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Cinema has an almost unparalleled ability to upset and offend. From the terror caused by the train heading towards the audience to the copy-cat crimes that caused Stanley Kubrick to voluntarily remove A Clockwork Orange from circulation, films have inspired negative reaction since their very beginning. That’s where the censors come in.
It’s the job of ratings boards like the BBFC (in Britain) and the MPAA (in America) to make sure films that have the ability to disturb, offend or otherwise be awful on a wide scale are either cut – as is the case with every Human Centipede film – or otherwise banned – as it the case with every Human Centipede film until Tom Six acquiesces with the requested cuts.
Without wanting to celebrate censorship, most ratings boards usually have a good reason for banning a film: it’s horribly violent, racist, sexist, involves rape, invokes terrorism, »
- Tom Baker
As reported by Deadline, Stanley Kubrick’s written script for The Downslope will now be made into a film series by World War Z and Finding Neverland director Marc Forster, who will serve as producer for all three films and director for the first. Kubrick wrote the script in 1956 after his film Fear and Desire hit theaters, and before he started working on Paths of Glory. The film is said to be “a sweeping, historical action-drama,” according to Deadline, and will revolve around the Civil War. The first film of the trilogy will be based on Kubrick’s script and concept, and the subsequent films will expand on his original ideas and focus on the after-effects of the Civil War.
Kubrick’s death in 1999 has obviously not stopped his ideas from reaching the big screen, as seen with Spielberg’s film A.I. Artificial Intelligence in 2001. That film was brought about »
Deadline reported earlier that a screenplay that Stanley Kubrick (The Shining, A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket) wrote in 1956 will be developed into a trilogy. Kubrick wrote the civil war era screenplay, The Downslope, between other war films, Fear and Desire and Paths to Glory. The trilogy of films will be produced by Marc Forster (Monster's Ball and World War Z) and he will direct the first installment. An anti-war story, The Downslope focuses on a bitter, strategic series of Civil War battles in the Shenandoah Valley between young Union General George Armstrong Custer and Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby (known as the Gray Ghost for his stealth strategies). His cavalrymen, known as Mosby's Rangers, continually outsmarted the much-larger enemy forces in a sequence of...
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Lauren Selig (“Lone Survivor”), Barry Levine (“Oblivion”) and Reneé Wolfe (“All I See Is You”) will be producing with Forster. Selig initiated the project with producers/rights holders Phil Hobbs (“Full Metal Jacket”) and Steve Lanning, who are also serving as producers.
The movie has the full support and encouragement of the Kubrick family. Kubrick wrote the script following the release of his allegorical war film “Fear and Desire” and prior to directing his World War I drama “Paths of Glory.” Both films were cautionary, anti-war stories.
“The Downslope” centers on a series of Civil War battles in the Shenandoah »
- Dave McNary
There’s an inherent developmental disconnect in “Another Period,” a Comedy Central series that seeks to spoof programs like “Downton Abbey,” laboring to find the elusive sweet spot between a knowing send-up for those who watch such fare and a farcical take-down for those who wouldn’t be caught dead doing so. Series creators/stars Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome have certainly attracted a first-rate cast to assist with the silliness, only to settle for the below-the-belt aspects of turn-of-the-century mores. There are amusing moments, but the conceit ultimately seems better suited to a “Saturday Night Live” sketch than another series. Period.
Set in Newport, R.I. in 1902, the show focuses on the Bellacourts, a filthy rich family vastly outnumbered by their doting servants, whom they generally treat like furniture. Indeed, a sexual tryst is dragged out as the two upper-crust participants wait for their butlers and maids, silently standing watch, »
- Brian Lowry
31 follows five carnival workers who are kidnapped the night before Halloween and held hostage in a large secret compound known as Murder World. Once there, they have 12 hours to survive a terrifying game called 31 in which “The Heads” – murderous maniacs dressed as clowns – are released to hunt them down and kill them.
Also featuring in the cast of 31 are Tracey Walter, Meg Foster, Judy Geeson, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Jane Carr, Richard Brake, Ginger Lynn, David Ury, Daniel Roebuck, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Pancho Moler, E.G. Daily, Torsten Voges, Sheri Moon Zombie, Lew Temple, Bari Suzuki and Devin Sidell.
- Gary Collinson
Directed by Gerald Kargl
Roger Ebert famously observed that, “Art is the closest we can come to understanding how a stranger really feels.” If that’s the case, Angst might be the deepest that cinema has ever plunged into the mind of a psychopath. Dispassionate, clinical, and obsessed with the minutiae of tortured fantasies, director Gerald Kargl ensnares his audience in a monstrous trap. We have certainly seen more graphic films, but few more disturbing in their depiction of true evil. Fans of forbidden cinema must seek out this demented masterpiece. All others must avoid it at all costs.
If you’ve ever wondered what Alex was forced to watch for his aversion therapy in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, it probably resembled something close to Angst. Austrian filmmaker Gerald Kargl concocts a fiendish blend of fact and fiction; a patchwork of »
- J.R. Kinnard
We look at the films that slipped through Hollywood's net, from biblical epics to a time travelling Gladiator sequel...
This article contains a spoiler for Gladiator.
If you're one of those frustrated over the quality of many of the blockbusters that make it to the inside of a multiplex, then ponder the following. For each of these were supposed to be major projects, that for one reason or another, stalled on their way to the big screen. Some still may make it. But for many others, the journey is over. Here are the big blockbusters that never were...
The late Michael Crichton scored another residential on the bestseller list with his impressive thriller, Airframe. It was published in 1996, just after films of Crichton works such as Jurassic Park, Rising Sun, Disclosure and the immortal Congo had proven to be hits of various sizes.
So: a hit book, another techno thriller, »
Around this time last year, I basically fell head over heels in love with The Fault in Our Stars, the rare Young Adult (or Ya) adaptation that really worked in my eyes. Well, fancy my surprise when I saw Me and Earl and the Dying Girl last week, a film that’s just as good, if not better. Another Ya tale about the tragedy of teenager cancer, this one is a total horse of a different color. I really found myself moved by it, of course, but also laughing out loud quite a bit. This is as funny a flick as it is an emotional one. As such, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is as great as anything else that I’ve seen so far in 2015. I’m not sure it’ll wind up on Oscar’s radar, but it really should be. The film is an adaptation »
- Joey Magidson
"Out of the ruins, out from the wreckage
Can't make the same mistakes this time.
We are the children, the last generation
We are the ones they left behind…"
From the moment you hear Tina Turner's powerful wailing over the opening credits, you know Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is going to be a very different proposition to its glorious predecessors. Could that offbeat, anarchic energy be successfully retained for a film clearly designed for mass market appeal? Not quite.
The plot is an uninvolving mishmash of ideas and characters that never feel fully formed or realised. Max is thrust into the dangerous realms of Bartertown, a skewed remnant of society that's superbly well designed. After agreeing a deal with Turner's crooked ruler Aunty Entity, he faces a fight to the death in a steel cage called the Thunderdome.
A similar narrative structure to franchise revival Fury Road then ensues, »
A tense trailer for a post-apocalyptic thriller, variant cover art for The Walking Dead #1 featuring Michonne and her pets, and Blu-ray / DVD release details for Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau comprise this round-up.
Z for Zachariah: Directed by Craig Zobel from Nissar Modi's screenplay that's based on the 1974 novel by Robert C. O’Brien, Z for Zachariah stars Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Chris Pine. The film is slated for a limited theatrical release from Roadside Attractions beginning August 21st.
Synopsis (via Collider): "In the wake of a nuclear war, a young woman survives on her own, fearing she may actually be the proverbial last woman on earth, until she discovers the most astonishing sight of her life: another human being. A distraught scientist, he’s nearly been driven mad by radiation exposure and his desperate search for others. »
- Derek Anderson
Since Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, the Star Trek cinematic outings have proved to be a smorgasbord of references and famous actors (or those who would go on to be), and often had complex behind the scenes events that stopped some rather, ahem, fascinating moments making it to the final version. We found lots of nerdy spots in the first six films here.
This time out we look at the films featuring the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation and choose 47 factoids. Granted, there's a lot more than that of interest, but we've tried for ones that you might not be aware of.
Oh, and there are some major spoilers...
Star Trek: Generations (1994)
1. The first of the Next Generation films was something of a rush job as principal photography »
People have a pretty intimate relationship with music. The song that was playing when you had your first slow dance, broke up with that certain someone, or lost your virginity will rank higher for you than it will for some random listener. Even bad songs have a way of causing flashbacks, for better or worse. So when a movie ties a song to imagery we never imagined while making out in the back seat, it can shake up our reality a little. Say Anything permanently connected Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” with boom boxes and early-morning wake-ups, and who among us can hear Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” without regretting that they spent good money to see Sleeping with the Enemy? Here are some other songs that celluloid changed forever.
“The Star-Spangled Banner,” Poltergeist (1982) – A whole generation hears this song with a sense of dread thanks to its »
- M. Robert Grunwald
1971 was an incredibly violent year for movies. That year saw, among others, Tom Laughlin’s Billy Jack, with its half-Indian hero karate-chopping rednecks; William Friedkin’s The French Connection, its dogged cops stymied by well-heeled drug runners; Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, banned for the copycat crimes it reportedly inspired; and Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, featuring the most controversial rape in cinema history. Every bloody shooting, sexual assault and death by penis statue reflected a world gone mad.
It seemed a reaction to America’s skyrocketing crime. Between 1963 and 1975, violent crimes tripled; riots, robberies and assassinations racked major cities. The antiwar and Civil Rights movements generated violent offshoots like the Weathermen and Black Panthers. Citizens blamed politicians like New York Mayor John Lindsay (the original “limousine liberal”), who proclaimed “Peace cannot be imposed on our cities by force of arms,” and Earl Warren’s Supreme Court, »
- Christopher Saunders
Many a filmmaker shows up at the Sundance Film Festival dreaming of becoming the next Martin Scorsese. But only Alfonso Gomez-Rejon can claim to have crashed on the legendary director’s sofa, retyped his script pages and learned at his side.
Unsurprisingly, the “Taxi Driver” auteur is everywhere in Gomez-Rejon’s Sundance grand jury prize-winner “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” which Fox Searchlight opens in limited release June 12. Greg Gaines, the movie’s cinephile protagonist, has a “Mean Streets” poster tacked to his bedroom wall, a first-edition copy of “Scorsese on Scorsese” on his desk, and a photo of the filmmaker’s longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker as his computer screensaver.
And those are just some of the homages that crop up throughout the second feature by Gomez-Rejon, who learned some of his craft at Scorsese’s elbow, as the director’s production assistant on the Las Vegas shoot of “Casino” in 1995. Now, »
- Scott Foundas
As Mad Max: Fury Road spews out thrills and soaks up acclaim in cinemas around the globe, now is a fitting time to revisit cinema's first encounter with the angst-ridden Antipodean way back in 1979. Set "a few years from now", it's an unsettling and unpredictable experience, full of creeping psychological tension and striking vehicular devastation. Both the dystopian world and the central character we initially see are different in many ways to what is currently wowing audiences, while being essentially the same in tone and spirit.
While Fury Road achieves that remarkable feat of being a faithful continuation of the character and original trilogy while working as a standalone entity too, knowing Max's background adds valuable insight. Is it any wonder why he is so resistant to forming any emotional bonds with characters like Charlize Theron's Furiosa given that he once had to scrape what was left of his »
There was a time when Malcolm McDowell’s status as a jobbing actor in numerous celluloid stinkers appeared to eclipse his defining roles in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and Lindsay Anderson’s If.
However, good reviews for Amazon Studios’ Mozart In The Jungle brought him back to public attention in a way he maybe hadn’t experienced for a while. This success may be consolidated by his now taking the lead in a remake of Vincent Price comedy horror classic The Abominable Dr.Phibes.
The 1971 movie saw Price’s irrevocably-scarred academic seek revenge on the surgeons who he believed killed his wife following the devastating car crash that put her in hospital and destroyed his face. To make things more interesting he despatched each of them in the florid fashion of the Old Testament’s Ten Plagues Of Egypt. A sequel, Dr.Phibes Rises Again, followed and Price »
- Steve Palace
It was August, 2005. I knocked on the double door at the Four Seasons. It opened almost immediately. "Hi, I'm Nic," he said, hand outstretched. Nicolas Cage wasn't who I expected him to be. Like all actors, he was smaller and trimmer in person than he appeared on-screen. Neatly dressed in an Armani suit, Cage also displayed none of the manic fervor in real life as had become his signature on-screen. He was thoughtful, well-spoken and incredibly literate in all seven arts. It's an infrequent experience that you leave an interview feeling you've just met someone that you could hang out with regularly, but I got that with Nic Cage, in spades. He was endlessly fascinating, but also kind of a regular guy. Another of my favorite chats I count myself lucky to have been part of.
Nicolas Cage: Lord Of The Nerds
It’s an inevitable »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
HitFix's recent spate of "Best Year in Film History" pieces inevitably spurred some furious debate among our readers, with some making compelling arguments for years not included in our pieces (2007 and 1968 were particularly popular choices) and others openly expressing their bewilderment at the inclusion of others (let's just say 2012 took a beating). In the interest of giving voice to your comments, below we've rounded up a few of the most thoughtful, passionate, surprising and occasionally incendiary responses to our pieces, including my own (I advocated for The Year of Our Lynch 2001, which is obviously the best). Here we go... Superstar commenter "A History of Matt," making an argument for 1968: The Graduate. Bullit. The Odd Couple. The Lion in Winter. Planet of the Apes. The Thomas Crown Affair. Funny Girl. Rosemary's Baby. And of course, 2001, A Space Odyssey. And that's only a taste of the greatness of that year. "Lothar the Flatulant, »
- Chris Eggertsen
The beginning of May every year means one thing to me and thousands of other horror fanatics around the world. For the past ten years, it’s meant we’ve arrived at another annual Texas Frightmare Weekend. It’s the only event in the Lone Star State that brings together genre actors and artists that we not only grew up watching but are still enjoying on the silver screen and television. 2015’s convention lineup is no different as we welcome actors from Scream, The Craft, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, and Phantasm to name a few. The terrifying fun kicks off this coming Friday, May 1st at the Hyatt Regency located on the grounds of the Dfw Airport.
I’ve attended Texas Frightmare Weekend for the past few years and only regrettably missed it once. It’s one of the best conventions in the South. All the celebrity guests are »
- email@example.com (Eric Shirey)
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