15 items from 2016
We can all pretty much stop now and agree that Charlie Brooker is a genius, right? Love him or not as a personality presenting the Wipe program on the BBC or his Guardian articles/books, but Black Mirror has within two painfully short seasons on Channel 4 become The Twilight Zone of its generation, with Brooker the Rod Serling heir apparent. The third season, bought up shrewdly by Netflix and marketed craftily as a ‘Netflix Original’ (sure guys, sure), has been hugely anticipated with more episodes, as much money as Brooker wanted, and a flotilla of well-known stars from both sides of the Atlantic queuing up to be part of his futuristic anthology shining a terrifying light on technology of tomorrow and how it can illuminate today. ‘Nosedive’, much like the previous episode ‘White Christmas’, taps into something relevant, powerful and enormously scary about modern social media. »
- Tony Black
Liam Hoofe ranks the Black Mirror episodes from worst to best…
On the rare occasion I bump into someone who claims that television shows are all the same I point them in the direction of Black Mirror. The Charlie Brooker penned anthology series is one of the most innovative and daring shows to have aired this decade, with comparisons to The Twilight Zone and the writing of George Orwell being just. To celebrate the third season arriving on Netflix, here is a look back at the seven episodes that have aired since the show’s debut back in 2011…
The Waldo Moment (Season 2, Episode 3)
It’s testament to the brilliance of Black Mirror that its weakest outing is still a thoroughly entertaining episode of TV. Brooker seems to take easier targets in the final episode of season two and the episode never really has the impact that some of the previous outings do. »
- Liam Hoofe
Louisa Mellor Oct 21, 2016
Prepare to be unsettled, Black Mirror is back. Here are spoiler-filled capsule reviews of the six new episodes available now on Netflix…
Warning: contains spoilers for Black Mirror series 3
Authenticity is the core theme of Black Mirror’s third series. The question of what is and isn’t an authentic experience comes up several times in the six new stories. With sci-fi takes on different genres—comedic satire, survival horror, romance, military action and detective mystery—and one episode with no future tech at all, Black Mirror plays with perspective and examines what distinguishes the real from the virtual, the impossibility of authentic relationships when social interaction has become an economy, and what might cause us to knowingly opt for inauthenticity over reality.
With spoilers, »
Next month, Netflix has a wide variety of films — modern to classic, animated to live action, Oscar winners to romantic comedies — and we’ve picked seven that you should watch once they’re made available on the streaming service. Enjoy.
1. “Under the Sun” (available November 11)
Directed by Vitaly Manski, the documentary follows a year in the life of a family in Pyongyang, North Korea as their eight-year-old daughter, Zin-mi, prepares to join the Korean Children’s Union on the Day of the Shining Star.
2. “The Ivory Game” (available November 14)
Directed by Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, the documentary sheds a light on the seedy underbelly of elephant poaching in Africa and black market ivory trading in China.
3. “Just Friends” (available November 14)
On a lighter note, who »
- Liz Calvario
Louisa Mellor Oct 19, 2016
Six years ago this month, Charlie Brooker took leave of his weekly TV column at The Guardian with a blistering final entry that was half mea culpa, half montage of his best bits. In it, he explained that after a decade, the fun had seeped out of writing cruel but honkingly funny caricatures of small screen personalities. It no longer felt okay to earn a living by describing David Dickinson as an “ageing Thundercat” or Anne Widdecombe as having “a face like a haunted cave in Poland”.
Brooker’s growing TV writing and presenting career had turned him from poacher to gamekeeper. You couldn’t sustain that act while mixing in showbiz circles, »
“Holiday Inn: The New Irving Berlin Musical,” an adaptation of the beloved 1942 film in which Bing Crosby introduced “White Christmas,” opened on the rialto recently. This tuner features that Oscar-winning song as well as others from the film as well as Berlin’s extensive catalogue of classics. Recent Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and […] »
- David Buchanan
For five years, Charlie Brooker has been playing out his fears and fantasies about the fraught interactions between technology, society, and the security state with his infrequent anthology series “Black Mirror.” From the get-go, what’s been intriguing about the show is how high-concept its elaborately cyberpunk horror stories are. The actors are frequently well-known film stars, such as Jon Hamm, Hayley Atwell, Domhnall Gleeson, and Jessica Findlay-Brown. And despite running just about an hour in length, each episode has found a way to establish a world, with its own rules and proprietary technologies, before finding a way to ruthlessly cut to the core of its contradictions.
For example, in “National Anthem,” the first episode of the show’s first season, in 2011, the prime minister (Rory Kinnear) is forced — through a combination of media exposure, celebrity hostage, and security concerns — to have sex with a pig on live television. It’s just a 48-minute episode, and »
- Sonia Saraiya
★★★☆☆ On the colour wheel, Craig Anderson's Red Christmas is more Bob Clark's Black Christmas than Michael Curtiz's White Christmas. While it's tempting to bring them together as a Yuletide triptych, a 'Three Colours Christmas' triple-bill (Krzysztof Kieślowski missed a trick with that one), Anderson's comic slasher doesn't quite earn its wings as a potential future classic, nevertheless it's very funny and another welcome indicator that antipodean genre cinema is where it's at right now.
One decade ago today, we first learned the story of American hero Ricky Bobby. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby opened in theaters 10 years ago today. Audiences came out in droves that weekend for the comedy starring Will Ferrell as a winning-obsessed Nascar driver. Behind The Lego Movie, Talladega Nights remains Ferrell’s second largest movie opening. The movie reunited Ferrell with his Anchorman director Adam McKay. The two of them, along with John C. Reilly (who plays Ricky Bobby’s teammate Cal Naughton Jr. in Talladega Nights) would soon team up again for Step Brothers. Other notable August 4 happenings in pop culture history: • 1942: Bing Crosby-Fred Astaire film Holiday Inn premiered in New York. Crosby song “White Christmas” is featured in the movie musical. • 1957: The Everly Brothers made their second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. They introduced their upcoming single, “Wake Up Little Susie »
- Emily Rome
Gordon Ramsay is, like escargots à la bourguignonne, a bit of an acquired taste. His bounciness, which he clearly thinks is infectious, is merely exhausting; his liberal use of the F-word tiresome; the rather tired recipe (in the management rather than the culinary sense) he produces for rescuing an ailing hotel business as limp as the salads the establishment is producing before he pitches up.
The ailing – indeed failing – establishment featured in the first episode of the new series of (Channel 4) is the Angler’s Lodge in Idaho. The setting, beside a river, looks gorgeous. Even the “Be Bear Aware” sign would not put me off. Ramsay is there in winter, and it looks like that lodge in Vermont run by the old general »
- Stephen Moss
By Todd Garbarini
The Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre in Los Angeles will be presenting a 55th anniversary screening of Robert Wise’s Oscar-winning 1961 musical West Side Story. The 152-minute film will be screened on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 7:30 pm. Starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn and Rita Moreno, the screening is scheduled to precede appearances by George Chakiris who played Bernardo and Russ Tamblyn who played Riff.
From the press release:
Part of our Anniversary Classics series. For details, visit: laemmle.com/ac.
West Side Story (1961)
55th Anniversary Screening
One of the most honored and commercially successful of all movie musicals, West Side Story earned a near-record 10 Academy Awards in 1961.The film version of the groundbreaking stage musical that re-imagined Romeo and Juliet in contemporary New York City retained and deepened the play’s emotional impact by bringing together a show business all-star team. The show’s director and choreographer, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
For the second year in a row (and the first time they’ve ever handed out back-to-back awards), the Directors Guild of America has honoured Alejandro G. Inarritu with the top prize at the Directors Guild of America Awards, with Inarittu collecting Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for The Revenant.
Inarritu won the DGA Award last year for Birdman, and went on to collect the Best Director award at the Oscars. Should he repeat the feat this year with The Revenant, he’d become only the third director in history to win back-to-back Best Director Academy Awards after John Ford and Joseph Mankiewicz.
And, should The Revenant also win Best Picture, it would be the first time a director has ever won back-to-back Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture.
Here’s the full list of winners from last night:
- Gary Collinson
After announcing the nominees for best film direction yesterday, the Directors Guild of America revealed the slate for TV direction in dramas and comedies today.
"Game of Thrones" seeks to add to its trophy haul for David Nutter's direction of the season 5 finale, "Mother's Mercy," which won an Emmy last September. But HBO's epic fantasy series will be challenged by the series finale of "Mad Men," directed by creator Matthew Weiner.
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series
Downton Abbey, "Episode 8" (PBS)
Homeland, "The Tradition of Hospitality" (Showtime)
Game of Thrones, "Mother's Mercy" (HBO)
The Knick, "Williams and Walker" (Cinemax)
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series
- Kelly Woo
- Dave McNary
New York actors: We’ve got four casting opportunities for you today! Whether you’re looking to stay in the city for commercial and film work or you want to take a trip down south to spend a few weeks in Roanoke, Va., we’ve got exciting gigs for city boys and girls alike. Social Commercial For Internatinal Makeup BRANDFilming in Lower Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, this chic ‘n’ stylish “girls night out” themed makeup campaign is casting young model types for a January 2016 shoot. More specifically, producer Jos D of Code and Theory needs an “It Girl” aged 18–25. This job pays $200 and is casting through next week. Mill Mountain Theatre 2016 SEASONMill Mountain Theatre, a company based in Roanoke, Va., is coming to New York City Feb. 8 to cast its 2016 season, which includes productions of “The Music of Motown” kicking things off in March, “The Music of Abba,” “The Odd Couple, »
15 items from 2016
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