18 items from 2015
When David Puttnam receives the Grand Prix of the Americas at the Montreal World Film Festival, the award will come as part honor, part vindication for the veteran Oscar-winning producer.
“I retired from filmmaking 18 years ago and you do wonder if anyone remembers you existed,” says Puttnam, 74. “So it’s a very nice re-affirmation that you did have a successful career and you must have done something right.”
The award is also very timely, as 2015 is an important year for Puttnam. Like some ex-mob figure who thought he’d finally escaped his former life, he’s found himself back on active duty. “Much to my amazement, I’m making another film, ‘Arctic 30,’ ” he says.
Puttnam was persuaded to produce the Greenpeace environmental advocacy thriller in part because of his own activism. “I took the world’s first climate change bill (through the British Parliament), and I’m very proud of that, »
- Iain Blair
Joseph Gordon-Levitt welcomed a baby boy over the weekend with his wife Tasha McCauley. Being the awards nuts that we are, we can't help but wonder if Gordon-Levitt is about to bring home another small bald thing in a few months ... the Oscar! Gordon-Levitt is the lead character in not one, but two hot Oscar contenders due out this year: "Snowden" in which he plays infamous CIA leaker Edward Snowden and "The Walk" where he portrays French high-wire artist Philippe Petit. -Break- Poll: Should John Oliver host the next Oscars? Both films are helmed by renowned Oscar-winning directors, which puts Gordon-Levitt in the unique position of having two entries in the competitive Best Actor race. "Snowden" is directed by three-time Oscar winner Oliver Stone and hits theaters Christmas day. Stone won the Oscar for Best Screenplay in 1978 for "Midnight Express" and took home Best Director trophies for "Pl..."' »
London — The British Film Institute is to pay tribute to director Alan Parker, who was Oscar nominated for “Midnight Express” and “Mississippi Burning,” with a special event that marks his decision to donate his entire working archive to the BFI National Archive.
The event, titled “Focus on Sir Alan Parker,” runs from Sept. 24 to Oct. 25. It includes an onstage interview between Parker and producer David Puttnam on Sept. 24, and screenings of the 1978 movie “Midnight Express,” which was produced by Puttnam, and Parker’s 1976 feature debut, “Bugsy Malone.”
There will be two exhibitions as part of the focus: The first offers a peek into the Parker archive, while the second exhibit will showcase Parker’s cartoon work.
- Leo Barraclough
Film-maker’s donation will include photographs, letters, scripts and more in what British Film Institute says will be a ‘hugely important resource’
Alan Parker, who went from making TV commercials to creating some of the most loved and highly regarded movies of their time, is to leave his huge working archive to the British Film Institute.
Parker’s archive covers all his films – including Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express and The Commitments – and includes photographs, production stills, letters, diaries, scripts and promotional materials spanning five decades of film-making.
Continue reading »
- Mark Brown Arts correspondent
London — Cannes-set television market and conference Mipcom will world premiere “The Last Panthers,” a six-hour diamond-heist television drama based on real events. A new trailer has been unveiled.
The show stars Samantha Morton, who was Oscar nominated for “In America” and “Sweet and Lowdown”; John Hurt, who was Oscar nominated for “Midnight Express” and “Elephant Man”; and Tahar Rahim, who won France’s top cinema prize, the Cesar, for “A Prophet.” It also features a breakthrough role for Balkan actor Goran Bogdan (“Broj 55”).
“The Last Panthers” opens with a daring diamond heist bearing all the hallmarks of a gang known as the Pink Panthers. The death of a girl during the raid sets on a collision course a British insurance agent, a French-Algerian cop and a Serbian diamond thief.
The show plunges “the audience into a Europe gripped by new forms of crime and featuring the interplay between traffickers, »
- Leo Barraclough
Sir John Hurt, recently knighted for his services to drama, revealed today that he has been diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer. He is undergoing treatment, says he is optimistic about it, and intends to continue working.
Celebrated for his work in films like The Elephant Man, Midnight Express and Alien, the 75 year old actor recently appeared alongside Dways 'The Rock' Johnson in Hercules and is currently filming The History Of Love with Gemma Arterton and Derek Jacobi. He spoke with us last year about his lengthy career and the fun he had on the set of Snowpiercer.
Pancreatic cancer affects around 9,000 people in the UK every year. The most obvious early symptom is pain in the abdomen, but many people have no symptoms at all until the diseases has »
- Jennie Kermode
Sir John Hurt has confirmed that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
"I have always been open about the way in which I conduct my life and in that spirit I would like to make a statement," he told Pa.
"I have recently been diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer. I am undergoing treatment and am more than optimistic about a satisfactory outcome, as indeed is the medical team.
He added: "I am continuing to focus on my professional commitments and will shortly be recording Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell (one of life's small ironies!) for BBC Radio 4."
He most recently »
Chariots of Fire producer reveals how Greenpeace activists brought him back to filmmaking.
When David Puttnam stepped back from filmmaking in his mid-50s, he cited the examples of some of the legendary filmmakers he had met while boss of Columbia Pictures - directors like Stanley Kramer, John Huston, Fred Zinnemann and George Stevens who felt embittered at their loss of influence late in their careers.
“What I realised…is what angry men they were. When I made the decision to be out [of the film business] at 55, it was because I realised that the last 15 years of their lives, they were not happy guys,” the Chariots Of Fire producer said in a 2008 interview.
Now, aged 74, Lord Puttnam is taking the plunge back into production.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoffrey Macnab)
The former Columbia studio boss is to make Arctic 30, a feature about the experiences of 30 Greenpeace activists thrown into Russia’s prison system after protesting against drilling in the Arctic.
The film is based on Don’t Trust, Don’t Fear, Don’t Beg: The Extraordinary Story of the Arctic 30, a book by Ben Stewart, published earlier this month.
Puttnam credits Emma Thompson, who is involved in the film and is set to help script it, with kickstarting the project.
“We wouldn’t have reached this point without her and it is very much her decision from here on in as to the degree to which she will be involved but she »
- email@example.com (Geoffrey Macnab)
Prominent British producer David Puttnam, best known for “Midnight Express,” “The Killing Fields” and “The Mission,” is set to don his producer hat again after a long hiatus with environmental activism thriller “Arctic 30,” the true tale of the activists on Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship, who were thrown into a nasty Russian jail.
Puttnam has teamed up with Saudi philanthropist and film producer Hani Farsi.
They will co-produce the pic which is based on “Don’t Trust, Don’t Fear, Don’t Beg,” the recently published first-person account by Ben Stewart, the head of media for Greenpeace, of how they took on Russia’s largest oil company that was drilling in the Arctic and the ensuing months they spent in in a jail in Murmansk.
The project, which does not have a director attached yet, will be launched by Puttnam and Farsi in Cannes Monday morning at the Plage Royale. »
- Nick Vivarelli
Jeremy Irons will rule over this year's Champs-Elysees Film Festival in Paris, serving as president of the event's fourth edition and giving a master-class during the week-long outing that celebrates American and French film. He will share the president duties with Cannes best actress winner Emilie Dequenne (Rosetta). A retrospective of some of their work will be shown, and each of them will select a favorite American and French film to showcase. Oscar nominee Alan Parker (Mississippi Burning, Midnight Express) and Oscar winner William Friedkin (French Connection, The Exorcist) will also be on hand to give master-classes as part
- Rhonda Richford
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
When Platoon won four Oscars in 1987, it marked not only a new chapter in Oliver Stone's career as a filmmaker, but also the end of a decade-long battle. Since the 1970s, Stone had been struggling to make his harrowing account of the horrors he'd seen firsthand as a soldier in the Vietnam conflict, but was famously turned down by every major studio in Hollywood.
Platoon, and Stone, finally found sanctuary at a small independent studio with a grand-sounding name: the Hemdale Film Corporation. It was Hemdale, and its co-founder John Daly, that had taken a chance on Stone, and when Platoon came out in 1986, the gamble proved to be a shrewd one: its $6m investment was covered by the first month's ticket sales, and the film »
My First R-rated Movie Or…
How I Became The 007 Of Covert Forbidden Film Viewing
By Alex Simon
For those of us who grew up in the suburbs in the pre-home video, pre-cable TV and pre-Netflix coupons 1970s and early ‘80s, there were few dangerous pleasures as heady as sneaking into an R-rated movie at the local multiplex. The multiplex cinema was a ‘70s phenomenon that made regulating children’s viewing habits infinitely more difficult than the old days of stand-alone, single screen theaters. Ironically, the new freedom that filmmakers enjoyed with the advent of the MPAA rating system in late 1968 was almost in perfect synch with the rise of multi-screen cinemas. Some things do happen for a reason.
You never forget your first...
My first R-rated film was during Thanksgiving of 1976. We were visiting my dad’s family in Birmingham, Alabama and the men adjourned after dinner to go see Two Minute Warning, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
He may not have made a movie since 2003’s The Life of David Gale starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet but anyone holding out for a thunderous return to the big screen from Alan Parker will be sadly disappointed. The man behind such gems as The Commitments, Midnight Express and Angel Heart has stated that he won’t be directing any more feature films ever again.
Speaking during a masterclass at the Bari International Film Festival in Italy recently, the English filmmaker said, “Directors do not improve with age: they repeat themselves, and while there are exceptions, their work generally does not get any better. This is the reason why I have decided not to make any more films.”
Parker was once approached about the possibility of taking the hot seat on a Harry Potter movie – we don’t know which one – but he admits, “While that would have made me extremely rich today, »
- Gavin Logan
By David Savage
Kino Lorber was right to bring out Foxes (1980) in Blu-ray under their Kl Studio Classics series. The elegant re-issue seems aimed at convincing film snobs that this little gem from the last days of disco finally deserves their attention after a distance of 35 years, during which time it was either dismissed as another insignificant teen comedy of the ‘80s, or as a guilty pleasure. But longtime champions of the film, myself included, need no convincing. We owned the clamshell VHS, we owned the first-generation DVD, and now, if anything, I’d venture to say we feel vindicated that it now carries the stamp as a bonafide classic by a home video label as respected as Kino Lorber. Indeed, a major fist-pump moment comes during director Adrian Lyne’s remark in the audio commentary that Roger Ebert selected it as his favorite film of 1980 and took it with »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls) is bringing an insanely-inventive short film, The Alchemist’s Letter, and this is a trailer you have to see. You aren’t going to get that much, but it already looks so good that it will have you begging for more.
Given what we’ve seen come out of the studio, you have to think that there is a great story to offer here as well, and this looks like a short that could expand the abilities and delivery of the medium in much the way that Pixar‘s forced-view effort has.
Get the info below, and check this trailer out.
Pixel Veil Productions Release Trailer For Animated Short Film, The Alchemist’S Letter New Dark Fairy Tale Narrated by Academy Award-Nominated John Hurt Takes Viewers on Richly Inventive Journey Through the Power of a Person’s Memories
Today, Pixel Veil Productions debuted the trailer »
- Marc Eastman
The legendary producer admitted that he was supposed to meet up with the Us singer earlier in the year, but their studio session had to be pushed back.
Asked who his favourite modern artists are, Moroder told Digital Spy and other journalists: "I love Rihanna and I'm going to work with Lady Gaga when I'm back.
"I was going to meet her in the studio about a week ago, but I had a terrible cold so I couldn't. So of the new [artists], those two are great."
"I have an offer to do a big movie," he said. "I cannot tell you »
18 items from 2015
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