13 items from 2014
Aliya looks back at the film Peter Sellers wanted destroyed and finds it very, very dark indeed...
Peter Sellers is one of those figures of British comedy whom everyone feels, in retrospect, was only laughing on the outside. If you want to know about his less than happy life then it's worth watching Geoffrey Rush give a brilliant performance in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004). Rush does a really good job of putting across his deep-seated sense of emptiness. Sellers once said of himself, “I could never be myself… You see, there is no me. I do not exist… There used to be a me, but I had it surgically removed.” This might sound like a deep statement of angst; it seems entirely fitting to me that he said it to Kermit during his 1978 appearance on The Muppet Show. Ten seconds later you can watch him recite »
When I told my wife Paramount was planning on re-releasing Forrest Gump this September in IMAX to celebrate it's 20th anniversary I was largely telling her to gauge her reaction. Would she say, "Oh, we should go see that" or "What the hell"c Happily it was the latter because I can't figure out for the life of me why anyone would need to go see Forrest Gump in IMAX, let alone why we'd need to go see it again at all. I was 17 when I first saw Forrest Gump and I'll admit I liked it, but wow is that a film I have no real desire to see again all these years later, not to mention I have since seen Peter Sellers in Being There (1979), which I'd say is everything Forrest Gump is trying and wants to be and more. This isn't as if I'm some outright hater when it comes to Forrest Gump, »
- Brad Brevet
From Spaced and Shaun of the Dead to Paul and Star Trek, Simon Pegg has perfected playing rage-filled geeks, and we see a moment of such abrupt and senseless rage in the trailer above for his latest. But at its core, Hector and the Search For Happiness is a drama about the adventure one man who needs to find joy. Based on the François Lelord novel, Hector and the Search For Happiness stars Simon Pegg as the titular Hector, an unhappy psychiatrist who decides to leave behind his rut and routine, travel and--well--search for happiness. The film's director Peter Chelsom has previously compared this adaptation to Being There and Forrest Gump because of its fable nature and contemporary love story. But from the trailer above, it's reminding us a bit more of a more recent adventure story. Remember The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Hector and the Search For »
The newly-released U.S. trailer for the Sundance hit “Frank” is as bizarre as one would expect for an oddball comedy about a musician who wears a papier mache head.
Michael Fassbender hides behind a giant fake head for the entirety of the film. However, his character Frank does have the decency to say his facial expressions out loud: “welcoming smile,” “wear a grin,” “bashful half smile.” Well, until his deadpan sidekick (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) tells him he’s being annoying.
Lenny Abrahamson’s quirky comedy, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, follows a wannabe musician (Domhnall Gleeson) who joins an eccentric band, led by Frank, and encourages them to perform at the SXSW music festival. Frank’s rationale of creating music solely for the joy of it is called into question.
“‘Frank’s’ insights into human nature extend beyond the sphere of music, finding »
- Maane Khatchatourian
On a cold night in January, George R.R. Martin sits inside the Jean Cocteau Cinema, a revival theater that he owns in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he has lived since 1979. The Cinema had been showing the first three seasons of HBO's megahit series Game of Thrones, which is based on Martin's still-in-the-works saga A Song of Ice and Fire. After viewing the ninth episode, "Baelor," in which the story's apparent hero, Ned Stark, is unexpectedly beheaded, with the screen falling to black, Martin sits quietly for several moments, »
You know the films — Harold and Maude, Coming Home, Shampoo, The Last Detail, and Being There – but little about the man behind them. A quarter century after his death, director Hal Ashby remains one of the more mysterious figures to emerge from the New Hollywood movement. His rise as a director coincided with the brief but glorious period in American cinema when difficult, complex films were actually supported and encouraged by studios. That era came to an end with populist hits like Jaws and Star Wars, shifting the zeitgeist towards blockbusters and making it tough for uncompromising directors […] »
- Sara Kaye Larson
Nick Dawson, former Managing Editor at Filmmaker, is serving as an advisor to what will be the first ever Hal Ashby documentary. With the blessing of the Ashby estate, Amy Scott will render a definitive portrait of the revered yet unsung director behind Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Shampoo, and Being There, to be titled Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story. The Indiegogo video alone features appearances from John C. Reilly and Jane Fonda, with additional interviews with Robert Downey, Rudy Wurlitzer and Jerome Hellman still to come. Prizes include a plethora of prints from the Hashby estate, criterions, memberships to Cinefamily and Film Forum and […] »
- Sarah Salovaara
Hal Ashby—the director of “Harold and Maude,” “Shampoo,” “Being There,” “Bound for Glory” and a host of other low-level classics—is one of those people who's now famous for not being especially famous: he is frequently sung about as someone who is unsung. We did the very same a few years back with this retrospective, and now director Amy Scott is looking to bring him further into the spotlight with a documentary about his life and work. She also has the approval of Ashby's estate (he died in 1988) with access to his archives, but what she doesn't have is funding, which is where you come in. Scott has put together an IndieGogo campaign, and a trailer for the unmade film, in which actors like Jane Fonda and John C. Reilly sing the praises of a man who embodied hippie principles and relentlessly experimented with cinema while never losing a warm and personal touch. »
- Ben Brock
Mickey Rooney was earliest surviving Best Actor Oscar nominee (photo: Mickey Rooney and Spencer Tracy in ‘Boys Town’) (See previous post: “Mickey Rooney Dead at 93: MGM’s Andy Hardy Series’ Hero and Judy Garland Frequent Co-Star Had Longest Film Career Ever?”) Mickey Rooney was the earliest surviving Best Actor Academy Award nominee — Babes in Arms, 1939; The Human Comedy, 1943 — and the last surviving male acting Oscar nominee of the 1930s. Rooney lost the Best Actor Oscar to two considerably more “prestigious” — albeit less popular — stars: Robert Donat for Sam Wood’s Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) and Paul Lukas for Herman Shumlin’s Watch on the Rhine (1943). Following Mickey Rooney’s death, there are only two acting Academy Award nominees from the ’30s still alive: two-time Best Actress winner Luise Rainer, 104 (for Robert Z. Leonard’s The Great Ziegfeld, 1936, and Sidney Franklin’s The Good Earth, 1937), and Best Supporting Actress nominee Olivia de Havilland, »
- Andre Soares
Maybe it's appropriate that Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the Emmy-winning writers of an HBO biopic about Peter Sellers, would eventually wind up becoming the go-to guys for Marvel Studios to write the movie adventures of their man-out-of-time WWII hero Captain America. To some, Sellers himself was seen as an actor way ahead of his time, especially with his unforgettable role in Being There . That might seem like a stretch, but before being pulled into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the duo also spent years adapting C.S. Lewis' fantasy series "The Chronicles of Narnia," making them more than ready to bring one of Marvel's more relatable, grounded characters into a world full of billionaire playboys obsessed with »
Chicago – The actor Andy Garcia has been known throughout the years as a tough-guy leading man, with memorable roles in “The Godfather: Part III” and the “Ocean’s Eleven” series. He latest role is a gentle and comic turn, as a father doing a college tour with his son, and discovering more than expected in “At Middleton.”
Andy Garcia has experienced a brilliant American Dream story. He was born in Cuba, came to America as a child, where his father developed a successful perfume company. He was an athlete in high school, and turned to acting in his senior year. After graduating college, he moved to Los Angeles and began to move up the ladder. After doing “The Godfather: Part III,” Garcia continued with leading man roles in “Internal Affairs,” “Hero” and “When a Man Loves a Woman.” He is taking on more character parts at this point in his career, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Of all the acting challenges Michael Fassbender has faced, none quite compares to performing without the use of his face. That’s precisely what’s required in “Frank,” a weird and wonderful musical comedy about an oddball outsider band whose mentally ill frontman insists on wearing an expressionless plaster mask at all times — both onstage and off, in the shower and even to bed. It’s the sort of affectation that gets films labeled as “quirky,” although this one happens to be inspired by a true story. Luckily, helmer Lenny Abrahamson (“Garage,” “Adam & Paul”) puts the pic’s eccentricity to good use, luring in skeptics with jokey surrealism and delivering them to a profoundly moving place.
Frank’s story couldn’t have existed if not for Chris Sievey, an English punk-rocker-cum-comedian whom the public knew as Frank Sidebottom, encased in an oblong papier-mache head with unblinking Pac-Man eyes and painted-on hair. »
- Peter Debruge
Interview Matt Edwards 3 Jan 2014 - 15:03
Let me get this right out of the way: I did not want to leave at the end of this interview. I wanted to stay and talk to Spike Jonze some more. There are a few reasons for this. One is that Spike Jonze has had a long, interesting career. There’s a lot to ask him about. He’s directed so many notable music videos, some great feature films (Being John Malkovich and Where The Wild Things Are) and has been a part of the Jackass team since its inception.
Then, there’s that Spike Jonze is so much fun to talk to. Eloquent, friendly, enthusiastic and inspiring. This may rank amongst the most unprofessional things said on Den »
13 items from 2014
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