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When it comes to documentaries that chart the making of a particular film, some of the very best have come from those closest to the filmmakers. The most towering achievement in this regard is probably "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse," an intense making-of documentary that follows Francis Ford Coppola and the bonkers production of "Apocalypse Now," that was co-authored by Coppola's wife, Eleanor. Following in Eleanor's footsteps is Liv Corfixen, the wife of "Drive" filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, who took to cataloguing the production of Refn's polarizing, Bangkok-set thriller "Only God Forgives," with "My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn." We had the chance to sit down with Refn and Corfixen at the recent Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. The documentary is an intimate portrait of frustration and familial unrest (since they had to move the family to Bangkok), but you can tell that the bedrock of their relationship. »
- Drew Taylor
If I could turn into another person it would be Anthony Bourdain. Why? He's got the life I envy. The television essayist travels the world to exotic locations for CNN Doc series "Parts Unknown." Using local foodies as guides to each new country, he eats yummy mouth-watering cuisine as he grills the locals on their culture and often drinks to excess, while his team of four--two producers and two cameramen--shoot reportage, on the street in Shanghai and Myanmar, inside restaurants and kitchens in India, Thailand and Spain, on rural farms in Colombia and Paraguay, under water off the coast of Sicily, in S & M parlors in Tokyo. They are often inspired by movies they've seen, from "Apocalypse Now" to "In the Mood for Love." It's not all fun and games. Fans of the show will remember the infamous Sicily episode, when Bourdain was in despair when his Mediterranean guide to »
- Anne Thompson
Remember before Keanu Reeves was a badass in The Matrix he was that doofus in a ’80s comedy about time travel that probably isn’t as good as you remember it? You know, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure! It was totally excellent and featured life lessons to live by like “Be Excellent to Each Other” and “Party On Dudes” as eloquently delivered by Abraham Lincoln in a high school auditorium. Yeah, it was totally excellent and probably ruined your ability to pronounce “Socrates” correctly.
The film was so popular that it also got a sequel and children’s cartoon, and now 23 years in the making, people are still talking about Bill & Ted 3, even though George Carlin is dead and you’re not quite sure what happened to Alex Winter.
Now Winter has revealed additional plot details for the third film to Yahoo, saying the characters will be all-grown up and »
- Brian Welk
When we talk about difficult film productions, the same names seem to come through. Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter, for instance, are productions with well-told stories of how those behind the scenes went to proverbial hell and back. In more recent times, most of us are more than familiar with the hell that those behind World War Z went through to get it to the screen.
What I though would be a bit different though is take a generally very successful film, and dig a bit deeper to see if there was a troubled story there. One where behind the scenes issues are rarely talked about. Given that I've come to this piece straight after writing about 1991's movies, here, I settled on The Addams Family. »
The abundance of Netflix Streaming options can be so overwhelming that even picking the right genre to fit a mood can be an all-night affair. We have tried to make it easier for you with our weekly and monthly streaming-video roundups, but sometimes you just want to cut to the chase and watch a great film. That's why we've sorted through thousands of possibilities to present you with the best of the best. Critical consensus, general popularity, legendary status — if a movie could be considered great (and it's on Netflix), you'll find it below. As always, feel free to note anything we've left out in the comments. We will try our best to update this list every month, as titles get added and removed all the time.Dramas The Conversation (1974), Apocalypse Now (1979)With AMC ensuring that there will never be a shortage of The Godfather, it's time to give »
- Matt Patches
Daredevil’s martial arts mentor Stick will be played by Scott Glenn…
With Marvel’s Netflix-based Defenders universe not expected to materialise on-screen until next year, it’s nice to have some reassurance that the constituent shows are pushing ahead at a healthy pace.
Today, we’ve learnt that Stick, martial arts mentor to Daredevil, has been cast. Teaching The Man Without Fear to punch, kick and other important things will be veteran screen actor Scott Glenn.
It’s likely you’ll recognise Glenn from somewhere. In a prolific career spanning back to the 1970s he’s played Lieutenant Colby in Apocalypse Now, Jack Crawford in The Silence Of The Lambs, Captain Mancuso in The Hunt For Red October, Wise Man in Sucker Punch and Ezra Kramer in the Bourne series.
Stick first appeared in the comics in 1981’s Daredevil #176, and has acute control of his senses as well as telepathic and life-draining abilities. »
Edward Zwick is a great filmmaker, but he rarely gives you subtlety. Some have criticized his medium-to-large-budget action films – titles that include Glory, Defiance and Blood Diamond – as too simplistic, which would have stained those efforts more if they were not so compelling and exciting. So, to hear that the director was behind a film about the introspective game of chess and its most famous player, the complex and controversial Bobby Fischer, was nerve-wracking. Would the film skimp on the nuances of the New York chess sensation? Could the Last Samurai director figure out a way to depict the game in an inventive way onscreen?
Well, although Zwick has still not managed to find a way to visually communicate the game of wits and cunning, he has still made a biopic and thriller that should entertain those who do not even know how to play chess. Pawn Sacrifice is a »
- Jordan Adler
Scott Glenn has been announced by Marvel to play the mysterious martial artist and mentor to Daredevil, Stick, in the upcoming Netflix series which is set to debut next year. Glenn is best known for his roles in The Bourne Ultimatum, The Silence of the Lambs, Training Day and Apocalypse Now. This is not the first time that the character of Stick will appear in live action, with Terence Stamp previously playing the role in Elektra back in 2005.
“Stick is one of the most important figures in Matt Murdock’s life and Scott Glenn embodies all the qualities of someone so integral to this hero’s journey,” said Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television. “There are few actors who could bring such the authenticity, gravitas and charisma to such a key role in Matt’s journey to become the super hero we call Daredevil.”
Glenn joins a growing cast »
- Thomas Roach
PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
The biggest game of the year has landed. After an obnoxious marketing campaign, and what feels like a dozen game-play demonstrations on stage at conferences, Destiny has finally hit the streets, and what an odd creation it is. It’s one of the most contradictory games I’ve ever played. Beautiful and artless. Ambitious yet safe. Boring and exciting. Co-operative and competitive. A rich universe with no story to tell. It’s a huge game with a focus on mass appeal, yet apparently no particular demographic in mind.
Coming from Bungie of Halo fame, this is a big, brash shooter that is similar to Halo in the same way that a cherry pie is similar to a chicken pie. The crust is familiar, but once you get into it, the filling is entirely different. Try serving chicken pie up for dessert at a dinner party, »
- John Cal McCormick
Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett are known for their collaborations on A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next, and the V/H/S franchise. They’re back at their unique brand of darkly comedic horror with The Guest (review), which opens in theaters nationwide on September 17th.
In The Guest a mysterious soldier shows up on the doorstep of the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son, who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths occur, which seem oddly connected to his arrival.
We got a chance to catch up with them to ask a few questions… hope we didn’t overstay our welcome!
Dread Central: How come you built the story around a soldier, who is evil? Was there any hesitation in presenting America’s hero as a villain?
Simon Barrett: No. »
- Staci Layne Wilson
George L. Little, a top-notch costume designer who worked on the Kathryn Bigelow films The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, as well as the upcoming reboot of The Fantastic Four, has died. He was 63. Little, who got his start as a costumer on Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 classic Apocalypse Now and contributed to Transcendence — the April release that starred Johnny Depp — died Aug. 29 at his home in Los Angeles, his ex-wife Carlane Passman told The Hollywood Reporter. Passman, a costume supervisor, chose not to divulge details surrounding Little’s death. Little served as costume designer on Tony Scott’s
- Mike Barnes
The 41st annual Telluride Film Festival kicked off with a packed screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now featuring Coppola, screenwriter John Milius (still recovering from his debilitating stroke but in great spirits), cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, producer Fred Roos, and editor and sound designer Walter Murch in attendance for a post-film Q&A. It was the kind of event that represents what Telluride does best as a kind of summer camp for movie lovers: presenting a great film impeccably projected before an appreciative crowd in a casual, conversational atmosphere. There’s something about the environment of Telluride — both the gorgeous Colorado […] »
- Jim Hemphill
The opening night feed of the 41st Telluride Film Festival
The phenomenal 41st Telluride Film Festival flew by with lightning speed over Labor Day weekend. It kicked off Friday night with a Russian themed feed for the patrons, guests, and staff on main street, and closed with a joyous Labor Day picnic for the film goers in the town park. The weekend was jammed full of docs, a silent film, a screening of Robert Altman’s California Split with George Segal present, and a copious array of new narrative films. Gems of the festival included Birdman, Dancing Arabs, Rosewater and Foxcatcher.
The festival also showcased the highly anticipated North American premieres of Reese Witherspoon in Wild, Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game, and a sneak peak of Benicio Del Toro in Escobar: Paradise Lost. There were in-depth tributes to actress Hilary Swank (who came with the Tommy Lee Jones helmed »
- Lane Scarberry
Justin Chang: How was your Telluride, Scott? Mine was terrific — though I should note that I don’t really have a frame of reference, being a first-timer at this annual mountainside mecca for movie lovers. Still, I’m happy to report that just about everything I’ve heard is true: the unbeatable backdrop, the near-unbeatable films, above all that wondrous sense that the usual barriers separating filmmakers, journalists and audiences have magically melted away for one long weekend, uniting us all in one collective cinephile bliss-out. This is a festival where you’re as likely to pass Alexander Payne, Mike Leigh or the Dardenne brothers in the street as you are to make it into your next screening, and where a Megan Ellison sighting can send a momentary hush through a screening queue. (“You’re a rock star,” someone told her as we waited in line for Jon Stewart’s “Rosewater, »
- Justin Chang and Scott Foundas
Throughout the summer, an admin on the r/movies subreddit has been leading Reddit users in a poll of the best movies from every year for the last 100 years called 100 Years of Yearly Cinema. The poll concluded three days ago, and the list of every movie from 1914 to 2013 has been published today.
Users were asked to nominate films from a given year and up-vote their favorite nominees. The full list includes the outright winner along with the first two runners-up from each year. The list is mostly a predictable assortment of IMDb favorites and certified classics, but a few surprise gems have also risen to the top of the crust, including the early experimental documentary Man With a Movie Camera in 1929, Abel Gance’s J’Accuse! in 1919, the Fred Astaire film Top Hat over Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in 1935, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing over John Ford’s »
- Brian Welk
The USC School of Cinematic Arts is the new home of the Dennis Hopper Collection. The announcement of the collection, an assembly of the late actor and artist’s scripts, awards, film posters, photography and personal letters, was announced by Elizabeth M. Daley, dean of the school.
In collaboration with the Hopper Art Trust and Visions and Voices, the university’s campus-wide arts initiative, a selection from the collection entitled “Part of Being An Artist: The Dennis Hopper Collection, Selected Artwork and Ephemera,” is on display in the Hugh Hefner Exhibition Hall and Cinematic Arts Gallery. It is exclusive to students, faculty and staff through Oct. 9 and open to the public from Oct. 10-Nov. 26.
“We are honored to have the Dennis Hopper Collection here at the School of Cinematic Arts,” said Daley. “The collection spans the eclectic reach of Hopper’s multi-faceted work, and represents to all our students the »
- Shelli Weinstein
In our conversation about his new film Birdman on Sunday — after its triumphant North American premiere at Telluride the night before — I told director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu that I never thought I would see the day when we would be talking about this creator of oh-so-heavy dramas like Amores Perros, Babel, 21 Grams and Biutiful becoming a front runner to win a Golden Globe for comedy. “I have to laugh about that,” he said. “When I hit 50 last year I really thought I should lighten up a little bit. I have been doing some personal stuff that I thought would get me to a very nice place and understand a lot of things that before I didn’t.” He continued to challenge himself by filming Birdman with the illusion that it is one shot from first frame to last. It’s a device, but I must say it works perfectly for »
- Pete Hammond
Waste Land, 2014.
Directed by Pieter Van Hees.
A Brussels homicide cop (Jérémie Renier) begins to lose control of his life as he tries to solve a bizarre murder.
A child peacefully sleeps in his bed while a rabbit nightlight glows on the floor creating the impression that you are looking at a painting; he is not alone in the room as his father watches over him with a grim expression. Surreal elements start to creep in as desolate Brussels has the occasional sleeping inhabitant stretched out on benches or dozing in cars while a riverbed which contains a discarded wing back chair encounters a strong wind.
The father leaves his wife who is a teacher and son at school; he turns out to be a police inspector who gets to role play the victim at »
- Trevor Hogg
A Canadian surfer finds himself in the deadliest closeout of his life — on dry land — in “Escobar: Paradise Lost,” which imagines that downfall of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (played by Benicio Del Toro) as seen through the eyes of a naive acolyte drawn into his web. The directorial debut of veteran Italian actor Andrea di Stefano (“The Prince of Homburg,” “Eat Pray Love”), “Escobar” offers and Di Stefano’s assured, muscular helming. Pickled up during production by Weinstein Co. subsidiary Radius, this smarter-than-average genre pic (scheduled for a Nov. 26 release) could prove a robust performer in niche theatrical and VOD play, especially if it connects with the large and underserved Latino moviegoing crowd.
It’s fitting that Di Stefano took pause to note the presence of Francis Coppola in the audience for the film’s Telluride world premiere, since one needn’t look too hard to see the lipstick »
- Scott Foundas
On the opening day of the 41st Telluride Film Festival, it was possible to spend several hours immersed in "Apocalypse Now", which received a special tribute, 35 years after its initial release in 1979. The 650-seat Werner Herzog Theatre was sold out. So many were turned away that a request I'd never heard before was made, and obeyed, for City Lights passholders (a special program for high school students and teachers) to vacate their seats, leading one of my seatmates to observe that there went the most likely candidates in the audience who had never seen "Apocalypse Now" on the big screen. I said I'd probably have hidden my pass and scrunched down in my seat. Luckily another screening was already scheduled in the 500-seat Chuck Jones Cinema for the following morning at 8:30 a.m. The movie has never looked better -- nor sounded better, thanks to the amazing Meyer Sound »
- Meredith Brody
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