14 items from 2014
The noir since 1960 is like pornography: it's hard to describe, but you know it when you see it. With "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" in theaters, it may be time to tackle the question more directly. To paraphrase Paul Schrader, what is a (modern) film noir? In 1972, Schrader, now known for his work as a screenwriter ("Taxi Driver") and director ("American Gigolo"), penned the classic essay "Notes on Film Noir" for Film Comment. It's an ideal introduction, laying out film noir's influences, aesthetics, and themes in terse, colloquial language. He argues that the American movies of the Forties and Fifties that French critics labeled "film noir" -- defined by hard-boiled writing, chiaroscuro lighting, oblique compositions, and disillusionment with the postwar order -- constituted not a genre but a movement, more like German Expressionism or the French New Wave than the gangster film or the Western. And so, like any movement, »
Every now and then, there are two actors whose careers seem to circle around each other, covering similar ground and affording one actor opportunities when the other passes or drops out of a project. The most legendary pair of that sort is that of Richard Gere and John Travolta, as the latter has passed on films like An Officer And A Gentleman, American Gigolo, and most notably Chicago, leaving the former to be cast in his absence. If this recent casting news out of Guy Richie's King Arthur project is any indication, Charlie Hunnam and Jamie Dornan just might become that new pair of opportunists. Deadline was pleased to report that Pacific Rim actor Charlie Hunnam has signed on for the first of a planned six-picture franchise of King Arthur tales, which will have its first installment directed by Richie and is being aimed for a July 2016 release. This is »
The Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff) is coming up fast, but organizers are still putting final touches on the festival’s impressive lineup. Highlights of today’s newly announced titles include the world premiere of the anticipated Bill Murray starrer St. Vincent, for which the actor is tipped to garner awards buzz, and Palme D’Or winner Winter Sleep‘s North American debut.
Check out all the announcements below…
Denzel Washington is one of the film world’s most prominent leading men, known best for his galvanizing portrayals of both real-life figures (Malcolm X, The Hurricane, American Gangster) and fictional characters (Philadelphia, Devil in a Blue Dress, Flight). Washington returns to the Festival starring in The Equalizer, an intense thriller that reunites him with director Antoine Fuqua (Brooklyn’s Finest, Shooter, Olympus Has Fallen) for the first time since their Oscar-winning collaboration on Training Day. »
- Isaac Feldberg
It's hard to imagine it today, when movies are in and out of theaters in a week or two, to be replaced by the next much-hyped blockbuster, but there was a time, back in the '80s, when movies were so pervasive that their soundtracks sold in the millions, making them ubiquitous in theaters, on the radio, and on MTV all at once. The high point of the soundtrack era may have come this week 30 years ago, with the release of Prince's autobiographical film "Purple Rain" on July 27, 1984.
The movie itself was just okay -- except during the performance sequences, which were electrifying and remain so today -- but the soundtrack was mindblowing. And for the latter half of 1984, you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing one of its tracks -- "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy," "I Would Die 4 U," or the epic power ballad that was the title track. »
- Gary Susman
Written and directed by Robert Bresson
Robert Bresson’s is one of the great singular visions of the cinema. Like Stanley Kubrick and Andrei Tarkovsky, Bresson’s output was relatively minimal — 13 features over the course of 40 years — but it is likewise instantly recognizable. Though it’s something of an auteurist cliché to say that one can identify a given director’s work by just a single scene or even a single frame, in this case, the declaration holds true. Bresson’s work is so distinct, so deceptively simple, so regimented in its formal construction, that to see one of his films is to witness an exceptional directorial style, one consistently employed throughout an artist’s body of work. With this consistency comes the subsequent creation of one extraordinary film after another, each similar to the previous, with reoccurring imagery, themes, and performances, but each, at the same time, »
- Jeremy Carr
Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched this week’s episode of True Blood, “Lost Cause,” stop reading now. (Or, at least read our full recap first.) The Pam and Eric show continued as the duo traveled to Dallas in search of Sarah Newlin at a Ted Cruz fundraiser hosted at the Bush Library. We spoke to True Blood’s costume designer, Audrey Fisher, about their memorable formal wear. And because we’re still obsessed with those flashbacks to 1986, 1996, and 2006, we got the backstory on those looks as well.
The Dallas Fundraiser
Seeing as how Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) would dress »
- Mandi Bierly
Lee Pace doesn't do many projects that generate ambivalence. After making his small screen bones in the Bryan Fuller-created "Wonderfalls" and "Pushing Daisies" and having his earliest big screen exposure in Tarsem Singh's polarizingly unique "The Fall," Pace has been on an absurd franchise streak of late. He checked "Twilight" off the list as Garrett in the second part of "Breaking Dawn." His Thranduil has had an increasingly large presence through the last two "Hobbit" films. And this summer, Pace will enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Ronan the Accuser in "Guardians of the Galaxy." It's unclear how many Lee Paces exist, because amidst these major franchise films, Pace also found the time for his return to regular series television. On the new AMC drama "Halt and Catch Fire," Pace plays Joe MacMillan, a former Ibm wunderkind who recruits Scoot McNairy's Gordon Clark to work with him »
- Daniel Fienberg
‘What is the topic of conversation, Jon?’ It’s midnight and my time with the author begins with a dry incredulity when I mention the witching hour at which I’m calling.
‘Why are you doing an interview at midnight? I can barely form a sentence at midnight… that sounds interesting…’
I admit it. I fudged my explanation, clearly omitting the fact that this was the only time we could work out. I didn’t expect his next question, which was ‘Do you drink?’ I do, but not much since I became a parent, ‘Well…that does happen I guess when you have kids, doesn’t it? You cut it out…’ he paused for just a moment, ‘or you have more of it.’
The Canyons is a film to drink to, not in the snarkful drinking game way but the arid burn of the sun-bleached Hollywood noir works better when »
- Jon Lyus
The reemergence of Giorgio Moroder to mainstream prominence over the last year has been one of the great unexpected gifts for music enthusiasts. In the wake of his seemingly inevitable collaboration with dance icons Daft Punk, Moroder has been collaborating, remixing, and working on new material of his own—not to mention DJing live for the first time in his storied career. In the process he has introduced himself to a new generation of fans, rightly receiving his due as an influential producer and sonic innovator. But what has yet to be widely recognized is the thumbprint Moroder has left on modern film composing. His iconic, Oscar-winning scores and songs for many of the biggest films of the late-1970s and ‘80s (Midnight Express, Top Gun) have long since entered the pantheon, but with the recent popularity of nostalgia-fueled films such as Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, Moroder’s influence »
- Jordan Cronk
The Kodak Scholarship Program is currently accepting submissions for the 2014 competition. The international program acknowledges and celebrates student filmmakers who demonstrate exemplary filmmaking skills and creativity at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The award consists of a cash tuition prize along with Kodak Film Product grants to assist recipients with future projects. Get your reels together because the deadline for entries is May 16.The lauded cinematographer, John Bailey ("American Gigolo," "The Way Way Back") will lead the panel of judges. They will make their decision based on a combination of sample reels, faculty recommendations, and academic achievements. New to this year's competition, Kodak is providing an online submission process to make entering easier. Additionally, film schools can now use a public Vimeo or Youtube URL to upload a samples of student work. The following prizes will »
- Luke Slattery
Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Face/ Off. Just five of the many iconic John Travolta movies in a career that has spanned five decades and over fifty movies. In that time Travolta has appeared in musicals, horror films, thrillers, comedies, action movies, dramas, animated fares and science fiction epics. He is the actor that has seen it all and done it all. In last 35 years, since his career blossomed with a role in a 1977 musical named Grease, he has overcome personal tragedy, critical acclaim and critical mauling, career highs, career lows and at least two movie rebirths in the late 80s and 90s, most notably with the 1994 cult movie Pulp Fiction, from director Quentin Tarantino; and here he is in London, on perhaps the most glamourous nights of the year, BAFTA night, to celebrate his career and his life with the people he clearly adores the most, »
- Tessa Jones
The 64th Annual Ace Eddie Awards ceremony will take place on February 7 in Los Angeles. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
A movie I hadn’t seen since first renting it on VHS in the late 80’s, Paul Schrader’s Cat People is a movie I remembered very little about except that there was a giant black leopard, a ton of nudity and a lot of things that just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me at that age.
Upon revisiting, very little has changed in my opinion except that, despite its many flaws, Cat People does manage to exhibit a few moments of genius filmmaking with an intoxicating and almost dreamlike atmosphere that ultimately makes it a memorable- albeit uneven- exploration of obsession, repressed sexual desires and death.
Cat People follows a young woman named Irena Gallier (Nastassja Kinski ), who was orphaned as a child and has now arrived in New Orleans to live with the long-lost brother she never knew she had, Paul (Malcolm McDowell). Oddly enough, »
- Heather Wixson
When "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" was released back in 2012, it turned into something of a sleeper hit, grossing more than $100 million worldwide and firmly placing it amongst specialty smashes of the year (alongside "Moonrise Kingdom" and "To Rome With Love"). Still, it seems like an unlikely film to warrant a sequel, but that's just what it's getting, in the form of "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2."
Fox announced that production on the sequel started today (via Coming Soon), with director John Madden and screenwriter Ol Parker returning behind the scenes. In front of the camera, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Penelope Wilton, Diana Hardcastle, Tena Desae, and Lillete Dubey are all set to return. What's more -- new cast members Richard Gere, David Strathairn, and Tamsin Greig will join the original cast, for a lovely expansion of the franchise. That's right, »
- Drew Taylor
14 items from 2014
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