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As the film about Aung San Suu Kyi's life nears completion, tell us which biopics get it right and which ones deserve to be made
The story of Aung San Suu Kyi's life currently being translated in film as The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh, is near completion. The movie is eagerly awaited by admirers of Aung San Suu Kyi's political courage, but others have criticised what will possibly be Hollywood's trivialisation of her achievements.
Biopics certainly are a tricky genre to get right: Gandhi, with Ben Kingsley and Spike Lee's Malcolm X were both lauded by critics, while the same couldn't be said about Braveheart or, even worse, Alexander. What are your favourites – and which ones would you like to see made? What life deserves celebrating on the big screen, and which actor would you pick to play the part?
Aung San Suu Kyi
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News »
Documentaries in the dock, a rating revision for Blue Valentine, and why this year's Oscar may go to… its presenter
Docs in the dock
A landmark legal case is looming in which a film genre will find itself defined by law. The makers of Catfish are being sued by the record label of an artist whose music appears in the film. The film-makers will argue in court that it is "fair use" because their film is a documentary. "It's frustrating that our film has been lumped into the category of 'is it or isn't it?'" Nev Schulman, the subject of the film, told me last week. "It all happened to me, so I know it's real and we feel it's the very definition of documentary – it's real life, shown as it happened, in chronological order, no scripted voice-over or set-up interviews. It's a collage of document: video, text, graphic, »
- Jason Solomons
That's the logic from director Julian Schnabel, who has taken some flak for casting Slumdog Millionaire actress Freida Pinto as the lead in Miral, a film about several generations of Palestinian women. "When people wonder, 'Why do you pick an Indian person?' Why is Russell Crowe Gladiator? I mean the guy is from New Zealand," Schnabel told the Guardian. "Ben Kingsley played Gandhi!" Yes, because the idea of Russell Crowe in Gladiator is one of worst examples of "color-blind casting" to ever occur. It totally took me out of the movie! Ahem. At least Schnabel didn't use The Last Airbender as a defense. [Guardian] »
I was hoping I could get through my interview with Julian Schnabel without him asking what I thought of his movie. Schnabel's film-making career has been on a steady upward trajectory since he made Basquiat in 1996, and his last feature, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, received near-universal acclaim, including a best director Oscar nomination. Not bad for a painter who treats film-making as a mere sideline.
His latest film, Miral, chronicles the lives of several generations of Palestinian women, in particular an orphan who is drawn towards violent activism as she comes of age during the first intifada in the late 1980s. Played by Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto, Miral is based on writer Rula Jebreal; the movie is adapted from her book of the same name. »
- Steve Rose
Happy birthday to Best Actress winner Joan Fontaine (Suspicion, 1941), also known as the second Mrs. DeWinter. She turns 93 years young today. What on earth was she thinking about when she won the Oscar. This photo to your left fascinates me on account of "who knows?" It seems so much more candid than many Oscar night photos.
I keep the following "still with us!" list, not from any morbid curiousity but from a genuine happiness that some legendary screen stars are still walking the earth even though most of them aren't walking the screens these days. This year has been rough with the losses so maybe I'm going to stop keep this list. My heart was in the right place! We want the following to know that their past accomplishments are acknowledged by new generations.
The Oldest Living Oscar Nominees
All of them were born before the movies even had sound! »
- NATHANIEL R
Hey there friends. Brian Gallagher here with a look at all the news that wasn't fit for print over the past seven days. There's a lot to get to this week, so lets kick things off with some intriguing "recruitment" posters from the Star Wars universe.
Anime Recruiting Posters for Star Wars - via The Swedish Bed
I have to wonder how many people would join the Empire in Star Wars if these posters were plastered around the galaxy far, far away. The Swedish Bed has discovered some sexy anime posters featuring women in stormtrooper costumes to recruit young men into the Empire. Artist Feng Zhu created these posters and he also did some work on Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith as a designer. Take a look at these interesting posters below:
It almost seems like Zhu has infused the humor from Starship Troopers in these posters. »
First, a warning to the faint of heart: the below video features a shirtless Danny DeVito. Proceed at your own risk.
The comic actor is apparently taking on the challenging role of Mahatma Gandhi, an historical figure most famously brought to life in film by Ben Kingsley in the 1982 feature, "Gandhi." DeVito will star in "Gandhi II," which he refuses to call either a sequel or a remake. I honestly can't tell if this is genuinely hilarious or if my natural inclination towards all things DeVito is coloring my opinion. David Mamet wrote and directed this little gem for FunnyOrDie though... check it out.
- Adam Rosenberg
The directing-writing duo behind this upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release take us behind the scenes of their video game adaptation
On September 14th, Walt Disney Pictures epic adventure Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time will finally arrive on DVD and Blu-ray. To celebrate this upcoming release, we recently caught up with the film's director Mike Newell, as well as the creator of the original video game upon which the story is based and screenplay contributor Jordan Mechner, to find out more about the making of this thrilling new addition to the Disney legacy. Here is our conversation:
Why did you film in Morocco at a time of the year that everyone advised against going there?
Mike Newell: I'm afraid that is simply how the movies work. If you are going to do a film about the South Pole, the chances are that you will film it in Hawaii! Whatever is most difficult, »
Weekend Box Office
1Resident Evil: Afterlife$27.7 million2Takers$6.1 million3The American$5.8 million4Machete$4.2 million5Going the Distance$3.8 million6The Other Guys$3.6 million7The Last Exorcism$3.4 million8The Expendables$3.2 million9Inception$3.0 million10Eat, Pray, Love$2.9 million#1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
Labor Day weekend presented some surprising results at the box office last week as the George Clooney thriller The American did much better than expected and beat out both newcomers Machete starring Danny Trejo and the romantic comedy Going the Distance for the number one spot on the charts. Early last weekend it looked like the heist film Takers was going to steal the number two position, but by Monday morning the Robert Rodriguez movie had cut its way to second place while the Drew Barrymore comedy barely cracked the top five. Now with the highly anticipated fourth chapter of the popular Resident Evil series, Resident Evil: Afterlife opening this weekend it was almost inevitable »
Seems that nearly every movie is about time-travel these days...
Over three weeks have passed since Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables hit our screens and slightly longer still since Joe Carnahan’s revamp of The A-Team romped through cinemas up and down the country. Two films that provide further clear evidence as to the cinema’s growing penchant for the ‘throwback’ movie. The Expendables and The A-Team are action films released in the summer of 2010, yet very much belonging to another decade. Contemporary cinema is increasingly willing to revisit movies and television shows that cash-in on cult following and cheap gimmicks, without infringing upon those films considered as classic cinema. The groundbreaking success of ‘New Hollywood’ in the late 1960’s and 1970’s meant any cinema and television that immediately followed was always likely to suffer in comparison. Certainly the late 70’s and the 1980’s aren’t renowned for their great »
- email@example.com (Tom Cunliffe-Whitford)
The Independent Film & Television Alliance marks its 30th anniversary by selecting what it considers the "30 Most Significant Independent Films" of the past three decades. The choices were made by Ifta's 27-member board of directors. But they take on a toxic sheen in my opinion with the inclusion of an honorable mention for The Toxic Avenger, which was directed by Ifta head Lloyd Kaufman (and Troma Films impresario) under the pseudonym Samuel Weill. American Cinematheque and Ifta are scheduling screenings of the top indie films, beginning September 29th with My Left Foot, followed with a Q&A featuring the film's director, Jim Sheridan. Now, My Left Foot was certainly a milestone game-changing indie and a tour de force by Daniel Day-Lewis. And I was liking some of the choices on the Ifta list, even though films like Braveheart, The Lord of the Rings, and Inglourious Basterds strain the definition of independent. »
- MIKE FLEMING
Holiday Weekend Box Office
1The American$16.1 million2Machete$14.7 million3Takers$14.5 million4The Last Exorcism$9.5 million5Going the Distance$8.5 million6The Expendables$8.2 million7The Other Guys$6.6 million8Eat, Pray, Love$6.5 million9Inception$6 million10Nanny McPhee Returns$5 million#1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
Last week's box office race came down to the wire with Takers and The Last Exorcism both fighting it out for number one. On Sunday it looked like the Eli Roth produced horror film had come out on top but by Monday morning the hip-hop heist film had won the weekend. Now with three highly anticipated new movies opening this Labor Day weekend, including director Robert Rodriguez's Machete, Going the Distance starring Drew Barrymore, and The American with Oscar winner George Clooney, it was inevitable that we would have a new box office champ.
Debuting at number one this week and doing better than expected is the new international espionage thriller starring Oscar »
Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage has been signed to star in a Bollywood gangster film, according to the 'Hindustan Times.' Bollywood director Vidhu Vinod Chopra is currently in Los Angeles working on his new film, 'Broken Horses,' and Cage will reportedly play a leading role in it.
'Broken Horses' is an English-language film—Chopra's first—about two brothers embroiled in the drug trade on the U.S.-Mexico border. It is said to be a loose remake of Chopra's acclaimed 1989 film 'Parinda,' which starred Madhuri Dixit and Anil Kapoor (who appeared in the Western film 'Slumdog Millionaire' and the American TV show '24').
Chopra has said there's nothing Indian about 'Broken Horses' and it will be cast with Western actors. Award-winning American actor Mickey Rourke has reportedly been approached for an important role in it. The film will be shot in New Mexico and New York. »
John Mills in Richard Attenborough‘s Gandhi John Mills on TCM: I Was Monty’S Double, Ryan’S Daughter, Hobson’S Choice Schedule (Pt) and synopses from the TCM website: 3:00 Am Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) A cold-hearted teacher becomes the school favorite when he’s thawed by a beautiful young woman. Cast: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Paul Henreid. Dir: Sam Wood. Bw-114 mins. 5:00 Am Hobson’s Choice (1954) A widower father fights to control the lives of his three strong-willed daughters. Cast: Charles Laughton, John Mills, Brenda De Banzie. Dir: David Lean. Bw-108 mins. 7:00 Am Dunkirk (1958) True story of the Allied evacuation of occupied France at the start of World War II. Cast: John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Bernard Lee. Dir: Leslie Norman. Bw-135 mins. 9:30 Am Way to the Stars, The (1945) A young flyer deals with the strains of wartime service and survivors’ guilt during World War II. Cast: Michael Redgrave, »
- Andre Soares
Slumdog Millionaire and Last Airbender star says he has struggled to find work beyond stereotypical roles of terrorists, taxi drivers and geeks
His role as a young "chai-wallah" in the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire catapulted him into the limelight, but Dev Patel has said he struggled to find work in its aftermath because he did not want to play the usual "Asian" roles in Hollywood: terrorists, taxi drivers and geeks.
Patel told the Mail on Sunday he had expected to be offered better work following the success of Danny Boyle's film, so was disappointed to discover that he had already become typecast.
"Because Slumdog was such a big hit, there was a lot of pressure in terms of what I did next," he said. "For my second film, I wanted a role that would stretch me, but all I was getting offered were stereotypical parts like the goofy Indian sidekick. »
- Ben Child
Dev Patel is frustrated by the lack of substantial roles for Asian actors in Hollywood, insisting he's bombarded with scripts asking him to play "terrorists" or "geeks".
The London-born actor is currently jobless following parts in Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire and M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender - and insists he's holding out for a role which challenges him.
He says, "Because Slumdog was such a big hit, there was a lot of pressure in terms of what I did next. For my second film I wanted a role that would stretch me, but all I was getting offered were stereotypical parts like the goofy Indian sidekick.
"Asian actors tend not to be sent Hollywood scripts that are substantial or challenging. I'm likely to be offered the roles of a terrorist, cab driver and smart geek."
But Patel is hoping he will one day overcome the industry's prejudice and win over audiences.
He adds, "Actually, I'd love to play a terrorist, so long as the part gave me something to sink my teeth into. I want to show that I have versatility. You have to remember that before Slumdog, the last film about India that went big at the Oscars was Gandhi, as played by Ben Kingsley. The fact that me and (actress girlfriend) Freida (Pinto) have any kind of platform in Hollywood is a big step forward." »
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on 3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy), 1-Disc Blu-ray and 1-Disc DVD on September 14th from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. The film is described as the perfect way to experience the cinematic magic of Blu-ray . the pristine 1080p picture and DTS-hd Master Audio sound quality enhance the explosive action and special effects . and contains more bonus features than the DVD. Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (2005, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Brokeback Mountain), Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley (1982, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Gandhi), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, The Da Vinci Code) and Gemma Arterton (Clash »
- Patrick Luce
London, Aug 3 – ‘Et’, directed by Steven Spielberg, has been voted the ‘Greatest Film Of All Time’ in an online poll.
Movie expert Barry Norman described the sci-fi classic as ‘the perfect family film’.
“A magical tale for children, a triumph of special effects, a chastening lesson to bigots everywhere and, as the director Steven Spielberg describes it, a simple and pure love story,” the Scotsman quoted him. »
By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Disney’s live-action update of the “Prince of Persia” video game franchise didn’t exactly set the world on fire during its early summer run. Led by Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Mike Newell, “Persia” pulled in $89.7 million domestically and an additional $237 million overseas.
The studio will look to make back some more of its grosses now that “Persia” is coming to DVD. An official statement from Walt Disney Home Entertainment follows. But if you are interested, circle Sept. 14 on your calendar, as that’s when “Persia” streets.
The mystery and legends of an ancient time will be experienced like never before when Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time arrives on 3-Disc Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy), 1-Disc Blu-ray and 1-Disc DVD on September 14, 2010 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.
- Sean O'Connell
London -- James Bond film composer David Arnold today announced details of his second annual Concert for Care, a charity event for Care International at the Royal Albert Hall on Oct. 18 that will feature one of the biggest ever gatherings of top movie composers.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will play selections of film scores and songs introduced by a dozen men and women who have written some of the most popular film music of recent years. Most of them also will attend a screening of Universal's "Psycho," directed by Alfred Hitchcock with music by Bernard Herrmann, at London's Empire Theatre on Oct. 17 followed by a Q&A session, also in support of Care.
Besides Arnold, Grammy Award-winner for "Independence Day" (1996), who has written the score for the last five 007 films, the concert will star Rachel Portman, who has three Oscar nominations including a win for "Emma" (1996); Anne Dudley, Oscar-winner for »
- By Ray Bennett
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