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Having worked with the likes of Ridley Scott, Ron Howard, Peter Weir, Michael Mann, and Darren Aronofsky, I would venture to say Russell Crowe may have picked up one or two directing secrets over the years. The Water Diviner shows us what the Aussie actor may have learned from some of these cinematic legends. Immediately visible are traces of Ridley Scott’s wide scope as well as Ron Howard’s knack for schmaltz. In his directorial debut, Crowe feels assured in his presentation of a heartfelt historical drama, but this confidence can’t make up for a story that feels a little tired and a presentation that leans towards superfluous melodrama.
Australian farmer Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) travels to Turkey four years after the Battle of Gallipoli to look for his three missing sons whom are presumed dead. World War I may have ended but other obstacles still stand in »
- Michael Haffner
Voice actor Robert Rietti has died, aged 92.
Rietti was known for lending his voice to James Bond villains when filmmakers wanted to re-record lines.
According to The Times, Rietti died on April 3.
"In nearly every Bond picture, there's been a foreign villain, and in almost every case, they've used my voice," Rietti once said.
Throughout his career, he also voiced characters in The Guns of Navarone (1961), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Barbarella (1968), Frenzy (1972), Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Trail of the Pink Panther (1982). »
You can't choose your neighbors in an apartment complex, and sometimes you get stuck next to a noisy, mean-spirited soul who makes you want to look in the classified ads before you even finish unpacking. Alison Parker has some rowdy neighbors around her new Brooklyn apartment, but what disturbs her the most is that nobody else lives on her floor. And that's only one of many creepy elements to be found in 1977's The Sentinel, and fans of the cult classic fright film should be excited to hear that Scream Factory has announced they will release The Sentinel on Blu-ray this summer.
From Scream Factory: "We are beyond thrilled today to report that we will be bringing the 1977 cult classic chiller The Sentinel to Blu-ray for the first time in the U.S. and Canada!
Planned release is for August. This often underrated, overlooked and shocking film from Director Michael Winner »
- Derek Anderson
By winning the Best Cinematography Oscar for a second year in a row, "Birdman" director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki has joined a truly elite club whose ranks haven't been breached in nearly two decades. Only four other cinematographers have won the prize in two consecutive years. The last time it happened was in 1994 and 1995, when John Toll won for Edward Zwick's "Legends of the Fall" and Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" respectively. Before that you have to go all the way back to the late '40s, when Winton Hoch won in 1948 (Victor Fleming's "Joan of Arc" with Ingrid Bergman) and 1949 (John Ford's western "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"). Both victories came in the color category, as the Academy awarded prizes separately for black-and-white and color photography from 1939 to 1956. Leon Shamroy also won back-to-back color cinematography Oscars, for Henry King's 1944 Woodrow Wilson biopic "Wilson" and John M. Stahl »
- Kristopher Tapley
1. "Fifty Shades of Gray" has as one of its editors the legendary Anne V. Coates, 89 years old and Oscar editing winner for "Lawrence of Arabia," and counts among its producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti ("The Social Network" and "Captain Phillips"). 2. "Kingsman: The Secret Service" stars Colin Firth, in his first big general audience hit since his 2011 Best Actor victory for "The King's Speech." 3. "McFarland, U.S.A." stars Oscar-winner Kevin Costner ("Dances with Wolves"), with Indie Spirit winner Niki Caro ("The Whale Rider") directing. 4. "The Duff" is the first feature from director Ari Sandel, whose "West Bank Story" won live-action short eight years ago. 5. "Jupiter Ascending" has among its producers Grant Hill (nominee for Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" and "The »
- Tom Brueggemann
T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) ranks among the 20th Century’s oddest heroes. This short, smart, and mischievous British soldier helped organize the Arab Revolt against Turkey, a secondary front of the First World War. He became Emir Feisal’s trusted ally, painfully conscious that the Allies wouldn’t honor promises of independence. After the Paris Peace Conference, Lawrence retreated into the Royal Air Force and Tank Corps as a private soldier, T.E. Shaw… read the full article.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a little girl in possession of a good imagination must be in want of a heroine. At least, this was the truth of my childhood. Like many people of my generation, my »
Until maybe an hour or two before arriving at the theater this summer, I had no idea that "Boyhood" was almost three hours long. I knew the details of its production -- instead of one massive gulp of filming, tiny sips of production over the course of 12 years documented star Ellar Coltrane's youth and adolescence even while, officially, the story was pure fiction. But despite the fact that it had been over a decade in the making, I'd assumed that "Boyhood" would come in at a running time not equivalent to "Lawrence of Arabia." And that proved to be a bit ironic, because the night before, I'd actually gone to see "Lawrence of Arabia" for the first time (I'd held out for the opportunity to see it in 70mm, which was very worth it). Two epics in 24 hours is pretty intense -- I left "Boyhood" a bit tired, overstimulated, »
- Liz Shannon Miller
Part I: The Lawrence Bureau
T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) ranks among the 20th Century’s oddest heroes. This short, smart, and mischievous British soldier helped organize the Arab Revolt against Turkey, a secondary front of the First World War. He became Emir Feisal’s trusted ally, painfully conscious that the Allies wouldn’t honor promises of independence. After the Paris Peace Conference, Lawrence retreated into the Royal Air Force and Tank Corps as a private soldier, T.E. Shaw.
Lawrence lived a curious double life, befriending both private soldiers and notables like Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw. He wrote memoirs and translated Homer while repairing boats and seaplanes. His intellect, warmth, and puckish humor masked internal torment – guilt for failing to secure Arab freedom, regret for two brothers killed in the war, shame over an incident where Turkish soldiers sexually assaulted him.
In his autobiography Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence »
- Christopher Saunders
There are 195 individuals nominated for Oscar this year. And when the winners are named Feb. 22, they will become part of film history, joining such greats as Billy Wilder, Ingrid Bergman, Ben Hecht and Walt Disney.
But 80% of the contenders will go home empty-handed. However, there is good news: They are in good company as well.
Here is a sampling of nominees that didn’t win: “Citizen Kane,” “Chinatown” and “Star Wars”; directors Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick and Ingmar Bergman; writers Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Dashiell Hammett, John Steinbeck, Graham Greene, Harold Pinter and David Mamet; actors Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Blvd.”; Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”; and Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia.”
They managed to do Ok, though.
- Tim Gray
Fifty-two years ago, Peter O’Toole considered his plans for the Turks in “Lawrence of Arabia” and said, “No prisoners.” Thirteen years ago, Richard Linklater considered his plans for “Boyhood” and said, “No options.”
“There was never a plan B, never,” says Linklater, whose film, as most likely know by now, was shot over 12 years and follows the life of a boy in Texas (Ellar Coltrane) from kindergarten to college. At no time during those dozen years, Linklater explains, was there an alternative scheme for the movie.
“I actually never had a movie,” he says. “It wasn’t a movie till the end. But I was so firmly entrenched in the story and the outline and the end was so much a part of it — he goes off to college. I never had another option.”
In a season of innovative films, “Boyhood” is probably the most discussed and groundbreaking, a »
- John Anderson
By Anjelica Oswald
With the DGA Award in hand, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has become a frontrunner in the best director Oscar race for Birdman.
Only seven winners of the DGA Award have not won the best director Oscar in the 66 years that the Directors Guild of America has given the award. The most recent case was two years ago, when Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for the best director Oscar for Argo, which won best picture.
No American has won for best director since 2011 and if Inarritu, who is from Mexico, takes the Oscar this year, the trend will continue. Inarritu could become the second Latin American director to win for best director, following Alfonso Cuaron’s win last year.
In the 86 years since the Academy Awards’ inception, 89 Oscars have been given for best director. Twenty-six awards (29 percent) went to non-American born directors.
At the first annual »
- Anjelica Oswald
By Anjelica Oswald
Birdman has claimed a number of principal awards this season, including the top awards from the Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild, and is one of the lead contenders in the best picture race.
The film has received nine nominations, including a supporting actor, supporting actress and leading actor nomination. Though the film probably won’t land Oscars in the supporting categories, Michael Keaton has situated himself as a frontrunner in the leading actor category, along with The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne.
Of the 86 films to win best picture, 36 (42 percent) won without procuring a single Oscar in the acting categories. Seven of those 36 won before the supporting acting categories were implemented at the ninth annual Academy Awards, and 11 of the 36 won without any acting nominations.
If Birdman wins for best picture but Keaton loses to Redmayne, Alejandro »
- Anjelica Oswald
★★☆☆☆ Revered Bavarian director Werner Herzog strains to marry his eccentric directorial style with the period epic in this rather stolid and strangely formal romance starring Australian actress Nicole Kidman as British explorer-cum-spy Gertrude Bell. Queen of the Desert (2015), which premièred in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, sounds the perfect project for Herzog: Bell was a famous eccentric who travelled to uncharted places and met curious characters. She was most famous as a woman's answer to Lawrence of Arabia (a man we'll encounter later) and was credited with drawing the map for much of the Middle East and settling the dynasties of modern-day Jordan and Iraq.
- CineVue UK
Yesterday Werner Herzog premiered his latest, "Queen of the Desert," at the 65th International Film Festival. It marked a wonderful occasion to see the legendary German filmmaker in the flesh and on his home turf. Read More: Berlin: The Best Things Werner Herzog, Nicole Kidman and James Franco Said About 'Queen of the Desert'"Queen of the Desert," Herzog's first narrative film since the 2009 drama "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?," stars Nicole Kidman as a Gertrude Bell, a brilliant woman who, along with T.E. Lawrence (of "Lawrence of Arabia"), was a highly influential figure in English foreign policy, and most known for assisting in the creation of today's Iraq. James Franco, Robert Pattinson and Damian Lewis also star in the biographical epic. In honor of the film's world premiere, Indiewire sat down with the iconic filmmaker to talk about his interest in the project, working »
- Eric Eidelstein
This afternoon, Werner Herzog premiered his latest drama "Queen of the Desert" in competition at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival. The film stars Nicole Kidman as the titular heroine, Gertrude Bell, who has gone down in history as the "female Lawrence of Arabia" for playing a key role in setting the course for the new political order in the Middle East around 1920. Herzog and Kidman -- alongside Kidman's onscreen lovers in the film, James Franco and Damian Lewis -- took part in a press conference immediately following the screening. Below are the top highlights: Nicole Kidman loved the opportunity to shoot on location in the desert."He's not a green screen sort of guy," Kidman said of Herzog. "The beauty of being in that landscape – I have a huge love for the desert – really helps to infiltrate the relationship [between her and Franco's characters]. One of my favorite sequences of the movie is when we run off into the desert. »
- Nigel M Smith
The world is full of men content to spend their lives within a few miles of where they were born, men who will love one woman, learn one language and go to their graves hardly having dreamed at all. These are not the men about whom Werner Herzog makes movies, although it took until age 72 for the chronicler of such bombastic souls as “Aguirre” and “Fitzcarraldo” to deem a woman worthy of one of his mighty portraits. Better late than never, and though Nicole Kidman is hardly the female Klaus Kinski, in the formidable character epic “Queen of the Desert,” she conveys with quiet determination what Kinski never could: the kind of conviction that changes the world.
Leaning more on romance than one might suppose to capture such an independent spirit as Gertrude Lowthian Bell, whose self-directed explorations among and dealings with the Middle East’s many conflicting tribes informed »
- Peter Debruge
Berlin — Nicole Kidman, James Franco and Damian Lewis spoke about their experience of working with director Werner Herzog, vultures and camels at a Berlin press conference Friday for Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert,” which plays in competition at the Berlin Film Festival.
The film centers on explorer Gertrude Bell, who has been described as “the female Lawrence of Arabia.” Bell traveled across the Middle East in the first decades of the 20th century, and helped define the borders of the region’s emerging nations.
But despite her decisive political role, it was Bell’s inner life that Herzog sought to capture. “Her interior life was more fascinating than the political complications of the last years of her life,” Herzog said.
- Leo Barraclough
Queen Of The Desert isn’t what you expect from the visionary German director Werner Herzog. A world premiere in The Berlin Festival this weekend, the film might best be described as Herzog’s feminist version of Lawrence Of Arabia. T.E. Lawrence himself appears (played in eccentric, tongue in cheek fashion by Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame) but the main protagonist here is the English writer and archaeologist Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman), who eventually became an Arab expert and helped draw the borders of Iraq. »
The halls are starting to hum softly here in Berlin as the European Film Market swings into gear. The first deals were announced yesterday before the event officially opened, with The Weinstein Co notably boarding Im Global’s The Man Who Made It Snow. This morning, FilmNation unveiled a series of offshore output deals for titles from Open Road, which will kick off with the Jamie Foxx/Michelle Monaghan-starrer Sleepless Nights.
Though it’s not likely to be a frenzy, and with currency concerns in the market internationally, Berlin should see more action in the coming days. Distributors are looking for product for 2016 and beyond, and some memorable buys have emerged here in recent years. In 2014, The Weinstein Company made a record-setting $7M deal for The Imitation Game which has now made about $140M worldwide and has an armful of Oscar nominations to boot.
Much of the pre-buy buzz »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Stumbling across that list of best-edited films yesterday had me assuming that there might be other nuggets like that out there, and sure enough, there is American Cinematographer's poll of the American Society of Cinematographers membership for the best-shot films ever, which I do recall hearing about at the time. But they did things a little differently. Basically, in 1998, cinematographers were asked for their top picks in two eras: films from 1894-1949 (or the dawn of cinema through the classic era), and then 1950-1997, for a top 50 in each case. Then they followed up 10 years later with another poll focused on the films between 1998 and 2008. Unlike the editors' list, though, ties run absolutely rampant here and allow for way more than 50 films in each era to be cited. I'd love to see what these lists would look like combined, however. I imagine "Citizen Kane," which was on top of the 1894-1949 list, »
- Kristopher Tapley
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