Taras Bulba (1962) - News Poster

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Review: "Kings Of The Sun" (1963) Starring Yul Brynner, George Chakiris And Shirley Anne Field; Blu-ray Release From Kino Lorber

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

Kino Lorber has released a Blu-ray edition of the 1963 action adventure film "Kings of the Sun", a movie that has largely faded into relative obscurity. In viewing for the first time since its initial release I was pleasantly surprised at how impressive the film is on any number of levels. For one, it takes place during a period that has been largely untouched by Hollywood in that it is set in the era of the ancient Mayans. One must deal with the fact that the historical aspects of the screenplay are largely hokum. The story opens with the Mayan people mourning the death of its king in battle against a rival tribe led by the blood-thirsty Hunac Ceel (Leo Gordon). The new heir apparent is Balam (George Chakiris), a young man who must instantly assume his father's throne and responsibilities. These include the practice of human sacrifice to appease the gods.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Kings of the Sun

Who needs epics about Ancient Rome, Egypt, or Greek mythology when we have a thousand years of exotic Central and South American civilizations to exploit? Well, it's only been done a handful of times. This cinematic concatenation of nifty architecture, fruity multicolored headgear and athletic oiled warriors is, well, nifty, fruity and athletic!   Kings of the Sun Kl Studio Classics Savant Blu-ray Review 1963 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 108 min. / Street Date May 26, 2015 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95  Starring Yul Brynner, George Chakiris, Shirley Anne Field, Richard Basehart, Brad DexterBarry Morse, Armando Silvestre, Leo Gordon, Victoria Vettri, Rudy Solari, Ford Rainey, Chuck Hayward, James Coburn (narrator). Cinematography Joseph MacDonald Film Editor William Reynolds Original Music Elmer Bernstein Written by James R. Webb, Elliot Arnold  Produced by Lewis J. Rachmil Directed by J. Lee Thompson

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Epics don't get wilder than this. According to producer Walter Mirisch, 1963's Kings of the Sun
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Les Films d’Ici, Ma.ja.de, De Productie Back Rosenfeld’s ‘Center of the Earth’

Mar Del Plata – Les Films d’Ici, the Paris-based producer of Golden Globe-winner “Waltz With Bashir,” Agusto G. Zarpiola’s Argentina Cine, Germany’s ma.ja.de (Sergi Loznitsa’s “In the Fog”), and the Netherlands’ De Productie (“And Then One Day”) are teaming to produce “To the Center of the Earth” from Daniel Rosenfeld (“The Chimera of Heroes”).

Produced by Rosenfeld, “Center of the Earth” has the singular distinction of having been selected for both Mar del Plata’s Work in Progress next week and Ventana Sur’s Primer Corte, the week after.

Also written by Rosenfeld, “Earth” is at its heart a loving father-son relationship drama in which a 70-year-old villager, Antonio, living in Salta, in the north of Argentina, trains his son in how to make films documenting UFO activity around his home village. At the same time, he seeks out confirmation in Buenos Aires from a
See full article at Variety - Film News »

International Profile: Argentina Offers Reminder of Basic Business Model

International Profile: Argentina Offers Reminder of Basic Business Model
Habemus un megastar. Argentina got its most recognizable media icon March 13 when Jorge Mario Bergoglio was named Pope Francis, replacing soccer idol Diego Maradona as Argentina’s most famous export. Latin America is key to the Catholic Church, but it’s increasingly important to the global showbiz industry as well. In 2012, Argentina’s box office grew faster than China’s, spiking 35%. It boasts some of the world’s most aggressive movie buyers, such as Sun Distribution; and crossover talent, such as Pablo Trapero, now signed up to direct an English-language film for Working Title. More than anything else, however, Argentina offers a reminder of a basic business model. If Hollywood — or any other player elsewhere — wants to increase market penetration, that success will come most easily by collaboration with local players and talent. In Argentina, Disney is showing the way.

(Pictured Above: Bridge in Puerto Madero.)

Biz Opportunities

Creatively, it’s a gold mine.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

DVD Playhouse--August 2011

DVD Playhouse—August 2011

By Allen Gardner

High And Low (Criterion) Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 adaptation of Ed McBain’s novel King’s Ransom is a multi-layered masterpiece of suspense and one of the best portraits ever of class warfare in post-ww II Japan. Toshiro Mifune stars as a wealthy businessman who finds himself in a moral quandary when his chauffer’s son is kidnapped by ruthless thugs who think the boy is Mifune’s. Beautifully realized on every level. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Commentary by Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince; Documentary on film’s production; Interview with Mifune from 1984; Trailers and teaser. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 4.0 surround.

Leon Morin, Priest (Criterion) One of French maestro Jean-Pierre Melville’s rare non-crime-oriented films, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo as a devoted cleric who is lusted after by the women of a small village in Nazi-occupied France. When Fr. Morin finds himself drawn to a
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

New Release: Russian war epic Taras Bulba DVD

Entertainment One will release the $25 million Russian-produced epic war film Taras Bulba on DVD on July 26.

Bogdan Stupka is Taras Bulba in a new Russian adaption of Gogol's classic novel.

Based on the famed 1835 novel by Nikolai Gogol and adapted for the screen and directed by Russian filmmaker Vladimir Bortko, Taras Bulba is set in the 16th century and tells of Ukraine’s Cossack warriors and their campaign to defend their lands from the advancing armies of Poland.

In the midst of the brutal war, the youngest son (Igor Petrenko) of warrior Ukraine warrior Taras Bulba (Bogdan Stupka) disowns his father and swears allegiance to the enemy. But while on a quest for pride and glory, Taras’ eldest son (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) is captured, prompting Taras to set out on mission for vengeance.

The 2008 film was commissioned by Russian state TV and paid for totally by the Russian Ministry of Culture.
See full article at Disc Dish »

Screen legend Tony Curtis dead at 85

Screen legend Tony Curtis dead at 85
Tony Curtis, who grew beyond his start as a studio-groomed matinee idol to play snappily seductive schemers in such 1950s classics as "The Sweet Smell of Success" and "Some Like It Hot," died Wednesday evening of cardiac arrest at his home in the Las Vegas-area city of Henderson, Nev. He was 85.

"He died peacefully here, surrounded by those who love him and have been caring for him," his wife, Jill Curtis, told the Associated Press outside their home. "All Tony ever wanted to be was a movie star. He didn't want to be the most dramatic actor. He wanted to be a movie star ever since he was a little kid."

A flamboyant personality with a ribald wit and zest for the high life, Curtis epitomized the storied glamour of old Hollywood. Widely known for his onscreen sizzle and his offscreen personal life -- he and first wife Janet Leigh
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Hollywood Legend Curtis Dead

  • WENN
Hollywood Legend Curtis Dead
Hollywood legend Tony Curtis has died at the age of 85.

Jamie Lee Curtis' actor father passed away on Wednesday after suffering a cardiac arrest in bed at his Las Vegas home.

No further details were available as WENN went to press.

Born Bernard Schwartz to Jewish immigrants from Hungary, the star endured a tough upbringing in the Bronx borough of New York, which saw him spend a year in an orphanage with his younger brother Julius because his parents were too poor to feed them.

He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before deciding to pursue his love of acting and enrolling in the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York with German director Erwin Piscator.

He moved to Hollywood in 1948 when he was 23 and landed a contract with Universal Pictures. It was then that Schwartz changed his name to Tony Curtis, adopting his first name from the book Anthony Adverse and his last name from Kurtz, from his mother's family.

Curtis made his film debut with an uncredited appearance in 1949's Criss Cross, but it was only in the mid-1950s that he emerged as a breakout star with roles in movies including 1957's Sweet Smell of Success and alongside Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones (1958), a performance which landed him a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

He also starred in dramas The Outsider and The Boston Strangler, but he will perhaps be best remembered for his performance in Some Like It Hot (1959) with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon. In 2000, the American Film Institute named the movie classic the greatest American comedy film of all time.

Curtis also embarked on a variety of TV projects and was immortalised as 'Stony Curtis' on popular cartoon The Flintstones in the early 1960s. In the '70s, he co-starred with former James Bond actor Roger Moore in The Persuaders! series, and went on to land roles in U.S. TV shows McCoy and Vega$.

The actor scaled down the number of films he made in the 1980s and embarked on a career as a surrealist painter. His works became such a hit in the art world, he was able to command more than $25,000 (£16,700) a piece and his painting The Red Table went on display at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2007.

Curtis was later awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was presented with the prestigious French honour, the Order of Arts and Letters, in 1995. He was also an Emmy nominated star and collected two Golden Globes, in 1958 and 1961.

His final role as an actor was in 2008 romantic war drama David & Fatima, in which he starred with Oscar winner Martin Landau, although he expressed a desire to return to the screen earlier this year.

Outside Hollywood, Curtis was also known for his high-profile personal life - he was married to actress Janet Leigh for 11 years and they had two children together, Jamie Lee and Kelly Curtis, who both followed their parents into showbusiness.

He openly admitted to cheating on Leigh during their union and divorced her in 1962 to wed Christine Kaufmann, his then-17-year-old German co-star in Taras Bulba. He fathered two kids with her but his second marriage lasted just four years.

He was married a further three times and had two more children with third wife Leslie Allen, although their son Nicholas died from a heroin overdose in 1994, aged 23.

Renowned womaniser Curtis later revealed he had had a brief fling with Marilyn Monroe in 1949, and detailed their love affair in his autobiography American Prince: A Memoir.

Curtis was dogged by ill health in his later years and came close to death when he was struck down by pneumonia and fell into a coma in December 2006. He regained consciousness several days later but the virus left him weak and he was resigned to using a wheelchair to get around as he could only walk short distances.

He was hospitalised in August last year when he suffered an asthma-like attack and was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Copd), a condition which sent him to seek medical attention again in New York in early 2010.

In July, Curtis was admitted to hospital in Las Vegas after another Copd attack after being taken ill at an exhibition of his artwork.

He is survived by his fifth wife Jill Vandenberg Curtis, who he wed in 1998 despite their 42-year age difference, and his five children.

Breaking News: Tony Curtis Reportedly Dead At Age 85

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

News reports indicate that Hollywood legend Tony Curtis has died at age 85. According to the MSNBC news show Morning Joe, the actor's daughter Jamie Lee Curtis has confirmed the rumor. Entertainment Tonight says that Curtis died of a heart attack in his Nevada home. The actor, who was born Bernard Schwartz,was one of the last symbols of Hollywood's golden era. He emerged as a star almost immediately. It was a far cry from his upbringing in the Bronx, where he and his brother Julius were temporarily placed in an orphanage because their parents could not provide adequate care for them. Curtis served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, having enlisted because he was impressed by seeing Cary Grant in Destination Tokyo. After the War, Curtis found stardom in Hollywood through a contract with Universal. He ended up becoming one of the top sex symbols of the 1950s and 60s.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Argentine Cinema: Review of When The Pueblo Was Hollywood (2009)

Fortuity provides an intriguing thematic segue. Brushing up on my Val Lewton research in anticipation of Pfa's Complicated Shadows series, I came across a brief mention at The Val Lewton Screenplay Collection--a fantastic resource for Lewton fans--that, allegedly, Val Lewton drafted a 400-page treatment of Nikolai Gogol's historical novel Taras Bulba. I have no idea if this has anything to do with the 1962 film Taras Bulba--whose screenplay adaptation is attributed to Waldo Salt and Karl Tunberg--but, nonetheless, this bit of trivia caught my attention because no less than a week or so ago Federico Windhausen--who I met at Susan Oxtoby's reception for Robert Beavers--contacted me to let me know that he had recently completed a documentary on the making of the 1962 film, Taras Bulba, which he advised had been filmed in--of all places--Salta, Argentina.

 
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Is Veer a Flop?

Early signs are that Salman Khan’s ego-project Veer with its ludicrous costume design, high school acting and straight-to-video storyline is destined to be a flop - although there is still some hope that it may pick up sales in the DVD market. It is also said to have some plus points in terms of the emotional depth of the relationship between the hero and his father; Zarine Khan’s impressive debut - and the contribution made by Lisa Lazarus in a supporting role. Early openings, however, suggest a miserable 20-25% occupancy rate. The film continues Salman’s dreadful run as an actor, where he has languished in ninth position for the past decade on an average gross of 15.7cr per movie - way behind Aamir’s 56.3, Hrithik’s 31.5, Srk’s 29.3 and Akshay’s 21.7.

Salman is certainly to be congratulated for the effort he put into making the movie different.
See full article at Bollyspice »

Ghai, Boney turned down Salman's Veer

While his new 25-day-old French Mastiff pup, just finding its feet, snapped at my ankles and domestic helps, electricians, and the security men of Galaxy Apartments struggled to bring back the lights. It was high drama! He had just got back from doing interviews at Mehboob Studios. And waiting for him was a young choreographer to lead him through the steps of a dance he was doing at some awards function last night. At least, the choreographer was prancing around, Salman watched with a frown. .The next step is Bang-Bang,. the choreographer was saying. .Bang-Bang,. Salman said incredulously, .Woh kya hota hai?. Then to me he turned and said, .Ask!. That.s when the house plunged into darkness. Much, much later, electricity partially restored, he talked to me about Veer, his new big film for Eros International Media Ltd. produced by Vijay Galani and directed by Anil Sharma that.s
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[Russian Reviews] Тарас Бульба (Taras Bulba)

There is no need to bother Leni Riefenstahl and her Triumph des Willens to demonstrate how powerful propaganda can often be, but it's exactly in cases like hers that you often wonder what her legacy would have been, if ridden of all the political ramifications of (some of) her works. That is one of the reasons why today's Mainland Cinema is so vibrant and interesting, even in its most quintessential main melody form: we're often dealing with pretty obvious pieces of cinematic propaganda, works funded by the government and whose foremost purpose is to drive the masses into supporting a certain creed or philosophy. But for every insipid turd like 建国大业 (The Founding of a Republic), you get plenty of eclectic variations on this melody, works which do fulfill their "quota" of bleeding-heart national sentimentalism, but also manage to focus a large portion of their makers' efforts in building a cohesive,
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Salman's Dreams Come True with Veer

Salman Khan's dream project, Veer is an epic romantic film set in 1875 and is set to hit the big screen on January 22 2010. It is being described as the actors "dream film" "I have lived with Veer for 20 years. It can be called my most awaited film till date. I had written the story of my dream project when I was shooting for the film, Baaghi in 1990," Salman wrote on his blog.

Salman was inspired by Taras Bulba, a Russian novel and has added other elements of war and father-son relationship to create Veer. The film, which is creating a lot of hype prior to its release, tells the story about the bravery of a Pindari solder and speaks of bravery and the courage of Indians trying to fight for justice and independence.

The film will feature Salman as an Indian Gladiator performing state of the art fight scenes. Apparently
See full article at Bollyspice »

Rare Movie Alert! James Bond Alumni In "Triple Cross" On TCM Tomorrow

  • CinemaRetro
Turner Classic Movies (North America) is presenting a full day of Yul Brynner films tomorrow. Among them is the rarely-seen 1967 WWII spy thriller Triple Cross that pairs Brynner with a stellar cast including Christopher Plummer and Trevor Howard. The film is directed by Terence Young, who helmed the early James Bond classics and, intriguingly, the movie features three prominent Bond cast members: Thunderball leading lady Claudine Auger, Dr. No baddie Anthony Dawson and Goldfinger himself, Gert Frobe. The film has never been released on video in the USA. It airs at 3:30 Pm (Est) Incidentally, keep your video recorders in high gear because other Brynner gems showing throughout the day include Taras Bulba, Adios Sabata, The Magnificent Seven, The King and I, Kings of the Sun and Westworld.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Salman Khan's Literary Epic

It looks like Salman Khan's finally going to get the chance to show his full acting credentials in the epic Veer, which it transpires is based on Gogol's classic Taras Bulba. "Veer has all the swashbuckling elements that Salman enjoys watching in a film and he is sure that the audience enjoys it too,£ said a source for the movie, "He discussed the idea with his director-friends and eventually asked Anil Sharma to make Taras Bulba into a Hindi film with Mithun Chakraborty as the patriarch and Salman and Sohail Khan as his two brave sons."

Gogol's book tells the story of a 16th century Cossack warlord in the Ukraine, whose two educated sons rejoin him in the east and they set out to defeat their Polish masters. One of the sons has a warrior spirit like his father but the other is more sensitive and has fallen in
See full article at Bollyspice »

Salman's literary affair - News

He might be dubbed as the Bollywood hunk who's ready to flex his muscles at the drop of a hat. But, it seems Salman Khan has another hidden talent which many may not be aware of. It's learnt that Salman Khan is a voracious reader and loves to flip through world literature. It was during such a literary sojourn that he discovered the inspiration for his upcoming film Veer. When Salman discovered the book Taras Bulba written by the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, he instantly go...
See full article at GlamSham »

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