18 items from 2014
The movie journalist is always caught up in scandal, gossip and invasions of privacy. Though plenty of movies have been made about authors, poets, and other writers, the physical act of writing and editing rarely makes it into Hollywood journalism. Thankfully, the more sensational aspects of media have made for scathing satire and commentary, loathsome anti-heroes, and pulpy, investigative reporting that the camera loves.
This week’s Nightcrawler features Jake Gyllenhaal as a crime journalist in L.A., but he’s more Travis Bickle than Anderson Cooper. Even other films released this year have fit the template of being more about something else than actually about journalism, from a theater critic in Birdman trying to destroy Riggan Thompson’s career to Jeremy Renner in Kill the Messenger about how noble voices get squashed.
The best movies about journalism are more than the newsroom politics, so in honor of Nightcrawler’s release, »
- Brian Welk
“Stop the presses” was a line of dialogue used in all manner of thrillers and mysteries throughout Hollywood’s Golden age as a reflection of the movies’ love affair with newspapers and crusading reporters. Now this romance has had its bumps, since for every The Front Page or His Girl Friday, there’s a Citizen Kane who created news events to sell copy. But overall, the seekers of truth, the reporters have been the heroes in cinema (is it any wonder that Superman’s human disguise is that of “mild, mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper”?). One of the best examples may be 1976′s All The President’S Men with Woodward and Bernstein as an investigative dynamic duo who would follow every lead, turn over every rock in order to publish the facts. The fourth estate isn’t what it used to be in today’s world what with »
- Jim Batts
Screens From a Marriage: Fincher Makes Pulpy Lemonade
Undoubtedly one of 2014′s most anticipated titles, David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller, Gone Girl finds the filmmaker once more dipping into the realm of pulpy beatitude, following the auteur’s last feature, 2011’s rehash of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Sure to entice fans of the source novel, Fincher’s mesmerizing exercise contends to examine the mechanisms that support the notion of coupledom and marriage, revealing the underbelly that lurks behind the personas we present to polite society when ripped apart by sensationalism, here in the arena of frenzied media. Part satire, mystery, thriller, and character study, it’s a potent mix of rhythms rather precisely patterned by Fincher. Taut and surprisingly funny in its grim certainties about the parts of love and courtship not whispered about in songs or poetry, you’ll skate through its extensive »
- Nicholas Bell
Quentin Tarantino officially begins his tenure as film programmer of the New Beverly Cinema tonight when he re-opens the La institution after a monthlong remodeling. On the docket is a Paul Mazursky double feature of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and Blume In Love, which kicks off three months of Tarantino-programmed films, as Deadline reported last month. Many of those films, screened on film either on 16mm or 35mm, will come from Tarantino’s personal vaults. Tonight’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice print is the best known print out there, according to Tarantino, who was gifted with the newly struck print after his Django Unchained opening.
After floating the beloved New Beverly business for years, Tarantino took over as manager and programmer last month from owner Michael Torgan with a renewed commitment to screening movies only on film. New features and upgrades inside the historic theater include the addition of mechanical masking, »
- Jen Yamato
I usually oppose the convention wisdom that says that bringing couples together ruins sitcoms, but even I couldn't ignore a coupling's devastating recent impact on one of my favorite sitcoms. Season 2 of "New Girl," which was mostly devoted to the flirtation between Zooey Descanel's Jess and Jake Johnson's Nick, was at times the best comedy on television. Season 3 of "New Girl," in which Jess and Nick were a firmly-established couple, was an absolute mess, until finally creator Liz Meriwether and her writers hit the eject button on the whole idea and had the relationship fall apart in the space of an episode. Now, Jess and Nick being together — and fighting almost constantly over issues that weren't a big deal when they were just roommates with the benefit of chemistry — wasn't the only problem with season 3. There was also the decision to make Schmidt be pure evil, and the struggle »
- Alan Sepinwall
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. »
Chicago – One of the notable films to kick off the autumn film season is writer/director Ira Sach’s “Love is Strange.” The story of two men in a longtime gay relationship, who finally can marry – but whose lives go off track unexpectedly – features brilliant performances from veterans John LIthgow and Alfred Molina.
Ira Sachs is a veteran writer and director himself, on his sixth feature film. He first got noticed with “Forty Shades of Blue” in 2005 and “Married Life” two years later. The latter film featured Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Pierce Brosnan. After some great reviews for his fifth film “Keep the Lights On” (2012), he is back with “Love is Strange,” a personal and subtle character driven story.
Photo credit: Sony Pictures Classics
HollywoodChicago.com sat down to interview Ira Sachs, as his »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
To anyone familiar with the many Hollywood newspaper comedies of the 1930s and 1940s, of course, this swell of alarmism about contemporary journalism will no doubt seem amusing. Diminished standards, ethical bankruptcy, the easy propagation of mistruths—this conception is nothing new. Let’s consider the history. In 1928, former reporters Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur wrote The Front Page, a hugely popular Broadway comedy which satirized the unscrupulousness of the newspaper business. The play concerned the efforts of Walter Burns, the ruthless editor of a big-city daily, to orchestrate the last-minute exoneration of a criminal sentenced to be hanged, which he hopes will both secure his paper a landmark exclusive and convince his former star reporter to return to the masthead once more. Its best-known adaptation, His Girl Friday, would arrive in 1940 courtesy of Howard Hawks. But Lewis Milestone's 1931 version remains perhaps the more influential: its success ushered in »
If you could only pick ten movies to represent the entire history of American cinema, which would you choose? This was the challenge undertaken by The Guardian’s chief film critic Robbie Collin, who may have made the first list to feature both Batman and Gene Kelly tap dancing through Paris. Indiewire’s Max O’Connell created his own list in response, and a few of us here at Fsr wanted to play along, too. The goal was to create a list of ten movies that summed up over a century of American film and then explain only one of our choices (which means it’s up to you to ask Adam Charles why he picked Face/Off). Leave your own list in the comments section so we can endlessly debate and appreciate. The impossibility is part of the fun. Harold Lloyd’s Stunts to Michael Bay’s Explosions Safety Last! (1923) His Girl Friday »
- FSR Staff
The first photo has been released of Colton Haynes' Roy Harper character in his full Arsenal costume for the upcoming third season of The CW's "Arrow". Roy and his new costume become the new partner of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) in the third season premiere which airs on October 8th at 8pm.
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg has also spoken at length about the new season and revealed all sorts of new information to EW. First up, they have Caity Lotz booked to return as Sara Lance/Black Canary for At Least three episodes this season - they're hoping for more. Kreisberg couldn't confirm if Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) would be back, but hints that she will.
After being name dropped several times and having his daughter show up, many have wondered if League of Shadows founder and Batman villain Ra's al Ghul will be making an appearance this season. »
- Garth Franklin
Arrow fans who are familiar with the DC Comics are in for a treat today, with Entertainment Weekly debuting the first photo of Colton Haynes in his full Arsenal costume. Many fans have been waiting to see when Roy Harper will take on his Arsenal alter-ego, but they won't have to wait for too much longer, since Roy and his new Arsenal attire will be featured in the Season 3 Premiere, airing Wednesday, October 8 at 8 Pm Et on The CW. Roy/Arsenal will be a "fully fledged member of Team Arrow" in Season 3, so get ready for even more arrow-slinging action as Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) teams up with his new partner.
Take a look at the photo below, then read on for more Season 3 details from executive producer Andrew Kreisberg.
Antonin Baudry with Bertrand Tavernier on The French Minister (Quai d’Orsay): "I fell in love immediately with Antonin's book, because it was dealing with politics in, for me, the best way possible." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
I met up in New York with Bertrand Tavernier and Antonin Baudry, who co-wrote the screenplay for The French Minister (Quai d’Orsay), based on Baudry's (aka Abel Lanzac) autobiographic graphic novel about his adventures as a speech writer in the French Ministry. The film stars Thierry Lhermitte, Raphaël Personnaz and Niels Arestrup who at times seem to channel the working methods of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday or the serious madness surrounding Peter Sellers in The Party. Howard Hawks, Billy Wilder, Blake Edwards, Jacques Becker, Stanley Kubrick and John Ford pop up in precise reference throughout the conversation.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “The Story Behind the Worst Movie on IMDb” — David Goldenberg at Five Thirty Eight tries to make sense of an average movie that has been absolutely buried by the masses who frequent the Internet Movie Database. Maybe unsurprisingly, it involves a real world coalition spurred on by political sentiment and identity preservation. I wonder how they’ll feel about Goldenberg giving the movie they hate a huge spotlight. “The 11 Defining Features of the Summer Blockbuster” — Also at Five Thirty Eight, Walt Hickey crunches an absurd amount of numbers to figure out whether sword fights or car explosions are more important to crafting a giant, sweaty movie. “The hidden feminism of Audrey Hepburn” — Monika Bartyzel at The Week argues that underneath the pill box and cloche hats, Eliza Doolittle »
- Scott Beggs
Nemo: The Roses of Berlin
Written by Alan Moore
Drawn by Kevin O’Neill
Lettered by Todd Klein
Colored by Ben Dimagmaliw
Published by Knockabout/Top Shelf
Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill have no time for a preamble or set up in Nemo: The Roses Of Berlin, the latest offshoot of their League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series. Within the first couple of pages, they dive right into the story of Janni Dakkar, the daughter of Nemo, and her husband Broad Arrow Jack invading 1940s Berlin to rescue their daughter. When their son-in-law’s airship is shot down over Germany with their daughter inside, Janni and Jack storm Berlin, finding a city that they didn’t expect. It’s not a Nazi driven Berlin (even though Nazis are there.) It’s the Berlin straight out of Metropolis and the imagination of Fritz Lang. Swiftly realizing that it’s all a »
- Scott Cederlund
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 27, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95
In this American cinema classic, John Wayne (True Grit) found one of his greatest roles as an embittered, tyrannical Texas rancher whose tensions with his independent-minded adopted son, played by Montgomery Clift (From Here to Eternity) in a breakout performance, reach epic proportions during a cattle drive to Missouri, which is based on a real-life late nineteenth-century expedition.
Yet Hawks is less interested in historical accuracy than in tweaking the codes of masculinity that propel the myths of the American West. The unerringly macho Wayne and the neurotic, boyish Clift make for an improbably perfect pair, »
Next month is the 86th Academy Awards ceremony but ever since sentimental fighter pilot movie Wings beat F.W. Murnau’s still lauded Sunrise to the inaugural big prize, there has been a general feeling that the Best Picture Oscar doesn’t really represent the year’s best film at all. The Academy has a reputation for picking safe “prestige” dramas over anything original, innovative, stylised or genre films.
This is nothing new. The 14th ceremony in 1942 gave the top award to worthy Americanised Welsh mine drama How Green Was My Valley, despite the other nominees including the hugely innovative and influential (not to mention far more entertaining) Maltese Falcon and Citizen Kane.
In the 84 Oscar ceremonies between Wings’ first win and the triumph of 12 Years a Slave, Gravity or The Wolf of Wall Street this year, there have been bafflingly undeserved winners (Driving Miss Daisy in 1990), good »
- Jack Gann
So, we’ve arrived at the top 20, slowly creeping toward those films that are exactly what a romantic comedy should be. We’ve seen films that fall into the category, but lean more toward other genres. We’ve seen romantic films that are funny enough to be comedies, but don’t entirely represent the spirit of the rom-com, despite being brilliant films. Now, we form a clearer picture of what a romantic comedy is. Not all of the films in this section are necessarily “good,” but they’re all iconic, definitive romantic comedies (hence their inclusion). Memorability does not necessarily come partnered with quality. It means right place, right time.
courtesy of totalfilm.com
20. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
- Joshua Gaul
Quentin Tarantino ‘The Hateful Eight’ screenplay leak Quentin Tarantino will no longer be making the Western The Hateful Eight. Why not? Well, Tarantino claims he sent out the film’s screenplay to a group of six people, one of whom allegedly showed it to his agent, who then showed it to other agents, who then began calling Tarantino’s agent Mike Simpson, asking him to cast their clients in the film. (Photo: The Hateful Eight screenwriter Quentin Tarantino.) “I’m very, very depressed,” Tarantino was quoted as saying at Deadline.com, which first broke The Hateful Eight Screenplay Leak story on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. “I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn’t mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now. I gave it to six people, and apparently it’s gotten out today.” Now, before they begin flailing and wailing, Quentin Tarantino fans should be »
- Zac Gille
18 items from 2014
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