5 items from 2016
It’s been three decades since “Stand By Me” became the little drama that could, catapulting River Phoenix to stardom, establishing Rob Reiner as a director on the rise, and racking up big ticket sales on a paltry budget.
The story of four friends from small town in Oregon, hiking into the countryside in search of the body of a boy who has been hit and killed by a train, is an unlikely coming-of-age tale. Yet in Reiner’s sensitive hands, it becomes a meditation on mortality — one that transcends its 1950s setting to have a universal appeal.
“Stand By Me” is unique in other ways. For one thing, it rivals “The 400 Blows” in its ability to evoke complex characterizations from young actors. Not only Phoenix as spiritual leader Chris Chambers, but co-stars Wil Wheaton as sensitive Gordie Lachance, Jerry O’Connell as wisecracking Vern Tessio, and Corey Feldman as hot-tempered Teddy Duchamp, »
- Brent Lang
By Lee Pfeiffer
Bud Spencer, the burly former Italian athlete who became an iconic film star in his native country, has died at age 86. Spencer, whose real name was Carlo Pedersoli, chose his stage name as a tribute to Budweiser beer, which he loved, and Spencer Tracy, his favorite film star. Although Spencer's film found some exposure in the American market, his greatest success was found in European comedy westerns that often co-starred his friend Terence Hill. Among the films that are best known to English-speaking audiences are "Ace High", "The Five Man Army", "They Call Me Trinity", "Trinity is Still My Name!", "Four Flies on Grey Velvet" and "A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die". Among the contemporary actors Spencer counted among his admirers was Russell Crowe. For more click here. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Rome — Bud Spencer, the burly Italian actor who starred in dozens of genre movies including many widely exported Spaghetti Westerns such as “Trinity is Still My Name,” which is among Italy’s all-time top grossing titles, has died. He was 86.
In the late 1960s, just as his acting career was starting to take off, Carlo Pedersoli changed his name to Bud Spencer as an homage to Budweiser beer and Spencer Tracy. He also reportedly thought it was ironic to call himself Bud despite his Herculean physique, which made him known to his fans as “the big friendly giant” of the screen.
Born in Naples in 1929, Spencer first gained a measure of fame as an athlete, becoming the first »
- Nick Vivarelli
Daniel Crooke here, with the news that Kelly Reichardt’s sixth feature film, Certain Women, has found a home at IFC Films after screening at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim but no immediate buyer. While some of her (unnamed) louder, male peers from the American indie scene of the ‘90s have gone on to beat their chests across multiplexes with Great Big Cinema, Reichardt has kept fixing nitrogenous empathy to her storytelling roots over the years and elevated them into a premiere form of living, breathing naturalism. Certain Women stars Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, and Kristen Stewart as an intersecting triptych of Montana ladies, whose “performance style is as casually organic and democratic as in any of her more scrappily cast early projects,” according to Guy Lodge at Variety.
- Daniel Crooke
George Kennedy has died, the actor passing away yesterday at the age of 91 according to a Facebook post from his grandson Cory Schenkel.
Kennedy mostly played gruff characters in various genres. He appeared in all four of the 1970s "Airport" films, he's known to a whole generation as Frank Drebin's boss Ed in "The Naked Gun" films, and he won an Oscar for co-starring with Paul Newman in "Cool Hand Luke".
Other notable film credits include the original "The Flight of the Phoenix" and the war time classic "The Dirty Dozen," the disaster epic "Earthquake," the Clint Eastwood mountain climbing spy thriller "The Eiger Sanction," westerns such as "Bandolero" and "The Sons of Katie Elder", the all-star Agatha Christie adaptation "Death on the Nile," Otto Preminger's post-Pearl Harbor tale "In Harm's Way," and Michael Ciminio's "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot".
He also had roles in TV series such as "Dallas, "Bonanza, »
- Garth Franklin
5 items from 2016
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