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Marlon Brando in ‘A Dry White Season,’ James Earl Jones in ‘Cry the Beloved Country’: Apartheid movies (photo: Marlon Brando in ‘A Dry White Season’) (See previous post: “Nelson Mandela: Sidney Poitier and ‘Malcolm X’ Cameo Apperance.”) Besides the Nelson Mandela movies discussed in the previous two posts, South Africa’s apartheid has been portrayed in a number of films in the last few decades. Among the most notable ones are the following: Zoltan Korda’s Cry the Beloved Country (1951). Based on Alan Paton’s novel, this British-made film features Canada Lee and Charles Carson as two men struggling to deal with the disastrous consequences of apartheid. Ralph Nelson’s The Wilby Conspiracy (1975). Sidney Poitier and Michael Caine star as, respectively, an anti-apartheid South African activist and a British engineer on the run from South Africa’s secret police, headed by racist Nicol Williamson. Chris Menges’ A World Apart »
- Andre Soares
Nelson Mandela movies (photo: Idris Elba in ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’) Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who spent 27 years in jail and who played a fundamental role in the demise of that country’s apartheid system, died of a lung infection yesterday, December 5, 2013. Mandela was 95. One of the best known political figures of the late 20th century, Nelson Mandela inevitably became a topic for filmmakers. Below are a few examples. Idris Elba in ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ British actor Idris Elba plays Nelson Mandela in Justin Chadwick’s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, based on Mandela’s autobiography, and which opened this past weekend in the United States. Written by William Nicholson, the film — much like Richard Attenborough’s Best Picture Oscar winner Gandhi — is a de facto biopic (or rather, hagiopic, according to reviews), covering Mandela’s life from his childhood years to his election »
- Andre Soares
In film, the role of the former Anc activist and president of South Africa has traditionally been approached with great reverence
The voice. The gentle, mysterious smile. The walk – generally an older man's walk, across a garden, or presidential office, or prison exercise yard. The enigmatically polite manner: intimidating, even awe-inspiring for allies and adversaries alike. The list of actors who have tried all this is long: Morgan Freeman, David Harewood, Terrence Howard, Danny Glover, Sidney Poitier, Clarke Peters, Dennis Haysbert, Idris Elba – and Lindane Nkosi, the one South African actor who has managed to make some sort of impression as this character in Anglo-Hollywood circles, for a film called Drum, about the 1950s anti-apartheid campaign, that played at festivals in London and Cannes.
Nelson Mandela has been a role to be approached reverently, a difficult part and a career hurdle in some ways, like a royal figure in a Shakespearian play, »
- Danny Glover, Peter Bradshaw
Moroccan-Belgian director, Nabil Ben Yadir, who is currently attending the Marrakech film festival for his sophomore pic “The Marchers”, screening in Official Competition, is prepping a political thriller, “Dode Hoek” (“Blind Spot”), set against Belgium’s deep Flemish-French divide.
The helmer’s debut film, “The Barons”, won the jury prize at the Marrakech fest in 2009 and was the country’s biggest domestic hit that year with 170,000 admissions.
Using a road-movie style, it recreates the 1983 Beurs’ March, in which a group of teenagers marched to Paris to protest against racism, inspired by Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi”, and rocked the regime topped by François Mitterand.
“All my films are about frontiers” Ben Yadir explains. “Given my own dual cultural background, with Moroccan and Belgian roots, I’m interested in the tensions that exist at cultural dividing points, »
- Martin Dale
Every now and again, a screen actor is given the Herculean task of portraying a living legend. While many of these performances are snooze-worthy, one will occasionally rise above the rest and introduce a new generation to one of history's great figures. (See Sir Ben Kingsley as Gandhi or Dame Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II.) In Justin Chadwick's buzzed-about biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Idris Elba offers the latter with his portrayal of beloved South African president Nelson Mandela. "[He] grabs the role like a man possessed," writes Peter Travers. »
Bruce Dern’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing since he returned home to Pasadena from the Cannes Film Festival in May.
The first call, which abruptly woke him, turned out to be his daughter Laura. She’d heard from director Alexander Payne that good news was on its way. “I said, ‘Laura, don’t shit me,’ ” Dern recalls, with his typical histrionic flair. Twenty minutes later, she called back to tell him he was the festival’s best actor winner.
At 77, Dern delivers a career-best performance in Payne’s “Nebraska,” a story about a confused old man on a road trip with his son (played by Will Forte). Dern says it’s the first time in his long career he’s had the chance to fully display his chops, which he fine-tuned at the Actors Studio in New York, working with Elia Kazan.
Film Review: ‘Nebraska’
“I guess I felt »
- Ramin Setoodeh
A Holy Fire is one of the twenty-three films selected for the co- production market of Film Bazaar 2013. We spoke to the director Govind Nihalani:
Tell us about your project. What language will it be in?
Phoolvati, a young widow, 35, immolates herself on the funeral pyre with her dead husband, 72. Instantly, she is elevated to the Goddess- like status of a Sati, the epitome of virtue for being a selfless devoted wife. A grand temple is planned by the town to worship her. Phoolvati is survived by young Vidya, her only child, who idolised her for upholding the traditional values of society. Mother’s death shatters daughter’s world, Vidya herself having been widowed recently.
Soon Vidya’s relatives, particularly the male members, encircle the vulnerable young widow like vultures. Vidya stands up to them and they don’t find her resistance amusing. The confrontation escalates and »
- Editorial Team
‘Ender’s Game’ movie to go the way of ‘John Carter,’ ‘The Golden Compass’? (Photo: Ben Kingsley and Asa Butterfield in ‘Ender’s Game’) Directed by Gavin Hood and starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford, Ender’s Game is going the way of Andrew Stanton’s John Carter and Chris Weitz’s The Golden Compass at the domestic box office. After opening with a disappointing $27.01 million last weekend (including Thursday evening shows), the $110 million-budgeted was down a whopping 62% this past weekend, November 8-10, 2013, collecting a paltry $10.25 million from 3,407 theaters (no reduction in number of venues) according to box office actuals found at Box Office Mojo. One can blame Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World, but the action fantasy starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Tom Hiddleston wasn’t the sole culprit. After all, Ender’s Game was already trailing both Last Vegas and Bad Grandpa last Thursday. After two weekends, »
- Zac Gille
'The trait I most deplore in myself? Neediness'
Sir Ben Kingsley, 69, was born Krishna Pandit Bhanji in Yorkshire, and brought up in Salford. His father was a Gujarati doctor and his mother was an English model and actor. He began his acting career in 1967, after changing his name and being accepted by the RSC. His first major film role came in 1982, in Richard Attenborough's epic Gandhi, for which he won an Oscar. In 1994, he was nominated for a Bafta for his supporting role in Schindler's List. In 2001, he was given a knighthood. His latest film, Ender's Game, was released last month. He has been married four times and has four children.
When were you happiest?
I look forward to answering that question in 15 years.
What is your greatest fear?
What is your earliest memory?
A dog barking at some rodent in the garden in Yorkshire. I think it was our dog. »
Imagine Gandhi with Dustin Hoffman as the leader of India's non-violent independence movement? Or The Wackness with Mary-Kate Olsen macking on Bill Murray? Both could have been reality if Ben Kingsley took the Beatles' advice and became a singer. "John Lennon and Ringo saw a show I did and introduced me to Dick James, who was head of Northern Songs, the music publisher," Kingsley tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I also had an offer from the Chichester Festival to join them to do classical plays, and I decided to go there for the summer, »
‘Ender’s Game’ movie box office: Adaptation of sci-fi novel by controversial anti-gay author Orson Scott Card tops (modest) domestic box office chart — but will that be enough to spawn a film franchise? (Photo: Asa Butterfield in ‘Ender’s Game’) Written and directed by Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner Tsotsi), and featuring Asa Butterfield (the star in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo), Best Actor Oscar nominee Harrison Ford (Witness), Best Actor Oscar winner Ben Kingsley (Gandhi), two-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis (Doubt, The Help), and Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominees Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), the futuristic adventure drama Ender’s Game will easily top the North American box office chart this weekend, November 1-3, 2013. The Summit Entertainment / Lionsgate Pictures release is based on the 1985 novel (itself based on a 1977 short story/novella) by Orson Scott Card, an outspoken author »
- Zac Gille
Was "Iron Man 3" just the beginning for Ben Kingsley and Marvel Studios? While making the press rounds for his new film "Ender's Game," the Oscar winner ("Gandhi") revealed that he'll soon be working with the studio again, although in what capacity is anybody's guess. "It's a secret Marvel project. I'm not allowed to say any more, you're going to have to wait and see," he teased the Belfast Telegraph. There's no other information, and it's unclear if Kingsley will be reprising his "Iron Man 3" role of Trevor Slattery (an actor who posed as the arch-villain Mandarin), or if he'll be »
- HitFix Staff
New Delhi, Oct 1: Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence, whose 144th birth anniversary will be observed on Wednesday, has been the favourite of many a filmmaker who has gone behind the camera to bring his philosophy and sayings to the big screen.
Ians lists some of the movies that were about the man, revered in India as Father of the Nation, and also those that were not about him, but highlighted his philosophy:
"Gandhi" (1982) - Directed by Richard Attenborough, "Gandhi" is one of the best movies on the Mahatma so far. Ben Kingsley essayed Gandhi so convincingly that he walked away with the best actor award at the 55th Academy Awards for his role. The film's success can be measured from the fact that it won seven. »
- Leon David
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is gearing up to celebrate the Academy Awards® in a very special way next year. As part of TCM’s annual 31 Days of Oscar® showcase in February 2014, the network will present the world premiere of Oscar, a brand-new documentary tracing the history of the Academy Awards. Produced by Telling Pictures, Inc., in association with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Academy) and Hollywood Newsreel, this fascinating special will take movie lovers on a journey through Hollywood history as it tells its story of the little statuette that became the industry’s most coveted prize.
Oscar is set to have its world television premiere on TCM Saturday, Feb. 1, the opening night of the 2014 edition of 31 Days of Oscar. With the new documentary as its centerpiece, 31 Days of Oscar will be themed around the history of the Academy Awards.
Featuring more than 300 Oscar-winning and nominated films, »
- Michelle McCue
Dirk Bogarde: ‘Victim’ star took no prisoners in his letters to Dilys Powell Letters exchanged between film critic Dilys Powell and actor Dirk Bogarde — one of the most popular and respected British performers of the twentieth century, and the star of seminal movies such as Victim, The Servant, Darling, and Death in Venice — reveals that Bogarde was considerably more caustic and opinionated in his letters than in his (quite bland) autobiographies. (Photo: Dirk Bogarde ca. 1970.) As found in Dirk Bogarde’s letters acquired a few years ago by the British Library, among the victims of the Victim star (sorry) were Academy Award winner Vanessa Redgrave (Julia), a "ninny" who was “so utterly beastly to [Steaming director Joseph Losey] that he finally threw his script at her face”; and veteran stage and screen actor — and Academy Award winner — John Gielgud (Arthur), who couldn’t "understand half of Shakespeare" despite being renowned for his stage roles in Macbeth, »
- Andre Soares
Having taken nearly as long to reach the screen as its subject spent imprisoned by South Africa’s brutal apartheid government, producer Anant Singh’s film of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography finally arrives bearing the slightly musty odor of a 1980s Richard Attenborough superproduction: stolidly reverential, shackled to the most dire conventions of the mythmaking biopic, and very much a white man’s view of the “dark” continent. Making “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” seem positively avant-garde by comparison, director Justin Chadwick (“The Other Boleyn Girl”) and screenwriter William Nicholson’s CliffsNotes version of Mandela’s nearly 700-page memoir never opts for a light touch when a sledgehammer will do, slathered in golden sunsets, inspirational platitudes and John Barry-esque strings that will doubtless make a certain contingent of awards voters sit up and beg for more. But for all its failings, there is one thing about “Long Walk to Freedom »
- Scott Foundas
Little Terrors, an upcoming film by director Maninder Chana, is about a boy and his journey into Jihad. This film is reportedly inspired by true events and stars veteran actor Deep Dhillon, who is known for his versatility in Punjabi and Hindi cinema, along with Hindi daily soaps. The film also stars Om Puri, who is said to play a crucial role in the film.
The film revolves around the journey of a young boy, who is born and brought up in the U.S and is brought back to Afghanistan to be pushed into Jihad. The film claims to put forth the various facets of Islam, and apparently has quotes and saying from the Hadiths, i-e the sayings of Prophet Muhammad. The star cast of the film is a blend of international stars, with Om Puri being a known face as he has done films like City of Joy, »
- Samreen Tungekar
Lee Daniels appears to have modeled his movie on a visit to Madame Tussauds. The historical impersonation as Oscar horse is something new
• First look review: The Butler
• Video: Whitaker and Winfrey at the Butler premiere
• Gallery: all the presidents' men
When did acting turn into a sub-category of karaoke? When Robin Williams first turns up as Dwight Eisenhower in Lee Daniels' The Butler, his face saggy with prostheses and floured like an overbaked pizza, it draws giggles from the audience. This sort of star turn requires a certain amount of time for audiences to acclimatise; the same giggles greeted the sight of Leonardo DiCaprio, looking like an aged liverwurst as J Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood's 2009 biopic. Half an hour in and we had adjusted.
- Tom Shone
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the Royal Albert Hall are renewing their Conversations with Screen Composers series, with George Fenton (Gandhi) and Dario Marianelli (Anna Karenina) confirmed.
The interview series, hosted by broadcaster Tommy Pearson, is now in its second year.
The interviews will take place in September and November. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Los Angeles will honor Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Kingsley at its Britannia Awards next November. The Britannia Awards celebrate the accomplishments of men and women in the entertainment industry. Bigelow, the Oscar-winning director behind "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty," will receive the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing. Kingsley, best known for his work in "Gandhi" and "Sexy Beast," will be honored with the Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment. "Sir Ben is a true icon of our »
- Brent Lang
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