6 items from 2014
If I had to make a list of the ten film directors who I think most influenced my own standards of what filmmaking can be and should be, Mike Nichols would be on that list, if only for the first two films he made. And it may seem strange to say that I admire how he survived making those masterworks, but early success can destroy even the greatest talent because of the expectations it creates, and Nichols somehow managed it in a way that many other talented people have not. That is not to say that the rest of his work is not worth that kind of consideration and discussion. It's just that Nichols came out of the gate with two genuine, no-debate masterpieces, two films that crackle with life, two films that are so visually adept that they are humbling, two films packed with performances that go beyond good »
- Drew McWeeny
When people pass away, we often praise them with, "What couldn’t they do?" Exaggeration. With Mike Nichols, there’s really no answer to the theoretical. A seasoned comedian, a pillar of New York City theater, a successful film director — earning a Best Picture nomination, four Best Director nominations, and one win in the latter category — and one of only 12 people to successfully collect the coveted Egot, when it came to the entertainment industry, there really wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. He went out on a high. Thursday morning, we learned that Nichols passed away at the age of 83. Fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany in 1938, Nichols wound up in New York City and called the city home for nearly his entire life. Attending college in Chicago, he became part of the theater and comedy scenes, joining Second City and forming the comedy duo Nichols and May, along with actress Elaine May. »
- Matt Patches
As you’ve probably already heard, director Mike Nichols passed away last night. Our obituary is here, with a wealth of supplemental material to help you remember the man and just what a remarkable legacy he leaves. We also wanted to add our own thoughts on some of his greatest films. Nichols was something of a polyglot, though perhaps not working across different genres so much as different moods, and polylgot doesn’t quite capture just how effortless he made the business of directing seem. Working mostly within a category that could be loosely defined as the mid-budget adult drama (exactly the kind of films that are getting squeezed out these days, between big blockbusters on the one side and tiny, low-budget indies on the other), Nichols found space to range from the broad comedy of “The Birdcage” (featuring a lovely turn from the late Robin Williams) to the solemnity of “Silkwood, »
- The Playlist Staff
Sometimes, 'Treehouse Of Horror' segments are more than just funny, but truly nightmarish.
The Simpsons' annual "Treehouse Of Horror" Halloween special has been a holiday tradition for 25 years.
Mostly taking their inspiration from sci-fi and horror classics, "Treehouse Of Horror" has created some of the funniest and most well-crafted parodies of all time. Occasionally, however, the show manages to write a segment that is really, legitimately creepy.
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To really get into the spooky spirit, here are 12 truly scary "Treehouse Of Horror" stories to give you nightmares this Halloween.
1. "Bad Dream House"- "Treehouse Of Horror I" – Segment 1
The Simpson family moves into a haunted house that bleeds from the walls and possesses everyone - except Marge - and manipulates them into trying to kill each other with knives and axes.
Video: The Simpsons Kicks off 278-Hour Marathon
Based on the horror classics Poltergeist and [link »
Macbeth was the first film Roman Polanski made following the murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, and friends at the hands of the Manson family. At the time he'd been working on the sci-fi thriller The Day of the Dolphin, which would later be made by Mike Nichols. It was during a skiing trip arranged by Victor Lownes, a subsequent producer of the film, Polanski made the decision Macbeth would be his next film. It was a decision he made feeling his next film "should be something serious, not a comedy... something with some depth." Polanski would team with Kenneth Tynan to write the screenplay and, thanks to urging from Lownes, Hugh Hefner and Playboy would eventually serve as the film's producer after no one else would touch it. As Polanski notes in an included 60-minute documentary on this new Criterion Blu-ray release, to that point there had only been »
- Brad Brevet
The Supporting Actress Smackdown of '73 arrives on July 31st, just over two weeks from now. You need to get your votes in too if you want to participate (instructions at the bottom of this post). If you've wandered in from elsewhere and are like, "What's a Smackdown?," here's how it started.
The Smackdown Panel for July
Without further ado let's meet our panel who will be discussing popular classics Paper Moon, The Exorcist, and American Graffiti as well as the more obscure title Summer Wishes Winter Dreams. All of the Supporting Actress nominees this Oscar vintage were first timers and so are our Smackdown panelists.
Dana Delany is an actress working on stage, screen, television and now internet. She was last seen starring in "Body of Proof" on ABC. In August you can rate and review the pilot "Hand of God" in which she co-stars with Ron Perlman on Amazon. »
- NATHANIEL R
6 items from 2014
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