4 items from 2015
“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” and “Listen to Me Marlon” are intimate and revealing, and one of them is also loud
Kurt Cobain and Marlon Brando, two cultural icons from vastly different eras and arenas, took center stage at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, with the back-to-back world premiere of documentaries that drew heavily on words and footage from the rock and acting legends.
“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” and “Listen to Me Marlon” could scarcely be more different. The former is a blistering, raucous and unwieldy look at the Nirvana frontman, the latter an elegant meditation on the »
- Steve Pond
Exclusive: Documentary filmmaker Stevan Riley (Blue Blood, Fire In Babylon) got the chance of a lifetime when he was granted access to more than 200 hours of audio tapes Marlon Brando made during the course of his life, a personal archive of never-before-heard musings, acting studies, self-hypnosis and insights the enigmatic Oscar winner had hoped to turn into an autobiographical film before his death in 2004.
With the blessing of Brando’s estate and help from Searching For Sugar Man’s John Battsek (who produced alongside George Chignell and R.J. Cutler), Riley put Brando’s own intimate thoughts on Brando to film in Listen To Me Marlon, which premieres Saturday in competition at Sundance in the World Cinema Documentary program.
- Jen Yamato
Will “American Sniper’s” gargantuan box office make it a surprise favorite at the Oscars? The Clint Eastwood drama about Navy Seal Chris Kyle is peaking just days before voters are about to receive their ballots on Feb. 6. Over the long weekend, the Warner Bros. release made an estimated $105.3 million — already more than any of the other best picture nominees.
The Academy is often stubbornly immune to popular sentiment; “Avatar,” after all, lost to “The Hurt Locker” in 2010. And for that reason, I still think “Boyhood” is going to win best picture. It’s the frontrunner that’s picked up nearly every precursor award, and “Sniper” missed out on a crucial directing nomination for Eastwood. Only four films in Academy history (including 2012’s “Argo”) won picture without a director nomination.
- Ramin Setoodeh
The American Film Institute is probably best known for those lists of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time (y'know... if it's an American production in some way). Well, every year they hold their own awards, because every group of people has to have awards. They recognize the ten best films (for this year, it's eleven due to a tie) and the ten best television programs of the year. There are not winners in these categories, but each one gets celebrated. On that front, I kind of like the AFI approach to awards. Along with the awards, AFI has put together this four and a half minute montage chronicling the last 120 years of film. Now, it would be ridiculous to cover every single year. Instead, they start with 1894's Strong Man and jump every ten years, showcasing films like Rear Window, The Godfather: Part II, Pulp Fiction, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind »
- Mike Shutt
4 items from 2015
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