7 items from 2016
Beresford will direct from Ronald Parker’s original screenplay about the tumultuous life and romances of the Czech composer, culminating in 1890s America when he championed African-American music and the early sounds of ragtime, and composed his “New World Symphony.” Dvorak was plagued by self-doubt and married the sister of the woman he loved but could not wed, sharing a bittersweet life together.
“This is one of those incredible scripts that portray strong characters against the backdrop of some of the most recognized music in the world,” Beresford said. “I look forward to telling Dvorak’s story.”
Casting is currently underway for a May start in the Czech Republic.
- Dave McNary
For as accomplished as Joel and Ethan Coen’s debut film Blood Simple comes across to any viewer, like any director, they can’t help but recognize their flaws. That’s not to say their newly restored first film, now available on The Criterion Collection, doesn’t look and sound gorgeous — every bead of sweat dripping down M. Emmet Walsh’s face and every gun blow feels like you’re right there in the sweltering Texas landscape — but there’s an undeniable charm in their recounting of the making of the film.
With it being the first time most of the major talent involved was doing their specific job, it was a learning experience through and through, which makes the special features on new release all the more informative and entertaining. The most substantial feature on the disc is a 70-minute discussion with the directors and cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld as »
- Jordan Raup
Mr. Church tells the story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother meet a talented cook – Henry Joseph Church. What begins as a 6-month arrangement ends up enduring for 15 years and creates a bond that lasts forever.
Set 1965 Los Angeles, Mr. Church begins with a stranger arriving on the doorstep of 10-year-old Charlotte “Charlie” Brody and her single mother Marie Brody (40), who is battling breast cancer. They soon learn that the quiet man, Henry Church (40), has been hired by Marie’s recently deceased former lover to cook for them and help maintain the household. As Mr. Church’s time with the Brodys extends from months into years, he becomes a father figure for Charlie during her formative years, nurturing her love »
- Melissa Thompson
The award is presented in the name of iconic Italian director Luchino Visconti. Prior recipients of the award include Taylor Hackford, Tom Hooper, Paul Haggis, Stephen Frears, Alan Parker, Terry Gilliam, Jim Sheridan and Joel Schumacher.
The festival will also screen Beresford’s most recent feature, “Mr. Church,” a Cinelou drama starring Eddie Murphy and Britt Robertson, on July 12; Warner Bros.’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ “The Legend of Tarzan,” starring Alexander Skarsgård on July 13; and Columbia Pictures’ “Ghostbusters.” Warner Bros. is handling international releasing on the three movies.
The Ischia festival runs from July 10 to 17 on the Italian isle, which is located off the coast of Naples.
Beresford, a native of Australia, has directed more than 30 features and TV movies, including “Tender Mercies, »
- Dave McNary
Oscar winning production designer Ken Adam died today in London at the age of 95 according to The BBC.
Adam is most famous for creating the iconic and sprawling lairs of the supervillains who populated the Sean Connery and Roger Moore-era James Bond films. His designs included the Crab Key complex in "Dr. No," the Fort Knox interiors on "Goldfinger," the volcano lair of "You Only Live Twice," Stromberg's supertanker and Atlantis sets in "The Spy Who Loved Me," and Drax's space station in "Moonraker". He also did the production design on "Thunderball" and "Diamonds Are Forever".
Adams' work extended well beyond the Bond franchise though, such as two films in the anti-Bond Harry Palmer film series with Michael Caine - "The Ipcress File" and "Funeral in Berlin". He was a favorite of Stanley Kubrick following his design of the famous war room for "Dr. Strangelove". He was offered "2001" but turned it down, »
- Garth Franklin
Last year HitFix threw down a 21-question quiz for Oscar fanatics, and this year we're at it again. Join us for an ultimate Oscar test featuring three tiers of difficulty: hard, harder, and hardest. Get out a notepad! The answers are on the next page. (Please note that the term "actor" can mean a man or a woman, and that any listed year refers to the time of the movie's release, not the year of the ceremony.) Hard 1. What's the highest-grossing of this year's eight Best Picture nominees? 2. Jennifer Jason Leigh just received her first Oscar nomination for Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. Only two performances in Quentin Tarantino's filmography have earned Academy Awards. Who performed those roles? 3. Which of this year's Best Picture nominees stars a character named Joy? 4. Who's the only person in history to win both an acting Oscar and a songwriting Oscar? 5. Name one »
- Louis Virtel
The Coen brothers are just as quirky as the characters from their movies. Just ask Josh Brolin, who has collaborated three times with the writer-directors, including on the upcoming “Hail, Caesar!” He recalls meeting the brothers on his “No Country for Old Men” audition, and not knowing what to do with the awkward silences. “Joel was intimidating,” Brolin says. “He didn’t say anything.” Months later, he was having dinner with Ethan, and noticed his friend continually glancing at his lap. “I looked down,” Brolin says. “He had been reading a book under the table. I was like, ‘Come on!’ ”
Photographed in New York City by François Dischinger for Variety
In this age of Twitter and Instagram, the directors of such beloved classics as “The Big Lebowski,” “Blood Simple” and “Raising Arizona” are still fairly private — and awkward with press interviews. Although they grew up together making films on their Super 8 cameras in Minnesota, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
7 items from 2016
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