1-20 of 135 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
This year has already seen several extraordinary feature-length documentaries, many of which were pulled from the popular arts. Actually some excellent examples focused on the music world, with Lambert & Stamp and Amy attracting a great deal of acclaim (and quite a bit early Oscar-buzz). This new release delves into another art, the art (and it really is one) of acting, by giving us a peek at a true legend of stage and screen. Often actors become a touchstone, a symbol for the decade in which they garnered their greatest triumphs. In the 1950’s, the two actors who truly exploded onto the scene were James Dean and Marlon Brando. While Dean was a bright, shooting star snuffed out by tragedy after just three films, Brando rode a bumpy rocket, with highs and lows, into the next century. Biographies have filled the bookshelves through the years, but what did he think of his life and work? »
- Jim Batts
Before there was Ovitz or Ari, there was Sue Mengers.
During the peak of her clout in the 1970s, the brash barrier-breaker helped popularize the idea of the Hollywood super-agent. The media lapped up her comic crudity (after the Manson family murdered actress Sharon Tate, she told a frightened Barbra Streisand, “Don’t worry, honey, they’re not killing stars, only featured players”), her legendary dinner parties attracted Tinseltown’s A-list, and “60 Minutes” came calling to do a lengthy interview that captured Mengers dishing and deal-making.
She was so larger than life that she inspired both fictional knockoffs, such as the fast-talking agent portrayed by Dyan Cannon in “The Last of Sheila” and hit Broadway plays like “I’ll Eat You Last,” which had Bette Midler offering a wicked send-up of the legendary tenpercenter. Yet biographer Brian Kellow, fresh off his acclaimed book “Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark, »
- Brent Lang
The first trailer for festive comedy-drama Love The Coopers has debuted online today, along with a selection of images from the film; check them out here…
Directed by Jesse Nelson (I Am Sam), Love The Coopers features an all-star cast including Ed Helms (Vacation), Olivia Wilde (Rush), Amanda Seyfried (Ted 2), June Squibb (Nebraska), Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler), Anthony Mackie (Captain America: Civil War), Alan Arkin (Going In Style), John Goodman (The Gambler) and Diane Keaton (The Godfather).
Love The Coopers follows the Cooper clan as four generations of extended family come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration. As the evening unfolds, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn to night upside down, leading them all toward a surprising rediscovery of family bonds and the spirit of the holiday.
Love The Coopers hits Us cinemas on November 13th and UK cinemas on December 4th.
- Scott J. Davis
Directed by Dennis Hopper.
An experienced cop and his rookie partner try to control gang violence on the streets of L.A.
One was an experienced cop who had seen all there was to see on the streets. The other was young, obnoxious and eager for the fight. Together they were… not your typical buddy cop movie. Okay, Dennis Hopper’s Colors isn’t a buddy cop movie at all but you could probably cut together a fan edit that makes it look like one. It would only look like one, though, and not play out like one because Colors isn’t about the cops – played here by Robert Duvall (The Godfather) and Sean Penn (The Gunman) – patrolling the streets of gangland L.A. and their relationship with each other, »
- Gary Collinson
August 25 will be a big night for Academy board members: That’s when they select 2015 recipients of the Governors Awards.
According to the website, AMPAS encourages members of the Academy to weigh in. They didn’t say anything about non-members, but why not? Movie fans have strong ideas too.
So here are some proposals: Michael Apted, whose range includes the “Seven Up!” docus to “Coal Miner’s Daughter”; Tsui Hark, a key figure in Asia’s action films; Richard Lester, the influential director; documaker extraordinaire Frederick Wiseman; and actress-director Jeanne Moreau. Incredibly, none has ever been nominated for an Oscar. And how about activist Rob Reiner for the Hersholt?
Variety exec editor Steven Gaydos also offers some stellar names for consideration: Gilles Jacob, who led the Cannes Fest for decades; producer-casting pro Fred Roos, whose groundbreaking credits include “The Godfather” and “American Graffiti”; Brit filmmaker Ken Loach; American actress Gena Rowlands »
- Tim Gray
Welcome to the latest installment of our summer trip through "The Sopranos" season 1. When I revisited early seasons of "The Wire," as well as the whole run of "Deadwood," I did separate versions of each review for newcomers and veterans, but over time realized that the newcomers weren't commenting much, if at all, and that it therefore made sense to simply do one review. Any significant spoilers for episodes beyond the one being reviewed will be contained in a separate section at the end of the review; so long as you avoid that, and the comments, you should be fine. Thoughts on the eleventh episode, “Nobody Knows Anything," coming up just as soon it's 1954 inside this house... "This is our friend we're talking about here." -Tony After "A Hit Is A Hit" put most of the bigger season 1 stories on pause, "Nobody Knows Anything" presses play on one of the »
- Alan Sepinwall
Escobar: Paradise Lost, 2014.
Written and directed by Andrea Di Stefano.
A young Canadian surfer falls in a love with a local young Columbian woman and soon discovers her uncle is the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar.
A fictionalized romance against the backdrop of true events is always a tricky one to balance for the romance either does a disservice to the events, or can detract from it. Either way, Andrea Di Stefano bravely decides to focus more on the young love between good-guy surfer Nick (Josh Hutcherson) and health worker Maria (Claudia Traisac), rather than on the atrocities of drug lord-cum-political corrupter Pablo Escobar (Benicio del Toro). The character introductions of Nick/Maria’s overt niceties presuppose a divide between the couple and the ominous presence of Escobar’s power.
The film begins with Nick and Maria packing frantically in their sweltering, »
- Matthew Lee
Christopher Nolan recently announced a new project entitled Quay, a documentary short about two British stop-motion animators. Set to premiere next week, it’s a far cry from Nolan’s blockbusters in both scope and subject matter. Yet it’s clearly a personal project, with Nolan using his clout and money to promote two obscure filmmakers.
Every artist – director, star, screenwriter – has some project that they want to make above all. A deeply personal, original idea; an autobiographical story; a favored story or hero they wish to celebrate. If a filmmaker is successful or lucky enough, they get a chance to produce them. Yet sometimes the reaction isn’t what they expect.
Francis Ford Coppola started his career directing exploitation films for Roger Corman, notably the horror film Dementia 13 (1963). Then he toiled as screenwriter and occasional director, helming the musical Finian’s Rainbow (1968) and the more personal The Rain People »
- Christopher Saunders
"Listen to me, Marlon...This is one part of yourself speaking to another part of yourself. Listen to the sound of my voice and trust me. You know I have your interests at heart. Just relax, relax, relax. I'm going to help you change in a way that will make you feel happier, more useful...I want you to accept what I say as true. What I tell you here and now is true."
- Marlon Brando, self-hypnosis tape, 1996
By Alex Simon
In addition to being widely regarded as the greatest film actor of all-time, Marlon Brando, who died in 2004, remains one of popular culture's great enigmas. A man who fiercely guarded his privacy and shunned the spotlight whenever he could, Brando purchased an island in the South Pacific, a place so remote and removed from the western world and its media. It was »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
“I coulda been a contender! I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.” That classic scene from “On The Waterfront” was part and parcel behind Marlon Brando's release into the stratosphere of supercool. Beginning with his stage debut as Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire” (which he, of course, reprised in the 1951 film adaptation), his film debut in “The Men,” and a string of larger-than-life roles culminating with his Oscar-winning turn as Terry Malloy in 'Waterfront,' Hollywood was Brando's oyster in the 1950s, and a man became a cultural symbol. Through these roles, and future titanic turns in “The Godfather,” “Apocalypse Now,” and “The Last Tango in Paris,” we know and remember Marlon Brando as one of the greatest screen actors of all time. But what of the man behind the actor? This question fuels Stevan Riley's documentary, »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
Diane Keaton is the latest big name to join the cast of The Young Pope.
The Godfather actress will play an American nun living in Vatican City in the new television drama from Sky, HBO and Canal+.
She joins Jude Law in the series, who leads the cast as fictional pope Lenny Belardo, the first Italian-American leader of the Catholic church.
Belardo, a conservative American pontiff, is recruited for the role by a Vatican fed up with liberal Popes.
Belardo is described as "a complex and conflicted character, so conservative in his choices as to border on obscurantism, yet full of compassion towards the weak and poor".
The eight-part drama will be directed by Paolo Sorrentino, and will enter production later this summer in Italy, Africa, Puerto Rico and the Us. »
The performance of an actor playing a villainous role can sometimes be the most interesting part of the film. This is an in-depth look at some of those performances which were awarded with an Oscar.
To get a good character in film, you have to develop that character. The audience needs to see the world through their eyes in order to understand their perspective and motivations. This is especially true with villains, which are arguably more difficult to develop than a traditional protagonist. Often times villains are given the short end of the characterization stick in any given film, which makes sense. It’s not easy making an action that could hurt or harm other people seem logical, so many films don’t put much effort into it. The audience recognizes a villain when they see one, and they know he is bad because of his actions, no matter how questionable they may be. »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
It’s definitely been a week for good-byes.
My daughters and I spent the weekend in the beautiful, still somewhat quaint small town of Auburn, California, helping to lay to rest and celebrate the life of my dear aunt Mary Pascuzzi, my fraternal grandmother’s sister, who was the centered matriarch of her own family and a stabilizing force for all of us in her extended family as well. She, and my grandmother, were big fans of classic-era American movies and enthusiastically encouraged my interest, just one reason why they’re both held dear in my heart and in my memory. And being Italian, they both had more than a casual interest in The Godfather when it came out in 1972. I remember my aunt Mary talking to me about having seen it and wondering, me at the ripe old age of 12, if I’d had a chance to go yet. »
- Dennis Cozzalio
The star of The Godfather and Scarface, who now supplements his income selling seats on his private jet and doing meet and greets, talks about marriage, ageing and death – and why, with his new film Manglehorn out in August, he has no intention of giving up acting
In 2011, Al Pacino roasted himself. In the Adam Sandler comedy Jack & Jill, he falls for the twin sister of a Los Angeles advertising executive (Sandler), the buxom, boorish Bronxite Jill (also Sandler). Pacino plays himself as a sell-out and a creep, mocking the roles that made him famous by rapping for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (“You want creamy goodness? I’m your friend. Say hello to my chocolate blend”), carelessly allowing his Oscar to be smashed while trying to impress Jill during an impromptu game of stickball. He is befuddled, paranoid, pretentious and hopeless. He’s confused by La and adrift within his own celebrity. »
- Henry Barnes
By Lee Pfeiffer
Alex Rocco, whose hard scrabble life on the streets of Boston prepared him to successfully play crime figures in films and on television, has died from pancreatic cancer at age 79. During his youth, Rocco ran with the notorious Winter Hill Gang, which was founded by the infamous Whitey Bulger. His association with the gang led him to be incarcerated as well as being suspected of having driven a getaway car used in a murder. At one point, his first wife was almost killed when a bomb exploded in a car she was driving. Rocco, who was born Alexander Petricone Jr, took the stage name of "Rocco" on a whim when he saw a bakery truck bearing the Rocco name on it. Fearing that his associations of the Boston mob would lead to his demise, he spontaneously decided to move to Hollywood. He took an acting class that was taught by Leonard Nimoy, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Robert Duvall has a few inviolable rules when he's making a movie: If there's a horse to be ridden, he will ride it; if there is a dance to be danced, he will dance it, and if there is a song to be sung, he will sing it.
"Those three things I am going to do myself without a double, unless it's a dangerous stunt," the legendary actor tells Rolling Stone Country.
So when the script for his new film, Wild Horses, called for him to sing the western standard, »
Whatever you think of the results of the poll of critics the BBC's conducted to come up with its list of the "100 greatest American films," we can surely all agree that we're glad to have the notes on the top 25: Glenn Kenny, for example, on #1, Orson Welles's Citizen Kane, Stephanie Zacharek on #2, Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, Ali Arikan on #4, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Bilge Ebiri on #6, F.W. Murnau's Sunrise, Molly Haskell on #11, Welles's The Magnificent Ambersons, Jonathan Rosenbaum on #18, Charles Chaplin's City Lights and so on. Also today: Ai Weiwei gets his passport back; remembering E.L. Doctorow—and more. » - David Hudson »
BBC Culture has this week unveiled a new list of the top 100 American films, as voted for by a pool of international film critics from across the globe. The format of the poll was that any film that would make the list had to have recieved funding from a Us source, and the directors of the films did not need to be from the USA, nor did the films voted for need to be filmed in the Us.
Critics were asked to submit their top 10 lists, which would try to find the top 100 American films that while “not necessarily the most important, but the greatest on an emotional level”. The list, as you may have guessed, is very different to the lists curated by say the BFI or AFI over the years, so there are certainly a few surprises on here, with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (2013), Terrence Malick »
- Scott J. Davis
First off, let's make one thing clear. We're not scratching our heads at Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" making the BBC's 100 greatest American films. That movie, of which an image accompanies this post, not only made the list, but ranked appropriately at no. 25. It's the rest of the selections that have us scratching and, yes, shaking our heads in disbelief. A wonderful page view driver, these sorts of lists make great fodder for passionate movie fans no matter what their age or part of the world they hail from. There is nothing more entertaining than watching two critics from opposite ends of the globe try to debate whether "The Dark Knight" should have been nominated for best picture or make a list like this. Even in this age of short form content where Vines, Shapchats and Instagram videos have captured viewers attention, movies will continue to inspire because »
- Gregory Ellwood
Theodore Bikel, the Oscar- and Tony-nominated actor and folk singer, died Tuesday morning in Los Angeles at the age of 91. Bikel died at UCLA Medical Center, his publicist Harlan Boll announced. He earned an Oscar nomination in 1960 for his role in “The Defiant Ones,” starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier. Also Read: Alex Rocco, Actor in 'The Godfather,' Dead at 79 He also originated the role of Captain Georg von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” on Broadway and for playing Tevye in thousands of onstage performances of the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” He made his first appearance as Tevye in. »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
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