's get to it... First Picks I was given the Zatoichi collection for Christmas last year and being a collection that holds 25 films and another disc full of supplementary material it is the absolute definition of a must buy when it comes to the Criterion Collection. It is, once again, on sale for $112.49, half off the Msrp of $224.99, and worth every penny. I spent the entire year going through it. »

- Brad Brevet

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12 Unforgettably Inspirational Film Monologues

30 October 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | | See recent Backstage news »

Feeling down? Lackluster? Uninspired? You need a pick-me-up from some of Hollywood’s most talented movie stars. Here are 12 stirring speeches from films that double as both examples of superbly committed acting and rip-roaring energizers! Charlie Chaplin, “The Great DictatorCharlie Chaplin’s first true talking picture, “The Great Dictator,” ended up taking Hollywood by storm in 1940 for its spot-on satire and parody of Adolf Hitler in the midst of WWII. Chaplin, who wrote, directed, and starred as both the film’s protagonist and antagonist, here gives one of the most rousing speeches in cinematic history, decrying greed and false promise, emboldening his audience—within the movie and around the world—to “fight to free the world!” Viggo Mortensen, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”If you were faced by a sea of approaching orcs, you might back away, too. But if you were inspired by your king, »

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See Reddit users’ favorite movie from each year

2 September 2014 12:56 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Throughout the summer, an admin on the r/movies subreddit has been leading Reddit users in a poll of the best movies from every year for the last 100 years called 100 Years of Yearly Cinema. The poll concluded three days ago, and the list of every movie from 1914 to 2013 has been published today.

Users were asked to nominate films from a given year and up-vote their favorite nominees. The full list includes the outright winner along with the first two runners-up from each year. The list is mostly a predictable assortment of IMDb favorites and certified classics, but a few surprise gems have also risen to the top of the crust, including the early experimental documentary Man With a Movie Camera in 1929, Abel Gance’s J’Accuse! in 1919, the Fred Astaire film Top Hat over Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in 1935, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing over John Ford’s »

- Brian Welk

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Movies This Week: August 8-14, 2014

8 August 2014 12:00 PM, PDT | Slackerwood | See recent Slackerwood news »

The Austin Film Society kicks off a brand new series featuring classic films from Roger Corman (Jette's preview) with a related documentary called That Guy Dick Miller, about the famed character actor. Tonight's screening will feature a post-film Q&A with Mr. Miller via Skype. It will be followed by a 35mm screening of Corman's 1959 feature A Bucket Of Blood, which features a great lead performance by Dick Miller. The film will also play again on Sunday afternoon.

On Wednesday, Whitey: The United States Of America V. James J. Bulger (from Joe Berlinger, the director of Paradise Lost) will be featured for Doc Nights (Elizabeth's preview), and this month's Essential Cinema series with the incredible Barbara Stanwyck (Elizabeth's preview) finds her on Thursday night starring in a 1937 drama called Internes Can't Take Money, screening in a rare 35mm print. 

At the Paramount's Summer Classic Film Series, you can catch a »

- Matt Shiverdecker

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Chaplin or The Weight of Myth

22 July 2014 5:42 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

By Mireille Latil-Le-Dantec. Originally published in Cinématographe, no. 35, February 1978 in an issue with a Chaplin dossier.

Translation by Ted Fendt. Thanks to Marie-Pierre Duhamel.

The Chaplinesque Quest

The overbearing weight of interpretative studies devoted to Chaplin makes any pretension to some "fresh look" at a universe already studied from every angle seem absurd from the outset. At least, on the occasion of the homages currently being made in theaters to the little man who would become so big, a few fragmentary re-viewings more modestly allow for the rediscovery of the thematic unity of this body of work and the inanity of any artificial divide between the "excellent" Charlie films and the "mediocre" Chaplin films – a divide corresponding, of course, to the event which his art was not supposed to have survived: the appearance of those talkies that – in the excellent company of Eisenstein, Pudovkin, René Clair and many others – he »

- Ted Fendt

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Best Criterion Titles to Buy During Barnes & Noble's 50% Off Sale

30 June 2014 3:54 PM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Barnes & Noble has just kicked off their 50% off Criterion sale and while it's impossible to suggest titles that will suit everyone looking to beef up their collection at this perfect time of year, I will do my best to offer some suggestions. Let's get to it... My Absolute First Pick I am almost done going through this collection and it was a collection I got for Christmas under these exact circumstances. Typically priced at $224.99, you can now get this amazing set of 25 Zatoichi films for only $112. Box sets, in my opinion, are what sales like this were made for. Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman Next Ten Recommendations It isn't easy so this is a collection of just some of my favorite films (of all-time and within the collection) and a little variety, though pretty much my standard, go to Criterion first picks, especially if you are just starting out. Persona Breathless »

- Brad Brevet

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Fright Exclusive Interview With Snowpiercer Director Bong Joon-ho And Star Tilda Swinton!!

23 June 2014 1:16 PM, PDT | | See recent Icons of Fright news »


Korean director Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother) tackles his first English film with Snowpiercer, a unique film that takes place several years after global warming has turned the entire world into a frozen tundra, leaving only a few remaining survivors aboard a train with an immortal engine. While aboard the vessel, a class system develops, causing those in the back of the train to revolt, and fight for their say in the construction of their lives. I was lucky enough to catch up with director Bong, as well as the star of his movie, Tilda Swinton, for a quick interview. Together, we discussed the inspiration behind Swinton’s wacky Minister Mason character, the construction of the impeccable train, and the process of intertwining cultures.

So where do you begin when you create a character, especially one as outrageous as this one?

Tilda Swinton: Well this was really good fun »

- Kalyn Corrigan

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Interview with Roberto Andò about Long Live Freedom

7 June 2014 10:51 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Toni Servillo as Senator Enrico Oliveri in Long Live Freedom

The morning before Roberto Andò's Long Live Freedom (Viva La Libertà), starring Toni Servillo, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Valerio Mastandrea, screened at Open Roads: New Italian Cinema in New York, I spoke with the director at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. We discussed Federico Fellini mixing religion with cinema, the genius of Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, Wong Kar-wai's style, what moves Marco Bellocchio and the masquerade of politics.

Long Live Freedom, where leaving a message is "perfectly useless" and new lives begin in the middle of old ones, unfolds smartly as part farce, part political commentary, part soul-searching device. Cinema and politics happen to be twin worlds here. The film is based on Andò's novel Il Trono Vuoto.

Giovanni as Senator Enrico Oliveri in the map room: "The prototype I'm thinking of is also from »

- Anne-Katrin Titze

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MK2 sells Clouds of Sils Maria

9 May 2014 3:45 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Palme d’Or contender starring Juliette BinocheKristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz sells to 20 territories.

Paris-based MK2 has closed a raft of deals on Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria, starring Juliette BinocheKristen Stewart and Chloë Grace Moretz, ahead of its premiere in Competition at Cannes.

The film has sold to Italy (Good Films), Benelux (De Filmfreak), Germany (Nfp), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Hong Kong (Golden Scene), Korea (Tcast), Portugal (Leopardo Filmes),  and ex-Yugoslavia (Continental Film).

It has also been acquired for the Middle East (Falcon), Turkey (Yeni Bir) and airlines (Encore). As previously announced IFC Films has taken Us rights. Les Films du Losange will release the film in France at the end of August.

“We’re in talks on a lot of other territories, notably Latin America, Scandinavia, Russia and the UK,” said MK2’s sales chief Juliette Schrameck.

Set in the Swiss alpine lake district of Sils Maria, the picture »

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Throw out the Clowns – A tale of unrequited love between Comedy and The Academy Awards.

25 February 2014 5:00 AM, PST | | See recent HeyUGuys news »

It started so well; two of Hollywood’s hottest properties making self-deprecating jokes about how they were the perfect age to snare a younger demographic of viewer for a ceremony which had been shedding ratings faster than it added minutes to its running time. For Anne Hathaway and James Franco, that would be as good as it got, the remainder of their hosting duties for the 83rd Academy Awards was made up of unintelligible ramblings and a Western’s worth of tumbleweeds.

They weren’t really to blame, well Hathaway anyway, because this had been one of the few times that the Academy had opted for a non-comedian occupying the Kodak Theatre stage. There was 2009’s soft-focus Hugh Jackman sing-along, and in 1995 David Letterman gave us the cringe-worthy “Oprah. Uma. Uma. Oprah” moment of infamy. Both examples underline that the appeal of the host, and by proxy their laugh quota, »

- Matt Rodgers

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The greatest Best Actor race? Where does this year's class rank in Oscar history?

24 February 2014 3:20 PM, PST | - PopWatch | See recent - PopWatch news »

This year’s Best Actor race is shaping up to be one of the greatest of all time. And by greatest, I mean both the most competitive and also the most outstanding, in the sense that each nominee is excellent — hypothetical winners in almost any other year. They also reflect the depth of superb male performances in 2013. Consider: Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Robert Redford (All Is Lost), Joaquin Phoneix (Her), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) all missed the cut.

EW’s Owen Gleiberman recently analyzed this year’s Best Actor race, calling it the most “fiercely, »

- Jeff Labrecque

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2002

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