18 items from 2015
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Premiere: Lupita Nyong'o. 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' premiere in Hollywood: A few images The most anticipated event since Nostradamus prophesied World War I, World War II, Climate Change Calamity, and Reality TV, Star Wars: The Force Awakens – brought to you not by George Lucas, but by Walt Disney (not the man, but the marketing & merchandising team) – is having its Milky Way premiere this evening right in the heart of Hollywood. If only the Paris Climate Talks had received this much media scrutiny and at least half – one tenth? – as much interest from the stormtrooping masses. So, tell us, how many pounds did Carrie Fisher really have to lose to fit into Princess Leia's costumes? 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Premiere: Mark Hamill. Boycott? What boycott? Shocking, but it seems like Star Wars: The Force Awakens will actually manage to »
- M.T. Philipe
Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Hard to Be a God is playing on Mubi in the Us through January 2.Hard to Be a GodRussian director Aleksei German spent the final 15 years of his life working on Hard To Be A God (2013), a brutal medieval epic adapted from a 1964 novel of the same name by Arkady and Boris Strutgatsky, dying just before he could complete the job in February 2013. Happily, his son and widow were able to oversee the final sound mix. The result is one of the most immersive and harrowing cinematic experiences going, three hours of being put to the sword and mired in the mud, blood and viscera of a nightmare alternate reality.Although German's characters are dressed in the clanking armour, chainmail and robes of the European Middle Ages, Hard To Be A God is in fact set on a distant planet, »
- Joe Sommerlad
"Max von Sydow first entered the consciousness of moviegoers as the medieval knight playing chess with Death in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957). For a significant portion of his six decades onscreen, he has been the greatest actor alive." A salute from Terrence Rafferty in the Atlantic. Also in today's roundup: Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin on David Lynch's Lost Highway, Luke McKernan on Auguste Lumière and Louis Lumière, David Kalat on Claude Chabrol, Tony Rayns on Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Eric Hynes on Laurent Bécue-Renard’s Of Men and War, a profile of Donald Sutherland, revisiting David Lean’s Brief Encounter and Doctor Zhivago—and more. » - David Hudson »
Born in St. Louis on May 27, 1911, iconic actor Vincent Price retained a special fondness for his place of origin, and that love was reciprocated with Vincentennial, a celebration of his 100th birthday in his hometown back in May of 2011 (for summary of all the Vincentennial activities go Here). One of the guests of honor at Vincentennial was Vincent Price’s daughter Victoria Price. Because of their close relationship and her access to his unpublished memoirs and letters, Victoria Price was able to provide a remarkably vivid account of her father’s public and private life in her essential book, Vincent Price, a Daughter’s Biography, originally published in 1999. .In 2011, her biography of her father was out of print. but now it’s been re-issued and Victoria will be in St. Louis this weekend (October 9th – 10th) for three special events. In addition to the biography, she will also be signing »
- Tom Stockman
William Becker, who with a partner acquired Janus Films in 1965, expanded its catalog of arthouse and Hollywood classics and broadened the distribution of that catalog to audiences at universities and to movie fans via DVD, died Saturday from complications of kidney failure in Southampton, N.Y. He was 88.
Becker was a theater critic, a culturally oriented financier and close associate of writers and directors whose passion for the art of film motivated him at least as much as a desire to make money.
Janus, which had been founded in the 1950s by a pair of Harvard alumni, exposed American moviegoers to the then mostly unfamiliar work of groundbreaking directors such as Italians Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni; Ingmar Bergman; Frenchmen François Truffaut and Robert Bresson; Luis Buñuel; and Japanese masters Akira Kurosawa, Yasujiro Ozu and Kenji Mizoguchi.
After acquiring the company, Becker and his partner Saul J. Turell secured the »
- Variety Staff
One of art cinema’s great champions, William Becker, died on Saturday after complication from kidney failure. He was 88.
Starting out his career as a theater critic, Becker purchased legendary art cinema label and Criterion Collection backer Janus Films in 1965, in turn helping it evolve into the brand that it has become today. Overseeing expansion into realms like university education and eventually home video, Becker was a man with an affinity for intellectual discussion of cinema (he himself was a Rhodes scholar) and also an early adopter of the auteur theory, focusing on legendary filmmakers ranging from Luis Bunuel to Yasujiro Ozu.
He purchased the company with Saul J. Turell, going on to nab rights to films like Citizen Kane and King Kong, putting them alongside legendary art house films and pieces of world cinema, like Renoir’s Grand Illusion. This itself will be his lasting legacy.
I’m not normally one to write obituaries, »
- Joshua Brunsting
'Straight Outta Compton' poster. Weekend box office: 'Straight Outta Compton' to beat weak competitors, but still far from being top blockbuster directed by black filmmaker If you thought last weekend was bad at the U.S. and Canada box office, you should see what's in store for this weekend, Aug. 28-30, '15. For starters, only one movie, F. Gary Gray's sleeper hit Straight Outta Compton, is expected to earn more than $10 million. The rest – and that includes Zac Efron, Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan, and the Power of (Christian) Prayer – will perform quite powerlessly indeed. In case Straight Outta Compton reaches the box office gurus' estimated $15 million, it will get close to the $140 million mark. Bear in mind there's no guarantee that will happen; despite basically no competition, the drop-off rate of Gray's hip hopping film was steeper than expected last weekend. (See updated weekend box office estimates.) Now, some »
- Zac Gille
Read More: Here Are Terry Gilliam's 10 Best Reddit Ama Moments At last, it has been brought forth unto our collective eyeballs! An epic quest finally reaches its end, as we have found what surely must be the finest trailer to be stitched together by the fingers of man. Or perhaps it’s just a fairly exciting story. With some low budget adventure. Compared to something like Bergman’s "The Seventh Seal," it’s all rather silly. In any case, if you’re an intellectual midget and you like giggling, behold! When was the last time you saw a trailer in which the funniest parts weren’t actually part of the movie? Never, and when we’re talking about a film as full of classic one-liners as "Monty Python and The Holy Grail," that’s an even more impressive distinction. John, Eric, Graham, Terry, Terry and Michael are the uncontested kings of self-aware comedy, »
- Jon Fusco
"He's a brilliant comedian," Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter. "He's actually a very nice guy, and I saw him with his kids on the street. He's a good father. He has a bitter view of the world and you see it embodied in how he's reacting to Fox News, equating it with death."
Ailes was referring to a recent Daily Show segment where Stewart, »
The "Game of Thrones" news continues to break. Shortly after learning Ian McShane is joining the sixth season in an, as-of-yet, unspecified role, we now know a two-time Oscar nominee is stepping in to fill a pivotal role in season six of the series. Max von Sydow, most famous for his roles in his films with Ingmar Bergman -- The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries and The Virgin Spring to name a few -- as well as the title role in The Exorcist and soon to capture geek attention with his role in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, is reportedly already on set and filming scenes. Entertainment Weekly reports he won't have an abundance of screen time but his role will be important. This sounds an awful lot like what was reported about McShane's role but the major difference is we already know exactly who von Sydow is set to play. »
- Michael Hindle
Actor Max von Sydow has been cast in the upcoming sixth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Sydow will play the Three-Eyed Raven, the wizard-like character who appeared to Bran Stark in the final episode of Season 4 and was played by actor Struan Rodger. Sydow is best known for roles in “The Seventh Seal,” “The Exorcist” and “Flash Gordon,” and will appear in the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Also Read: 'Game of Thrones' Casts 'Deadwood's' Ian McShane for Season 6 Sydow’s addition to the cast comes two days after “Deadwood” star Ian McShane was recruited for a mystery role. »
- Daniel Holloway
After much media speculation over news that Jon Stewart met with Barack Obama twice during his presidency, The Daily Show host came clean Wednesday night with all the juicy details: "I was brought through the secret White House tunnel entrance at Mount Rushmore," the host cracked. "It was a round table meeting with the President, Elvis — still alive — Minister Farrakhan and the Area 51 alien."
Clearly relishing the ridiculousness of his momentary place in the 24-hour cable news cycle, Stewart downplayed his visits with Obama, noting first and foremost, they weren't actually secret. »
What does it take to get to know someone? Like truly, to know someone. Greg (Thomas Mann) drifts through his high-school days by casually interacting with all of the social circles. He’s perfectly content with his surface level “friendships” he has with the jocks, the techno-geeks, the white-guy hip-hop kid – never taking the time to go too far out of his way to get to know any of them and always hiding his own life in the process. Even Earl (R.J. Cyler) is never described as a friend by Greg, instead he’s called a co-worker due to the film spoofs they make together. All of this changes though when Greg’s mom (Connie Britton) forces him to go visit the girl from school that was diagnosed with cancer. What soon develops though between Greg and the dying Rachel (Olivia Cook) calls into question Greg’s impersonal way of getting through life. »
- Michael Haffner
'Fanny and Alexander' movie: Ingmar Bergman classic with Bertil Guve as Alexander Ekdahl 'Fanny and Alexander' movie review: Last Ingmar Bergman 'filmic film' Why Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander / Fanny och Alexander bears its appellation is a mystery – one of many in the director's final 'filmic film' – since the first titular character, Fanny (Pernilla Allwin) is at best a third- or fourth-level supporting character. In fact, in the three-hour theatrical version she is not even mentioned by name for nearly an hour into the film. Fanny and Alexander should have been called "Alexander and Fanny," or simply "Alexander," since it most closely follows two years – from 1907 to 1909 – in the life of young, handsome, brown-haired Alexander Ekdahl (Bertil Guve), the original "boy who sees dead people." Better yet, it should have been called "The Ekdahls," for that whole family is central to the film, especially Fanny and Alexander's beautiful blonde mother Emilie, »
- Dan Schneider
The festival program unveiled today includes 33 world premieres (including 22 shorts) and 135 Australian premieres (with 18 shorts) among 251 titles from 68 countries.
Among the other premieres will be Daina Reid.s The Secret River, Ruby Entertainment's. ABC-tv miniseries starring Oliver Jackson Cohen and Sarah Snook, and three Oz docs, Marc Eberle.s The Cambodian Space Project — Not Easy Rock .n. Roll, Steve Thomas. Freedom Stories and Lisa Nicol.s Wide Open Sky.
Festival director Nashen Moodley boasted. this year.s event will be far larger than 2014's when 183 films from 47 countries were screened, including 15 world premieres. The expansion is possible in part due to the addition of two new screening venues in Newtown and Liverpool.
As previously announced, Brendan Cowell »
- Don Groves
Whenever I sit down to review an Ingmar Begman movie I tend to bounce over to IMDb just to see how many of his films I've seen. Obviously when you're talking about Bergman we all pretty much start with the well known classics (The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, etc.) and then slowly begin to explore his lesser known films. Well, having now finally seen Cries & Whispers, what very well may be the last of his well known classics I had left to see (except for "Scenes from a Marriage"), I feel there are only lesser known corners of his oeuvre for me to explore. However, with over 65 films credited to him as a director on IMDb it would seem I've still only scratched the surface as I've only 14 of his films under my belt. Criterion's new Blu-ray release of Cries and Whispers is an upgrade from their 2001 DVD release, arriving »
- Brad Brevet
A terminal cancer diagnosis proves more liberating than traumatic for the historied rock-guitarist subject of “The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson.” Julien Temple’s characteristically playful, pop-culture-savvy approach to the documentary form might seem ill suited to the subject of mortality, but veteran English axman Johnson’s unexpectedly buoyant response to very bad news makes for a film about saying goodbye that is itself void of grief, fear or regret. The engaging result should do well as a broadcast item, particularly wherever its protagonist has a substantial fan base.
That would likely preclude the U.S., where the band Johnson is primarily known for never got a commercial foothold. Indeed, he left the British R&B “pub rock” movement leader Dr. Feelgood after just six years in 1977, later fronting his own band, playing with Ian Dury and others — though little of that later history is recounted here. Instead, the focus is »
- Dennis Harvey
Editor's Note: RogerEbert.com is proud to reprint Roger Ebert's 1978 entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica publication "The Great Ideas Today," part of "The Great Books of the Western World." Reprinted with permission from The Great Ideas Today ©1978 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
It's a measure of how completely the Internet has transformed communication that I need to explain, for the benefit of some younger readers, what encyclopedias were: bound editions summing up all available knowledge, delivered to one's home in handsome bound editions. The "Great Books" series zeroed in on books about history, poetry, natural science, math and other fields of study; the "Great Ideas" series was meant to tie all the ideas together, and that was the mission given to Roger when he undertook this piece about film.
Given the venue he was writing for, it's probably wisest to look at Roger's long, wide-ranging piece as a snapshot of the »
- Roger Ebert
18 items from 2015
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