8 items from 2015
Bart Williams, a veteran character actor who was active in Actors Equity, died from cancer at his home in Bullhead City, Arizona, on June 28. He was 65.
Born in Los Angeles, he appeared in Equity productions nationwide over many decades, often reprising roles for which he became celebrated such as Franklin D. Roosevelt in “Annie,” Cap’n Andy in “Show Boat,” Major General Stanley in “The Pirates of Penzance” and the Wizard in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Film credits included “The Doomsday Clock,” “Short Circuit 2,” “Hello, Dolly!” and “An Enemy of the People,” while highlights of his career in television include “Mad TV,” “Weird Science,” “Abbott & Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld,” “Totally Hidden Video” and “General Hospital.”
He was also a successful writer, director and producer, recently garnering numerous festival awards for his feature documentary “The Last First Comic,” about Irv Benson, the only surviving burlesque comedy headliner.
For Actors Equity Association, »
- Variety Staff
The privileged Manhattan milieu is reminiscent of early Whit Stillman, but the storyline is closer to “The Line of Beauty” or “Brideshead Revisited” — surely it’s no accident that the most troubled character here is named Sebastian — in “Those People.” Joey Kuhn’s feature debut is impressively polished, but its burnished surface is more highly worked than the unevenly satisfying drama beneath. This tale of unrequited love among young denizens of the Upper East Side should nonetheless prove a popular item on the gay fest circuit, with niche home format sales assured and limited theatrical exposure a possibility.
Charlie (Jonathan Gordon) is finishing art school, but he seems primarily occupied as usual with the needs of longtime best friend Sebastian (Jason Ralph), the fulcrum of a clique that also includes Ursula (Britt Lower), London (Meghann Fahy) and “token straight boy” Wyatt (Chris Conroy). Sebastian is a reckless party boy who »
- Dennis Harvey
'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl': Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow. 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' review: Mostly an enjoyable romp (Oscar Movie Series) Pirate movies were a Hollywood staple for about three decades, from the mid-'20s (The Sea Hawk, The Black Pirate) to the mid-to-late '50s (Moonfleet, The Buccaneer), when the genre, by then mostly relegated to B films, began to die down. Sporadic resurrections in the '80s and '90s turned out to be critical and commercial bombs (Pirates, Cutthroat Island), something that didn't bode well for the Walt Disney Company's $140 million-budgeted film "adaptation" of one of their theme-park rides. But Neptune's mood has apparently improved with the arrival of the new century. He smiled – grinned would be a more appropriate word – on the Gore Verbinski-directed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, »
- Andre Soares
Mike Leigh has announced his next project is to be based on Manchester's Peterloo massacre.
Peterloo will be the directors first big screen project since 2014's Mr Turner.
In an interview with Screen International, he said: "There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo Massacre.
"Apart from the universal political significance of this historic event, the story has a particular personal resonance for me, as a native of Manchester and Salford."
Set in 1819, the film will be based around the events where the British government invaded a peaceful protest in St. Peter's Field, Manchester.
The infamous attack left around 15 people dead and over 700 protesters wounded.
The film is currently in development with Film4.
Leigh is currently directing »
"There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo Massacre," Mike Leigh said in a press release. "Apart from the universal political significance of this historic event, the story has a particular personal resonance for me, as a native of Manchester and Salford." Well, now he's going to make it happen. The director announced that the Peterloo Massacre will be the subject of his next film. It will tell the story of the infamous 1819 massacre by government forces at a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St. Peter's Field in Manchester, where 700 working people were injured, and 18 killed. The filmmaker will reunite with his longtime collaborator, cinematographer Dick Pope, to shoot the project, but here's the thing — it won't lens until 2017. Why the delay? Read More: Watch Mike Leigh's Series Of 5-Minute Short Films Well, Leigh is currently gearing up "The Pirates Of Penzance" for the English National Opera, and »
- Kevin Jagernauth
London — Mike Leigh’s next project will look at Peterloo — the 1819 massacre by British government forces at a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester, England, when 700 people were injured, and 18 killed.
The film, which will shoot in 2017, will reunite the writer-director with his regular team of collaborators from Thin Man Films, headed by producer Georgina Lowe and cinematographer Dick Pope, recent BAFTA and Oscar nominee for Leigh’s “Mr. Turner.”
“There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo Massacre,” said Leigh. “Apart from the universal political significance of this historic event, the story has a particular personal resonance for me, as a native of Manchester and Salford.”
“Peterloo” will be Leigh’s fourth period feature, following “Topsy-Turvy” and “Vera Drake,” and, most recently, “Mr. Turner,” recipient of four Oscar nominations and four BAFTA nominations. “Mr. Turner” is also Leigh’s biggest box office hit yet, »
- Leo Barraclough
Exclusive: Manchester-born director describes story’s ‘personal resonance’.
The BAFTA-winning writer-director, who also has seven Oscar nominations to his name, intends to shoot the film in 2017 and will re-team with DoP Dick Pope, who was Oscar-nominated for his camerawork on last year’s Cannes Competition title Mr. Turner.
“There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo Massacre,” Leigh said. “Apart from the universal political significance of this historic event, the story has a particular personal resonance for me, as a native of Manchester and Salford.”
The notorious massacre, now widely taught in UK schools, saw British government forces charge into a crowd of 60,000 that had gathered in St Peter’s Field in Manchester to demand political reform.
The forces killed an estimated 15 protestors and injured hundreds, sparking outcry »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Following in your famous father’s footsteps while pursuing your own showbiz dreams can prove to be a daunting career path. Just imagine if Dad were as beloved as Robby Benson, a teen heartthrob in the ‘70s in such films as the basketball drama “One on One” and the skating romance “Ice Castles.” He would move on to more mature roles in the ‘80s such as “Harry & Son” opposite Paul Newman and leave an enduring mark on animation history as the voice of the Beast in 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast.” And then there is Mom, Karla DeVito, no slouch, either. The actress/singer, once dubbed “The Sweetheart of Rock and Roll” by David Letterman, sang backup for Meat Loaf on his Bat Out of Hell tour and starred on Broadway in “The Pirates of Penzance.“ It makes sense, then, that their progeny and quadruple threat Zephyr Benson, who turns »
- Susan Wloszczyna
8 items from 2015
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