6 items from 2015
Has any contemporary movie star more intriguingly chafed at the gilded prison of stardom than Robert Redford? Certainly, he was not the first — or the last — matinee idol who endeavored to show us there was more to him than just a pretty face (or, in Redford’s particular case, that California tan, those blazing baby blues, and that wonderfully, ridiculously tousled hair).
Some actors, so inclined, stretch themselves in their choice of material; others add producing, directing, and even political activism to the mix. But “Bob” did all that and still felt somehow unfulfilled. So, rather like a fussy housewife forever rearranging the living room furniture, he gazed out at a sizable property he owned in the mountains of Utah and thought that an institute devoted to the cultivation and support of American independent filmmakers might look awfully nice over there.
If Sundance now seems nearly as iconic as Redford himself, »
- Scott Foundas
Is this heaven? Nope, it’s Opening Week.
It all started Sunday night with the Cardinals at the Cubs with St. Louis winning 3 to 0.
To celebrate the first pitch of Opening Week, here’s our list of the best Baseball movies.
One of the best baseball biopics to come along over the years, The Rookie, starring Dennis Quaid, tells the true story of Jim Morris, a man who finally gets a shot at his lifelong dream-pitching in the big leagues. A high school science teacher/baseball coach, Morris’ players make a bet with him:if they win district, »
- Movie Geeks
Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury and Audience Award winner "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" is heading to theaters slightly earlier than expected. Fox Searchlight originally announced "Earl" would open in limited release on July 1. Now, the studio has reconsidered and the acclaimed dramedy will debut in limited release on June 12. The new date actually puts "Earl" on the same opening day as another Sundance hit, "Dope," although Open Road Films is making an eye-popping move by opening that film wide against expected blockbuster "Jurassic World." "Earl" will now avoid opening in the same frame as Woody Allen's "Irrational Man" and Judd Apatow's "Trainwrecked" which could siphon some of its audience in key metro markets. One thing is for sure, with a June release date Searchlight is going to need to get a trailer out sooner rather than later. That means a sneak peek for anyone who »
- Gregory Ellwood
Almost exactly a year ago, John Ridley accepted the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for “12 Years a Slave,” a film that changed the way we think about race in our history. The next morning, he flew to Austin to begin filming ABC’s “American Crime,” a television show he hopes will change the way we think about race today.
“I don’t know that I’ve had an experience quite like this one,” says Ridley, 49, who serves as executive producer. “When I look at it from outside to inside, is there a show like this on network television? Very fundamentally, no.”
An 11-episode anthology series, “American Crime” chronicles a murder in Modesto, Calif., not through the perspective of the cops and the lawyers, but through the victims’ parents, the suspects and the community at large. It tackles hot button issues of faith and religion, ethnicity and class. It is, »
- Debra Birnbaum
George Lucas offered a bleak assessment of the current state of the film business during a panel discussion with Robert Redford at the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday, saying that the movies are “more and more circus without any substance behind it.”
However, the “Star Wars” director hit back at critics who said his role in kicking off the blockbuster film business has watered down cinematic storytelling.
“If you go into ‘Star Wars’ and see what’s going on there, there’s a lot more substance than circus,” he argued.
In its day, “Star Wars” represented a major breakthrough in technology, and it’s easy to discern a throughline from the galaxy far, far away to the comic book movies and special-effects driven productions that dominate today’s movie screens. The tools he helped popularize were all in the service of plot, he argued.
“All art is technology,” said Lucas. »
- Brent Lang
Young Robert Redford and politics: 'The Candidate' and 'All the President's Men' (photo: Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in 'All the President's Men') A young Robert Redford can be seen The Candidate, All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor, and Downhill Racer as Turner Classic Movies' Redford series comes to a close this evening. The world of politics is the focus of the first three films, each one of them well-regarded box-office hits. The last title, which shows that politics is part of life no matter what, is set in the world of competitive sports. 'The Candidate' In the Michael Ritichie-directed The Candidate (1972), Robert Redford plays idealistic liberal Democrat Bob McKay, who, with no chance of winning, is convinced to run against the Republican incumbent in a fight for a California seat in Congress. See, McKay is too handsome. Too young. Too liberal. »
- Andre Soares
6 items from 2015
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