18 items from 2015
I love this guy's art so much I'm proud to say I have one of his pieces on my wall. There's a new show from artist "Raid71" opening at the fantastic Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn, NY this weekend. The show is called "Illuminate" and focuses on his unique style with vivid colors. His pieces are inspired heavily by Blade Runner, but he also has work from Tron, Taxi Driver, Midnight Cowboy, Dark City, Akira, Mean Streets, The Fisher King and more. He does some excellent work, and it really stands out on a wall, it's the kind that you want to buy and hang everywhere. Luckily we've got an early look at some art from the show. Here's more of the artwork from the upcoming Raid71 - Illuminate show posted originally by SlashFilm: Intro from Bottleneck: "From the rain soaked streets of New York to a neon drenched future Los Angeles, »
- Alex Billington
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
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
Long before two-time Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman decided to become an actor he dreamed of a career as a classical pianist. Now, at age 77, Hoffman gets the chance to indulge his passion as Boychoir’s inscrutable Master Carvelle.
“I wanted to be a musician but I was never talented enough,” says Hoffman during an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival. Initially, he studied music at Santa Monica College before making the switch to acting.
“I have small hands so I can’t reach much more than an octave,” he says with his fingers stretched over an imaginary keyboard. “And, I think you have to have one of two qualifications; you have to have a really good ear or be a good sight-reader, and I’m neither.”
- Ingrid Randoja - Cineplex Magazine
No one expected much from "Pretty Woman" when they were making it. It was a modestly-budgeted romantic comedy whose stars were Richard Gere (then in the depths of a career slump) and Eric Roberts's kid sister. But when the movie was released, 25 years ago this week (on March 23, 1990), the project was transformed from overlooked stepsister to box office royalty. Mirroring her on-screen Cinderella makeover, Julia Roberts went from little-known ingenue to queen of Hollywood. Plus, the film saved Gere's career and (along with 1989's "When Harry Met Sally") revived the romantic comedy genre in Hollywood.
A quarter-century later, "Pretty Woman" remains a fan favorite, one you've seen a million times on cable. Even so, there's much you may not know about the movie -- the difficulties in casting (Gere and Roberts weren't anyone's first, second, or third choices), crises on the set, what was left out of the final film, »
- Gary Susman
If there’s one thing comedic actors and filmmakers hate being asked about, it’s their opinion on the Bill Cosby thing. If there’s one other thing they hate being asked about, it’s how much improvisation goes into making their movies. The Judd Apatow school of comedy films involves a lot of unscripted riffing, the finished film coming together in the editing room.
Still, most comedies that don’t involve Seth Rogen and a wallpaper-infusing amount of pot smoke in the production still work from endlessly redrafted screenplays. Just like how the majority of films are made, in fact. You see, most film productions will involve a degree of on-set script rewrites and the like, but they’re mostly working from what’s on the paper.
Whilst improvisation isn’t the norm, it’s still a good skill to have as an actor. Dustin Hoffman almost »
- Tom Baker
Today, in an effort to combine the past and the present, I wanted to take a look at how the winners in the big eight categories of this most recent Academy Awards ceremony compare to the all time best. To try and figure this out, I’m actually going with the lists of the top 25 in each category that I put out last year. It’s an interesting exercise, since it’s impossible to know which will and which won’t stand the test of time, but there’s a few educated guesses that can be made. For my money, a few of the performances will certainly be remembered for years to come. I don’t think it’s impossible for you to have forgotten already, but here are the big eight winners: Best Picture went to Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, Best Director went to Alejandro González Iñárritu »
- Joey Magidson
Oscar 2015 winners (photo: Chris Pratt during Oscar 2015 rehearsals) The complete list of Oscar 2015 winners and nominees can be found below. See also: Oscar 2015 presenters and performers. Now, a little Oscar 2015 trivia. If you know a bit about the history of the Academy Awards, you'll have noticed several little curiosities about this year's nominations. For instance, there are quite a few first-time nominees in the acting and directing categories. In fact, nine of the nominated actors and three of the nominated directors are Oscar newcomers. Here's the list in the acting categories: Eddie Redmayne. Michael Keaton. Steve Carell. Benedict Cumberbatch. Felicity Jones. Rosamund Pike. J.K. Simmons. Emma Stone. Patricia Arquette. The three directors are: Morten Tyldum. Richard Linklater. Wes Anderson. Oscar 2015 comebacks Oscar 2015 also marks the Academy Awards' "comeback" of several performers and directors last nominated years ago. Marion Cotillard and Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress Oscars for, respectively, Olivier Dahan »
- Steve Montgomery
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
Now this is a list that could result in a lot of fascinating dissection and thanks to HitFix it comes to our attention almost three years after it was originally released back in 2012, celebrating the Motion Picture Editors Guild's 75th anniversary. Over at HitFix, Kris Tapley asks, "Is this news to anyone elsec" Um, yes, I find it immensely interesting and a perfect starting point for anyone looking to further explore the art of film editing. In an accompanying article we get the particulars concerning what films were eligible and how films were to be considered: In our Jan-feb 12 issue, we asked Guild members to vote on what they consider to be the Best Edited Films of all time. Any feature-length film from any country in the world was eligible. And by "Best Edited," we explained, we didn't just mean picture; sound, music and mixing were to be considered as well. »
- Brad Brevet
A random bit of researching on a Tuesday night led me to something I didn't know existed: The Motion Picture Editors Guild's list of the 75 best-edited films of all time. It was a feature in part celebrating the Guild's 75th anniversary in 2012. Is this news to anyone else? I confess to having missed it entirely. Naturally, I had to dig in. What was immediately striking to me about the list — which was decided upon by the Guild membership and, per instruction, was considered in terms of picture and sound editorial as opposed to just the former — was the most popular decade ranking. Naturally, the 1970s led with 17 mentions, but right on its heels was the 1990s. I wouldn't have expected that but I happen to agree with the assessment. Thelma Schoonmaker's work on "Raging Bull" came out on top, an objectively difficult choice to dispute, really. It was so transformative, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Prior to the Sundance Film Festival 2015, we sent out questionnaires to filmmakers with films in competition, asking them which films inspired them. The films they chose ranged from classics such as "The 400 Blows" and "A Clockwork Orange" to recent releases such as "Listen Up Phillip" and "Ida." Many also named dark comedies, including "Happiness" and "Inside Llewyn Davis." Some filmmakers listed television shows which inspire them including "Louie," "Transparent" and "The Wire." Here are the filmmaker's responses: James Ponsoldt ("The End of the Tour"):"California Split," "The American Friend," "Withnail & I," "Amadeus," "The Hours and Times," "Don't Look Back," "Fat City," "The Social Network," "Midnight Cowboy," "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot," "Happy Together" and »
- Jena Keahon
Taking public transportation on the bus in everyday life is essential for workers worldwide as we need to make that daily grinding trek to the workplace, shopping malls, school, doctor’s appointment or whatever our destination may be at the moment. In particular, there is a love/hate relationship with buses as it presents all sort of social challenges: anxiety, chattiness, impatience, friendliness, kindness, anti-socialism, invasive behavior, alienation, nervousness, sense of unity, etc.
Well in the world of movies the bus-related experience can be more colorful and adventurous for the imagination at heart. Thus, it brings up this prolonged thought: what is your favorite or memorable moments dealing with buses on the big screen? Does it compare adequately to the triumphs or tragedies that overshadow or downplay your dealings with real-life bus-related interaction?
In “All Aboard”: Top Ten Bus-Related Moments in the Movies we will look at a handful of selected scenes, »
- Frank Ochieng
Santa Monica — Michael Keaton has been asked about a sequel to "Beetlejuice" enough times to surely be sick of it by now, because the thing has moved at such a glacial pace there just isn't much to be said. But his work in the original film came at a time when his career was really taking off, and playing in the expressionistic world of Tim Burton in both that film and the first two "Batman" movies was a wholly new and exciting experience for him. In one, he helped build a character from the ground up, while in the other, he found himself at the center of a raging pop culture tempest. Both roles are iconic in their own ways, and looking back, Keaton can — as ever — find nothing but gratitude for getting to be a part of it. "Batman" in particular was a personal landmark, a movie that grabbed »
- Kristopher Tapley
The theater was flush with pride at last night’s premiere of Mike Binder’s custody battle drama, “Black or White,” held at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live — where star and producer of the film, Kevin Costner, and cast members Octavia Spencer, Bill Burr and plucky tween newcomer Jillian Estell came out to screen the movie and celebrate.
“This is a really well-produced movie, and when you make a movie, you’ve got to have people who are creative and resourceful and work long, crazy hours,” Kavanaugh told the crowd. “I love you, Mike Binder, and I just want to make another movie with you. We all love you, Mike Binder.”
Binder spoke openly and honestly about the film’s challenge to find a studio distributor, thanking both Kavanaugh »
- Malina Saval
40. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Lost to: Silence of the Lambs 1991 was the first time an animated film ever grabbed a nomination for Best Picture with Disney’s version of “Beauty and the Beast.” The film also picked up nominations for sound, Original Score (for which it won) and three – count ‘em Three – for Best Original Song, the Oscar going to the title song. The film never really had a chance of winning (though this was one rare year where the Academy went exceedingly dark with their winner), but its inclusion was the first step toward a wider range of films getting a chance and the creation of the eventual Best Animated Film category.
39. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Lost to: How Green Was My Valley
1941 would one day become one of the most notorious Oscar upsets, but not because of this film, however brilliant it is (the other film is much higher »
- Joshua Gaul
It’s December. And you know what that means? It means for every popcorn blockbuster, we get about three Oscar bait movies that are made solely to appease that body of somewhat stodgy Academy voters. Don’t get me wrong – a good portion of the Best Picture winners in history are still some of the greatest films ever made – “The Godfather” (Parts I and II), “Schindler’s List,” etc. But what about those historically good movies that got the nomination, but didn’t take home the prize? What about those popular movies that carried fan support, but lost out to a smaller, most of the time better, film? Well, here they are. This list focuses on those films that may or may not have been produced as Oscar bait, but earned the recognition of “Best Picture nominee,” only to walk away without the big prize. As usual, not in order of worst to best. »
- Joshua Gaul
18 items from 2015
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