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Sometimes the critics are just plain wrong. Such is the case with the lavish epic The Liberator, which suffered unfairly at the hands of hypocritical reporters and narrow-minded reviewers. There was a time in Hollywood when the war epic was a staple of cinema with staggering multinational ensembles, specifically in the post-World War II years. International comrades went A Bridge Too Far, blew up The Bridge on the River Kwai, and reached into both the recent and distant past to cross the Nefud Desert in Lawrence of Arabia and make all slaves free in Spartacus. The Liberator is one such film, but in an era of CGI and superheroes, the tastemakers have forgotten what quality is. Every review of the film smacks of unfair cynicism, missing that this is a competent, confident motion picture (yes, motion picture) that should be heralded as a much needed return to what makes cinema profound, »
- Kyle North
The actor's agent Steve Kenis told The AP that Sharif has been diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease.
Omar's son Tarek Sharif first revealed the news in an interview with Spanish outlet El Mundo.
The Egyptian actor's English-language breakthrough in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) earned him two Golden Globe Awards, and led to his casting in another Golden Globe-winning title role in Doctor Zhivago (1965).
Los Angeles (AP) — Legendary Lawrence of Arabia actor Omar Sharif is battling Alzheimer's disease, his agent Steve Kenis confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday. No additional details were provided about the 83-year-old or his care. His son, Tarek Sharif, revealed the diagnosis in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Mundo on May 23. The Egyptian-born Sharif rose to international stardom with his role in the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia— Sharif's first English-language film. He earned an Oscar nomination for his turn as Sherif Ali in David Lean's iconic film opposite Peter O'Toole. Sharif followed the breakthrough performance with the title role in
- The Associated Press
A traditional destination for Hollywood shoots, Andalusia returned to centerstage last October, when the cities of Seville and Osuna became the “Game of Thrones”’ kingdom of Dorne.
The fifth season of the hit HBO series rolled for 12 days in the Alcazar of Seville, a Moorish castle that doubled up as the Water Gardens of Dorne. In the bullring of nearby Osuna, production spent 13 days filming a four-minute scene with 500 extras.
“Since ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ no other international shoot has generated such popular enthusiasm and media impact,” says Carlos Rosado, prexy of Andalusia Film Commission.
Some 86,000 people initially applied for auditions as extras.
“Game of Thrones’” Andalusia shoot looks location-specific. “When they contacted us, they talked about the Alcazar — that’s what they really wanted, »
- Emiliano De Pablos
When members of the 68th Cannes Film Festival jury met for the first time on Tuesday afternoon, they were told that they could create an award for the films they were about to screen. “Sienna Miller asked that the prize be presented to her,” recalled Joel Coen at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that helped kick off Cannes. “Guillermo [del Toro] became upset,” Joel joked. “If Sienna gets a prize, Guillermo gets a prize. We just met these people. It’s alarming.”
Regardless of that, the jurors seemed to get along just fine. As co-presidents of this year’s prize-giving committee, the Coen brothers dominated the conversation, offering thoughts on the moviemaking business, their lack of interest in television and what they were looking for as judges.
- Ramin Setoodeh
This week Neil Calloway looks at a movie based way of predicting election outcomes…
If you hadn’t noticed, there was a General Election in the UK this week. The result was probably best summed up by the American gentleman I overhead outside the Houses of Parliament on Friday, who said “The Prime Minister who was the Prime Minister is still the Prime Minister.” There were lots of losers on the night – the Lib Dems went from having 57 seats and being part of the government to having 8 seats and their leader resigning. The Labour Party lost 24 seats, including that of the Shadow Chancellor and accidental meme creator Ed Balls. As well as Nick Clegg standing down, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Ukip chief Nigel Farage all quit their positions the day after the election. However, the biggest losers of the night were the pollsters.
For the entire election campaign all »
- Neil Calloway
'Nicholas and Alexandra': Movie starred Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman 'Nicholas and Alexandra' movie review: Opulent 1971 spectacle lacks emotional core Nicholas and Alexandra is surely one of the most sumptuous film productions ever made. The elaborate sets and costumes, Richard Rodney Bennett's lush musical score, and frequent David Lean collaborator Freddie Young's richly textured cinematography provide the perfect period atmosphere for this historical epic. Missing, however, is a screenplay that offers dialogue instead of speeches, and a directorial hand that brings out emotional truth instead of soapy melodrama. Nicholas and Alexandra begins when, after several unsuccessful attempts, Tsar Nicholas II (Michael Jayston) finally becomes the father of a boy. Shortly thereafter, he and his wife, the German-born Empress Alexandra (Janet Suzman), have their happiness crushed when they discover that their infant son is a hemophiliac. In addition to his familial turmoil, the Tsar must also deal with popular »
- Andre Soares
The moment I was sent the download link for the "Fury Road" soundtrack, I loaded the entire score onto my iPod specifically so I could play it in my car. Big mistake. The first time through, I didn't even realize how fast I was going, but around the time we got to track four, "Blood Bag," I glanced at the speedometer and was startled to see I had crept up past 90 Mph. I pumped the brakes, and since then, I've had to fight my own natural inclination to speed up as I have been assaulted by the intense cacophony that is Junkie Xl's "Mad Max: Fury Road" score. I had about five days to live with the score before my phone rang one morning last week, and I jumped right into what turned out to be a great conversation with Tom Holkenborg, the Dutch composer who is building a »
- Drew McWeeny
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
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
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