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Ben Mankiewicz is a man of many talents -- weekend host on TCM (Turner Classic Movies), regular co-host of liberal YouTube show “The Young Turks” and its spin-offs “What The Flick?! Show” and “Tyt Sports,” and he played a sportscaster on “Party Down.” And while it may seem like Mankiewicz plays to a particularly older audience, as a TCM host, Mankiewicz has an expanding flock of classic film fans and they’re not all blue-hairs -- just check out the twitter hashtag #TCMParty. And by the way, yes, Ben is one of those Mankiewiczes, sharing a Hollywood lineage that includes Frank Mankiewicz, Tom Mankiewicz, Herman Mankiewicz, and Joseph L. Mankiewicz. But he's definitely carved out a notable career in the industry all on his own, and at the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival we got to sit down with Ben Mankiewicz and discuss working at TCM, why he doesn’t like “Some Like It Hot, »
- Diana Drumm
Katherine Kelly Lang came by her acting career naturally. Now a first-time Daytime Emmy nominee as Brooke Logan -- her role since CBS' weekday serial "The Bold and the Beautiful" premiered in 1987 -- she has an actress mother, Judith Lang ("Count Yorga, Vampire").
And her grandfather shot some of Hollywood's most classic movies: Charles Lang was an Oscar-winning cinematographer whose credits included "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," the original "Sabrina," "Some Like it Hot," "The Magnificent Seven" and "Charade."
"He was an amazing man," the soap star tells Zap2it. "He had a great life ... I mean, 18 Academy Award nominations? He was the best of the best at that time, but I think I appreciated him more when I was older and probably not at a younger age. I grew up around that business, so it was natural for me."
Lang parlayed her early familiarity with showbiz into her professional debut, »
The Great Gatsby might be one of the season’s most anticipated Hollywood movies, but F. Scott Fitzgerald’s infamous sojourn to Hollywood was a cruel tragedy that humbled one of the century’s great pens. As Some Like it Hot Director Billy Wilder once said, describing the frustration and futility that Fitzgerald encountered in California, “He made me think of a great sculptor who was hired to do a plumbing job. He did not know how to connect the f—ing pipes.”
Entertainment Weekly has a feature in its current issue, “The True Hollywood Story of F. Scott Fitzgerald” by Clark Collis, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Terence Stamp | Southend Film Festival | Sci-Fi London | Rooftop Film Club
Terence Stamp, London
His beauty is often admired before his acting skills, but while the former has faded somewhat the latter survives, at least when Stamp isn't topping up the retirement fund with another offhand baddie role. Those dodgier movies have thankfully been omitted from this selective retrospective (don't worry, Superman II is still in there). He lit up the screen, and the 1960s, with early films such as Billy Budd, The Collector, Far From The Madding Crowd, Poor Cow and Theorem, then took an extended break in an Indian ashram. Since his return to the day job, he's reminded us what he can do, in The Hit, The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, even last year's Song For Marion. He's a terrific writer and talker, too, which should make his on-stage interview (8 May) a hot ticket.
BFI Southbank, »
- Steve Rose
We're getting to know the Film Experience community one-by-one. This is going to take us forever! (That's a good thing. Thank you so much for being part of such a big vibrant fanbase.) Today we're talking to Patrick who lives in Germany and writes for DieAcademy.de, a German site devoted to our favorite awards show.
Hi, Patrick. How long have you been reading The Film Experience?
Maybe 6 years? I like this site so much since it's always interesting topics and wonderful to read.
I know you're really into the Oscars but how about the Lolas, Germany's own movie awards. Which German stars do you recommend our international readers get to know?
The Lolas are not as big of a deal as they should be, but I love some German actors who are still too unknown abroad but doing great work all the time, like: Sibel Kikelli (two time Lola »
- NATHANIEL R
Today, the Film Distributors’ Association (Fda) have announced the results of an interesting and quite substantial poll to determine UK cinema audiences’ favourite movie icons of all time…and there might be one or two surprises in who comes to mind for true big screen icons.
The top twenty spans seven decades of the cinema, from the 1940s to the 2000s. It embraces a ‘who’s who’ of stylish screen heroes – and some villains – who have made an indelible impression on audiences’ hearts and minds in successive generations to earn their places in cinematic folklore.
The survey was conducted online for Fda by ShowFilmFirst in two stages – firstly to seek a long list of public nominations of characters who had come to personify essential qualities of the cinema itself; and then a vote for the top twenty. More than 2,000 people aged 15 and over contributed nominations, while more than 7,000 participated in »
- Dan Bullock
Time Out has put its heart on its sleeve and shouted its Brief Encounter infatuation from the rooftops. Will you join them in their lovebombing of the 68-year-old classic? Or have your tastes in romantic movies moved on?
Sam played it again, now it's our turn to plug in the turntable and petition you once more for your top romance films of all time. The peg? Time Out's 100 Most Romantic Films of all Time poll, which has been announced today, and which names Brief Encounter as the title most likely to get your heart a-flutter.
But by our reckoning, the Time Out folk are cruising for a bruising; when we came to the same conclusion three years ago, the readers felt we'd done them wrong, and suggested Casablanca was Mr Right when it came to romantic movies.
Do you feel the same? Has your taste for gin joints endured over the past three years? »
Directed by Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder’s films are perfection. From Double Indemnity to Some Like It Hot, Wilder never made a bad film. And while his earlier films are some of my absolute favorites, I had always skipped over The Lost Weekend. Put it down to my skepticism of casting handsome romantic leading man Ray Milland in such a grim role and the sheer weight of the subject matter.
Milland is Don Birnam, a struggling writer who hasn’t written anything since first coming to New York and having magazines immediately reject his work. He tries to write but never seems to be able to finish his stories. Instead, he spends his time and money finishing bottles of liquor. For the past six years, Birnam has battled his writer’s block with alcohol. An inexplicably patient and loyal girlfriend, »
- Katherine Springer
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 363 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies, the Up docs and Decalogue) and of those 363, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 362 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies and Decalogue) and of those 362, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
April 7 (Reuters) - Set phasers to sell - and sell big.
Captain Kirk's "Star Trek" phaser gun from the second pilot of the wildly popular 1960s television series sold for a hefty $231,000 on Saturday in Los Angeles, Julien's Auctions said.
The phaser, created at the request of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry for use by William Shatner, who played Kirk in the beloved sci-fi show, had been estimated to sell for about $50,000, but achieved more than four times that including commission.
Other extraterrestrial highlights at the two-day Hollywood Legends sale of hundreds of costumes, memorabilia, props and other items included the "alien survey buggy" seen aboard the Nostromo in the 1979 movie "Alien," which sold for $10,625, and a complete costume worn by Anubis, played by Carlos Lauchu, in the 1994 movie "Stargate," which sold for $16,250, more than three times the estimate.
An archive of autographs from Academy Award winners fetched $15,625, while a »
Prop used by William Shatner sells for far beyond estimates at two-day auction of Hollywood memorabilia and costumes
Set phasers to sell – and sell big.
Captain Kirk's Star Trek phaser gun from the second pilot of the wildly popular 1960s television series sold for a hefty $231,000 (£151,000) on Saturday in Los Angeles, Julien's Auctions said.
The phaser, created at the request of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry for use by William Shatner, who played Kirk in the beloved sci-fi show, had been estimated to sell for about $50,000, but achieved more than four times that including commission.
Other extraterrestrial highlights at the two-day Hollywood Legends sale of hundreds of costumes, memorabilia, props and other items included the "alien survey buggy" seen aboard the Nostromo in the 1979 movie Alien, which sold for $10,625, and a complete costume worn by Anubis, played by Carlos Lauchu, in the 1994 movie Stargate, which sold for $16,250, more than three times the estimate. »
Previously, on Smash
This week's episode finds us watching Jimmy Charming and Ana singing the song from Hit List that I thought last week was called “Let the Broken Pieces Go” but is actually called “Heart Shaped Wreckage” which is not any better. They're performing it for Scott Nichols (Jesse L. Martin) and members of the Manhattan Theatre Workshop board of directors and it makes me wonder again why they didn't have Ana perform the first night at Fringe instead of scrambling to replace Karen with an outsider.
Scott and the board adjourn to Scott's office to discuss whether to offer the main stage to Hit List. Derek calls for a decent cup of coffee from some random who's wandered on stage. The random introduces himself as Blake, the lighting designer, and advises Derek that everyone's responsible for their own caffeination. He then congratulates Kyle on the show and between »
This will be the last top ten off the top of my head whole decade thingies for a bit -- we need to get to real articles but I've been swamped off blog. But these discussions are fun, don't you agree? The 1950s were the first film decade I was obsessed with in that when I was first becoming interested in cinema in the mid 80s, the 50s somehow came to signify Mythic Classic Hollywood to me, though cinema obviously stretched much much further back. So I guess I'll always be kind of attached to this decade when the movies got literally bigger (I do so prefer rectangulars to squares) and the era's stars really defined (at least for me) the concept of "Movie Star". I mean it's hard to argue with Liz, Brando, Clift, Dean, Monroe in all caps.
Which is why Giant is such a perfect 1950s movie »
- NATHANIEL R
Open thread: The Godfather? Annie Hall? Groundhog Day? Take a look at the Writers Guild of America's list of the 101 best screenplays – and let us know which is your favourite script
When Quentin Tarantino accepted his Oscar for best screenplay this year, he said 2013 would be the "writer's year". While directors and actors tend to get the lion's share of glory, film-makers would be lost without a good script written by a talented screenwriter.
What are the greatest screenplays of all time? In a survey of its members carried out in 2005, the Writers Guild of America came up with a list of 101 of the best – here's the top 10:
2. The Godfather
4. Citizen Kane
5. All About Eve
6. Annie Hall
10. Godfather II
You can view the whole list here – while the top 10 featured nothing produced after the 1970s, more recent screenplays in the top 101 included Pulp Fiction, »
- Adam Boult
From the abolition of slavery to the 'war on terror', this year's Academy Awards are dominated by heavyweight political films
Follow our live coverage of the Oscars 2013 red carpet
Early in 1927, Louis B Mayer, the head of MGM studios and soon to be the highest-paid executive in the world, met a handful of fellow conservative thinkers to create an elite Hollywood organisation with the grandiose title of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The aim was to deter the development of unions, or at least to control and arbitrate their operations. The academy, and the awards set up the following year as an expression of the good taste of its members (of whom there are now 6,000), began in politics and continue to be influenced by it.
Twenty years later, MGM went for three years without winning an Oscar and Mayer was fired by the company's ultimate boss in »
- Philip French
Thursday evening, the eleventh edition of the Berlinale Talent Campus, part of the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, came to a successful close at the Hau Hebbel am Ufer. Headed by the theme "Some Like It Hot – Filmmakers as Entertainers", the six-day Campus offered a unique opportunity for 300 filmmakers from 96 countries to exchange with one another and benefit first-hand from the best of the industry. 150 renowned film experts Read More »
Nothing says romance like Southern gothic and sorcery -- at least, that's what the team behind the new teen romance flick "Beautiful Creatures" hopes. Hitting theaters today, the film stars 18-year-old Alice Englert as Lena Duchannes, a high school student moonlighting as a witch (or, in the film's parlance, a "caster") and coming to grips with her powers in the sleepy town of Gatlin, South Carolina. Aldren Ehrenreich, 23, is the other half of the doomed romantic duo. He plays Ethan Wate, the mortal boy (un)lucky enough to meet Lena and get pulled into her chaotic life in the months leading up to her 16th birthday, when the true nature of her powers will be revealed.
NextMovie caught up with the two young stars in New York City earlier this week. Read on to learn their opinions on being judged by teenagers, the hardest words to say with a Southern accent, »
- Kase Wickman
With this year's Oscar-nominated Silver Linings Playbook, Hollywood is attempting to get down and dirty with real people and real problems. But Us films are notoriously bad at this. I Give It a Year is a British comedy about falling out of love – not a romcom, more of a romp-incomp. But whatever happened to the simple idea of the innocently zany finding love?
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Being abnormal used to be normal. In movies such as The Apartment (1960), it was redemptive. Cc Baxter (Jack Lemmon) and Fran Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) are outsiders who've missed the boat, careerwise and hopewise. She's wasting her time on a married man, while Baxter is caught in a sexual vortex established by his superiors, who have clandestine trysts in his apartment while "Buddy Boy" gets »
- Lucy Ellmann
Bill Murray called it 'probably the best work I've done' and, 20 years after its release, Groundhog Day can still take your breath away. Its original screenwriter Danny Rubin and admirers such as director David O Russell explain its lasting appeal
I am holding for David O Russell, the Oscar-nominated director of Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter, who has agreed to talk about one of his all-time favourite films: the comic masterpiece Groundhog Day, released in the Us 20 years ago this month. (It reached the UK in May 1993.) But the person on the other end of the line doesn't sound like Russell: it's more of a shrill whine, the vocal equivalent of nails on a blackboard. Then the penny drops.
"Ryan? It's Ned! Ned Ryerson! Bing!" After a prolonged chuckle, Russell drops his impersonation of Groundhog Day's irksome insurance salesman, a minor but intensely memorable character, and explains excitedly »
- Ryan Gilbey
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