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You want to celebrate the holidays, but want to do it a little differently? Cinelinx presents this list of our favorite non-traditional holiday films.
It’s a fact. TV networks love the holiday season. It’s their chance to program endless Christmas Story reruns and James Bond marathons. More importantly, it’s a time when the whole family is at home and sitting down in front of the TV. Let’s say you’re tired of the normal selection of holiday films that cycle throughout the day on TV. You’re tired of hearing “Every time a bell rings an angel gets its wings!”. You’ve had enough of Macaulay Culkin’s self-defense antics, and Ralphie just maybe deserves to get his tongue stuck to that pole. You are very familiar with how many sizes too small the Grinch’s heart is, and maybe Frosty the snowman is just another migraine waiting to happen. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Maison)
Monty Python’s Terry Jones arrived during a break in the clouds Friday for an Adr session at West La’s The Village, the storied recording studio where the late Robin Williams lent his voice to Jones’ upcoming sci-fi comedy Absolutely Anything shortly before his death this summer.
“One thing we’re grateful to Robin for is he was the first to come on and he stuck with the whole thing,” recalled Jones’ close collaborator Gavin Scott (The Mists of Avalon, Small Soldiers). “The kind of attitude that led him to stick with the project through all its ups and downs, he totally exhibited here. He wanted to make everybody feel good from the engineer to the lady making the coffee. It was very late in the day for him and we didn’t know that, but he was a real mensch.”
Co-scripted over two decades by Jones and Scott, »
- Jen Yamato
Attendees at Saturday night’s American Cinemateque screening of Monty Python’s iconic “Life of Brian” at the Aero received a bonus — six minutes of footage from the Pythonesque sci-fi farce “Absolutely Anything,” screened by director Terry Jones.
Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale star and the late Robin Williams voices Dennis the Dog. The Pythons are voicing key roles as a group of aliens who endow a disillusioned teacher (Pegg) with the power to do “absolutely anything” to see what a mess he’ll make of things — which is precisely what happens.
In a discussion with Cinemateque’s Grant Moninger, Jones explained that he and Gavin Scott had worked on the script for over two decades but shelved the project in 2003 when “Bruce Almighty” was released. “Five years later, Mike Medavoy asked me what project was at the bottom of my drawer,” he added.
He asked Williams to come on »
- Dave McNary
Now out in hardback is John Cleese's autobiography, So Anyway. It's a genuinely interesting read, very much written in his own voice, and he spared us some time to have a chat about it, and his career.
Here's how it went...
Can we start with the predictable stuff first, but I always wonder this when anyone writes an autobiography: why do it? Why put your life down in a book, who is it for, and did you enjoy it?
Well let's go backwards on that. Yes I enjoyed it very much. Who is it for me? In a funny kind of way it was for me, because some people seem to think that I've had a very interesting life, which compared with people who have fought in wars, and been spies, and discovered rivers in Africa, »
Red Band Society, Season 1, Episodes 6-10
Airs Wednesdays at 9pm Et on Fox
Red Band Society‘s first season has been suffering from tonal problems and narrative inconsistency throughout most of its run, but with this final episode of the year, the show was able to find a way to unify the story, as well as develop the characters in a way that felt genuine, with promise for interesting growth. After a string of episodes that have felt disjointed from one another, emotionally contrived, and at times completely ridiculous and unremarkable, the fall finale shines. The episode effectively gives the kids an emotional story, having them react to the departure of two fellow red band-ers from the hospital, with the adults handling their own plot about interoffice dating. This episode not only offers a compelling story, but also ties in plot points from previous episodes that seemed random or unearned, »
- Jean Pierre Diez
Director Ridley Scott and his two lead actors, Joel Edgerton and Christian Bale, were in Paris this week to discuss how they went about making Exodus: Gods And Kings and just what goes into adapting the story of Moses for the big screen.
Though many directors might feel too much pressure to make a film of this scope, Scott remained calm and unaffected. ‘At this point in my career,‘ he began, ‘it wasn’t daunting at all, otherwise I wouldn’t have tried it.‘ He added: ‘I take great care . . . I treated the entire story with the greatest respect . . . It’s a very tricky tiptoe through the tulips deciding what you’re going to do without actually impeding what I want to do. It’s a tricky sort of dance.‘ So what sort of influence do these people actually have over his film-making? None at all, it seems. ‘I have »
- Amanda Keats
Monty Python's "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life," the jaunty singalong that first appeared in the comedy troupe's 1979 film The Life of Brian, has long been a staple at funerals for its optimistic tone, bubbly melody and lyrics about one's own demise. But in a new survey of funeral directors, the track has become the most popular song to play at British funerals, according to the Telegraph.
“Monty Python” star Terry Jones, whose credits as a director include “Life of Brian” and “The Holy Grail,” has co-written, co-directed and presents a documentary feature on economics called “Boom Bust Boom,” which includes a contribution from John Cusack.
The film, which covers the history of financial crashes, is co-written by economics professor and entrepreneur Theo Kocken. It is co-directed by Terry Jones’ son Bill Jones and Ben Timlett, who run the pic’s production company Bill and Ben Productions. The film features a combination of live action, animation, puppetry and song. Click here to visit the film’s website.
As well as Cusack, contributors include journalists Paul Mason and John Cassidy, plus leading experts including Andy Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England, and Nobel Prize winners Daniel Kahneman, Robert J. Shiller and Paul Krugman.
Kocken commented: “The people in the street are the ones who directly or »
- Leo Barraclough
The Twelve Monkeys director said that he plans to discuss potential new projects with his Python colleagues next month, following their sold-out live reunion stage show earlier this year.
"At a gathering in December we'll talk of what we might do," he told The Sun.
"There have always been talks about trying to do a musical of Life of Brian."
However, Gilliam played down the chances of a new feature film, saying: "There have always been talks about another film, but I don't know. One reason we did the show was because it only required a couple of months of our lives.
"But a film is a much longer process. »
Director Terry Jones' ("Life of Brian," "Holy Grail") sort-of Monty Python reunion "Absolutely Anything" stars Simon Pegg as a schoolteacher granted magical powers by aliens voiced by the Monty crew (including, that's right, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, John Cleese and Jones himself). Due summer 2015, the London-set film costars Kate Beckinsale, Eddie Izzard, Joanna Lumley and Robin Williams, in his farewell performance, as the voice of Dennis the dog. Pegg also has "Mission: Impossible 5" coming down the pike; we interviewed him earlier this year for "Hector and the Search for Happiness." (Images, below, via Empire.) »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Previously, we'd seen a colorful teaser poster for the comedy Absolutely Anything, a pseudo reunion of the infamous Monty Python comedy troupe with John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones voicing aliens who bestow magical powers on a secondary school teacher and watch what happens. Simon Pegg leads the film, and Robin Williams voices his dog Dennis in one of his final film performances. Now we have some first look photos showing Pegg in the film with his talking dog, and we even get a shot of Kate Beckinsale, playing a love interest. Will this pack a hilarious Monty Python punch? Here are the first photos from Terry Jones' Absolutely Anything from Empire: Absolutely Anything is dircted by Terry Jones (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Life of Brian), who co-wrote the script with Gavin Scott (Small Soldiers). The film follows a disillusioned school teacher (Simon Pegg »
- Ethan Anderton
Best British movies of all time? (Image: a young Michael Caine in 'Get Carter') Ten years ago, Get Carter, starring Michael Caine as a dangerous-looking London gangster (see photo above), was selected as the United Kingdom's very best movie of all time according to 25 British film critics polled by Total Film magazine. To say that Mike Hodges' 1971 thriller was a surprising choice would be an understatement. I mean, not a David Lean epic or an early Alfred Hitchcock thriller? What a difference ten years make. On Total Film's 2014 list, published last May, Get Carter was no. 44 among the magazine's Top 50 best British movies of all time. How could that be? Well, first of all, people would be very naive if they took such lists seriously, whether we're talking Total Film, the British Film Institute, or, to keep things British, Sight & Sound magazine. Second, whereas Total Film's 2004 list was the result of a 25-critic consensus, »
- Andre Soares
"Your parents never told you the truth. The year of your birth, there was a prophecy that our leader would be born to liberate us. That leader is you." Yes, that's basically a line from the recent "Jupiter Ascending" trailer, but no, this exact quote comes from "Exodus: Gods and Kings," the latest Biblical epic attempting to shatter the Christmastime box office. From "Gladiator" and "The Counselor" director Ridley Scott, "Exodus" retells the classic Moses legend with ex-Batman Christian Bale as the chosen one and Joel Edgerton as Ramesses, wearing more eye-liner than Jack Nicholson's Joker. This is The Good Book as The Comic Book. There's already controversy surrounding Scott's decision to whitewash cast — a fair and necessary conversation that could pick up steam closer to its release — but as far as white-casts-playing-Middle-Eastern-characters are concerned, "Exodus: Gods and Kings" has a mighty ensemble to amplify its CG spectacle. »
- Matt Patches
When Christian Bale first talked with director Ridley Scott about playing the role of Moses in Scott's “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” he went home and rented a movie to get him in the right mood. It wasn't “The 10 Commandments,” in which Charlton Heston played the part, or “Moses,” the 1995 TV movie starring Ben Kingsley in the title role. Instead, it was “Life of Brian,” Monty Python's seriously twisted take on Biblical movies through the story of a hapless would-be messiah and his misguided followers. “It was the very first film I rented while still trying to get my head wrapped. »
- Steve Pond
Ahead of the 58th BFI London Film Festival, American Express has teamed up with some of Britain’s most influential movie bloggers – including us – to produce a new bank of film trivia celebrating British cinemas rich history.
“There’s so much to celebrate about British film, from iconic locations, multi-award winning production and creative teams to some of the world’s best loved stars,” states Melissa Weber, Vice President Brand and Communications, American Express “People love talking about film and this list should fuel some great discussion, enabling people across the country to get into the spirit of this year’s Film Festival.”
A selection of the facts have been turned into Vine videos to be hosted on Twitter via @AmexUK, using #BritFilmTrivia and will be calling for enthusiasts to trade their favourite facts. Meanwhile, a video has been released with Alex Zane, which you can see below, along with a selection of the trivia… »
- Gary Collinson
"I'll always be anti-authoritarian, as long as I live," says Terry Gilliam, the comic provocateur who's been taking aim at the establishment for over four decades. The only thing that changes: his targets. In Life of Brian, it was religion. In Brazil, the government. And in his latest film, The Zero Theorem, it's the biggest oppressor of all: big business. Says Gilliam, "Governments are second rate compared to corporations when it comes to power and influence on our lives." The Zero Theorem stars Christoph Waltz as Qohen Leth, a reclusive computer drone whose life is at the mercy of his employer, Mancorp. His boss, a godlike figure named Management (Matt Damon), and his underlings dictate everything from Qohen's therapist (Tilda Swinton) to his sexual »
Venice — "Pasolini is me." So sang erstwhile Smiths frontman Morrissey on single "You Have Killed Me" from "Ringleader of the Tormentors," an album recorded in Italy. The very next track on the album opens with a sample of a very distinctive sound: the siren of an Italian ambulance. At the Venice festival, it's impossible to go for more than a day without hearing this dolorous yet urgent wail on the Lido; it's an unofficial soundtrack. These congruences were very much slushing around my head as I sat down for Abel Ferrara's "Pasolini." Prior to the festival, Maestro Ferrara, the man who brought "The Driller Killer," "King of New York," and the original "Bad Lieutenant" into the world gave various interviews about the project. Like Morrissey, he is an inveterate quote machine, an expert in controversy, and the words that drew the most attention were electrifying: "I know who killed him. »
- Catherine Bray
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
Bill Hader has come a long way since his stint on Saturday Night Live, creating many popular characters and impersonations such as Stefon, Vincent Price and CNN’s Jack Cafferty. He is one of the highlights in such films as Adventureland, Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express, and so it is easy to see why author Mike Sacks interviewed him for his new book Poking A Dead Frog. In it, Hader talks about his career and he also lists 200 essential movies every comedy writer should see. Xo Jane recently published the list for those of us who haven’t had a chance to read the book yet. There are a ton of great recommendations and plenty I haven’t yet seen, but sadly my favourite comedy of all time isn’t mentioned. That would be Some Like It Hot. Still, it really is a great list with a mix of old and new. »
Without the help of some brave investors, or the pockets of their makers, the following films would never have existed...
It's now a fairly common mantra that you'd be a fool to put up all of your own personal money into a feature film. By all means invest, but share the risk, or throw a few quid at Kickstarter.
Paying for the bulk of the negative/hard drive yourself, and leaving your own assets exposed? Utter lunacy.
Not that anyone told this lot...
For some time, Mel Gibson had, alongside his acting roles, been heavily invested in his production company, Icon. As such, he had two significant ways to earn money, and he needed both of them when it came to making The Passion Of The Christ.
This is the kind of film that studios run a mile from. All »
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