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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw (Fourth Estate) is a brilliant, sprawling, layered and unsentimental portrayal of contemporary China. It made me think and laugh. I also love Dave Eggers' The Circle (Hamish Hamilton), which is a sharp-eyed and funny satire about the obsession with "sharing" our lives through technology. It's convincing and a little creepy.
By strange coincidence two of the most intriguing art books I read this year had the word "Breakfast" in their titles. They were Breakfast with Lucian by Geordie Greig (Jonathan Cape) and Breakfast at Sotheby's by Philip Hook (Particular). Greig's fascinating, intimate biography of Lucian Freud was a revelation. Every question I had about Freud – from the aesthetic to the intrusively gossipy – was »
- Hilary Mantel, Jonathan Franzen, Mohsin Hamid, Tom Stoppard, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, William Boyd, Bill Bryson, Shami Chakrabarti, Sarah Churchwell, Antonia Fraser, Mark Haddon, Robert Harris, Max Hastings, Philip Hensher, Simon Hoggart, AM Homes, John Lanchester, Mark Lawson, Robert Macfarlane, Andrew Motion, Ian Rankin, Lionel Shriver, Helen Simpson, Colm Tóibín, Richard Ford, John Gray, David Kynaston, Penelope Lively, Pankaj Mishra, Blake Morrison, Susie Orbach
Written and directed by John Carpenter
With his filmmaking career beginning in the midst of the new Hollywood and its touchstones in American film history, it’s perhaps easy to see why the work of John Carpenter has been somewhat overshadowed by more celebrated filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, or Francis Ford Coppola. He found a niche in the horror genre with the landmark Halloween, and he proceeded to make one idiosyncratic, wholly original, and generally skillful film after another. Some were rather uneven, particularly in recent years, but for every Memoirs of an Invisible Man, there has been The Fog, Escape from New York, The Thing, or They Live. Carpenter’s list of credits boasts some exceptional work — inventive, daring, visually, and technically creative — but amongst these titles, one film stands out as a favorite of many cinephiles in general and Carpenter fans in particular. »
- Jeremy Carr
David Thomson's book of his favourite film moments is highly subjective and full of wit and insight
Born in London in 1941, resident in America since the early 1970s, David Thomson has been one of the liveliest, most literate, productive, provocative and daring movie critics for more than 40 years, his books ranging from a definitive biography of David O Selznick to an intrusively speculative monograph on Nicole Kidman. He has studied whole careers, single films and now he's down to choosing single key moments.
This would have pleased the gloriously named John Bickerson "Binx" Bolling, narrator of The Moviegoer, Walker Percy's philosophical novel that won the 1962 Us National Book award. Binx is a laid-back Louisiana stockbroker from old New Orleans money, and is, he says, "quite happy in a movie, even a bad movie". In fact, movies are more memorable to him than so-called real life. "Other people," he observes, »
- Philip French
It's the most all-American of film genres, filled with he-men and black hats. But the western has given us some great movies: the Guardian and Observer's critics pick the 10 best
• Top 10 crime movies
• Top 10 arthouse movies
• Top 10 family movies
• Top 10 war movies
• Top 10 teen movies
• Top 10 superhero movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
10. Rancho Notorious
Like Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang moved effortlessly between genres; his "western period" scattered throughout his "urban crime" and "film noir" periods. Even now, 60 years on, Rancho Notorious remains one of the strangest westerns ever made, furthering Lang's fascination (obsession?) with retribution, which arguably started with the 1936 lynch-mob drama Fury, his first film as a German émigré in the Us.
Perversely, although the protagonist is the wronged Vern (Arthur Kennedy), whose fiancee has been raped and killed by bandits unknown, Lang's film - which, as we are constantly reminded by its theme song, tells a tale of "hate, »
(Howard Hawks, 1948; Eureka!, U)
The first of Howard Hawks's five westerns, Red River is the epic story of a post-civil war cattle drive up the Chisholm trail. It's alandmark filmthat brought a new psychological complexity to the genre and gave John Wayne the first truly challenging role of his career. Anticipating his unsympathetic Ethan Edwards in The Searchers, Wayne plays Tom Dunson, a middle-aged Texas land baron acting with equal ruthlessness whether dealing with his Mexican neighbours in Texas or the hired hands he employs on the hazardous journey to a railhead up north.
The film introduced to the screen Montgomery Clift, one of the greatest American actors of his time, as Matt Garth, Dunson's quiet, gentlemanly adopted son. He revolts against his increasingly brutal father halfway through the journey and takes the herd on a different, less dangerous route. The film is a transposition to the American west of Mutiny on the Bounty, »
- Philip French
When you interview Danny Trejo, it’s almost impossible to stay on the topic of just one film because of the actor’s constant drive and always growing filmography. If we’re to believe IMDb.com, Danny is currently slated to appear in 21 movies between 2013-2014, and that’s only what we know of. While talking to Danny, he mentioned at least one more film that wasn’t listed, so who knows how many times we’ll be seeing Mr. Trejo in the coming years. Most recently you can catch him in Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming sequel Machete Kills, but I was there to talk about another project Danny is particularly excited about, and that’s the revenge Western Dead In Tombstone.
There’s an aura of badassery that Danny has become known for, playing rough-and-tumble characters like Machete, and he’s become somewhat of an action mainstay, but his »
- Matt Donato
With "Breaking Bad" over, many are still talking about that finale and the decisions made about the fates of the characters.
Show runner Vince Gilligan recently spoke with EW and revealed that various different versions of that last 10-15 minutes were considered. Some more intense, some more dramatic, but ultimately they went for a different approach:
"We didn't feel an absolute need for Walt to expire at the end of the show. Our gut told us it was right. As the writers and I worked through all these different possibilities, it felt right, but I don’t think it was a necessity for us.
There was a version we kicked around where Walt is the only one who survives, and he’s standing among the wreckage and his whole family is destroyed. That would be a very powerful ending but very much a kick-in-the-teeth kind of ending for the viewers. »
- Garth Franklin
Yann Gonzalez’s debut feature You and the Night was named Best Film at the 19th Athens International Film Festival (Aiff) which ran September 19-29.
It was chosen by a jury made up of film school students, aged 18-25.
The Best Director Award went to second timer American Sam Fleischner for Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors, a coming of age story about a 13 years-old autistic boy, son of an illegal Mexican immigrant mother in New York.
French debutant Antonin Peretjako picked up the Best Screenplay award for The Rendez-vous of Deja-Vu, about the adventures of a group of young Parisians »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Alexis Grivas)
We are at the end of an era. The very last episode of Breaking Bad played to the heartstrings of millions of fans Sunday night and gave many of true sense of satisfaction. Often times, the best TV series don’t run long enough before being cancelled and ones that do run past three seasons start to stink like a rotting corpse on Walking Dead. Whether you were a fan of Dexter, Seinfeld, Lost or The Sopranos, disappointment gets even the best of them–but not Breaking Bad. There was no ambiguity, no room for interpretation, no loose dangling threads twisting in the wind.
Thankfully creator Vince Gilligan, cast and crew gave us a worthwhile and memorable finale, proper closure to accompany all the mental scarring along the way. Regardless if you were in Team Walt, Team Jesse, Team Hank, or Team Gus, there was no way one could refuse »
- Ernie Estrella
Over 10 million people watched Breaking Bad close up shop last night for good, almost nine million more than when the show first debuted. Of course with any series finale of a popular television show, now comes all the conversations (both good and bad), conspiracy theories (it was all in Walt's head!) and lots of figuring out how to find an equally-as-fulfilling replacement for one of the greatest television shows of our time. Today many are pouring over the final episode, titled "Felina," and searching for additional meanings, hidden plot points and, most importantly, closure. In making the postfinale rounds, series creator Vince Gilligan admits they kind of borrowed the ending of John Ford's The Searchers when it came time to write a suitable ending for Walt...
- Erik Davis
The showrunner reveals some of the secrets behind the last ever instalment of the meth drama, plus his thoughts on that ending
Spoiler Alert: This blogpost is about the final episode of Breaking Bad (series five, episode 16). If you want to avoid spoilers, don't read on.
Each week, the fan show Talking Bad discusses details of the preceding episode of Breaking Bad with cast, crew and celebrity fans. Naturally, for the last ever instalment, Vince Gilligan was the star guest, offering up insights and revelations about the series finale. Here are some choice anecdotes …
On tying up loose ends
We went through a lot of false starts and endings that went nowhere, but we knew we needed to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts ... In some cases unanswered questions are good, but in this case, in a finite and closed-ended show, we needed resolution. The Sopranos ending I thought was great, »
[Spoiler Alert: Stop reading if you have not watched the finale of Breaking Bad, titled "Felina." This story contains discussion of major plot points.]
You’ve now had a few minutes to gather your breath, wipe away the tears and start to process that brutal and poignant series finale of Breaking Bad. Whether your predictions were on the money barrel or off-base, you will most certainly want to read what series creator Vince Gilligan had to say about this satiating last-ever episode, which saw the fall of meth kingpin Walter White (Bryan Cranston). “Ours is nothing if not a definitive ending to the series,” says the show’s mastermind, who also wrote and directed the episode. It’s a heady challenge to wrap up »
- Dan Snierson
September has been an incredibly busy month for the Twitch collective, with many of our writers travelling the Earth seeking out cinematic delights in as far-reaching corners as Venice, Toronto and Austin. As a result, this month's Full Disclosure is a little light on the ground, but that is no reason not to savour the responses of our most dedicated as they encounter some classics of world cinema for the very first time. This month is incredibly Western-heavy, with John Ford's The Searchers, Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch and Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate also coming under careful scrutiny, as well as offerings from Steven Spielberg and Francois Truffaut and much more besides. Enjoy!...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
‘Shane’: Alan Ladd stars in classic Western to be screened at the Academy The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a 60th anniversary screening of George Stevens’ classic Western Shane, starring Alan Ladd as a lone and mysterious gunslinger, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 7, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Besides Ladd, Shane, a 1953 Paramount release, also stars Jean Arthur in her last movie role, in addition to Van Heflin, Brandon De Wilde, and Jack Palance. (Photo: Alan Ladd in Shane.) "A gun is a tool, Marian, no better or no worse than any other tool, an axe, a shovel or anything," Alan Ladd’s Shane tells Jean Arthur’s homesteader wife and mother. "A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that." That may sound like your usual National Rifle Association bullshit, but in the »
- Andre Soares
Renowned film critic Yannis Bakogiannopoulos has chosen six masterpieces to screen in Carte Blanche section of the festival.
The films run the entire gamut of world cinema and are timeless and cross cultural: Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali, John Ford’s The Searchers, Bernardo Bertolucci The Spider’s Stratagem, Krzysztof Zanussi The Illumination, Alain Resnais’ Night and Fog and Clair Denis’ Beau Travail.
In his directorial debut Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray “merges Neorealism with his own brand of poignant realism. His perspective may resemble non-fiction, but the director refuses to abide by western narrative structures – he would much rather observe events, capture the atmosphere and assimilate experiences in a quiet, natural succession. With an open-ended format that combines heavy drama with light-hearted moments and »
Tommy Lee Jones makes a Western?! Will wonders never cease? That’s right, the veteran film star and all-around badass gentleman of the plains Tommy Lee Jones has decided to step behind the camera once again for a remake of John Wayne’s late-career Western The Cowboys.
Word has it that Jones plans to direct and write the remake of the 1972 film about a veteran rancher who recruits some schoolboys for a cattle drive after his original men leave him to search for gold. The original film starred The Duke in the lead role, with veteran performers like Roscoe Lee Brown, and newbies like Bruce Dern and a young Robert Carradine in secondary parts. The Cowboys was actually a sort of action-comedy, taking the whole premise with a little grain of salt, so please don’t go looking for The Searchers in this one.
Jones is no stranger to directing, »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
You'd think the beginning of this Hell on Wheels episode was really just a Western version of the Maury Povich show with Declan Toole and Elam Ferguson claiming their familial ties to the baby, all while the crowds of workers shout around them and Cullen Bohannon attempted to keep order. It was an out of control madhouse.
Of course, the posturing of both sides was settled by the ever annoying Thomas Durant, offering up a reward for the missing child. Suspicious? This is Durant we're talking about.
But, oh wait, doesn't the town need to move before the bad weather sets in? Pretty sure the baby needs to be saved first before anything happens.
And thus, "Searchers" spent a majority of its time on finding the kidnapped kid, illustrating just how far Ferguson was willing to go and the possible wrong path Sean McGinnes might be headed down.
That last »
- email@example.com (Sean McKenna)
Brian De Palma is one of those filmmakers who you can comfortably describe as a living legend without feeling like a complete ass. The controversial director behind such immortal classics as "Blow Out," "Body Double," and "Carlito's Way," has been challenging Hollywood norms when it comes to sexuality and on-screen violence for decades. He's one of those filmmakers that feels both hugely influential (every modern rapper is indebted to his "Scarface" remake) and largely marginalized (often as a two-bit Hitchcock imitator). But then again, a director wholly nestled in the feathery nest of Hollywood wouldn't be able to produce the fearless, often confrontational works he's known for.
His latest, the psychosexual thriller, "Passion" (based on recent French movie "Love Crime"), opens this weekend (it's currently on demand). It stars Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams as colleagues at an influential European advertising firm. Since this is a Brian De Palma movie, »
- Drew Taylor
Natalie Wood: Hot Hollywood star in the ’60s - TCM schedule on August 18, 2013 See previous post: “Natalie Wood Movies: From loving Warren Beatty to stripping like Gypsy Rose Lee.” 3:00 Am The Star (1952). Director: Stuart Heisler. Cast: Bette Davis, Sterling Hayden, Natalie Wood, Warner Anderson, Minor Watson, June Travis, Paul Frees, Robert Warrick, Barbara Lawrence, Fay Baker, Herb Vigran, Marie Blake, Sam Harris, Marcia Mae Jones. Bw-90 mins. 4:30 Am A Cry In The Night (1956). Director: Frank Tuttle. Cast: Edmond O’Brien, Brian Donlevy, Natalie Wood. Bw-75 mins. 6:00 Am West Side Story (1961). Director: Robert Wise. Cast: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Simon Oakland, Ned Glass, William Bramley, Tucker Smith, Tony Mordente, David Winters, Eliot Feld, John Bert Michaels, David Bean, Robert Banas, Anthony ‘Scooter’ Teague, Harvey Evans aka Harvey Hohnecker, Tommy Abbott, Susan Oakes, Gina Trikonis, Carole D’Andrea, Jose De Vega, Jay Norman, »
- Andre Soares
Wallace Beery movies: TCM offers a glimpse into Beery’s extensive filmography (photo: Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery in ‘Min and Bill’) According to the IMDb, the Wallace Beery Filmography features nearly 240 movie titles, including shorts and features, spanning more than three decades, from 1913 to 1949 — the year of his death at age 64. You’ll be able to catch about a dozen of these Wallace Beery movies on Saturday, August 17, 2013, as Turner Classic Movies continues with its "Summer Under the Stars" series. (See “TCM movie schedule: Wallace Beery from Pancho Villa to Long John Silver.”) Wallace Beery, much like fellow veteran Marie Dressler, with whom he co-starred in Min and Bill and its sequel, Tugboat Annie, was a Hollywood anomaly. At age 45, the ugly, coarse-looking actor became a top box-office draw in the United States after languishing in supporting roles, usually playing villains, throughout most of the silent era. Beery and Dressler, »
- Andre Soares
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