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5 items from 2012

Jurassic Park IV: something survived …

12 October 2012 9:01 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

If purported production art is genuine, it's true that a fourth Jurassic Park film featuring human-dinosaur hybrids was canned

It's been more than a decade since 2001's Jurassic Park III, and dinosaur fans have had to content themselves with the odd rumbling from Steven Spielberg about the series' future (most notably at last year's Comic-Con). What's that you say? Nobody wants to see Laura Dern and Sam Neill inexplicably end up on either island again, with a convenient troupe of cute kids having spuriously come along for the ride? Well, what if I told you that the original screenwriters on Jurassic Park IV felt exactly the same way?

There have long been rumours of an abandoned "dinos with guns" take on the fourth instalment in the series. Back in 2007, the Ain't It Cool blog published a script review of an utterly freaky screenplay. Now, for the first time, we can »

- Ben Child

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Mubi Presents: "Bastards of Hitch" in New York

13 July 2012 11:00 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Bastards Of Hitch at 92YTribeca

Alfred Hitchcock. First, his name became synonymous with suspense. Then, his carefully cultivated and marketed brand of storytelling grew into its own veritable sub-genre of psycho-sexual thrillers. Today, his uniquely recognizable personal style and tone continues to influence generations of filmmakers’ tendencies as well as filmgoers’ expectations.

For this coming August, I programmed six movies influenced by the Master of Suspense to be screened at 92YTribeca (all on 35mm film): Jonathan Demme’s early exercise in paranoia amidst a world of double-crossing special agents; Richard Attenborough’s distorted reimagining of Psycho with a terrifying ventriloquist’s dummy sitting in for Norman Bates’ mother; Saul Bass’ sole directorial outing about a killer swarm (ants, not birds); an eminently elegant and dryly sardonic neo-noir mindgame from David Fincher; Nicolas Roeg’s own take on a story by frequent Hitchcock inspiration Daphne du Maurier; and a mid-career »

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Retro Active: Magic (1978)

2 July 2012 1:54 PM, PDT | GreenCine Daily | See recent GreenCine Daily news »

by Nick Schager

[This week's "Retro Active" pick is inspired by the man-and-his-doll fantasy Ted.]

"We're gonna be a staaaaar!" crows Fats, the ventriloquist dummy controlled by Corky (Anthony Hopkins), toward the beginning of Magic, but stardom is something to be feared as much as coveted by the showman protagonist of Richard Attenborough's adaptation of William Goldman's novel (itself seemingly indebted to The Twilight Zone episode "The Dummy"). That hopeful exclamation is made while both Corky and Fats are spied in a mirror, a recurring visual trope that speaks to the mounting duality and insanity of its confidence-lacking main character, who after early struggles at amateur nights—where he responds to audience indifference with vitriolic rage—finds himself on the precipice of stardom upon taking to the stage with Fats. A big-eyed, sailor-capped wooden sidekick, Fats is the motormouthed Id to Corky's Ego, and his profane (at least by 1978 standards) brashness makes him an instant hit, as well as marks »

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Inside Broadway and ‘Mamma Mia!’ ‘Creates Magic’ With NY Students

15 June 2012 7:39 AM, PDT | | See recent Backstage news »

The Winter Garden Theatre was filled with 1300 students who participated in Inside Broadway’s annual “Creating the Magic” workshop on Thursday. The cast of  “Mamma Mia!” entertained students with lavish musical numbers from the production, including “Dancing Queen,” “Chiquitia,” “Sos,” and others. The Audience at Creating the Magic (Elena Olivo)Inside Broadway is a nonprofit organization that brings Broadway theater to New York City public school students. This year, the organization will be celebrating 30 years of introducing kids to the Great White Way. Production Stage Manager Andy Fenton showed students the technical aspects that go into putting on a Broadway production. Students gasped in awe when the set piece of a house transformed into a courtyard. Mamma Mia! Production Stage Manager Andy Fenton at Creating the Magic (Elena Olivo)Performers also explained to the students what it means to work in the theater. “Being a performer is taking a risk, »

- (Laura Meltzer)

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John Forrest obituary

6 May 2012 9:03 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

My friend the actor John Forrest, who has died aged 80, combined a distinguished film career with work as a stage magician. He had his first success as a child actor, in David Lean's classic movie Great Expectations (1946), as the "pale young gentleman" – the young Herbert Pocket.

Known later for his many supporting roles playing very "British" characters such as Grassy Green in Very Important Person (1961), he was in fact born in the Us, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His English mother, an artist, had married an American lawyer, and when the marriage broke up after a few years, she brought John and his sister to England where they lived in the village of Cookham, Berkshire. Their neighbours were the painter Stanley Spencer and his equally eccentric brother, Horace, who taught John magic.

Following his early film success, John acted alongside such distinguished actors as David Niven, in Bonnie Prince Charlie (1948), Richard Attenborough, »

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