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My first horror movie? Disney's "Return to Oz." I was in elementary school when I first watched Walter Murch's dark, visionary 1985 film, which was marketed to children despite being one of the most legitimately terrifying "family movies" of all time. It rattled me, deeply. I couldn't stop watching it. Released on June 21, 1985 to mixed reviews and poor box office, "Return to Oz" was the first and last directorial effort from esteemed Oscar-winning sound and film editor Walter Murch, who cut such acclaimed movies as "Julia," "Apocalypse Now," "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley." It was not, as they say, your grandmother's "Oz" movie. The Wicked Witch of the West may have been frightening for very young kids, but she was nothing compared to the devilish, head-swapping Princess Mombi, the sadistic, baritone-voiced Nome King, and, god help us, the cackling Wheelers, a group of fluorescent roller-derby »
- Chris Eggertsen
It’s the sweep, the plein air space and beauty, the wide screen and the way people become magnetic, dynamic forces within the places they inhabit. Some of the best films of the seventies shared these qualities, in North America and Europe, a new naturalistic cinematic language, look and tone that was majestic and emphatic. In North America, films like Days of Heaven, The Godfather, The Conversation, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Jaws, The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now opened the world with wide screens, refusing to be bound by film conventions.Directors and cinematographers recognised by the end of the […] »
- Anne Brodie
Falling Skies commences its ten-episode final season with an entertaining uptick in violence...
This review contains spoilers.
5.1 Find Your Warrior
In season four of Falling Skies, Battlestar Galactica veteran David Eick took over as showrunner and producer, and the show shifted subtly from a Revolutionary War parallel to a more traditional war story. Now, with the final season locked in for ten episodes, Eick is promsing even more chaos and carnage, transitioning from the Revolution to Vietnam. He's even gone as far as to call the last season of Falling Skies 'Apocalypse Now on crystal meth'. The family drama is getting put by the wayside for some good, old-fashioned alien murder, or so we're promised.
That remains to be seen, but after watching the first episode of the season, I can say that there is a very high body count and for once, Falling Skies doesn't trade bloodshed for speeches—you get both, »
“The Kingdom of Morocco is among my most favorite places on earth, and thus the Marrakech International Film Festival is a joy to attend,” said Coppola. Added the helmer, “My Paternal Grandmother was born in North Africa (Tunisia) and I remember well the stories she told. All that personal history plus the fact that Morocco was the first country to recognize the American Colonies as an independent nation makes me feel most welcome.”
An American film icon, Coppola has won five Academy Awards and is best known for directing “The Godfather” trilogy and “Apocalypse Now.” Coppola also launched his own production vehicle, American Zoetrope, and produced movies directed by George Lucas, Carroll Ballard, John Milius as well as his daughter Sofia Coppola.
Marrakech film fest »
- Elsa Keslassy
“Falling Skies” began as a loose allegory for the American Revolutionary War when the alien invasion TV show first aired in 2011. Humans are fighting on their own turf for independence from extraterrestrials. That analogy evolved, as the finale of season 2 gave viewers their first look at the Volm, a species of alien who act rather like the French do for the Patriots, coming to the aid of the Earthlings. Say good morning, Vietnam, season 5. Showrunner David Eick describes the final season as “‘‘Apocalypse Now’ on crystal meth.” It’s a season of more moral ambiguity. It’s a season when characters push themselves to their absolute limits. The entire series has blended elements of sci-fi, war show, horror and family drama, but for season 5 there will be more focus on “war tales” and “combat stories,” said Eick, the “Battlestar Galactica” alum who came aboard “Falling Skies” as showrunner for season »
- Emily Rome
Francis Ford Coppola is among the few living filmmakers to whom "inimitable" truly applies. A recent chat with Insdorf for 92Y's Reel Pieces series spans his life and career, from mounting the titanic production of "Apocalypse Now" to his latest project "Distant Vision," a live semi-autobiographical novella-length film wrought in real-time on the 6,000-square-foot soundstage at Oklahoma City Community College. The live cinema project screened earlier this month. Highlights include a reminiscence of his grandfather, Agostino, an assessment of the future of film and a deep-dive into Marlon Brando, who ran afoul on the set of "Apocalypse Now" and who, as told by Brando himself in Stevan Riley's innovative documentary "Listen to Me Marlon" (July 29), actually took the script from Coppola's hands and rewrote it. Read More: How Francis Ford Coppola's 'The Outsiders' Got Made, with Help from School Librarian »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Arrow Video resurrects Jack Hill’s first solo directorial effort, Spider Baby (1967) for lovers of cult oddities. Prior to becoming a lynchpin in the Blaxploitation film movement with his signature Pam Grier titles such as Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974), Hill knocked around as co-director on B-grade horror films, including Roger Corman and Stephanie Rothman projects. Unfortunately, this strange little number didn’t see release for several years due to its producers getting tied up in bankruptcy. Originally titled “Cannibal Orgy,” the theatrical release kept the extended title of Or the Maddest Story Ever Told (several other venues played it under the title The Liver Eaters). Not nearly gritty or violent enough to warrant such provocative monikers, its eventual name remains the most befitting. Featuring horror alum Lon Chaney Jr. and an eerie early role for (an almost unrecognizable) Sid Haig, Hill was obviously inspired at arming popular genre motifs with teeth. »
- Nicholas Bell
Films that are banned in the UK: The controversial Human Centipede Part III arrives in UK cinemas in a couple of weeks, and has received a certificate for release, but here are 13 films that are banned in the UK.
It’s hard to believe that in this day and age that there are still movies banned from distribution in the UK. The BBFC (the British Board of Film classification) is the body that governs the British film market, and applies the necessary rating to films released in cinemas, on the digital markets, and on DVD and Blu-Ray.
The British Board Of Film Classification
In recent times we’ve actually seen movies have their ratings downgraded by the BBFC as social climates adjust, and the world moves on in terms of tolerance and acceptance. Here are some examples. The original cut of Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola‘s lengthy Vietnam movie »
- Paul Heath
Musical innovators Asian Dub Foundation will perform their latest live soundtrack to George Lucas’ 1971 visionary cult sci-fi classic Thx 1138 at ten venues nationwide in October 2015, following its UK premiere at the Barbican on 19th June.
Retaining much of Lalo Schiffrin’s distinctive score and soundtrack, Asian Dub Foundation’s sparse and beautiful new interpretation creates a memorable live experience to Lucas’ chilling, stylistic dystopian fantasy where mood-stabilising drugs are mandatory, sex is prohibited, and a young Robert Duval rages against the system. Talking about the project for the Barbican podcast, Steve Savale of Adf says, “after the success of Battle of Algiers and La Haine I wanted to find a film that’s technically possible to rescore so that audiences can actually watch the film and experience the music live… it was very important to respect the avant-garde, »
Part time capsule, part black satire, part junked-up party pic, the little-known drug crime-caper was called ‘the most evil film ever’
Every once in a while, behind-the-scenes stories about problems beleaguering a feature film production are so dramatic or weird they deserve a movie unto themselves. The classic example is Francis Ford Coppola’s disastrous experience making Apocalypse Now and the jaw-dropping documentary that captured how wrong everything went for his Vietnam war epic, 1991’s Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.
Australian cinema’s most sensational case study of a film that went bizarrely off the rails is also one of its least well known. There will never be another film quite like writer/director Bert Deling’s once-lost racy 1975 drama Pure Shit, and nor could the strange circumstances that beset its production and release ever be repeated.
Continue reading »
- Luke Buckmaster
“…if I might beg just one drop of the Mother’s mercy.”
For all that the High Sparrow likes to talk about the laws of gods and men, the truth is that no life in Westeros or the wider world of which it is a part is lived within an ordered set of rules. Whatever the Mother’s mercy really is, if it exists out there in some pure and undiluted form, the people begging for it sure aren’t getting it. Shireen didn’t, but that doesn’t stop a distraught queen Selyse from seeking an escape from her dead daughter’s specter by hanging herself in a lonely hollow in the northern forest.
Selyse’s death is just one of many calamities that befall Stannis in the episode’s torturous opening minutes, beginning with the desertion of half his army and ending with his defeat at the hands of the Boltons. »
- Gretchen Felker-Martin
Long before the comic book boom of the 21st Century, Hollywood's handling of heroes drawn from the funny pages was a touch and go enterprise. More at home in the serials era of the 40s and 50s, that iconography leaked out onto the big screen in only drips and drabs, a "Superman" here, a "Batman" there. And indeed, a year after Tim Burton brought the latter to unique Gothic heights in 1989, Warren Beatty brought another flesh and blood crime fighter to the big screen with bold expressionistic strokes. Today, "Dick Tracy" stands out as a hand-crafted wonder. Beatty's team was jammed with talent, and it needed to be, for this was an exercise in placing the viewer in a world only slightly familiar. Its extremes — and there were many — were a direct extension of design techniques and flourishes. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, »
- Kristopher Tapley
The Sundance favorite didn’t set any records, but Fox Searchlight, the studio behind the tearjerker about a high school cinephile who befriends a cancer-stricken classmate, insists it is pleased with the film’s performance.
“We felt the film was strong enough to go in the summer,” said Frank Rodriguez, senior vice president of distribution at Searchlight. “There was no indication [‘Jurassic World’] would do $200 million, and that kind of sucked up all the air, but there was still space for us and we got the press and reviews we needed.”
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” debuted in six markets and 15 theaters to a respectable $210,000, representing a per-screen average of $14,000. Rodriguez likened those results to the $116,666 and $19,444 per-screen to which “Napoleon Dynamite »
- Brent Lang
Harry Callahan’s next adventure originated with John Milius, Hollywood’s favorite gun fanatic, surfer and “Zen anarchist.” Milius wrote B Movies for American International Pictures before breaking through with two Westerns, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and Jeremiah Johnson. His knack for macho action and pulpy, colorful dialogue fit Dirty Harry perfectly; Milius wrote his draft in 21 days, receiving a Purdey shotgun as payment.
Though uncredited, Milius claims credit for Harry‘s dialogue, especially the “Do I feel lucky?” monologue. Others, including Richard Schickel, credit Harry Julian Fink with that speech. Clint Eastwood marginalizes Milius’s contributions to the film, admitting “we might have taken a few good items John had in there.” Milius resented this: “Look at the movie and you tell me who wrote that,” he challenged an interviewer.
Milius soon moved past any hurt feelings. After reading several articles on Brazil’s “death »
- Christopher Saunders
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) Film Review, a film directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, and starring Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Ronald Cyler II, Jon Bernthal, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton, and Molly Shannon.
“I have no idea how to tell this story. I don’t even know how to start it.”
That’s the opening line of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, spoken by our lead character Greg, an awkward high school kid whose only real desire is to not be noticed at all. Greg is a kid who doesn’t have a ton of friends (and refers to his only real friend as his “co-worker”), stemming from his issues with his parents and his lack of confidence in himself. That’s not me reading subtext from the film, because there is literally a scene in which a character describes Greg in this way. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl »
- Michael Smith
Listen To Me Marlon Trailer and Poster. Stevan Riley‘s Listen To Me Marlon (2015) movie trailer, movie poster stars Marlon Brando. Listen To Me Marlon‘s plot synopsis: “With exclusive access to his extraordinary unseen and unheard personal archive including hundreds of hours of audio recorded over the course of his life, this is the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary. Charting his exceptional career as an actor and his extraordinary life away from the stage and screen with Brando himself as your guide, the film will fully explore the complexities of the man by telling the story uniquely from Marlon’s perspective, entirely in his own voice. No talking heads, no interviewees, just Brando on Brando and life.”
- Marco Margaritoff
Sound on Sight undertook a massive project, compiling ranked lists of the most influential, unforgettable, and exciting action scenes in all of cinema. There were hundreds of nominees spread across ten different categories and a multi-week voting process from 11 of our writers. The results: 100 essential set pieces, sequences, and scenes from blockbusters to cult classics to arthouse obscurities.
Whether storming a beach or a besieging castle, marching on foot or charging on horseback, in a historical epic or a fantasy extravaganza, battles scenes are some of the most complex and intricately choreographed of all action scenes. Capable of zooming in to a one-on-one fight between two foes or zooming out to show a big picture look at the action–and featuring anywhere from dozens to hundreds to thousands of extras, either flesh and blood or digital–these are the scenes in which wars are fought, tides are turned, and glory is won. »
- Shane Ramirez
Blockbusters are great, but make sure you set aside some time this Summer to see Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, an indie that will very likely melt your heart. Yes, the Sundance sweetheart, opening this week, is about a girl with leukemia, but it's so much more than that. We sat down with the stars - Thomas Mann (Beautiful Creatures), Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel), and newcomer Rj Cyler - and the director, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, to get the scoop on the movie. Take a look below to find out what they can't wait for you to see, what excellent scene got cut (don't worry - it'll be on the DVD!), and what they need you to know about their movie. Popsugar: What is the most important thing that you want people to know about your movie? Thomas Mann: That it is a comedy! Well, it's mostly a comedy. »
Ready for a new Netflix original to get obsessed with? This week you can finally binge your way through "Sense8," the new mysterious sci-fi drama from "Matrix" creators Andy and Lana Wachowski. Amazon Prime also has some stellar new streaming options this June -- "The Shining" and "Apocalypse Now" are both available if you're looking for classic film favorites to sink your teeth into. »
- Alana Altmann
James Wan's longtime collaborator Leigh Whannell was the co-creator and co-writer of the Saw and Insidious series. For the third chapter of Insidious, Whannell has personally picked up the director's megaphone for the very first time.
We met up last week to speak about his newly-forged processes as a writer-director, his ambitions, the lessons he learned from this film, and lots more besides, from Poltergeist to The Shining and, at three separate talking points, the Star Wars saga.
I think would-be filmmakers and students of the medium will find some of his answers particularly intriguing, but be warned, there are spoilers for The Others, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Going back to the beginning, the first Insidious was regularly compared to Poltergeist. Did it start out as a Poltergeist homage, »
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